It’s not a penny auction! So why are we reviewing it? Well, we think that TopHatter is a good penny auction alternative. TopHatter is a free to bid auction website (you never pay for bids as you would on a penny auction). Who cares! There are some things about TopHatter that we really like, and a few things which we do not. So sit back class and prepare to be schooled about TopHatter Auctions.

About TopHatter

  • Competition: Low-Medium (we easily win auctions)

  • TopHatter Coupon Codes: None needed, bids are free

  • Free bids at sign-up: N/a, bids are free

  • Other ways to get free bids: N/a, bids are free

  • TopHatter Address: 185 Berry St., Suite 2400, San Francisco CA 94107
  • Phone number: (405) 242-5339
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • BBB Rating: A+

Editor’s TopHatter Reviews

TopHatter takes the term Entertainment Shopping to the next level. Tophatter is a high-paced free to be auction website which operates hundreds of closing auctions at all times. In our observations, the volume of auctions offered here seems to outpace some of the largest penny auction websites such as Quibids and DealDash.

TopHatter is a bidding website which is similar to eBay in that 1) the items auctioned are done so by sellers, not TopHatter and 2) bids are fee. However, we think that this auction site is a lot more fun than eBay!

One important note is that TopHatter is NOT a penny auction. That’s right, NOT a penny auction. Bids are free, always.

TopHatter Auction Features

Top Hatter is unique from other online bidding websites in a few different ways:

  • Free-to-Bid Auctions: All auctions are free to bid. You only pay when you win plus a shipping fee.
  • Many Sellers: Items auctioned on Top Hatter are done so by other vendors. So there are basically thousands of vendors auctioning products at all times. Similar to ebay, but much more fun and fast-paced.
  • High Auction Volume: The volume is really hard to quantify as a user. It’s huge, visit the site and you’ll see.

Common TopHatter Auctions

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Home goods
  • Cloths
  • Gift cards of all shapes and sizes
  • Laptops and tablet computers
  • Video games and video game consoles
  • Headphones, MP3 players
  • Digital cameras including SLRs
  • Purses, Jewelry, Art
  • Tons of other stuff

Bidding Tips

  • Shipping price: Check the shipping price before bidding, some sellers
  • Shipping time: Watch the estimated shipping time. In some cases, it can take a couple weeks for shipping
  • Plan to win: In our experience, we won a good majority of auctions leading us to believe that vendors are willing to sell product at a low cost
  • Cancel if you need to: If you win an auction and don’t want the item, you need to cancel it within your account. Easy to do and avoids your account from being cancelled. shipping and fees

As a bidder, Top Hatter does not charge any fees. However, when you win an auction, the seller will charge a shipping fee which in some cases can be more than the price of the item. Just keep an eye on it before bidding.

Is TopHatter a scam?

We don’t think so. TopHatter has a great BBB rating, lots of auctions, and is free to bid. Nothing we see causes concern.

TopHatter Pros and Cons

  • TopHatter Pros: Free bids, countless auctions, fast paced and fun, easy to win auctions
  • TopHatter Cons: Some products have long shipping times


Try TopHatter Free


TopHatter FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the auction website,

Tophatter BBB 2018-02-09T15:26:38+00:00

At the time of this post, Tophatter has a BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating of A+. About 60% of BBB reviews were positive and about 30% negative according to the BBB Tophatter profile.

Tophatter Promo Codes 2018-02-09T15:23:15+00:00

At this time, we do not have record of promo codes or coupon codes for Tophatter or

How much does it cost to bid on Tophatter? 2018-01-11T12:57:12+00:00

Bidding on Tophatter is free. The only costs which consumers incur are when they win an auction. In this case, the consumer is responsible for the auction closing price plus any applicable shipping charges.

TopHatter Customer Service and Phone Number 2018-01-11T12:50:01+00:00

Customers can reach TopHatter’s customer service department through the support email address. Similar to many other auction websites, they do not currently offer phone support.

How Does TopHatter Work? 2018-01-11T12:46:31+00:00

TopHatter offers auction-style where, similar to Ebay, sellers put products up for auction. Bidders/consumers 1) Create and account 2) place free bids on any item they like and 3) If they win the auction, they pay and auction items are shipped directly from the sellers. All auctions on are free to participate in, the only costs occur when an auction is won.


