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Leffot + EG complaint

post #1 of 248
Thread Starter 
Leffot is a bunch of whinny-ass babies who have lost my business forever (unless they do something to gain my trust back).

I feel the purpose of this forum is to discuss men’s style, but also to notify other members of good purchases and sales. I have done this numerous times posting sales and better prices when found. While I understand that small companies like Leffot need to make a profit, I believe that we as consumers have the right to shop around and find the best deal. If we feel like it, we can share that deal with our fellow consumers on SF.

About two months ago, I decided I wanted a pair of EG Westminster Navy Cordovan. I wrote both Edward Green and Leffot. Leffot got back to me first and gave me a quote. Someone on this form informed me that only Leffot had them. So, I placed an order with Leffot but was not charged immediately as the shoes were not going to be made for another five months. The day after placing my order, EG contacted me and told me that they were available for special order and the price they quoted me was $475 less than Leffot. So, I called the same day and canceled my order with Leffot and placed it with EG.

Did I have to post this fact on SF? No, and in hindsight it was not wise. However, I feel that I was well within my right to do it. EG sent me a bill and I paid it and was anxiously awaiting my shoes for the last two months. I consider my correspondence with EG to be a written contract with them acknowledging my order and accepting my payment. Yesterday, I received the following letter from EG:

“I am sorry to write to you on this matter, there is a problem with your Westminster Navy Cordovan order.

This shoe was chosen and styled by Leffot for their 3rd anniversary celebration, they have been in contact with us as they had a order for the style cancelled and then it was posted online that the shoe is available cheaper from Jermyn Street than at Leffot.

This means we are now not able to make this shoe so I am sorry we can not meet your order for a Westminster Navy Cordovan on this occasion.

We have the Sandringham available in Navy Cordovan from November this year otherwise other styles are available MTO in Navy Cordovan if you would like to chose something else or we will refund your deposit paid?

I look forward to speaking to you soon.

******** ********
Store Manager
Edward Green”

So, instead of attempting to gain customers by being competitive in their pricing, they have sales people who read internet forums and make sure customers are not getting a better deal else ware. They then go behind those potential customer’s back and use their leverage to have EG cancel orders. I find this an extremely backhanded way of doing business.

Here is what I think Leffot should have done (pick one):
• Ignored the whole incident and cater to the customers that walk into the store and pay full price
• Contacted me and asked me to take down my posts about the better price
• Offered to at least come close to EG’s price or some other service to offset the price difference
• Get off internet forums and sell shoes!

Anyone from Leffot care to comment or explain yourself? I am more than happy to hear your side of the story and I know you are reading this as you read my other posts. You also knew that I would post this as I have posted about you before and I was excited about receiving my shoes until you ruined it.
post #2 of 248
How do you feel about EG's acquiescence?
post #3 of 248
Originally Posted by luftvier View Post

How do you feel about EG's acquiescence?
My take is that Leffot was trying to screw over a customer they lost. EG was extending a professional courtesy to a competitor. (?)
post #4 of 248
That's the real issue here...
post #5 of 248
That sucks. It is not by any means a way to do business.
Edited by Galix - 7/17/11 at 10:10am
post #6 of 248
EG shouldn't have taken your order in the first place if it was a Leffot exclusive design. But one they had, they should have made it or at least tried to make it up to you in some other way if they were contractually bound not to sell hat shoe directly. Leffot is merely trying to protect his design
post #7 of 248
Wow. I've done business with Steven and Leffot on numerous occasions and this is really distressing. The notion that Leffot somehow has an "exclusive" on a shoe simply because they happen to offer it is ridiculous. I'd like to hear from both Leffot and Edward Green. I've spent a considerable amount of money on each.
post #8 of 248
(waits for someone from leffot to respond/explain their side)
post #9 of 248
May 5th is our anniversary this year being our third. To mark the occasion we’ve collaborated with Edward Green arguably England’s finest shoemaker.

We are proud to present the Leffot x Edward Green “Limited Edition” 3rd Anniversary Westminster double monk strap shoe. These shoes are made to order on Edward Green’s 888 last in Genuine Horween navy shell cordovan. Each pair is hand numbered and includes lasted shoetrees. (Please contact us directly for price and sizing information).

Horween navy shell cordovan is highly desirable and very limited, as each shell requires hand finishing. Because of the limited nature delivery is based on availability of the shells.

