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The Noble Shoe - Carlos Santos, Maftei Vienna, Crockett & Jones, Paolo Scafora - Official Affiliate Thread

Noblekostas

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I understand the merits of these brands and I have the utmost respect for them.

I was answering from the viewpoint of commerical viability. Besides having existing retailers before your site came along, the barrier to market entry for potentially new competitors to pick up these brands are low.

Furthermore, the general SFer will probably prefer to purchase from the merchant direct for the said shoe brands, unless there is a sale. Noted that you have tried to differentiate yourself by offering unique colour offerings not available otherwise.
I have sold almost $500000 in my tiny 1 year of existence and most of it has come from Carlos Santos. I consider that rather commercially viable! Scafora has been doing great for me as well! While many prefer to buy directly from the main brand, their prices due to overhead are substantially higher often. And more often than not brands like Carmina, Meermin etc don't have the best customer service. This is how I can differentiate myself and by offering models that no other retailer has.

It takes long to establish yourself in such a competitive market, but I wouldn't just quit my well-paying engineering job if I didn't think it was commercially viable. I carefully select the brands I retail and for 289.99$ i think Carlos Santos is one of the best you can get for that level, while I absolutely adore Scafora shoes. In the mid segment, what is left? There are not so many brands to retail that are good or allow retailers at this stage. This is why the goal/endgame is to slowly create my own brand in the long-term.

Don't get me wrong, this was not a post to "why I don't get sales" or similar. I am very happy with how I am doing and in fact have overshot my predictions by 300% this year already! And now I have investors coming in! It was more about honest feedback like you (and the rest) gave me so I can improve! But it is a fact that SF is a very substantial amount of money per month that is enough to pay my rent. Plus my mom is sick so I need to re-think where the budget goes.

Enjoy your week everyone! Appreciate so much the feedback!
 

soto_nw

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Appreciate the kind words :) Interesting (honest) fact. The LWB has been the worst performer from all the shoes I have ever stocked barring Crockett. I don't know why it is a beautiful shoe and i thought it would appeal to the US public. Glad it is part of the stock service and I don't need inventory.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Like @norMD said you must assess what makes most sense for your business. I just started looking at this thread, but have visited your site regularly (again, will buy at some point, and look forward to the day you launch your own brand, as I suspect they will be well made given your stated price point and love for shoes).

I for one have not followed you on IG yet, but am about to so I can keep seeing the fantastic work you're doing stocking fine shoes (and eventually launching your brand).
 

soto_nw

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I have sold almost $500000 in my tiny 1 year of existence and most of it has come from Carlos Santos. I consider that rather commercially viable! Scafora has been doing great for me as well! While many prefer to buy directly from the main brand, their prices due to overhead are substantially higher often. And more often than not brands like Carmina, Meermin etc don't have the best customer service. This is how I can differentiate myself and by offering models that no other retailer has.

It takes long to establish yourself in such a competitive market, but I wouldn't just quit my well-paying engineering job if I didn't think it was commercially viable. I carefully select the brands I retail and for 289.99$ i think Carlos Santos is one of the best you can get for that level, while I absolutely adore Scafora shoes. In the mid segment, what is left? There are not so many brands to retail that are good or allow retailers at this stage. This is why the goal/endgame is to slowly create my own brand in the long-term.

Don't get me wrong, this was not a post to "why I don't get sales" or similar. I am very happy with how I am doing and in fact have overshot my predictions by 300% this year already! And now I have investors coming in! It was more about honest feedback like you (and the rest) gave me so I can improve! But it is a fact that SF is a very substantial amount of money per month that is enough to pay my rent. Plus my mom is sick so I need to re-think where the budget goes.

Enjoy your week everyone! Appreciate so much the feedback!
Just saw this too, and glad you're finding success! I think it's probably smart to have CS as your "entry-level", have one brand as your high-end, and then something like Crockett in the middle (until you launch your brand).
 

Noblekostas

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Like @norMD said you must assess what makes most sense for your business. I just started looking at this thread, but have visited your site regularly (again, will buy at some point, and look forward to the day you launch your own brand, as I suspect they will be well made given your stated price point and love for shoes).

I for one have not followed you on IG yet, but am about to so I can keep seeing the fantastic work you're doing stocking fine shoes (and eventually launching your brand).
Hehe thank you!

As I said, it is difficult to find other brands that are worth it and I feel good about. For example:

Berwick: Consideration for very entry level, never replied an email
Meermin: Not a fan, plus they don't do retailers
Loake: Cut off almost all retailers
Carmina: Rarely does retailers now, focuses on own platform
TLB Mallorca: Good upcoming brand, but affiliated with Skolyx and I can't carry them
Cheaney: Decent shoes, too british, don't do retail in Sweden anymore
Tricker's: only consideration, but not a huge fan of styling (very polite great guys btw) and many others carry them
Enzo Bonafe: Consideration, great brand but again I don't want to carry only what others do
Meccariello: Way too complicated, super nice person that introduced me (by himself) to Scafora
Vass: Good brand, low margins, way too difficult to communicate. Pass.
G&G/EG/StC: Same as Bonafe in a way. Plus I already have Scafora

that leaves some of the Asian upcoming brands (Fugashin, Vahtia, CNES, Corno Blu, Miyagi Kogyo etc) that most are too difficult to communicate with or sell directly to consumer. Or that leaves me with things like Viberg and RW (seems to be so popular in the US).

