How do you handle refund requests for digital products?

23 replies
I am curious how the rest of you handle refund requests for digital products.

If your pitch page describes the product 100% accurately and you have delivered the product instantly, how would you handle a refund request? Keep in mind that once a digital product is delivered, it cannot be returned like a physical product can be.

Some unscrupulous people buy digital products and then ask for a refund so that they can have the product for free. How do you handle this?
#digital #handle #products #refund #requests
  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

      Well, if I offered a guarantee, I give it.

      Sometimes its easier just to hand it over and go on with your business.

      If I didn't offer a guarantee, i don't give it.

      Pretty straight forward, really.

      Rob
      On some products I offer a guarantee, especially if I make a claim. On products that are a blueprint and the exact contents of the blueprint are summarized in detail on the pitch page, then I do not offer a guarantee.

      I received a refund request for one of the later products today. The buyer simply said, "Sorry, this just doesn't work for me". This was the only refund request out of over 150 sales. My thoughts are that he received what he wanted and now wants it for free.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
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        • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
          Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

          Not much you can do about it, unless you want to waste your valuable time and money trying to protect it. (Which I don't recommend, it's just a bigger pain in the butt for you, it eats into your profits, and can piss off real customers)

          Rob
          In certain circumstances I would agree. This particular guy received his refund, but hypothetically, what if it happened ten times a day? Would you still have the same attitude?
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            In certain circumstances I would agree. This particular guy received his refund, but hypothetically, what if it happened ten times a day? Would you still have the same attitude?
            Not saying the buyer wasn't honest but MOST buyers are honest and so just honour the refund if you said so. You get 1 or 2 with odd explanations but so what, business is business.

            If it's 10 refunds a day out of every 100 sales. Who cares?

            If it's 10 refunds a day out of every 50 sales, Then I would say theres something wrong with the product.

            What is your average refund/sale ratio?
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            • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
              Originally Posted by Michael Nguyen View Post

              What is your average refund/sale ratio?
              In 150 of this particular product, one refund request. In over 3,000 total of my digital products sold, only about 30 refunds.

              I am not complaining, as I have great customers. This thread wasn't started so much as to get advice on my particular situation as it was to see how others handle the situation.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            In certain circumstances I would agree. This particular guy received his refund, but hypothetically, what if it happened ten times a day? Would you still have the same attitude?
            If it was happening 10 times a day I'd look at my product and try to determine how to make it better. You'll get a serial refunder here and there, but 10 times a day indicates a problem with the product itself, not the buyers.
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          • Profile picture of the author activetrader
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            In certain circumstances I would agree. This particular guy received his refund, but hypothetically, what if it happened ten times a day? Would you still have the same attitude?
            hypothetically, if you were receiving 10 refunds a day, you would need to re-evaluate your sales page, your product, or discontinue selling it; then again, it depends on how many sales you are making; if you make 1000 sales a day and only 10 refunds, it's normal
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

        On some products I offer a guarantee, especially if I make a claim. On products that are a blueprint and the exact contents of the blueprint are summarized in detail on the pitch page, then I do not offer a guarantee.

        I received a refund request for one of the later products today. The buyer simply said, "Sorry, this just doesn't work for me". This was the only refund request out of over 150 sales. My thoughts are that he received what he wanted and now wants it for free.
        He probably does want it for free - that kind of goes with the territory though. One refund in 150 sales is kind of sweating the small stuff to me, but since you don't offer a guarantee on that particular product, you don't have to refund the purchase if you choose not to.

        Like I said though, be prepared for a chargeback if he used a credit card. If you have your own merchant account, there could be a fee associated with that if he wins the dispute.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Same as Rob. If you make a guarantee you have to honor it. If you don't make a guarantee, then I guess you can do whatever you want, but be prepared for chargebacks if you don't grant the request.

    It also depends on how you accept payments. If you're using a service like Clickbank they offer a 56-day (I think it is) window for refunds and they're pretty much automatic unless the person asking for it has established a pattern of asking for refunds.

    Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    In your particular situation, I would not refund it. "just doesn't work for me" just doesn't work for me, yanno?

    I agree with the PP's...if you make a claim and/or offer refunds, then you have to honor it. If you do not, then use your own judgment.
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  • Profile picture of the author HypnoHugh
    I treat them as a business expense.

    Yes of course some people will take advantage of your generosity but many more will buy because of it.

