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Carmina Shoes - Official Thread (reviews, advice, sizing, etc...) - Page 1125

post #16861 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post

I recall Carmina being the forum's darling back in 2012 when calfskin shoes were selling for $440 and Inca last for $490.  Then the strong dollar and VAT discount knocked their price down to $300 - $350, which ushered in a bunch of new customers.  Now that they are back in the same price range as four years ago, everyone is complaining about the price increase and that Carmina is no longer a good value proposition.  puzzled.gif

I completely understand if you prefer C&J at that price point or believe Vass is well worth the extra money.  I also understand if you are simply not a Carmina fan due to quality control issues and the difficulty returning items.  I just find it curious sometimes watching how the winds blow on this forum.
I guess it's the new flow of customers that are ignorant that they were never aware how the prices were before the price drop and now with recent hike they are complaining now. I do remember that the avg price was around 400-500 before the price drop due the strength of the dollar.
post #16862 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post
 

 

No.  I've paid duties on maybe 1/3 of my Carmina orders and the duty is typically $30 or so.  The only time I've been pounded by duty was $75 for a pair of C&J Islays.


That makes it a bit more palatable indeed...VAT here in Switzerland is why I dread shipping..If I have to return an item...the VAT is still paid...and I have to go chase down a return...and I'm not quite sure that chasing down VAT through Fedex and Swiss customs is going to be time/cost effective versus writing it off...or if it's even possible (I've never tried honestly)..and in the meanwhile...when the replacement item comes in, I get to pay VAT again...and of course shipping and reshipping and rereshipping isn't really free here either. If someone messed up my order twice I'd probably stroke out....I don't find myself overly particular but stupid avoidable QC issues that could have been avoided and prevented the need to return the item do actually matter to me. If I'm going to end up paying Vass prices anyways because someone can't get things straight, then I might as well just order from Vass from the start...right?

post #16863 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by justonemore View Post
 


That makes it a bit more palatable indeed...VAT here in Switzerland is why I dread shipping..If I have to return an item...the VAT is still paid...and I have to go chase down a return...and I'm not quite sure that chasing down VAT through Fedex and Swiss customs is going to be time/cost effective versus writing it off...or if it's even possible (I've never tried honestly)..and in the meanwhile...when the replacement item comes in, I get to pay VAT again...and of course shipping and reshipping and rereshipping isn't really free here either. If someone messed up my order twice I'd probably stroke out....I don't find myself overly particular but stupid avoidable QC issues that could have been avoided and prevented the need to return the item do actually matter to me. If I'm going to end up paying Vass prices anyways because someone can't get things straight, then I might as well just order from Vass from the start...right?

 

Makes sense to me.  I cannot get over the VAT and duty/tax mark-ups many of you are forced pay.

post #16864 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdavro23 View Post

$18 in duties for each of my Carminas... No wonder America is in decline...

Make America Great Again!

BTW, doesn't Trump wear Brioni?
post #16865 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by justonemore View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamgrinus View Post

 


On the other hand, I think that shell is overpriced in general.  It's demanding a huge premium right now and I just don't think it's worth it.
Can anyone back me up on this? I could swear that when I went through my Alden phase in 2008,  that Shoemart was selling shell at around $600....I'm looking at the site now and seeing prices for Alden shell at $686....An $86 increase over a 7-8 year period isn't really "a huge premium right now" is it? Or am I missing something here?
November 2009


I found some email receipts from 2008.
Calfskin Indy for $315.
Cigar shoes for $600.
post #16866 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Shoes1 View Post
 

 

Makes sense to me.  I cannot get over the VAT and duty/tax mark-ups many of you are forced pay.


Things run pretty well here overall (medicine, education, general infrastructure)...so I can't really complain about giving a higher share to society...but I have to say...coming from the U.S.... the cost can sometimes be a bit shocking...

post #16867 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post


Make America Great Again!

BTW, doesn't Trump wear Brioni?


Are you trying to tell me that it's more than just eastern european wives that Trump imports? :teach: 

post #16868 of 18856

Not sure when Armoury started carrying Carmina, but I'm confident Carmina were well known to SFers long before that. I bought my first pair in Spain pre-'10.  

 

Just so everyone is clear, see below for my order from the Sept '12 for pricing on shell. 

 

432,00 € x 1 = 432,00 €
Lace-up wing tip oxford in Burgundy Shell cordovan Semi squared last. Leather sole. Calf lining. 


TOTAL PRICE OF ORDER


Payment method: Credit card
Order Price (Taxes included): 432,00 €
Delivery Rates: 40,00 €
Total price: 472,00 € (tax excluded)

 

 

At the time 1EU = 1.285 USD. 

