Are We Truly Entitled to Refunds on Informational Products?

34 replies
Hello Warriors,

When a product (physical or informational) does not live up to the promises made, I believe that the buyer should receive a refund.

However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
#entitled #informational #products #refunds
  • Profile picture of the author gabibeowulf
    The same problem still apply for both physical and informational products: people don't quite know what they're going to get after the purchase.

    They may be excited by the product, but when they receive it, it's not exactly what they had in mind or it doesn't quite solve the problem they were buying it for.

    However, in my experience, if people understand exactly what they're purchasing and what does it do for them, the refund rate is very, very low.

    So, yes, I do believe people are entitled to refunds if they are offered.

    -Gabriel
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  • Yes all customers should be obligated to have their memory removed by means of some sort of electroshock treatment as part of the refund process as this would be fair to merchants. Pfff... The nerve of some customers.... downloading products, memorizing the information, and then asking for a refund! What's this world coming to?


    Disclaimer: The above is 100% sarcasm and is not a representation of my actual opinion.


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    • Profile picture of the author Brian John
      Originally Posted by echelon View Post

      However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      Yes all customers should be obligated to have their memory removed by means of some sort of electroshock treatment as part of the refund process...
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  • Profile picture of the author operationbob
    Interesting question. I think refunds are important because they give buyers some insurance in case the info product they bought is total garbage.

    When I buy an info product I wouldn't consider asking for a refund as long as I can find some nugget of wisdom somewhere in the product. For me that might even be a way the author organized something that I can use in my products.

    I won't buy expensive info products though... I want them to be about the price of a book (or less.) So to me, it's like buying a book from a book store. Don't know if you can return them (never tried) just try and get something out of it and on the shelf it goes.After all, it may not answer all your questions now, but may have answers you'll be looking for later.
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  • Profile picture of the author derricks4
    That's one of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself when you decide if you want to work with information products or not. It's also the easiest. If you are willing to create products that are absolutely what you claim them to be, and put in the time and effort to make them so spectacular that nobody will ever need a refund (idealistically), then you're set for information products. If not, it's probably best to choose something else.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    I never ask for refunds. If I read the product I "consumed" it. I leave reviews whenever I can... both good and bad but once I've read something I don't feel entitled to a refund.

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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I have only ever twice asked for a refund. Once was because I accidentally bought the same product twice and the other time was because the product was definitely NOT what it was claimed to be. I try to never buy anything unless I know what it will give me so I don't have to ask for refunds as I don't believe it's a good trend.

    I do agree with offering a refund because you wouldn't make as many sales if you didn't. It gives people that extra confidence.
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    Merchants offer refunds as a way to increase sales. You have every right to exercise your rights as agreed upon in contract of the terms of the sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hampton
    Originally Posted by echelon View Post

    When a product (physical or informational) does not live up to the promises made, I believe that the buyer should receive a refund.
    Then I should be "entitled" to a refund on every Microsoft product I've every purchased.
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  • Profile picture of the author derricks4
    I'm not sure if this thread was based on the consumer or producer side of the argument, but I think it's quite clear and obvious that the producer side sees the benefits in allowing refunds. More sales, and a higher quality product.
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
    Originally Posted by echelon View Post

    However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
    I go to a doctor to have them remove it. That way it's fair for both me and the seller
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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    It's like asking a magician to explain how he or she does a trick and then deciding if it's worth knowing - after you know it.

    Satisfying your curiosity has a price.

    Now, this is saying that the person delivered what was promised. It is not the provider's responsibility whether the person puts that knowledge into any action whatsoever.

    I think refunds are reasonable but too often abused by people who did get what was promised. They sometimes just can't handle the fact that they get hungry again after paying for the meal.
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  • Profile picture of the author techbul
    I think refunds are an important piece of the sales process of info products. It gives extra credibility to the seller, since this way he clearly trusts his product to be a quality one, and backs it up 100% and it gives confidence to the buyer, since he knows that if the product disappoints, he will get his money back.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dburn
      I think that as a creator you shouldn't be worried about giving refunds... If you truly believe that your product is a good one and you have put a lot of work into it refunds shouldn't be a problem. And sure there are people out there that will buy your info product and get a refund but very few. Most we be great full for the information you've given them and will be happy to pay you the money
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    It is for sure a customer has to get refund if he becomes unhappy with a product. Regardless of an information is existing in his memory or not. But it does not mean you have to refund every claim. If your sales page describes product clear you must not make a refund based on customer's expectations.
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  • Profile picture of the author igorGriffiths
    You raise the point that companies like Amazon and Apple have been struggling with, how to protect your products.

