nada wrote:There are separate issues here. The first being a photo of the cake, (in my opinion) perhaps taken in Canada by someone other than Jeff Fuchs. It's upside down. This is really inconsequential to the quality of the tea.
The second, and perhaps third, are the price and the stories.
The price is a take it or leave it thing. They decide how much it is worth for them to source, ship and sell the tea. If you would like to buy the tea and feel it's worth $35 of your money, then buy it. If not, don't.
The stories... well, each to his own.
I think it's fair to be clear though. If you have criticisms about his approach, it's probably better not to bundle them behind an observation about a cake being upside down.
The picture factors into a reflection of the knowledge and approach of those selling the cake.
It's as if you walk into a store that is messy and disorganized, with products hung upside down by mistake. Even if the product themselves are good, you start questioning the vendor's reputation and ability. This is especially crucial on the internet, where you can't look at the item, smell it, or taste it. It's not as if the store has any more pictures of the cake - one pic of the side of one cake is really not going to cut it in this day and age, and the upside down wrapper is just the final nail in the coffin. Never mind that, as others have pointed out, $35/100g is not exactly a low price and even at $25/100g, hardly a great bargain. If you'd like to cut them slack, then perhaps you should buy up the whole lot.
Also, you are presuming that whoever it is in Canada did the photo on the site. I have no idea who did it, but I know his name's on the site, so until someone there says something, I'll have to presume Fuchs has something to do with it. Anytime a vendor posts something online about their products, I would expect them to stand 100% behind it. Perhaps because you're a vendor, you're willing to cut him more slack, but as a consumer, I'll take my business elsewhere. After all, Bada tea isn't exactly in short supply.
I'm always happy to support vendors who are transparent in their dealings, provide good, unvarnished information (insofar as that's possible in retail) and doesn't make outlandish claims or obvious mistakes. Mistakes, of course, do happen, which is why I believe when vendors do make mistakes, they should be willing to correct them openly and honestly, offering refunds when necessary, instead of hiding behind some smokescreen or just pretend nothing happened. There are too many lies and false stories in the tea world as it is, the last thing we need is yet another storyteller who just sells whatever their local contacts say is good tea and repeats the lies verbatim.