A sad business reality is that one in three businesses fails within the first 2 years, and often it is evident long before the business fails. A good name can help boost a business and eliminate some growth issues, so we expect our customers to do far better than the average, however, entrepreneurial efforts always have risk, and when a business fails it can be very painful and the losses can make recovery very challenging.
Guaranteeing a product will work as intended is a rather bold thing to do, particulary when so many things can go wrong that are not our responsibility. The costs of this guarantee can also be very expensive in cases where the domain is purchased in a business year, taxes and other internal expenses associated to the domain transaction are paid, and then a guarantee is claimed. As such, there is a very real expense to EmpireURL associated with offering this guarantee, and therefore it is important for this guarantee to be applied reasonably.
Our mission at EmpireURL revolves around helping entrepreneurs succeed in their new business ventures. And consistent with that spirit, many marketing professional hours go into the aspects that make EmpireURL unique, like filtering out the thousands of domains we reject to identify each of the domains we find to have the greatest marketing potential, researching the value each domain can offer, developing good marketing artwork, and presenting the complete marketing power in an editorial type of article with the marketing support as package to those entrepreneurs. We are confident that our domains will do well, and we want to stand behind them. And it is not just pride in our product. We also feel a very high level of respect and a kinship towards entrepreneurs. Particularly those taking the step to launch their business with our domains and support. They are the reason for this Guarantee.
This guarantee is regarding performance. If we were providing race cars, this guarantee would relate to race results. We deviler a race car with the power to develop speed, and the aerodynamics and downforce that give the race car handling characteristics at racing speeds that translate into fast track lap times, so we expect a decent driver can win, or at least give a good showing on the track. To qualify returning the car for a refund under the guarantee, the buyer would have to actually use the car in a race, on a racetrack, with a disappointing finish, and feel the car did not meet the performance expectations. A stroll around the neighborhood is nowhere near enough to assess the performance of the race car in order to claim lack of performance. And that is the spirit of this Guarantee.
Purchase any of our domains, and give it a legitimate effort with responsible use for six months. If you are not 100% satisfied with the performance of the domain, return it, and we will give you a FULL refund of the money received for the domain, down to the last penny.
The Guarantee explained
This Performance Guarantee is limited ONLY to LEGITIMATE EFFORT on domains with RESPONSIBLE USE, refunding MONEY RECEIVED, per the definitions of these terms below. Qualified refunds will be granted in accordance with the REFUND PROCESS outlined below. Failure to meet the minimum requirements voids this Performance Guarantee. Failure to follow the process and provide required substantiating information will also void this Performance Guarantee.
What this Performance Guarantee does NOT mean:
- It is NOT a refund for deciding to not pursue the business without launching it properly. That would be like deciding not to take the race car to a track, and then attempting to claim a refund because the car did not perform on the race track.
- It is NOT a refund due to reduced equity if the investment value of domains lowers. That is actually an investment scam. Imagine buying real estate or a painting and keeping the proceeds if the value increases, or returning it, for the previous owner to absorb the losses if the value decreases. That is not the spirit of this guarantee. It would be like buying a race car speculating its asset value will increase and when it did not work out, wanting to get a refund claiming the car does not perform on a track.
- It is NOT a refund because due diligence was not done or was done improperly and the domain is not as useful to the buyer because of it. That would be like failing to review the race events roster and realizing the desired race event has been cancelled, and then try to get a refund claiming the car does not perform.
- It is NOT a refund for any reason other than performance when used as defined in the specific details in this guarantee.
Abuse will not be tolerated.
LEGITIMATE EFFORT defined
A legitimate attempt to succeed with a domain name means the customer is indeed putting in their best entrepreneurial efforts in good faith. Business is very competitive. Any domain that is not implemented as part of a substantial and comprehensive business launch, is unlikely to perform well.
Specifically, a legitimate attempt, per our definition, MUST have four things:
- A written business plan at the point of acquiring the domain, that details:
- Reason for Being - Including Target Market in both demographic and psychographic profiles, Needs Statement of the target market, and how the product addresses the needs. This part seeks to answer the question: Is the product viable?
- Market Analysis - Taking into account the industry, current technologies in use, geography, the size of the target market, specific primary competition, pricing, and positioning of the planned business offering within the market. If the business is brick and mortar, a location analysis must also be conducted. This part seeks to answer the question: Is the market viable for the product?