    Whilst they all use some level of DRM which ultimately means that you never own what you buy but merely rent access to it through compliance with their terms and conditions.

    However if someone downloads your product and gets a refund there is little you can do to stop them from continuing to use the information unless you have a licensing element built in or a legal cease and desist Internet monitoring team.

    The licensing in itself may increase your refunds as those with poor Internet connections or those that hate hassle will simply refuse to go through this irritation each time they want to use it.

    The simple solution is to make each product non downloadable and available via a membership site and drip feed the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author SunilTanna
    I go to a restaurant. I am promised (at least. Implicitly) a tasty meal cooked in clean conditions.

    I eat half the meal, but then discover a dead cockroach hiding in the vegetables?

    Do I get the meal free? What about the half of the meal that I already ate - perhaps I should pay 50% of the standard price?
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    What is to stop someone from giving negative reviews on say, Fiverr, and wheedling refunds from every gig they buy?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I think you are entitled to refunds on information products. Maybe not for all niches online - but info products YES. Even if you dont agree with me, you should still offer one, simply because it will increase conversions and will give your customers the confidence in knowing that if your product sucks, they can return it whenever they want. But if you provide a great product, along with a 6-month money back guarantee.... you will receive very little refunds. The longer the guarantee, the better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by echelon View Post

    However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
    It's not just about memory.

    Unless you erase it, you still own it!
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  • Profile picture of the author rodsav
    Refunds are necessary, but on the other hand I've heard of consumers abusing the system. For example, I have heard of people purchasing artificial Christmas trees before Christmas. Then returning them after they used them through the holidays. Now, it that fair.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Originally Posted by echelon View Post

    Hello Warriors,

    When a product (physical or informational) does not live up to the promises made, I believe that the buyer should receive a refund.

    However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
    I'm not a fan of refunds on info products unless it turns out the product itself was total crap/lies. There are levels of knowledge and experience required to execute different things, so just because one person couldn't properly execute doesn't make the information itself less valuable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Originally Posted by echelon View Post

    However, if you have ever gotten a refund for a product how do you deal with the fact the information contained in the product may still be in your memory?
    I assume you are inferring that you feel guilty when asking for a refund on an information product, since you have already taken all the value from the seller.

    My answer: Don't feel guilty. They know that refunds are a cost of doing business. They are already increasing their conversions by offering a refund, so actually having to pay out a refund here or there should not be a big deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author sam12six
    I believe we are entitled because when you're dealing with information you're buying something they can't tell you about too specifically in the sales page.

    Would you buy a pair of shoes online if they told you all the great things about them but only had a single size available and couldn't tell you what that size was? I know I wouldn't without an offer of a refund.

    If I buy something and plan to use it, I'd never ask for a refund, but if I'm misled about the product (either its content of quality) or just don't think I'll be using it, I don't hesitate to get my money back (even if there's the theoretical possibility that some snippet of info from the product will actually benefit me later).

    I believe most people are similar. I don't see many people at all buying an info product and saying, "This is awesome! It's going to improve my life dramatically - and even better, I'm going to get a refund and have the benefit without it costing me a penny! Muhahaaha!"
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    • Profile picture of the author Benny L
      One thing it seems some folks here are missing is that the refund isn't offered in exchange for a sale. It's offered in exchange for giving the product a CHANCE.

      I asked for a refund on an informational product recently. When I did, I provided a lot of feedback as to what exactly I was hoping to get out of the program and where it fell short. I mentioned that I'm an entrepreneur myself and that I hoped my feedback would be helpful and offset the cost of the refund, but that for me, the product didn't measure up. And I laid out the reasons. I got a refund with no hassle and, hopefully, the seller learned a few things to make his product better. Did I learn something from his product? Yes. Did it improve me? Yes. Was it sufficient to help me in the ways he described? I didn't think so.