    It's just one of the costs of business - other businesses have to pay for physical products, warehousing, postage, damaged / faulty goods, shop lifting etc.

    Selling digital products we are spared of all that but instead have the cost of refunds and people giving your product to their friends.

    Overall the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarryMSayer
    Just refund 'em and keep 'em on the list just in case they make a purchase of an affiliate product you recommend and YOU get your refund back!

    Seriously, don't waste too much time worrying about refunders! It's a fact of IM life.

    Don't take it personally.

    Garry.

    P.S. However if your refund rate is very high in comparison with your total products sold then maybe your product doesn't deliver what it says on the tin!
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg McKenzie
      Originally Posted by GarryMSayer View Post

      Just refund 'em and keep 'em on the list just in case they make a purchase of an affiliate product you recommend and YOU get your refund back!

      Seriously, don't waste too much time worrying about refunders! It's a fact of IM life.

      Don't take it personally.

      Garry.

      P.S. However if your refund rate is very high in comparison with your total products sold then maybe your product doesn't deliver what it says on the tin!
      Yes, just give them a refund! I believe the majority of people are honest - so refunds are not a problem.

      You may have the odd person take advantage of you but the percentage will be very small.

      Greg
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  • Profile picture of the author activetrader
    Here is how I handle it:

    I give a refund and block their IP address so that they can't make any further purchases from me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Duggan
      How do I handle refunds? With a smile.

      If someone requests a refund despite delivering a great product and describing it accurately, they have their reasons. Giving them a quick refund and telling them they can keep the product can have a very good effect.

      Not giving it to them (or quibbling over it) is never a good idea if you've given a guarantee. No one wants a disgruntled customer bitching about them on a forum(!) and discouraging others from buying.

      If you can, get a testimonial from the person asking for a refund. It may sound bonkers but it will show people reading your sales page that you're true to your word and that your product is only for certain people... which inevitably makes more people want it.

      Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    Business is business; period.

    Which means; whether you're doing business on the Internet or in the 3D world, you need to conduct your business as a "business".

    IF I offer refunds, I honor the exact terms of my refund policy. Which is basically the same when I don't offer a refund; this is still my "refund policy".

    Really, the only one you need to be worried about is your payment processor. As long as you comply with their TOS and "clearly state" your terms, then you're conducting business as a business.

    Main point is to offer quality product, however. I stand by my product(s) and services with a straight back and stuck out chest because I know I spent tireless weeks/months on creating something that I can be proud of to sell and/or put my name on. I will also go out of my way to help those that really try and want that product/service to work for them, (not just finding something wrong with something to justify their own shortcomings).

    Just like in the 3D world; if you're selling on a crowded street then you probably have a security guard at the door. So protect your files from unauthorized downloads. Just like in the 3D world; if you have 10 (or more) refund requests every sale, then take inventory of the criteria of the refund(s); meaning, do they look like they're coming from the same place? Person? IP range? Country? State?

    Hope this helps...
    PLP,
    tecHead
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  • Profile picture of the author Maria Gudelis
    How I handle refunds? I give them with a smile! There are numerous reasons some require refunds and part of doing business....it sucks if you already paid out your affiliates but I still take the hit...that's just how I roll.

    I try to get feedback - even having my performance marketing manager personally call that person to find out why or email to find out why so we can make the product better if there was an issue.

    Yes - I try to get a testimonial as well - not on a 'refund' statement perse - but usually i give something else I have of mine for FREE or for a deep discount to that person and say 'all I ask in return is a honest testimonial from you'

    ....the reciprocity trigger usually kicks in that way
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  • Profile picture of the author moniez
    Like many others have said, I simply give them and move on with my day. If your product lives up to your claims, you shouldn't have many. And if your product doesn't live up to its claims, then expect refunds and issue them immediately.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Fighting it ain't worth the hassle.

    Offer the biggest refund guarantee you can. Refunds will drop, sales will increase, and you'll spend less time dealing with this crap.

    I think it was Dan Kennedy who said if your refund rate is less than 10%, you're not selling hard enough. I don't know if I agree with that... but food for thought.

    -Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author moniez
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post


      I think it was Dan Kennedy who said if your refund rate is less than 10%, you're not selling hard enough.
      I like to error on the side of very hard sells. If my copy is nearly outrageous, I expect more refunds and gladly, and immediately, give them to whomever requests one.
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