We are extremely grateful to all of you who have supported and encouraged us along the way. In appreciation we’re giving back by donating 100% of the profits generated from sales of our “Anniversary Shoe” to relief efforts of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

We remind you our spring trunk show with Edward Green takes place Thursday May 5th from 11 – 7 PM. Robert Godley and Xavier Candat of Edward Green will be on hand to assist and take your order. You will also have the opportunity to view a sample of our “Anniversary Shoe” at the show we hope to see you there.

Anniversary Westminster 888 Last, Horween Navy Shell Cordovan, HAF Soles – MTO

post #10 of 248
I don't see anything wrong with what Leffot or Edward Green did.

First, you had a contract with Leffot, which you broke. Leffot did you a service by letting you cancel a custom order. As I see it, they are entitled to $475 (or whatever their lost profit is), but they are declining to push their rights out of a sense of decency.

Shopping for the best price is all well and good, but you should have done that before committing to buy from Leffot.

Is the shoe available more cheaply elsewhere? Sure. But that doesn't mean that it is unreasonable for a boutique shoe store in New York to have a different price from the manufacturer. Leffot provides something that Edward Green does not: personal, in-store service in a brick-and-mortar location in the United States. Leffot offers shoes from a number of high-quality craftsmen, for many of whom Leffot is their only US presence. Leffot maintains an active internet presence and enhances the discourse on high-quality footwear. To maintain these valuable services, Leffot needs to make a profit, hence the upcharge.

As for Edward Green, they were protecting a relationship with a key US retailer. Given what transpired, it would have been poor form for them to be competing with one of their retailers, especially given that an order had already been placed with that retailer.

And for the record, I have contacted Leffot about purchasing a Leffot-branded cordovan loafer made by Rancourt & Co. Leffot told me that they could not get one in my width, so I went to Rancourt directly, which could accommodate my order. But if Leffot had told me it could make it, I would not have gone to Rancourt.
post #11 of 248
Sounds like business as usual to me.

EG is a supplier and as a supplier, EG must take care of its distributor. To be competitive as a distributor, Leffot creates unique designs and protect its prices. It's a symbiotic relationship in which both supplier and distributor needs to ensure that the distributor is ordering more products and supplier is passively protecting unique design and prices. This is not an unusual European practice. Stateside, US manufacturers such as Alden and Filson protect their Japanese channels.

That said, a little smack on the wrist on EG.

In the retail world, customer acquisition cost is really expensive.

The Sales manager shouldn't have revealed the pricing discrepancy between online and offline as being one of the reasons to turn down the customer. EG could have brushed it off with another reason; because this message risked the prospective EG customer to be offended with the distributor and EG brand.
post #12 of 248
Originally Posted by justsayno View Post

Sounds like business as usual to me.

EG is a supplier and as a supplier, EG must take care of its distributor. To be competitive as a distributor, Leffot creates unique designs and protect its prices.

I don't see what is "unique" about Leffot's "design." Imagine if every retailer of EG were to have the right to prevent others from ordering a shoe just by selecting the color, last, sole and model. It wouldn't take long before there were no shoes left to order. Disappointing.
post #13 of 248
I've dealt with Stephen at Leffot on a few occasions. While I sympathize with what you went through, I feel the blame shouldn't be on Leffot, but on EG for taking your order. Someone there should have known that this was a Leffot exclusive, and seeing that the profits from the shoe went to a good cause, I guess I'd just call it bad luck rather than poor service. People, myself included, don't realize the power of the internet. I grew up before the internet became what it is today, so I recognize that when you post something on a public forum it can be very powerful. I try never to disclose pricing publically for this reason, unless I can actually quote from somewhere. Anyway, from Leffot's point of view, I'm sure it was the fact that you posted on here the price difference. Imagine if this was your store, and then there was the possibility that you'd never be able to sell the shoe. Anyway...
post #14 of 248
Based on my observations, that's how the mid to high end luxury shoe and apparel business operate.
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

I don't see what is "unique" about Leffot's "design." Imagine if every retailer of EG were to have the right to prevent others from ordering a shoe just by selecting the color, last, sole and model. It wouldn't take long before there were no shoes left to order. Disappointing.
post #15 of 248
The style is suppose to be Leffot exclusive. It was EG's fault for taking an order they are not suppose to.

So you are blaming a company for protecting their exclusivity?

The shoes will probably be availiable after the promotion is over. Just wait a few month. If you don't wish to wait, then you should have paid the premium for Leffot's exclusive Shoes.

As for shoes design being exclusive to one outlet, everyone does it. From Alden to EG to Trickers'. That is part of the business model. Sometimes it is a specific last, other it is a specific combination of last/stitching/leather/etc.
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