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TopHatter Bidder Ratings and Reviews

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Create your own review

Average rating:  
 65 reviews
by Melinda on TopHatter
I like what I got!

Very surprised to see all the negative reviews here. I bought several costume jewelry items that look amazingly beautiful - and real. Could not be happier with them. Got a fancy flashlight, the kind that sells for $60+ for less than $10 and it works great. I like using the site very much, but then I've never tried to return anything!

by Eliz on TopHatter
Wrong price advertise

The crossed out suggest retail prices (at the bottom left corners) are complete fiction!!!Plus, they often advertise an item and send you a different one.90% of the time people bid way too high for items that would way cheaper on Ebay,Most item are very cheaply packaged and cheaply made.

by irieco on TopHatter
Run away!

90% of the items on this site is junk. If you do get a good price on one of the items that are decent, I'll bet you wont receive it. Then you have to fight with the customer service to get a refund. Sellers also hold on to your money for a month or two and then cancel your order. Turned them into the BBB. If you want Chinese stuff than use Gearbest. No bidding. Great customer service.

by TopHatter User on TopHatter
TopHatter is a junk acution site

Purchased a few items that were marked as collectable - well they are all fake. Two items were identical all the way down to the serial number. Vendors are making money off of people who don't realize what they are buying and the shipping charges. Save your hard earned money instead of buying on this site is my recommendation.

by David Messer on TopHatter
TOPHATTER sells conterfit SD cards

Won 2 64gb SD cards. Both were only about 90mb of free space on them and would not format to NTSF. Fraud is all the place is good for. Do not spend any money on this auction site. All they sell is mostly Chinese JUNK.

by Elizabeth R Jimenez on TopHatter
Quality of merchandise and honesty of sellers

I've place bids on at least 50 items. Everything that I've received with the exception of one item has been very satisfactory. I found the seller very honest and the merchadise as described by the seller. Now, if you have unrealistic expectations you will be disappointed. I like the site and I'm pleased with theItems I receive.

by deepkimchi on TopHatter
Just Signed Up

I just signed up and won an auction for a wireless usb receiver. Haven't received it yet. Lots of cheap stuff here. Outrageous retail prices are made up by somebody's six year old. I suspect the item I'll receive is cheaply made and old technology because it was only $6. I won't do any more auctions until I see how this one turns out. I gave it four stars because I don't expect to get too severely scammed.

by Ilda on TopHatter
Sub-par, cheap items!

I just received 4 of my 7 items and am very disappointed with the quality. They are very cheaply packaged and cheaply made. They are going to the trash. I'll never bid on tophatter again. It appears that all the vendors are the same. Don't waste your time or money!!!!

by marla on TopHatter
kinda fun

tophatter was fun to bid on weird stuff. i won some funny minion lights for my kids. took a while to get delivered though

by Karen munna on TopHatter

I ordered 18k gold bracelets & coins they say authentic & real but they are not! All FAKE stuff! Socks are good! That’s it! I hope they stand behind their statements!

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2018-02-09T00:32:55+00:00 October 20th, 2017|Other Auction Reviews|


  1. Mahlea October 22, 2017 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I’ve been on Tophatter and downloaded the app…there was one complaint I had. The first time I bid on an item and won it was the wrong item. So I had to go and cancel the bid. When I did so I was told I couldn’t bid because I had cancelled more then once. Which was wrong because that was the first item I’d bid on and won. So I saw what item I had supposedly cancelled and it was some gold ring and I know I didn’t bid on it because I had never bid on anything until the day I had cancelled the bid due it being the wrong one. I did send an email explaining this to Tophatter and never received a response. I’m glad I did read your review, otherwise I planned to never bid on there site again.

