How to stop people stealing my $1000 product?

30 replies
I'm about to start selling a $1000 "done for you" business in a box (via seminars and webinars) that offers customers a ready-made membership site that has products ready every month for at least 3 years.

What's to stop people downloading all the files and then requesting a refund?

I have a 30-day money back guarantee.

Can anyone help with this problem? How do some marketers get up on stage and sell "business in a box" solutions?

Looking forward to hearing Warrior feedback!
#people #product #stealing #stop
  • Profile picture of the author ADG
    I would suggest you focus more on the number of products you can sell versus trying to stop something you can't stop. If you sell 500 units, look at what you've made. There will be a small number of people refunding but you should still make more than what's refunded. The people you see on stage have their products refunded or picked up for free on from various locations on the internet. But they still make money. Think about this, there are a lot of knockoffs for designer retail products like clothes, handbags, music and so forth. It doesn't stop them from making money. Focus on what you can make! Just my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Price
    I completely agree, I've been working on this product for a couple of months and focusing only on how much I can make (it motivates me!)...

    But today I woke up and thought... "Um, ok... what if someone pays $1000, downloads everything and refunds?"

    And I started to stress out....
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    • Profile picture of the author ADG
      Hey Jonathon, I would agree that could be stressful. But don't let it prevent you from putting your product out there. Keep in mind, everybody is not going to refund the product. I don't know how long you've been working on your product. But, if it takes you a month and and you sell 500 units at $1000 and 25 people refund you still made $475,000. Not bad for one month's work! I'll take that all day long and won't even take a lunch.
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    • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Price View Post

      I completely agree, I've been working on this product for a couple of months and focusing only on how much I can make (it motivates me!)...

      But today I woke up and thought... "Um, ok... what if someone pays $1000, downloads everything and refunds?"

      And I started to stress out....
      Here is something that you may not have considered: you should get worried if they are NOT stealing it.

      Why?

      Because people won't steal it if they don't think it's valuable.

      If you worry more about someone stealing it than about making sales, you'll stress yourself out. And you will find it that much harder to make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
    A lot of top martketers like John Reese and Frank Kern used physical products for their expensive courses. The perceived value is higher, and of course the "thud factor" is there, as well.

    My personal opinion as someone who has bought courses in that range back in the day is a large preference for the physical product in book and DVD format.

    Hard drives routinely crash taking with them the downloaded files. For a $7 or $47 product it's not earth shattering. But trying to recoup that info 12 months down the road without a bookshelf back-up can be a pain.

    Bottom line...consider the benefits and advantages of using physical media for your $1,000 product.

    ~Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author ADG
      Good info Bill! Physical products are often less refunded due to the consumer having to go through the process of repacking and returning.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
      Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

      A lot of top martketers like John Reese and Frank Kern used physical products for their expensive courses. The perceived value is higher, and of course the "thud factor" is there, as well.

      My personal opinion as someone who has bought courses in that range back in the day is a large preference for the physical product in book and DVD format.

      Hard drives routinely crash taking with them the downloaded files. For a $7 or $47 product it's not earth shattering. But trying to recoup that info 12 months down the road without a bookshelf back-up can be a pain.

      Bottom line...consider the benefits and advantages of using physical media for your $1,000 product.

      ~Bill
      I think this is the best model for something that cost this much. I love the idea of shipping physical products. The problem is that people love instant gratification when it comes to purchasing things online in the IM world.

      I personally love to be able to purchase something and have it digitally delivered to me instantly.

      But I have thought long and hard about selling digital non-tangible products and shipping them in tangible form. If only people could be swayed to buy that way.....in the IM field.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Price
    Thanks Bill & ADG... I agree it's good to focus on the positives i.e. sales. But...

    My product is a "business in a box", so I'm selling my customers a ready-made online membership website with minisite, sales video, upsells and 3 years of monthly video products to offer to members...they can set it up on Clickbank or PayDotCom and start a business with it.

    I don't think I'll be able to offer this as a physical product, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Price View Post

      I don't think I'll be able to offer this as a physical product, right?
      One of the products I bought from one of the above mentioned marketers came as a DVD every month, iirc.

      Unless the product is a daily delivery sending out phyical products is simply a function of logistics and not doabiity.

      Another option would be to package the 'source' material, i.e. the starter material, in physical form and have the updates as downloads.

      The off-shoot of using a physical product could easily be more sales over a strictly downloadable product in that price range. So when you do the math keep that in mind.

