I have owned 5 pairs of AE now down to 1 and have handled LodinG in store. Strictly speaking to quality I find AE to use better leather across the board whereas LodinG ranges from decent to good in some models while others leave a lot to be desired. Construction wise both are similar that is to say they are not the most finely finished in terms of the welt but more than adequate for the price, especially at what LodinG retails.
YMMV, but I took delivery of nice SL norvegese captoe boots that were 145Euro (remember SL takes off VAT) plus 40 Euro shipping, so that's about 275 CAD, when they arrived I got hit about 75 CAD (duty, GST, PST), so that is 350 CAD, tax in. How is that a Carmina territory? Also, not sure why would you ship to China? This is a Toronto thread, isn't it?
Do you own any LoDing shoes? Have you handled them? It is not even AE level, it more like Aldo category, I don't see any advantage they have over SL or Meermin.
I agree they are not AE level but wouldn't go so far as to say they are Aldo level. Never handled SL so I won't pass judgment there but I have handled Meermin and feel they are quite comparable in that they are good shoes for the price but the attention to detail is a bit lacking. The one advantage for LodinG, at least to me, is that we are able to try them on in person and assess the quality before making a purchase.