Indiegogo Refunds: What Creators and Backers Need to Know

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Indiegogo Refunds: What Creators and Backers Need to Know


Indiegogo Refunds: What Creators and Backers Need to Know

Indiegogo has been a mecca for ambitious tech and innovative startups to gather funding from a large and enthusiastic audience. The platform’s success stories are as legendary as its high-profile campaigns, with creators often raising significant capital to bring groundbreaking products to market. However, the crowdfunding ecosystem isn’t without its complexities, and one of the most critical concerns for backers and creators alike is the issue of refunds. Understanding the policies, practices, and implications of the refund process on Indiegogo is essential for all parties involved.

What is an Indiegogo refund?

An Indiegogo refund is a return of a backer’s pledged funds to the original payment source, typically requested when the campaign fails to deliver the promised product or experiences significant delays. This concept is grounded in consumer protection but interprets the unique dynamics of crowdfunding, where backers are essentially pre-purchasing a product that might not yet exist.

Typical reasons backers cite when asking for a refund

Backers can request a refund for various reasons, but the most common include:

  • Delayed delivery: Some backers may no longer wish to receive the product if a project falls significantly behind the expected delivery date.
  • Unmet expectations: The delivered item might not meet the standards promised in the campaign’s pitch, leaving backers feeling deceived.
  • Lack of communication: Many backers expect regular updates on the project’s progress and might request a refund if the creator fails to maintain adequate communication.

What process do backers undergo before getting their money back?

The process involves several steps:

  1. Identifying the need for a refund: Backers must first assess whether their issue warrants a refund and gather any evidence, such as screenshots or correspondence with the campaign creator, to support their claim.
  2. Contacting Indiegogo: To initiate their refund request, backers must contact Indiegogo’s customer support, usually through an online form or email.
  3. Waiting for a response: Indiegogo’s support team reviews the case and contacts the backer to confirm any necessary details or documentation.
  4. Funds return: If the refund is approved, Indiegogo processes the request, and the backer’s funds should be returned to the original payment method within a reasonable time frame.

Is there an eligibility criteria for a refund?

Indiegogo’s Terms of Use outline the general eligibility criteria for a backer refund. However, eligibility also depends on the specific campaign and its unique terms and conditions.

  • Generally, backers are eligible for a refund if the campaign does not meet its delivery obligations.
  • However, if creators offer a completed product that deviates from the original claims but remains generally functional, Indiegogo might consider the creator’s fulfillment effort and may not automatically issue refunds.
  • Indiegogo will consider various factors, such as the validity of the refund request and the creator’s ability to provide the promised product, before deciding.

How do refunds affect campaigns?

The impact on a campaign can be significant. Refunded backers directly reduce the total funds available to the campaign creator, which can disrupt production schedules, funding plans, and even the project’s continued viability. Communication and conflict resolution are critical in handling potential refund situations without alienating backers or damaging a creator’s reputation.

Can I communicate with a backer for feedback?

While Indiegogo’s refund resolution process is formalized, it’s not typically a barrier to communication between backers and creators. After all, transparency and engagement are at the heart of the crowdfunding philosophy. Creators are encouraged to maintain open lines of dialogue with their backers, not only for potential feedback but also to manage expectations and build trust.

  • Communication platforms such as Indiegogo’s messaging system, social media, and email campaigns can be invaluable for keeping backers informed about a project’s status and addressing concerns that could lead to refund requests.
  • TCF has had a positive experience in engaging with backers. Opening a dialogue proactively and authentically can turn negative experiences into opportunities to strengthen relationships and foster longer-term support.


Navigating the Indiegogo refund landscape can be complex, but it’s an integral part of the experience for backers and creators. For backers, it represents a means of trust and reassurance in the platform, while creators must manage the delivery obligation carefully to avoid refund pitfalls. In the end, effective communication and a clear understanding of the process can help ensure that the crowdfunding journey, while not without its hurdles, remains a collaborative and rewarding endeavor for all involved.

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Alice Ananian

Alice has over 8 years experience as a strong communicator and creative thinker. She enjoys helping companies refine their branding, deepen their values, and reach their intended audiences through language.


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