I just got my 12th pair or AE yesterday the Shannon Drive that I picked up off the AE ebay store for $119.00 free shipping too.
Initially the fit is great I can see that this will be a very comfy pair right out of the gate. I have to say most of my AE's are seconds bought from the shoebank. This Shannon Drive is actually a first quality pair that AE put on ebay as a blow out price.
That said I am a real big AE fan and this being my first pair for firsts I have bought from AE I am a little disappointed in the quilty. Like I said all my other pairs are seconds and none of those 11 pair of seconds has as many of what I think are flaws.
In a few areas the stitching seems to be out of alignment to me at least it is not as good as all my other 11 seconds and this is a first. This is my first pair of this dull olive color but it seems to have a lot of streaks in the color. I don't think this is normal I don't see it on any online pics.
Take a look at a few photos of some of the issues I only posted the most obvious ones there are actually several others that are more subtle.
Listen overall a pair of AE's brand new from AE for $119 I really can't complain. If I had paid full price these would have most certainly been returned. But really I wanted a pair of more casual shoes for the weekend so at this price point I think it will work even with the flaws.
The only reason I even think these are flaws is because not a one of my AE seconds has anything like this and this being a first I would expect it to be at the least equal. But maybe I should let AE know just so they know that these flaws are making it past QC.
Let me know what you guys think.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
As you can see from a few feet away they do look nice. I added the laces they came with light tan laces. I may put them back I am a little on the fence about the green laces.
I think your expectations are too high for shoes in this price bracket, even at full price. You'll need to hop into the $900+ level of shoes to get the level of detail you want.