Product Development July 13, 2020

Should I go with a trial period or a x day money back gurantee?

Shash @shash7

Hey folks I'm working on and its going pretty well at the moment. Its a note taking app for taking annotations on websites and viewing them later.

Few variables:

  • This app will be a one time purchase.
  • The price will be between 5 - 15 dollars
  • If the trial users won't be able to create new notes but they can still view and import/export their notes

What do guys think? Should I spend some time implementing a trial version or go with a 7 day moneyback gurantee?

Trial vs 7 day money back gurantee
  1. 2

    Money-back guarantee, but don't be so stingy with the period of time. "7 days" says "trial by a different name", which isn't the image you want to project. 30 days (or better 60) portrays the confidence you want to show.

    There is a technique that salespeople use where they try to get you to hold the item in question. Once you're holding it, once you "own" it, you're less willing to put it down again, as owning something increases its value in its owner's eyes. (Known as The Endowment Effect.)

    I actually wrote about this a ways back (scroll down to "Shorten your trial"). The article is aimed at SaaS business owners, but the points it makes are adaptable.

    1. 1

      Yep, saw that. I'll go with the money back for now.

  2. 2

    For what it's worth, we've tried both extensively and money back guarantee works better, by far. I think this is because there is more skin in the game for the customer. I believe this is particularly relevant for a high-touch, top-down style sales process/customer acquisition cycle—and probably a higher price point, for that matter.

    For a low-touch/low ACV product like yours a trial might serve you better because customers will avoid friction at any cost.

    A/B test it!

    1. 2

      Very solid points in here. Just to clarify, a trial would be hypothetically better for a low touch product eh?

      1. 1

        Hypothetically, I would say so!

    2. 1

      good advice

  3. 2

    I voted for money back, but I think you should also go for whatever is easiest to implement.

    Nice idea btw. I'd pay $5-10 for that.

    1. 1

      Thanks! Do you wanna beta test this? Won't take much time to get your onboarded.

      1. 1

        btw - the social preview/image that comes up for this website is for PullTheRope.

        1. 1

          My bad, I'll put up better previews. I just cooked up a landing page really quickly.

      2. 1

        Could do, if it's easy to get it running.

        1. 1

          Super easy - I'll send you a license key on your email and all you need to do is to install the extension from the chrome web store and enter the key in.
          I'll planning to roll out the beta in about 3 days time from now. How about I send you the key on Friday this week?

  4. 1

    Alright, the senate has spoken. Money back it is.

  5. 1

    I would beta test, if you want to send me a private message

  6. 1

    At this price point, I think I'd simply start with a money-back option. If you still go for a trial, I would still keep the money back option on top though. Just a peace of mind thing for the buyer. I wouldn't expect many people to actually go through the trouble, but it's about removing any last reason for someone not to buy it.

  7. 1

    Dear @shash7

    It depends on who your customers are and what countries you are selling to. If you are selling in United Kingdom, I would like to remind you that under Consume Rights Act 2015 all customers are entitled to get a FULL REFUND within 30 days. This does not apply to certain industries such as automotive, certain digital products (for example, when the digital product was used for its intended purposes such as a film) and a few other industries. For your safety, you should offer at least 14 days money-back guarantee. Apple does that and they are pretty successful.

    I hope you will find this helpful.

  8. 1

    Signed up for the launch. This looks like a really interesting product. I wonder how you handle the cases when the site content changes

    1. 1

      Very good point, something I'll need to figure out in the next few days!

  9. 1

    The money back guarantee makes more sense to me, since it's a low cost one-time purchase. I'd imagine it's almost an impulse buy for many people. It would also be less work on your end to set it up.

  10. 1

    I voted for the trial period, but when I think more about it, I would actually go with the 7 days money-back guarantee. This is largely due to the low cost and simplicity of the product, which I think needs a simple solution like a money-back guarantee.

    However, it would be nice if your website acted as a demo, where you can try the product without downloading anything. Try taking a look at

    1. 1

      Interesting, most indie hackers forego trail just because its a pretty big undertaking, otherwise they love to setup a trial version.

      I've see that before. I think it converts well because of the nature of cssscan. Don't think I'll do this because it seems that videos convert better.

      Btw I did the same thing for and it was a pain to implement.