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LL Bean Lifetime Return Policy Scrapped

78 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, shuyak said:

Two years ago my neighbor showed me an LL Bean leather duffle bag he picked up at a yard sale that was in wretched shape, I wouldn't put bait in it, said he picked it up for a dollar and was going to take it to LL Bean and exchange it for a new one.  Sure enough, the following week he showed me a brand new leather duffle.  They listed at $250 at the time, now $299.  The handwriting was on the wall and good for Bean in curtailing this outright theft.

 

Litterally hundreds of people were doing this but on a huge scale. There is or was an entire market built around this very sort of thing, but it was worse:

  • Buy an LL Bean item at a thrift store, yard sale or estate sale.
  • Exchange it for a new item OR store gift card
  • Sell the new item on Ebay  OR sell or trade the gift card

Some people focused on the wholesale aspect of buying up LLBean items at $1 or so and selling large quantities of them for a few dollars each as a lot. 

The buyer would then do the exchanges themselves and again then resale the new items or gift cards.

 

A friend of mine does a fair amount of business buying and selling vintage items on ebay and this is something she runs into literally ALL of the time.

 

The guarantee was very simply stated:  Satisfaction guaranteed.

 

It's a thing from a by-gone-age that most people today don't deserve.

 

 

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6 hours ago, mikez2 said:

Having said that, show me where the yardsale scam costs Beans one extra penny.

 

The lifetime warranty was their policy, they have to honor it.

If the item was originally purchased at full price, it costs exactly the same to replace no matter who carries it in.

If anything, it might increase sales.

The first guy who didn't return it will be back plus now yardsale guy is inside the store. Most people will spend something once in there.


First off, they don't have a lifetime guarantee.  They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Can anyone HONESTLY say that if they got 10+ years out of a pair of boots, that they weren't satisfied with them?   

Secondly, regarding the yard sale angle.  Of course it cost them money.  Buyer 1 uses a pair of waders for a decade and sells them at a yard sale for $1.  Original buyer was satisfied with their purchase, so they don't return them as that is a lot of years of service and he's not a cheapskate taking advantage of a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" warranty.  Buyer 2 instantly returns them to LL Bean and gets a new pair for essentially $1.  Now LL Bean is out a pair of waders.  This happens A LOT.   

Taking advantage of a Satisfaction Guarantee is scummy.  Plain and simple.   I don't blame LL Bean one bit for changing their policy, as it's impossible to prove what the definition of "satisfaction" really is.  Some people will never be satisfied and return things for their whole lives.  To me, it clearly means if there is a problem with the product, they'll stand behind it.  Personally, I wouldn't dream of returning a sweater in 20 years because it finally wore out.  

Satisfaction Guarantee  Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.  

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, mikez2 said:

 

Edited by TLap21
Double Post

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4 mins ago, TLap21 said:


First off, they don't have a lifetime guarantee.  They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  Can anyone HONESTLY say that if they got 10+ years out of a pair of boots, that they weren't satisfied with them?   

Secondly, regarding the yard sale angle.  Of course it cost them money.  Buyer 1 uses a pair of waders for a decade and sells them at a yard sale for $1.  Original buyer was satisfied with their purchase, so they don't return them as that is a lot of years of service and he's not a cheapskate taking advantage of a "Satisfaction Guaranteed" warranty.  Buyer 2 instantly returns them to LL Bean and gets a new pair for essentially $1.  Now LL Bean is out a pair of waders.  This happens A LOT.   

Taking advantage of a Satisfaction Guarantee is scummy.  Plain and simple.   I don't blame LL Bean one bit for changing their policy, as it's impossible to prove what the definition of "satisfaction" really is.  Some people will never be satisfied and return things for their whole lives.  To me, it clearly means if there is a problem with the product, they'll stand behind it.  Personally, I wouldn't dream of returning a sweater in 20 years because it finally wore out.  

Satisfaction Guarantee  Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.  

