The End of the ‘No Questions Asked’ Return Policy

 

Way back in January 2014, I posted about my very happy, one and only experience with L.L. Bean’s famous 100% liberal return policy (KezarLife post here) Even though I am not a big customer of Bean’s products, you buy with the knowledge that it will last for a very long time. So even though you might pay more for a similar item than at another store, you are getting the L.L. Bean value!

It is so sad that a high number of people took advantage of this longstanding option! The Company’s Chairman suggests that people were exchanging items that they acquired at yard sales. So here is another example of how the majority suffers because of the actions of a greedy minority. And according to a Boston.com article, social media may have spread the word on just how to take advantage of the store’s goodwill.

Here is the letter from Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman that was sent to the store’s customers:

A Letter to Our Customers

Since 1912, our mission has been to sell high-quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors. Our commitment to customer service has earned us your trust and respect, as has our guarantee, which ensures that we stand behind everything we sell.

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.

Based on these experiences, we have updated our policy. Customers will have one year after purchasing an item to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. After one year, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way.

This update adds clarity to our policy and will only affect a small percentage of returns. It will also ensure we can continue to honor one of the best guarantees in retail, with no impact for the vast majority of our customers. To learn more, please view our full return policy at llbean.com.

L.L.Bean has stood for quality, service, trust, and getting people outdoors ever since my great-grandfather founded our company over 100 years ago – and that will never change. Thank you for being a loyal customer and we look forward to continuing to inspire and enable you to Be an Outsider.

Sincerely,


Shawn O. Gorman
Executive Chairman

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Appalachian Mountain Club’s 2018 International Dinner & Adventure Series

Sunrise on Top of Yellow MountainSunrise on Top of Yellow Mountain

Here we are at the end of December and it is shaping up to be a classic New England winter — COLD and SNOWY! With well over a foot on the ground already, we now have a great base of snow for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. From skiing to ice skating to snowshoeing to ice fishing, go outside and have some fun!

Starting Wednesday January 3rd, the Appalachian Mountain Club kicks off its 28th year of hosting the International Dinner and Adventure Series. Each week there will be a different four-course menu related to that evening’s country. The meal is followed by a presentation (by local and regional guides, explorers and travelers), with photos, that detail a visit to a far-away place. Responsible BYOB is welcome! What better way to enjoy a winter evening with good food and information about exotic places?

Take special note of the presentation for March 7th! “Cuisine of China, followed by SUNRISE ON TOP OF YELLOW MOUNTAIN with Stan Tupaj!”

Dinners are $21 for AMC members and $24 for non-members (group rates also available). The programs are free and open to the public.

Here is a special AMC International Dinner VACATION PACKAGE which includes:

  • A four-course dinner
  • The evening presentation
  • An overnight room in the Joe Dodge Lodge
  • Morning breakfast
  • A Thursday Skiing or Tubing package at Great Glen Trails!
  • All for $49. Call 603-466-2727 Monday-Saturday between 9 & 5 and mention the International Dinner Series Special.

Click here for for the complete Schedule and Menus:  AMC Information Flyer  AMC Menu

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2018 KEZAR REALTY CALENDARS

The 2018 Kezar Realty calendars have arrived and they are now available for pick-up at our office and in stores all around town. Not in Lovell? Send me an email (stan@fairpoint.net) and I will be sure to send one (or two) in the mail.

Now I ask, what better way to dress up your fridge?

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Shop Local — Shop Lovell UPDATE

In my list of local places to Christmas shop, I inadvertently omitted a new business in town. Please be sure to check out Ann Williams’ handmade crafts at ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. Ann specializes in Knitwear and Accessories as well as Decorative Arts. Her studio is located 1298 Main Street in Lovell at the corner of Dragonfly Road. It is best to call ahead for hours. Phone number is 207-925-1124 and her email is annwill1@frontier.com

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Shop Local — Shop Lovell

Here we are, in the middle of December, and I am sure that you still have lots of presents to buy. And then you start planning a quick trip to North Conway or to South Portland. Sometimes we overlook all of the wonderful merchants, artists and non-profits that we have living in and around Lovell.  Here are some ideas:

* Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.

