Do Passwords Reduce Refunds

25 replies
I am thinking of using passwords to protect a PDF ebook I am selling on clickbank. I feel that a big chunk of refunders are just freebie seekers. Can anyone with experience advise me on whether having a password would reduce my refund rates?
#passwords #reduce #refunds
  • Profile picture of the author tj
    Not really - passwords for pdf files can be send along with the pdf files to other persons. It just annoys the regular reader.

    Timo
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I've seen it done and think it is a short-sighted solution.

    You are focusing on a few who might have a digital product though they have refunded. To stop those few - you are proposing making the book harder to use for the "good" buyers.

    I think when people buy an ebook they should have full rights and access to it and not have to remember a password every time they want to use it.

    kay
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr.Williamstn
      It annoys the heck outta me. Proably dosent reduce funds
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I very rarely ask for refunds, but if I had to enter a password to read a PDF I just bought...

    I might ask for a refund, rather than putting up with the hassle. Not to mention the insinuation that I am somehow dishonest.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author LaunchGal
      A few things that reduce refunds -

      • having copy that accurately describes the contents of the ebook [it tells you honestly what the book is about, without overpromising]
      • well written, typo free content
      • well designed layout, so its easy to read [this doesn't have to be fancy]
      I don't know the stats on average amounts of refunds requested... that would be useful to know if your refunds are just the 'usual' amount or higher...
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      • Profile picture of the author FranMurray
        Originally Posted by LaunchGal View Post

        A few things that reduce refunds -

        • having copy that accurately describes the contents of the ebook [it tells you honestly what the book is about, without overpromising]
        • well written, typo free content
        • well designed layout, so its easy to read [this doesn't have to be fancy]
        I don't know the stats on average amounts of refunds requested... that would be useful to know if your refunds are just the 'usual' amount or higher...
        LG, I am in complete agreement with you. A well thought out, well written eBook that does not "over promise" within the contents of itself is the way to go.

        I also think that the more "stuff" that gets in the way of the actual reading of the eBook like password protects will make the eBook less desirable.

        I also like what Kevin says too. He knows his stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
    Originally Posted by apollocreed View Post

    ICan anyone with experience advise me on whether having a password would reduce my refund rates?
    More like the other way round.

    Myself, if I have to use a password to read a book I bought, I'll be returning it pronto. Same goes for the geniuses who don't let you print the PDF you just paid for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    Wow, I find it hard to believe that someone would demand a refund because they had to take five seconds to copy a password below the download link and paste it in their new ebook.

    When I first started buying ebooks, I never considered it a big deal. Maybe it's just folks in the IM niche.. (Nothing against you Kevin... GREAT Video workshop BTW!)

    I don't think there's much purpose in securing a PDF document with a password as it's so easy to find them somewhere. Of course, if you are using PDF documents for your paid ebooks they are eventually going to end up on torrent sites anyway.

    I don't think there's any way to know if it will REDUCE refunds without some sort of test. I use secure ebook compiler software that actually delivers unique usernames and passwords to customers after purchase and I've never had a complaint as a result.

    My advice is to always use secure ebook software and you won't have to worry about your work being stolen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Christophe Young View Post

      Wow, I find it hard to believe that someone would demand a refund because they had to take five seconds to copy a password below the download link and paste it in their new ebook.

      When I first started buying ebooks, I never considered it a big deal. Maybe it's just folks in the IM niche.. (Nothing against you Kevin... GREAT Video workshop BTW!)

      I don't think there's much purpose in securing a PDF document with a password as it's so easy to find them somewhere. Of course, if you are using PDF documents for your paid ebooks they are eventually going to end up on torrent sites anyway.

      I don't think there's any way to know if it will REDUCE refunds without some sort of test. I use secure ebook compiler software that actually delivers unique usernames and passwords to customers after purchase and I've never had a complaint as a result.

      My advice is to always use secure ebook software and you won't have to worry about your work being stolen.
      You can find it as hard to believe as you want, but there are now several comments stating just that.

      I believe the key is to reduce refunds from legitimate buyers. Unscrupulous buyers will always find a way around whatever you throw at them. But why risk alienating legitimate customers? Customers that could buy from you again and again.

      While I may or may not ask for a refund for the reasons I stated above, I know I would be MUCH less likely to buy another product if I knew I would have to enter a password to read it.

      All the best,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    Ever since I started using a secure delivery "system", my refund rate has been next to null; (knock on wood). Yet, Kay makes a very good point in that if you weigh the numbers against each other.. you'd probably find that there are less people asking for a refund than those that aren't.