The sale by an original buyer (ebay, etc) to someone who then returns it to LLB for a new replacement item or gift card is clearly unethical.

However, LLB's use of the open ended term "Satisfaction Guaranteed" opened the door to repeated returns turning into the equivalent of a lifetime guarantee. They used this as an advertising technique knowing full well of its consequences. Furthermore, it should be made clear that the return can only be exercised by the original buyer or with a gift receipt.

Many purchased from LLB never planning on a return (unless the item was clearly defective) with the assurance should it experience a premature failure it would be replaced.

On the other hand, wearing a boot until it wears out from continued and satisfactory use is and expecting it be replaced, and doing this repeatedly, is a clear violation of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" intent.

However, LLB was an active participant in the latter scenario until new management felt the practice could no longer be tolerated, and the returns so numerous the policy had to be tightened. My guess is that with the original receipt and a reasonable assessment that the failure was premature or item was faulty they will give the customer the benefit of doubt, even the sale was more than a year old.

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Bean's new policy is absolutely undebatable, unarguable.  Without trying to start a flamewar in here there can be zero reasonable argument against the new policy.  It would be akin to arguing for the NRA or for capitalism, for the Republican party, for Exxon and General Electric, etc.

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It's amazing how big of scumbags people can be. They'll do anything to make a buck.  

Bean could easily solve this problem though by registering the buyer for the warranty at checkout and keeping it in their database.  I just bought new snowboard boots a couple days ago from Burton and they did this at checkout, took about 20 seconds.

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On 2/11/2018 at 2:23 PM, Slacker said:

I'm interested in how people look at this warranty.  Do you guys really think that you should be able to buy 1 pair of blue jeans in 2018 and that the retailer should continue to replace them for the next 50 years of your lifetime?

 

A pair of blue jeans costs about $40 bucks (from anywhere)... say they last 5 years... with replacement like that, the first pair should probably cost $400.

Yes, some here think "wear it out then return isn't scuzzy because the policy is in place.".

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11 hours ago, z-man said:

It's amazing how big of scumbags people can be. They'll do anything to make a buck.  

Bean could easily solve this problem though by registering the buyer for the warranty at checkout and keeping it in their database.  I just bought new snowboard boots a couple days ago from Burton and they did this at checkout, took about 20 seconds.

They do this. Maybe not for the initial purchase, but with returns. I returned my waders, and they asked me for a license to keep records of returns. 

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The one thing I don't get is.....

 

If you bought something from there before the new warranty, you bought it with a lifetime warranty on that product. I can see how they can change the policy going forward, but not sure how it will affect past purchases. 

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19 mins ago, Reed422 said:

The one thing I don't get is.....

 

If you bought something from there before the new warranty, you bought it with a lifetime warranty on that product. I can see how they can change the policy going forward, but not sure how it will affect past purchases. 

 

Bingo! You can't change the terms post sale. 100% means absolutely no wiggle room! Satisfaction means I the buyer get to judge by my parameters wether I am satisfied or not. Lifetime means from when you buy it till when you die. Guarantee means the company fully stands behind the replacement or refund. No need to interpret, just use a dictionary, words have meanings, any lawyer can bear that out.

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1 min ago, Ba Ba Buoy said:

 

Bingo! You can't change the terms post sale. 100% means absolutely no wiggle room! Satisfaction means I the buyer get to judge by my parameters wether I am satisfied or not. Lifetime means from when you buy it till when you die. Guarantee means the company fully stands behind the replacement or refund. No need to interpret, just use a dictionary, words have meanings, any lawyer can bear that out.

Did it ever say subject to change?

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Everything is subject to change.   

Everything changes.

Everything is also negotiable to one extent or another.

All of those things are implied in everything.

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Another way they could've gone is to say alright look--here's the policy moving forward.. but if you have a product purchased on the original policy, with receipt, we'll honor 1 more return for life---so everybody with proof of purchase gets to ride the old policy out for 1 more round.

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