      ~Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author ADG
      The video products can be put on DVD. Membership sites do well. I still don't think the number of refunds or illegal downloads will come close to what you're going to sell. You may want to seek out other business in box sellers and learn from them. Stay Focused, Much success!
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    I know you were probably looking for answers that would "technically" keep people from cheating you out of the $$, but I think there's another way to look at it too.

    For a $1,000 product, consider really delivering the meat and potatoes in a way that can't easily be replicated. Or...make it so that there's a need to stay with you beyond the refund period.

    Now...I'm not saying hide the "real" goods behind the refund period...but give them enough to know that they can trial whatever system it is and see that it works...but they can't really roll it out until later. I don't know your product so it's hard to say specifically, but my point is to make sure that the value you're providing goes beyond the initial purchase and download. Make sure that they have a need for what you have past the refund period and into the future.

    Hope that helps?
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  • Profile picture of the author David Allen
    Why not set it up as a membership site for delivery and drip feed the products every month whilst the buyer is a member? If they refund they will only have the first month or two's worth of content.

    You could even reduce the upfront price and charge a monthly fee for the monthly content.
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  • Profile picture of the author misstan
    maybe you can do a trailer of what come next for the following month and give incentive or loyalty programme if they stay after every quarter of the year?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
    I would put a process in place where the content is dripped to their site from your server. That automates it for them and they can't just download everything because they have it dripped into their site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Price
    Awesome feedback guys, thanks.

    I'm thinking that I load the entire membership site on to a CD and ship it out using Kunaki?

    The CD would include:

    - All website files (minisite, salesvideo, graphics, affiliates area)
    - Product files
    - Bonuses (these are amazing)
    - Setup instructions

    I'm not worried about the perceived value of the product here as the value I'm offering is FAR more than $997. I'm not worried about people refunding because they're unhappy, I'm concerned they'll take all the products and effectively get them for free.

    So...

    I'm thinking that my 30-day refund policy will state that the CD has to be shipped back within 30 days for the refund to be valid... and most (not all, most) people won't go through the effort of doing that just to get their "business in a box" for free, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Price View Post

      Awesome feedback guys, thanks.

      I'm thinking that I load the entire membership site on to a CD and ship it out using Kunaki?

      The CD would include:

      - All website files (minisite, salesvideo, graphics, affiliates area)
      - Product files
      - Bonuses (these are amazing)
      - Setup instructions
      The above looks good, and I would also have an unadvertised download delivery for folks who are weeks away from getting their package by mail/UPS/FedEx/DHL. Anyone who remembers the Stompernet debacle will know what I'm talking about. Let them approach you on a case by case basis and have your customer service dept send them the files in a timely fashion. They'll appreciate the physical back-up when they get it and your refunds will be lowered.

      I'm not worried about the perceived value of the product here as the value I'm offering is FAR more than $997. I'm not worried about people refunding because they're unhappy, I'm concerned they'll take all the products and effectively get them for free.
      The perceived value is in your customer's mind. What's in your mind is irrelevent. And yes, nobody want to work for practice.

      So...

      I'm thinking that my 30-day refund policy will state that the CD has to be shipped back within 30 days for the refund to be valid... and most (not all, most) people won't go through the effort of doing that just to get their "business in a box" for free, right?
      Referring again to the Stompernet launch, some of those folks didn't get the materials for a few weeks. Don't put your customers in a situation where the refund clock is ticking before they get the materials. Any good shipping company also has good tracking stats to allow you to see delivery dates to your customers.

      ~Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author jpeddler
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Price View Post

      Awesome feedback guys, thanks.

      I'm thinking that I load the entire membership site on to a CD and ship it out using Kunaki?

      The CD would include:

      - All website files (minisite, salesvideo, graphics, affiliates area)
      - Product files
      - Bonuses (these are amazing)
      - Setup instructions

      I'm not worried about the perceived value of the product here as the value I'm offering is FAR more than $997. I'm not worried about people refunding because they're unhappy, I'm concerned they'll take all the products and effectively get them for free.

      So...

      I'm thinking that my 30-day refund policy will state that the CD has to be shipped back within 30 days for the refund to be valid... and most (not all, most) people won't go through the effort of doing that just to get their "business in a box" for free, right?
      Jonathan, every post in the thread has some good advice, but this one of yours made me cringe.

      I always like to put myself in my customer's shoes - John Q. Public. The value of the offer - regardless of how remarkable it is dropped significantly when you said the words -

      ONE CD (DVD)

      This is only a personal opinion, but I am a professional copy and content ghostwriter. I thought and concluded - have I ever paid one thousand dollars for a single DVD?

