I absolutely understand your frustration, and I'm really sorry for the lateness on some of these makeups. Of course, we're always ready to serve your via email, telephone, or PM, and this thread is meant for any kind of discussion about our group buys - including frustration about late deliveries.
And I know where you're coming from. I pre-purchased a Leica M from B&H photo back in January and they told me that it would be delivered in February. The salesman told me that if I paid up front, I would get priority over the customers who placed their order via a credit card authorization. I'm now in October, and.... nothing. No camera, no projected date. I get an automated email every month, but it has no info. And while it's not really B&H's fault - as Leica is just terrible with their deliveries and communication - I still resent B&H for the situation. They would give me a refund if I asked, but it's still annoying to not have the item that I expected to have. Believe me, I know the feeling and I don't want to be the retailer who causes this in his customers.
To put things in perspective, we've run about 200 units through Carmina as group buys, and the overwhelming amount have arrived in time, with the correct sizing and details, and to the total satisfaction of all of our customers. We're expecting all of the Hatch Grain and WWII boots to come in with our next delivery in a few weeks.
But there are still some things out of my control at Carmina, and the communication lines (like most small-scale shoe manufacturers) can be vague and non-committal. As such, we have an informal policy with all of our customers. If the styles are late by a few months, you're free to cancel your order altogether and receive a full refund. If the shoes are already in work, then we'll offer them to you first when they are delivered. If you decide to pass, then no problem - we'll put them up for general sale. This is supposed to be a fun, interactive process where we produce some cool shoes, offer a small discount, and expedite the production. It works very smoothly most of the time, but problems have occurred from time to time. I can't totally prevent them, but I can hopefully make things right with anyone who's affected.
In terms of the overdue shoes that we're discussing here:
1) The midnight jodphurs are INSANELY late. No getting around that We discussed them last season, and the central problem was getting the navy calfskin fabric in a consistent enough quality to make the large pieces that a Jodphur boot requires. From my last update with Carmina, they are still scheduled to arrive this season, and I was told in the Summer that they had a new supplier for navy calf. Everyone on this order was given the option to cancel or to remain on the order with a 30% discount upon delivery. That is still open to anyone who wants to take advantage of it. At the moment, only three people are on the order, so we'll have several units for open stock already.
2) Midnight Calf Balmoral is in the same boat, but should be here this season as well. As such, we'll also be happy to offer the same 30% discount that we extended to the Midnight Jodphur customers
3) Loden Suede Shoes and most recent Python shoes that were pitched did not make the minimum for production, so they were canceled and any customers who ordered were given a refund one week after their deposit was placed.
I also hear you guys and value your feedback greatly. We should have a stronger presence here and we should have a more organized system of communication. I don't have a way to automate emails to everyone, but how about we post a running list of all styles in work and what's expected to be delivered? I don't get a production schedule from Carmina, but I generally know what styles are arriving about a week before I ship them, so we can always update the list when that happens. Would that work? I'm open to suggestions as well. The shoe group buy concept isn't a perfect system but we're ready and willing to improve it however we can to make things better and more satisfying.
Seriously top notch email here Mike! Just one of the many reasons I love to support you guys.
Now where are we with that shell chukka pre-order??? Lets get it going!!