we love TOMS.
love their brand, their mission, their customer service, all of the above. always have. for awhile there judah and layla were the only ones who actually wore any (i wasnt sure those pointy little slippers could hold up against my legframe...whatever). but i finally got a pair of my own over christmas and i love them. they are perfect when its freaking cold outside but i just want to wear a t-shirt and not look stupid with ballet flats or boots on.
here's the thing though: they are pricey. like $50 for adults and $30 for kids. we are okay with this because buying a pair of shoes for me means another pair is given to a kid who wouldnt have access to shoes otherwise. i'm down with that.
after i loved that first pair, i wanted to get a second. so i went to america's yard-sale: ebay. i figured i could get a retired, hard-to-find, or expensive style for a bit cheaper, and since they came from the TOMS production chain (even if i was farther down the road on it than if i had bought them directly from them) i could be assured that the One-to-One thing still held true.
well it turns out that real TOMS arent just pricey because youre really buying two pairs. these suckers are pretty well made too, (which is good for me and GREAT for a kid who lives somewhere with lots of parasites and no sidewalks, no?) which of course drives us production costs. i found this out the hard way.
long story short: i had accidentally bought fake ones. good fakes. but cheap and totally not giving anything to any kids. luckily i was able to return mine to the seller (she had actually unknowingly bought them from another ebay store which then disappeared..sketch!), but before i did i took some pics so that no one else would make the same mistake.
note: i love a good knock-off. if someone can produce a necklace that looks exactly like jcrew or a quilt just like an anthro one for a fraction of the price and people will buy it, that is awesome. but OBVIOUSLY if you start putting the jcrew logo on your stuff to pass it off as theirs, not giving them credit for the idea and pretending to be a part of their benevolence efforts then you have strayed into seriously uncool territory--called a big fat lie--and possibly illegal?
even if you dont have a real pair to compare yours to in side by side fashion this little rundown should still help you know what to look for if you are buying your shoes aftermarket. (of course you can always go on TOMS website and find a 100% authorized retailer...but if youd rather deal hunt on eBay or somewhere, then make sure you know what to look for and ask for when it comes to pictures).
first, a few really easy to spot signs that i'm pretty sure will always hold true for the real ones:
brands protect their logo and identity very strongly. there is no way there would be more than one real version of their typography or lettering.
i believe some real TOMS have yellow stamping inside, so dont use this one exclusively to decide without other clues.
and then a few more that may be harder to spot, but are still pretty tell-tale
it is pretty out of character for me to do a post like this regarding a consumer warning, but this one just felt really below the belt and i wanted to put the info out there in case anyone else got punked or needed to avoid doing so in the future.
i think on this kind of thing no one wins if you end up with the knock-offs because your money is staying utterly outside of the production-giving chain where kids get helped and the people who have worked so hard to make this mission work dont get paid. and then self-interestedly, your shoes are crappy and will fall apart in about 10 minutes (mine even came with stretched and busted seams).
PSA complete. go about your day.
PSA complete. go about your day.
*i have literally nothing to say about "BOBS" by sketchers. just a colorful facial expression.