    LaunchGal makes some very valid points, as well. Putting the extra effort into your products/services usually creates a sort of "positive barrier" (or 'negativity barrier') around your materials; as the perceived value goes up, when you do.

    After the day is done, however... if you're still in a worrisome place mentally about refunds.. instead of policing the front gate... why not deliver the 'regular' stuff in the lobby and give "backstage passes" to cool ones? Meaning; save all your 'juicy' content for your paying customers.

    This dilemma is much like the musician's dilemma of having their stuff copied and distributed all over the net through sharing sites. What I usually tell my musician friends is... "what's more important? getting the content out there into the hands of as many people as possible? OR controlling who has it?"

    And trust me; it costs significantly more money to record a well produced single than it does a PDF doc.

    Keep it in perspective.

    HTH
    PLP,
    tecHead
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I used a password protection fora PDF file and a few customers
    (mainly Warriors) complained about it so I removed the protection.

    There seems to be no easy solution to find a balance between
    protection and customer satisfaction.

    It's still not comfortable to know that a customer could just
    ask for a refund without consequences, but that's the downside
    of electronic publishing. I guess the advantages outweigh
    the disadvantages.

    Life.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author JK Nyerere
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      I used a password protection fora PDF file and a few customers
      (mainly Warriors) complained about it so I removed the protection.

      -Ray Edwards
      I wonder why warriors hate passwords or any form of protection for ebooks. Mmmm.

      I have found warriors who have been offering my products as free bonuses without permission and warriors who are posting my products on BlueFart forums. The most consistent 1 minute refunders can be found right here in this forum. Even some very well known names are also very dodgy.

      If I received complaints from warriors about passwords, then I would know that the passwords are working very well and keep them.

      Of course though most warriors are probably honest. But I personally would take any complaints from WF members with a pinch of salt. Half informed people are very dangerous and the WF is full of them. Many have just have enough knowledge to negatively affect your business (and theirs) with their scammy games and fly by night methods.

      Seriously, why would any normal person be discombobulated by typing 1 simple 8 character password the 1 time they need to unlock the PDF or the 3 or 4 times they may decide to open the PDF. Memebers here are more technically minded than the average person and surely not too lazy to type in a password. Very fishy that people are complaining about this.
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  • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
    Why do you think it would reduce the refund rate anyway?
    Once someone has the password, you can't take it back or change the password in the pdf to prevent them from opening it.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Originally Posted by apollocreed View Post

    I am thinking of using passwords to protect a PDF ebook I am selling on clickbank. I feel that a big chunk of refunders are just freebie seekers. Can anyone with experience advise me on whether having a password would reduce my refund rates?
    It would probably increase your refund rate, a lot of your customers could get annoyed by your password protected book and refund out of "spite" Don't bother with password protecting it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Add a membership site as a bonus - videos and stuff,
    "more downloads coming". Those who refund get their
    bonus access yanked.

    I always plan to have my stuff shared around, eventually,
    among non-buyers. Put ads for another of your products
    in the book, affiliate links, and so forth.

    Think about it as if you were in print. You cannot stop people
    from passing around or reselling your book, but every happy
    reader becomes aware of you as the author and may seek
    out other things you've written.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bertil Jenner
    I am quite happy to enter passwords for my email account, membership sites, bank accounts, web hosting and any other service or product that I deem useful.

    I would not get angry having to type in a few keys in exchange for what I may believe at the time to be life changing information.

    Originally Posted by KirkMcD

    Why do you think it would reduce the refund rate anyway?
    It may reduce the refund rate because the product vendor will be able to disable access to the PDF after the refund. This is of course in only certain password protection methods. the hope is that fraudulent refunders will be discouraged from asking for refund if they know they will never have access again to the really excellent PDF file they just bought.
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    • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
      Originally Posted by Bertil Jenner View Post

      It may reduce the refund rate because the product vendor will be able to disable access to the PDF after the refund.
      You CAN'T disable access to a pdf. Once it's in my possession, you no longer control it.
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      • Profile picture of the author apollocreed
        Originally Posted by KirkMcD View Post

        You CAN'T disable access to a pdf. Once it's in my possession, you no longer control it.
        I think he meant disabling access to an eBook.
        I have seen it done many times. For example
        the "Google Loophole" ebook or "Neil Shearings" last ebook.

