Serial Refunders and Product Stealers - The End Is Near?

by MikeLantz 43 replies
There have been many discussions regarding the topic of serial refunders in the past, with no clear conclusion on what could/should be done about it.

For the most part, I think there have been 2 main reactions to the problem:

1) Just let it go. They never would have purchased anyway, so you are really not losing money. It is not worth the time to deal with it, so focus on more productive things.

2) Stealing is wrong, and it needs to be stopped. Why should someone get something for free that others are paying for? Its not fair to the legitimate buyers.

Both of the above reactions bring up good points...

I have to agree that we shouldn't waste our time (and mindshare) on "negative" things. It makes it harder for us to focus on the tasks we need to be doing.

However, should people be allowed to get away with this sort of thing forever? The stealing of products is bad for the community as a whole, and really doesn't benefit those who do it, either.

So, what is the solution?

With the coming release of WSO Pro (now accepting beta-testers), there will be a fairly accurate record kept of purchases and refunds. This will allow the system to know who is asking for refunds often, how quickly they are refunding, and if/when download links are being shared.

The question is: How should this be handled?

Should be make public the list of those who refund often and are clearly purchasing to steal our products?

Should we make the system passive and not have it deliver our products to those who may be "suspect" without explicit approval?

Or, is there another possible solution that would be even better?

I would love to hear from Warriors on this topic. With this system I think it allows us to stop these stealers and refunders without us having to think about it and taking our focus away from what is really important in our business.

What do you think?

Mike
#main internet marketing discussion forum #end #product #refunders #serial #stealers
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  • Profile picture of the author Louis Raven
    1) Just let it go. They never would have purchased anyway, so you are really not losing money. It is not worth the time to deal with it, so focus on more productive things.
    I think this statement is rediculous. I bet I'd have double the amount of costomers had it not been for free via illegal sharing and torrent sites and black hat forums.


    I honor ALL refund requests but NEVER give in to thieves!

    If they request a refund within minutes they're not getting it, simple.

    Louis
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I honor ALL refund requests but NEVER give in to thieves!

      If they request a refund within minutes they're not getting it, simple.
      There is a bit of a contradiction in what you are saying, though... You can't honor ALL requests if you don't refund those who ask for it immediately.

      The problem is this can get you in hot water. If you have a refund policy and you don't honor for a suspected thief, you could get yourself into trouble.

      It's a sad world when a thief can sue you and win, even though they are the ones with malicious intent. Unfortunately, this happens quite often.

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        Mike, if I knew the solution to this problem I'd run for Monkey God.

        Seriously, I don't know how to stop it and I don't know what to do about
        people who steal. The amount of time it would take to track down every
        illegal site peddling our products would stop me from running my business.

        If there are some brilliant minds out there (I am not one of them) who has a
        real solution for this, I'd even pay for it.

        Until then, I'm just one clueless marketer.
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      • Profile picture of the author askloz
        that's not a contradiction.

        he says, he honors all refunds, BUT, BUT BUT BUT, never gives into thieves who ask for a refund immediately. made sense to me.

        Originally Posted by MikeLantz View Post

        There is a bit of a contradiction in what you are saying, though... You can't honor ALL requests if you don't refund those who ask for it immediately.

        The problem is this can get you in hot water. If you have a refund policy and you don't honor for a suspected thief, you could get yourself into trouble.

        It's a sad world when a thief can sue you and win, even though they are the ones with malicious intent. Unfortunately, this happens quite often.

        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author TopNotchContent
            I know I purchase a lot of information products over the internet. Some of it is good, some bad and every once in a while I find a product that stinks.

            My rule of thumb is if I can find one new thing that I did not know before and can use in my business I will keep the product. But if the product does not add any value I ask for a refund immediately.

            I would never purchase a product that does not offer a guarantee.

            Personally I think that folks should focus on over delivering value to the end consumer. Guilt them into keeping your product because it is "just that good".

