Valve and WeLoveFine have shut down the Secret Shop merchandise line for an unknown amount of time due to a wave of complaints about shipping prices, especially for international customers, according to an official Dota 2 blog update.
Valve pointed to issues of accessibility to fans, stating in the blog, “The shipping costs are too expensive all around and make it hard for fans to get the merchandise they want at an affordable price. [...] We’ve decided to shut down the Secret Shop for now while we figure out how to better handle global distribution.”
Fans that have already ordered can request a refund, or continue their order as-is.
Since the Secret Shop rollout, shipping prices have been a point of outrage for many fans, especially those abroad. A Canadian Redditor with the handle Spikernum cited a quote of $61 on ground shipping—and $200 for expedited. An Italian Redditor with the handle Qtbear was quoted a minimum of 90€ to ship 100€ of items ($103 shipping for $115 of items) before import taxes. Dreamcore10 on Reddit showed that it was cheaper, in their case to make two orders instead of one, for two of the same item:
While the shipping costs were the focal point of the blog, there have been complaints about WeLoveFine’s customer service since the initial rollout of Dota 2 merchandise. There is only a return policy—no exchanges—and fans frequently complained about customer service not responding for weeks, months or, in one case, years after issues arose.
In one case, a user reported that an order for multiple “blind boxes,” items with one of several purportedly random possible items, yielded full orders of the same character. Another user similarly received duplicate couriers, which are meant to be “rare.”
The future of the deal between WeLoveFine and Valve is unknown, as is the future of the merchandise itself. Fortunately, it seems that Valve is at least listening to its fans. As stated in the blog:
Our goal has been to give easy access to the greatest number of Dota fans possible so they can show their affiliation with the game we all love. The way it is currently set up makes it really hard for fans to do that, and until we can fix it, we shouldn’t have such an offer on the table. Anyone who already placed an order will continue to receive it, or may ask for a refund.
We have reached out to Valve for comment, and will update this story if a statement is provided.