Originally Posted by rioni
I ended up buying the same pair (but smaller size) from him later that night and received the following response when asking him about them being masterpiece:
Me: these really masterpiece? haven't seen that marking on the bottom of masterpiece shoes when researching.
Seller: Hi as stated these are made to order shoes for up market retail outlet. These are Grade 1 shoes. I cannot con people because i am a genuine shop and i want your repeat business. So please trust me. Regards.
I don't necessarily think those are Rose Collection, but they are most definitely not Masterpiece shoes. Grenson makes shoes for the Japanese market that look like neither the Rose Collection shoes nor Masterpiece shoes.
Rose Collection shoes are not close-channeled, as the pair being discussed is. However, the sole treatment is much nicer on Masterpiece shoes than on the shoes in question. Also, Masterpiece shoes will always have either the "Made in England" script on the sole or the little Stuart's Choice logo, if made for Paul Stuart, which those clearly do not have.
While it's possible that he just doesn't know enough about Grensons to tell the difference between Masterpiece and these made for the Japanese market shoes, I think there may be more at play here. Explanation to come after the pictures.
Here's some pics of the soles of the types of shoes I've described (all grabbed from ebay auctions):
Masterpiece w/ Made in England script
Masterpiece w/ Stuart's Choice logo
Shoes in question
You can see the difference in the soles among these shoes. I suspect that the shoes in question have the full rubber heel, like the other Japanese-market shoes pictured. It appears that the seller has deliberately covered this up in his auction picture to hide this obvious tell-tale sign of an inferior quality shoe.
So, is he conning you? I don't know. But it sure looks fishy that all is other auctions show the full heel in his pictures. But this shoe, which is the only one without a combination heel, is perfectly covered up.