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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Anthony Stefanelli February 24, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Absolutely the cheapest quality products on the planet. I bought the light up butterfly’s that stick on the wall for my daughter. Turned them on once for 10 minutes and 3 are dead already. Also bought a nintendo and drone. They bought did not work upon there arrival. These items are shipped all the way from China, which i didn’t realize at first or I never would have bought stuff from this site, and the sellers just wrap the items in thin garbage bags and tape them with no fragile stickers or anything. Obviously they are going to get thrown around coming all the way from China. I also bought a volt multimeter that appeared to be normal meter. When it arrived it was a tiny palm sized meter and it was not the same rated category as it said on the website. This is one of the biggest scam websites Ive ever seen. BUYERS BEWARE!!!!!! SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM. Horrible quality and even worst customer service

  8. pat griffiths February 28, 2018 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    why do yous never answer my e mail.

  9. vernell graham March 6, 2018 at 2:25 am - Reply

    To date I have won at least 15 bids, they give you an approximate date of arrival and done items were shipped before date. I ordered a 300 hole shower head when it arrived I thought it was a piece of junk, however I installed anyway and it works great and the best shower ever. I have not been dissatisfied as yet. People please read before you bid. You can not expect jewelry to bid real for $3.00. I never bid over $10.00 with free shipping and if I have to pay for shipping my bid will total $10.00 . be smart and gave fun.

  10. Gabriel O March 8, 2018 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I won a bid, paid for it and after 3 days no shipment update for the product. I tried to cancelled this bid and ask for a refund after reading some reviews here, but got a mail from the supplier that my request for refund is unaccepted.
    Is it possible to press for legal charges? I thought buyers can cancel or ask for a refund before their purchase is shipped. Can anyone advise me please.

    • myra bermudez August 26, 2020 at 3:53 am - Reply

      Hello. They did the same thing to me I’m a new customer started bidding on a holloween skeleton which it says human size it shows a human size one I bid up to 25.00 because it was still worth it when it was all done and paid for I went back to read more the skeleton was smaller then a foot long I immediately cancelled that order and they told me my order couldn’t be cancelled it was denied now I’m waiting on a dollar tree skeleton for 25.00 it’s all a scam

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