A guarantee that started in the backwoods of Maine

In 1911, Leon Leonwood Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a revolutionary idea. He decided to create a boot that was comfortable and durable enough for exploring the Maine woods.  Satisfied with his design, he sent out mailers to local fishermen and hunters, with a disclosure that each pair had a money-back guarantee:

“We guarantee them to give perfect satisfaction in every way.”

He received one hundred orders, but a few weeks later, 90 pairs were returned because the leather tops and rubber bottoms separated. Although it nearly put him out of business, L.L. kept his word and refunded the purchase price. He borrowed more money, corrected the problem and, with undiminished confidence, mailed more brochures.

Something special happened when 90 of those first 100 pairs were returned. A legendary guarantee was born.

One hundred years later, not only has his boot design held up, but his promise to deliver a product that offers 100% satisfaction is still alive and well.

We want you to be completely satisfied with everything you buy from L.L.Bean. If you aren’t, bring it back at any time, and we’ll happily give you a refund or a replacement right away.

This is the rock-solid guarantee that you can count on today, tomorrow and for the next 100 years.

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.

Tell us your experience with our guarantee in the comments below!

  1. David K. | February 11, 2014 | 11:43 pm

    What pleases me most about L.L. Bean is that the products are innovative within a narrow focus. This may sound contradictory but it isn’t. I bought a wool two ski caps as Christmas presents. the innovative part was that the hats were lined with a fleece strip meaning the wearer did not need to bring ear muffs. The funny thing is, that the people receiving the present wanted a different color so I kept the cram color ones. My significant other and I wear them all the time and love them. They look good and are warm.

    I didn’t know what to get for valentine’s Day so I got two gifts: one for my Valentine and one for the house because the house is important to her. The house product sounded almost insulting. It was a door mat. Well, Barbara’s no door mat but the gift was a hit. She like the color (a light turquoise) and the fact that the mat was easy to clean and would work well with our dog (preventing her from bringing in mud and dirt). The innovation here was quite simple. The doormat had no rubber backing so it could be cleaned off with a hose and water.

    This sounds like it has nothing to do with the guarantee. However, those innovations are what turns satisfied into completely satisfied. One other benefit. I don’t have to wait in line and the product comes right to the house. As the cliche goes, can’t beat it with a stick.

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | February 12, 2014 | 10:14 am

      Hi David – Thank you for your kind words. We truly appreciate it. Best, ^LB

  2. Tim from GEORGIA | February 13, 2014 | 9:30 am

    LL Bean is my favorite place for shopping…as a kid I was fascinated with LL Bean catalog’s….my 1st order was in my late teens ( I am 53 now) I ordered a can of waterproof for my leather boots. It came in a metal can. You screwed off the top and a brush was built into the lid. I put this product on my leather work boots and I had my 1st pair of waterproof boots and dry feet while out hunting. I ordered all along …then In my late 20’s I came in told my wife we are going to LL Bean. Her remark is there a new store near us?? No we are going to Maine. On a shoestring budget. We flew to Boston on a buddy pass ~rented a cheap car and drove to Freeport. We have been going to Maine and LL Bean almost every year since. We love Maine and bought a camp and acreage in Mid-Maine in 2011. Maine is now our second home. I have read several of the LL Bean’s books on history of the store. Love the warranty and free shipping . Quality product for a decent price. You pay for what you get. I am a loyal LL Bean customer . Tim

  3. Carlton | February 14, 2014 | 3:33 pm

    I have always enjoyed shopping at your store in Freeport
    Today I went in to buy a pair of wool socks and a turtleneck shirt. Could not be done. The middle of February and you can’t buy those two winter staples…..asked why……oh,we are bringing in the summer clothes….middle of winter and you can not buy a pair of men’s wool socks in llbean….what is thre world coming to?


    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | February 18, 2014 | 2:38 pm

      Hi Carlton – Thank you for sharing your comments with us and I apologize that you were not able to find the winter products you were looking for in our store. Please give us a call 800-441-5713 and we can check stock for the items you are looking for. Reminder that all L.L.Bean orders ship for free so we can get it to you in a couple of days. Best, ^LB

  4. Dave Robertson | February 15, 2014 | 10:52 am

    David R Feb 15, 2014

    I have been a long time LL Bean Customer with many years of camping and owning a cabin in the woods of Maine with bountiful stories to share. I have been a very satisfied customer with the quality and the products I have purchased over the years. My Satisfaction grows to this day with a small but disappointing tale to tell.
    I realize this is a crazy competative world we live in. I am in an industry that suffers daily with a pricing war between products that are made elsewhere against a good solid product of quality and durability made here in the USA. I get the battle of cost vs market share. I get the choices we have to make in Product identity.
    For me I am willing to pay a little extra if I know the product is going to last and stand up to the torturous conditions that winter can bring to any material and garment. I am willing to put the comfort of my feet at a higher value than the $4 savings from another shoe or boot company.
    The 100% guarentee is a funny component to any product. It says that the name brand (and not where is was manufactured) is willing to replace the boot at any reason. It says We stand by our product with the intent of letting the consumer know it isnt the money that is important to us, it is the customer. And for that reason alone the 100% guarentee is successful. The component that I think may have been over looked is the quality. Quality comes at a price. Good to great quality cost more. We all know that!
    I bought a pair of boots – stock# O BPV 804 VN# 05455 – Made in CHINA!
    The glue at the toe wore our last year and I reglued the rubber – No issue most likely a inferior glue – I rectified this! This week in the North East US you may recall it was somewhat a Blizzard condition. I put on my great boots and went out to shovel, play, and slide. My feet were getting cold and wet! Upon inspection I see the thread used to hold this boot together had broken or wore ouut in 4 different locations on the boot, and thereby allowing cold and water to get in.
    The more I inspected this Boot the more I found defaults. It was a moment I wanted to share. I had found a point where I knew I could replace the Boot for the 100% guarentee replacement, but I was more dissappointed that I needed to.
    I offer you this.
    I have been and will be a life long LL Bean consumer. I will always buy your product because of the “History” of quality. Please keep that in mind when making decisions where to have your equipment manufactured in the Future.
    I am very happy with all your productrs.

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | February 18, 2014 | 2:35 pm

      Hi Dave, Thank you for sharing your comments and I apologize that the boots you purchased from us were not satisfactory. We pride ourselves on providing a quality product to our customers no matter where the item is manufactured. Please give us a call 800-441-5713 to allow us the opportunity to replace your boots. Best, ^LB

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