So the other day I ran across a pin touting Toms shoes at outlet prices. If you don't already know, I am cheap. And sometimes it shows. So the thought of paying $40+ for a pair of shoes that look kinda like something like what my high school Geometry teacher wore (every day because she had a pair in every color) makes me a little nauseous. I actually scored a pair or glitter Toms for like $20 back at the beginning of Spring on Zulily and I should have left well enough alone, but the durn things are crazy comfortable. I digress.
So I got all excited about buying a pair of Toms for less than $20 a pair and I started thinking of who needed a pair of Toms from me for a little present and so it went. My cheap got ahead of my brain. The kicker is that when I found out that the shipping was $15 for one pair, I got to thinking that ordering two made the shipping per pair even less. Yes, they sucked me in.
The website in question is http://tomsoutletshoesale.com/. In the upper right corner of the site there is a currency converter but I didn't even let that bother me. The website advertised that they accepted PayPal, which is my preferred method of payment, but when it came time, that wasn't an option. Still I was undeterred. I clicked the button and parted with $49.66 of my hard earned cash. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.
My credit card statement came in with a payment of $50.15 to a www.sohotrade.net in Beijing with an additional fee for a payment in a foreign currency and an exchange rate that made my Toms slightly higher (by about $2, but remember, I'm cheap). So then I started to get worried. How was I going to tell my hubs that a) I spent $50 on shoes that kinda look like they came from the Dollar Tree and b) that I spent $50 on something that may very well be a scam.
I went back and looked at my emails.
So I knew back when I was on my 2-pairs-of-Toms-for-less-than-$50-shipped high that I had used a 3rd party vendor as a payment service. I vaguely remember clicking the buttons and there didn't seem anything hanky, but I was high on a deal, so forgive me. I may have signed away my 4th kid, but who knows (no, there's not a 4th kid, nor are there plans for one).
Then I logged back into the website and looked at my account.
|Yup, that is authentic Chinese writing on that customs form.|
It looked like an elephant sat on it. Literally. What was inside wasn't any better.
It got worse.
|I ordered a 7.5. I got an 8|
|The outlet shoes have a cheap Euro size tag sewn in the side seam. The non-outlet shoes do not.|
|A big difference is the insole. The outlet shoes have no arch support. The non-outlet shoes have a cushy arch.|
From the outside, they look okay.
|The back tags are identical. The teal ones with dirt on them are my 'real' Toms.|
|Side tag and sole are fine.|
I had packed up the camera when the ultimate betrayal caught my eye.
They didn't attach the insole piece to the doggone shoe. UGH!!!!
As I sit here typing this post, I have these gray shoes on my feet with a band-aid on my heel from the blister they've rubbed. So, here' the thing. If you are strapped for cash, just dying to have the look of Toms, and can wait 3 stinkin' weeks for your shoes to arrive, go for it. But if you want the comfort and quality of the expensive Toms, better take a pass on the Toms outlet experience. I am not saying that www.tomsoutletshoesale.com does not sell real Toms. I am saying that they are not like my other Toms.
****I could have returned these shoes for a refund, but would have had to pay the postage back to China. I opted to keep the shoes because on the outside they look the same. I may never wear them again. Who knows if I'll actually give the other pair as the gift I planned.
PS. I am pinning this post in the hopes that others will be informed consumers, unlike me.