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The Ultimate Vass Porn Thread - Page 673

post #10081 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post

I'll jump in for a second because I was named a few times here, and then I will retreat from this conversation.   Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
As you can imagine, a public forum is not the appropriate venue for a retailer to discuss any of his suppliers' distribution strategy or commercial relationships.  I will just make a few quick points to maybe rectify some incorrect assumptions:

1.  I am a Vass shoe lover - always have been.  Some of you have not been on this forum long enough to maybe realize it but I have been buying and wearing Vass shoes for a long time, I've been posting lots of pictures, reviews, help here to share with fellow Vass fans.  I may not have started this thread but I'd say I've been active in it since the beginning.  
2.  When I drew a plan of what I wanted to do with No Man Walks Alone, I started with a blank page and the idea to offer the best and the products I love from makers I respect.  Believe it or not, the first name on that page was Vass.  It was for me a dream to share that passion for these shoes with others in the US and make it easy for people to buy shoes, try their size, return/exchange and ALWAYS be satisfied with their purchase
3.  Everyone with a modicum of knowledge about shoemaking and the costs of doing so know very well that Vass shoes are an exceptional deal for what they are.  Several brands not nearly as well made sell for twice their retail price.   There's a reason why so many of us have jumped through hoops and played a little bit of sizing roulette with these shoes... they're a great deal, even after a couple of costly mistakes.
4.  I take exception to being called a price gouger.  Without getting into details that should not be publicly shared, let's just say that these are probably our lowest margin items in the entire store.

5.  I do not have an exclusivity agreement of any sort as alleged or assumed.  It is not my role to dictate Vass's distribution and pricing strategy.   It is my opinion that once there are authorized channels, it is generally a mistake to feed unauthorized/grey channels and lose control over product distribution - but then again, it is not my role or place to make those decisions for Vass.
6.  I am quite pleased with our business with Vass and I believe our customers are pleased with the value we bring to them through well thought-out make-ups, ease of purchase, quick and free shipping & returns.  I hope to continue to offer Vass shoes as long as possible.   It's a bit painful to read disparaging comments about us here when all we are doing is translate our passion for these shoes into a nice offering for our customers.  We're also a forum affiliate, something that tends to be appreciated in other threads but somehow is met with negativity in this thread.  I do not know why, and I don't think I can fix it, which is why I've generally been shying away from this thread rather than offer more pictures, insight and info.

I don't know if there is a right conclusion to this other than : continue to enjoy your Vass, make your own decisions as to who you want to support as a retailer and let me know if I can help.

worship.gif
post #10082 of 13453
Vass shoes have been exceptional value, in part because they were sold factory direct at essentially wholesale prices.
post #10083 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by venividivicibj View Post

Spoke to vass.

That shall be kept between you and Vass.
post #10084 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwhinson View Post
 

 Why not have Vass provide its official retail channels in the US with an updated inventory of what they have on hand in Budapest ready to ship, then the retailer customer could order through NMWA or Epaulet, pay the retail price of $700-$800 which I have no problem with whatsoever, and drop ship the product from Budapest to the US customer? It seems to me hat everything ordered through NMWA or Epaulet has to be an MTO and treated as such by Vass requiring a wait time of 8 weeks or so. All the while, its sitting on the shelves of the Budapest store. For me its about the availability of product, not the price, and I value the support of a US outlet.

I think that is a very reasonable solution to opening up availability of product, although I could not say for sure the challenges that may entail on both ends.

 

I am relatively new to Vass and have been interested over the past six months in ordering a pair, I've read all the posts on here, many multiple times trying to get my sizing down.  I have gone back and forth on the best way to put an order through, and had been very reluctant to play roulette on sizing although this would not be my first foray into that roll of the dice.  The proxy service has not been a good experience for me, although many have seemed to have great success. I can however, understand the frustration of losing the direct channel to the company, there is something unique in having the opportunity to interact directly with the stakeholders of the business and certainly provides a connection to the brand.

