You see guarantees everywhere.
“30 Day, No Questions Asked Guarantee.”
“60 Day, Bullet Proof Guarantee.”
“If you don’t like it, send it back and we will give you a bonus! (WTF)
Geez…how can you trust all of these guarantees. Everyone seems to be offering them, in particular within the “opportunity” market online. If there is a guarantee, there is no risk right?
That is where most people are fooled into buying something. Yes, there are many companies that are actually hiding behind their guarantee.
Guarantees to Watch Out For!
(1) Info-products that are shipped to you. Be care about products that are shipped to you in the mail. There are many info courses (with a high ticket price) that take advantage of the time it takes for a product to ship and will also take advantage of the fact that the product must come back in the same shape that it was sent to you. This means that you are responsible for “packaging” it back together if you want the guarantee…which usually doesn’t happen.
(2) Companies with poor reviews. This may seem obvious, but people tend to avoid negative reviews. Regardless if a product offers a guarantee or not, if you look around the Internet and you see a bunch of negative reviews, then you may want to consider avoid the product altogether. Avoid the junk in the first place and you won’t have to worry about guarantees.
(3) High Ticket Prices. Anything that costs over $500 and offers a guarantee, look out. They are going to make your life a living hell to get your a refund and here is why. Every “make money” product that you buy online likely has an affiliate behind it. If you buy a information product or course that is say, $997, the affiliate is likely getting $500 commission (and the merchant the rest).
If you ask for a refund the merchant might be out the $500 if they have already paid that out, so guess what they are going to do, make getting your refund an annoying process! Be careful when you buy products online that cost over $500 (when they are digital are “mail order” information).
(4) Clickbank Products. Known for high refund rates (some as high as 60% that I have seen), Clickbank is a network that seems to support a lot of scam based products. I typically recommend that people stay away from Clickbank products altogether to be safe because of this. Don’t say I didn’t warn you first if you are going to step foot into buying a “make money” product on Clickbank!
(5) A sales page that emphasizes a guarantee. If a product continually boasts the “money back guarantee” it is usually offering your foresight into your own future (ie. you are going to want your money back). If a company is trying to sell you on the fact that there is a guarantee and not showing you what the product is and what it will do for you, run away and don’t look back.
The Ultimate Guarantee…Letting YOU Try Before You Buy
That is right, if a company will let you try their product out for free it adds a whole new level of credibility. There are very few companies in the “make money” industry that do this simply because if you tried their product, you would never end up buying (because frankly they under-deliver)
There is a reason the most successful company in the world, Apple, showcases their products and lets you try them out and even offers you training on how to use the products for free..without having to spend the time.
Training from experts, full working examples of their products. That has lead Apple to being one of the most highly regarded companies in the world and some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the world (according to almost EVERY SOURCE).
There is only one company that I am aware of that does this online, and it is Wealthy Affiliate. If you want to take advantage of the top training in the “Internet Business” world including support for FREE (before you have to buy a thing), then I suggest you consider the community at Wealthy Affiliate. You can read my full review here.
Also, I would love to hear your feedback on your thoughts regarding “guarantees”. Have you been scammed a result of a guarantee, have you had good or bad experiences with them. I would love to hear them.
Thanks for your comment on Clickbank. Is there another company that you would recommend similar to Clickbank?
It really depends on your niche, your website, and what type of products/services you want to promote. There are plenty of affiliate programs out there across every niche and a lot of really awesome affiliate networks and independent affiliate platforms.
What sort of products are you looking to promote?
This is an insightful article. I recently had an experience with Booking.com that made me very wary of refund and cancellation policies.
I booked accommodation for my trip, and went for the higher priced option of no cancellation fee because I wasn’t certain of my plans. I felt totally secure in the knowledge that if I needed to change, I was covered.
As it turns out, I did have to cancel my accommodation and, only after I ht the confirm cancel button, was I made aware that the free cancellation only meant that there was no fee to cancel. The price of the accommodation, however, was non refundable according to the third party’s terms and conditions.
So, I was charged for the accommodation, but not charged a fee to do so. Needless to say, I felt very much scammed and have nothing to fight because the wording was cleverly done.
So many companies get you in the fine print. Many companies claim that they will offer you a guarantee but when you go to claim it, they either hide or they will point you in the direction of some fine print. Worse yet, some companies even charge for the cancellation and guarantee policies!
I hope you were able to get somewhere after your experience and I am sure this has made you very wary of making other purchases with similar such programs. I always try to tell folks that because a company offers a guarantee or a cancellation policy, doesn’t mean they will actually act upon it or stay good to it. Often times it is quite the opposite, the companies that offer these guarantees can be the shadiest of them all.
