Bean Boots

AP/Robert F. Bukaty

  • L.L. Bean changed its legendary return policy on Friday.
  • In a letter to customers, the company’s executive chairman, Shawn O. Gorman, blamed a “small but growing” number of customers who have taken advantage of the policy.
  • The returns of old, damaged items have cost the company $250 million over the last five years.

Scammers taking advantage of L.L. Bean’s generous policy are to blame for the change to its longtime return policy.

Shawn O. Gorman, the company’s executive chairman and the great-grandson of its founder, wrote a letter to customers explaining the change.

“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has 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. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales,” Gorman said. “Based on these experiences, we have…