            If you are concerned about getting ripped off then take preventative measures like DLGuard. Or maybe change niches. Or simply grow a thicker skin and realize there are folks out there who are evil. (LOL!)
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          • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
            Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

            No, it doesn't make sense. If you have a refund policy stated on the sales page, you're obligated by law to honor it.
            That is the question, good point,

            Either you have a refund policy or you do not have a refund policy.

            If you dont want to give refunds then dont have a refund policy.

            It is really that simple, great point. :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I think this statement is rediculous. I bet I'd have double the amount of costomers had it not been for free via illegal sharing and torrent sites and black hat forums.


      I honor ALL refund requests but NEVER give in to thieves!

      If they request a refund within minutes they're not getting it, simple.

      Louis
      Just make sure if you take that stance that it's legal to do that where you live. In some places it's illegal not to honor any refund policy you might have.

      RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
      Originally Posted by Louis Raven View Post

      I think this statement is rediculous. I bet I'd have double the amount of costomers had it not been for free via illegal sharing and torrent sites and black hat forums.


      I honor ALL refund requests but NEVER give in to thieves!

      If they request a refund within minutes they're not getting it, simple.

      Louis
      In some states, you MUST honor ALL refund requests if people have a receipt for a specific time period understood UNLESS you specifically state otherwise.

      You might wanna research a little.

      Garrie
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Donahoe
    I posted on this matter a few days ago on how to deter thieves and turn it into an opportunity for more profit. Take a look it may help:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ou-profit.html
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by Sean Donahoe View Post

      I posted on this matter a few days ago on how to deter thieves and turn it into an opportunity for more profit. Take a look it may help:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ou-profit.html
      Sean,

      I read your post and while it does give a good method for "turning lemons into lemonade", it does not help with the issue of the initial theft.

      Now, I do understand what you are saying, and I think I will implement the "PDF watermark" idea into WSO Pro, but really you are taking the approach of the first camp I mentioned in my initial post, which is basically "There is nothing you can do about it".

      Thanks for your comments!

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean Kelly
        Originally Posted by MikeLantz View Post

        ... and I think I will implement the "PDF watermark" idea into WSO Pro...
        If you need a hand implementing this on the server-side I can give you a hand. I have built the technology to do this.

        Sean
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
          Originally Posted by Sean Kelly View Post

          If you need a hand implementing this on the server-side I can give you a hand. I have built the technology to do this.
          Sean,

          I would love that.

          I looked into it a bit today, but didn't dive into it too deep. If you already have the scripts needed that I could interface with, that would be a big help!

          Let me know what you would need from me to make this happen.

          Thanks,

          Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Wild Boom
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      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        I know the arguments for giving a money back guarantee but do you think you should also offer it for a plr article WSO?

        Part of my reasoning is this. I want to limit the number of licences to 100 (with no MRR/RR/Giveaway Rights).

        Say I get 5 refunders.

        If I resell the 5 refunded licences then there are 105 packs out there. I realize my customers won't know how many refunds there have been but I would, and I would feel obligated to only sell 95 because, right or wrong, that's the way I think.

        Yes, people can do a chargeback anyway so maybe it's a moot point. Perhaps I should be a bit contrarian and offer a 10 year money back guarantee .

        Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      I strongly recommend you discuss this with a lawyer before you consider releasing the information. For example, were you to violate EU Privacy laws by disclosing the transaction information of an EU citizen, expect prompt, costly legal problems.
      I actually agree with you on the idea of sharing this information in a public way. Personally, I don't think it is a good idea, because of the idea that I mentioned above in that thieves can sue you even though they are the ones breaking the law.

      I like the idea of alerting the sellers to a possible situation without public disclosure.

      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      While I appreciate the time and effort you put into it, I'm not too sure I want my own transaction data accessible by a 4th party (myself, the seller, PayPal and now you). That's by no means intended as a criticism of you or your service.

      What I'm wondering is whether or not this might hinder WSO sales from otherwise good buyers. While I don't consider myself a serial refunder, I won't hesitate to ask for a refund if the product was not as advertised. I think I would just pass on those using such a service to avoid the possbility of being of labeled as one by your system.