* You need to check out the great things that Brent Legere is creating at the LOVELL BOX COMPANY. Wonderful, one-of-a kind boxes and creates made from pine grown on the family land. Perfect for wine, beer, storage, produce, etc. Brent would be happy to make something from your own specs. Check out his Facebook page here or call him at 207-432-2900.

* How about taking that old couch with the ragged threads to HEIRLOOMUP for updated upholstery? Visit Martha Livingston’s new shop at 222 Main Street in the Village. She can help you with design and fabric choices and then do a fantastic job of bringing your favorite furniture back to life. And Martha can help spruce up your ripped boat seats. Call her at 207-595-1539.

* HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy’s kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy’s webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.

* LOVELL HARDWARE, located at 411 Main Street is up and running! Great selection of lumber, paint, nuts and bolts, mulch, pellets, pet and horse feed, propane and much more. The store is open every day. Call 925-9053 for hours.

* HOMESTEAD SCOOP. Beth Armington’s store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans’ work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And don’t forget that Homestead is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.

* PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The ‘Pick-Your-Own’ season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.

* KARL’S AUTO REPAIR, located at 118 Cushman Pond Road in Lovell. Get rid of that winter grime inside and out for your special person’s car with an auto detailing package from Karl. Call for more details at 207-928-3132 or visit their Facebook page here.

* How about some great handmade jewelry, bags, t-shirts, in addition to some honey and maple syrup? All from Justin and Jenn’s ‘off the grid’ FLY AWAY FARM, a family operation in Stow.  Visit their website here. Give them a call at 207-466-7352.

* How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments?

1)Rosie’s Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255.

2)The Center Lovell Market. Open on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051.

3)The Stow Corner Store. Original menu, great portions, a warm environment and a local institution! Check out their Facebook page here for updates on specials or call 207-697-2255. Don’t miss the award-winning chili and seafood chowder!

4)The Wicked Good Store. Be sure to try out some great food at the new store in town! 207-925-9087 is their number and they are located at 360 Main Street. Visit their Facebook page here.

5)AJ’s Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454.

6)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here!

6)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.

7)‘Best Beer Bar in America‘, EBENEZER’s PUB During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub’s phone number is 207-925-3200.

Still can’t figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell’s United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)!

Please let me know of any additions to this list.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

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How Do You Move A Barn?

Western Maine is blessed to have so many skilled craft people living and working here and that they earn enough to make a living. Some of these crafts are not your everyday type of jobs. As many know, whenever I see a ‘Fox & Sons’ sign on the road, I like to pull over and be a ‘sidewalk supervisor’. To see just a handful of people work at lifting a building off of its foundation and moving it to a temporary spot (usually for the construction of a new foundation) is just fascinating. Here’s an example of a current job:

It was also an eye-opener to learn that a number of buildings around town were once in a different spot. So, it was not uncommon for a barn, a house or a section of a home to be moved across the field, across the street or across town. And often without the assistance of mechanical equipment. Just using strength, brains and animals. Which leads me to the Old Fox Barn on Slab City Road. After the passing of Fred Fox, the barn and farmhouse were slated for demolition. I am not certain of the exact sequence which resulted in the saving of the barn but along came J. Scott Campbell, owner of the Maine Mountain Post & Beam in Fryeburg, to purchase the building from the family. Along the way, he connected with a local resident looking to build a new residence. Over the years, I have seen some of Scott’s work around the area. He just built a beautiful barn in my neighborhood but this is a special project and it brings new life to a structure that for a time was going to be torn down. Here are a few pictures of the frame before it was dismantled and a few pictures of it resurrected at its new location. In some of the pictures, you can see the simple system that is used to mark each piece.

Can’t wait until the transformation of the old Fox Barn is complete. Until then, here are some photos.

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Down East Magazine Reviews Maine’s Best Burgers

The new issue of ‘Down East’ Magazine arrived in the mailbox the other day and I finally got around to looking through it last night. Unless you are a vegetarian, who wouldn’t have an interest in reading about some of the best burgers in Maine. My only problem would be that I would not recognize any of the restaurants. Well, how surprised and pleased I was when I got to page 76 where not one, but two, local spots made the top 30! Ebenezer’s Restaurant in Lovell where they are used to getting all kinds of Best Beer Bar Awards and Melby’s Market and Eatery in Waterford.

Thank you ‘Down East’ for traveling out to western Maine and recognizing some great food spots!

 

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