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L.L. Bean Scraps Legendary Lifetime Return Policy


A Bean Boot is seen in the return bin at L.L. Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine.

A Bean Boot is seen in the return bin at L.L. Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine.

AP, Robert F. Bukaty

L.L.Bean’s outdoor gear will no longer live on forever.

In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years — or even decades — after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.

“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. 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.”’

L.L.Bean says the policy update will only affect a “small percentage” of returns and pledged to keep its mission of selling “high quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors.”

The return policy on the site now reads:

“If you are not 100% satisfied with one of our products, you may return it within one year of purchase for a refund. After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.”

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