      The seller might offer a solid refund policy, but potential customers may feel that their reputation is held hostage to your system so to speak. Even though a refund can be given, customers might be afraid to ask for one, no matter how crappy the product was.
      Remember, the idea of tracking refunders is not central to the WSO Pro system, but simply a side effect. I don't think it would affect buyers in anyway, because it is truly designed to help them, not hinder them or "hold them hostage" at all.

      And, of course, any transaction information stored in the system is there only for the purpose it is intended. While the "system" could be considered a 4th party, it only sees it as data and has no interest in exploiting it in anyway.

      Of course, your concern is valid, and there would have to be a level of trust, which I think I have earned as a member here over the years.

      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      It's far too easy for anyone to setup the backend controls to detect serial refunders and protect their downloads on an individual seller basis. Serial Refunders and product theft continues to be a problem because sellers lack the knowledge of how easy this is to do and perhaps the technical skills to implement it.
      This is where I have to disagree. If it were easy, services like Clickbank, 1ShoppingCart, etc..., would not exist. As you mention, the "technical expertise" is not there, and many have no desire (or need) to get that level of expertise.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. While I am not 100% set on using the WSO Pro system to combat serial refunders, I can't ignore it as being a possible side-effect of the system and seeing what the Warrior community thinks about it.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rowe
    Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

    What I'm wondering is whether or not this might hinder WSO sales from otherwise good buyers. While I don't consider myself a serial refunder, I won't hesitate to ask for a refund if the product was not as advertised. I think I would just pass on those using such a service to avoid the possbility of being of labeled as one by your system.
    These were my exact thoughts when reading the original post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Mike,

      Da udder Mike is correct. There are serious legal implications in referring to people as "serial refunders" and giving out their data. Especially in the EU.

      As far as the rest, there's an easy solution: Let the merchant decide on what threshold (percentage of products refunded) they find acceptable. If the buyer exceeds that threshold, set it up so the merchant never knows they tried to order.

      That avoids the privacy issues and any claims of libel. It also avoids most discrimination issues, since it's based on a mathematical formula that relates to demonstrated actions, and not more subjective factors.

      That fixes some problems. I'd still take Mike's advice and talk to a lawyer before implementing that part of your product, though.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        As far as the rest, there's an easy solution: Let the merchant decide on what threshold (percentage of products refunded) they find acceptable. If the buyer exceeds that threshold, set it up so the merchant never knows they tried to order.

        That avoids the privacy issues and any claims of libel. It also avoids most discrimination issues, since it's based on a mathematical formula that relates to demonstrated actions, and not more subjective factors.
        I think your suggestion is a good one. This would be somewhat similar to how eBay allows you to not take bids from users with a certain number of strikes or a feedback score below a threshold you set. This is the basic premise I think would be effective.

        However... there is difficulty in implementing the concept of "the merchant never knowing". This is because the only way to positively identify someone trying to make a purchase is if they complete a payment through the payment processor (in this case, Paypal).

        The system could still use the same formula for selecting whether or not a purchase should be allowed (and product delivered), but could not "enforce" it until after a purchase is complete. Then, a refund could be issued and no product delivered.

        I do see your (and Mike's) point of privacy concerns, though. It really is quite funny that it seems the criminals are more protected than us law-abiding citizens.

        Interesting discussion, though, whether or not I end up implementing this into the system.

        Thanks!

        Mike
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  • How about a feedback system like eBay uses? Any value there?
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by faxinator View Post

      How about a feedback system like eBay uses? Any value there?
      That is the direction the WSO Pro system is headed. I already have many of the components created to make it happen, but they are not all put together yet.

      It's coming, though... Great idea!

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    I think...

    1. You better have some great legal terms for your service. Clear & open - not hidden. Same goes for sellers too.

    2. It will keep honest people from buying.

    3. It's only my business and those directly involved w/ what I buy.

    4. You cant stop thiefs. Its called create a new, free, WF ID and add/change my PayPal email.

    Now, if you also processed the payment, you could easily use all the data to track serial refunders but using the data of all people combined and letting other sellers get messages like "this is possible fraud so we didnt ___" could get you in very hot water - unless you become like ClickBank.