  2. monette crump November 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    If you think false advertising is a scam then TopHatter is a scam. I have purchased several items that said “18K gold filled” or “Sterling Silver” and neither was true.. The gold filled items, 95% of the time, are Gold Plated and peel of the first few times you wear it….then try sending it back to an address in China! I wrote several letters to TopHatter because they advertise they do not sell knock offs or allow their sellers to print “false adds”, that is a joke and I never heard back from them.
    A little advice to the person who decides to bid any way, be sure you examine the item as soon as you get it because almost everything I have received does not have directions, and if it does it is in Chinese! Also be prepared to wait 3 to 4 weeks for your item. Actually, your best bet is go to, or the prices are much better and free shipping.

    • King Midas November 25, 2017 at 11:38 am - Reply

      It’s people like this that keep QVC in business. Go to a jewelry store and buy a real ring and stop being a cheap ass

      • Jesse December 20, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

        I agree that if you want quality, you should pay for quality. but I do think that if they advertise 18k gold that it should be real 18k gold. there is no reason to be misleading unless you are trying to scam someone.

    • Lauren February 1, 2018 at 2:39 am - Reply

      Gold filled jewelry is jewelry made of a base metal which is covered with a thin layer of gold. Sounds like you got what was advertised.

  3. Cathleen Dickson November 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I have just bought stuff on this site today before I read these comments …. could anyone tell me if they have ever bought anything electrical or a hand held Mario games console containing 250 games …. I live in Ireland and I bought these for my grandson never thinking they could be fake … the electrical item is a lamp which when switched on show the STAR WARS DEATH STAR ….. they are supposed to come from the US will all I pay is the delivery fee I;ve been charged

    • campaam January 15, 2018 at 5:47 pm - Reply

      The stuff comes from China. Ships from China.

    • Patti January 17, 2018 at 3:45 am - Reply

      I bought the mini Nintendo with the installed 500 games it works good. Have only played a few games so far.

  4. Dean33 December 5, 2017 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Download the Wish App…less complicated. And the stuff still ships from China

  5. eugene December 8, 2017 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    The so called retail price is absolutely RIDICULOUS – the savings rendered, ie 93% off – is also RIDICULOUS

  6. Vanessa Stewart December 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Ive been tracking the ‘sellers listed price’ against the vague descriptions for items and each time the price listed is incorrect.
    For eg. A remote control drone marked at $920 discounted by 97%! Hogwash. They retail for the tiny 37cm ones at between $35-45.

    I won this particular item but cancelled it just to see how easy it would be. Refunded straight away. I’ve seen laptops unbranded listed at over $3000.

    I guarantee sometimes the seller makes a buck or two when they are selling tens of thousands of that item. But they are not discounted because they were won at auction.

    As for people buying rings… probably read the description in more detail. It probsbly has the clarity there, like night vision lense. In the description it says— will not help you see at night, only low light. Lollllll

  7. Donald Goodman December 15, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Most that i got is cheap Chinese junk. You get what you pay for is the saying and very true with this. Want something cheap ? this is the place to get your Chinese junk sent directly from China.

  8. Marianne Hicks December 20, 2017 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Wished i would have read reviews before bidding.My first win was an alarm clock,needless to say it came from China.It was in a flimsy little box,no padding and cheap crap.So dissapointed it wasn’t nothing like the picture and it wasn’t worth sending it back for refund.Then stupid me bid on a drone that came from China in a broken up styro foam mold,it too looked like cheap junk .It should have been in a box with Pics on it and Company that manufactured it.No info of any kind.Drone was also damaged .Instruction manual a joke.No model or company info just a few drawings on how to control it and install batteries.A third item was a bluetooth headphone set.It was very cheap made(crap)Kind of like the headphones you get on an Airplane.These were X-mas presents for my Daughter.I just lost my job of 8 years (couldn’t get unemployment because I was considered selfemployed) and thought of tophatter as a blessing,I didn’t expect top dollar stuff for near to nothing but what I got was far from decent and I could have purchased a drone for less in a store and then I would have at least had a company name and info on getting spare parts.Other than getting what You pay for it’s like Donald Goodman said Chinese Junk from China.

