I was SO excited when it finally came in the mail! I couldn’t believe that it had finally arrived! After going out of print and pre-ordering the deck many moons ago, plus COVID delays it was finally time for my copy of the Lumina Tarot to reach my squirrely little paws! Immediately after opening the package the disappointment set it. From the quality of the box, to the guidebook to the really cheap paper-like quality of the cards I was SO confused as to what I just paid $75 plus shipping (from Australia) for ?!?! I was SO flabbergasted and the more I thought about it the more enraged I became!
For those of you that don’t know, I am an avid tarot deck collector. I am no stranger to paying high prices for great quality or exclusivity. Having amassed over 100 decks I am quite familiar with the general price range and quality expected from a deck. This deck completely threw me off! The Lumina Tarot is by far the CHEAPEST most expensive tarot deck that I have ever purchased!!!
I immediately reached out to friends within the community that I knew had this deck to inquire about the quality of their decks. Although no one had this most recent edition purchase, they all had earlier editions and it seemed the census was standard: Earlier editions came with the same crappy box, but the quality of their cards were a higher standard! Unless this is a complete fluke and I received some wack deck accidentally (we’ll get to that later) or it seems as the editions progressed the quality of the deck cheapened while the price point remained the same!
I took 24 hours to cool down and now I want to sit and write out my thoughts. I don’t want to come at this from an emotional place, I want to talk about facts. I got receipts baby and I’m going to show you the receipts! Before we can get to today’s time frame we have to rewind a few months ago to when it all began…. there’s a lot to unpack here so buckle up!
Late April of 2020 I pre-ordered the Lumina Tarot through Inner Hue with the understanding that the deck would be delivered a few months later. Of course I took into consideration with everything going on in the world there would be delays, I was understanding of this. However, I was not prepared for the drama that was about to ensue and certainly was not prepared for it:
Come mid-May 2020 Lauren Aletta, owner of Inner Hue and creator of the Lumina Tarot Deck contacted all the customers that pre-ordered the deck via email to give them updates as one normally would. Unfortunately I do not have that specific email still however that is irrelevant. In the email she stated that due to factors I can’t remember the deck would no longer be coming in a box. Now, personally I didn’t even notice this statement in the email most of the time it is rare I take the time to fully read all updates from deck creators. Sure, if it was the only deck I was waiting on fine. When I’m waiting on 12 different decks that I pre-ordered and getting updates from creators rather often I tend to overlook any details at times. This did not go unnoticed by several of the backers who I assume were rather upset that they would not be getting what they paid for. And honestly, rightfully so! When one chooses to fund the creation of a deck, whether it’s a Kickstarter project or a pre-order directly made through the creator whatever is stated must be delivered. You don’t pre-order a 2021 Mercedes Benz Z Class and get a 2004 Volkswagen Beetle because the dealership changed their mind! In total 10 people decided at that time to have their money refunded as they were unhappy with the creator’s decision and THIS is when shit hit the fan!
May 22nd 2020
Subject: An Honest Email
The email begins as you would expect. An apology is given, admitting faults and taking accountability for her errors, informing us the boxes are ordered and she wants to rectify the situation to make sure that we are all happy. Along with expressing that if other’s wish for a refund she is understanding and willing to make things right however she can.
Then the low key verbal assault happens…
8 pages and 1,600+ worded verbal vomit attack…
She goes on to explain there will be further delays due to the box now having to be ordered and again repeats that if we have an issue with this just to simply let her know and she can refund our money. What follows are a free flow of thoughts and expressions that I will try my best to not comment on to begin with to allow you to come to your own thoughts and conclusions.
I will say for me the overall tone of the email was very aggressive. Very accusatory and honestly left me feeling some kinda way after reading it. Between the language used, the tone and frequent using of capitalizing letters (which I am no stranger of doing myself) part of my is curious if I am just projecting my own thoughts/feelings or if you see the same thing?
She sets the tone of the email by explaining:
I wish to also mention here that I am NOT a big business! You are not dealing with INSTANT here. I am not a FACTORY. This is not amazon or some online shop that mass produces.Lauren- Inner Hue
Here she explains her thought process in regards to the box. Why she herself values the box and the future direction she wishes to take the box/packaging of the deck moving forward in the future.
Then the rest of the explanation is just straight up virtue signaling. Taking an altruistic stand about wasteful consumerism and essentially passive aggressively stating that those of us (her customers) that want the deck with the box are apart of the bigger problem. Essentially shaming us for wanting what we paid for.
The email continues stating that she has an excess of bubble bags in storage that she needs to use up so that is what she will be using for packing the decks to ship however this is also not eco-friendly and moving forward will be changing to something more environmentally sound.
Having worked, managed and owned multiple online retail venues previously and currently I completely understand the nightmare that can be shipping. Especially when it comes to international shipping! I honestly to this day can not wrap my brain around why in 2020 we need to make something so simple be so difficult!
However, while I appreciate that you covered a cost to your customers shipping and potentially my own, I never asked you to! I would have happily (as I did) paid for the deck and the shipping through the site with the understanding that I paid the money that Inner Hue wanted and needed.
Lauren proceeds to instill the ‘small business’ mentality by explaining that this is a hobby for her and not a full time business. She ‘does this’ because she has a passion for it but because of the smaller volume she deals with leaves her little room for profit. Which honestly does make me wonder about the back-end business side of her options? The reason I am curious about it is simply because the deck is consistently out of stock. Even now, one day after receiving the deck I pre-ordered, there are no more copies available. I am certain, as she expresses, there is a huge undertaking from a labor aspect but clearly with such a demand for the deck I would assume she could reduce costs with larger print runs and increase profit from sales and potentially making room for at least an extra pair of hands for part time help handling orders right???
Now this last part of the email I will let you read without further commenting on it. I will say that it just feels……manipulative I guess is the word I’m looking for ? I don’t know… what are your thoughts?
July 14th 2020
I was SO excited when it finally came in the mail! I couldn’t believe that it had finally arrived! Immediately after opening the package the disappointment set it. From the quality of the box, to the guidebook to the really cheap paper-like quality of the cards I was SO confused as to what I just paid $75 plus shipping (from Australia) for ?!?! I was SO flabbergasted and the more I thought about it the more enraged I became!
I thought this had to be my fault! This had to be another impulse purchase that I didn’t pay attention to what I was buying. After all, I had not paid attention to the original email so the possibility was high that I overlooked some details on the site.
$57 USD plus shipping from Australia, got it! 78 card deck, ok. In the pictures I see I get cards, a book and a box….
and that’s it…
Nope, I didn’t miss anything because there are no details about the deck at all! My expectations of the quality of the product I was ordering was clearly based in my assumptions.
And we all know what happens when you assume…