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Many Internet marketers I know hate refund requests.

“My product is great,” they think. “Anybody who would return it must be a boob.”

Not necessarily. In fact, there are 6 perfectly legitimate reasons why some of your customers will return your product for a refund:

1) They change their minds.

I had one customer return my Internet Marketing Retirement Plan CDs. Reason? After listening to them, he decided the business was not for him.

2) They’ve heard it before.

The customer has already bought 9 programs on this topic and yours is the 10th. If there’s nothing new in yours, he may return it for refund.

3) They didn’t understand what they were buying.

I had one customer scream at me, “These discs won’t play in my car’s CD player.”

“That’s because, as it clearly says on my web site, they are DVDs, not audio CDs,” I replied.

This was clearly stated on the landing page. But not everybody reads every word of your copy. So he could easily have missed it.

I also have e-book buyers complain that they have not received a hardcover or paperback book when it clearly says “e-book” in my sales copy.

4) They don’t like your media.

Every week people complain to me that they don’t like audio CDs, DVDs, and e-books, and why don’t I produce my program in a format they do like.

One solution for audio and DVD products: transcribe them and sell a PDF of the transcription (or give it away as a free bonus with purchase of the CDs or DVDs).

5) They think the material is out of date.

On the Internet, any information product with a copyright date older than a couple of years is seen by some buyers as automatically out of date. Ridiculous, but that’s how they feel.

6) They think your product is of inferior quality.

One customer requesting refund told me, “Your product is worth the $29 you charge for it, but not more than that.”

People don’t want their money’s worth. They want more than their money’s worth.

So how do you cut down on your refund rates and product returns?

Here are a few suggestions:

>> Update your information products at least every year or two, preferably more often. That way, they reflect your latest thinking and knowledge as well as industry developments.

>> For these revised editions, update the copyright date to reflect the latest edition.

>> Offer your information in multiple formats—print, audio, video.

>> Make it clear on the landing page whether a particular product is an e-book, audio CD album, DVD set, subscription website, whatever.

>> Organize your material by chapter, module, disk, track, whatever. The better organized your information, the more valuable to the customer.

>> Give a longer guarantee (e.g., 90 days) rather than a shorter guarantee. The longer the customer has the product, the less likely he is to return it.

>> In the beginning or introduction to the product, give your bio and credentials as an expert in the field.

>> Collect testimonials about the product from satisfied customers and post them on your landing page.

>> Sales copy should accurately describe the product. If the product doesn’t live up to its hype, you’ll get more refund requests.

>> Charge a fair price. If the customer perceives that the price is higher than the value received, she will ask for a refund.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

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