    Plus, with all the JUNK WSOs, you cant really say "if x buys 10 and refunds 5 then deny" Ive bought many WSOs and knew within minutes if it was crap or not.

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    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      If refunds of digital products are really hurting your business that badly, then send a physical copy for free in addition to your digital copy (use kunaki.com for fulfillment). That way they have to pay to mail the physical copy back before they get a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Kelly
    Hi Mike, sure - sounds great.

    Lets chat via PM tomorrow (Wednesday) because its 1:08am here now.

    The main problem with protecting your PDFs is that if you want to offer 'real' protection (aka DRM) then you have to pay $50k per annum to Adobe. This is why my PdfLocker software does not stop people from copying PDF files.

    I have some other ideas that we can discuss via PM ;-)

    Regards,
    Sean
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    • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
      This post is ridiculous.

      If you've got a lot of refunds maybe it's too easy to think that the solution lies in trying to stop people asking for refunds...but if that's the case, then you've got it all backwards.

      I think your problem buddy, is YOUR product.

      Either way, if you don't like refunds, here's some critical suggestions:

      1. TELL PEOPLE WHAT THEY ARE BUYING (instead of just saying it's a secret like you're in the 90's)

      2. DON'T OFFER SUCH RIDICULOUS REFUND TERMS

      3. Deliver on your promise (oh, I already mentioned that).

      Seriously, this post is very depressing and seriously lame.
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      • Profile picture of the author Andy
        Mike,

        You've got a lot of nerve, you know that? I'm STILL waiting for my last 5 refunds! Hmpf.

        Actually, while I don't like giving refunds any more than the next guy, it's part of the game. Some people see it as a way of getting "free" stuff. Others hate getting refunds even if the product is total trash.

        And I've seen some marketers go totally berserk, right on this forum, when someone asks for a refund.

        Some folks are going to abuse the system. I don't think people like that will ever amount to anything. So they buy stuff, get a refund, rinse and repeat. What good does it do them?

        As far as guarantees are concerned I have a theory - I think scammers are too impatient to wait so they are the ones most likely to immediately ask for a refund. Though I do know I asked for one right away when I bought a product I already owned. No, Paul, I don't think you wrote that one. ;-)

        If my theory is correct than long guarantees are meaningless to scammers. Most marketers who test this seem to conclude the longer the guarantee the more sales outpace refunds.

        God bless,

        Andy
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
          Originally Posted by Andy View Post

          You've got a lot of nerve, you know that? I'm STILL waiting for my last 5 refunds! Hmpf.
          I am not sure what Mike you are referring to here, Andy. I am sure it isn't me because I have never sold you anything, but I just thought it would be important enough to clarify so that no one thinks I am some sort of deadbeat!

          Originally Posted by Andy View Post

          Actually, while I don't like giving refunds any more than the next guy, it's part of the game. Some people see it as a way of getting "free" stuff. Others hate getting refunds even if the product is total trash.

          And I've seen some marketers go totally berserk, right on this forum, when someone asks for a refund.

          Some folks are going to abuse the system. I don't think people like that will ever amount to anything. So they buy stuff, get a refund, rinse and repeat. What good does it do them?

          As far as guarantees are concerned I have a theory - I think scammers are too impatient to wait so they are the ones most likely to immediately ask for a refund. Though I do know I asked for one right away when I bought a product I already owned. No, Paul, I don't think you wrote that one. ;-)

          If my theory is correct than long guarantees are meaningless to scammers. Most marketers who test this seem to conclude the longer the guarantee the more sales outpace refunds.
          There are definitely those who will always abuse the system, and find ways to steal products no matter what we do. The big concern is those that do it for profit, though, as they are contributing to quite a large problem that will just keep getting worse unless some protective measures are put into place.

          If we can eliminate some of these by making it harder to steal things, then many will go find the "low hanging fruit" and leave our stuff alone.

          Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author Andy
            Originally Posted by MikeLantz View Post

            I am not sure what Mike you are referring to here, Andy. I am sure it isn't me because I have never sold you anything, but I just thought it would be important enough to clarify so that no one thinks I am some sort of deadbeat!



            There are definitely those who will always abuse the system, and find ways to steal products no matter what we do. The big concern is those that do it for profit, though, as they are contributing to quite a large problem that will just keep getting worse unless some protective measures are put into place.

            If we can eliminate some of these by making it harder to steal things, then many will go find the "low hanging fruit" and leave our stuff alone.

            Mike
            Hi Mike,

            Just so everyone IS clear on this - I was kidding and I do believe you took it that way. Then again you never know who didn't "get it". The kidding part - not the refund.

            When it comes to thieves, I agree, they should not be tolerated. "Serial refunders" may not legally fall into this category but it doesn't set any better with those who know in their bones things aren't right.

            On the other hand, some marketers make a point of announcing anyone asking for a refund will be banned from any further purchases and I think that goes too far too.

            Some folks do actually ask for a refund for honest reasons.

            I certainly see no harm in keeping track of refunds and refunders and looking for patterns. I also like to try to get honest reasons from those who do ask for refunds so I can attempt to prevent future problems.

            Like the saying goes "If you want to know your faults and failings, you have only to ask your enemies, they will be sure to tell you"

            God bless,

            Andy
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
              Andy,

              Yea, I knew you were just joking, but it wasn't quite that clear, so I wanted to make sure no one else got confused.

              Thanks for clearing that up!

              Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
        Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

        This post is ridiculous.

        If you've got a lot of refunds maybe it's too easy to think that the solution lies in trying to stop people asking for refunds...but if that's the case, then you've got it all backwards.

        I think your problem buddy, is YOUR product.

        Either way, if you don't like refunds, here's some critical suggestions:

        1. TELL PEOPLE WHAT THEY ARE BUYING (instead of just saying it's a secret like you're in the 90's)

        2. DON'T OFFER SUCH RIDICULOUS REFUND TERMS

        3. Deliver on your promise (oh, I already mentioned that).

        Seriously, this post is very depressing and seriously lame.
        I am not sure what "post" you are referring to. If you are talking about my original post in this thread, it definitely does not have anything to do with your comment. If you are talking about another post in this thread, perhaps you could clarify.

        In any case, I mainly agree with your points. This is not about the quality of products people offer, or refund terms, or anything like that. This thread is about those who buy your products to purposely steal them, and possibly distribute them all over the net.

        And, for the record, I have never had a refund request on any product/service I have offered. This post is designed for discussion on the topic, not out of any spite or problems I have personally had.

        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
          Originally Posted by MikeLantz View Post

          I am not sure what "post" you are referring to. If you are talking about my original post in this thread, it definitely does not have anything to do with your comment. If you are talking about another post in this thread, perhaps you could clarify.

          In any case, I mainly agree with your points. This is not about the quality of products people offer, or refund terms, or anything like that. This thread is about those who buy your products to purposely steal them, and possibly distribute them all over the net.

          And, for the record, I have never had a refund request on any product/service I have offered. This post is designed for discussion on the topic, not out of any spite or problems I have personally had.

          Mike
          I'm reffering to YOUR post. All I can tell is that you think the world is trying steal your downloads.

          First off, how do you know that's even happening?
          Secondly, just because someone asks for a refund, does that make them a prospect of theft?
          Third, how bad does it have to be for you to worry about your refund policy? You must have a serious amount of "theives" on your tail...

          I just don't understand this thread at all. What's your problem and why are you so paranoid about people asking for a refund? Sorry, I just don't see what the point is.
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
            Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

            I'm reffering to YOUR post. All I can tell is that you think the world is trying steal your downloads.

            First off, how do you know that's even happening?
            Secondly, just because someone asks for a refund, does that make them a prospect of theft?
            Third, how bad does it have to be for you to worry about your refund policy? You must have a serious amount of "theives" on your tail...

