9 Out-of-the-Box Refund Policies (and Why They Work So Well)

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship Startup Advice / January 27, 2015

What is one creative feature you include in your refund policy and why does it work?

The following answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. No-Questions Refund Policy

We have a zero-questions refund policy. You can use our software for a year and cancel (we really hope you don’t). But if you do, we always refund your money. That being said, we like to know why, but it doesn’t mean it will impact our decision. We ask why AFTER we’ve refunded you your money so you will give us a real answer! This helps get honest feedback that some hold back to get a refund. – John Rampton, Calendar

2. Regift Unwanted Watches

We have refund requests on fewer than 0.5 percent of our orders. When someone asks for a refund, it’s normally because they chose the wrong size or because they found a pattern they like more. Instead of asking them to ship us the product, we recommend they regift to a family member or friend. They look like a hero. And of course, there are then more watches out there for folks to see! – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

3. Don’t Charge Unless the Customer Wants It

Our refund policy at Scripted is simple: if you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it. We’re not a subscription service, so most of our customers are pay-as-you-go, retail-style customers. Rather than guaranteeing a result and giving money back if the customer requests it, we simply charge if and only if the customer doesn’t reject it. It is a very customer-friendly policy. – Ryan BuckleyScripted, Inc.

4. Easy Return Process

I like to set up an approach to returns that has a forgiving policy combined with a simple straightforward way to facilitate returns. Insteadof just shipping the product itself, ship a return envelope and stamp along with it and include printed instructions on how to return the product. If the person wants what they bought, they won’t return it, but they’ll like knowing that it’s easy to do so. – Brian HonigmanBrianHonigman.com

5. 90-Day Guarantee

In the web business it’s vitally important that clients feel they are part of a partnership that works on all different sides. Unleashed Technologies uniquely offers a 90-day guarantee where clients can cancel their contract for any reason if they feel the relationship isn’t exactly as they expect it to be. This provides security to both companies and sets the relationship off on the right foot. – Michael Spinosa, Unleashed Technologies

6. Paid Return Shipping

One thing that many vendors don’t cover is return shipping on the cost of the item. And if the cost of the item is small, this can prevent a handful of sales. Through our own internal conversion tests we found that saying that we cover the cost of return shipping on our refund policy has boosted conversions by six percent. – Cody McLain, WireFuseMedia LLC

7. 110-Percent Refund

While refunding someone more than 100 percent seems like a poor investment, think of it as a marketing tool. You are so confident in your product that you will be willing to take a complete loss on the item! One caveat: Only do this for smaller-scale items such as clothing or a book — not a great idea for a Tesla. – Adam Stillman, SparkReel

8. 365-Day Guarantee

We are the only printing company offering a 365-day guarantee, as opposed to the usual seven or 14 days. Our clients have full confidence that we will supply them with the best printed products. If they discover any issues, we’ll take care of them throughout the entire year. – Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders, Inc

9. Try It First, Love It Forever

Within 90 days, if you don’t fall in love with the first mattress you purchase, we’ll happily exchange it for one that’ll best suit your needs — and hopefully exceed expectations. It’s a risk-free proposition with a guarantee that you’ll find something that will surprise and delight you. A new mattress is a huge commitment, so for big-ticket items like ours, we remove a lot of buyer friction. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

About The Author

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.

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