Among the companies that have started offloading their factory seconds online, Alden is the most exciting. In the past, their shoes have been rarely available on sale through regular retail channels. And, for those who even knew about them, buying a pair Alden’s factory seconds required doing a bit of legwork.
Factory seconds, for those unfamiliar, are items that didn’t pass a company’s quality control tests. The imperfections are typically minor, but customers stand to save about 30% off retail. In the past, The Shoe Mart — Alden’s biggest retail partner for their factory second shoes — required customers to phone-in every once in a while to see what’s available. Last year, however, they put their inventory online.
You still need to do a bit of legwork (Alden, after all, wants you to buy their shoes through the regular channels). For the dedicated and frugal, however, you can see Alden’s factory second inventory by doing three things:
- Contact The Shoe Mart at (203) 853-6543 and ask to be put on the Alden Factory Seconds list.
- Sign up for an online account and then log-in.
- Search for the term “Alden FD.”
Prices for Alden factory seconds start at $199, although most models go for about $375 (down from about $550). Shell cordovan models are also $475 (down from $700). The Shoe Mart gets a new shipment of factory seconds once or twice a year — typically once in the winter and then sometimes again in the summer.