        Whether it is done when the purchaser goes online or what I do not know, but it is done all of the time.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Murphy
          From a customer standpoint, the problem with password protected PDF's is when you can't remember/find the password. Then you have to contact the product owner for support.

          In the past, a product I purchased had password protection and I could not remember the password or find the receipt that contained it. I tried to contact the product creator, but he never responded/disappeared and I was left with a product I purchased and could no longer access.

          So, as a product creator, if you choose to password protect your document, please make sure you have support in place to respond quickly to lost password help requests.

          Dennis
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    You can find it as hard to believe as you want, but there are now several comments stating just that.

    I believe the key is to reduce refunds from legitimate buyers. Unscrupulous buyers will always find a way around whatever you throw at them. But why risk alienating legitimate customers? Customers that could buy from you again and again.

    While I may or may not ask for a refund for the reasons I stated above, I know I would be MUCH less likely to buy another product if I knew I would have to enter a password to read it.
    Yes, I know. I continue to be amazed by these comments! This is all news to me.

    It must be just those mainly in the IM niche because I've never heard of anyone outside of it complaining about having to enter a password to read a book.

    I am quite happy to enter passwords for my email account, membership sites, bank accounts, web hosting and any other service or product that I deem useful.

    I would not get angry having to type in a few keys in exchange for what I may believe at the time o be life changing information.
    Exactly! What's the big deal? We have to enter passwords for other stuff all the time... (email, bank accounts, etc.)

    I heard someone mention in this thread something about the implication that a customer is a thief or a vendor thinks his/her customers are thieves because he/she uses password protected products.

    What??

    Anyway, I don't have to worry about ebooks being stolen because I use secure ebook software and I can deactivate ebooks remotely if someone asks for a refund. And... as stated before, of the hundreds of people I've sold ebooks to, nobody, NOT ONE has ever complained to me about having to enter a password to open their ebook.

    So, take that for what it's worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    It's the implication that I am somehow dishonest that bugs me.

    And some of the comments that suggest I am dishonest because I don't like to enter a password are over the top. Mmmmm?

    ~Michael
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    "Ich bin en fuego!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    It's the implication that I am somehow dishonest that bugs me.
    Try not to see it that way.

    Protecting ones products is just smart business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
      Originally Posted by Christophe Young View Post

      Try not to see it that way.

      Protecting ones products is just smart business.
      Fair enough.

      Also, I'm not saying we shouldn't take steps to protect our products. I haven't said that anywhere. We agree on that. We just have a difference of opinion on HOW it should be done.

      It's not like I'm uploading products to my website and giving out the link everywhere I can. Anyway...

      The trick is to straddle that fine line where you don't alienate honest customers at the expense of trying to prevent thievery.

      All the best,
      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author start1over
    Lots of interesting thoughts on protecting ownership. I don't mind entering a password, but what's to stop me from asking for a refund once I have accessed it and made my own reproduction (either printing, screen shots, or some save as function even with a pdf)? I don't always want to read from my computer and want a hard-copy to take with me (maybe make notes or what not) I think LaunchGal made a valid point(s) when she said:
    • having copy that accurately describes the contents of the ebook [it tells you honestly what the book is about, without overpromising]
    • well written, typo free content
    • well designed layout, so its easy to read [this doesn't have to be fancy]
    I've seen some stuff (alot given to me), well, frankly, I would ask for refund (except it was free). Poorly written, typos, grammar, and just goes around in circles. Some of which I can over-look or read between the lines if it has genuine purpose and meets a learning need. Otherwise, give me my money back.

    Loren Woirhaye has a good attitude about it. Look at it as one of those word of mouth advertising strategies. You gave away a book and got a bunch of free publicity in the process. Don't get me wrong here, either. If you put the time, effort, and money into producing a product, you should be compensated.

    I just don't see how you can stop the theft. I think there are more honest consumers than dishonest ones out there that if you are supplying a product of value for them, you're not going to be asked for a refund. It's like trying to eliminate shoplifting.

    Just a consumer's thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hteam
    Once you sell your ebook it's no different than a hardcopy. If it has value it will be shared (paperback and hardcovers are sold in the 'second hand' market). Thats the way it goes.
    I liked the comment that it shares your information with other readers and makes them aware of you. which may make them come looking and buying in the future.
    As far as refunds, I have only asked for a refund if the information doesn't give the value promised, if it's just rehashed junk. But putting a password into a PDF which I had just purchased, that might cause me to ask. It's hard enough to remember all the necessary PW without being asked for a ebook.
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