Great article Kyle. So many times people are taking advantage of through the internet, and by companies that don’t have anything of real value to offer. Then when you realize and ask for a refund you get nothing but the run-around. My take on the run-around is they’re hoping you will get fed up with the hassle and just give up. You have given me some really insightful ways of looking at the “Money Back Guarantee” theme offered by just about everyone out there these days. Thanks!
That is exactly what I mean. Many of the most unethical companies out there are offering the most ambitious refund policies because they actually have no intentions of ever giving you a refund if you request it. They will give you the run around as you said.
It kind of reminds me when an airline loses your bag or they wreck your bag. They make it so difficult to get a refund and to get payment for their damages, that it will tire the typical customer out. Don’t fall in trap of falling for a money back guarantee, it is meaningless these days in particular within the Internet marketing world. Go for a quality service that legitimately tells you what you get before you join (versus layers of deception and hype).
Is there any way to get your money back on a Clickbank purchase?
Yes, you can contact Clickbank if you want a refund for something that you have purchased there. They are very good about getting people a refund when they need it.
The line we need to pick out and hang in the wind is …
“The Ultimate Guarantee…Letting YOU Try Before You Buy”
Exactly, it only makes sense. If a company trusts their products enough they are going to let you try it before you outlay the money that you have worked your butt of to earn. There are few companies in the Internet marketing world that do this simply because their products lack substance and nobody would ever end up buying them if they got a free “try” first.
I have to agree with this post 100%, if a company is trying to sell you its money back guarantee then I must assume the guarantee is better than the product itself. I laughed out loud when I saw the (WTF). It made me think of those informercials you see where they say if you are not 100% satisfied you can get your money back with a free gift! Well why not just give me the gift for buying the product gosh!
I have had some good and bad experiences with money back guarantees. Sometimes there is no hassle at all in getting a return completed, other times wow, the fine print some of those people shove onto their stuff is just really amazing. I looked into buying something (it was a make money online thing, no names will be mentioned) and it said they would return your money if you did not make so much money within a specific time frame. The problem was that you had to PROVE that you followed everything they told you to do a T or they would say that you didn’t really use the system. How the hell do you prove something like that? I saw lots of complaints where people couldn’t get money back because they didn’t do something particular on day 13 etc. I ran as fast as I could from that.
I am very happy at WA, I ran across it a while ago but you had to pay to partake and well I just didn’t want to risk losing my money. The fact that you can participate in the community free with no credit card info or anything like that really sealed the deal for me to give it a go. Best decision ever.
Yeah, no kidding. Instead of giving me a bonus if I hate your product and a refund, give me a bonus for buying your product in the first place!
As for offering you a refund if you don’t make money and you can prove it, that is a difficult scenario. There is no way any product can assure success because ultimately the “person” is responsible for their own success, the only thing a product/service can stand on is their quality and overdelivering. If that is the case, why not offer it for free for people to check out, use, and gain benefit from. That is why we took this approach at Wealthy Affiliate because we know there is not a product in the industry that comes close to even our “free” offering at WA.
The “try before your buy” should be the mentality that folks start making a rule when they buy products online…otherwise you are taking an absolute chance (and a bad one) by guessing as to what is behind the blacked out door.
Haha, I sort of scanned through your content. I pretty much understand the gest of everything here. I totally agree about Clickbank because it’s seriously insane at how many products are in there designed to fool people. Amazon is the primary place I advertise from unless it’s Wealthy Affiliate or a specific company related to just my niche, like GameDev dot net.
About the only products I’d be interested in advertising from Clickbank are from people I’ve actually heard good reviews from, learned from myself some, etc. 2 of these people include Ryan Moran with his flipping guide (that has a review by Steve on it I believe), and Jennifer’s guides she advertises on there. I know one of her most recent ones, her One Week Marketing community, is a great thing to advertise for. I have no doubt she’s advertising for Wealthy Affiliate within that community as well or at least thought about it.
FREE is definitely the marketing tactic I use anymore especially for the I.M. niche, because it’s seriously not easy to do so otherwise, (usually) unless you’re part of a very determined staff trained to fool people into taking other people’s $, and getting them to spend all there time doing the same. I will admit that there are some good products out there, but with all the associated scams that use this same tactic, FREE is ideally the best way to go.
Anyway, talk to you later Kyle. Another awesome review.
Clickbank has made some improvements by giving a “quality” ranking to their products now, but I believe that this was not to fix the problem, it was to earn more revenue. They shouldn’t be allowing half of their products to even get onto their network in the first place. There is so much absolutely garbage being funnelled through Clickbank that I can safely say that you are better of by avoiding products being promoted on that network altogether.
The number of scams out there does dilute the credible products (like Wealthy Affiliate) and it is a constant effort for legitimate companies to prove that they are real. If consumer knowledge does improve as to what is a scam, what isn’t and what to look out for when it comes to guarantees and how they are offered, then it will definitely lead to some clean up within the niche.