            I just don't understand this thread at all. What's your problem and why are you so paranoid about people asking for a refund? Sorry, I just don't see what the point is.
            Nick,

            You are quite off-base with your assumptions. Really, your commentary is quite ridiculous...

            The real question is: What's your problem?

            People can't have a discussion without your permission? If you don't have anything to contribute, perhaps you should consider not replying.

            The fact is, I don't sell information online. No one has ever stolen or pirated any of my downloads, because I don't have any downloads to steal.

            So, no, I am not paranoid. No, I am not worried about my refund policy. Sorry, I just don't see what YOUR point is - but it certainly isn't valid.

            It must be because you steal products and pirate them. That must be why you are defending that kind of behavior. There couldn't be any other reason for your comments, could there?

            Mike
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              Josh -

              I tend to agree.

              In theory, it sounds like it would be great, for instance, to know how many purchases and refunds a buyer has made. But this seems to violate privacy and has a big brother aspect that makes me uneasy.

              I usually like Mike L's ideas - but this one doesn't feel right to me.

              When it comes to WSO's - if you are that worried about serial refunders, don't offer refunds.

              kay
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              • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
                Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

                Josh -

                I tend to agree.

                In theory, it sounds like it would be great, for instance, to know how many purchases and refunds a buyer has made. But this seems to violate privacy and has a big brother aspect that makes me uneasy.

                I usually like Mike L's ideas - but this one doesn't feel right to me.

                When it comes to WSO's - if you are that worried about serial refunders, don't offer refunds.

                kay
                I will use this thread to respond to both Josh and Kay's comments...

                Obviously, I agree with the sentiment that this idea sounds great in theory, as that is why I brought it up. That is also why I didn't just go and create it, because I really wanted to hear everyone's thoughts about it before implementing something like this.

                One thing I find interesting, though, is the number of threads I see with people complaining about refunders, about their products being stolen, about products being shared on certain websites... and then when someone tries to come up with a solution, all we here is grumbling why that solution is not a good idea.

                Anyway, perhaps my thoughts were a bit over-the-top. As I mentioned earlier, I never really believed the "global shared blacklist" was a great idea myself, but it deserved discussion.

                I am a firm believer in improving things and making them better as often as possible. The idea here was to come up with a system that protects both buyers and sellers, and in a way adapting an Ebay-like model.

                Perhaps there is a good solution out there, and hopefully sometime we will figure out what it is. These kinds of open discussions are what lead to improvements that make things better for all of us, and I am glad we have the Warrior Forum as a place to discuss them.

                I appreciate all of the comments from those who wanted to contribute to the discussion. To the few who just came here to make lame comments, well, hopefully you will do better next time.

                Mike
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              • Profile picture of the author ryanstreet
                I can totally understand where you are coming from Mike.

                First off,

                Let's say you put 100+ hours into a project, tested it, tweaked it, and spent $10,000+ on everything about it. It is not just your product anymore, it is your BABY.

                You put it online, get some great sales, but suddenly, without any change, rhyme, or reason, sales drop. You don't know why. All review sites rate your product as great and highly recommend you. Everyone is raving about your product. But what happened to those sales?

                Well, they are stolen. Hope you don't mind!! But it seems that clearly no one really cares about dishonesty and thieves anymore.

                "Oh, just chalk it up to a percentage of scammers and include that in your price..."
                "Oh, just offer a great product that people want to buy. No one will steal your product then..."

                BULL$#!t!!!

                That is the totally wrong way to look at it. How about stopping them from doing wrong in the first place?

                What allows bad people to thrive is the inaction of good people.

                GREAT FOR YOU MIKE!! I'm glad someone has the brass to say 'enough is enough' and not just sit around while their work, good or bad, is stolen right under their noses.

                Don't let it consume you, (spending all of your time just stopping scammers) but definitely act on it.

                A lot of Torrent sites, (not all) have copyright removal policies. Search once a day/week/month or whatever you feel like, find your torrent, and ask them to remove it. They usually do within 24-48 hours.

                Another trick is to beat them to the punch. Put up a trial version of the software up a couple days before launch time, (to increase downloads) and name it your product. People will download that instead of your full product and that can deter some of the freebie seekers.

