Serial Refunders: How do you, the seller, protect yourself?

33 replies
I realize that having offered a refund one needs to honor that promise. Integrity demands it.

However, there are many people out there who buy; take the product; request a refund within just a few hours; and then toddle off rubbing their hands in glee.

I have now taken to blacklisting their IP's and email addresses on both my own site and on JVzoo. I presume this can also be done on WarriorPlus

What do you do? What else can be done?
#protect #refunders #seller #serial
  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Sandy your best offense is a good defense...

    Make your product "non-refundable" i.e. give your buyers as little of a reason to return as much as possible.

    Do this by building incredible value through over giving to them, provide support options, give them access to a knowledgebase if you build software, be great with customer support.

    Most of the time I have found people want refunds because they misunderstood something.

    Make sure that you provide quick support to prevent extra frustration. People appreciate quick replies when possible.

    Don't forget to add in what your customers will LOSE out on if they get the refund. Lots of times people have a fear of what they will lose instead of what they will gain.

    I hope that helps,

    Justin
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  • Profile picture of the author RichardF
    Having tried to sell an informational product a few years ago, I also saw a few of these. Some asked for refund within MINUTES - no way they'd been able to even skim the first few pages in that time. Personally I would factor it into your price. Assume 5% or so will refund immediately and set your price accordingly, and try to focus more on generating more sales than keeping these crooks out.

    Originally Posted by SandyDuPlessis View Post

    I realize that having offered a refund one needs to honor that promise. Integrity demands it.

    However, there are many people out there who buy; take the product; request a refund within just a few hours; and then toddle off rubbing their hands in glee.

    I have now taken to blacklisting their IP's and email addresses on both my own site and on JVzoo. I presume this can also be done on WarriorPlus

    What do you do? What else can be done?
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  • My company offers a 60 day, full money back, no questions asked guarantee on all our products.

    We certainly don't blacklist anyone if they buy something and return it a few hours later, or even if they do it again for that matter. That's just how we roll, and it hasn't hurt us in anyway business wise.

    I personally can't imagine buying a product from a vendor and it was crap, so I ask for a refund, and they then blacklist me.

    I especially don't support vendors who offer "no refunds". They will never get our business.
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      I especially don't support vendors who offer "no refunds". They will never get our business.
      Yes they will.

      Warrior Forum has a no refund policy and you paid for a WSO listing.
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      • Originally Posted by Escalate Internet View Post

        Yes they will.

        Warrior Forum has a no refund policy and you paid for a WSO listing.
        1. Any vendors I have purchased from here offer a refund policy on their WSO page. In the case that they don't have it listed, I either know them, or they know me well enough to refund me if I asked, or I check with them.

        2. The warrior forum itself has nothing to do with whether a refund is offered or not. WF is not the retailer or payment processor. The forum is not part of the transaction between a buyer and seller.

        Therefore your statement that the "Warrior Forum has a no refund policy" is incorrect and based on (?).
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        Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
        "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
        "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

        "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
        "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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        • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
          Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

          2. The warrior forum itself has nothing to do with whether a refund is offered or not. WF is not the retailer or payment processor. The forum is not part of the transaction between a buyer and seller.

          Therefore your statement that the "Warrior Forum has a no refund policy" is incorrect and based on (?).
          In the case of you paying to list a WSO, who do you consider the retailer? Warrior Forum. You pay them to list the WSO and to bump. They do not offer refunds.

          You said " I especially don't support vendors who offer no refunds. They will never get our business. "

          However, Warrior Forum very clearly states that in their Terms of Service when it comes to registering as a member here and purchasing as WSO. If company's that don't offer refunds will "never get your business", then why did you pay Warrior Forum to list a WSO?

          By the way, when I say that you paid for a WSO listing, I don't mean you paid for a WSO like you thought I was referring to. I was saying that you listerally paid to list a WSO here on the Warrior Forum as a seller. To do that you must pay Warrior Forum directly, and they don't offer refunds per their terms.
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          • Originally Posted by Escalate Internet View Post

            In the case of you paying to list a WSO, who do you consider the retailer? Warrior Forum. You pay them to list the WSO and to bump. They do not offer refunds.

            You said " I especially don't support vendors who offer no refunds. They will never get our business. "

            However, Warrior Forum very clearly states that in their Terms of Service when it comes to registering as a member here and purchasing as WSO. If company's that don't offer refunds will "never get your business", then why did you pay Warrior Forum to list a WSO?

