Would it be insane to not offer refunds?

26 replies
Anyone ever experiment with simply not offering refunds at all for their products? I happen to sell a product (at my dayjob) and the company actually has a "no refunds" policy. It actually works out pretty well. When people ask me if they can get their money back before they decide to buy, I tell them that there are no refunds, but you can exchange it for a different product. Surprisingly, people are generally cool with it.

So I've been thinking about this concept recently for the IM world since there's been a lot of refund threads recently, and I'm wondering would it be financial suicide to start incorporating a no refund policy for your products? In the coaching business, there are no refunds and it works pretty well for them. Would it work for ebooks? Would it work for more expensive products?

Your thoughts?
#insane #offer #refunds
  • Profile picture of the author JustKid
    I usually implement a If it didnt work for you and you can show you did the method sorta policy.

    I mean if they really did the method bought the domain and hosting and it didnt pan out to them then of course I would refund it. It there is proof that this was just another freebie seeker then no, and I would call up paypal and get my dispute closed like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author excoder01
    You have to test it. And it depends on the type of products you're offering. It's a trade off.

    No refund mean, you'll probably keep more money, but less conversion since they might not trust the product.

    Having refund might mean more conversion, but if they refund, they probably shouldn't have bought it in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clark056
    We've been in business six years and we don't offer refunds. Instead we offer a satisfaction promise, that we back up with unlimited rewrites / revisions until the client is happy.

    You can protect the client's best interest without having to offer refunds.

    Clark
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    There are plenty of very successful internet marketers that don't offer refunds.

    They make it very clear that they don't and they stick to it.

    You do have to test it, but if you word the "no refund" policy the right way, it could possibly increase overall sales.

    All the best,
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Test out your market. Big Mike of Incansoft does not offer refunds and his buisness seems to be booming regardless.


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  • Profile picture of the author PerfectedWeb
    Does a refund policy really weighs in the buyer's mind when it comes to make its decision anyways?

    As mentioned, as long as your product is good I see no reason to have a refund policy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JustKid
      Originally Posted by PerfectedWeb View Post

      Does a refund policy really weighs in the buyer's mind when it comes to make its decision anyways?

      As mentioned, as long as your product is good I see no reason to have a refund policy.
      Well I could hype a piece of cr@p up and offer no refunds if you see what i mean here.
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  • Profile picture of the author tush
    If some one is starting out, I guess a no refund policy would work against them. But if some one had build their brand and they have this credility, I am sure a no refund policy would be just fine.... because people know that what they are buying is high quality
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    • Profile picture of the author stackman
      I agree, it depends on the product and the targeted audience. In my case, I agonized over the decision of whether to offer refunds. My concerns: 1) that I would get a large number of refund requests, or 2) that people would interpret the refund policy as a kind of "try and buy" offer.

      I decided to go with the "total satisfaction" refund policy. As it turns out, my fears were completely unfounded. My refund request rate is somewhere in the noise level, maybe .01%.

      Now, having said the above, I think the refund exposure increases as the price of the product increases. My product is only $19.95. I'm sure there are some people who buy the product and are not satisfied, but $20 is just too little money to take the trouble to ask for a refund. I think it would be different if the product cost $100, or maybe even $50.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
    Some markets might react differently to this policy. But if you have a good enough product, people won't want a refund. In my opinion, informational ebooks should be non refundable simply because the customer is still going to have the product on their hard drive. It's not like their returning a piece of clothing that don't want anymore.

    Best Regards,
    UFG
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    I've used no refund for most of my products. I do this mostly to save me the hassle. I know my products are high quality and I fully explain to my potential clients what they are purchasing. There should be no confusion as to what they are purchasing.

    It's a digital marketplace too. Your essentially just selling information. There is no return on information, why a refund?

    Yes it can increase conversions, but not for every product. I've had better conversions in certain markets with it right next to buy now button. I don't mind the small difference in conversion to get rid of the hassle.

    Travis
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
      Banned
      I have never sold a digital product, but I can't imagine offering a product without a refund.

      Personally, I pull the trigger WAY faster when I buy products on Clickbank because I know if it's overhyped and sucky that I'll be able to get a refund. That probably bothers some people, but if you're going to put a refund policy out there to increase conversions then the product better be what you say it is. On the whole, I don't exercise it unless the product is complete and utter garbage.

