TopHatter Reviews

( 24 reviews )

TopHatter is a virtual auction house where both sellers and buyers can come online to meet up, interact, chat, and transact business in a wide variety of categories using a live auction format. 

How Does It Work?

Unlike penny auctions or the well known website eBay, TopHatter is described as actually providing items for sale in a traditional live auction format.

A single item is up for bid and all bidders must be present, live, because the bidding process moves quickly, sometimes only lasts a few minutes, and the item goes to the highest bidder.

Buyers can easily sign up and create an account for free, while sellers must "apply" to provide their items for sale on the website. 

Cost/Price Plans

Because this website facilitates live auctions, there is no real price range for the items, as prices are determined by minimum bids set by the sellers, as well as the bids of others participating in the auction. 

In addition, the bids generally are done in $1 increments, though depending on the item that is being auctioned those minimums can be higher. 

Mobile Options

Currently TopHatter does provide a mobile app for Apple and Android operating systems so that customers can take part in auctions no matter where they might be.

Refund Policy

Since does not actually sell anything but rather works as a middle man that brings together buyers and sellers, they personally do not offer any guarantees, refunds, or exchanges.

All sellers will have their own personal Refund or Return policies that customers should examine before bidding. In the case of a problem, buyers should contact the sellers directly. 

Customer Service Contact Info

Customers who would like to contact their Customer Service team with questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 888-502-5139, by submitting them directly to their website, or by traditional mail at 292 Lambert Ave., Palo Alto, CA, 94306.


TopHatter seems to have mixed reviews, with most positive reviews coming from their buyers and most negative reviews coming from their sellers, who feel strongly that the fees they charge their sellers are too high. 

Competitors and Alternatives?

There are many other online auction services available, like the well known eBay, but also a wide variety of penny auctions and other sites which specialize in niche auctions.  
If you have any experience with TopHatter or their services, please leave your reviews below.

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TopHatter Customer Reviews

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Problems with Tophatter and pay pal....
February 8, 2021

To me Tophatter is a scam. I have order about 6 items from the site, two orders were wrong. 2 items never received. Still have 3 items waiting on. On Dec 2, 2020 I placed an order with a company called for a 6ft projecting frosty snowman, never received. I was told it was signed for on Dec 20th (never received it). Asked who signed and never got an answer, so now I am out $27.98 because they will not answer my email's.

I sent this problem to paypal never got an answer from them. I ordered a 3-in-1 wash mop mitt on Jan 6 2021, this take's 15 to 20 business days to be delivered ( which makes it the end of Feb). So from now I do not order anything that the payment goes through pay pal.


Linda C.

Settlement of my claim
January 21, 2021
I just received my clothes laundry bag yesterday, to my surprise when I bid it specially says if you order one you can get 1 free. What happened to the free one? There's more I can complain about, all items I canceled after I bid.

December 20, 2020

I have ordered over 10 items on the site and as of now I have only received three and there is no indication as to when I will receive the rest as of tomorrow I am requesting refunds on three of the items as they have not been delivered and the other four I cannot request refunds until the end of December I will never use this site again.

Most of his deliveries were due between that really part of November and the middle of November and nothing has appeared. I strongly advise people to think twice before using this auction site.

AidaAlmario January 21, 2021

I am with you my friend. This is very frustrating. I wish I had known.

Check Your Credit Card!
November 23, 2020

Used for 2 days, Day #3 I keep seeing charges. Their site said I needed to pay a second time for the same thing! I had to contact my Credit Card and dispute the MANY charges they kept charging!

Worst online site EVER in my experience. Stay away, but if you're not smart enough and use them, check your credit card for more charges. Buyer Beware!

AidaAlmario January 21, 2021

Right on again,

Ray November 08, 2021

I had the same experience. Won the auction and paid immediately but I kept getting notifications that I needed to "complete my order" by paying a second time. I asked for a refund and have washed my hands of this site. Pseudo auction site
September 15, 2020

To be an auction site one must deliver the goods.

