seems I might have to speed up the last couple pairs I'd like to get..
any horror stories ordering from fransboone, shipping into the states? they have a couple pair that I've been eyeballin
Yes, some have reported having to pay upwards of $50. in import taxes upon delivery to the USA.
To add to this, only the Manhattan and downtown Boston J crew stores have "on hand" Alden models. Everything sold by J Crew Alden besides that is online.
This argument would only work if Aldens were a lot inferior to the $1,500. John Lobbs. They are not. Hence, they are a bargain in comparison.
I bought ravello indies from them last year and had a great experience. They cleary mark item was made in the US and I had no problem with customs. I have heard others did in the past thoguh...
I tend to agree.
I once inquired about a pair of Alden's and he made this very clear to me in his email (quoting):
"Please note that these shoes are sold on an "exchange only" basis. The shoes may be exchanged as long as they are kept in perfectly new, "un-creased" condition, with no signs of try-on. (no creases in the shoes from bending the shoes, no creases in the shoes from walking in the shoes) No refunds or store credits.
If you have any questions please e-mail.
Adam, Alden of Carmel"
I decided to forego purchasing.
That said, I've also had a less than positive experience with Yenni at J Gilbert in Seattle, but at least she was a bit polite. This is what she emailed to me after I inquired about time-frame for a special makeup wait period:
"We do pre-orders daily. Some pre-orders can take 1-2 years to arrive. There
is no guarantee with delivery dates. If you feel uneasy about doing a
pre-order please don't feel obligated.
In other words, sorta like 'don't order from us if you don't like it.'. She had a point though. I wasn't willing to wait 1-2 years for a MTO shoe. Some may be.
While Adam and the AoC policy seems to be uptight and stressed about their sales, he was more than accommodating in his own way. I ordered a pair of Cigar LWB more than a year ago from Adam. When I tried on this pristine new pair they were clearly too big. However, trying them on one time made some creases that showed up instantly. I had not even laced them or walked in them. After requesting an exchange, I shipped them back sweating bullets thinking Adam would send them back to me with a note about their return policy. I received the the new size that fit perfectly and all was well. BTW, the second pair that fit perfectly had signs of people trying them on (slight creasing and previous lacing) but I didn't care. They were perfect and I was grateful to Adam even though he stressed the hell out of me for about a 10 day stretch waiting for the second pair.
With that said, I will only buy from AoC if I am certain of my exact size and if that particular shoe is not available anywhere else. With their shipping charges and their pricing, just about everyone else is noticeably cheaper anyways. I still give Adam a thumbs up. I think his stress stems from the stereotypical Alden buyer who frequently buys, returns, buys, returns, etc... not the easiest way to run a business.
Lastly, I don't see anything wrong with what Yenni wrote in that e-mail. No offense MediaHound, but your "in other words" translation is a bit unfair. She very politely and pleasantly explained the reality of the pre-order/MTO.