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I admit that I do not shop Tophatter very often but when I bid on and win an item, I have always paid for it immediately!
In my last two transactions, I have bid and won but both times the seller has refused to me and from what I can see, it's because I live in Alaska, USA! I have complained to Tophatter both times.
Their response is that they are a worldwide market and that I should rest assured that when sellers don't honor their transactions, they suffer severe fines and penalties. When I ask to know what those fines and penalties are, I get assurances that they exist but no specifics. In the first occurrence of my problem, I went back on to the site and found the same seller, selling the same product using the exact same ad with exactly the same shipping price! The only difference I saw was that the bidder on the item was willing to pay more for the item then I had.
I understand that some items do have a reserve price that must be met before it's sold but neither of my items had one, so that wasn't the trouble.
If the seller is the one that sets the postage costs before the sale, they should have to ship it even if they lose money because of where the item needs to be sent to.
I'm obligated to meet the payment of my bid and the shipping costs. The seller should be obligated to meet the terms of the transaction, even if it means they have to take a loss because of the shipping.
And if there are areas that the seller will not ship to, that should be posted somewhere in their ad! They know beforehand that they are posting on a worldwide site. If they are willing to post on a worldwide site then they should know that there will be winners that don't live right next door!
Another thing they do in a situation like this is to put your refunded money into their "wallet" so you can spend it on their site the next time you shop there.
They shouldn't have any reason to put MY refunded money into anything other than the account from which it came! In my case, that would be my PayPal account. PayPal has my trust. Tophatter DOES NOT!
For this last transaction, I have twice now told them to return my money to PayPal.
And twice I've been told that it has been placed in my Tophatter wallet.
They seem in no way interested in following the wishes of their customers. All they want is your money!
User's recommendation: My recommendation would be for folks who really want the item, find it someplace OTHER than Tophatter!
Preferred solution: Deliver product or service ordered.
Tophatter Pros: Quick auction time.
Tophatter Cons: Dont buy from this site, Buyer beware, Shipping issues.