You may have seen the commercials about how tophatter is like ebay only everything sells in ninety seconds. It is true both places do sell things but that is where the two part ways.
When I first heard about Tophatter I thought what a a great idea. An ebay that doesn't drag out auctions for days. I imagined what was advertised. A site just like ebay with auctions lasting only ninety seconds. That seemed a little fast but then I thought typical, instead of taking a common sense approach to whittling down the auction time, somebody said well what if we can cash in every ninety seconds? Then I thought well it shouldn't be that bad. I will just have to be diligent about getting my bids in and if others could do it then so could I.
First is there is no search or if there is I couldn't find it. It certainly isn't at the top of every page. To the best of my ability I was only able to conclude that to find what you're looking for you have to visit the categories provided. Then wade through all the ads in hopes of finding what you're wanting.
Second is that the ads shown on the front page don't have much of any kind of description about the product. You can click on the ad and it brings up the item in a page showing more information but the process of the sale happens so fast that there reailly isn't time to be able to find the item, click on the ad, read about the item for sale, and make a decision to bid... before time is up and the sale is completed. You're really screwed (I would imagine) if you have a slow internet connection because you'll never have time to find what you're seeking and make a competent decision whether to bid on it or let it pass.
Third has already been mentioned. The ninety second window is ridiculously too fast and I can almost guaratee that if you use TH on a regular basis that the time will come when you feel cheated because the item you got was cheaply made and that you would not have bid on it if you had time to further investigate before making the bid.
My guess is that Tophatter gets plenty of emails where the subject goes something like "Product was inferior to what I expected and I didn't see that it was cheaply made until after the sale was over because I didn't have time..."
Perhaps that is what Tophatter sought to do, is be a site that is known for having the cheapest version of whatever type product you are seeking and then try to compensate for that fact by not giving the buyer time to do their homework on the item that is for sale. If that is the case then Tophatter is getting the review they deserve.
On the other hand perhaps they just didn't think this through from all aspects. Such as the one where the buyer must have a fast connection in order to be able to participate without being completely frustrated. That ninety seconds may put whatever it is they charge to sell on their site, in their pockets which admittedly probably is a great thing to have going for you, if you're Tophatter, but if you're a buyer it is not so great.
Also the site doesn't have a smidgeon of categories compared to ebay. They really shouldn't have chosen ebay as something to compare themselves with because they quite simply fail in every conceivable comparison except that both sites do sell things.
My suggestion to Tophatter is do what is attractive about the commercials you run which is be like ebay but have auctions with timespans that don't go more than a few hours. Give your buyers time to do their research about the product being sold and that will allow for items of quality to be sold at reasonable prices in time spans which the buyer will not be able to later say they were duped into buying due to the time constraints.
Update: reply to TH
I appreciate what you had to say but you like Ebay, and most every other seller online fail to consider, or perhaps you count on this to happen which may save you the hassle of dealing with one unhappy purchase but in either case what is missed is the fact that my time, much like everyone elses', is worth more than the price of many things i buy on line. Meaning that if I buy something for $5, and I make $10 an hour, and it takes me an hour to repackage and do whatever is required to send back an item, it becomes an exercise in ridiculousness if I choose to pursue that circumstance. Therefore, and I am this way with Ebay and every where else, it is paramount that the seller 1) gets the order right the first time 2) the product be of at minimum a quality that does what it claims it was going to do, because I am not going to waste my time playing the "we'll send you what we send, and see if you want to pay the cost of returning the item" game. That doesn't work with me.
I haven't read the rules for TH returns, The word "generous" was used when describing their return policy. I wonder do they pay the cost of the shipping back to them? I would be impressed but still at the end of the day is it worth my time to have to spend an hour getting the darn thing shipped back? Not to me but that said I do very much appreciate a return policy and I surely would never spend any large sum of money for something bought on line unless it was from some place that I not only knew had a return policy but that also was very customer-friendly about it.