I remember the first time I went clothes shopping on my own. By prearrangement with my mom, I went after school to the store in town that had preteen sizes. I can still picture the grey cardigan sweater and grey and red plaid skirt I selected. Then I called my mom, who drove to town, and parked outside the store. I came out, took the money she gave me, went back in to pay, and home we went. The next day I proudly wore my purchase.
To this day the entire event plays in my imagination like a marvelous movie. I don’t know which scene is my favorite, the selecting and trying on, or the financial transaction. I do know, however, the winning theme; my mom staying in the background and trusting me to select an outfit that I would never consider returning.
This memory was sparked by L.L. Bean’s recent announcement to adjust their return policy. Very likely, you’ve received the letter they emailed to their customers. I know times have changed since the 1950s when our country was still struggling with a Post WWII economy. And it’s hard to believe that my mom and I carried out this shopping event without cell phone or credit card! But that's no excuse for abusing L.L. Bean.
Regardless of the times, these questions come to mind. What is the correlation between the ease in returning things and our general decision making process? If returning purchases is related to the surplus of consumer goods in our country, is there something we might be doing to share with those without even the basics? Just because we can get away with something, does that make it right? Should the law of the land be our only or final guide?