      I had no qualms about asking for a refund, even though I derived value from it... because I *did* give him an honest chance. That's what he got in exchange for me agreeing to buy the product. He got a chance at a sale. The product wasn't that great (but really wasn't half bad either). And I just wound up saying, "Nope, sorry, it's not for me." But I didn't turn around and post his material on the web or try to create a knock off of it, or try to implement his 30-day method line by line. I just checked it out, and decided it wasn't what I was looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author kinyash
    I believe refund is a good system that checks both the seller and the buyer. The seller is obliged to make a quality product to avoid making refunds and the buyer gets the option of trying out a product. Though i think there is still a lot of debate to be done on the rules surrounding this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikaedi88
    Generally with informational products/ebooks brought and downloaded from the net, before purchasing, the buyer is informed that there is NO REFUNDS.
    Iv seen this tactic with times..
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Ever buy a Tony Robins or Zig Ziglar book and return it because it "didn't work for you"? Probably not.

    There's a certain credibility factor behind print that, due primarily to an abundance of low quality content, hasn't permeated into the digital world. When you get down to it, an ebook selling a strategy is no different than any other self-help book, yet there's a difference in the mindset of buyers. How many of you who have no problem contacting a seller to request a refund because it's "not for me" would also return a paperback you purchased at a local book store for the same reason? Not many.

    I'm not saying sellers shouldn't stand behind their work or offer refunds, my point is that buyers should be consider this before they purchase. If someone is revealing a strategy, and works hard to produce quality content, the refund policy isn't there so you can "peek" - it's there to provide some assurance that if you actually try it and aren't successful you'll get your money back. I think WSO buyers in general should be more considerate in this regard.
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  • Profile picture of the author sam12six
    While all that's true, Ron, with some niches (like IM), it's very rare for the sales page to be very specific about what it is you're buying beyond something that can help you out. You know that ziglar book is about sales. There's an outline on the back cover that tells you what's in the book.

    With most sales pages for certain niches, the closest you'll get to that is that it's going to improve your affiliate sales (or whatever the broad subject of it is). They can't tell you PRECISELY what they're selling because then you could just look up the info they want to be paid for. In the worst situations, the sales page doesn't tell you even this much about what they're selling (though most of us learn pretty quickly not to buy from blind pages like this).

    Unless you get a peek, lots of times you don't know how useful you'd find the information. For mainstream products, you can usually find a sample online - the first chapter, intro video, whatever. With info products, the closest you get to a sample is the marketer's sales materials (and I've bought from sales pages that seemed crafted by master wordsmiths while the product itself looked to be thrown together by their 10 year old).

    Certain niches like IM or the dating niche rely on convincing buyers they have a secret. For these niches, buying while being prepared to get a refund is the only way to actually find out what they're selling. Now, for dog training or other more mainstream niches, that's not the case (and I'd bet the refund rates are dramatically lower).

    It's my opinion, but I believe certain niches are just accustomed to the sales model that you throw hype at people and hope they don't refund, while others concentrate on telling would be customers exactly what they'd be getting before they purchase.

    Look at the verbiage used in sales pages. Can you imagine someone selling an Ebook on pets and the sales page saying, "Here's what this book is not: How to clean a parrot cage. Whether declawing your cat can be harmful to it. What temperature to keep fish tanks."? Of course not! They'd just come straight out and say, "This dog training book will show you how to housebreak a dog, how to teach it basic obedience, etc."
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  • Profile picture of the author echelon
    Thank you very much for taking the time to share your opinion regarding this question. I now have even more questions perhaps because points/perspectives I did not think about have been raised.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    Yes, if the author is not giving you any knowledge you are entitled to ask for a refund.

    If you will read the author’s empty words and verify that they don't teach you anything, why should you pay for this useless information? The words you read won't remain long in your memory because they are not helpful so, you won't make any effort to remember them.

    If you have learned something helpful, you are not entitled to ask for a refund. You have to be honest.









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  • Profile picture of the author ParkerArrow
    "Invest low, sell high."

    It's not a new idea.

    I want a refund!
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