Dear Customer,

In this catalog there are a number of products that carry a lifetime guarantee.

Now, it wouldn't be credible for us to state that a product will last forever, but it's not a stretch for you to see that you'll get full value (one way or another) out of each of the products so described. A lifetime guarantee is one of the ways a manufacturer telegraphs that the product will outlast your expectations of it or you'll get your money back.

One of the challenges we face with offering a broad range of "lifetime" tools is that each time we're successful selling a product, we effectively diminish our own future market. After all, once each of you has a lifetime pruner, a lifetime hose, a lifetime spade and other assorted basic lifetime tools, odds are we won't be able to sell you another.

We are not big believers in built-in obsolescence; in fact we believe we should offer the most durable product possible within rational price limits. The problem with this approach is just as described – we can work ourselves out of a job.

That's why we continue to offer consumable items, to work on new styles and sizes of existing products, and to expand the product line in different directions. That's why we regularly solicit your comments and feedback. The catalog in your hands reflects what you've told us over the past decade and a half, and we continue to rely on your guidance. There are few retailers left to whom you can make your voice easily heard, but we're one of them; we promise we'll always listen and take action whenever we can.

On this last point, it is worth reminding you that we want to hear about any product that has disappointed you. Contrary to what you might think, your observations are welcome because they often alert us to problems we are not aware of, allowing us to make changes before we have filled a large number of orders. Don't cut us any slack based on past performance – it's the only way to assure our future performance remains up to snuff!


Robin C. Lee


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