Ballroom Dance > Do you order dancewear and shoes from overseas?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by DanceMentor, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I was just curious. In the last year, what sort of ballroom supplies have you ordered from overseas? I guess this question applies to people living in the United States.

    If you did, was it because you got a better price by ordering direct? Or was it because the item was not available in the US?

    It is fine to say the name of the company if you like.
  2. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    Yes, I buy Supadance shoes directly from their website. I have been wearing the same shoes for years and it is significantly cheaper and has about the same shipping time. Depending on the exchange rate saves between $40 and $50 per pair.

    Oh, guess I should add Swarovski, but that is wholesale...
    j_alexandra likes this.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    That is interesting. Earlier today I was doing some forum repair work, fixing old broken links. One them was a link to the Supadance 1008 information page. Supadance had changed the URL without leaving a forwarding address, so I changed the link to the new 1008 page. Then I made this post. :)

    I suppose there may be a number of situations where companies stock shoes from overseas, which is great if you want to try something on. But if you already know your size and preferred style, it may save money to order direct.
  4. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    How ironic that it was Supa that left a broken link. I agree, when I was still trying to figure out what shoe worked for me I tried different styles/companies at competitions. I purchased at the comps, because I didn't know what worked and I could try them on without worrying about a restocking fee with an online company. Once I worked out the final shoe, it was direct from London for me.
  5. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    Yes. I order my shoes from danceshoesonline dot com. The items ship from China, though if you have to return anything it goes to Kansas, IIRC (it's been a few years since I had to make a return). I have been very happy with them. I also ordered a Latin/rhythm dress from them, the kind where you pick a design from their website and supply your measurements, and was also very satisfied with it, have had tons of compliments on it.
  6. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    I've ordered from several overseas vendors - Chinese, Vietnamese...I've found the ones I like and reuse them. I used them for custom dresses. It's not Randall or Dore, but they were well-made, i've gotten compliments on them, and they were within my budget. Mine was usually price. i've stopped buying practicewear from overseas, though - the sizing was too unpredictable. Now i just want for closeout sales at dance america or dance shopper.
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    If either of you are able to provide the names (or link) of the vendors I would love to know, and it might be helpful to others also.
  8. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    oh sure! I used latinodances dot com for custom dresses. I've had...5 dresses made by him, and I love them all. I had a white feather dress for smooth (based on a dress on SYTYCD) that had swaorvski and ostrich feathers, and it was only $500. the others were smooth and rhythm dresses. However! because they are made in Vietnam, i have had to spend another $100-150 here stateside to do some small alterations for fit. I love his work though, and he has great customer service. But it is not Chrisanne fabrics, so if you want that, then it's not for you. But they've held up beautifully.

    I also use for shoes - but social, practice shoes and some swing shoes only now. I use Aida now and also ray rose. Good customer service and good prices.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2017
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  9. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    Oh! i would recommend not ordering from Charismatico. I have one of their dresses, and it's not what I expected. It's not bad, but it would be strictly showcase-level quality. Not competition worthy.
  10. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member
  11. anntennis

    anntennis Active Member

    I order directly from Supadance as well. Fast delivery, cheaper than in US. Practice shoes - all my studio orders the same shoes, they are so good. My pro suggested this method
  12. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I used to order from Supadance, but stopped wearing their shoes.

    Now, I order directly from Paoul. More options for heels; less expensive, even with the DHL two day shipping, which is the only option the Paoul web store offers. Also, the local ballroom dance shoe store considers my preferred shoe a special order, bumps the price, and the shoes are not returnable if I get a bummer pair (hey, it happens with handmade shoes). Paoul website has none of those issues.
  13. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    I now order my Latin Shoes directly from International in the UK. Two reasons: wide width is returnable and price is significantly lower than ordering from a US vendor.

    Their customer service is awesome, and I am very happy with the quality of the shoes.