            By the way, when I say that you paid for a WSO listing, I don't mean you paid for a WSO like you thought I was referring to. I was saying that you listerally paid to list a WSO here on the Warrior Forum as a seller. To do that you must pay Warrior Forum directly, and they don't offer refunds per their terms.

            I made my original statement not thinking that I'd get interrogated by anyone crawling up my ass about it, trying to prove a point.

            I continue placing WSO's contrary to my statement because I've never placed a WSO that did not make a profit, nor would I expect that to ever happen, therefore placing a WSO (especially now being only $20) is not part of my original statement, and the warrior forum and other advertising services etc are not included.

            I could amend my original statement if you like, to include "I especially don't support vendors who offer no refunds they will never get our business", except for vendor a, b, and c,... but I really shouldn't have to do that to get you off my back, now do I?
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            Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
            "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
            "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

            "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
            "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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      • Originally Posted by Escalate Internet View Post

        Yes they will.

        Warrior Forum has a no refund policy and you paid for a WSO listing.
        I know a guy who makes a 7 figure info product empire with no refund policy. It can be done. I give refunds, it's only 2% so far I'm ok with that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      I personally can't imagine buying a product from a vendor and it was crap, so I ask for a refund, and they then blacklist me.
      If you thought a product was crap and requested a refund why would you want to stay in connection with that person? (i.e. blacklisted)
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      • Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

        If you thought a product was crap and requested a refund why would you want to stay in connection with that person? (i.e. blacklisted)
        Hey Mike, I see your point but we can't always connect the quality (or suitability of a product) to the actual vendor. I think we've all come out with our share of not so great products. I like to give second chances to vendors, so it's in the vendors best interest to not cut off a potential future customer. (blacklist).
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        Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
        "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
        "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

        "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
        "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
          Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

          Hey Mike, I see your point but we can't always connect the quality (or suitability of a product) to the actual vendor. I think we've all come out with our share of not so great products. I like to give second chances to vendors, so it's in the vendors best interest to not cut off a potential future customer. (blacklist).

          Yeah, I see your point... Never really thought about it in that light. Personally, I've only banned 2 people from buying my products over the last 9 years or so. One was sharing it with others right on his own website and the other requested a refund within 2 minutes of purchasing.
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          • Profile picture of the author nik0
            Banned
            It's true that higher priced products deal with less refunds, I see it myself, I hardly get a refund request besides the occasional credit card chargeback due to fraudulent transactions.

            Other digital products like eBooks are probably more sensitive for refunds, and not without surprise in many cases.

            Sure there will be people who abuse it but that's risk of the business that you've chosen. Don't even bother about protecting against it, just add it in as an additional cost to do business. Simple as that.

            People who truly put your knowledge into action and benefit from it will buy it next time without refund. The serial refunders don't put it into practice so you can't say your knowledge is being abused, it's just the way they roll, from one shiny object to the other without taking action.

            That's their problem so why would you bother about that?

            This week I personally requested 2 refunds:

            1) Video series, way to basic, not as expected
            2) Membership for ManageWP, missing an important specifc function for me, sales page was not detailed enough on that front.

            This week I purchased 2 other things:

            1) eBook about importing/exporting, worth it's weight in gold, highly over delivered
            2) Membership to replace ManageWP, not perfect but it does the job.

            No refunds, it's all about what people expect and what they receive so the more detailed the sales materials are the less refunds.

            Funny enough I got a free month for ManageWP, just to try it out to see if I would change my mind and they send out a request to developers for the feature that was missing. Now that is service.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post

      My company offers a 60 day, full money back, no questions asked guarantee on all our products.
      Why wouldn't you ask questions to those who ask for their money back?

      It's the very basis of improving your products to reduce refunds in the future....
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      • Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

        Why wouldn't you ask questions to those who ask for their money back?

        It's the very basis of improving your products to reduce refunds in the future....

        Good question. The definition of "our" no questions asked refund policy means that:

        1. The customer does not have to give a reason when asking for a full refund or in order to qualify for a refund.

        2. We definitely don't ask questions "before" a refund is given but may follow up to see if there's anything we can improve on. We rarely have one time customers so that's how we work.
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        Arnold Stolting - Stolting Media Group
        "I LOVE The Song! The Vibe Is Positive And Firm!" - Kymani Marley. (Son of Bob Marley)
        "Keep Up The Good Work!" Tony Lindsay - Lead Vocalist, Carlos Santana.

        "Very High Quality!" Jeremy Harding - Manager / Producer. Sean Paul.
        "They Are FANTASTIC!" - Willie Crawford.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
    Honestly, there's not much you can do outside of blacklisting them in JVZoo and blocking them from accessing your site, and kicking them off your mailing list.

