I started on Tophatter when they were selling just handmade items. I was super excited to have a platform that was just for handmade, without all the Made in China *** mixed in, which seems to be the theme on all the popular seller sites. When I started it was hard to get your item into an auction; someone had to send it on over to be bid on from what many of us called "purgatory". And this was when we weren't allowed to talk during an auction, unless you were on the block or asking a question. There was a lot of blocking back then! I should have known then that it wasn't a good site!
But I stuck it out for almost 2 years and it did get better, as far as the selling went! I started selling more, Tophatter took notice, and offered me my own auctions, which I took advantage of. I was paying 30% commission, but I was doing well. I had a lot of repeat customers, and my feedback was 99% positive. In over 3000 sales, I had only 2 neutral feedback! The rest were positive! Tophatter took notice and started offering me my own auctions, which I did, with a group of people and later on with just one other person.
I finally decided to leave after they wanted to charge me $1.00 per item listing fee, whether the item sold or not. By this time, I was listing with a friend, and we were doing 100 lots each. There is no way either of us could pay that on top of the 30% and come out ahead!
We were both doing very well at these auctions. We were both making about $1500 for one auction each (before Tophatter took 30%). We were doing 2 auctions a month and had been for about 8 months. So TH would get their cut for 2 night a month, which was about 8 hours of time. They didn't advertise for us. They didn't bring in customers, we did all the advertising! So they got 30% for only hosting our auction! And wanted even more of a cut! NO!
We had set up 6 auctions in advance and were told since we had done so we wouldn't have to pay the $1 listing fee; well that changed! Now we had to pay it or get cut. We fought it and thought we had won. But our next auction was a flop! We didn't make hardly any sales. People were messaging us saying they couldn't bid, were getting kicked off, couldn't pay, etc. In those previous months we had never had an issue! Since we "failed" at that auction, they said we'd lose our auctions if we didn't agree to the $1 fee.
Yes, we could have paid the $1 fee, but on principle we didn't. We weren't going to let a company lie to us or bully us into their terms! This is my business, not theirs! I had put in all the long hours and time away from my family. We also felt that they were just going to keep asking for more and more.
I think all the original sellers that were there when I joined are all gone now. They chased us all off. The owner of the company is known to start businesses and run them into the ground, and then bankrupt them. He's had at least 2 other companies before Tophatter that he did this to.
They are a sneaky company too. They started to contact the drop shipper sellers saying customers were complaining of not receiving their items and wanted to know that sellers drop shipper source so they could research them. Why? So Tophatter could sell it directly themselves and keep all the profits!
Every one of their employees is a condescending liar. Sure we saw a few nice employees, those willing to try to help, but there was also a revolving door of new employees coming and going, usually the nice ones. I got to know one that was very helpful in setting up our auctions and she told me she was leaving, because she didn't like the way the company treated its sellers.
Tophatter use to have a report option; which we would use. But if that seller was a friend to staff, made the company money, or said people were harassing them, it'd get overlooked. The main reason was they were making Tophatter money! Even if they had a lot of negative feedback, it didn't matter.
I wasn't much of a customer on Tophatter. I did buy a few items from people I knew and never really had any issues. Yet, I've heard many customer horror stories too.
So this is my story, as long as it is. I hope it helps shed more light on this fraudulent company.