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.

Disclaimer: This review was written by an independent third party. For any comments or factual corrections, please email

About TopHatter

  • Website:

  • 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 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) placing a bid is free. 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. If you want to check out a penny auction, turn your eyes towards DealDash.

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. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read reviews from other Tophatter customers who also weigh in on whether or not Tophatter is a scam.

Some reviewers have lately been reporting low quality merchandise as sellers on Tophatter are plentiful. Online auction sites such as DealDash only sell factory sealed, unused products and dealing with customer service is easy should you have the need to do so.

TopHatter Alternatives (websites similar to TopHatter)

Websites such as eBid, Bonanaza, and eBay all offer free to participate shopping.

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, quality of products is dependant on seller



TopHatter FAQs

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

What Types of Electronics does Tophatter Auction?2019-04-08T18:25:36+00:00

Tophatter merchants auction thousands of electronic devices daily (based on our best estimates). We see a lot of off-brand electronics of all types- TV’s, gaming systems, drones, MP3 players, cameras, and much more. Based on Tophatter reviews submitted on this website, many of the electronics come from overseas and the quality varies. Always review the seller ratings on Tophatter before participating in auctions. Not all electronics sellers are equal!

What types of jewelry does Tophatter offer?2019-04-08T18:25:54+00:00

Tophatter in an online auction website which offers a wide variety of Jewelry. Categorized as “Bling” on the Tophatter website, common jewelry items include necklaces, bracelets, lot of rings, watches and much more. Is Tophatter jewelry real? It’s real, just pay attention to what you’re bidding. Tophatter customers who have written reviews on this website often seem confused about what they were bidding on. Have you won jewelry on Tophatter? Please write a review below.

Tophatter live auction2019-04-08T18:26:04+00:00

Are Tophatter auctions live? Yep, Tophatter runs thousands of live auctions each day, in many countries around the World.

What Does Reddit think about Tophatter?2019-04-08T18:26:13+00:00

We’re not sure if the Reddit community likes anything all about Capitalism but if it’s important to you, here are links to a few subreddit topics on the Tophatter auction website.

Is Tophatter Safe to Buy From?2019-04-08T18:26:24+00:00

We generally see pretty positive reviews for Tophatter. For unhappy reviewers post here, many concede that Tophatter refunds their money in situations where they asked. We generally feel that it is safe to bid and shop on Tophatter.

TopHatter App Review2019-04-08T18:26:36+00:00

TopHatter offers a mobile application for both Androis and IOS. According to both networks, the app receives high reviews in terms of stability and usability. Typically, reviews of the mobile tophatter apps are 4/5 stars+.

Tophatter BBB2018-02-09T15:26:38+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 Codes2018-02-09T15:23:15+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 Number2018-01-11T12:50:01+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

The reviews below were submitted by users, and solely reflect the views of the individuals who submitted them. Users were not compensated for leaving a review.

Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 2458 reviews
 by john

The items that receive is so cheap, the ads for the items are misleading claiming 14 K gold when it is ABSOLUTELY FAKE. Large items you never receive, routing app is fake but UPS claims delivery. BUYERS BEWARE

 by mady toth
its a total scam!!!!!

you have to pay in advance half the stuff y dont get and thw ones y get dont work. you cannot contact the in nay way the phone listed in the web is phony if y dont have an extension it hangs up y cnnot contact the seller dont use it is total scam foe the items i received i paid way above what it should have been including item s i did not get and tthose that did not work cheap? in the long rum way more pricy SCAMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!

 by Dannielle Reynolds

I just recently won a bid and purchased the item using my bank card. the next day there were over 30 transactions from my bank account that were from the same creditor with purchases I did not make and over $ 450.00 has gone missing from my account. I have the bank looking into the fraudulent activities, PLEASE BE AWARE card details can be hacked.... I use Wish quite frequently and this has never happened on their website

 by Peter Abercrombie
Rip Offs

I went on top hatter and at first you think it's good and before receiving your item you order more, only to find out that your lucky if you get 6 out of 10 items you buy,half the time they don't send the correct item and they don't like refunding, so in probly 3 months I was on I must have lost about £100

Also there tablets are realy crap the phones are the same and extreamly slow and that's if you can get on anything, I brought illuminous stones Yes STONES to put in my water fall and plastic crap comes through, so not everything you read on a listing is true, you realy carnt belive them,

Well I've deleted the app and marked there emails as spam and I'll never go back to using this sly cheating deceiving dishonest site again,

 by Samantha Clark
Please do not waste your time.

As a new user in Tophatter I figured I would give it a chance. I was SO WRONG. Most of the stuff I received was WELL below standards - cheap - broken - damaged - SO tiny compared to what they tell you.

Example: Women Oversize Plain Hooded Dress Long Sleeve Casual Winter Hoodies Pullover - you can see through it and a 5XL is too small to fit a person that usually takes a Large in shirts.

Example: Soft Rubber Cartoon Bee Hand Knocking Rattle Dumbbell Baby Early Educational Toys Kids Preschool Tools - picture shows a young child playing with it. describes a pleasant ringing... the item was 4 inches across and metal bell on hard plastic - no it is not pleasant.

Example: High quality off-road vehicle toy 1:64 toy alloy Suv high-speed truck off-road truck kids toy gifts - it was a jeep and a little bigger than a matchbox car... no high speed - no rc - no high quality...

Thankfully everything was refunded... just wasted my time looking, paying, waiting, and returning.

 by Jeffrey Hughes
Items sent back

This is not a bad site 4 some of the items but i aint buying anything else as they are con artists. I have sent 3 items back with tracking and they got there within the time slot they gave they are saying they did not recieve them in time frame but my tracking says they did .so they wont pay my money back for these items

 by Phill
Waste of time

Only good thing about this site, is they refund you your money. So far it’s been simple, see what you like, bid and win, wait for the refund, because the items never come!!

 by Jim
Don't do it

Don't bother. There is no point bidding on an auction site if your items never ship. I have been on Tophatter since '17 and I am done. I bid a lot this time of year and it used to be good. First you need to understand that these sellers stretch the truth in their descriptions, lately though they flat out lie. Shipping has become a joke. At least a month unless it's from the U.S. That is IF you get your item. I am getting over 70% of my items refunded for non-delivery. It's good they refund but really, what is the point of bidding just to get your money back two months later? DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.

 by Evelyn
Top hatter has changed for me

When I first joined top hatter I was pleased with my purchases and now it’s taking longer and loner to get items. Recently more items are showing as delivered to Florida, Utah, Ohio and yesterday 11/16/2020- I had some nice items delivered to Grenada California but I live in Texas. I’m thinking this is Fraudulent activity, I have requested refunds on all merchandise possible, and I’m waiting for pending orders and I’m getting off the site. I think something that I can’t prove is going on. All 3 WiFi routers, 1 to Florida, 2 to Utah, all sports wear to California. I’ve even complained to the BBB. They gave my money back, but what’s really going on and it does not seem that they care to check. I’m advising people to stay away from the site and if not, you’ve been warned. Either a thief is working there and diverting merchandise or the sellers have gotten GREEDY.

 by Richard DiOrio
Mad as heck

Bought 4 items , 3 i received were junk if ask , me . The 4th never received wont answer why and no refund . Going luck with them .

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  1. 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!!

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • Leah Richards May 30, 2019 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      I agree with you 100% tophatter is a joke!

  6. 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.

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

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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