    (WarriorPlus does have a blacklisting feature but JVZoo's is much better)

    Unfortunately, PayPal doesn't have a blacklist feature sellers can tap into.

    Don't let it ruin your day or make you doubt what you're doing. These things happen and you can go to sleep knowing that chances are (99.99999%) that serial refunder is failing miserably.

    Focus on the people that appreciate your product and give positive feedback because they are the ones that will help you grow.

    Quick story...

    I was in a Facebook group filled with sellers in the IM niche. One marketer posted a person's email address and said that person refunded like 3 of their products on the same day. Other marketers noticed this guy did the same thing to them.

    Turns out this person had a Facebook page, site, Twitter account, etc... setup for his "business". The next 3 months, marketers within the group trolled him relentlessly.

    So sometimes, this stuff doesn't go unnoticed....

    Originally Posted by stoltingmediagroup View Post


    I personally can't imagine buying a product from a vendor and it was crap, so I ask for a refund, and they then blacklist me.
    There's a HUGE difference between a standard "this isn't my cup of tea" refund and someone who does this constantly to game the system. Not all refunds are created equal and these people have the ability to do things like screw up your payment processing.
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  • My refunds are less then 2% over the years I just ignore them. I listened to some direct mail marketers who had to sell COD their non payment rate was 50% and they still where profitable. I wouldn't worry if you are profitable your government is probably taking more money then all your refunders combined.
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  • Although you can't really stop serial refunders than to ban them from buying your products again I don't usually get refund requests from all my niche products.

    To do this is I make it clear on checkout what the customer is going to receive and how they will receive it (download etc)

    I also over deliver on my products so they can be happy with their purchase.

    Another thing is all my niche products have an un-advertised bonus that compliments the actual product. Like on my weight loss product I've got an un-advertised bonus on raw food dieting. Ever since I've done this my refund request have reduced greatly.
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  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Goldenjade
      Although the "refund" is a real pain... it is only reasonable if the product is bad or did not live up to it's content expectation. I can understand the realistic of your frustration, but to blacklist the customer is not in my practice...

      Again, Thanks for the post.
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    • Profile picture of the author DoubleOhDave
      Originally Posted by hpgoodboy View Post

      First: I completely do understand your frustration.

      I have published many products and sold thousands of copies. Issuing a refund is always a pain in the butt and especially if it is happening after a few hours. Luckily my refund rates are extremely low but still I do not like it.

      I tried to counter serial refunds with refund policies that have restrictions. It does work but it also tends to reduce the number of sales.

      My best selling products (2,000++ copies) had unconditional refund policies for 30 days

      Product 1 - Sales: 2436, Refunds 27

      Product 2 - Sales: 2086, Refunds 27

      And here a product with a conditional refund policy:
      "I am so confident that you will make money using this that I will give a 100% refund of the cost for this product if you can show me that you have not been making money using the methods!!"
      Sales: 655, Refunds 11

      So, based on that it looks like an unconditional money back guarantee is better.

      On the other hand: the products are not really comparable. The 2,000+-selling-products were plugins and the 655-sales-product was a $17 ebook.
      Curious about your maths there.. 27 refunds out of approx 2000 sales= a little over 1% ( no calculator to hand and too hungover to go check so I know this isn't exact) 11 refunds from 655 sales = oh for gods sake my brain hurts, but I dunno, a much higher percentage? 6 I think... Therefore, the no refund product ended up with a much higher rate of refunds. Ironic.
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  • Profile picture of the author serryjw
    I have asked for a refund ONCE, after 3 weeks, because the seller was not honest with the skill set required...certainly not NOOB friendly
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Williams
      • Deliver on your promise to the customer.
      • Don't over hype your product like everybody does.
      • Over deliver on your end content wise.
      • Provide excellent customer support and service.
      • Follow up with your customers to make sure they are good
      • (EVEN AFTER they have payed you for the product)
      • See a very low refund rate in your business.

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      Right To The Point

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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Hess
        Originally Posted by Stephen Williams View Post

        • Deliver on your promise to the customer.
        • Don't over hype your product like everybody does.
        • Over deliver on your end content wise.
        • Provide excellent customer support and service.
        • Follow up with your customers to make sure they are good
        • (EVEN AFTER they have payed you for the product)
        • See a very low refund rate in your business.

        With the type of people we're talking about, none of this matters.

