Publisher Advice: 5 Reasons You Should Offer a Money Back Guarantee

I’m sure you are proud of your products. After all, you pour your creative genius into each one. If they are that good, why not offer a money back guarantee? If they are not that good, why sell them?

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)
By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


At Raging Swan Press, we offer a money back guarantee on all our PDF products. You might think I’m mad, but I’m not. I promise.

I thought long and hard before offering a money back guarantee. The idea seemed fraught with peril:

  • Would customers claim fraudulently? (You can’t return a PDF in the same way as a physical product so people could get their money back and keep the PDF!)
  • How much would it cost?
  • Is this a really stupid idea? Money back guarantees are rampant in practically every other industry on the planet but are strangely absent from the roleplaying games. Was I missing something?

Eventually, I decided to ignore my worries and just go for it. There were a lot of potential downsides, but it just seemed the right thing to do. I figured that as a customer I love the security of a money back guarantee and so Raging Swan Press’s customers might feel the same way

All this is my way of saying you should offer a money back guarantee on your products. Accept you’ll likely have to refund some customers their money and move on. After all, no matter how great your products are, they won’t be for everyone. Don’t believe me? check out the reviews of your favourite book on Amazon – I bet its got some one-star reviews!

Five Great Reasons

In my mind, there are five great reasons you should offer a money back guarantee:

  1. It removes one gigantic barrier to purchase from a customer’s mind. It makes buying your product a risk free proposition for them. This is a (very) good thing. After all, if they don’t like it they can get their money back.
  2. It helps build customer trust – perhaps the most important thing a company or brand can possess. Without your customers’ trust, your company is doomed.
  3. It acts as a powerful motivator to create great products. If you release a product that’s not worthy of a money back guarantee you’ll not only risk bad reviews (obviously) but also run the risk of processing lots of refunds. You could lose a ton of cash on a bad product. That’s a powerful motivator to make your products the absolute best they can be.
  4. It’s a powerful statement about the quality of your products. It says you are so confident customers will love your product, you’ll give them their money back if they don’t.
  5. It differentiates you from your competitors (particularly in the roleplaying game industry).

I remember when I first offered Raging Swan Press’s money back guarantee, several people told me I was mad. However, after two years I can tell you I’ve not regretted the decision for a single minute.

Help Fellow Publishers

Have you been thinking about offering a money back guarantee? What’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments below and help your fellow publishers today!

Published by


Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.