Honestly, this is why no one should pay more than $125 or $150 for a preorder, and why all preorders should be fully refundable (in the stock sizes). Stores like Context asking for full price for preorders make no sense. Even MTOs from companies like Edward Green only require a 50% deposit.
I am not excusing how Alden manages it retailers, but some of the preorder frustration has to be blamed on the retailer. From what I understand some retailers asked for full price for rare cordovan orders that were not confirmed - if so, they should offer full refunds while maintaining those customers' place on the preorder lists. Until orders are confirmed, I don't think there is no guarantee or even expectation that new models will be made. At least for stores like Alden NYC, SF, and DC, you simply call up and ask to be put on the list for shoes, no deposits necessary. Leffot takes preorder money only for confirmed shoes (though those Alden black longwings are taking a while...)
Well said...honestly for me the money down doesn't bother me as much as Alden's complete disregard to any sort of plan or schedule when it comes to a timeline for what gets made and which store gets it. Maybe internally they have a plan that makes sense, but as a customer I will never understand why some orders have been sitting there for years with no traction and then all of a sudden 3 different stores get shipments of a rare cordovan color that is supposed to be tapped out.
As for retailers, Epaulet has been more than understanding to all this. They did offer full refunds to anyone who pre-ordered, and they are so fed up with Alden that they just stopped taking pre-orders altogether. I should ask them if I could get my money back, but still be first in line when my size comes in. Although, that gets tricky when you're dealing with a non-stock size.
Edited by Beatlegeuse - 9/13/13 at 8:01am