        You could do all that plus watch their kids, walk their dog, clean their house, and they will still refund.

        Its a type of game they play. You don't want them anywhere near your business that's why it's important to identify them and do the best you can to remove them from the equation.
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    • Profile picture of the author movemaker
      Unfortunately you cannot do nothing about these people. The best way to this is to simply sacrifice sales. Simply meaning that you are going to have to make your refund policy a little more constricted.

      Rather than the normal 60 day do a 14 day. You may make less sales but that could mean more "permanent" revenue.

      Another thing you may want to do is just really see if you offered any real high quality value with your product. Sometimes it may just be that your product is not what it was hyped up to be.

      Please don't take offense to this but sometimes this may be the case. Truth is we will never know unless they tell you so you could always ask them why they did that if you are capable of getting in contact with them.

      Another thing you can always do is tell them that there are no refunds or even shorten it up to 7 days.

      Hope that helped!
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaGeen
    Hi Sandy,
    I understand that you talking about inappropriate behavior and not about unhappy customers, like some people here assumed.
    I have a question - these serial refunders, did the come from affiliates, or your own marketing?
    Do you trust all your affiliates?
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    • Profile picture of the author SandyDuPlessis
      Originally Posted by BellaGeen View Post

      Hi Sandy,
      I understand that you talking about inappropriate behavior and not about unhappy customers, like some people here assumed.
      I have a question - these serial refunders, did the come from affiliates, or your own marketing?
      Do you trust all your affiliates?
      Hi Bella

      There were only two and they did not come from affiliates. In fact, the one guy had been chatting to me for days prior to my launch wanting to know as much as possible. It has been well known among a a fairly large group that I was upgrading and relaunching.

      His reason for wanting a refund was that the product consisted of modules in PDF format.
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  • Profile picture of the author ventureprofits
    I'd say that 99.9% of the ppl that chargeback still won't be using your product. they have hundreds on their shelf already. Sure, they'll glimpse over it a few types, but to implement it completely in their business - probably not.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Every single serial refunder loses their Paypal dispute with me. They have never won. So I get my money back, block their access, and move on.
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    • Profile picture of the author ventureprofits
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Every single serial refunder loses their Paypal dispute with me. They have never won. So I get my money back, block their access, and move on.
      That means that you have a no-refund policy for your product. Others offer money-back guarantee giving the serial refunder a good chance of winning.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by ventureprofits View Post

        That means that you have a no-refund policy for your product. Others offer money-back guarantee giving the serial refunder a good chance of winning.
        Nah, I have guarantees on all my products. My guarantee states that the product works exactly as described on the sales page and if it does not, they will rightfully get their money back.

        So I ask the refunder to show me how the product is not working as advertised. When they have no answer to that question I know they are a serial refunder and since it's a digital purchase, they will never win that dispute in Paypal.

        But if someone is after a genuine refund because my product does not work, that's more than fair and I will honor those guarantees all day long. But I'm yet to have someone refund for that reason.
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    • Profile picture of the author nik0
      Banned
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Every single serial refunder loses their Paypal dispute with me. They have never won. So I get my money back, block their access, and move on.
      Yeah well, you sell useful stuff instead of those crappy ebooks/guides.
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    • Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Every single serial refunder loses their Paypal dispute with me. They have never won. So I get my money back, block their access, and move on.
      I also win disputes with Paypal on serial refunders, but recently I won a dispute and the person went to file a chargeback even though they lost the dispute. So I'm currently waiting for the outcome of the chargeback.

      Never thought I person would still be able to file a chargeback even though they lost the dispute.
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisWrok
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Every single serial refunder loses their Paypal dispute with me. They have never won. So I get my money back, block their access, and move on.
      So, do you refund them first, and then dispute with paypal?
      how do you know they are a serial refunder to begin with?

      I'm just switching from cpa to selling my own products (affiliating them out)
      and I'm curious if there are any affiliate scams that can seriously affect me as a vendor

      Assuming the affiliate buys the product for themselves, or has a friend do it,
      I don't wanna pay an affiliate instant commission at JVZoo
      only to have them return my product later and keep their commission.

      how does that work?
      any vendor protection?

      anyone?
      thx
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  • Profile picture of the author SeoApprentice
    Those who ask for refund without looking at the product is not sincere in the business. They won't make it success either way as well. I have asked for refund few times but that's because the information doesnt suit me, not because i try to scam it this way.
    So since these peoples does not appreciate people hard work, so i think just ignore them and focus more on bringing sales. Anyway this is the nature of Internet Business.
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