Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Quadcammer, Apr 27, 2011.
Anyone have any "Nick V is a dick" stories?
I emailed the dude inquiring about a resole on an old pair of Alden wingtips. While in need of a resole anyway I also wanted to get some contrast going on the heel over the default black on black. I'm admitedly not up on all the jargon but I did my best with pictures to illustrate what it is I had in mind. Right off the bat he tells me to call in as he doesn't have time for my emails. I can tell I'm already on thin ice with the delicate genius despite being absolutely courteous and detailed without being longwinded despite his attitude because I know when ass kissing is needed to get what I want. I instantly settle on an example pair he's sent back to me. He starts quoting me for prices that aren't listed on his site, JR leather is $125, an additional $80 for the welt, another $40 for a double sole. At this point I'm in for more than the shoes are worth. I ask him about the all inclusive $120 quote on the site, his response is literally, "THIS IS CUSTOM!!!!!!!!!!!!111" with the ones and all. Then tells me he's going to need my credit card number in advance to charge me $15 per email to proceed. Kinda floored by this shit.
Maybe he's out of touch with online communication, for all I know english isn't his first language. I wasn't trying to get any kind of insider deal but of the people that have shared the costs for their own re-sole jobs I feel like he was grossly tacking on the extra charges just because. If anyone whos had a pair done by him can attest to quotes above being accurate then fair is fair. Just a little jarring to deal with customer service like that as I've dealt with plenty, especially someone who's actually seemingly plugged into a community such as this one.
I also gave his last response asking for my credit card to charge me for responses about a week before I punched this up. I had to give him a grace period to see if he was actually serious.
No, Nick is the man. I think a "regular" resole not using the JR sole and heel is $80. It sounds like you're expecting an upgrade to the better sole for the lower price. I've never been quoted a separate price for the welt, and I've never asked for a double sole, so not sure what the prices would be on that.
Now that you mention it, I initially emailed Nick via SF and he told me to just call. Which I did - it just saves a lot of time versus the back and forth of email. I didnt take offense to it.
I usually go to the shop to hammer out details face to face, and usually pay when I leave the shoes. So I'm not familiar with a deposit payment, I pay for everything upfront.
He quoted the JR at $125, I was prepared to pay $120 as the site advertised, there was no misunderstanding versus the lower cost option. I'd have no problem adding $5 to that if for whatever reason it "went up" 5 bucks, even if that $5 was just him marking up because he felt entitled to it for putting up with writing back emails, but definitely did a double take at $80 on the welt job when he says its included when needed. Mine's needed. He wasn't asking for a deposit, he actually wanted money just for the pleasure of returning my emails. I didn't overreact at his price points I just asked for more details when it mentions nothing of it on the site nor have I seen it mentioned for those that have shared their invoices. And again I didn't give him any trace of my well deserved attitude in the emails. I don't live in NYC but I'd love to pay him a visit out of morbid curiosity if I did. I may still call him just to see how he handles himself over the phone and justifies the shitty disposition. We're all busy, Nick. If you have the time to make posts at a public clothing message board you have time to tend to customer service. If emailing is that foreign take off the address and just list the number instead. It's not unheard of.
I'm not sure what the deal is with the welt business. I've had a couple of resoles done and the most recent was $120 for the resole with Rendenbach heel and sole.
Last year I went all out and had the Rendenbach sole/heel added with closed channel stitching, bevelled waist, and metal toe-taps. I don't recall the exact price but I think all of that was somewhere between $200-$250.
Have done business with B. Nelson/VIP/Nick V. and only trust him to do any work on my shoes. I've always found him to be excellent to deal with and honest about what needs to be done. For example, had a pair of boots that were slightly too loose in the instep. Initially came in to have a custom fit full leather sock liner added which would have cost almost as much as a regular re-soling job. Nick said I really didn't need to spend the money and I can easily pick up some foam insoles for less than $10 (which was significantly less).
He could have made quick $$$ and accepted my request as I had no problem with the cost but he tried to save me money (even letting me try insoles he had around). I decided to have the custom liner done anyway but appreciate his honesty and integrity.
float: sorry to hear about your experience but I hope things are cleared up.
This is the best way to be on the same page. Those of us from NYC are lucky for this convenience. Philo, will be keeping an eye out for EG shoes walking in the door next time I'm there!
Nice Tom... I think Nick showed me this work. Excellent.
Talked to Nick on the phone today about my shoes in detail, he convinced me not to get the custom sock liner for extra money but just use a tongue pad, which he would put on the shoe gratis.