Half the time when i buy it just seems like they want to borrow ny nobe for a month or 3. Sellers do not honor winning bids but they continue to sell on the site. Your money is tied up for sometimes 3 months and you are not compensated for it. My recommendation:


Tophatter is a giant piece of CRAP!
September 2, 2020
The very worst place to bid on anything! There are some items that I have waited for almost a year and they still haven't arrived! May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their crotches and may the salve the doctor prescribes for that itch be ineffective!

Top Hatter scam
September 2, 2020
I have won many items from TH some worth the money others cheap junk. When I complained they are quick to refund price. But they are best at not sending any item that I won at very low auction prices. Each time making a dumb excuse ( out of inventory, damaged, wrong address etc.) why they could not send the item. They've scammed me once too often and I'm done with them. Always avoiding supplying an item won at a losing cost. They've done this at least 6 times, each with a low winning price.

AidaAlmario January 21, 2021

Now I hope I can get my refund too.

All around
June 19, 2020
I brought 9 items from April 2020 and only got 2 of them so far so I ask were my item stay and they responded but one of my item supposed to have a track number if not a refund will b made..well I’m waiting for the a refund or tracking number for the rest..coz I’m trying to find a number to contact them...I had to give a star ⭐️ if I could it would be zero star ⭐️....

June 11, 2020

Products from China are the lowest of low quality. Shipment time to receive products is too long; and Tophatter customer service is aweful. I won 6 products and received 1 product after 3 months.

I can say without question . . . Let the buyer beware!

Con artists
March 31, 2020
I won a phone for $10 then immediately was refunded because shipping was made unavailable how can shipping be made unavailable when they allow other items to sit there for three weeks without being shipped? Then I get a phone for $28 a nice phone that I was counting on Andy got delivered hours away from where I live and all I was was refunded so that way they can take the phone and Sell It Again for a higher price I don't understand I want my item there has to be something we can do about this

Extremely poor customer service and policies
August 19, 2019
Bought a lot of things. Some good deals, some bad, some good quality, some bad. Was willing to take the gambles because of decent prices. That is until this past year. Paid for an item in July 2018, with delivery date of August 2018. The item's delivery date was extended multiple times. Their Buyer Protection Program does not come into play until 30 or 60 days after shipment date. The delivery dates kept getting extended until August 2019, which meant that the earliest I could claim late delivery was September 2019. Checked the item today and they delivery date had been changed back to August 2018. I inquired about this change and Customer service could not help because it was now past the 180-day policy window. So they change delivery dates to extend the wait, then change it back once outside the limit. So now I am out the purchase price. Very bad customer service and policies. They will never get another order from me. I hope others do not fall into the same trap.

June 12, 2019
The Vacuum I won at auction worked about one hour and was a piece of thin plastic garbage! To even mention this in the same breath as a vacuum is an insult to all vacuums.

What a waste
April 18, 2019
Chinese sellers do not send items if winning bit is too low. Tophatter will refund your money but you have to wait 2 months for the item to not show before refund is processed.

KeithLovell September 02, 2020

Tophatter is affiliated with Wish and this is why your getting the item you won is hit or miss. They are both con artists!

December 28, 2018

I purchased at auction one La Vie Est Belle Parfum and because I felt it was such a good price, I bid again on a second one and won.

When I received them, I checked and OMG, they were fake. It did not smell like it and it stayed on you all of about 5 minutes and then it just evaporated leaving not a trace of perfume on you nor your clothes which is completely unlike the real thing.

Do not buy anything there!!!

AidaAlmario January 21, 2021

I just bought channel#5. I bid really high on because I always send one to my auntie

March 8, 2018
FRAUDSTERS BEWARE!! Don't purchase anything from Tophatter they are scam artists. Cheapest of Chinese trash when they finally arrive, items with missing parts, or items that don't arrive at all. Some items took nearly two months in arriving. Bid on items and win the item only to have the seller back out after purchase. Of my 11 purchases all but one were different than described or the cheapest of Chinese trash.

