I actually had no idea how generous LL Bean has been for the past century with its return, exchange and replacement policy. It took our Millennial Fogey to explain that for a certain kind of consumer, a one-time purchase was a lifetime guarantee of replacements. New England kids would even source old Bean Boots and other items from yard sales and convert them into cash, he said.
New England kids raised by wolves, apparently.
Well today Bean announced that it is giving the boot to its unlimited lifetime return policy, citing abuses that include things like kids cashing in on beat-up goods they found at yard sales. According to a news report:
[CEO Stephen] Smith said the company is specifically cracking down on two forms of product return abuse: returns on older items that are not defective but merely worn down from regular use or totally undamaged (because the customer outgrew the item or wanted an upgrade), and returns on items purchased from a third party such as Goodwill or a yard sale. About 15 percent of recent product returns abused the lenient guarantee policy – double what it was just a few years ago, he said.
Now I don’t mean to get preachy by tacking on feel-good messages to every post from now on, but a friend recently lent me the Depression-era classic “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Though primarily focused on how to get you to believe that you’re a super-salesman in a down market, there was much fodder I found of use for my own personal development. And after a couple hundred pages of all this rich talk and the importance of changing your attitude, I put the book down with the sudden and most astonishing realization:
Now obviously not in the heavy wallet sense, and that’s not what Hill means anyway. But “rich” in life in general: I’ve a fine and varied wardrobe, stylish home, great people in my life, the cultural treasures of one of the world’s great cities at my fingertips — stuff like that. I’d never really thought of it like that. I was developing a new sense of gratitude.
We tend to focus on the things we don’t have, rather than what we do. But remember the old quote, “I wept for having no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”
Read more about Bean here. And whether you find yourself today shod in shoes old or new, make sure they’re beating their way down the right path. — CC