L.L.Bean has built a reputation for quality items and friendly customer service. Currently, the outdoor retailer offers sweet perks like free shipping and generous returns. Unfortunately, the 105-year-old store is taking a hard look at these policies — and it's considering changing things up.
No-Minimum Free Shipping
Shoppers have long been able to bag free shipping on orders in the US and Canada. Most orders qualify, meaning customers never have to worry about meeting a minimum purchase, or inputting a coupon code. In the continental US, packages typically arrive in two to five business days. Even if it takes the full five days to arrive, there's no denying that truly free shipping is an increasingly rare benefit from retailers.
100% Satisfaction Really Guaranteed
In addition to its uncomplicated free shipping policy, the store has also boasted a return policy that is exceedingly generous. Customers have been able to return items by mail or in person at a brick-and-mortar location for a full refund, even years after the item was purchased. The site states "Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise."
Customers have successfully returned things like 10-year-old sweaters and a live Christmas wreath that had turned brown. Stories like that might make it seem like the policy is being abused, and that probably does happen at times. However, abuse might not be as common as some think. Even so, it's easy to see why L.L.Bean could feel like this policy is too expensive to keep.
No Word Yet on Policy Changes
Although there's a lot of talk about potential changes to these policies, there's no official word yet on what those changes could entail. The company is putting other measures into place to cut costs, such as freezing pensions and offering voluntary early retirements. As for the shipping and return services, officials have only said "they will have more to say later this year".
Readers, will you continue to shop at L.L.Bean if it does away with its free shipping and generous return policies? Or do you find the item quality worth any possible hassles? Let us know in the comments below.