They believed in their products some much they offered a lifetime guarantee and return policy. If you bought something but changed your mind, you could bring it back. Maybe the fit never seemed right, bring it back for a refund or store credit.
Due to some customers abusing the policy, LL Bean has made some changes, ending this lifetime guarantee.
In an e-mail sent out to customers (I received it yesterday), Executive Chairman Shawn O. Gorman mentions how the guarantee has shown customers that the company is one that you can “trust and respect.”
Based on personal experience, I totally agree with this sentiment. LL Bean products aren’t the cheapest but you could shop knowing if the fit wasn’t good, you wouldn’t get stuck with the item. A few years back I ordered the famed Bean Boots. I really wanted to like them but after trying them out as well as a few other styles, I ended up returning each one. I decided that they were just not for me. The return process was never an issue with the friendly employees always helping out.
The problem is that some are taking the guarantee a bit too literally and in a sneaky way.
Here are some examples from the e-mail:
- Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years.
- Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.
A new policy is now in place to help stop people from taking advantage of the company.
With this policy you’ll now have one year to return an item after purchasing it from LL Bean. BTW- A proof of purchase is required. A positive about this change is that LL Bean will still try to work with customers who have issues with a defective product after the year is up. That sounds pretty fair if you ask me…
While I’m not a frequent shopper at LL Bean, there are a few items that I really like.
My favorite is the Mountain Classic Anorak. A great travel item as its a great light layer, water resistant and packs into itself. Their pajamas are also really nice but a bit pricey. My newest LL Bean item is the Storm Chaser Boots with Arctic Grip. I’ve been waiting to give them a try but it hasn’t snowed! (No, I do not get any commission from LL Bean.)
Are you a fan of LL Bean? Do you feel that their change in return policy will impact your decisions to make future purchases?
If you’re curious to read more about the new return policy, you can do so here.