Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.
Fixed it for ya...
What white sticker was the OP in the blog talking about. I don't think any of my firsts came with a white sticker like the OP in the blog was describing.
It does happen. The extent of it is hard to say, and I can only provide one data point that I'm certain of.
I bought a pair of Red Wing Iron Rangers from Nordstrom when they were randomly on sale for $170 a couple of months ago.
Received a horrible pair, even worse than seconds. Sloppy stitching, leather sections were slightly different colors, and there was some sort of white glue or paint splatter around one of the heels. Sent them in for exchange a couple weeks after the sale and got a perfect pair back. Granted, it could have been just one of those random pairs that slip through QC, and the other stories online could be isolated incidents as well. People who have a bad experience are more compelled to post about it, skewing others' perception of the true statistical frequency.
It's also possible that Nordstrom ran some numbers and found that if they sell seconds as sale items, a certain percentage will not realize, and they'll make enough profit after factoring in returns/exchanges. It tarnishes their reputation a bit with savvy customers, but perhaps Nordstrom believes that many who shop sales aren't their target demographic and are less likely to care about such things.
It's not that crazy of a notion. Car manufacturers run similar calculations with their customer's lives. A large corporate chain trying to pass off slightly imperfect items isn't out of the realm of possibility.
I'd like to add that despite the bad merchandise, I've had nothing but good experience with their customer service, going so far as to refund cash from a gift return without a receipt (they did take down my driver's license information, presumably as a precaution against counterfeit or stolen returns).
This is very highly unethical, no?
The bolded part are the only facts in your post. And, the exact same thing happened to me with C&J's from Brooks Brothers. The pair I received from Brooks Brothers had a huge, deep scratch that would not polish out and BB immediately replaced them with a perfect pair no questions asked. The same as Nordstrom did in that blog post. The difference is that I have not blogged about how BB is secretly selling C&J seconds based on that isolated experience.
The sad part of all this is that Nordstrom is getting bad publicity over something that is likely AE's fault due to their quality control issues that have been mentioned frequently as of late in this thread.
I'll agree that the blog in question made claims, based on assumption. Such is the internet. Can we in turn infer that from all the quality control issues we post about AEs, that they too are knowingly selling seconds masquerading as firsts?
While I am not prepared to hypothesize regarding Nordstroms motivations, I can relay my recent experience. As I posted earlier, the first pair of walnut Strnds I tried on were so physically distorted, both the SA and I agreed that, if they were not seconds they should have been. The SA caledl another store to find a pair and asked that SA about condition, to which the reply was "Perfect". I paid cash and the SA had them shipped to my office. The second pair arrived today, sporting a 3/8" long knife cut in the side of the vamp just above the instep. I took them back to the store at lunch and they brought out a third pair that had just been "returned". Upon opening the box, it looked like someone had worn the left shoe to walk in a charity walkathon - the leather on the instep was thoroughly wrinkled and creased. The other shoe appeared unworn but the leather was a slight mismatch between the shoes.
I asked for my money back. To add insult to injury, the SA ( different than the first) insisted I had to give them my drivers license number in order to get a cash refund. I explained I typically pay cash in order to avoid any risk of identity theft ( I have had to replace three credit cards in the last 5 years), and that they did not need my license when they took my cash. Only when a store manager appeared did they come to their senses.
There was a good outcome. I walked across the hall to the Allen Edmonds store. They quickly agreed to price match, had my size in a shoe with no visible imperfections and thanked me for my business.
Do you go to the same mall as me? Lol the AE store is right across the hall from the Nordstrom store
Not necessarily. AE sells seconds to Nordstrom to sell in Nordstrom Racks. They could be using those without AE knowing about it.
I don't believe they have ever sold Strands at Nordstrom Rack.
You might try a 9 EE if it is made. I know they can, I have Cambridgeshire in that width (here's looking at you allaboutshoes) and the PA is regularly made in it. The Fifth ave isn't normally, but I've tried a pair on at a shoe bank when confirming sizing before dropping the money on the Cambridges. Because of that, even if it isn't a normal width for the Strand you could call a shoe bank to find out if there are any out there anywhere. If there are, you can order them. To check size, just go for any 5 last shoe. There are slight differences, but as long as you try a bal, it will be close enough.
I have confirmed that Nordstrom is indeed selling 2nds. Whether you choose to believe me or not, there are pages and pages of posts of forumites who "all the sudden" (during the sale) starting getting deformed, creased and for the lack of better words, "banged up" shoes. I'm sorry to say, but attributing this to complete coincidence would be being shallow. Again, I have confirmed this, but you can clearly see this without even having to believe me.
Its actually funny, but I KNOW for fact that they are.
Yikes...sorry to hear about your experience!
My walnut strands from the nordstrom anniv sale were clearly older stock (black leather footbed) but, aside from one not-fully-punched-out brogueing hole, seem to be first quality.
(Then again, I can't tell what qualified my 5th ave's for second quality.)
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