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dukenukem4ever

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Walked into a Trading Post in Ginza several weeks back. They have C&J, Carmina, Allen Edmonds, G&G (within a glass enclosure), and some other lesser known brands in stock. However, the prices scared the s**t out of me. Inherently, I knew none of them were worth what they were selling for if only because one can procure them direct from the shoemakers or from other outlets and avoid import taxes if sent to US or HK (for me, at least). For example, there is a 10% consumption tax rate in Japan; a pair of C&J Alex Wholecut oxfords were in the range of 92,000 JPY (that's about 810 ~ 820 USD depending on the day's exchange rates) after tax. The Carmina prices were also heavily inflated, with models that usually cost around 400 USD coming in closer to 700 USD or so. I guess that's why using Mercari in Japan one can find many used, good condition Carmina / C&J / Alden etc. but prices will still come in close to retail if one were to buy direct from the shoemaker itself.

Tried on a few pairs of shoes, and left without buying anything. Won't be buying any foreign brand name shoes in Japan.
 

Journeyman

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Inherently, I knew none of them were worth what they were selling for if only because one can procure them direct from the shoemakers or from other outlets and avoid import taxes if sent to US or HK (for me, at least).
I don't know whether it's still the case, but C&J used to manufacture a few models that were specifically made for the Japanese market, including one that had more of a sloped heel, from memory. There were a couple of really nice shoes that they made especially for Japan and that weren't available elsewhere.

Also, as we saw in this thread, Carmina also do specific designs for Trading Post or other places that aren't available elsewhere, either.

Unfortunately, as I noted a few posts back, Japan charges quite high import duties on imported shoes so US, English and European brands are more expensive there.
 

wjyzxcv

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I believe it's more of a regional pricing thing. The tariff for leather shoes is 30% (around 20% if from EU, also ticking down every year thanks to EPA), and 60% of the retail price is subject to it. Adding 10% consumer tax the total amount is about 30% (or about 23% for ones made in the EU), which should not be that expensive.
 

dukenukem4ever

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I don't know whether it's still the case, but C&J used to manufacture a few models that were specifically made for the Japanese market, including one that had more of a sloped heel, from memory. There were a couple of really nice shoes that they made especially for Japan and that weren't available elsewhere.

Also, as we saw in this thread, Carmina also do specific designs for Trading Post or other places that aren't available elsewhere, either.

Unfortunately, as I noted a few posts back, Japan charges quite high import duties on imported shoes so US, English and European brands are more expensive there.
Interestingly enough, I did try a few of their Japan-only C&J models, as well as a few Carmina RTW global models. The Japanese-only market (for example, one of them the Audley 3, it was called) fit way worse than the stock RTW global Audley model. Everything was off with the fit (Given that I am Asian I just thought this was strange).
 

dukenukem4ever

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I believe it's more of a regional pricing thing. The tariff for leather shoes is 30% (around 20% if from EU, also ticking down every year thanks to EPA), and 60% of the retail price is subject to it. Adding 10% consumer tax the total amount is about 30% (or about 23% for ones made in the EU), which should not be that expensive.
Yes of course it's a regional pricing factor. Because of all the import duties, that's why Japanese stockists for Carmina / C&J / Alden etc. can up their prices tremendously, they need to earn that back, never mind probably having to abide by the manufacturer's RRP. Furthermore, someone needs to pay for the store rent, associate salaries, etc. It for sure won't be them...
 

o_Rion

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Hi all,

Got my 3rd pair of Carmina's today and was shocked when I pulled them out of the box at the lack of QA/QC. My first 2 pairs were fantastic. On this one, the left shoe had bad discoloration on one part of the leather, and a spot on the same panel where the leather looks worn/damaged. The right shoe had no indentations on the welt which is a minor detail, but noticeable lack of uniformity when they are together. I put renoveteur on them to see if the colors would smooth out with no effect. Either way, between all the issues I couldn't stomach keeping them at this price. In fairness, the discoloration is very noticeable in the sun but not indoors. Crap thing is I had metal toe caps installed which they have a no return policy for. I've reached out to inquire about an exchange, fingers crossed. Anyone had quality control issues like this before, and if I have to keep them is there anything that can be done with the color and welt (that won't cost me another $100)?


Carmina1_0.png


sever
Carmina1_11.png
Carmina2_0.png
 

Proleet

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Hi all,

Got my 3rd pair of Carmina's today and was shocked when I pulled them out of the box at the lack of QA/QC. My first 2 pairs were fantastic. On this one, the left shoe had bad discoloration on one part of the leather, and a spot on the same panel where the leather looks worn/damaged. The right shoe had no indentations on the welt which is a minor detail, but noticeable lack of uniformity when they are together. I put renoveteur on them to see if the colors would smooth out with no effect. Either way, between all the issues I couldn't stomach keeping them at this price. In fairness, the discoloration is very noticeable in the sun but not indoors. Crap thing is I had metal toe caps installed which they have a no return policy for. I've reached out to inquire about an exchange, fingers crossed. Anyone had quality control issues like this before, and if I have to keep them is there anything that can be done with the color and welt (that won't cost me another $100)?


View attachment 1367201

severView attachment 1367202View attachment 1367203
this is not acceptable...regardless of the metal taps they need to take this back or offer a huge discount (although I’d personally wouldn’t take it. For me this would be too much to still enjoy wearing)
 

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