- Marketing Strategy - Including corporate identity design considerations (logo, slogan, colors, etc), website and signage required, distribution channel decisions, coordinated market communication in both unpaid (for instance, instructional videos, press releases, and expert editorial type content) and paid advertising camapaigns (PPC, social media ads, magazines, billboards, TV, etc.) that lead back to targeted collection points, landing pages and sales support personnel at collection points, launch plan, and the brand promise definition and how it is captured by each of the components of the marketing strategy mentioned before. This part seeks to answer the question: How will convert our knowledge of the target market into actionable sales?
- Product Details - All design considerations, like aesthetics, features, advantages, and benefits, specific product costs from specific suppliers, and the plan for reliable and timely source and supply of the product(s) and service(s) at the required quality level to meet target market expectations. This part seeks to answer the question: Will the product live up to all required business expectations?
- Financial Plan - Resources that will be allocated to the startup, their origin, and backup plans. This part seeks to answer the question: Can we afford the costs of the startup if things do not go as planned?
- Legal Aspects - Permits, leases, hiring policies, safety handbook, employee handbook, patents and other intellectual property used. Potential infringments. Outside contracts for supply, exclusivity and / or non-disclosures, required disclaimers in communications, and any other items that are legal in nature. This part seeks to answer the question: Is our legal liability properly handled?
- Implementation timeline - Project completion deadlines taking into account prerequisites. This part seeks to answer the question: When will the tasks associated with the plan aspects make the business concept a reality?
These should be obvious. There is a saying in business, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." People with no business experience will see a business plan as a lot of work. Those with business experience see it as an absolute necessity in the business conceptualization stage prior to the onset of any startup. You should NEVER commit yourself to the obligations of a business without knowing if the product is viable, if the market is viable, how you will get your sales, how you will supply your end of the deal, if you can afford the business, if it is compliant with applicable laws, and what you will need to do to implement it. In other words, DO NOT start a business without the knowledge of a business plan.
Even with a plan, a business with a low quality website is unlikely to succeed, and if the implementation of the plan does not deliver a functional operational support structure, the business is doomed from inception. Without a suitable marketing investment, a business cannot take off the ground. As a matter of fact, the power of a good name kicks in when potential customers are confronted by the name. Meaning, they are interested in it, remember it, find its wittiness stimulating, engage with it, love it, etc. only if they actually see the name. Without advertising, that confrontation does not happen, so a good name without advertising is of very little actual value.
The metrics required for an EFFORT to launch a business, to be considered LEGITIMATE, in this guarantee, are basic business concepts, and are far below what we would consider as an optimal level. Ideally, the site would have clear competitive advantages. For instance, it would be very different to competitor sites, SEO optimized, have hundreds of pages, and be rich in content in a variety of media. And the advertising expense at launch could be 10 times the domain price or more, not just twice. The initial launch is very important and should have a much larger marketing budget than the normal monthly marketing budget.
This requirement, in the race car analogy, is akin to saying that in order to produce good racing results, the car must be registered and participate in an actual race, with sufficient high octane fuel in its tank, have a race driver to handle the car and respond to the track, and a pit crew as required. Failure to do the above minimums is a CLEAR indication that the attempt with the domain name was not legitimate, and thus this guarantee will not apply.
RESPONSIBLE USE defined
Responsible use is a legitimate use, consistent with good business practices, search engine policies, and applicable laws. If a domain that is used responsibly were returned, the domain could be readily usable for another business venture. For instance, it would allow EmpireURL to offer the domain to another buyer. If a Domain is misused, it can become tarnished and could have a significantly diminished value, rendering it unreturnable and voiding any obligations of EmpireURL under this guarantee.
Specifically, a responsibly used domain will be in the same condition it was purchased. Which means it will:
- NOT be used in any way supporting spamming activities. When we check for a return, the domain must not be banned from any search engine, nor be blacklisted as an email server name.
- NOT be used in a manner that infringes upon others' intellectual property: No product or service offerings that infringe on patents or copyrights, no marketing messages or product presentation, or advertising imagery that creates confusion in the mind of consumers regarding its relation to any intellectual property or identity likeness without express consent from the owners of such intellectual properties.
- NOT be used for illegal activities: No scams, fraud, extortion, child pornography, piracy, sending sexual content, violating truth in advertising, or any other breach of applicable laws of any kind.
- NOT be attached to any business or customer personal liability either as collateral, or have any of its equity tied into contractual obligations of any kind.
- NOT be committed to any third party either as inheritance, gift, quit claim, sale agreement, divorce or other settlement agreement, or in any other way have a third party that could contest the domain’s title of ownership.
