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Allen Edmonds Factory Seconds - Worth it?

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    Allen Edmonds Factory Seconds - Worth it?

    I finally decided to pay a visit to an AE store and got my feet measured and tried on a few boots. It was strange to be measured as a 9.5 EEE, only to find by trying on the boots that an 8.5EEE probably would work best for me. I say probably, because they did not have them in my size, a 9EEE still has some slippage while I walked, and an 8.5EEE shoe fit ok, albeit it felt a little tight across the top due to my high instep.

    With that said, it appears the AE seconds sale has some significant savings over firsts, but hearing some horror stories about third and fourth quality shoes making it out as seconds, coupled with the $25 restocking fee, makes one wonder if it is worth it after all?

    I'd love to hear about everyone's experience with seconds to determine if the probability of getting a shoe/boot with minimal issues is higher than at first glance (due to mostly people only posting negative experiences more readily than positive), or if the overall quality has decreased over time, and it's now really a 50-50 chance of getting something that really looks bad.

    Thanks all for sharing!

    #2
    I've tried Factory seconds a few times when the restocking fee was only $10. I never had a problem with any cosmetic issues but my concern, like yours, would be sizing. I wear a 13D in most other brands but Allen Edmonds run narrow for me and I need something wider. I've tried getting fitted at a store but they never have the size/width combination I need to find out. Now with the restocking fee at $25, its not worth it to me to take a guess and hope it fits.

    Comment


      #3
      You probably shouldn't believe most of the horror stories. I've got like 6-7 pairs of Seconds and they are all great. I've only got like 2-3 new pairs of AEs. Yeah, maybe there is a tiny scratch on some obscure part of the shoe, but I probably caused more damage than that the first time I put them on. Getting a pair of Corwallis or Carlyle shoes for $150 is such a superb deal that who cares about the tiniest of imperfections (and you will probably not even be able to find it).

      I've noticed that you get over "perfection syndrome" after you use a material item a few times. My new car had to be perfect at first, now if I scratch up the back putting the stroller in, I'm like "ah who cares." Same with a tiny knick on my watches. Same with tiny marks on my shoes.

      Comment


        #4
        I have a few and none have had issues. My bigger concern is whether the color rendition on the web site is accurate. I don't want to buy a pair of charcoal shoes and then have to pay $25 because they're really brown or black.

        Comment


          #5
          I've been just as happy with the seconds as with firsts. It seems to me that 70% of the firsts I've purchased should have been seconds, but I've kept them because I got them when they were on sale for huge discounts. Between shoes I've purchased for my son and shoes I've purchased for myself, I think I've purchased about 15 pairs of AE shoes now. I think five were seconds.
          WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

          Comment


            #6
            Nearly every pair of AEs I own are factory seconds. I have 24 pair of AE shoes/boots now, and of all the orders I've placed, *ONE* has been returned because it wasn't as described (and also didn't fit well)--Acheson suede loafers. Should have been leather soled, had a brick red dainite for some reason.

            Everything else I've ordered has been wonderful.

            That's not to say what you get will please *you*, of course, because I don't know you. But my most recent get, navy blue Cornwallis oxfords for $150, well here they are:


            IMG_20200223_145338_317 by Professor Horseyhead, on Flickr


            IMG_20200223_144608_120 by Professor Horseyhead, on Flickr

            The flaw was some markings right where the ball of the foot ends up, which means as soon as I walked a little in them, the usual creasing that calf shoes get disguised it to the point of it being completely unnoticeable.

            My bourbon Daltons have some loose grain leather--way up by the top of the shank, meaning nobody will ever see it. And I've worn them enough that by now it doesn't matter if anyone does, just looks like well-loved boots.

