Allen Edmonds recently (and quietly?) increased the restocking fee on their Factory 2nds from ten bucks to twenty five. That’s quite a jump. Being that Factory 2nds are already a bit of a gamble, increasing the cost to send them back from $10 to $25 might, just maybe, be a deal breaker for many a deal-hunter.
In case you’re not familiar with the Factory 2nds game, here’s what AE defines as a factory 2nd:
Allen Edmonds shoes are handcrafted and Factory 2nds are slight cosmetic blemishes such as scratches, nicks, leather imperfections or wrinkles that prevent these shoes from being sold at 1st quality pricing. The cosmetic imperfections do not affect the performance, fit or durability of the shoes and are often imperceptible after a few days of wear.
Now, two things seem to be true here:
- Plenty of us have never had a problem with factory 2nds. In fact, many of us (my hand is raised) have had factory 2nds show up and the “imperfection” was so slight, that it took some hunting to find it.
- It doesn’t always go right. The web is littered with pictures and stories of factory 2nds that showed up and just weren’t acceptable/keep-worthy to the person who purchased them. Whether that person was being overly “picky” is often subject to debate, but it’s a case by case basis.
They’re a gamble, yet the discounts are significant. And Allen Edmonds wants to move these scratch n’ nick shoes, so a restocking fee is understandable. But the hike from $10 to $25 seems… severe. Especially when the retail wars have seen free shipping and free returns used as weapons of commercial battle. And thus, possibly being out $25 seems like quite the disincentive. Ten bucks? Sure. But twenty five?
How many will just say forget it?
Let’s try to (unscientifically) find out.
The mark on the sole of a pair of AEs, denoting them as 2nds quality.