LL Bean Changes Lifetime Guarantee to One-Year Return Policy

10 February, 2018, 09:49 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • LL Bean Changes Lifetime Guarantee to One-Year Return Policy

While the change in L.L. Bean's return policy is sad news, there are still plenty of stores where you can return items literally forever, although some require a receipt and may apply only for certain product categories.

"Some view [our guarantee] as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years", wrote executive chairman Shawn Gorman, who is the great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean. L.L. Bean said in some cases, people are trying to get a refund for something they bought second-hand at a yard sales.

Going forward, L.L. Bean customers will have one year after buying an item to return it, and you have to have proof of purchase.

In a follow-up conversation with Outside, an L.L. Bean spokesperson elaborated that in the last five years, the percent of returns that violate the guarantee policy-which was created to protect customers who received defective products-had doubled to 15 percent, costing the company approximately $250 million.

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The brand penned a letter on Friday announcing a major update to its policy, and no longer will you be able to trade in a 20-year-old Bean Boots for a pair of brand-new shoes. "It's not sustainable from a business perspective".

The outdoor specialty retailer said returns of items that have been destroyed or rendered useless, including some purchased at thrift stores or retrieved from trash bins, have doubled in the past five years, surpassing the annual revenue from the company's famous boot.

"Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy".

Bean isn't the only store to roll back a great return policy in recent years, either. Shoppers may still return products for any reason prior to the one-year limit. The company is expecting backlash but promises to "continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail".

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"We'll have to see how consumers react, but I think most will still consider their new policy very fair", Dworsky said in an email, according to the paper.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago - and that will never change.

The original intent was that Bean didn't want customers to be dissatisfied with his products.

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