            It's always a gamble, but if you're willing to maybe exchange instead of get a refund, i don't *THINK* the $25 restocking fee would apply.
            https://www.professorhorseyhead.com

            Comment


              #7
              If there's a store close, I believe you can have them order in the 2nds if they don't have them in stock. Then, just go to the store to try them on before you buy and you wouldn't have to deal with the $25 restock fee

              Most of my AE's are 2nds, but I have a few 1sts too. All have been purchased in a store though, so I could see (or not see, in most cases) the blemishes before I purchased. My local store will order in whatever is available for me to try on too, but I suppose not every store would be willing to do so.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks everyone! The comments are really encouraging and I will start at one pair since the sale goes through today, and be ready for the next sale. I really liked the way the boots looked and the EEE width on them is actually comfortable for me, which would make a small blemish easy to overlook.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by gazza74 View Post
                  Thanks everyone! The comments are really encouraging and I will start at one pair since the sale goes through today, and be ready for the next sale. I really liked the way the boots looked and the EEE width on them is actually comfortable for me, which would make a small blemish easy to overlook.
                  Chances are, any blemish that's there (assuming cosmetic only) will likely just be part of the patina after it's been worn a bit anyway, so it's typically a non-issue for most people.
                  https://www.professorhorseyhead.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by armedferret View Post
                    Chances are, any blemish that's there (assuming cosmetic only) will likely just be part of the patina after it's been worn a bit anyway, so it's typically a non-issue for most people.
                    I can definitely live with a blemish like that. Order placed!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by gazza74 View Post
                      I can definitely live with a blemish like that. Order placed!
                      be sure and post pics when they arrive!!

                      What did you end up ordering?
                      https://www.professorhorseyhead.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by armedferret View Post
                        be sure and post pics when they arrive!!

                        What did you end up ordering?

                        I will. I ordered the Williamsburg chukka in the coffee color. I love the simplicity of the boot and best of all, it fits my misfit of a foot.


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A pair of these Arctic Chukka boots (Seconds) just arrived yesterday.

                          https://www.allenedmonds.com/factory...58S-130-D.html

                          I consider them satisfactory. The noticeable defects is that the pebble grained leather is not all pebble grained and a bit wavy in some places. There are a few places an inch or so square, where the leather is smooth and wavy.

                          For 50% off, to me, that is acceptable. (I had an extra % off from the current price shown).

                          That said, I'm going to need to return them. AE recommended a size 13 and they are just too big. My true size is usually a 12.5, but there aren't many half sizes over 12. I should have gone with a 12, though.

                          Now I'm eating not only the $25, but the expedited shipping fee I paid so I got them before my trip.

                          But I'm not complaining, because I was aware of the risk. I don't like it--but I'm not complaining.
                          WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by mebejoseph View Post
                            A pair of these Arctic Chukka boots (Seconds) just arrived yesterday.

                            https://www.allenedmonds.com/factory...58S-130-D.html

                            I consider them satisfactory. The noticeable defects is that the pebble grained leather is not all pebble grained and a bit wavy in some places. There are a few places an inch or so square, where the leather is smooth and wavy.

                            For 50% off, to me, that is acceptable. (I had an extra % off from the current price shown).

                            That said, I'm going to need to return them. AE recommended a size 13 and they are just too big. My true size is usually a 12.5, but there aren't many half sizes over 12. I should have gone with a 12, though.

                            Now I'm eating not only the $25, but the expedited shipping fee I paid so I got them before my trip.

                            But I'm not complaining, because I was aware of the risk. I don't like it--but I'm not complaining.
                            It’s a shame you have to return them, but if they don’t fit....

                            Today I saw a pair of Stone suede Nomad Chukka on Amazon for $146. With free Amazon returns I had to bite. Should be arriving on Thursday.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by gazza74 View Post
                              It’s a shame you have to return them, but if they don’t fit....

                              Today I saw a pair of Stone suede Nomad Chukka on Amazon for $146. With free Amazon returns I had to bite. Should be arriving on Thursday.
                              I have that boot in snuff color. I like it a lot.
                              WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

                              Comment

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