Monthly Archives: June 2014

Mislabeled Alden Brooks Brothers shell cordovan penny loafers for sale on eBay.

Alden for Brooks Brothers Shell Cordovan Mislabeled Leather

Mislabeled Alden Brooks Brothers shell cordovan penny loafers for sale on eBay.

Mislabeled Alden Brooks Brothers shell cordovan penny loafers for sale on eBay.


Here’s a repeat eBay pair of shell cordovan penny loafers from Alden for Brooks Brothers. It’s a repeat mislabeling because seller listed this as leather last week and it did not sell. Doing the same thing this week, with same $89 opening price. No bids yet with 3 days and some hours to go. If seller listed this as shell cordovan, almost guaranteed to get better results. Recent eBay median price for used Alden Brooks Brothers shell cordovan penny loafers — approximately $152.50 and a 93% sell rate.

Horween Company Shell Cordovan Stamp from Late 1960s to Early 1970s Hanover shoe.

Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan Stamp — Throw Back Thursday #TBT

Horween Company Shell Cordovan Stamp from Late 1960s to Early 1970s Hanover shoe.

Horween Company Shell Cordovan Stamp from Late 1960s to Early 1970s Hanover shoe.

#TBT Throw Back Thursday with a Horween Leather Company Genuine Shell Cordovan stamp on the untreated side of a Hanover black plain toe blucher late 1960s or early 1970s. Got a pair of shell cordovans at a thrift store and it is possible for shell cordovan to crack when not treated properly. Tore up this pair to see how the shoes were constructed. Now looking for a leather tooling project using genuine Horween shell cordovan.

Common Projects Gray Sneakers and Original Laces

The Sneaker Comes of Age

Common Projects Gray Sneakers and Original Laces

The Sneaker Comes of Age — New York Times Fashion & Style piece on the rise of the sneaker with suits, at work, on the red carpet, at the ballet. As big as the fall of wearing hats when President Kennedy decided to show more head hair and less sculpted fabric? Equivalent to the rise of jeans away from western work clothes to high priced fashion statements? Bonus track: sidebar of men’s fashion reviewers discussing the trend.

Editor’s note: While these story links are permalinks, the New York Times is generally a paid site after a certain number of views per month. I’ve found it easier to get around the number limit logging on to the Times at a local library. Can’t guarantee it will work for you, but it has worked for me.

Alden Shell Cordovan shoes on eBay listed as leather.

Tuesday Twofer – Same eBay Seller, Two Pair Alden Shell Cordovan Shoes Mislabeled as Leather

Alden Shell Cordovan shoes on eBay listed as leather.

Are eBay sellers purposely listing shell cordovan shoes as leather? Is this a marketing ploy by sellers for buyers to think they’re getting a deal based on a seller’s lack of knowledge? If it is, the buyers are winning. Past sales show shell cordovan shoes listed as leather sell for less money than if you list them as shell cordovan. If your business model is to make fewer dollars, mislabeling shell cordovan as leather makes sense. Otherwise, not so much.

Pictured here are two pairs of Alden shell cordovan loafers labeled as leather. One is the Alden 563, the classic tassel, eBay item 221459861731. Second pair is Alden 763 for Brooks Brothers penny loafers, eBay item 321426856702. Both sales are pure auctions and end June 15 after 5 p.m. PDT. Per the eValuator app, recent eBay median sale price for used Alden tassel shell cordovans $186.25 at auction, $179 Buy It Now. For the Brooks Brothers penny loafers, $152.50 at auction, $299 Buy It Now.

Allen Edmonds MacNeil 9107 leather shoes

When an Allen Edmonds MacNeil Shell Cordovan Style Number is Not Shell Cordovan

Allen Edmonds MacNeil 9107 leather shoes

Another day, another cautionary tale of “trust, but veryify.” Allen Edmonds style number 9107 for MacNeil black leather shoes same style number as used for black shell cordovan MacNeils in 1967-68.

For the eBay listing that started this post: Auction ends today, Monday June 9, 2014 at 9:38:23 p.m. PDT (yes, that’s 12:38:23 a.m. Tuesday morning on the east coast). eBay listing 251547984060.

Found a pair of Allen Edmonds MacNeil black leather longwings while doing a search of AE style name common misspellings. New shoes (Nordstrom Rack sticker on bottom of one shoe, some creasing on the tops from people trying them on) with opening bid of $145 and Buy It Now price of $190. Good starting and BIN numbers, as median price for recently sold leather new MacNeils is $199.99, and anything $200 or less has sold. Extra goodness on this pair is the free shipping.

The style number for these leather shoes is 9107, which brings up the case of Allen Edmonds reusing old shell cordovan style numbers for leather shoes. With these 21st century MacNeils, AE uses the same style number of 9107 in leather for the same style MacNeils it used for its 1967 and 1968 MacNeil shell cordovans. Picture of those swingin’ 60s MacNeils on page 33 of the Aleen Edmonds 1968 catalog. This information is not going to change the world as we know it, but it’s great to know that the style number is not the beginning and ending of your search. One way to tell the difference between AE leather and shell cordovan offers is the heel. For years, Allen Edmonds shell cordovan shoes had a dovetail / McAfee heel while other AEs sported the solid rubber heel toplift with V insignia and AE logo stamp.

