"Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers have been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years," the company's executive chairman, Shawn O. Gorman, wrote in an email announcing the policy changes to customers.
But it isn't all doom and gloom for L.L. Bean customers, as the store still offers a very reasonable one-year window for returns.
And it's not alone — a whole host of US retailers offer customers incredible return policies.
Take a look at some of the best, below:
Retailers with extremely generous return policies
Retailers with extremely generous return policies
Costco has one of the most generous return policies of any store. Any product can be returned to Costco warehouses for any reason. The only restrictions are on electronics, which must be returned within 90 days.
Ikea gives customers a 365-day return window for a full refund unless the product in question is a mattress, which can only be exchanged once.
Given that a year is a long time to hold onto a receipt, the store can also help you out by searching for an order using your credit- or debit-card number.
L.L.Bean previously offered an almost unbelievably generous return policy - customers could bring back any items bought at L.L.Bean if they felt it didn't live up to their expectations. The guarantee covered the item's full lifetime.
In February, the store reduced the return window to one year, which is still considerably better than a lot of stores.
(Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
REI also used to offer a no-questions-asked return policy where customers could return used items for cash. The return window has now been reduced to one year, but customers are still able to trial the products during that time.
Outdoor products have to be returned within 90 days.
Mattress startup Casper offers a 100-day window to trial its mattresses. The best part of the return policy is that it imposes no hassle on the customer. The company will come and collect the product from your home and donate it to a charity.
(Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Casper Sleep Inc.)
Athleta has its own return policy that far outshines its sister companies Gap and Old Navy.
Customers here are given the chance to work out in products, and if they don't like them, they can return them anytime after.
(Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
Trader Joe's will give a full refund on its private-label products.
"If a customer purchases a product and is dissatisfied with the purchase, we encourage them to return the product to the store in exchange for a full refund," a spokesperson for the company told Business Insider.
Nordstrom doesn't have a return policy, per se. Each return is settled on a case-by-case basis, and there are no time limits on when you can return a product.
Kohl's will take back any item at any time. Customers can make returns in-store or via mail. If you lose the receipt but paid with a store card or credit card, they can look up your order directly.
CVS beauty products
CVS will take back any beauty product purchase, even if it's opened, no questions asked. It has the same policy in place for CVS/pharmacy brand products.
"All merchandise — with the exception of Unlimited Furniture Delivery items — may be returned at any time by mail or to our stores in the US and Canada," the retailer writes online.
Anthropologie's furniture has to be returned within 30 days of the date of delivery.
(Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
The concept was created by its founder many years ago and has stuck to this day.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Provided it's within a year, you don't even need a receipt to return products at Bed Bath & Beyond. The store will track down your item using credit-card details or order numbers.
Online shoe store Zappos gives its customers plenty of time to make a decision. Its return policy allows customers to get a full refund within 365 days, providing the product has not been worn and is still in its original packaging.
To prevent customers from draining a tube of foundation in a month and then trying to return it in-store, Sephora stipulates that returns must be in "new or gently used condition."
You can get a full refund on your card if you return the item within 60 days, and if it reaches up to 90 days, then you can get a refund in store credit.
Land's End's return policy is as good as it gets. You can return any item at any time, provided you have the receipt.
(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Macy's has toughened up its return policy recently. What was a 365-day return window has been cut down to 180 days, which still gives customers ample time to get a refund if they so choose.
There's one exception to the rule: the department store does not allow customers to return products from its "Last Act" clearance sections beyond 30 days.