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PSA: Thin-Red Line backorder pre-order... We're idiots

post #1 of 310
Thread Starter 
Dear All,

Thank you for your patience regarding an update about the Alfred
Sargent stock shoe discount offer, but it's bad news I'm afraid.

After more than two and a half weeks' of almost daily calls from me
to Alfred Sargent and Sons Ltd. I finally spoke at length with
Andrew Sargent at the end of last week, and the upshot is that
(dispite several verbal assurances to the contrary), us selling
their stock shoes is not a viable possibility.

Unknown to you, AS have been keeping a close eye on what's been
said on SF. They've seen events unfold which, initially, seemed
appealing to them but it all went a bit wrong when some well
meaning SF members emailed Alfred Sargent directly saying
"it's great that you're doing this deal with Thin Red Line". This
has proved to be quite counter-productive as AS took this as an
example of how uncontrollable information is on the internet
and thus they became very uncomfortable with the idea of TRL
offering their stock shoes at a discount to SF members because the
code would inevitably get leaked and this would upset AS's other
retailers. I told Andrew Sargent that we could limit the offer in
any number of ways such as limit the total number of orders or
limit by time - but this didn't make any difference.

Basically, the current situation is this:

1. AS are soon to launch their own website selling direct and,
as such, they do not want new online retailers. Therefore, for
obvious reasons, TRL selling AS stock shoes at a discount is a
no-go.

2. During my call with Andrew Sargent it also became apparent that
AS would also have trouble completing all of the original TRL
branded back orders due to the fact that AS no longer hold stock of
materials - just about everything is now regarded as made-to-order
and as such they cannot guarantee availability of leathers at any
given time. So, even the orders that I had assumed we could
complete with no issue, would now prove problematic.

So, I think we've come to the end of the road, I'm afraid. As you
know, all of us here at TRL have put in huge efforts to make this
happen one way or another - but, at the end of the day, we don't
control the supply of the shoes we sell. If we were talking shirts,
it would be a completely different matter because we make our
garments ourselves - but for shoes, without Alfred Sargent on
board, we can't help you guys out and AS are clearly unwilling to
get involved - no matter what assurances I offer.

In the future, we may stock a very limited range of TRL branded
shoes which will be made by AS. If and when we do this, we will of
course let you know and will provide preferential rates to those of
you who signed up to the back order list. However, this wont happen
until the Autumn at the earliest.

I'm sorry I couldn't offer you better news today. It has been
a pleasure getting to know all the folk on SF – I think you're
a great bunch of guys – and I assure you I have really pulled out
all the stops possible to try and make this happen.

Apologies again and thank you for your patience and understanding.
Obviously, please don't hesitate to contact me directly if
I can be of any assistance to you in the world of shirts.

Warm regards,

Hereward



i dont think people look at this near month old thread all the way through and since i have my name on two of the shoes in the pre-orde i want to make sure i get my shoe. here is the email as quoted by another member. Richard, the assistant i think helping ever SF'er, told me there are only 4 days left to put your name down on a shoe. the rules are listed on the pred-order page so please only put your name down if you intend to purchase. i dont want to find out what consequences there are if too many buyers fall through.

Quote:
YOUR PERSONAL INVITATION TO THE THIN RED LINE SHOE BACK-ORDER SERVICE

Thank you for being one of the number of people who placed an enquiry regarding the possibility of us completing a special back-order run for our shoes.

I am delighted to tell you that we think this will be possible! Because we will be completing a dedicated production run with potentially small numbers of any given style, the process will be broken down into four stages as follows:

1. ORDER GATHERING
We will need to get an idea of the number of shoes required. To facilitate this we have created a closed section of our web site to allow you to place provisional orders for the shoes you desire. Instructions on how to access this page are at the bottom of this email.

2. PRICE QUOTATION
Once we have a provisional order list we will establish the absolute best price we can offer you based on the quantities we shall be manufacturing.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL OUR SHOES ARE CRAFTED FROM THE FINEST CALF (NOT GRADE) LEATHERS SO WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO OFFER THESE SHOES AT OUR STOCK CLEARANCE PRICE. I EXPECT THE SHOES WILL BE IN THE REGION OF £115 FOR THE MAJORITY AND £125 FOR THE MONK & SADDLE GIBSON BURNISHED GRAIN SHOES.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE OUR SHOES MADE TO SAME LEVEL OF DETAIL BUT CRAFTED FROM A LOWER GRADE LEATHER TO ACHIEVE A LOWER PRICE THEN PLEASE TICK THE CHECK BOX ON THE ORDER SCREEN AND WE WILL SEE IF THIS IS PRACTICAL.

