L.L. Bean just changed its return policy — but there’s a huge loophole for some customers

  • L.L. Bean has announced it is changing its famous return policy.
  • From now on, items will only be guaranteed for one year, unless they’re defective.
  • However, items that were bought before the change will be able to be returned after one year, as long as customers can produce a proof of purchase.

L.L. Bean has given its much-loved return policy the boot.

No longer can customers buy an item at L.L. Bean and return it whenever they decide it does not live up to their expectations. Instead, the policy now extends for one year only. After that, customers can only return an item if it proves defective.

In another change to the policy, customers will also now need to provide a proof of purchase for a return or exchange.

But what about for items that you purchased before the policy changed? Fear not, L.L. Bean shoppers.

“If it’s been over a year and someone is able to provide a proof of purchase and if the product does not fall within one of our Special Conditions such as products damaged by misuse, abuse, pet damage, personal reasons unrelated to product performance or satisfaction and more, we would honor the return,” L.L. Bean spokesperson Mac McKeever said in an email to Business Insider.

That means that as long as you actually purchased the item from L.L. Bean before today, the old L.L. Bean rules are still in effect for that item. Return away! But the proof of purchase is essential for the return.

L.L. Bean switched to primarily digital records for purchases, so it shouldn’t be hard to prove that you purchased the item – provided you actually did. If the system can’t find your purchase for any reason, a paper receipt would be required.

If you can’t prove you bought it, however, the store will not accept the return. The changes put a stop to people purchasing items at garage sales and thrift stores to return to L.L. Bean for a full refund, but it shouldn’t affect legitimate customers too much.