 

All of that said, I certainly welcome the opportunity to have a retailer or two within the U.S. to work with, not just for sizing but in general to have them help in all facets of the ordering process as well. I value the opinion of people with much more experience than I have particularly in the world of Vass, and I do plan to make a purchase through U.S. retailers, most likely many over the course of time.  While they may not be the cheapest option, I think in the long run the service they provide is worth the price and the relationship, so long as they live up to providing that service.  I personally would rather pay the added cost, knowing that they will handle the details and all of the leg work ensuring my order it taken care of rather than a potentially time consuming process on my end. I don't mind waiting the ~8 weeks if I get what I want, it may not be instant gratification, but I am not in an immediate need for shoes at this point where waiting has a significant impact on my life experience.

 

I realize this doesn't assuage the unwelcome change for some but it is a perspective that I have come to adopt in freeing up my mind and time.

 

* Edit didnt see the posts above before I hit submit, I guess those like me will have no choice but U.S. retailers but those with past experience will be grandfathered in, so ultimately the change impacts those going forward.

post #10085 of 13453

I would add to that, they are an exceptional value at retail price as well.

 

I frankly had no idea that members on this forum were buying direct for $200 less than what NMWA and Epaulet charge. IMO it is a poor business decision to allow customers who have gotten in on that "deal" in the past to continue doing so, and not just because I'm out of that circle. In doing so they're selling to US consumers (perhaps even the core of their market) at wholesale, undercutting their official retail outlets. Lets face it -- members on this forum probably represent a large portion of their US sales. If they're selling to most of that market at wholesale, well, perhaps that's why Epaulet stocks only two - that's right - two styles. Instead of "the best shoes in England for the discerning few" it looks like Vass is offering (some of) "the best shoes anywhere for the well connected."  Again perhaps my issue is different than what most of you are discussing here. I'm not interested in price, I'm interested in access to the range of styles offered in the Budapest store ready to ship. I approached them not to buy at some "wholesale" price, but rather to get an idea of what styles they have on hand in my size, which, judging from the photographs of the Budapest store, have likely to be many indeed.

post #10086 of 13453
This thread is going to be active today... lurker[1].gif
post #10087 of 13453
I applaud Greg for stepping in and shedding some light on this from the retailer perspective. I've been frequenting the NMWA thread and website as I look forward to supporting a styleforum affiliate and stalwart of this e-community (although I've yet to order but plan to in the future). The main reason I started going to the NMWA site was their offering of Vass and nothing would beat the ability to order a pair and have them within a few days rather than a few months. It also cannot overstated how much more convenient it would be to be able to pay via credit card and also split the cost up for half up front and half on completion for MTO. That being said, no online retailer will offer an H width as a stock item so I'm pretty much out of luck without going MTO or direct through Vass for it.
post #10088 of 13453
^
I feel ya, it's all MTO for us wide footed folk...
post #10089 of 13453
I think we need to be fair about the differences in pricing between buying directly from Vass and from NMWA or Epaulet.

Clearly there are other issues under discussion here, but I do not see how there's a $200 difference by any stretch of the imagination.

As someone who's bought both direct and from NMWA (Epaulet has not stocked my size... though I have taken advantage of a fall group order with Epaulet), I'll submit that the price difference to the customer is more to the tune of $75, and actually likely less.

Granted that retailers are presumably buying from Vass at a lower overall cost than individuals do (at least I hope they are), but I'm not interested in what their margins are only what we as consumers can expect to pay for a pair of Vass shoes.

So here's what I see...

Bought from Vass (P2 or other standard last, no Goyser welt, no special leather, no Italian polish)
Shoes, plus trees, plus shipping: 390 Euros (the last time I ordered, ex. VAT)
Current exchange rate: 1.39 USD/EUR
Wire transfer fee: $25
Customs tax 1.085 (I think) plus some possible brokerage fee ($25?)

I get about $638 all in.

Now you can argue the customs fees, but to be fair we need to include them whether an individual ends up paying them or not. NMWA and Epaulet certainly have to pay them.

US Retailer Pricing
NMWA pricing: $795
NMWA SF discount (10%): 715.50

Difference $77.50.

And this does not take into account that most of the NMWA and Epaulet makeups have some feature that comes with an upcharge (i.e. Italian lasts, Italian polish, Goyser welting). I don't know the direct pricing on those, but any of these will further reduce the difference.

So we're really talking about a very minor difference in pricing to the consumer. Certainly not enough to call anyone a gouger, which is a rather ugly word to use I think.

The matter of access to the complete range of Vass offerings is not insignificant.

