You Really Can Return Anything To L.L.Bean—Even Your Dead Dog’s Collar

Return policies. Some stores are really strict—you only have a month, and you darn well better have a receipt—and others aren’t. I’ve always said you could take an L.L. Bean shirt, toss it out of an airplane, drag it through the mud, and they’d credit you for the return, period. I have never attempted this, but it would work.

Per their website:

Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.

Sara Corbett from NPR’s “This American Life” was allowed to interview past and present employees that man the return desk, and even take a look through the returns warehouse. Previously, those who work the returns counter had been allowed to decline returns for “fire, death, divorce, or weight loss,” but even that clause has been scrapped. The only thing that won’t fly is if the item in question was bought at a thrift store (the company asks thrift stores to mark second-hand clothes with a black “x” on the label to help prevent scams).

Unfortunately, (this happens in all walks of life, of course) some people will try to take advantage of this policy. The LLB return policy is generous to be sure, and other retail stores may have similar concepts, but generally not as expansive as what you’ll find at the Maine-based retailer. There are basically no rules to when you can return an item, or for what reason.Decades-old clothing, deceased dog collars, you name it, LLB will take it back.

And if that’s not enough to make you a Bean fan, have you heard about the Bootmobile? Think: a boot form of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Check out the Bootmobile’s schedule to see if it’s headed to a town near you.