  9. Victor Diaz December 25, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I joined TopHatter and within seconds I was placing my Bid(s), I unexpectedly won a smartwatch. Funny Listing price was something like $2599.00. Now, why would anybody sell anything like that for $8.00? I have not received the watch yet but for 8 dollars I’m not expecting an Apple iWatch

  10. Kevin Lowry December 29, 2017 at 5:02 am - Reply

    I purchased several items over about a 6 week period. I wish that I had just purchased one or two and waited for delivery to check their quality. That would have been the end of any further purchases. I purchased items as Christmas gifts having not used the site before. Items purchased included a leather women’s purse, a set of woodworking chisels, a drone, some jewelry, and some clothing items. Without exception everything I purchased was terrible quality. The purse arrived with stains on the inside, a broken zipper on the outside, and had a very bad smell. The set of woodworking chisels were just toys. I suppose you could use them on clay, but they would not last for more than a few strikes of a wood mallet on even the softest woods. The drone was maybe 4″ across, would not charge properly, and never worked. The jewelry was very cheap costume jewelry at best, and the clothing would not have fit a size 4, evern though it was ordered as a woman’s large. I will NEVER EVER waste my time on their website again. After hearing how impossible it is to return anything it is all going straight into the trashl Lesson learned.

  11. Jenene December 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I just won my first cheap bid today. I should have read the reviews first. Not expecting anything top notch after reading the reviews. Just Sad!!

  12. Jimmy Riddle December 31, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    From first hand experience i can categorical state that TopHatter is a scam. First most of the items are from Chine or warehouses they stock in the USA. They do 90second auctions just so that you do not have enough time to read the full listing details. They show items like wrenches in sets when you win you find out you paid for just one wrench. Back up cameras are pictured as the full item video screen camera and wiring, again you find that its just a useless camera. I personally had won items and received a completely different item 3 weeks later. Then you have to go to the trouble of mailing it back and wait another 3 weeks for a refund. Thier advertising promotes them as an Amazon killing site, that will never happen if they keep up these shady practices?

  13. Pcolapaul January 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    I too purchased several items, the quality is terrible. I don’t mind paying a few dollars for some costume jewelry I will give the kids, I know what I am getting. I got duped with the back up camera that listed a monitor in the ad. They did refund my money on that, a doll I ordered was not much bigger than you would get in a happy meal and worse quality. I discourage any purchases if you are thinking you are getting a bargain, it is what everyone’s been saying, cheap crap.

  14. Dan January 7, 2018 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    The company doesn’t like it if you cancel an order. The problem is that some of the pictures are misleading.
    I rejected to bids I won because they were not what the picture showed. They have locked me out and won’t respond to my emails. Not to mention that an order I paid for hasn’t arrived and they ignore me about it.

    Horrible customer relations.

  15. Ron January 10, 2018 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I won two items from them. I receive one item then returned the item and never received my refund, the second order I never received at all. They have taken my money and never contacted me to fix the issues. DO NOT USE THIS SITE!!!!! The pictures are misleading and they send you a return label so big you can’t print it out I down sized it 200% and would barely fit on a regular piece of paper. Then after contacting them about it they said that it was over thirty days. This site has been a rip off so far!!!!!! I’m warning you now do not use this site.

  16. Marian January 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Have bought many things from Top Hatter and it is Chinese junk. Too many knockoffs like LQL dolls for LOL dolls. Pokémon, My little pony figures OK. Mario was not Nintendo. Depending on what you buy there are deals. Jewelry not real when advertised 925 sterling silver, costume jewelry ok. Just do not buy anything marked gold or silver because it is not real. Both male and female clothing not good. Sizes are incorrect, some products are not even finished. Left over seconds, stay away from.

  17. RRC January 23, 2018 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Do not use site. Items misrepresented and broken upon arrival.

  18. Rhonda January 28, 2018 at 12:23 am - Reply

    I bought several items from this site before reading reviews. It was a very big mistake. Its true that 99% of the items are made/shipped from China, which means that the items are extremely cheap. I’ve been happy with 2 of the 30 items that I’ve purchased, content with 3 more, unhappy with 5, and completely dissatisfied with 20. Most of the items barely resemble what is pictured on the site. Buyer beware!

  19. Shopper January 29, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Get good items from TMart or Aliexpress. Direct from china but decent quality and priced a little below walmart. Sometimes can get pretty good deals. I’ve ordered many things from them and have not been disappointed. At least you can see what you are getting.