3. ORDER CONFIRMATION & DEPOSIT
Once we have confirmed the prices you will be given the opportunity to confirm your order and pay a deposit. We will require a deposit because these shoes will be made specially for you and, as such, we must be sure of your intent to purchase. At this point, your order is confirmed.

4. INTO PRODUCTION
Once all orders are confirmed, your shoes will enter production. This process usually takes approximately 8 weeks. As soon as your shoes are ready, we will then contact you for the balance of payment. Your shoes will then be dispatched within 24 hours of receipt of the balance.

STEP 1 – ORDER GATHERING
To place your provisional order please complete the following:

1. If you have already registered on our web site, please visit www.thinredline.com and log in. If you have not registered, please go to: www.thinredline.com/register and set up a User Account and then log in.

2. Once you have logged in, you will be at the log in confirmation screen. Please scroll to the bottom of this screen where you will see a small SF icon on the right hand side. Simply click this icon and you will be taken to a page where you can select the shoes you would like to order.

3. The Order Gathering page will be open for 7 days only, after which time this page will be removed. We will then confirm prices and ask you to confirm your order a few days after that.

I would just like thank everyone who has made such positive comments about our products. I am personally very gratified that our shoes have been so well received because we put a lot of work into ensuring all our products represent the best quality but at the best value available today.

Thank you for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Hereward Brown

PS. You can access the order page directly (only when logged in) by visiting: www.thinredline.com/sfpreorder and you can edit your selections any number of times within the next 7 days.
post #2 of 310
Wow, they allow you to choose a lower grade leather to achieve a cheaper price? Wow.

I wonder how many will go that route? I also wonder with the current state of AS just how they plan on doing this.
post #3 of 310
The prices went up to $115 from $79 GBP. Still a good deal though. Thinking about pre-ordering the faux-mckays.
post #4 of 310
TRL now has smaller sizes from UK 6 Also we need more buyers for the Scotch Grain Saddle Gibson Burnished Grain Calf. I'm thinking of getting Dainite soles instead of leather sole
post #5 of 310
How much was shipping to the US for those who've already purchased?
post #6 of 310
12 GBP shipping
post #7 of 310
BTW, I've been in touch with Richard and you can also order G widths if you ahve wide feet.

Very prompt replies -- great service!
post #8 of 310
I just sent richard an email about wide widths. good to know!
post #9 of 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by justsayno View Post
Also we need more buyers for the Scotch Grain Saddle Gibson Burnished Grain Calf.
I'm thinking of getting Dainite soles instead of leather sole

Is ordering a different sole an option?
I might be in for Saddle Gibson Burnished Walnut if I could get a leather sole.
post #10 of 310
Has anyone confirmed that the 115GBP includes VAT?
post #11 of 310
Oh nice, going to put myself down for a couple pairs.
post #12 of 310
I put in a preorder and am awaiting TRL's confirmation of final prices. If the willow calf half brogues end up about 115GBP, then it's a pretty good deal, judging by the suede half monks I received.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbris1 View Post
I also wonder with the current state of AS just how they plan on doing this.

Maybe this will put to rest rumors of Sargent's imminent demise...2 things though:

-iirc, TRL didn't want to confirm the maker. Perhaps additional prodding would give us a definite answer since preorders will require a deposit;

-on the other hand, speculation regarding the maker has been based solely on the nail pattern. I don't think anyone managed to identify inside markings (last #, etc) as belonging to Sargent. Could it be that they're made by another English maker? Cheaney or Barker perhaps? Hell, I haven't entirely dismissed the possibility that these could be Loake or Grenson...I'll admit that Clark's side-by- side shots with his Sargent Blenheim do make a convincing argument.
post #13 of 310
Someone post a pic of the writing inside the quarters of their shoe & I'll let you know. Mr. Moo?
post #14 of 310
Just ordered my Willow Calf half brogues lets hope this goes through, seems like a very good deal to me £115 for a £220 ish pair shoes elsewhere. This mustn,t be a good deal tho as i dont normally get good deals
post #15 of 310
Look guys,

125 x 1.48= $185.

that's VERY good for a pair of English made shoes. Who the hell (I certainly don't) give a sh*t about whether Sargent or Barker or Cheney made them?
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