15 Purchases That Might Outlive You

Brands that guarantee you’ll be satisfied with their stuff

Despite the rage of disposable clothing and the rise of America’s throwaway culture, some brands do still make things for keeps—and offer satisfaction guarantees to go along with them. Read why in Adweek’s March 17 cover story here. Meanwhile, our short list of forever brands—companies that guarantee that what you buy from them will last you a lifetime—is right here. And yes, we know: Some of these “guarantees” are better than others, which is why we included “the catch,” when necessary. Got any brands to add? Let us know in the comments below.

The Brand: L.L. Bean

The Promise: “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed”

The Details: “We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.”

The Catch: None.

The Brand: Davek

The Promise: “Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee”

The Details: Most umbrellas last less than two years—some, less than two weeks. But Davek will repair its umbrellas if “at any time… the umbrellas should fail to function properly.”

The Catch: Must register umbrella and pay $9.95 S&H

The Brand: Darn Tough

The Promise: “Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee”

The Details: “If our socks are not the most comfortable and durable socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair or your money back. No strings. No Conditions. For Life.”

The Catch: None.

The Brand: Nordstrom

The Promise: “Don’t Love It? Don’t Worry”

The Details: This venerated retailer will accept returns anytime after purchase, even if you’ve lost the receipt. (That old story about the guy who returned his snow tires, however, is up for debate.)

The Catch: It might take 14 days for the credit to appear on your credit card. Original shipping charges not included.

The Brand: Polar Bottle

The Promise: “Our Guarantee”

The Details: “If anything ever happens” to one of these insulated drink containers, or if “you are otherwise unhappy with the product,” e-mail HQ and “we will take care of you.”

The Catch: We couldn’t find one.

The Brand: Land’s End

The Promise: “We Want Nothing Less Than Your Absolute Satisfaction”

The Details: These dudes are serious. If you don’t like what you bought, return it for a refund or exchange anytime after purchase. “We mean every word of it. Whatever. Whenever. Always.”

The Catch: None. They’ve even registered the slogan “Guaranteed. Period.”

The Brand: Omaha Steaks

The Promise: “Unconditional Guarantee”

The Details: Got a beef with your mail-order beef? No worries. “If you are not absolutely thrilled” with your mail-order steak, “we’ll cheerfully replace your purchase or refund your money.” (Y’hear that? Cheerfully.)

The Catch: None we could find.

The Brand: Eddie Bauer

The Promise: “Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee”

The Details: EB’s goods are “designed to be the best and built to last. If anything falls short of those standards, you’re invited to return it at any time.” (Refunds are given, too.)

The Catch: None. “It’s unconditional.”

The Brand: Bogs

The Promise: “100% Satisfaction Guarantee”

The Details: Footwear will meet “the high standards that you expect. If they do not, just return them for a replacement or a refund.”

The Catch: None we can see.

The Brand: Briggs & Riley

The Promise: “Lifetime Guarantee”

The Details: If the luggage is broken or damaged—even if it was the airline’s fault—“we will repair it free of charge—Simple as that!”

The Catch: Normal wear and tear not covered. Shipping charges are on you, bud.

The Brand: Oxo

The Promise: “Satisfaction Guarantee”

The Details: “If for any reason you are not satisfied” with one of this brand’s utensils, they’ll replace it or refund it.

The Catch: Seemingly none.

The Brand: Acuvue

The Promise: “Satisfaction Guaranteed”

The Details: This Johnson & Johnson brand is “confident that you will be happy” with your contact lenses, but if you don’t see eye to eye, “we offer a full money back satisfaction guarantee.”

The Catch: Must supply receipt, at least 75% of unused remainder, plus a written explanation of the problem.

The Brand: J.W. Hulme Co.

The Promise: “Products Guaranteed for a Lifetime”

The Details: This leather-goods maker “guarantees the structural integrity of our products for their useful life under normal & tear,” and will fix the item for free.

The Catch: “Useful life” is determined by the brand, not you. Shipping costs are on you, too.

The Brand: Hammacher Schlemmer

The Promise: “The Hammacher Schlemmer Lifetime Guarantee: Unconditional and Unwavering”

The Details: “Items that we sell are guaranteed for their normal life under standard non-commercial use.” If they “fail to meet your expectations,” this 166 year-old retailer will replace or refund it.

The Catch: Must submit proof of purchase. Shipping and “service fees” not included.

The Brand: Tervis Tumbler

The Promise: “Guaranteed For Life!”

The Details: “Should your tumbler become defective or broken,” you can return it, even without a receipt. “Just make sure your tumbler says ‘Tervis’ on the bottom.”

The Catch: Must furnish note explaining the problem, but that seems fair.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.