    As I've said elsewhere, if you are looking for a replacement for the Ray Rose Kalahari that does not have the ultra flexible sole, the IDS Flavia is perfect
  14. azntwice

    azntwice Member

    My favorite overseas site is dance-shop . com. They stock most of the major shoe brands (Aida, Supadance, Ray Rose) and their pricing is far cheaper than ordering in the US.
  15. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I always buy shoes from the UK, after I have tried them on in person and knowing that they work for me. The prices vary depending on exchange rates (the pound-to-dollar exchange rate is awesome right now!) and sales. I have bought from Dancesport UK, Dance-Shop, and DuoDance. The price difference is astounding! Something like $80 versus $145 for Ray Rose shoes, including shipping and everything.
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  16. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    More than a decade ago I worked for Showtime Dance Shoes. They were are at one time (if not now also) the largest distributor of ballroom dance shoes in the US. I helped with the wholesale part of their business, and created accounts with shops that wanted to stock shoes. Of course, when there are stores that stock shoes, it makes it easier for people to try them on as well as view many different styles. And these same stores would also bring inventory to local competitions (often "mom and pop" type operations).

    So as people order from overseas more, I guess one drawback is there will be less stores here in the US to try on the shoes, and see the different styles. I would venture to guess that less than 1% of shoes are made in the US. It is an interesting dilemma, but I don't have a solution to offer. :) I do hope Showtime does well, but I also understand why people would be inclined to order directly from overseas.
  17. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    One thing I try to do as a customer is support the vendors such as Showtime that give me the opportunity to try shoes on in person at competitions. (I'd say the same about a brick and mortar store, but I don't have one within reach of my area, so vendor booths are what's available.)

    If I find a shoe that fits and that I want to buy at a vendor booth, I'll buy it there rather than just note the styles and size and order it from far away. (When I later go to buy another pair of the same style that I already know works, I may go back to the original vendor or look for other options.) I also happily buy heel covers, shoe brushes, and whatnot in person when I need them, which also helps support the booth.

    But I try not to use the in person vendor exclusively as a try on station just so I can go purchase the shoes elsewhere. After all, I want them to be in business the next time I want to try on shoes in person! Mail order is great when you know what style and size you want. But it is very valuable to have the chance to try on a variety of shoes in person to get to compare the sizing, styles, and companies and see what works on your feet.
    flying_backwards likes this.
  18. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I understand and it makes sense. For me personally, I have developed some good relationships with various vendors over the years such that I can a very good price without needing to order from overseas.

    I would assume it "should" be mathematically feasible for a US business to match or beat the overseas seller because they should be able to arrange a volume discount, as well as have a lower per unit shipping cost.

    If that could not be arranged, I would create my own brand and manufacturing infrastructure, and then start to apply pressure my suppliers to give a low enough wholesale price, such that I remained competitive with direct shipment from overseas.I would do this while keeping it a secret where I was getting my in-house manufacturing done.
  19. W1ndstorm

    W1ndstorm New Member

    My wife ordered her current standard dress from latinodancewears .com and loves it. She had them make a few changes and fabric substitutions that were reasonably priced. We did some additional stoning and fitting once she got it, but it's a great dress for what she paid.
  20. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    I now get my shoes from a factory here in the US. The owner, the sales lady, and even the production manager have all personally helped me get back onto the floor after an injury. They spent more of their time, many times over, than the difference between the custom shoe price and ready-made models. The shoes fit perfectly, literally like a glove, soft and snug but not tight, with no rubbing, no break-in needed, right out of the box. They were open to my suggestion of combining a heel and last that had not been combined before. And it worked! If any other ladies face not being able to wear full-height heels anymore but want a real-looking court shoe, pm me and I'll share contact info for the factory. (Don't want to be tagged as an advertisement.)

    Before that, I used to get my shoes from a tiny shop about 2-hours drive from home, because the owner's expertise and shoe quality was worth the higher price. And no, I do not have money to burn! But the online cheap shoe-shaped-objects were not working for me and so a waste of money.
    raindance likes this.

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