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New Boots New Boots....oh no, Made in China and too small!

OK here is a little anecdote regarding sales of footwear, which sock designers who sell their socks might find interesting

Situation 1
A buyer, goes on ebay, sees some new boots costing £90 GBP, advertised in their size a UK4. Boots arrive, oh no they don't fit. Label is checked, and it reads Aus4/UK4/US6 Well, actually, if I check the length of these....nowhere near a UK4...strange? According to the marketing, these boots give a perfect fit due to

''their unique sheepskin sizing system''

What is this system? Well, it seems the boots are half a size smaller than the Uk size on the label and each pair has a pair of insoles, to aid fitting. Many customers report that they have to go up a size with these, but if they do, as it is in between they find them half a size too big...but no worries because there is a foam plasticky insole, taking away the right your feet have to nestle in 100% sheepskin, and wrinkling up horribly according to a couple of customers.

I check several International Sizing charts...and see actually, there is an Aus 4, but it is equivalent to a UK3.5 and that half a size makes all the difference.
The seller has a refund policy, that states they can be returned within 7 days and a refund will be given but not any costs of return covered. Actually, this is standard, but some companies also will take a 10-15% off the cost of the footwear too, as a re-stocking fee (i.e. to repack nicely and put back on shelf as brand new in box) So what are the consumer rights? Well, they are these. If the description of the goods, including incorrect labels is deemed to be incorrect (there is a small variance for size differences, this is normally to take into account style and width fittings, but perhaps not as much as a half size in length. A trading standards officer would have to measure to give evidence) then the wrong description is covered by Sale of Goods Act 1979. It is in breach of this Statute, and therefore statute law supercedes any contractual obligations of the Refund Policies stated by companies. A consumer who buys from a seller who is in breach of 'description' may have a remedy of full costs covered including postage back to the seller. Situation 2 Same as above except this time, it is not the sizing but the quality of the goods that is a problem. There are imperfections and puckering on the toe, which does not appear on the other toe and is not 'satisfactory' considering the product is being sold at full price of £90 and is not advertised as a 'second'. They buyer also has a remedy of full costs plus postage refund, as once again the Sale of Goods Act 1979 supercedes the refund policies offered by company. In a nutshell, if you buy something of poor quality, or of poor description you have a right under UK law to ask for a full refund regardless of the individual refund policy's terms. Sellers don't seem to know this. If in doubt, you can call the consumer advisors here, and they will give expert advice on the phone http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/. Its good to know your rights, and to be able to outline these for fair trading. You can also take goods that do not measure up, to a trading standards office and they can measure it and see if it matches the description and is within the law. Buyer beware, there is a lot of manufacturing going on in China and some Aus Ugg companies, whilst claiming to have 100% Aussie sheepskin (which is true) don't tell you about them being manufactured in China. Quote

''Consumer demand for sheepskin boots is driven by the mystique of an authentic Australian heritage.''

"[boot brand name] is the Original Australian"

As a consumer, I can confirm that in the past month or 2 I have had to return 4 pairs of shoes with incorrect labels not matching boxes made in China and 4 pairs of shoes which had labels of being a UK 4 but did not fit me. The soles were ok, but the width across the top of the shoe was very narrow. If you have average to normal width feet fine, but if you have chubby trotters like mine....they don't fit.
Even a well known brand like Doctor Martens, which I have bought for years Made in England, and fitted no problem, now manufacture in Thailand and China, and those ones do not fit me. I am not saying they are badly made, they are very good, but won't fit a wide range of people which you would expect with Doctor Marten's marketing as a comfy almost therapeutic type of shoe. Also, a lot of the DMs made in China, still had Made In England as part of their branding. A little strange, but perhaps then uppers are hand stitches in England, and perhaps the uppers are sewn to the soles in China?? And I can see, that perhaps were uppers were sewn incorrectly, rather than throw them away, they probably unstitched, recut, and resewed them a 1/4 inch in from the old seam...thus making them narrower????That is just speculation, otherwise overseas manufacturers are making some odd sizes.

This image is not of an ill fitting sock, this knitter had already planned to felt hers luckily to get the right size

What does this have to do with knitting? Well as a sock designer, if you sell your socks or do custom knits....just make sure the socks you are knitting conform with descriptions given and are the correct size. I know from experience, many knitters fail to achieve gauge and can knit the wrong size...but those who wish to sell their product should make sure they are not in breach of consumer law in their territory.


Kate said...

But now I need to know: do you finally have boots that fit you?! :-)

Erssie said...

But I have sheepskin slippers that fit, but the company sent the wrong colour. However, they are sending out the right colour...and I can keep the old ones.

In addition, I am getting a couple of pairs of boots for a bargain from them in a summer sale, and they will fit as they are Emu and from New Zealand.