      Nope. Never have.

      This is about perception. I have bought products that were $1,000 before and none were ever delivered to me on a single disk.

      The product has more value to me as many megabytes of downloads or a SERIES of DVDs (or CDs).

      So my advice is to consider the packaging carefully. Product makers spend MILLIONS just on boxes, bags, blister packs and plastic sheaths.

      Whatever extra you spend on the packaging will reduce refunds, and also has the added benefit of making your product harder to steal and reproduce by the blackhatters.

      Most thieves won't be willing to work as hard to copy 10 disks as they will to rip one.

      However, as a copywriter, my interest is always on what makes more sales - not about refunds. Although I do study every product to reduce refunds by making sure the best approach is being taken to sell them.

      Great packaging and copy makes more sales - which means you make more money.

      You don't think Microsoft packs one CD that has MS Office on it in a box that takes room on the shelf (and costs more too) because it's prettier, do you?

      They do it because you won't notice that CD in a jewel case, but you can't ignore that big blue display box with the colorful logo and their pitch, right?

      Marketers often forget the positive illusions created by packaging and the colorful selling on the box - and how many more sales you will make.

      It's a major mistake to overlook packaging.

      Which offer is more appealing to you:

      I will send you every piece of this high value membership site and all files and graphics on one simple DVD.

      - OR -

      This massive product will come to you on 10 CDs in a luxury slipcover case with each one clearly marked with the monthly content for each of the next twelve months. Every volume will have unique business-exploding content and graphics that will assure you will have happy and satisfied members for years.

      The price is $997 - which offer looks better to you? More importantly, which would you buy?

      You know you've got a great offer - one that exceeds a grand. But you have to assume John Q. Public doesn't know beans about your offer. You've got to tip that mental money scale in your favor - using everything you've got.

      If it was me, I would break it up (into as many pieces as I reasonably could) and roll it out as the awesome product I am sure it is. It is clear to me this needs to be a physical product, not a download or series.

      People understand value when they hold a thousand dollar product in their hands - it's much tougher when no one knows you and you want them to spend a grand for a download.

      Make it "look" like an insane value, and refunds will become very secondary. People will be influenced by a real or perceived "preponderance of value."

      One last thing - even in the goods sold in this forum, how many times do you see great 3D images and lots of disks, books, etc. in the sales offers?

      Often, they are images and graphics for just one downloadable file, but the offer "looks" amazing, doesn't it?

      Simply and psychologically - the imagery makes it register as an overwhelming value. Don't take shortcuts on the packaging. I think one DVD would be a huge marketing mistake.

      Just food for thought - hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Price
    I meant DVD by the way, it's the same price to ship as a CD which I didn't realize
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  • I notice that most people focus on how to prevent stuff and 5 years later they never did it. I was one of them and my mentors toll me get the things done then focus on the problem when its done and improve. In other word make the product when they steal it then deal with it, I did the wrong thing in the beging i tried to get everything worked out in advance but nothing was worked out i wanted it perfect.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      Sure, it's wise to put measures in place to reduce the
      chances that people will steal your works.

      However...

      Think about how it affects the experience of the most
      important people of all: your genuine paying customers.

      Focus on serving the people who DO want to pay you
      rather than pandering too much to the people who want
      to avoid paying you at all costs.

      And by the way, the people who are determined to rip
      you off will find a way to do that anyways.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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      .

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    • Profile picture of the author atvking
      I'm getting quite good results selling some of my custom engine gear by Western Union. It's completely non refundable and the people ordering usually do not know what they are doing and love to abuse the money back warranty by abusing the hell out of their gear and then blaming it on the manufacturer.

      The money back guarantee is a strong sales motivator, but its good to keep in mind when customers really want something they do not really care how they pay....
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      ...

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  • Profile picture of the author Micah Medina
    The kind of person who does refund fraud usually isn't the type of person that will ever have a thousand dollars saved up to throw around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brendan Carl
    Honestly, I do not think you have to worry about that. The percentage of people who actually partake in refund fraud is really low.

    If you really want to prevent this, an idea would be to have the download links for all of the upsells/products people buy on the site (the actual HTML site you are selling), but have the download link point to the files that are hosted on your own FTP server. That way, you can restrict access to these files if someone requests a refund. You would have to give them the HTML and CSS files and everything for their site, but keep the products that your customers would be selling on your own server.

    Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
    Have you made any sales yet with this product?

