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My Annoyance with Guarantees

In a previous post about using your money wisely, I touched on this subject.  For those of you who know me – or know of me – you know how passionate I am.  I like to think of it as one of my better qualities.   So, when I get on the band wagon about something, I really shoot off down the path.    This is one bandwagon I felt I needed to revisit to really make this point hit home.  

What is a Guarantee?

According to, a guarantee is “something that assures a particular outcome or condition“.  Now, I’ve been looking at a lot of web sites and there seem to be two things that I’m finding:

  1. There is the implication that if you do x, y, or z, you will have a similar outcome as the person making the offer.
  2. There is an offered guarantee that allows you to ask for your money back.

What do you think of when you see these phrases?

  • I promise you..
  • I can assure you…
  • I am confident…

If you were talking with a friend, and he/she said, “I promise you that I will do [whatever]”, you 100% expect that person to fulfill his/her promise, correct?  If someone assures you that something will/will not happen, etc., don’t you truly believe what they say is/is not going to happen because you trust them, etc.? When you have confidence in another person, aren’t you are putting your faith in him/her that the result will be in your best interest?

Prior to the web, people valued each other…whether it be a friend, customer, etc.  Maybe they did this since (a) it was the right thing to do because of their morals/values; and/or (b) they didn’t want to fail someone and have face this person about this failure. 

In the real world (e.g., stores, TV, etc.), we are not as trusting about what we see/hear.  For example, let’s look at infomercials. They generally make huge promises (firmer skin, fancy cars, kitchen gadgets to save time, etc.); however, you don’t just run off and buy everything you see, right?  That’s because you are skeptical about the validity of the item (“It has to be too good to be true!”) and/or the return policy.   If you wouldn’t spend your money on an infomercial product, then why would you spend it for something online? Aren’t they the same thing?

The Implied Outcome

When there is no face-to-face exchange about what is going to happen and the outcome, the seller has nothing to lose if you don’t succeed.  [Note: This does not apply to business that have store fronts – e.g., bookstore, restaurant, etc.  This applies only to those who are SELLING ONE-OFF PRODUCTS VIA THE WEB such as eBooks, a teleseminar programs, etc.]  The seller’s goal is to make money and, once you’ve made the purchase, you’re on your own.

This is the #1 reason I do not sell affiliate products – or rarely sell them.  I feel if you buy something I recommend, I would be horrified if you weren’t happy.   This is why I don’t have an affiliate product: I want to be the person who stands behind the product and makes the guarantee.

The Guaranteed Outcome

When a web site says you will get your money back without any questions, this is a HUGE RED FLAG.  Even doesn’t do this.  If you want to return an item, you have to provide a reason – and that reason determines if you get your shipping cost back or not.  

In the online world, it doesn’t work this way.  In most cases, you send an email about the fact you’re unhappy, and the money appears (hopefully) back into your account.  Does the seller care?  Probably not.  Does the seller go broke doing this?  Probably not.  The only person who gets screwed in this situation is you!  You’ve spent your money, taken your time, and made a good faith attempt to find the pot of the gold at the end of your rainbow.  When you don’t find it, you want more than just a “here’s your money back.”  You want to know what happened?  Did you do it wrong? Is there something you should have done differently?  Can you get more help?   Yet, without the face-to-face interaction, there is no one for you to hold accountable or can take responsibility for what happened.

You Get What You Pay For

If someone is claiming they made large amounts of money doing something, yet are selling you something (commonly, an eBook) for $17, $27, or $47, how much value (and confidence) does that give you in what they’re selling?  Most worthwhile opportunities (even Avon, for example), ask you to make an investment upfront.  This might be cash ($100+ is common) or a combination of cash and product.  etc.  

Look at these two scenarios:

  1. You buy a $17 ebook.  How much after-purchase attention do you think you’ll get from the seller?
  2. You buy a $199 package that includes this  same ebook, some free resources, a purchaser-only online forum, and a free call to participate in /listen to.   How much after-purchase attention are you getting from this seller? 

Obviously, #2 is going to give you far more value for your money.  Plus, it makes the seller an invested stakeholder in your success.   That’s pretty darn close to a guarantee in my opinion.

If the Web Didn’t Exist

In a nutshell (or maybe a coconut), if you saw a certain product in the “real world,” would you buy it?  Is it something that you really need and will absolutely change your life for the better?  Are you 100% certain you will see the rewards from this purchase fairly quickly and without a bunch of other factors?   If you really don’t know the answers, then listen to the little voice in your head and, if it just doesn’t look/sound right, don’t get it.

How can I help you be successful today?

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