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  1. #1
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    Default LL Bean Changing Returns Policy

    Per CNBC (and confirmed on Bean), they are dropping their unlimited satisfaction guarantee and going to 1-year returns:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/ll-b...ns-policy.html

    Their website notes, however, "After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship." There are other caveats. As I read it, they can be more generous if they wish, but the discretion is theirs now and not the consumer's choice.

    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/513705

    They're also doing $50 min for free shipping.

    Generally I think this is a good change in policy because of the costs of abuse borne by LLB and its customers. Of course I'd like to see the benefits of the new policy reflected in prices ... but it may take some time. I assume they'd still have to honor items already bought under a prior version of their guarantee, since that generous inducement probably factored into the purchaser's decision to go with LLB.

    The shipping policy is a sensible change too. People are turned off (sometimes shocked) at the real cost of shipping, so while it makes some sense to build it into prices, you have to sell enough to recover it.

    This is pretty similar to REI's current policy, right?

    Perhaps doesn't affect many here but they do still sell some outdoor gear and clothes (and I have some of each).

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Glad I got what I need before the change. They held out awhile before following REI.
    Wayne

  3. #3

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    It was just a matter of time.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Maybe this was Landsend. But I know of someone who found one of those jackets that used to be really popular (plain bright colored jacket with light insulation) at Goodwill or something and then appealed to them for a new jacket. Lots of abuses like that. I think if that kind of thing gets widespread they can't really afford generous policies.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    Maybe this was Landsend. But I know of someone who found one of those jackets that used to be really popular (plain bright colored jacket with light insulation) at Goodwill or something and then appealed to them for a new jacket. Lots of abuses like that. I think if that kind of thing gets widespread they can't really afford generous policies.
    I've heard many stories like that, but all second hand (no pun intended). I've used their returns policy before, but only twice after a year, I think, both times, item failed due to adhesives/coatings failing (items were only lightly used, and were not improperly stored such as in garage/attic). And of course I was the original purchaser, with receipt. Both times I felt sheepish about it, but CSR assured me they wanted me to be satisfied and that's why they offered that guarantee. Naturally, the refund went right into more LLB items.

    I have also declined to send back at least one (book)pack where the PU coating flaked off and failed, because the pack had quite a bit of use by that point. Seemed understandable because of the use, but maybe it would have happened anyway, solely with aging?

    And while I have a few LLB items that are in good shape, but I might wish to have the funds for something different now, I'd never use their guarantee for that. If I really want some money for them, it's on me to sell them in the secondary market ... and probably put a big red X on the tag, too.

  6. #6

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    I've bought lots of clothes from them online due to the free shipping. Probably won't order as much now as I ususally don't order more than $50 at a time. I've never had to return anything there. When you have a reputation for selling quality stuff you don't need a return policy.

  7. #7
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Now, i wont order anything from them.
    Just like i dont order anything from rei.

    I order only the lowest price
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  8. #8

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    I have seen "garage sale ladies" picking through clothes looking for LL Bean labels. Its no urban legend. NPR had a radio show last year regarding the policy and made it obvious that the policy was asking for abuse.

  9. #9

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    They also also in the process of a big employee buy out to reduce staff and getting freezing their pension plan. They have facilities all over southern Maine. They werent known for high pay but great benefits and the pension plan was pretty rare these days as most big companies got rid of them long ago.

    LL Beans is a closely held private company owned by the Bean heirs, most stay out of the public eye but as the years go on there are more heirs and they all probably want their checks. I expect they could have gone public years ago and cashed out and then end up like Eddy Bauer and EMS but they have elected to keep private. The times they have tried to expand out of the outdoor retail field have not always been successful.

  10. #10
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    Despite corporate claims phrased in context of preventing abuse as the reason for the growing more restrictive returns/customer service changes it's also because there is an incentive for greater profitability...period.

  11. #11

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    ...or, they just got tired of excepting year old gear for a refund by those looking to scam.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Despite corporate claims phrased in context of preventing abuse as the reason for the growing more restrictive returns/customer service changes it's also because there is an incentive for greater profitability...period.
    keyword = also

    Both are valid reasons.

  13. #13
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    LL Beans is a closely held private company owned by the Bean heirs, most stay out of the public eye but as the years go on there are more heirs and they all probably want their checks. I expect they could have gone public years ago and cashed out and then end up like Eddy Bauer and EMS but they have elected to keep private. The times they have tried to expand out of the outdoor retail field have not always been successful.

    The Chinese have a saying. I don't speak Chinese or write it or even remember what the words sound like in Chinese so I'm going to paraphrase.

    The first generation builds a business
    The second generation keeps it going
    The third generation destroys it

    When you think about it this is very very true.
    The idea is that the children of the person who built the business has had enough of their parents character and teaching about it instilled in them to keep it going okay.
    The grandchildren are spoiled brats that don't give a darn about anything but spending money. Money they didn't have to work for.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  14. #14
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    What else could LL Bean do? People are scum. OK, only some people are scum, but there are enough of them to ruin things for those who want to play fair. This is why we can't have nioce things.
    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


    John Greenleaf Whittier

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    It was just a matter of time.
    Yup, just 100 years.

  16. #16
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    The change will have no effect on me . I bet I can decide in a year if it is ok or not !

    Thom

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    keyword = also

    Both are valid reasons.

    Good catch Mr Grammarman. Indeed. TU.

  18. #18

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    I spoke to a worker at a VT state park who fished a large LL Bean tent out of a dumpster at the park and sent it in for a big gift certificate. No proof of purchase, why should they be on the hook on a customer satisfaction basis without evidence?

    However I have had their expensive $20 a pair socks that fail in a year or two. I guess it is too late now for some that are "holy", lol.

    I can get a couple pair of basic Merino socks for $10 online, no need to go to them.

    They will lose business now.


  19. #19

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    You can still return for a full year if not 100% satisfied for any reason. That is extremely generous.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenmtnboy View Post
    They will lose business now.
    I suspect they feel they may be better off in the long run losing a certain segment of the business.

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