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  • Writer's picturegoddessofbooks

The Facts and Fiction: Fabled Merch

*Aside from those who consented to be involved, individual's names and information apart from Fabled Merch have been hidden to protect their identities.*

Hello everyone! The last time I did a post similar to this was when the entire Shelflove scandal went down in the book community. I usually don't feel like businesses deserve their own callout post BUT people should be aware of the shady practices that Fabled Merch and their other businesses have employed. All information I have collected was compiled through public channels and forums plus some good old fashion digging. I am an outsider and neutral observer to this situation. I have no ulterior motives to spin anything outside of what evidence I've gathered.

With that warning out of the way, let's dive into the issues from start to finish.

The start I would argue of Fabled Merch's troubles began with their World of Maas and Blood & Honey boxes. Included in each of the available packages, for context, were:

Blood & Honey Box

Exclusive Enamel Pins Only - $25

Exclusive Dust Jackets Only - $30

Serpent & Dove Dust Jacket

Blood & Honey Dust Jacket

Deluxe Box - $100

Both the above mentioned dust jackets

Both above mentioned enameled pins

10+ Exclusive Items

Full Sized Candles

World of Maas Box

Candles Only - $25

2, 4 oz candles

2, 2 oz candles

Merch Only - $55

2 Enamel Pins

2 Enamel Bookmarks

2 Booksleeves

2 Useful Merch (1 Decor and 1 Fabric)

2 Foiled Posters

Full Deluxe Box - $75

2 Enamel Pins

2 Enamel Bookmarks

2 Booksleeves

2 Useful Merch Items

2 Foiled Posters

2, 4 oz candles

2, 2 oz candles

According to their Instagram, Blood & Honey went on sale on August 1 of 2020 with a reasonable, tentative, ship date of late September 2020. The World of Maas Boxes went on sale on September 25 of 2020 with their own estimated ship date of late October. Neither of which happened, in case you couldn't infer that one for yourself. Many of these boxes didn't ship until almost the middle of 2021. Reports have stated some customers waited as long as 8 months from the initial shipping time frame before they received anything.

A Customer Asking About The Initial Shipping Time Frame Immediately After The Announcements Were Made:

Meanwhile, during the wait, some customers began to get understandably antsy. There was an increase in inquiries on their public socials and, I imagine, behind the scenes. Customers reported no response for weeks at a time and if they did receive a response it resulted in a courtesy email with no follow-up on the issue. Accusations have been made that they have been deleting negative comments on their Instagram for a while now.

Such as by this commenter:

Instances, where customers had to receive a refund through PayPal by going around Fabled Merch, were described online. Some people weren't lucky enough to realize in the designated time frame that a refund would be best for them so they were left unable to make a claim for their money back. In the same vein, a portion of people who DID receive refunds were still sent the box they ordered in a, presumably, costly mixup by the business

Once the boxes actually arrived in almost the middle of 2021, there were many reports where a promised book sleeve as described in the box description wasn't included. This was verified by the note in the box that partially read:

With that said, we unfortunately do have some bad news and as you might have noticed, two book sleeves are missing from your box. All of this is 100% our fault and we take full responsibility - Fabled Merch

They then proceeded to provide a coupon code which many weren't thrilled by since after everything they had no desire to continue to give Fabled Merch their patronage. Since then, they had also been unable to provide a clear answer for quite some time on an estimated shipping date for the book sleeves until the below response - though there is no solid solution to the problem as of today:

In the past few months, a former curator for Fabled Merch, Shelby, has come forward about her experiences with the business. She left the company with a private resignation that, after no response, was announced publicly via her Instagram stories on May 1st. Stated in the story was her disappointment in the direction Fabled Merch was going and her claim that they had become indefensible as a business. She describes that they were refusing to take responsibility for the problems their business was creating along with, importantly, a mention of $800 worth of owed money.

The original stories by Shelby, @beautyandthelibrary , so you can see the story in her own words. Read from left to right:

Fabled Merch then proceeded to make a post following this to slander their former employee:

Even more currently, Shelby, the former employee, alleges that they owe her $817 worth of product and wages. They have continuously been unwilling to pay her invoice. Essentially, they ghosted her according to these reports when she left their business. She describes going public with her unpaid wages after Fabled Merch's refusal to settle the invoice because she knows that they will sometimes 'correct' their mistake when pressure is applied by the public.

The Former Employee's Insta Story:

The Invoice she is owed:

To this day, no money for that invoice has been paid by Fabled Merch.

Now we arrive at the present day with the reason I initially began writing this blog post. The owners of Fabled Merch also run Wick & Fable and Wick & Pour, the latter of which they did their best to adamantly deny to the public. Recently, social media posts have been released to inform their followers that they are opening a new candle box via Wick & Fable. They will also be reinstating a monthly enamel pin club on Fabled Merch.

I will not tell anyone what to think or buy BUT the public should be aware of this business's history given their record of unpaid employees, downright abuse, and undelivered product. Staying informed to shop smart is the only way to hold them accountable where it hurts the most - financially. Left unchecked, they will resume their unethical business practices all while exploiting people, former employees and customers alike. In good conscience, this information needs to be shared within the bookish community to the extent that they finally correct their horrible practices and make amends, such as in the case of their former employee's owed invoice, and even in cases where it is too late.


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- GoddessofBooks

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