Advice On Refunds Please

20 replies
Hi,

I am launching a digital course on how to make money in a specific industry (Not IM). Im confident in the course as it is an area I am an expert in and use these techniques and have done for years.

However, I am a little concerned about refund policy on a digital product. Especially one that gives away proprietary info. such as this.

People can surely just get access to my information, copy it/take what they need from it then return it.

I can totally understand why a physical product with damage etc can be returned.
But if i provide a service and deliver on that why should people return it especially if having free info out there can damage my business.

is it possible to get away with a no refund policy on my premium content (i give lots of free info away too so they will have a good idea about what they are getting from me before they purchase anyway).

It just kinda seems like someone is buying a ticket to the lottery then getting a refund on every ticket that doesn't win.

This is my first e-product, maybe im blowing it out of proportion what percentage typically ask for refunds.

There are examples of highly successful businesses that offer refunds and highly successful businesses that dont (try returning an album on itunes!)

Feeling about confused on what policy to have,

Thanks for your time
#advice #refunds
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    A lot depends on the venue you use to sell it. Clickbank, for example, requires you offer refunds as do many other affiliate platforms.
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  • Profile picture of the author zeurois
    I guess you have to be very clear about it on your sales page.

    I have friends who use "no-refund policy" and get away with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author MNord
      A lot depends on how well customers know you prior to buying (have they been reading your blog, following you on social media, getting your newsletter, etc?). Or are they cold prospects that haven't heard of you that landed on your squeeze page?

      The better they know you, the less you probably have to worry about refunds. If they dont know you, offering a refund may get you more sales but refund rates will go up too. Nobody can predict the extent--you may have to just test it.

      Also, price point can be a factor. If you're selling relatively low-priced, you may not need a refund policy. If it's high-ticket, you might benefit from a refund policy.

      One thing you might try is to break the program into lessons. You can tell people that they'll get a lesson every three days or something, and if they're not satisfied after the second lesson they can get a refund. That way the scammers can't get your whole product for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

    maybe im blowing it out of proportion what percentage typically ask for refunds

    Yes, you are.

    Provide outstanding quality and make sure every promise in your offer is fulfilled without question. Your refund rate will be very low.

    Not offering a refund is a very poor choice, IMO. It sends the wrong message to people sitting on the fence about purchasing.

    "But if i provide a service and deliver on that why should people return it" - How are buyers going to return a service?

    "I am a little concerned about refund policy on a digital product. Especially one that gives away proprietary info. such as this." - Let me ask you, what does giving a refund have to do with proprietary information? Once you release the information people can copy it and distribute it themselves in any number of ways. But that has nothing to do with you giving a refund.

    Offer an iron-clad refund and make the buying easy. Realize that the serial refund jerks out there are going to do their thing regardless of what you do. Make your product so over-the-top fantastic that a normal person would never ask for his money back. Don't lose sleep over the rest.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author dannygnenerate
    Hi,

    That really is a great question. As touched on above, I've highly recommend that you have visitors engage in your content before they even buy anything. I'd never send someone directly to my sales page and this reason is because you want them to take action and get warmed up which will alleviate some objection by getting to know your content which they will naturally see as a reflection of the content creator.

    So make content that your product is a natural progression of. This way you can still give really good value and sale your product in the midst.

    To me this is a funnel in itself.

    Interest - Engage In Content - Sales Page
    or
    Interest - Engage In (short) Content On Website - Content on Website links to the natural progression of what was on the website - Sales page is a natural progression of what was in the e-book.

    The more engaged and engulfed your reader is in your content, the more likely they are to buy. People online don't really have a human to human conversation but that's as close as we can get. ENGAGEMENT.

    Don't worry about refunds they are an inevitable part of business. Only the value in which you deliver is able to be controlled.

    I hope this has helped.

    Thank you,

    Warm Regards,

    Daniel Brown
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    • Profile picture of the author cborgrx
      I recently bought a WSO that had a no refund policy clearly stated in the original write up. The author made it perfectly clear that everything you needed to know was in the FAQ section and further invited anyone to pm her with other questions therefore leaving no stones unturned and thus, a no-refund policy. I was fine with it and took the plunge.
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  • Profile picture of the author deekay
    Based from my experience and from the stories I've heard from my business partners, clients and friends, there will ALWAYS be serial refunders. You know, the content of the e-book was so great, but just because they didn't like the font type used, they requested a refund - people like that.

    My suggestion is that you still offer a refund policy. As long as you offer quality products and services, the number of people who are loyal to your service will always OUTNUMBER the serial refunders. Instead of stressing yourself out on how to screen those serial refunders, just mention your refund policy (not in fine prints).
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  • Profile picture of the author Vik Pandey
    Hi Tommy, Your are doing your best to provide best content for your customers. But there will be few who wants refunds for whatever reason.

    Give 30 days money back. This will help you for the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
    I was invited to a group of people who were working together, once. It turns out they were a bunch of serial refunders who shared anything they got with each other. It turns out all they ever did was hoard anything and everything and to criticize it.

