Bad Advice on Shoe Forums
The majority of people don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to shoes. Period. Reread that in case you are confused so I don’t get a bunch of victims hating me. ‘The majority,’ but not all. Especially those in shoe forums. But some people are naturally smart and use common sense when it comes to potential “issues”. Much like in regular society the ones that know nothing are usually the loudest and drain out the sensical ones. It’s sad but it’s the reality. And most often, you find these people lurking on shoe forums, or forums in general, as they need a place their voice can be heard by someone who thinks they care.
Most experts don’t actually have the time to contribute to the shoe forums. They are too busy being experts in their field which is usually quite demanding. Therefore you are stuck with a lot of know-it-alls that in fact, know nothing. And much of the vile commentary they spread corrupts the minds of people who claim to know nothing and simply ask questions. Yet when they ask the question once and get a plethora of non-sense answers, sadly they transform into that same knows nothing, know-it-all. And the tragic circle of groupthink grows and grows. And it must stop, even though I know it won’t since we humans thrive on drama and love the attention of someone rooting us on to do dumb shit. But, I will stay battling it as long as I care enough to be involved in the industry and hope to make a small dent that one day might turn into a ripple effect.
So what happened? Well, on the Carmina Enthusiast page on Facebook, there was a client that had purchased a pair of pull-up leather, aka Chromexcel, chukkas, and was curious as to the various nicks and color discrepancies he found on his new boots. This a valid question and potential concern for someone not familiar with how pull-up leather acts and reacts. And for those that do not know while actually reading this, the reality is that it is a very durable yet highly reactive leather. It is prone to scuffing, scratching, and discoloration but this is all a part of its nuanced nature. The scuff will be soon irrelevant as it will go away and another one will appear. It is not a fine leather, but rather a leather meant for beating up as it is strong and thicker than your average calfskin.
Therefore, upon receiving his chukka boots, with an out-of-the-box inspection he noticed some of said scuffs etc, as you can see from the photos. As I mentioned above he went to the shoe forum of Carmina‘s fans and asked whether these were ordinary or not. Now, this is the same thing I see happen time and time and time again all across Facebook. I am sure it happens in Reddit, and definitely also on Style Forum too. And it is natural to ask your peers when you are unsure of something. I get it. But what often happens when someone asks a question is often not the outcome that actually helps anyone. Because the reality is most people love to be negative and they thrive on spreading it. Especially online and when anonymous. And naturally, the majority of the comments (prior to mine and those thereafter) were ‘return them, that’s not acceptable.’
What was even worse though, is that the client screenshot an email he had with Carmina and showed Carmina’s very honest response about the situation, commenting as if it was an unacceptable one. Now even though I advertise Carmina’s shoes, this post has nothing to do with defending them, nor do I comment on their Customer Service as I have never personally received it as a customer since I am not one. BUT, in this instance, they actually told the client just have I would have one of mine and the fact was that their answer was the truth.
Now, while I recognized the leather right away because I deal with it myself, in my own brand (see featured image), the reality is that the type of leather was not announced. And while one might defend the people telling this guy to return his pair, for failing to understand what type of leather was, well I still see that as part of the problem. Because if you don’t know, either ask or keep your negative comments to yourself. Because you are not helping anyone and only creating more unrealistic expectation-having consumers that are only hurting the industry, not helping it!
So, as I have mentioned time and time again, do more research than just asking a bunch of novices online, especially when you are just getting answers that give no insight or explanation but rather just the blind spewing of ineptitude.
All images (except the featured one) courtesy of the Carmina Enthusiasts Page on Facebook