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Alden Shell Cordovan 964 Mislabeled as Allen Edmonds Leather

Alden Shell Cordovan Mislabeled as Allen Edmonds Leather

Alden Shell Cordovan 964 Mislabeled as Allen Edmonds Leather

If the headline seems confusing, it is. This eBay listing, 380920680069, states the shoes are Allen Edmonds made for Alden.

Allen Edmonds makes shoes for Allen Edmonds. Alden makes shoes for Alden. Simple enough. What is also simple to see is if the gold colored insole bottom stamp says “Alden,” it’s a safe bet it’s an Alden shoe. Next, look at the back of the heel. There is a distinctive rectangle stitch at the bottom of the heel back where it meets the sole. This is a particular stitch to Alden found on the Alden 964. It’s also found on the Brooks Brothers same split toe blucher, which is also made by Alden with style number 1352. Next, look at the folds of the shoe tops. These are classic shell cordovan folds compared to leather wrinkles. What might throw off some lookers are the soles and heels. They have been replace, so no dovetail heels and no Alden stamp on the instep area.

Now for the difference in price. The Alden shell cordovans new retail clock in at $715. Recent sales of used ones on eBay come in at a low of $175 and a high of $692. Leather Aldens in the same style are $50 to $245. Current bid price on this pair of Alden shell cordovans $61 with a little more than three days to go. Auction ends Jun 11, 2014 at 16:58:04 PDT.

Alden Shell Cordovan captoe shoes mislabeled leather and wrong model number.

More Alden Shell Cordovan Labeled Leather

Alden Shell Cordovan Model 2161 Mislabeled leather, Wrong Model Number

Another day, another pair of Alden shell cordovan shoes on eBay mislabeled as leather. This pair has an added mislabeled value. Not only are these shoes black shell corodvan listed as leather, the model number on the listing is different than the shoes offered for sale. While the shoe insole writing shows these shell cords are Alden straight tip blucher oxfords model number 2161, the listing says these are model number 907.

eBay item number 111367533040. Opening bid $149. More than six days into this seven day sale, no bids with 18 hours to go. Two pair of 2161s have sold on eBay during the last few months. Low sale price $182.50, high of $282, median $232.25, sale through rate 100%. Retail new $663.

    Update: Sold for $149. Two bids from same bidder 2 minutes before close.

Imperial shell cordovan wingtip vs. split toe leather.  Only thing in common is same style number

When an Allen Edmonds Shell Cordovan Number Isn’t Shell Cordovan

Allen Edmonds -- Same Style Number, Shell Cordovan Wingtip vs. Leather Split Toe

This is an object lesson in always looking at a pair of shoes separate and apart from just the style number. Even if you have a list of all shell cordovan style numbers made by Allen Edmonds for the last fifty plus years, when you get your search results, make sure the style number matches the shell cordovan quest.

Just as Allen Edmonds recycles style names (the Surf was a three eyelet blucher plain toe made from golden-tan sealskin and later a white tassel leather loafer), it also reuses style numbers. Featured here is the same style number 6748 shoes from Allen Edmonds. The Imperial is a classic and rare Allen Edmonds’ six eyelet shell cordovan. It debuted in Allen Edmonds’ 1957 catalog. This graphic is from the 1957-58 Allen Edmonds catalog, page 5. Reigning until 1963, usually it was the company’s only shell cordovan balmoral offering, cutting a great look with six eyelets, strong wingtip, and full medallion. A double leather soles gunboat for 1957 to 1959, it went to a single leather sole from 1960 to 1963. Full leather lining, leather heel, black top binding. Last made more than 50 years ago, AE catalogs describe the color as “cordoba,” the reddish brown now known as #8 cordovan.

Then there is Allen Edmonds style number 6748, a split toe leather five eyelet blucher creation found recently on eBay. You can see it while it’s still up at eBay Item Number 360939937435. Perfectly acceptable shoe for what it is, but it is no shell cordovan. Color of the Norwegian split toe described as “whiskey brown.” Don’t get excited when you find it, because there is a great chance it is not what you want.

eBay Alden 990 Shell Cordovan spelled cordivan

eBay Find: Alden 990 plain toe blucher oxford shoes shell cordovan spelled “cordivan”

eBay Alden 990 Shell Cordovan spelled cordivan

Another day, another pair of shell cordovan shoes not labeled shell cordovan. Found on eBay this pair of Alden 990 plain toe blucher Oxfords. Retail new for $667 from The Alden Shop of San Francisco. Least expensive recent sale on eBay for used 990s was $180 on April 13. Median sale price $300.

This eBay seller lists the shoe material as “leather.” In the body of the description, the seller says there is some wording he can’t read. “It could say that they are cordivan (sic), but I don’t know that for sure.” I have to add “cordivan” as another search term for ways to misspell cordovan.

At the time of this posting, no bids on eBay item number 201099996376, with starting price of $99 and Buy It Now price of $199. Pair will probably sell — currently has eight watchers.