This should also be obvious. In the race car analogy, misusing a domain and then wanting a refund, would be like deliberately choosing to crashing the race car, or lose its title in a gamble, or sell it, and then seek to return the car for a refund, claiming it did not perform. We will ONLY guarantee performance with our domains that are used responsibly. So it is important to adhere to white hat SEO, follow Google's rules, not send email blasts to purchased email lists that reference the domain, or to any list of people who have not agreed to receive the emails, use the domain with a healthy level of respect and consideration towards others, and not compromise the equity in the title so it is returnable if and when you choose to do so.
MONEY RECEIVED defined
The amount refunded is limited to the FULL amount of money actually received by EmpireURL, which may not be the same as the amount of money paid by a customer. There are third parties to many transactions and we do not guarantee that others will give back what they have charged in a transaction. We guarantee only the net received when the purchase transaction was settled.
Potential third party deductions of the original sales transaction may include, but are not limited to, fees of the financial institutions that are directly associated with both the collection and refund transactions, and third party settlement or commissions that were due upon completion of the original sales transaction.
A Customer who has experienced unacceptable business performance with an EmpireURL domain, and who wishes to return the domain for a refund pursuant to the terms of this guarantee, must complete a refund process which includes providing detailed information regarding the business strategy, implementation, and structure, including an exit interview, intended to assess the reason for performance shortcomings, what worked and what didnt work, and allow EmpireURL, at its sole discretion, the choice of using the returned domain, salvaging parts of the business model, after the refund is issued and the domain becomes property of EmpireURL once again.
Specifically, to process a refund through this guarantee, the buyer must:
- Contact EmpireURL, applying for a refund with a good faith statement that the business planning and implementation, and the domain purchase and use, are all compliant with the terms of this guarantee, within 210 days from the date of purchase.
- EmpireURL will evaluate and validate the request per the terms of this guarantee, and if the request meets criteria, approve the commencement of the refund process.
- Buyer must submit the following required documentation within 30 days of receiving written notification of the refund process approval.
- Copy of the full detailed business plan (which failed to meet performance expectations at the domain).
- Detailed information on all vendors, customers, operations, and agreements that engaged with the business using the domain.
- Provide receipts and detailed marketing campaign data that attest to the spending of twice the domain price in marketing directly linked to landing pages at the domain.
- Provide copies of monthly income statements along with detailed information on all sales, discounts, and expenditures.
- Deliver a statement that certifies ownership and release of title in favor of EmpireURL, of any trademark, intellectual rights and identity rights (business or personal likeness) that have become relevant to the use of the name.
- Submit an affidavit, certifying the domain was used responsibly per the definition above, and is therefore returnable, and that the buyer has indeed made a legitimate attempt to succeed with the domain per the intent of this guarantee.
This process seems like a lot of work, but it is not. If the business was compliant, all the information should be readily available, and is just a matter of compiling it. Realistically, the actual work a customer must perform during the entire refund process should only take a few hours. Less time than the work of EmpireURL researching the documentation to ascertain the reason for the failure.
The bottom line
At reasonable marketing consultancy rates, the many hours we will invest in the return process, along with the internal expenses that do not relate to the actual sales transaction, and potential tax expense, can make a refund very expensive for EmpireURL. But the magnitude of effort that has gone into the selection process of our domains, and the quality of that effort, makes us very confident that our domains, when paired with synergistic brand promises, products, and support programs, will perform far better than most premium domain options in the market. And with that confidence, we fully expect to NEVER give a refund for a domain with low performance.
We do not want ruthless people to take advantage of us, and lend our names to spammers at no charge, who return the domains tainted. Or absorb financial losses due to failure of program implementations that were lacking essential parts, did not take into account basic and standard due dilligence, or were lacking determination and commitment. We are not judging. People may not have the business experience, talent, skillsets, or foresight, and that is OK. We all start somewhere, and we all fail from time to time. We are adamant about the importance of seeking counsel and validating business assumptions prior to getting involved in a business, and we do, respectfully, seek to make sure our customers have a cohesive business strategy in place. However, any losses associated with decisions and activities, of others, are not among our responsibilities, and we do not agree to take a financial loss for them.
Our desire is simple. We want to stand behind our product, be generous with entrepreneurs who support us, limit their risk within reason, and support their success building their online empire by providing them with amazing quality domain name bundles, with solid preliminary marketing support, and insights.