      But, you won't know until you test it.
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      • Profile picture of the author genietoast
        It's your prerogative if you want to do that. If you're planning to sell on Clickbank, however, then I think you're required to have a refund policy.
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        • Profile picture of the author stackman
          Originally Posted by genietoast View Post

          It's your prerogative if you want to do that. If you're planning to sell on Clickbank, however, then I think you're required to have a refund policy.
          Not true. Clickbank vendors are not required to advertise a refund policy, but Clickbank itself has such a policy. Therefore, all Clickbank vendors have a refund policy whether they advertise it or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amy Carczak
    No refunds .. sounds like a quick path to
    a lot of extra chargebacks.

    A better solution is to simply convert from a
    digital product to a digital product that is
    delivered on a cd / dvd or printed.

    Your refund rate will plummet and you can
    charge more. An even smarter path is to
    sell the digital item and then up sell them
    into the physical version of the digital
    product.
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    • Profile picture of the author stackman
      Originally Posted by Amy Carczak View Post

      No refunds .. sounds like a quick path to
      a lot of extra chargebacks.

      A better solution is to simply convert from a
      digital product to a digital product that is
      delivered on a cd / dvd or printed.

      Your refund rate will plummet and you can
      charge more. An even smarter path is to
      sell the digital item and then up sell them
      into the physical version of the digital
      product.

      All digital products cannot be converted to CD/DVD. Some products are dynamic in the sense that they depend on access to an online database, which means they must be used online and cannot be converted to be used offline.
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      • Profile picture of the author Amy Carczak
        Originally Posted by stackman View Post

        All digital products cannot be converted to CD/DVD. Some products are dynamic in the sense that they depend on access to an online database, which means they must be used online and cannot be converted to be used offline.
        hmmm.. yes, all products can be converted.

        All you need to do is ship "part" of it on a CD and
        the net affect is the same.

        If people need to trek to the post office to return
        something, they are less likely to do so than to
        hit the "reply" button and ask for a refund.

        Does it really matter what you ship? How about
        the instructions on the CD? Ya see what I mean?
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  • Profile picture of the author ladyspinner
    It will always depend upon why type of product it is... just keep that in mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamrs
    I offer refunds for most of my products, but I stopped offering for some of them in the IM niche, because I was being victim of many serial refunders. However, in order to do it you need to be 100% sure about the quality of your product, if you think that it may not work for a specific type of people you need to have a refund policy. It's because people feel very angry when they buy a product just to find out that it's not what they were expecting and then can't get their money back. There is a good chance that they will start posting bad things about you on forums and blogs, and it may really damage your reputation.


    William
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
      Originally Posted by williamrs View Post

      I offer refunds for most of my products, but I stopped offering for some of them in the IM niche, because I was being victim of many serial refunders. However, in order to do it you need to be 100% sure about the quality of your product, if you think that it may not work for a specific type of people you need to have a refund policy. It's because people feel very angry when they buy a product just to find out that it's not what they were expecting and then can't get their money back. There is a good chance that they will start posting bad things about you on forums and blogs, and it may really damage your reputation.


      William
      VERY good point, as well as the other points made in this thread. If people feel powerless as far as getting their money back, they can retaliate by writing up a bunch of negative reviews. However, even this wouldn't be something to fear if your product is generating tons of positive feedback on forums and so forth. A few negative reviews in a sea of positive reviews makes the guy writing the negative review look like he's got an axe to grind.

      How about an "exchange only" policy? It's a no-refund policy, but they can "exchange" your product if they aren't happy for something like a 1 hour phone consultation. That way you can talk them through whatever issues they're having and possibly turn them around.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonbeebe
    Most of the time people are too lazy to request a refund, but knowing that there is one available sometimes gives them a sense of security before making an online purchase.

    Those who would rip you off with a refund policy (buy the product but already planned to request the refund beforehand) are people who wouldn't have bought your product anyway so in a sense, you're not losing any money there.

    Honestly, if someone doesn't like my product, I don't want their money so I'm cool with offering a 30-day refund on my product (right now I only have ONE available). Most people are generally good-natured so if they like the product (which I'm confident that they will), most won't go and request a refund just to rip you off... instead they'll be thankful for the good product and be glad to support you (of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking).

    Clickbank products require a 60-day money-back guarantee and products in their marketplace get the most refunds (especially in the IM niche) because there are a lot of those kind of people I already mentioned (predetermined refunds). So personally, I use a different service to manage my "cart" and online affiliates.

    I use Mal's eCommerce (their free option is awesome), but e-Junkie has a great service as well (maybe even better since they actually HOST your downloads).

    Just my two cents, hope that helps :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author HorseStall
    A lot of software companies that offer trial versions don't provide refunds. Primarily because customers can try the product before they purchase (so they know what they are getting) AND once they release a "keycode" they can't take it back. The software will work regardless of whether they refund.
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