Valve Closes Annual Dota 2 Merch Shop Amid Community Backlash

WeLoveFine, a nerd-goods merch company, won't play host to this year's Dota 2 International Secret Shop, Valve announced yesterday.

Illustration: Jim Cooke/GMG

The Secret Shop, Valve's seasonal memorabilia shop that opens once a year for The International, has been run through WeLoveFine for the last couple of Internationals. For the Dota 2 community, this has been a point of frustration for some time.

Users on the r/dota2 subreddit listed out many examples of poor customer service and inordinate shipping fees, especially for fans outside the US. Considering the Dota 2 International is, literally, an international event, it was all the more ridiculous.

Valve replied to the complaints in a blog post.

We've decided to shut down the Secret Shop for now while we figure out how to better handle global distribution. Providing merchandise for Dota has never been a profit focused endeavour for us. 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.

Users have since been happy to see the change, though no new distributor for the secret shop has been announced. With The International coming in just a few weeks, there isn't a lot of time to arrange a new vendor.


    Surely Amazon could step up here and offer Discounted shipping, or even a "buy any other product on Amazon and have them shipped together with your DOTA merch for FREE"

    That's a bit sad. I've used Welovefine a few times and I never had an issue with them. And I didn't remember their shipping prices being any more unreasonable than anything else being shipped down under.

      They're notoriously bad in the dota community to mess up orders more times than anything. Since last year there has been piles of post on the /r/dota2 to get valve to drop Welovefine as the merch dealer.

      You sure? They have a mystery box that you can purchase for $65 but the shipping is $75.

        Woah, geez!
        Okay. Maybe something changed in the like 4-ish years since I bought from them...?

          I think welovefine is intentionally jacking up the shipping price for profit. There are reports of other countries getting $50 shipping to buy something cost $20 too. If they use courier it may be acceptable but they use standard USPS.

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