Carmina Shoes - Definitive Thread (reviews, advice, sizing, etc...)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by w.o.e.is.me., May 3, 2011.

  1. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    I think it's unfortunate what happened to Mr. Moo.

    However I would think if quality was extremely poor overall there would be more stories coming to light.

    I'm sure even shoes manufactured by Edward Green and John Lobb sometimes aren't perfect and slip by quality control from time to time.

    What's more unfortunate is how the situation afterwards aparently was handled.

    However one or even two incedents of this kind of thing doesn't always ruin a brand.
     
  2. Frank the sheep

    Frank the sheep Senior member

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    I agree 100%. Things can go wrong and they can miss a pair in QC BUT telling the customer that he is wrong because he won´t accept clear flaws is not acceptable. And then leaving him with the cost and Paypal fees is below zero in customer care points.

    I have four Carminas and one shell MTO on the way, i´m very happy with the brand, nice lasts and great models. I´ve have not bought one pair of C&J since i started to buy Carmina but i can change back. The difference in price is about 150 dollar if i buy in sweden and if i order C&J from the UK the difference is 0-75 dollars. If Carmina can´t keep quality as the brand grow i will leave them right away. If i want cheap shoes were some flaws is acceptable i can buy Meermin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  3. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

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    I completely agree with Moo, if you cant handle end users, let the retailers take care of it for you and be a wholesale producer
     
  4. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    I completely disagree. Keep the 'factory direct' prices coming regardless, including less than stellar customer service, if that's the way it has to be.

    If I want superb service and immaculate quality control I'm perfectly free to go to a retailer to obtain it. But it will come at an additional monetary cost, won't it?

    I'd much rather have access to the manufacturer directly than to pay the higher retail price.

    Would it be even better still if the factory had a stellar and efficient set up for dealing with retail? Sure.
     
  5. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

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    FWIW
    skoaktiebolaget 's prices for shell boots are not that much different than directly from carmina
     
  6. bespoken4me

    bespoken4me Senior member

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    Well said, now carry some damn size 12UK!!! Love your store and know you have a few 12UK's as you kindly responded previously to an email. Are Europeans really that much smaller in stature that NOT ONE end retailer generally carries any real stock and variety of that size? Alden, AE ( I'll take Carmina every day) are always flush with every model in that size. I will never get it. You have great models and styles, and as much an eye for the more handsome Carmina as Armoury, maybe better. Yes, I am a kiss ass when suits my purpose
     
  7. Frank the sheep

    Frank the sheep Senior member

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    If you live in europe and can´t deduct VAT the small difference in price eats up by the shipping cost. I have bought 3 of my 4 Carminas in spain so far but for someone who doesn´t travel to those citys it´s better to buy in sweden.
     
  8. bespoken4me

    bespoken4me Senior member

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    While the price points on shell boots, or calf may not be of great savings in going direct, ( I have never appreciated the boot popularity) the shell shoes are substantially cheaper direct, either through Betty and her efforts to find the shoe, or on the neglected e-store. Most shell in US dollars are appr. $560-620 ( ex shipping). Some stores, for same model are $820-850. I don't find that unfair, as they have carry costs and are often doing a group buy MTO, or special stock, but wouldn't kick a gift horse, as Betty and direct purchases give outrageous savings.
     
  9. badsha

    badsha Senior member

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  10. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Perhaps the boots are similarly priced. But shoes are 3400 sek which equals 518 dollars from Skoaktiebolaget, Including VAT. Deduct VAT and you get about 425 USD. Direct from Carmina 275 Euro excluding VAT = 362.00 dollars. Thus the difference is about 63 dollars or 18% more. I don't call that insubstantial in that $63 worth of extra customer service would equal an hour or two of time per pair of shoes (including overhead).

    Now, I will be the FIRST person to go to a store to try on shoes. And if I am going to make use of the retailer's services I feel absolutely obligated to purchase through them. Not interested in ripping anyone off.