                My praises Mike,

                Ryan

                P.S. If you ever need programming help for your site, just ask. I will be glad to help.
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                Ryan Street
                PHP Developer Specializing in WordPress and Magento
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          • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
            Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

            I'm reffering to YOUR post. All I can tell is that you think the world is trying steal your downloads.

            First off, how do you know that's even happening?
            Secondly, just because someone asks for a refund, does that make them a prospect of theft?
            Third, how bad does it have to be for you to worry about your refund policy? You must have a serious amount of "theives" on your tail...

            I just don't understand this thread at all. What's your problem and why are you so paranoid about people asking for a refund? Sorry, I just don't see what the point is.
            Nick

            I get the impression you're not to clued up on what this thread is about.
            Your making yourself look a bit of a numpty. I'd read it properly if I were you before you make any more embarassing posts

            Kim
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  • Profile picture of the author Leigh Burke
    Implement a 3 strikes rule...

    If the system recognises the buyer has requested 3 refunds within say the last month...

    ...then allow them to proceed with the order after agreeing that they will not be entitled to a refund for this product.

    After their 3 strikes, there should be a cooling off period - say another 2 months, so 3 months in total, before they can purchase again with the right to request a refund.

    There are systems out there that will disable a product that has been refunded - expire the PDF, disable the software or audio etc.

    My 2 cents

    Jane.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    And also, the fact that you've never had a refund request is great! So it seems all you are concerned about is piracy right? Well, welcome to the 1980, sorry, i mean 2000's...;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I know the arguments for giving a money back guarantee but do you think you should also offer it for a plr article WSO?
      I don't offer refunds for PLR article WSOs and I state that clearly.

      I know the articles and reports are good quality - I clearly list the titles and niche the articles are aimed at. There's no confusion about what they are - and no reason for a refund.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    The question is: How should this be handled?

    Should be make public the list of those who refund often and are clearly purchasing to steal our products?
    You will not legally be able to do this unless you have a privacy policy that explicitly states that you intend to NOT keep anyones personal information private.

    And even that may be illegal.

    I do not think this is a good idea in general anyway.

    I think it should be the responsibility of each publisher to look out for themselves in deciding who to ban and who not to ban from buying a WSO.

    I already have my own ecomerce system that I use to sell and deliver product online and if I identify a problem individual I have a blacklist feature.

    I also have access security that controls dynamic download links... and there are other solutions that do as well like DL guard.

    In fact most warriors who are professionals have their own sale and delivery systems.

    This is one issue best left to the individual publisher.

    And how to you identify a serial refunder anyway? To be accurate you will have to investigate and verify most. Because unless it is unusual behavior like 6 refunds in one week or more I don't think you can really count on statistics alone... even 3 refunds in one week could be normal considering the amount of junk sold in the WF on a daily basis.

    I am also concerned that such a product, though maybe a desirable solution for some, should be marketed not as a "warrior forum solution" unless it was specifically endorsed by Allen for this purpose because some less experienced warriors may falsely believe that the decisions made by such a robot represent the opinion of forum members in general or Allen himself.

    I am sorry guys but I respectfully must state that my own opinion is that this thread has some of the WORST ideas I have seen in the WF in a long time. Especially the person who suggested a "three strike" rule as it is not uncommon to have one client get two legit refunds at one time from just one publisher. Also consider that most people in IM carry terms that guarantee refunds if requested.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      Now Mike, let me tell you a funny little story to make you feel better

      [...]

      I finally arrived at the conclusion that refunds are not a serious problem after all. I realized that while people like to bitch about them, it was not serious enough for them to want to spend $7 on a script to control it. Go figure…

      I think your proposal is the result of the same misunderstanding of the refund complaints that mine was, so I’m glad to see I’m not alone in misinterpreting the issue, LOL.
      Mike,

      Great story. I think you are absolutely right about this. People like to vent a bit every now and then, but that is usually enough for them, and then they go on with business.