 

432 EUR = $555.12 

 

ALL-IN w/ Shipping: $606.52 

(Under the old pricing scheme, that shoe today would cost $526 USD shipped)

 

That same shoe today is $745 shipped to the US. 

 

Carmina should feel free to price shoes for as little or as much as they want. Let's just stick to facts. 

post #16869 of 18856
Maybe it has to do with high demand that they needed to raise their prices that it doesn't affect their quality?

By the way does someone know how many shoes Carmina produce on a daily/monthly or a year basis? I have been told they are a small family business compared to Corporate AE that produces almost a 2000+/- a day and 1million pairs a year.
post #16870 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

Maybe it has to do with high demand that they needed to raise their prices that it doesn't affect their quality?

By the way does someone know how many shoes Carmina produce on a daily/monthly or a year basis? I have been told they are a small family business compared to Corporate AE that produces almost a 2000+/- a day and 1million pairs a year.


AE and Carmina = apples and oranges...Yes CArmina is small and "falily run"...Yes...AE is a big corporate brand....The problem from what I understand of the conversation is that Carmina did not raise their QC or Customer service with the increase in prices

post #16871 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by justonemore View Post


AE and Carmina = apples and oranges...Yes CArmina is small and "falily run"...Yes...AE is a big corporate brand

How so? Both use same type of construction. What is so different between these two in your opinion?
post #16872 of 18856

This pricing discussion is interesting.  I have another theory.  How will luxury goods determine their pricing model?  Well once they are established and growing, they will raise prices until they can't.  On another note, it's interesting how Meermin, Yanko and Carmina all have a similar aesthetic (let's call it the Spanish aesthetic) and are all nicely spaced apart from a pricing standpoint. As Carmina has risen in prominence, Yanko has entered the scene to fill the pricing gap between and Meermin is still the "gateway" into Spanish shoes.  Similar to how Loake -> Crockett hold their market space.

 

Also, you can't overlook that Spanish shoes are being produced from a country who's economy was completely destroyed recently.  From what I can tell, the shoemaking industry was able to sort of reinvent themselves and keep people working.  If I owned one of these businesses I would have undercut everyone I could to gain market share during the huge downturn and keep my employees.  Then ramp up margins accordingly as things recovered.  And much of the world economy has recovered (this is subjective of course).

post #16873 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post

How so? Both use same type of construction. What is so different between these two in your opinion?

Some Meermin and G&G bespoke use the same hand welted construction. I hazard a guess that you would have no difficulty discerning what is so different between the two.

Construction method is not the sole barometer of quality. Nor is there de facto equivalence between all shoes employing a given method.
post #16874 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

Some Meermin and G&G bespoke use the same hand welted construction. I hazard a guess that you would have no difficulty discerning what is so different between the two.

Construction method is not the sole barometer of quality. Nor is there de facto equivalence between all shoes employing a given method.

I definitely see the differences between the two brand. I wanted to know his opinion between the two brands.
post #16875 of 18856
Quote:
Originally Posted by vmss View Post


How so? Both use same type of construction. What is so different between these two in your opinion?


Were we not speaking more as to companies and not products?

 

But just a few general thoughts....

 

Should we start with available resources for one? Does experience in a large economy such as the U.S.count for anything? Who would have an easier time penetrating a new international market? Who is most likely to have experienced businesmen running the show? People that are comfortable on the inetrnational stage and have a system in place that serves as customer service? Who could more easily afford the hit if the gamble didn't pay off? If someone overextended themselves on sales, who would be most likely to have the staff on hand to make up for it? Who would most likely be able to afford bringing in sufficient & qualified help to bear such a  load? AE has an active seconds market...if they mess up, hey just resell it at a lower price...and there's a market for it...Does Carmina sell many (any) seconds? I would take a gamble that errors cost Carmina much more than they cost AE. Ever heard of Economy of Scales? I'm taking a guess that this might play a small role between what the 2 can do and afford as well..How about backstock and storage? These things help keep ahead of orders instead of having to fill orders as they come in...According to what I see online...Ae has 40 stand alone stores in the U.S., Italy, and Belgium (I'm guessing the great majority in the U.S.). Carmina doesn't have anything like that..do they? Take a look at the difference in the websites...and to think... The current Carmina version is a 1000 times better than what they had just a year ago. Is it an advantage for AE that they can afford to offer free shipping and return shipping? What about maintenance and upgrades to to machinery? You have 10 machines and 1 breaks down it's quite a harder hit than having 100 machines and having one break down.

 

And for the record...I have 7 Carmina's and only 1 AE. I would definitely take 3 or maybe 4 of my Carmina's over the AE... the other 3 or 4 perhaps not.


Edited by justonemore - 2/17/16 at 12:24pm
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