How I Became an Underground Crocs Dealer

13 mins read

This story needs no introduction. This story is one that plays a central role in my reputation on this campus, and precedes me in ways that I never considered could be possible before. This story is one of Homerian status, one of an endeavor to accomplish a beyond-Herculean task. This is the story of how I learned that it’s apparently really hard to buy $567.86 of Crocs (yes, the shoe) online.

One Wednesday evening, in between copyediting articles for The Phoenix, I read the epic of one man who petitioned Crocs for a lifetime supply of Crocs and received what he had desired. Because I had nothing better to do at the time, I derived a great deal of inspiration from this story and decided to try my own hand at coercing Crocs into giving me a lifetime supply of their shoes. In around fifteen or twenty minutes, I drafted a deeply impassioned email to the company stating that their shoes ameliorated my life like no other object ever has, and that if they had any sort of conscience, they would grant me a lifetime supply of their shoes. The email reads as follows:

Dear Crocs,

I hold an unwavering and undying love for your magnificent product. Really — I wake up every day in my cold Pennsylvania dorm room, shuffle my feet across the questionably clean vinyl flooring, and slip my jaded feet into a pair of your smooth, wholly agreeable clogs. Believe me when I say that that moment, that blessed moment, is the best part of my day, every day. It provides me with the pick-me-up that I need to get through the rest of my physically and mentally taxing day as a college student. Whether pink and glittery, or green, or fur-lined, Crocs provide both the fashion and function that I need in a good pair of shoes. For this gift that Crocs have provided me, I will remain eternally grateful.

I have recurring dreams about your clogs. I dream about their color, their texture, their shape. No diviner design of shoe has ever been created, in my humble opinion, and none ever will. This is a fact that I decided upon my sixth birthday, when I received my first pair of Crocs, and is one that I continue to hold very closely to my heart and soul. Crocs play an indispensable role in my daily life, and to be quite frank, I don’t know whether I would be the same person as I am today if it weren’t for the never-ending comfort that Crocs provide me on a daily basis.

Crocs aren’t mere shoes. They aren’t clogs or slippers. Crocs are a home away from home, the mythical garden of Eden, the eighth wonder of the world. Crocs are not only economical, but also beautiful and truly magnificent. They say that all you need is love, but I disagree — all I need are Crocs.

As the world’s most zealous fan of your product, I would be more than overjoyed if you graciously bestowed upon me a lifetime supply of Crocs. A lifetime supply of Crocs is a gift that would impact my life unimaginably, and that would ameliorate my day-to-day existence like no other material object ever could. With this one gift of a lifetime supply of Crocs, my quality of life will improve astronomically, and I will never forget your compassion as a truly humanitarian corporation.

It is my sincere wish that you will consider providing me perpetual happiness in the form of a lifetime supply of Crocs. Granting me this one mortal wish will change my life forever, and leave me in awe of Crocs both as a clog and as an overwhelmingly benevolent institution on this all-too-cruel planet. With these words, I leave you with a quote from Homer, the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey:

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.”


Ash Shukla

Three days later, I had all but forgotten about the email when I received the following response from a Crocs representative:

Thank you for contacting Crocs! I apologize for the delayed response. We appreciate your enthusiasm and we’re happy that you’re loving our product! You do have my applause and recognition for your writing style, which I definitely love and I was left astonished after reading your email. However, this is not how Crocs operates. What I can do however is provide you with the biggest coupon code we have for your next order! I wish you a beautiful day.

I waited a week to take action with the spoils that this blessed Crocs representative had provided me. I contacted my family and closest friends, asking them if they wanted to purchase Crocs through me and then Venmo me back later. Then, one of my friends suggested posting about my bulk Crocs order on the Swarthmore College 2018-2019 Facebook group. Faithfully, in the interests of serving the larger Swarthmore campus and community, I did so on Wednesday evening.

Hi everyone!” I wrote. “A week or so ago I sent a deeply impassioned email to Crocs asking for a lifetime supply of their shoes and they gave me a 50% off coupon for my next order, so I’m trying to be economical and order as many Crocs as possible. If you would be interested in getting a pair of Crocs at 50% off the listed price then HMU! (I’ll order them and you can venmo me back later.)”

At the end, I attached a copy of my email and the response that it elicited from Crocs. Soon, the messages started pouring in. People that I had never even heard of before began contacting me, asking me if they could get in on the now-legendary Bulk Crocs Deal. I took orders from people for about two hours before the sum total of the items in my Crocs cart reached over $500, and then, feeling overwhelmed, I ended my generous offer.

It took until Friday for me to return to my Crocs endeavor, and after asking everyone in my hall if they wanted to get in on the Crocs deal last, minute, I took a deep breath. It was time to order this behemoth of clogs.

I texted my parents something along the lines of, “JSYK I’m about to transfer a large amount of money into my bank account from Venmo and then spend a VERY large amount of money on but don’t panic because everything is normal and good.” Then, I clicked on the button to order the Crocs.

My card declined the first time that I attempted to make a purchase, and although I was rather flustered at this, it made sense; my usual purchases included buying groceries, clothes (in small quantities), and gum, so I couldn’t blame my bank for thinking that $567.86 of Crocs might have been a fraudulent purchase.

On Friday, November 9, at 2:11 p.m., my bank texted me, “Did you use card ending **** for $567.86 at a shoe store on 11-09-2018? Reply YES or NO, or STOP to end msgs.”

I was sweating and, to be honest, kind of hyperventilating at this point. I had never made such an obscenely large and frivolous purchase before in my life, and I doubt that I ever will again. As I stared at the forty items in my cart on, I took a deep breath, and typed out, “YES.” I hit send.

Then, five minutes later, I reattempted to place my forty-item order on, but instead of my card being declined, a small yellow-and-red banner read at the top of the screen, “Your maximum number of retries has been reached.”

Once again, at this point I felt nothing but overwhelmed, and I decided to chat with a live Crocs representative online to figure out what to do next. In a twist of fate, I ended up chatting with the same representative who gave me the coupon to begin with, and he gave me two pieces of sage counsel that I took to heart. The first was that I should “give writing a shot.” (Thanks, Crocs representative!) The second was that only accepts orders of up to ten items at a time, and that I should email with my coupon code and a list of every item that I wished to order.

I wrote my (admittedly, less-impassioned) email to explaining my situation, and, painstakingly, I copy-pasted the item numbers of the forty items in my Crocs cart. I sent the email on Friday, and because it generally takes two business days for Crocs to respond to emails, I await a response as of Monday evening.

I never once thought that it would be easy to order what would be over $1120 worth of Crocs at face value. This wasn’t some sort of self-serving mission to gain clout with the Swarthmore student body, or to buy people’s love in the form of little rubbery clogs. This was a labor of love to the Swarthmore campus and community, and one that I hope inspires people to give back to those around them. As I await a response from (which I will hopefully receive tomorrow), I don’t know when my massive order of forty items will go through the system or when it will arrive. But I take my role as Swat’s resident underground Crocs dealer very seriously, and I will fight tooth and nail for the right to my — or, our, as I should say, Crocs.


Anatole Shukla '22 is a senior from Fort Wayne, IN. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Phoenix.


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