But let's not go overboard on the topic of pricing.
post #10090 of 13453
Great posting Frank, but duty fees is probably a subjective matter. In the past, I believe Vass will ship shoes as "trial shoes" with a lower marked retail value.

So if the whole analysis (apples to apples) is based on what a consumer would be charged directly from Vass, duty fees may or may not be part of the analysis. I haven't purchased Vass directly from the international store to the US, but people in this thread (via pm) told me the price of direct buying should be about $550.

Maybe other forum members can shed some of their experiences with this matter.

On another note, I would never have even considered purchasing Vass if it wasn't for NMWA. Albeit they do charge a bit more based on my research gathering, NWMA offers some of the best customer service I've experienced in SF. It really is a nightmare to deal with sizing issues with an international shoemaker. Just look at Meermin and the people who got hosed for buying without locking down their size. But for the people who have their sized dialed in but never went through EP or NMWA for help, I do see why there's some animosity towards a higher charge.
Edited by JezeC - 3/6/14 at 9:16am
post #10091 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwhinson View Post

Really? This was the reply I received when I emailed them directly:

Hello-


First of all we would like to thank you for your interesting about Vass

Shoes!

We are really sorry, but we don't deliver directly shoes to the USA. We do

have 2 official retailer there:

www.epauletnewyork.com
www.nomanwalksalone.com 


Please try to reach Mike and his team in New York or in LA, or try their

online shop.

If I can help, please contact me!


Kind regards,


Rezső Kuti

Sales Manager

It's probably important to note Rezso only mentions contacting one retailer, and that pricing was also an issue with Carmina from two affiliate vendors where one vendor ended up raising prices by $100 or so. Also to note is that this one retailer has since lowered their Carmina group buy prices by ~$150-200 and Vass prices by a good amount as well. Good reason for them to protect their price premium (which I have paid to get a few nice makeups before)
post #10092 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by JezeC View Post

Great posting Frank, but duty fees is probably a subjective matter. In the past, I believe Vass will ship shoes as "trial shoes" with a lower marked retail value.

So if the whole analysis (apples to apples) is based on what a consumer would be charged directly from Vass, duty fees may or may not be part of the analysis. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I haven't purchased Vass directly from the international store to the US, but people in this thread (via pm) told me the price of direct buying should be about $550.

Maybe other forum members can shed some of their experiences with this matter.

On another note, I would never have even considered purchasing Vass if it wasn't for NMWA. Albeit they are a bit price from my research gathering, NWMA offers some of the best customer service I've experienced in SF. It really is a nightmare to deal with sizing issues with an international shoemaker. Just look at Meermin and the people who got hosed for buying without locking down their size. But for the people who have their sized dialed in but never went through EP or NMWA for help, I do see why there's some animosity towards a higher charge.

Thanks.

My point on the duty and any brokerage fees that would come with it is that it is unfair to make a comparison that includes this for one party (a retailer) and not for the other (a individual buyer, who may not end up paying the fees for whatever reason), when both are technically legally obligated to pay them.

If the absence of these fees accounts for a significant portion of the difference in the pricing between buying directly from Vass and buying from a domestic retailer, then it's not the retailer's pricing that's really at issue.
post #10093 of 13453
Frank - spot on.
post #10094 of 13453
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCowperwood View Post



Thanks.



My point on the duty and any brokerage fees that would come with it is that it is unfair to make a comparison that includes this for one party (a retailer) and not for the other (a individual buyer, who may not end up paying the fees for whatever reason), when both are technically legally obligated to pay them.



If the absence of these fees accounts for a significant portion of the difference in the pricing between buying directly from Vass and buying from a domestic retailer, then it's not the retailer's pricing that's really at issue.

 




The issue is what previous buyers had paid directly from the international store vs. what they will pay going forward at an US-based retailer. The difference might be greater than $75 when all factors are included.

Again, another voice with direct experience may clarify things as well.
post #10095 of 13453
Well, I can agree with you that $550 is about right for a direct cost excluding US duty and fees.

But keep in mind that's for a plain pair on a standard last, from my experience. Again, add Goyser stitching or upgrade to a more expensive Italian last (one or both of which are features of many of the shoes offered through the US retailers) and you would need to add to that $550 figure.

Anyway, just offering my thoughts.

Cheers.
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