    But, if I have no local retailer and can save that much on a mid range shoe by dealing with the factory direct I'm happy to assume a little more effort on my part might be required. And that minor compromises might be required. Afterall, one presumes that there is both value and cost to the services of the retailer, no?

    I'll admit to being a little overly sensitive to the manufacturer's side of the equation. As I am in the business of custom design. I cannot tell you how often I encounter clients who expect to first negotiate a rock bottom price and then insist on receiving nothing but the highest quality of services and perfect end products. Needless to say, those who insist on the lowest price, do not, in fact, get the same service as those who pay for it. Business people don't stay in business for long if they are stupid enough to fall into that trap.

    So - for me - when buying middling quality shoes direct from the factory in little old Inca Majorca I'm willing to accept the charmingly lax attention to time and a few little imperfections here and there (after all - they'll be imperfect after a dozen wearings anyway. Conversely, when buying G&Gs from Bespoke England I expect nothing less than elegant service and immaculate end product (which I receive).

    To each their own. Given the description Moo gave of the 'problems' with the shoes I'm pretty sure I would have pulled out the plastic and happily proceeded on with my new shoes. I would have thought hmmmmmmmm.......I just got paid 64 dollars to pull a little plasitc out of a shoe. Cool. Some things in life are just not worth getting unhappy about, IMO.

    To each their own.........

    BTW - Carmina should have refunded 100% of Mr. Moo's costs - that part I don't understand, at all. Better to take that hit than ruin one's reputation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  11. diglett

    diglett Senior member

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    I completely agree. An Epaulet pair of Carminas, whether it be stock or MTO, will run ~$200 more than a similar style purchased directly. I'll gladly put forth that extra money to (1) get the model/design that I like, (2) get wonderful customer service, and (3) support growing local businesses. Given how helpful and attentive Mike and his associates are, I have no qualms with them taking a healthy cut, especially since they're equally glad to give back in the form of free shoe trees and shipping.

    And for what it's worth, Skoaktiebolaget has been damn good throughout their first MTO, too.
     
  12. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

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    balmoral boots from carmina france in shell cordovan = 841.88 w/shipping, burgandy w/dianite sole
    skoaktiebolaget balmoral boots in cognac single leather sole = 753.18 w/shipping
    mto shell boot from skoaktiebolaget (i believe the mto group buy is from there_ = 730 w/shipping

    i guess skoaktiebolaget has very competitive prices on the boot side
     
  13. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    well at least on the mto. There is nearly $100 difference between the first two examples - that is not insubstantial.

    As I recall I received these from Carmina direct for approximately $615, all in, no trees.

    If you can point me in the direction of regularly available source for either a better made shoe in Horween shell at the same price or an equal quality shoe for less, PLEASE do.

    [​IMG]

    And do PLEASE note that the flash pics up some tiny imperfections in the finishing of the welt! I'm ok with that. Next time I polish them I may, or may not, remember to hit them up with a little color.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  14. bespoken4me

    bespoken4me Senior member

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    Now those are gorgeous. Assuming green, the sole contrasts beautifully and rarely do they become a "feature" as yours do. Rain last? (Can't figure out)
    My Simpson perf toe in ruby, identical but for the last to Epaulet's recent make, came in yesterday at $622, ex Vat, incl shipping and no trees. Just can't get around the savings. God I love those shoes you posted. . Petkov, an obscure but regionally known maker in Vienna has a pair of green shell venetian loafers. I am driving further in debt after seeing your shell, and am going to have a pair made. I was going to get the one remaining cognac shell wing from Paris store, but also in Simpson. I am not going forward with that now. Green shell baby!
     
  15. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Thank you - but all I did was point and click - I can take no credit for anything other than good taste. This exact model is still available on the webstore site - clicky clicky! And if you want a matchy matchy green shell belt I can hook you up with that as well.

    Yes the rain last. I also have a pair of Carmina shells on the Simpson last in the same size. The Simpson pair ran so tight in the toes that they hurt at first although are fine now. The Rain last runs just a tiny bit wide on me. but just a tiny bit.
     

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