Originally Posted by dtauton
I am guessing this is going to be an affiliate thread or something, so there is no point arguing against what will be a barrage of coordinated positive reviews.
What can I say? for those that are reading this and are only beginning to buy 'quality' shoes recently the advice is clear. Buy from brands that manufacture their own shows and more often than not you will be rewarded by much lower price for same quality. Avoid glorified resellers,
This is not necessarily true, it all depends on which business model the brands choose. For example Alfred Sargent who don't sell their shoes on their own at all, only through retailers, have the same price for when they are branded AS as if a shop or other brand wants to put their name on it. Hence Herring Shoes or A fine pair of shoes-collections made by AS to exactly the same standard as the AS Exclusive range cost just as much, even if it's sold to a brand who don't own a factory. Same thing with Wildsmith, they have managed to cut the pricing with less pronounced fiddle waist and chestnut tanned soles instead of oak bark tanned, but they are just as much shoes for the money as AS Exclusive.
This goes for for example Gaziano and Girling and Edward Green as well, who make shoes for a number of different brands under their names but that cost just as much in many occasions (in some the brand ordering the shoes have chosen to raise the prices a bit though to get a higher margin). When G&G or for example Carmina sell their shoes on their own shops or websites, they still keep the same price as their wholesalers do, just get a higher margin in their own pockets.
An example of the opposite is Vass, who has the lowest possible price for when you order directly through them, but when retailers sell them they cost more since they have to have a decent margin on the products. They haven't adjusted their pricing to a wholesaler perspective, at least not yet.
But of course there are brands who buy their shoes from a factory and sell them for much more than what they are "actually worth". I'm just saying that this is not the only way things are, and I think that it's very wrong to generalise things the way you are doing it. You can find a lot of shoes with a great quality to price-ratio from brands who don't own their own factory as well.