Refunds - 60 days, lifetime or 8 weeks?

39 replies
Hey all,

I've been thinking about putting up a "LIFETIME" refund for my product, but I'm still not sure about it, so far I only had one refund so why not.

My question is what do you prefer:

1. The regular "60 day, no-questions asked money back guarantee"?

2. The "8 weeks" or

3. Lifetime?

I've seen this "lifetime refund" thing on a website and liked the idea, since it may increase sales if customers think that it's 100% risk free. What are your experiences?

Thanks for sharing.
Jack
#days #lifetime #refunds #weeks
  • Profile picture of the author Branlan17
    I don't know, personally, lifetime strikes me as kind of fake/cheesy. It leaves me wondering what the catch might be and if you'll really honor it. Furthermore, it could kinda screw you if months and months down the road people remember they can get a refund at any time...

    I'd go with the 60 Days no questions asked. It's clear and still appealing in the way of security.
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  • Profile picture of the author CurtisN
    From a customer standpoint, 8 weeks or 60 days is a standard but boring guarantee. Providing a lifetime guarantee would show that you have the utmost confidence in your product and that you stand by it.

    Plus, the vast majority of your refunds will come within the first few months anyway...nobody's going to email you in 20 years and ask for their $47 back

    Curtis
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by CurtisN View Post

      nobody's going to email you in 20 years and ask for their $47 back

      Curtis
      You don't think so? I just had to go through a class action lawsuit because the scammer did not offer lifetime money back.

      It had not been 20 years, but was a few months after the purchase.

      One bad turn is all it takes to get people all wanting a refund. It is very risky. It can happen without you meaning it to as well. Your server could go down and people may be frustrated they can not access materials for a short period of time.

      It depends partly on the product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Either 60 days or 8 weeks is more than enough time for someone to figure it out.

    I think lifetime is too risky. I guess it might partially depend on your price point and what exactly you are offering.

    Is this for a membership or a product you pay one time on? Are you looking at thousands of dollars for a purchase or 10 bucks?

    Is this a physical or digital product?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jackbgd
      Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

      Either 60 days or 8 weeks is more than enough time for someone to figure it out.

      I think lifetime is too risky. I guess it might partially depend on your price point and what exactly you are offering.

      Is this for a membership or a product you pay one time on? Are you looking at thousands of dollars for a purchase or 10 bucks?

      Is this a physical or digital product?
      Hey,

      It is a one time payment of 47$ for a digital product. Thanks for asking.
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    • Profile picture of the author TommyBussey
      I think Lifetime could come back to bite you, bro. Just because you don't want to take the chance of someone coming back for their money 6 months down the road and you've already spent it. Of course, if it's a lower ticket item then it's as big of a deal. But I agree with some of the other Warriors that 8 weeks/60 days may be standard, but it is a healthy amount of time.

      Personally, I only offer a 30 day money back guarantee LoL, unless I'm selling through CB.

      -Tommy
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  • Profile picture of the author osail
    gee thats tuff to call.

    With the customer in mind its a very good idea.
    It dose establish a bond between you and your customers.

    i think that if you are going to offer something like lifetime, you better be offering something thats incredibly worth while.

    also there are other factors. like price, if your product is a $1,000 and moderately good. they most likely will take what they want and get back their 1k.

    also some people are lazy, i personally can think of a few products that i have purchased that where ok and not really worth the full price and didn't ask for a refund.

    since you have only had one refund its safe to assume that what your offering is pretty good.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    You'll find that the longer your guarantee is the more your sales
    would increase and the less likely that anyone would ask for a
    refund.

    When your guarantee is short people feel pressured in determining
    the value of your product and sometimes the time you give them
    is not enough so they ask for their money back. If you have full
    confidence in your product then shortening the guarantee wouldn't
    diminish the value.

    Just test and see for yourself.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      You'll find that the longer your guarantee is the more your sales
      would increase and the less likely that anyone would ask for a
      refund.

      When your guarantee is short people feel pressured in determining
      the value of your product and sometimes the time you give them
      is not enough so they ask for their money back. If you have full
      confidence in your product then shortening the guarantee wouldn't
      diminish the value.

      Just test and see for yourself.

      -Ray Edwards
      Ray,
      Was gonna post the same. A few years ago a successful direct marketer told me I was making a mistake by offering only a 30 day money back guarantee for the exact reasons you state. After testing it's true.

      Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author Franck Silvestre
    60 days is kind of too short. I like the ONE year guarantee.

    Experts recommend that, read fortin, clayton and other carton's blogs and you'll get the answer.

    Franck
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      I agree with the one year tops.

      I promoted a physical product that offered that and it was very successful in that regard. People stuck in there knowing parts would be replaced free and it was better than investing in competitors brand.

      This is why I say it depends on the product or service you are offering.

      Now, if you want to shorten the time, but provide lifetime free upgrades that is another great way to pull in trusting customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Wilkinson
    Hi,

    If you offer a high value - high priced product then I'd recommend that you stay away from the life time guarantee.

    The reason behind this is I'm sorry to say is that most people are lazy including myself. They will not use your product/service, or take any action, infact they may not even open the box you sent it in.

    Plus the less scrupled of those lazy folk will the next time they need some money (ie Christmas) demand that you honour your lifetime guarantee. Even though their was nothing wrong with your product. You could find yourself hading over large sums of money every time Christmas, summer vacations or car insurance renewal came around.

    So beware the lifetime guarantee on high value products, but it does work for lower cost items.

    Thanks
    Chris W
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  • Profile picture of the author Robyn8243
    Offering a lifetime guarantee gives you a certain degree of credibility, and the majority of people are not going to even remember or be able to track down their receipts to hound you
    for it a year from now. That is assuming that you are selling low or moderate priced item.

    I would not offer it for a high ticket item, because then people might be inclined to request a refund if they were tight for cash. I just don't see a lot of people coming after you for $50 a year from now simply because they can.

    My guess is that the type of people who are habitual refunders/scammers will hit you up for a refund so they can get their cash back in their own hands asap regardless of how long your
    refund period is for.

    Robyn
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  • Profile picture of the author TheWealthSquad
    It really depends.

    In on offline business I run, we offer lifetime refunds - if something is wrong. I have refunded some clients fees for services that were 5 years old when I discovered we had made a mistake. They didn't ask for it, but the mistake deserved to be refunded.

    They brought 5 new clients to us because of my honesty. I have bought a lot of things with lifetime or extended warranties or guarantees. I honestly couldn't tell you where they are today.

    Lifetime will tend to increase sales, will tend to decrease refunds, will tend to increase your potential risk. Notice that the high dollar products from Kern and some of the other "Guru"'s are 60 days. You don't get affiliate bonus's until the end of the refund time frame either.

    So depending on the product. Use your guarantee to set yourself apart. Why 30,60, 90 days? a Year? Why not 377 days? or 77 days? (We love 7s in IM don't we

    The easiest thing to do .... test it. Your market may be different than others. Test the 60 day vs 1 year vs 377 days to see which one gives you 1) Highest conversion 2) Least refunds over 60 days (yes I know you may get some in the longer time frames but the majority will happen within 60 days) 3) Greatest profitability

    Testing is the best way to answer any question, because the variables are too great for us to tell you THE answer. All we have is OUR best guess
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  • Profile picture of the author Popstar
    A merchant account won't like anything past 60 or 90 days. Lifetime or even 1-year guarantees are much too risky for them. Also, the longer the refund period, the more of your money they're likely to hold in reserve.

    I've always used 60-day guarantees with no problems. In fact, my refund rate seems to be influenced more by the sales price than the guarantee period. For me, the lower the price, the higher the refund rate.

    My suggestion is to target the customers who can afford to pay, give them a good product and a reasonable guarantee and you'll do just fine.

    Debbie
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    I just offer a 90 day refund for one of my products, and a lifetime refund for my older products which is $9.99 .

    With the understanding that I don't have too much experience in IM or selling digital products online, but my thoughts on this are that if your product is low and not too much of a risk/investment, people won't both to request a refund if they at least feel that your product is a quality products. I think this is the $.99-$19.99 range. I feel that once the product is more than $19.99, people will more or less take full advantage of a refund if given the option as $20.00-49.99 is more of a risk/investment to the people who can hardly afford Not having $20.00-$49.99 once they have already recieved the information. At $50.00-$99.99, people are less likely to even afford your product, so your number of refunds will automatically be lower than the $20.00-$49.99 range. Also, at this price, people are probably making a more of a wise investment and actually intend on applying the methods or information that they purchased. Hopefully the product they purchased is a quality product as it will be assumed such due to its high price.