  20. Worry and Concern January 30, 2018 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I had won a few things, I am so worried now. I haven’t receive anything yet but I wish that I had saw these reviews before. I hope that my products are not junk. I will keep everyone posted. I will uninstall this apps if it doesn’t work out.

  21. Rick February 3, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    I joined and waited because I wanted to make sure the products were legit. And I am glad I waited. As i got reminders about what i wanted to bid on (nikon Cameras) as my favourite product to bid on, i noticed they never came up….Thats because they are brand named products. The i did a little more research and noticed that all the products people are bidding on don’t actually have a brand name associated to them, they are all cheep and knock offs. I unsubscribed and thank goodness never bid on anything. Also, have a kook at the prices of the products that are suggested then crossed out with the suggested %99 off. The original value is way off stating something like $1200 for an SD card. Total scam folks, dont get caught up in purchasing any of this stuff.

  22. Michelle February 7, 2018 at 4:16 am - Reply

    I have so far ordered 4 items and had them delivered from this site. The first item was a GPS TRACKER that was supposed to be accessible through my smart phone. The app gave my phone a virus which caused a siren to go off on my phone which wouldn’t stop until I uninstalled the app. I asked for a refund. I got an immediate refund no questions asked and they said to keep the useless bit of plastic tgey sent me which is now in the bin.
    The second item was a Samsung wireless charger which did not work with my Galaxy s8 as it was stated it would.
    Again, I recieved an immediate refund. And got to keep the useless item.
    The third item was a Harry Potter wooden music box. Absolutely delightful, I love it.
    The 4th item was a ring advertised as ” a genuine aquamarine set in 925 sterling silver.
    The ring is pretty, but it isn’t a genuine stone and nor is it sterling silver. Very disappointed.
    I mean, I wasn’t expecting that the aquamarine was REAL. But I was expecting sterling silver, not cheap metal.
    I applied for a refund. They said I will have to get a tracking number and send it back.
    Not worth the hassle, I paid $12 postage already!
    Lesson learned. Don’t buy anything jewellery related, as it’s all fake crap, don’t buy any electronics, again all fake, cheap crap.
    I do love the music box though!

  23. pat griffiths February 8, 2018 at 12:15 am - Reply

    the jewelry was ok but all the uther is junk china sends everything in poor shipping plastic bags with tape poor qualitypat griffiths they sell 49 by 60 rugs abd u=i bid on them they were only 12 by 30 very cheap

  24. Roland Burger February 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I bid on and had the winning bid on several drones with camera. Three time I won with a cheep bid and the item was taken off before I could pay. Five times I have won and after about 4 to 6 weeks, i received a refund with no explanation. I have had two refunded in the last few days. It seems to me that if the winning bid is lower than the seller wants, after they use your money for 4 to 6 weeks, then they refund. I also believe these sellers and one and the same. Why doesn’t Tophatter police there sellers and not allow this. The bidders are the ones that keep Tophatter in business. I am very disappointed with them. I am waiting on two drones now and probably will not receive them. I did notice that the drones with cameras have been removed from bidding within the last few days.

  25. Donna Brown February 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Tophatter is a scam. Don’t fall for it. I ordered two things. They came from China. Sterling silver was cheap metal. An iPad was a cheap knockoff but didn’t work. Top Hatter refused to honor their guarantee. To ship something back to China for a refund would be way more expensive than the item cost. Don’t use tophatter. Find an honest bidding site.

  26. Susan Cole February 17, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Scam, buyer beware it is junk, junk and more junk. The company will not pay for shipping back damaged and nonworking items. Do not fall for this company, they claim they have an A+ rating with the BBB. I don’t believe it, their business practices are terrible. We bid on 2 pillows that show to be full size bamboo pillows and when we received them, they were pillows for small children which the picture was not shown on the item. They posted a picture of the back of the package. Everything we have received like drones were junk and did not work. The electronics don’t work, tablets, cd player and camera’s. You can find better product at the dollar store. Beware of this company. They are not worth the aggravation. It is also difficult to get hold of customer service. They show the value of an item to be expensive, another lie, you can pull up a similar item on Amazon and the prices are so inflated, I cannot believe this company is allowed to do business like this.

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