Since when does a business talk a customer out of spending money? ....Nick does, if its money he feel is being wasted!
Full JR resole and flush metal toe plate on Alden Whiskey NST, will take about a week to get done and then back to Houston.
It sounds like you are cheap and picky. This is a horrible combo. I don't understand why you don't understand that asking for different things outside of a normal resole job is more expensive. If you really need to haggle over a $5 price increase you probably have no business wearing expensive shoes to begin with.
Cheap, fast, correct: Pick two.
float, I have dealt with Nick by phone and PM and he has always been a gentleman and extremely helpful. I'm guessing something on your end convinced him he didn't want your business.
Maybe he was just having a bad day, or week. I've had three re soles done by nick. The first two standard, the third I guess was somewhat special or custom.
In all cases, nick was polite, prompt, and helpful via email with respect to availability of materials, timelines, and cost. I have a fairly lengthy email thread where he and I discussed various options for a week or two.
Sounds like you had a rare bad experience. If he asked you to call, why don't you? Perhaps the discrepancy in price was due to some miscommunication of what work actually needs to be done that might be cleared up with a two minute phone call.
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Geico gecko: "fugget about it, this is New York!"
I have had to help out my dad a lot lately with his Ebay store because of some health issues so I know a bit more about this stuff than I used to. My dad always, when possible, sends his shoes to the original manufacture for the work he wants done. He is waiting for a pair of Edward Green Crocodile shoes right now that he did discuss with Nick. Nick gave him lots of help, looked at some material for him, even though in the end my dad was able to get Edward Green to do the work (it is work they do not usually do, apparently).
When that is not possible the ONLY person he trusts is Nick at Ben Nelson, period. He is quite picky in that regard on all of the services he uses, whether it is for shoes or a re-weave, alterations, etc. He has people he trusts and Nick is one of them. The last pair of shoes he sent to Nick did need a new welt in order to have the JR soles attached. They were crocodile shoes and worth the extra effort and cost so he had it done. The shoes were absolutely amazing, sold very quickly, and the buyer could not have been happier. I looked up the cost my dad paid for his re-sole with JR and new welt job and it is pretty much in line with what you are saying here. It is a custom job, not the normal re-sole that he offers on his site for a specific price. He also had recessed metal toe-taps put on at the same time. The shoes were beautiful when done. I know my dad was glad he sold them because he said he didn't have the heart to wear them and ruin the beautiful work Nick had done, as nuts as that might sound. I have never talked to Nick on the phone, but I know my dad has and he is a stand-up guy, with a heavy New York accent. My dad has had many email communications with Nick and sometimes Nick has asked him to call because the issues were a bit complicated and he wanted to make sure they were both on the same page.
Everyone can make a mistake, but if experience means anything Nick takes care of his customers.
See for yourself:
After many emails here is what I sent him:
I'm a bit confused.....If you are asking to re-make the shoe on the Turbalence last. No, that's not possible.
If you are asking to make cosmetic changes. Yes but, there are many options. You can go from a Goodyear welt to a storm welt. 270 degree welt to 360. Single sole to double. Variations of leathers and, materials. Variations of finishes.
Attached is a pair we finished today w/a single sole and antique finish.
We are spending to much time w/emails and I don't have a direction yet!
The only way to go at this point is if you call. I'm happy to explain and listen to what you are trying to do. After our conversation, you decide to 86 the project, I have no problem w/that. At least you'll understand for the future the possibilities.
For what ever reason he wouldn't call. After several more emails here is what transpired:
Sorry but can't spend any more time on this.
Feel free to call.
After a few more emails (I clearly explained the pricing and options). Here's what I get from him:
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 4:31 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: fw:
When is it needed? These soles are beaten pretty badly. Even if they're not can we just pretend it is needed so I can get that price. If I spend an additional $80 I'm basically spending more on the soles than the shoes are worth.
To which I responded on Tuesday July 17th (hardly a week as he claims):
"Pretend"? I haven't pretended since I was in 3rd grade. That was 5 decades ago.
I have given you way to much time on my gratis, good will.
I deal w/ SF members all the time, from all over the world. Some can be challenging. I don't mind that. In the end, they have respect and appreciate my time.
Moving forward I will charge you $15.00 for any returned emails. Credit card in advance. Otherwise, please don't respond any longer.
Because, frankly this whole thing has become ridiculous.
If this guy offered to pay me $5,000.00 for a pair of $3.00 taps....I wouldn't do it.
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