Your product or service could be compelling, your price amazing, and your sales letter "hypnotic" ... but if your satisfaction guarantee looks shady, your prospects are out door.
The wording, structure, and terms of your guarantee can make or break sale, and are a direct reflection on you and your company. What is your money back guarantee saying about YOU?
Let's take a look at three sales-repelling no-no's from consumer's perspective, before we get into legalities:
NO-NO #1: Putting important clauses in parentheses, or burying them in copy.
Watch what terms you put in parentheses. Even innocent clauses referred to in this way can give your prospect a feeling of underlying "shadiness." For instance, you might say:
"If you're not overjoyed with XYZ Hair Care Product, simply return it within 90 days (with all of stay fresh seals in tact, all jars unopened, with original packaging, and in resalable condition), and we'll refund 100% of your money with no hassle!"
No hassle, eh? Could've fooled me. This guarantee sounds like merchant is trying to pull a fast one on consumer. It gives off that "Oh yeah, by way, this isn't really that important, but I just thought I should mention it, I hope you don't mind..." vibe that screams "scam alert!"
Be up-front about terms of your guarantee, and you'll reduce refund and return disputes later on down line.
NO-NO #2: Offering bare minimum guarantee term.
30 days appears to be our industry standard for minimum term of a guarantee, although I've seen a 15 day money-back guarantee before (on a shoddy product).
Offering such a short-term guarantee can make prospects feel that you're afraid they'll realize your product is worthless given sufficient time to try it out. For instance, 15-day guarantee I saw above made ME think that merchant was hoping customers would realize poor quality of product AFTER guarantee term was over, and/or forget to ask for a refund in time.
Also -- especially with information products -- some people may buy immediately, and not USE (or read) product until AFTER covered 30-day period. Why? They may not have time, and are simply trying to purchase before a possible price increase.
I've put off purchasing products with 30-day guarantees quite a few times, as I wouldn't have been able to read them within first month that guarantee covered. Then, I forgot to go back and order product, (or decided I didn't really need it after all), and merchant lost that sale.
The moral? Reward impulse shoppers! Don't have your guarantee, of all things, give them a reason not to buy your product right away. If you're like most Internet merchants, you already have a hard enough time convincing a good percentage of your prospects to buy. ;-)
NO-NO #3: Putting ambiguous clauses in your guarantee.
I ran across a website that assured me that, with their service, my success was "almost guaranteed!"
Hunh?! Seem a little off to you?
I know there's a high "duh" factor in this one, but it must not have been as obvious to this clueless merchant.
We as business owners can get so caught up in trying to protect ourselves in our guarantees that we forget to take a step back and actually LOOK at what we're saying. My advice? This merchant should focus on what they CAN guarantee, and throw those iffy, credibility-killing clauses out window.
BUT IT'S *THE LAW!*
Here is a summary of what U.S. requires when offering guarantees (referred to as "warranties" below) on consumer products. (International readers, please investigate these in your own locality.)
TIP: The info below only applies to you if you're selling CONSUMER products -- not commercial -- and applies to written (not oral) warranties.
Warranties are your promise, as a merchant, to stand behind your product. The law recognizes two types of warranties: implied and express. There are also two types of implied warranties.