    Chances are slim that anyone getting a refund will make money on your product. And for the micro-minority who do? Well, things have a way of coming back around. I have seen a few instances where the "thief" who actually did something with the product, came back and paid after seeing it work for them.

    Dad used to say, "The only way to keep someone from stealing your car is not to buy it in the first place."
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  • Profile picture of the author AdamPayne
    Sadly there are always folk who ask for refunds. Sometimes 10 mins after purchase and you know that they have not bothered to go through it.

    These folk would not use the same excuses in the real world. Imagine walking into a shop and saying, I bought this but I don't really want it anymore!

    If it is a piece of software that does not work, or the product is not delivered, then fair play. But people should at least make an effort to apply what they bought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
    Hi Tommy,

    Your apprehension about refunds is not uncommon among first time sellers...

    Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

    Hi,

    I am launching a digital course on how to make money in a specific industry (Not IM). Im confident in the course as it is an area I am an expert in and use these techniques and have done for years.

    However, I am a little concerned about refund policy on a digital product. Especially one that gives away proprietary info. such as this.
    As most of the others have advised - it really isn't something you should worry about too much. I'm not even sure that serial refunders are such a big problem in other industries.

    Nevertheless, it occurs to me that since you are offering a "course" you might want to consider :
    1. creating the product on physical media (i.e. cd/dvd), or
    2. delivering the course in installments (i.e. weekly), with a subscription payment model.

    Either of these delivery methods will significantly reduce refunds, as you can require the return of physical merchandise as a condition of a refund, or discontinue delivery of future course content if a subscriber cancels their subscription.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommyg123
    Thank you everyone for the responses so far they have been useful. I still need to give the matter some thought I guess.

    I do provide a lot of free content and have a very open email policy. I actually invite people to get in touch so I can help them along the way. So I like to think I have engaged with the people that need some human content before purchasing.

    I still feel a little uneasy about giving away hard earned information that can be assimilated and given back. But I totally get why people need that comfort.

    I was thinking how I could turn it into a positive though. Make the information even more valued. Say something like 'because this information is so valuable it would ruin the community we are building if people were to take the information and abuse a refund policy. For this reason we cannot offer refunds on the premium content' or 'you have a 2 day money back guarantee which gives you enough time to have a look around the members area and decide if it is for you'
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  • Profile picture of the author Robinsh123
    If you will not add a refund policy then people would feel unsafe during placing the order but they will pay smoothly if you will offer one.

    Your product or service quality would force to change the ratio of refund, so create a full proof system and then only go for the final launch.

    Hope your customers would not ask for the refunds.
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  • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
    I offer a refund period on all my products but I do keep track of those that request a refund.

    If someone has requested a refund twice in a row for my stuff, I block them from ever buying again.

    Refunding is part of the process especially in this industry. You just have to accept it.

    Di
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  • Profile picture of the author TheFranchiseMarketer
    Banned
    This is an awesome question. You know? There was one time I purchased a list of like 2million emails for about 200 to 300 in total. And what happened was that after I puchased the list I told the owner that I had no use for the list an he told me that there was a "no refund policy" which I did not care to read. But then I thought about it afterwards and said "that actually makes sense".

    The reason why there was a no refund policy became obvious, a buyer can just lie and say the the list is useless but in all reality they just copied and pasted the list or just kept the list as is in order to attemp to generate big profits in the future. Although I was honest about it not everybody is honest and they will try to take advantage of people. In my opinion with a product like yours you should have a no refund policy but try your best to make the policy come across as reasonable. Which in fact it would be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Even a no refund policy won't stop those that go directly to their CC company and do a chargeback.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommyg123
    Great advice guys thanks.
    I'm still a little undecided. I think I will start off with a no refund policy and try and explain this is because the product is of highly proprietary information and will damage the community to have people reading it for free.

    But I have 2 other options

    Give a limited 'ok you get 2 days to look at the material and decide if it's for you'

    Or full blown take what you want and I trust you to be an honest person about it. (Although I'm a pretty skeptical person so that doesn't sit very easy with me)
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  • Profile picture of the author Beats4Legends
    PayPal will not allow you to win a dispute for any digital product. However if you sell it as a service, which isn't hard to dress it up that way since it's educational, then PayPal will not offer refunds.

    This is why you can lose a dispute in PayPal if you go up against somebody who you paid to perform a service.

    I have a few websites where I sell info products such as the one you are selling, and I can tell you sir that in those situations you can usually win them over without refunding. How I do this is I say we do not offer cash refunds since it's a digital product, but we are willing to give you another course from our website for free in exchange for any issues you had with our last course.

    This works for me definitely 9/10 times. You can make somebody happy by increasing the value of what they bought, that's easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommyg123
    Beats4legends.

    Thank you that's a very useful tip.
    Are there any loopholes/forms to fill in to prove to PayPal you are an educational service. Or is it just taken on a common sense approach?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucas Tyson
    You can try having them try it for a week, and if they don't like it after that they can get a full refund. A trial period, so you can know they actually tried it without just returning it immediately.
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