    If not, consider whether or not you are creatively procrastinating at this moment...
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    You can't stop this. Even people who pay outright might be part of a pool buy and download your site only to post in the pirate forums out there. Speaking as someone who has been ripped off plenty in the past, just ignore it.

    They're not your target market, most of them just collect things, they never really take any action and worrying about things you cannot control will just drive you batty. Focus on what you can control.

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  • Profile picture of the author ericbryant
    There are some ways you can thwart downloads, like DLGuard. And some S3 tricks, too. There is also S3FlowShield. All you can do is block serial refunders. That's a lot tougher to manage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
    Originally Posted by Jonathan Price View Post

    I'm about to start selling a $1000 "done for you" business in a box (via seminars and webinars) that offers customers a ready-made membership site that has products ready every month for at least 3 years.

    What's to stop people downloading all the files and then requesting a refund?

    I have a 30-day money back guarantee.

    Can anyone help with this problem? How do some marketers get up on stage and sell "business in a box" solutions?

    Looking forward to hearing Warrior feedback!
    Hi Jonathan,

    I am involved with a small team of internet marketers (the iTeam) who are currently developing a product to address this very issue.

    We should have a workable copy of our product back from our developers very soon - PM me and I will keep you in the loop.

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie123
    First off, I hope you have done some kind of research regarding your price point of $1,000. This type of price point was in, maybe 4-5 years ago, however, with the economy the way it is it could be a tough sell, not to mention there are other "business in a box" type stuff far less expensive.

    As for the issue of refund, if you are convinced of the absolutely superior level of your product, I would not offer a refund or make it conditional or if it is a physical product, you can always charge a "restocking fee" if you do offer a refund.
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    • Profile picture of the author jpeddler
      Originally Posted by paulie123 View Post

      First off, I hope you have done some kind of research regarding your price point of $1,000. This type of price point was in, maybe 4-5 years ago, however, with the economy the way it is it could be a tough sell, not to mention there are other "business in a box" type stuff far less expensive.

      As for the issue of refund, if you are convinced of the absolutely superior level of your product, I would not offer a refund or make it conditional or if it is a physical product, you can always charge a "restocking fee" if you do offer a refund.
      Whoa Paulie,

      I see where you are coming from, but we don't have all the info regarding the product or offer. This may be a product for people Jonathan has been selling other stuff to for years.

      A price tag of a grand makes it a tougher sale - almost for sure. But one of the key elements in a long-form piece of sales copy for the product is:

      Risk Reversal/Elimination

      The moment you place conditions on anything related to a product at $997 regarding refunds or making them conditional - your conversion rate drops multiple points.

      In fact, it can actually bring sales down to zero or awfully close.

      If anything, to make more sales, you eliminate conditions - not add them. And when you really want to tick a customer off on doing business with you online - charge them a restocking fee.

      Restocking fees may work for Best Buy and others like them. Online, they are really bad ideas - you will never sell anything to those people again.

      I agree completely that it is far tougher to sell a product - any product - for $997 in 2012. That's just the way it is - given the economy.

      But people are still buying products for a grand. I see them, write copy for them, and hear about them all the time. The sales figures would surprise you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
        Originally Posted by jpeddler View Post

        But people are still buying products for a grand. I see them, write copy for them, and hear about them all the time. The sales figures would surprise you.
        I have to say I completely agree with Jake on this one and would add that for me and I'm sure many other like minded people, a key factor is ROI or Return On Investment.

        In other words, if you spend a dollar and are "guaratnteed" to get five back - is that dollar not well spent?

        A very good example of this is internet Gurus who are prepared to give personal or elite group training. Or indeed gurus who are prepared to sell their time for large sums of money. Don't forget the word large is subjective in any case - what is large to you and me might be pocket change to someone else.

        Here's some real examples I know to be fact - I will just omit the names to protect the innocent (or not so innocent).

        Guru A - charges $50,000 for personal one on one training
        Guru B - charges $5,000 for a training package
        Guru C - charges $5,000 for 6 months coaching

        The reason I know what Guru C charges is I am paying him myself at the moment. Has it been worth it - hell yes. ROI - I will make that money back many times over.

        It has to be said that the abosolute KEY is to research your mentor very carefully. I have yet another contact who paid Guru D (he he) $10,000 and deemed it to be a waste of money.

        Finally, before anyone hits me up and says not everyone has that kind of money to invest - I do fully understand that - trust me. Three years ago I was down to my last savings with no income and a partner and 2 kids to support. I (thank goodness) worked my way out of that particular hole.
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