Sign Up to Save

3 (Kind of Crazy) Things You Didn’t Know About Money Back Guarantees

Brand promises offering a refund on a product or service that doesn’t live up to expectations have become commonplace. But whose crazy idea was it to give customers their money back after they’d convinced them to but their product? And how do these guarantees actually work?

Let’s find out.

What is a Money Back Guarantee?

First things first. What exactly is a money back guarantee?

Essentially, it’s a simple guarantee that if a buyer is not satisfied with a product or service, they will be granted a refund.

A money back guarantee shows that a company stands behind its products. It’s a show of pride and an acknowledgement that customers are taking a leap of faith in them when they buy from their company.

When they offer a money back guarantee, companies hope to gain trust from consumers. By choosing a product or service backed by such a guarantee, consumers reduce their risk that a product won’t fit or work.

It sounds pretty simple, right? Honestly, they are. But their history is actually a lot more interesting than you’d guess.

#1 Their Origin Is Disputed

The origin of the money back guarantee is historically dubious. Some claim that an 18th century entrepreneur named Josiah Wedgwood thought of the idea, and others cite J.R. Watkins as the inventor.

Wedgwood is an interesting character whether or not he invented the satisfaction guarantee. He was a prominent abolitionist, not to mention Charles Darwin’s grandfather! The thirteenth child of an impoverished potter, he overcame amputation to build an earthenware empire. He devised the guarantee as a way to send his pottery products across Europe unsolicited. He’s now credited as the inventor of modern marketing, cited as inventing not only money back guarantees but also direct mail, self-service, free delivery, buy-one-get-one-free deals and illustrated catalogues.

A century later, a man named J.R. Watkins found a way to sell his natural remedies to people who had never heard of him or his product. He bottled them, marking each one with a “trial mark,” then went door-to-door in a horse and buggy. His pitch went like this: if you used the product down to, but not below, the mark on the bottle, Watkins would refund you the full purchase price on his next visit. This strategy worked so well (and presumably, his products did too) that his company is still in business today.

Which J.W. you credit as the inventor of the money back guarantee may come down to how strictly you define the idea, but either way, the concept has gone on to take many - and wild - iterations.

#2 Companies Guarantee the Darndest Things

You name it, and it’s been guaranteed. Companies have promised customers their money back on everything from food to beauty products.

In 2000, the Anaheim Angels were so confident in their team that they offered a money back guarantee on season tickets. Massive car manufacturers GM and Chrysler offered guarantees for their 2010 models.

Amazingly, even a higher learning institution offered a money back guarantee on tuition! Lansing Community College, the third largest community college in Michigan, offered a refund for students who attended every class but did not get a job within one year of graduating.

#3 They Also Lose a LOT of Money Doing This

With the decision to offer a money back guarantee comes the knowledge that some people will take advantage of it. The Retail Equation estimates the cost of fraudulent returns in retail to be as high as $18 billion a year in the U.S.

According to a Wharton study, customer returns cost retailers $369 billion in 2018. And in most cases, customers encountered no problems or defects.

Dealing with returns also puts a heavy burden on customer service teams who manage both complaints and logistics of returns. Operations teams have to handle merchandise that can no longer be sold as new and estimate space for returns in warehouses. These guarantees also make accounting and finances more challenging for companies.

The ALL33 Money Back Guarantee

In spite of the business costs, at ALL33, we’re proud to offer a 60 day Money Back Guarantee.

We know buying a work chair at this price is a big investment, and it’s an especially hard one to make sight-unseen. We also know that our chairs will change your life.

So for us, it’s a win-win.

We stand behind our products, so if you’re not completely satisfied, you can return any item within 60 days of purchase for a refund. You just have to cover return shipping.

We ask only one thing. Because our Sit-In-Motion was designed and built to actively engage your core and keep your muscles moving while you sit, it is completely normal to experience some soreness when first using the BackStrong. That’s why we ask that you keep and use your chair for at least 10 days before considering a return in order to allow your body to adjust to proper posture.

You can check out our full return policy here.