ANOTHER refund question

by 10 comments
Hi Gang,

I having a mental tug-of-war right now. I sell a fairly expensive ($100) eBook in a very technical, specialized niche. In fact, there IS NO OTHER ebook of it's kind on the net. And like most vendors I offer a complete money back guarantee. My refund rate is extremely low, like less than 1%.

I have no problem giving a refund for legitimate reasons, what ever they may be. However, the vast majority of my refund requests have been "OH, I didn't know this was an ebook before I ordered it..." bla, bla, bla.

This is printed on my sales page, (Under the "order Now" button) TWICE on my order page (Directly below the "Buy Now" button where you CAN'T miss it.) is not in fine print, it is an entire a paragraph, it is also on my customer service page, about us page, contact us page and everyplace else I could think to put it. The eBook is never referred to as a "book" but always as an "Ebook." I have it in so many places, I specifically put it as an exception on my guarantee page. I notice NO ONE goes to the lengths I do to spell this out on other websites.

And I still get people who want a refund based on this excuse. I feel, after all the trouble I went to explaining this and making it as clear as I possibly can, short of stamping "EBOOK" on the graphic, this is a blatant excuse to steal the Ebook. Even my competitors have bought it, then requested a refund. (Which I gave.) I could understand it if ebooks were brand-new, like in 2000, but now they are a pretty common site on the Internet.

Where does good business practices end, and being taken for a total idiot and sucker begin? Any thoughts? Does everyone give refunds based on this lame excuse?
#internet marketing #question #refund
  • Profile picture of the author Anon7
    My refund rates are also very low (less than 1%). I don't author ebooks, but I can usually tell when someone's out to stuff me. The scammers will usually ask for a refund right away without even making an attempt to get support.

    You will have people shafting you, that's just a fact. Even though its aggravating when you do get that 1% refund, don't let it bother you. The important thing to focus on your 99% of good customers that you have.

    Forget about the bottom feeders, they're not worth your time.

    • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
      offer to send them a hardcopy If they agree, then have a local printer run off a spiral copy for you for a few bucks..
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman

    I feel your pain.

    But the question I have to ask you does your guarantee state "Unconditional Guarantee". If it does I think you're going to have to "grin and bear it". Even though you and I both know they are "stealing your e-book"

    Now lets take a negative situation and turn it into a positive for you. Here's a serious plan you need to think about. You will be able to increase the selling price of your book, because of the perceived value and will more than likely cut the refunds even lower. (I hope)

    1. Offer the book on a DVD or CD. Kick the price up to $119.00 + S&H
    2. Offer it also as a Printed Manual $139.00 + S&H
    You can use a fulfillment company to handle this for you or cut corners and do it yourself. Personally I would go with the "Professional" route and have it done. Don't worry about stocking them let the fulfillment company take care of the hard products.

    By doing so you change your "Unconditional Guarantee" for those who bought as a e-book and make it an exchange for the printed version or the DVD plus S&H.

    What you have described is a part of doing business on the internet and for that matter in the off line world. I know this eats at you, but try not to let it ruin your day. Do what you have to do and move on.

    Your not being stupid or a sucker, your just in business.

    • Profile picture of the author Heather Vale
      Ken's got some good points... make it a physical product, it's easy and cheap to do, get a fulfillment company to print and ship it -- and then you offer a refund "Less shipping and handling" (you decide what a fair "handling" amount is... that's standard stuff).

      The other thing you could do is offer a refund that's based on them trying the methods and reporting to you why it didn't work for them. Then they can't just get it, refund and go... they need to have it for long enough to have possibly put it to work, and you'll know if they used it or not.

      Rather than saying "unconditional guarantee", you say "I guarantee this will work for you if..."

      Remember, YOU'RE in control of the refunds and what your policy is.

      Since it's low, maybe you just decide to be happy with what you're doing; but if you want to take the reins a bit more, one or both of the above solutions will work very well.


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