    I may be 100% wrong, this is all really my guess/hypothesis. If anyone have anymore information please enlighten me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Money Maker
    weeks ?....I'd give them 10 days for a refund.
    I did this for years and sold and e-book for $28.50 each with digital delivery and made over $350.00 a day for months. Averaging only 2 refunds every 30 days.not bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author websitemrktg
    I like 60 days plenty of time to check out the product or service but life time I believe is not necessary.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrmnlitt
    I agree with Chris Wilkinson. You want to give the customer the best product and service but also are in this to make money. So giving a lifetime warr. could come back and bite you even if your intentions are good. The internet world is filled with people that will take a great product and say it does not work or it is a scam just because they did not put the effort into it to get results or it may set on someone desk for months unopened. Although the lifetime warr. sounds good and can work depending on the product I would say 60 to 90 days is enough time for any one truely trying a product to beable to make a good decision about a product being useful to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SMP
    60 days is plenty - any more than that is unnecessary.

    I agree with some of the other posts - people will know within the first 2 months whether an item they have purchased is going to be useful to them and, although you need as money back clause in the offer to be credible, 60 days is ample.

    Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author TommyBussey
    Something I've always found interesting is offering your customer a money back PLUS guarantee. I forget which product or marketer I saw this for (not trying to claim this idea as my own). But the guy offered a lifetime guarantee and also said something like: "I'm so confident in my product that if you want a refund, I'll not only give you a 100% refund of the price of the product, but I'll also pay you an extra $50 just for taking the time to try the product."

    Now, I know that seems pretty "out there," but if you're confident in your product or already have proof of a very low refund rate then this could really increase conversions.

    Again, I didn't come up with this idea myself, just sharing it with you all. Also, I would word the guarantee differently haha I just wrote that real quick for an example.
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  • Profile picture of the author milan
    You'd have to tell more about your product/service, sales letter etc. In some cases the guarantee is more important in some cases less important..
    Anyways, I think 60 days unconditional money back guarantee is a great starting point. I other means, don't get lost in such details. Once the product starts selling well, you might want to improve the income by thinking about things like that.

    Lifetime (and more) is something direct sales people are more comfortable with but they are selling physical products, in everygreen niches. Not that you can't do it with digital items, but, it's a completely different case!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    I have tested this before with a few products and 60 day seemed to work slighty better than the alternatives I was testing.

    As people noted, I think lifetime actually gives slighlty less credibility to your product (why, i have no idea). 60 gives enough time so people dont feel rushed and the truth is that after 2 weeks, refunds will probably be minimal so its more about the perception from the prospects side more than anything else


    Good luck
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    • Profile picture of the author Jackbgd
      I like the idea of the 365 days guarantee.

      It's really a complicated thing (deciding on the refund), but as many have said - it's all about the testing, and much depends on the product etc. My goal with the whole refund thing was just to destroy all the "risk-pressure" from people's mind and free them from any potential feelings of loss. I am very confident about the product by the way - but then again, there is the technical issue - your merchant actually needs the option that you can create longer refunds.

      I'll test it out and then tell you guys how it went.

      Thanks everyone for the replies - I appreciate it.

      Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    8 weeks= 56 days, though a literal translation from english to german(In German, they sometimes say ACHT TAGE which, in English means 8 days! SERIOUSLY!) and back would be 64 days! In other words, 8 weeks averages to 60 days!

    They KNOW you won't guarantee it forever! Raydal is CLEARLY wrong. If he were right, you could offer a lifetime warranty, and corner the market. It just doesn't happen. At some point, the net effect will be negligible. I think in MOST cases that is likely 90 days. For business creation products, etc,,, MAYBE 3 years is max. After all, 3 years is considered to be a milestone. Most go out of business BEFORE then, and you can depreciate a LOT within 3 years.

    MORE AND MORE people know that anything over 90 days isn't likely to be honored ANYWAY!

    Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by MarkAndrews IMCopywriting View Post

        Where did Raydal advocate that you
        definitely should offer a lifetime guarantee?

        He was merely recommending that a longer
        guarantee generally works better for the
        aforementioned reasons, a point I very
        much agree with him upon.
        Maybe I was too tired, or he changed it. He said "You'll find that the longer your guarantee is the more your sales
        would increase and the less likely that anyone would ask for a
        refund."

