L.L. Bean announced this week that it's making a change to its return policy, limiting the length of eligible returns and requiring proof of purchase.

The change was announced on the company's Facebook page, explaining the changes and the reasons behind them. Basically, the company has realized that there are customers abusing the policy, using it as a lifetime product replacement program. In other words, some think that once they've worn those Bean boots until there are holes in the soles, they can just send them back to the company and get a new pair. Obviously, that's not what the company had in mind. In addition, they've found that some people are returning items purchased through third parties, like yard sales, in order to obtain new merchandise or gift cards.

So L.L. Bean Executive Chairman Shawn O. Gorman announced this week that the return policy has changed. Customers will now have one year after the purchase date to return an item, and it must be accompanied by a proof of purchase. Now, if you buy online, the company will most likely have a record of your sale. But if you're returning it in the store, you will need to produce a receipt. Gorman says that, after a year has gone by, representatives will "work with customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way."

Find more information about the new return police at L.L. Bean's website.