I appreciate the advice... and if I had any way of knowing what shoes I wanted making a "christmas list" would be a super idea. The problem is, as I have previously mentioned, the pictures on the website don't represent the color of the shoes accurately so knowing what shoe I want, and what color I want it in is impossible since they don't have the shoes in every color at the store. So, inaccurate website pictures and poorly stocked stores mean that it wouldn't be a "2 trips to the store" deal, it would be more like 4 or 5 trips to the store, which would result in me paying as much money in gas as I would pay to buy a pair of shoes from Allen Edmonds... Unless I were to have the associate pull every color of shoe from several different styles of course.
IF the website had accurate pictures, I could simply go to the store with a christmas list of the shoes I wanted to try on, have them ordered, come back a week or so later, and purchase the one I liked most.
changing the website pictures is the one glaring need I see with AE when it comes to customer service. The chink in the armor of AE's customer service. Isn't it easier/more cost effective to just snap a real photo rather than paying someone to digitally render a version of what the shoe supposedly looks like? It also takes far less time... Last I checked they still don't have photos up of the new colors they just came out with in the Daltons and the other styles.
The problem with color and the web is that not every monitor is color managed. An also most web browsers do not follow the ICC color profile.
I use a color spyder on my monitor to make sure the color is correct.
The average user can not correct tell the color of a picture on the web.
They just don't have the equipment to do so.