Start Up Blog

I wanted to give them my money – Vans

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 13, 2014

I’ve been a Vans off the wall fan since I did my first cross up on my BMX way back in 1982. My fav’s are the original checker board slip ons, as sported by main man from Ridgemont High – Spicoli.

Spicoli shoes

Well today in a classic web enabled distraction I decided to see if I could make a custom pair over the web. I found that Vans do have a design your own shoe service – like most shoe brands these days. I was prepared to pay a premium – maybe double the usual price. For these wouldn’t be the Spicoli, they would be the Sammatron. I even decided to go fluoro to give it a bit of 80′s retro kick. Check ‘em out below:

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 2.45.05 pm

But when I got to the check out. I pumped in all of my information only to be told they don’t ship to Australia. It was curious, because their on line form let me add Australia as my country. I could also see that the shipping agent was UPS. I chatted with a staff member on line who also told me they couldn’t ship to Australia. Even after I offered to pay twice the price. Sad that one of my favourite brands is still in 1985 with more than their retro cool products.

Here’s what I don’t understand:

  • The site doesn’t care what country the person is from.
  • The staff shoe maker doesn’t care what country the custom shoe is sent to.
  • The site has the e-commerce built in.
  • The site accepts credit cards and other forms of payment.
  • The shipping agent ships to Australia
  • The customer (me) wants to give them money.

So why wouldn’t they sell me my custom shoes? A strange decision indeed. In the end I decided to buy some custom old school superstar Adidas shoes – who gladly ship to my fair country. The world doesn’t care what country a company is based in. If you don’t let them give you their money, there is always somewhere else to spend it.

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3 Responses

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  1. Plots said, on February 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Hey mate its a marketing trick, Vans America is owned by a completely different company to Vans Australia, as funny as it seems by Vans America giving Australians the power to buy shoes online it would decrease sales from The Accent Group who hold the rights to Vans Australia and distribute to all stored throughout Australia and New Zealand, If you look further in to it, Vans Australia don’t even have an option to buy their shoes online at all, they direct you to the stores, in which Australia only have at this point 5, but not to worry there are several other stores and companies stocking Vans and they will ALWAYS get the newest styles first!!!

    • Steve Sammartino said, on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      The problem with all of that, is that the end user only knows about the brand, not the infrastructure…. it’s not the customers concern. The only thing the customer cares about as they should, and in this case me, is getting what they want…. not the back end dealings of corporations. Steve.

  2. Dave(e/id) Payne said, on March 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    It’s not just online either! I went to Big W, Watergrdens recently. Apart from what else I might see, I was hoping to get some Croc style sandals. They had about 10 hooks with 3-5 on each hook. They were all size S. NO SALE *and* I’m less likely to go in the store next time!
    (I was already sceptical about Big W because when I last bought footwear from them, leather-esq sandals, they came unglued the second time I wore them. Only buy STITCHED FOOTWEAR NOW.)

    Incidentally the name “Big W” was allegedly inspired by “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”.
    (This site contains spoilers … http://www.gchudleigh.com/madworld.htm )


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