On the Fence..
February 7, 2018
I really wanted a pendant and waited patiently for 2 weeks and they sent the wrong item and instead of making it right, I just got offered a refund. I appreciate the refund process was a few days but I would rather have the item I bid on. Customer service has been very nice and respond within hours. Had to return a few items but overall it is fun.

January 8, 2018

some of the sellers are dishonest.the stuff that comes from china is crap.the jewelry tarnishes in a few weeks.tophatter is not much help in getting refunds and no way to get in touch with the seller

Tophatter allows sellers to fleece buyers
December 2, 2017

Deanna Ortaly aka Deanna Ortaly Yepremyan sells counterfeit Michal Kors there as authentic.She advertises them as leather and the Chinese tag says plastic.

She does this knowingly. She tried to make a deal with me off site as she knew I was reselling them, stating *it would save me in shipping and I could have bundled shipping if I ordered direct from her at $18 each*. I won bids for $1!!!!!!!!!! I’ve filed over 150 return claims with Tophatter today and guess how many I expect to be honored???

You guessed it! They are cheap, lying *** and Tophatter makes it impossible to speak to anyone. Tophatter is a dishonest company saying *tgey sent you a return label in your email* which never comes and though their site SAYS you have 30 days to return items, they say I have till December 8! Deanna Ortaly as she goes by on Tophatter contacted me to make a deal so she could get away with not paying Tophatter their percentage.

When I contacted HER to let her know I’d discovered all the items were counterfeit she then blocked me from messaging. She goes by dortalyrn on Twitter. I wish to *** Tophatter would act like a legitimate honest company and make things right by their customers.

I’m disabled and am just trying to make some extra money and now my living expenses are spent with what is likely no recourse from Tophatter.They are the worst company ever!

ShirleyRichardson Houston January 08, 2018

they are frauds

ShirleyRichardson Houston January 08, 2018

would love to know how to contact the sellers who sell the coach bags

KarenLevine March 26, 2018

Tophatter has made it impossible to have contact with any of their sellers on purpose. When their subsidiary company Ruby was active I actually received a phone call from Jade NY because they said I had 2 different usernames. The only way you will be able to talk to a specific seller is if THEY contact YOU.

ROZGAITHER October 28, 2020

I'm going through the same thing! lousy communication and response. when you purchase a gross amount of items, they start to bundle those items, and by doing so D item number does not match the item number that's on the invoice. Therefore, you will BC up to 30 notification on each item, "please pay your invoice now!" Well, I paid them, my account shows that they have been paid, and I get a notification in my email stating,"Thank you for your payment and who has received a payment. Tophatter also state that until you have paid for those items that have not been paid you owe no longer be able to bid on any other item. why would I want to bid on another item, when I have paid for them and my account is a mess! One of the items that I really want it was sent to someone in another state and Mark delivered, only to find that the company never shipped it out to me. you have to face the possibility that you may never receive the Item s paid for, The seller may send you items that you never ordered, some items are very cheaply made and not worth, The items you purchase does not match your order when bundled or itemized. Currently, I am just trying to get and wait for those items I have already purchased, if I close my membership at this time, I will not be able to track my purchases,. while they continue to text you to pay your invoice, even though they still have the items. I'm just wondering if When they say payment has not been received, is there someone within a company double billing and purchase the same items for themselves? I don't know, because of poor communication. If they would just send me an itemized account of every item I ordered, I can run that with my credit card account to show them that I am being double . Oh I was also told that I had 2 usernames and how did that happen, I will never know.

November 3, 2017
Tried TOPHATTER for the heck of it. Won my first auction in less then 10 minute's. $8.00 for a telescopic lens that attache's to your mobile phone. Now for the moment of truth. I have to wait and see if it arrive's and if it work's. Estimated delivery is 12/4/17. I'll review again when I receive the product.

ShirleyRichardson Houston January 08, 2018

the sellers who sells coach bags will not ship them if the price is to low and then when you confront tophatter about it they refund your money and you are out of a bag and the seller,sells it again for more money.its a racket

October 29, 2017
Sold me a used product when stated it was new! Did not even come in a box that the product was advised in.and by the was DAMAGED!