Every factory has factory seconds – an industry phrase for items that don’t pass quality control tests – it’s just a question of what they do with them. Edward Green sells theirs at their Northampton factory at a substantial discount … but that means you have to go to Northampton. Allen Edmonds sells theirs online, which makes the process a lot easier. This seller auctions off Meermin’s factory seconds on eBay. Trickers and Russell Moccasin are occasionally there as well.
A couple of months ago, The Shoe Mart quietly put Alden’s factory seconds online. In the past, you had to be on an email list to get their factory seconds notifications, but now it’s all public.
To see the inventory, you have to do three things:
- Contact The Shoe Mart 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 new Alden factory seconds about once or twice a year. It’s usually at the end of the year, although sometimes a mid-year shipment comes during the summer. Also worth noting: I’ve found Alden’s factory seconds to be a bit more damaged than Allen Edmonds’. The defects are still minor, but you’ll want to inspect the shoes closely before deciding to keep.