What: TopHatter is an auction site to sell clothing, purses, shoes, housewares, beauty products, electronics, furniture, jewelry, crafts and tools  

Expected pay: NA

Commissions & fees: vary

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be over the age of 18


It tells you something when a website is so reluctant to provide its commissions and fees that it doesn’t even allow you to see them until AFTER you upload products for sale.

What TopHatter does tell you is that you’ll be charged fees — many fees. There’s a success fee, which is charged when an item is won and paid for; a commission on the final sale price, plus the shipping costs for each item; a processing fee on each order.  When you want to cash out you, you pay another fee.

A blog post estimated that the fees average 25% to 35% of the sale price, which is exorbitant. Worse, because this is an auction site, you don’t have any assurance that your products will sell for enough to make up for the high cost.

If you’re not yet convinced to pass this opportunity by, check out this piece by AuctionSiteNews, which notes there are entire Facebook groups dedicated to complaining about the site. Most of the positive reviews have disclaimers noting that they’ve been paid to tout TopHatter.

There are dozens of better places to sell — from eBay to Etsy — we suggest you find one (or more) that suit what you are selling and avoid this site.

What their users say:  From Creative Hive:

“I started my minimum bid at $10, close to my wholesale price. And eventually it sold for $24. Tophatter takes a 10% commission off your winning bid, so eventually I received a Paypal notification for $24.60 ($24 winning bid + $3 shipping – $2.40 commission). I made just shy of $19 for the necklace. That’s a 32% discount off my retail price, or a $9 cost all together….or $9, I’d have to say this marketing promo was so-so.  Tophatter’s 10% cut is steep, but considering that they provide you an instant sale, that’s not too much to ask. I had some short time for chatting with people in real time, and even had some people convert into website visitors. Plus I gain 2 weeks for being listed in their archives for people to see. I’d like to view this as not just a one time sale, but also as another way to market your shop. Something like this does have long-term effects on your overall business.”

From Pissed Consumer

I have been a member of Tophatter for some years now. I recently became a partner. It means I could sell higher volumes. Let me give you a piece of advice… it is not worth it. Following you will see an example of the fees they charge and the $ you make. I sold a set of 6 Kleancolor nail polish. My cost is $3. The item sold for a total of $15 ($10 for the item plus $5 for shipping) Fees: Listing fee $1; Label cost: $3.45; Commission fee (30%): $4.50; Processing fee:$0.74 Total fees taken: $9.69 My item cost: $3.00 Total: $11.69 My profit: $3.31 That does not include the $ I spend on gas when I go drop off at the post office or buy my product. Nor the time I send printing, wrapping the package.The envelope I use or the bubble wrapping. I wish buyers would know all this when they purchase so they have an idea of what the sellers are making. Basically, in order to make money sellers are being forced to sell cheap inexpensive products at a super inflated rate. I do understand that the system they use is expensive and their platform costly, however, pages like Amazon and eBay take much less percentage for a better site.

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