It is extremely difficult to bootstrap your way into this industry and is better to have a few things that work well in my opinion. I look forward to what the future brings, I am genuinely excited!
 

clee1982

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LWB is iconic American though people might stick to the Alden aesthetic I suppose.

a lot people carry CJ, wonder which one does best online (like all the English retailer CJ guys usually don’t even have stuff in stock have to “pull”)
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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As someone who's new to the life of nice shoes, i enjoy the selection you have for CS; my bank account wouldn't, but my eyes do. I especially like the mid-brown suede LWBs you have with the storm welt and think about it constantly as a Fall/Winter shoe i'd like (the only thing stopping me would be that it'd be my 2nd LWB in a small collection which well isn't necessarily a problem... just y'know scarcity of funds and whatnot.. though now that i think about it, the thick-boy dainite and the suede is enough of a differentiator...).

I follow you on IG and have no doubt in your timeliness of response should I want to inquire about something (whether e-mail, IG) so really, the only new thing I get from here (SF) is the fun of lurking about and seeing what other people have to say.
I suppose these are the people that @clee1982 was referring to. The quiet lurkers.

A man who appreciates a LWB is a man of good tastes 😎. Thinking about that, I have a very modest collection as well... of LWBs that is.
 

BColl_Has_Too_Many_Shoes

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I have sold almost $500000 in my tiny 1 year of existence and most of it has come from Carlos Santos. I consider that rather commercially viable! Scafora has been doing great for me as well! .

And more often than not brands like Carmina, Meermin etc don't have the best customer service. This is how I can differentiate myself and by offering models that no other retailer has.

Don't get me wrong, this was not a post to "why I don't get sales" or similar. I am very happy with how I am doing and in fact have overshot my predictions by 300% this year already! And now I have investors coming in!
300% overshot of predictions, Investors coming in, and 500k in your first year! I'm over here crying this man a river. I need to rethink where my tears go.

"And more often than not brands... don't have the best customer service. This is how I can differentiate myself and by offering models that no other retailer has."

Possibly the best customer service of any retailer not selling their own brand. Because of that level of customer service and prioritizing customers, I have on numerous occasions recommended the boys on here to send some business your way.
 

OldTown

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So, I need your advice. It costs a lot of money to advertise on Styleforum per month. With me having to move to a new apartment and finding new storage as my house is now too small for 400 pairs of shoes, mom's cancer, advertising costs etc it's difficult to consider keep being here when nobody really engages unless I post, or nobody really buys something through SF. It does give me exposure and building a community and good relationship with all of you.

What do you think? Is there something I could improve? Is it the brands that don't interest you? Do you have too many shoes already? Is it the styles? I do have the most unique GMTOs and styles from Carlos Santos, the lowest non vat prices on Crockett & Jones stock program (and pretty much all the others can be sourced in a few days), MTO waived for Paolo Scafora (unreal) etc. Please help me get better, at least before I close the affiliate program for now :)

On good news, as said above the Austerities, Adelaides and Oxfords are on their way the Pre-Order Owners, as well as the Single Monk GMTOs and Dark Brown Reverse Oxford GMTOs. Next week the Handgrade Field Boot GMTOs are coming too. Stock for the first 3 will be updated tomorrow and the new round of Pre-Orders open.

Now, the Carlos Santos 6942 Double Monks in Algarve Patina are stocked in a variety of sizes since they are super popular on the patina service. Find them here:
Better pictures will come in the following weeks.

The Carlos Santos 9156 Field Boot GMTO in Patina is also live until the 15th of October with 2 entries already. Choose from 20 Patinas. These are on the 401 Last, they are super cool.
Don't change your site. I specifically go to it due to your Carlos Santos options. I even plan to tell people to buy me a gift card to your site this Christmas as all I really want is a pair of Carlos Santos shoes of some kind.
 

monkey66

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Kostas, you are doing really well. $500k in your first year in a competitive market is brilliant. Stick to your principles and growth will come. A lot of love on here for Trickers and plenty of options for MTO/GMTO to give your needed differentiation, I know not to everyone's taste but no-one does country like Trickers. I am also a big fan of Cheaney, I think they are by far the most elegant of the low/mid-range British makers with some sleek lasts.
 

Noblekostas

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So, the Black Reverse Oxford is really one of the best black oxfords I have seen this year (biased, but yea) and it is back in stock in many sizes. Get it while you can!
DSC02218.jpg


I think I am taking pretty decent pictures now!

Also available in any Patina of your choice!

I also have a UK 8 and UK 12 in Dark Brown Calf (no patina) for sale for $360 down from $406.99 (DM or Email)
DSC01893.jpg
 

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