        I remember it indicating more clearly that it will drive your sales up as the guarantee gets longer, almsot as an absolute, and that is certainly not true.

        As for the REAL long guarantees, I am sure they worked earlier, but more and more are saying they won't trust ones over 90 days. I have seen several articles, and even sidelines on the news on TV saying that. WHY do they even mention it? Usually it is some scammer or person selling junk that is offering a guarantee over 90 days.

        Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author allthesp
      I would stick with the industry standard 60-day warranty in most cases.

      Lifetime warranties are pretty cheesy sounding; honoring them would also be very inconvenient.
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      • Profile picture of the author alvinhuang
        Originally Posted by allthesp View Post

        I would stick with the industry standard 60-day warranty in most cases.

        Lifetime warranties are pretty cheesy sounding; honoring them would also be very inconvenient.
        Geez..didn't know that the model that is making me more money would be cheesy sounding. Especially since i've tested it.

        But hey..what do i know. Armchair theorists are abound everywhere.

        Alvin Huang
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by alvinhuang View Post

          Geez..didn't know that the model that is making me more money would be cheesy sounding. Especially since i've tested it.

          But hey..what do i know. Armchair theorists are abound everywhere.

          Alvin Huang
          He said it sounded cheesy, NOT that it wouldn't sell. HECK, a LOT of cheesy sounding stuff sells WELL!

          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author LincolnKK
    I have no problem to offer a lifetime guarantee on a low-cost front-end item.
    I'd NEVER offer a lifetime guarantee on a high ticket item...!

    If we take as example an item of $3,000... The guy lost his job two years after that and remember about his lifetime guarantee about his $3k product. Maybe he will ask you a $3k refund. Will he ask for a refund on a 17$ ebook?

    Do I care about a 17$ refund after 2 years? No.
    Do I care about a 3000$ refund after 2 years? Yes!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel E Taylor
    We advertise a 60 day money back guarantee, but offer
    a lifetime guarantee. That may sound crazy but here is why...

    If you offer a lifetime guarantee you open yourself up to plenty
    of legal issues, scammers, and other headaches.

    Granted most refunds happen within the first 2 weeks sometimes customers
    may email 4 months later for a refund.

    We promptly refund ANY customer from ANY period of time. The
    reason is because the $27-$197 isn't worth the bad press of someone
    saying they had a bad experience.

    People respect companies that give prompt refunds and usually
    depending on the reason you can even save that customer
    for future purchases.

    But I'd NEVER advertise a lifetime guarantee because
    of the type of liability you open yourself up to.

    Unless you can predict the future I'd suggest staying
    as far away from that as possible.

    Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author LincolnKK
      Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

      We advertise a 60 day money back guarantee, but offer
      a lifetime guarantee. That may sound crazy but here is why...
      Great stuff here.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post

      We advertise a 60 day money back guarantee, but offer
      a lifetime guarantee. That may sound crazy but here is why...
      Now THAT is nice! You get all the benefits of the guarantee, and almost none of the hassles. People that don't deserve a refund are likely to not even consider it after 60 days, because of the advertising but, like you said, people that DO deserve it can get it, etc... ALSO, if it is a product you KNOW you sold them, paperwork is less hassle.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinhuang
    This is my experience with physical products. And the item has to be returned before we refund the client.

    For one of our portals. We offer a one year money back guarantee. And our refund rate is about 0.5%. That's for almost 10000 items sold so the % is statistically signifcant.

    For another website, we offer lifetime money back and haven't had a single return yet. But that's just over about 300 items as it's a new website.

    Interesting figures and I'll probably be switching over to lifetime warranty for all my physical products.

    *Note these are cd products in the non-im niches.

    Alvin Huang
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  • Profile picture of the author 1040
    I guess it's a matter of what you feel best doing. Someone mention that most refunds ome within 60 days any way. I guess if the product is worthy then what do you have to lose.
    Brooks
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    The real question here is, what do you do with the money once you sell a digital products? Do you spend it, so you send it to your checking account and spend it meagerly, or do you put the money into an account for the allotted time of your garuntee and then use it?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gama Seva
    If you can offer a free trial for your products like software that requires activation code, script with encrypted file etc. you really don't need to offer these moneyback guarantee thingy.

    The best approach is "Try It Before You Buy" for a change!

    Gama
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