      I think there is another factor at work, here, too... While the forum here is designed to help those who "sell" online, there are also quite a lot of buyers here...

      I expect if I started a thread titled "Worthless Products and Scammers - The End Is Near...", I would see a much more positive response, because the size of the buying market is larger than that of the WSO sellers. And, people like to justify their reason for not making any money from all the "push-button profits" products they buy.

      What do you think about that?

      Anyway, no worries on my end. It was a possible extension of my WSO Pro service, because it would'nt have taken that much more to implement, but if it is not wanted, oh well!

      Have a great day!

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Mike,

    I think it's a bad idea because..

    1. There are way too many legal implications
    2. I buy a lot of stuff and, therefore, it's not unusual to make a number of refund requests within a short time period simply because a lot of it is complete crap.
    3. I get very few refund requests. Currently 1.53% of sales turnover is refunded and, for me, that's not a problem.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim M
      If you can - hand on heart - say - my product is great value and I would buy it - then you have nothing to fear - but when your product is simply a regurgitation of old tired information or software - then you should expect refunds - I have no hesitation in asking for a refund when I find a product is rubbish - why should I - or anyone for that matter?
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      Jim Montgomery www.fivestarmarketing.eu - video tutorials and more DavidJamesPublishing.Com
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeLantz
        Originally Posted by Jim M View Post

        If you can - hand on heart - say - my product is great value and I would buy it - then you have nothing to fear - but when your product is simply a regurgitation of old tired information or software - then you should expect refunds - I have no hesitation in asking for a refund when I find a product is rubbish - why should I - or anyone for that matter?
        I just had to comment because this doesn't make any sense. Do I see what you are saying? Sure I do, but...

        Think of it like this... You have heard of the iPhone, right? Lets just assume for a moment that it, as you said, "is great value and I would buy it".

        OK, so lets say you buy it, you like it, and then take back the empty packaging to Apple and ask for a refund. Lets assume they give it to you because they trusted you that it was in the box you turned.

        Great, so now you take your new iPhone, and put it in your super-secret-reverse-engineering-duplication-machine and make 10,000 copies, and start selling them for half the price Apple is selling it for.

        Should Apple not need to be worried because they made a great product - honest, hand over their heart - that was good and that others would buy?

        Or, would they just maybe do something to product their business and property?

        The point is - this is not about people asking for a refund for something that is rubbish and that they won't use. This is about purposely buying and refunding products to steal them and even possibly resell/distribute them without permission.

        Can I make it any clearer than that?

        Sure, you may say it is not a big problem for you (it isn't for me, either), but does that mean we should just let it go?

        I mean, I don't know anyone who has died of cancer, so should I just tell everyone: "Well, it doesn't affect me, so who cares? I don't want to waste money on useless cancer research?" Should we say the same for assault, murder, terrorism, rape, etc...? Just let it go, its not really a problem?

        Is everybody really that oblivious to the problem here?

        I know this is a bit of a rant, and is in no way directed at anyone. Just thought this was a good time to get this out of my system!

        [/RANT]

        Mike
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        • Profile picture of the author Jim M
          I fully understand where you are coming from - in fact I am almost at the end of producing a product which addresses this very issue -and more - and it's very scary.

          However - based on what I have seen there are two very seperate areas in this argument -

          a) There's the small guy (like me) - who's not been selling online for a long time - and having spent a long time getting there would not appreciate someone ripping off my product or service

          B) The big dogs - ther are people out there who are making so much money they don't seem to care about the 10% or 20% who are skimming / stealing their stuff?

          I know it doesn't make any sense, but I have accessed big products via an unlocked bakdoor within minutes of getting an email promo - or even before they were released - contacted the publisher / producer to tell them their stuff was insecure - and guess what - not one has acknowledged the fact that I had accessed their product - the actual access details of which I sent to them on camtasia captures - strange but true!

          So - to sum up - I guess I'm talking more about the outright 'stealers' than the 'refunders' - it's still theft - but in a different way....
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          Jim Montgomery www.fivestarmarketing.eu - video tutorials and more DavidJamesPublishing.Com
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