Conflict of Interest. Abuse of Sellers. Attempts to intimidate Sellers. Abuse of muting those who speak up, and banning.
For the past year I have been a seller on this site. I notice that sellers who voice complaints are constantly harassed, limited in their ability to list items, suspended and eventually banned. I have experienced all of the above. I have questioned the excessively HIGH fees to list and then the Seller is often given less than 10 to describe their items. I am told it is a glitch, but our fees are not refunded. We were charged fees on the cost of shipping, which I believe to be illegal. I have been asked to provided receipts for items that I list, making me feel that perhaps they felt I had stolen them. I do not keep receipts for items that I sell. I did go to the stores where I do business, copied and pasted my orders in an effort to satisfy them, to no avail. I listed one item that I could not recall where it was purchased, and therefore had no receipt. They promptly BANNED me from selling. Let me point out that the first place I saw this item was ON TH'ER. In the beginning I listed a bracelet that unfortunately had a little charm on it that said "Pandora" and I was suspended for "listing a fake item"! Let me point out that the bracelet was NOT LISTED as a Pandora bracelet, and it clearly was NOT a Pandora bracelet. I was accused of "SHILLING", a word I had never heard before, they claimed that a person bidding on an item was just trying to bid up the price! The person was from Tennessee and another was a neighbor over for a visit, and used my computer to place a bid. Even when her husband tried to place the bid from his office in NJ, where they reside, TH'ER refused it. I lost 2 customers because of this. We had CA'S, which they gradually pushed out, refusing to allow them to advertise on their site. Now they are bringing in their FAMILY to sell in VIP auctions, where sellers must first spend over $200. in their other auctions before they are given the "PRIVILEGE"of bidding on the often over priced items. The abuse of Sellers at TH'ER is rampant, forcing out old sellers who built their business on trumped up charges, bring in NEW sellers, and starting to their scheme all over. They do not respond to specific questions about their activities regarding the number of NON PAYERS, which has surged recently, costing sellers listing fees and time. They did not advise Sellers that their account had been hacked, which I questioned after getting three "YOU HAVE WON" items on which I had NOT placed a bid! If you do NOT pay these invoices, it is marked as a negative against you. They limit their count in PRIORITY LISTING advantage, only to items sold in THEIR PAY TOP LIST auctions. They do not remove neutral or negative feed back from sellers accounts, wherein "Buyers" claim not to have received the item, though USPS clearly indicates item was delivered. They have inflated revenues listed in seller statistics. This is a business that started out in the right direction, it appears to be run by a group, clearly NOT interested in ASSISTING SELLERS, just grabbing as much profit and targeting certain sellers with the audacity to question them. Sellers do their advertising for them, monitor their auctions with their "VOLUNTEER HOST" services, and those who do not volunteer, are clearly not given the same opportunities, length of time to sell their items and I wonder how many other privileges.
TH'er needs to review their practices, stop the targeting, level the playing field, get STAFF with a true interest in helping their sellers, AND STOP THE DAILY revision of their rules. No one ever knows what is going on, on a daily basis.
I was BANNED for not having a receipt for one item and unfair claims when I initially started. I would like this ban to be removed. I would like to know that ALL sellers are asked for "RECEIPTS", and that this is not just for targeted people who speak up. Thank you.
Tophatter allows all users ample space to voice their concerns in a civil and respectful manner. Sellers can speak up in the Seller's lounge, post on the community forums, category-specific Facebook pages and are welcome to email any staff member with feedback or concerns. However, it is the nature of the business that not all sellers will be happy with the business decisions made my Tophatter.
In the case of this specific seller, we received reports that the items sold were counterfeit, and therefore we requested receipts to indicate if the item was authentic. This was simple due diligence on our part as a business.
We do not target sellers or buyers for speaking up or voicing their opinions.
If there is anything we can do to assist you, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
There was no resolution offered here. And the explanations are UNTRUE to say the very least.
People wait and have so stated for up to 2 weeks to get a response, if they ever do.
It is well known that Sellers are afraid to say what is on their mind, for fear of being "TARGETED", if anyone LISTENED this is not too hard to hear. As for removal, a seller was removed temporarily for "SHILLING". I wonder how anyone knows truly what is a persons heart and why are you so eager to suspend or remove, sellers, who in effect built your company? I would like to answer that for you, because it is so much easier to MOLD the kids coming in, and know nothing about selling, into falling into line.
I was accused of selling fake items, and receipts demanded, I provided those receipts by copying and pasting from the places I order. I gave my sign in name and pass **** to your co. because, I do not keep receipt, and with the atmosphere of mistrust of your sellers, I though I would cover all bases. I have NOTHING to hide.
The sellers lounge is suppose to be a place for exchange. Everyone knows that in the room, what ever is aid is known by STAFF. So there is no FREE EXCHANGE.
The responses to specific questions, are generally referrals to ever changing rules and regulations.
What I view as conflict of interest is: A) Telling sellers to buy in your VIP auctions, they must first EARN their paddle by buying over $200. worth of items first.
I view as conflict of interest that a company competing against itself, by bringing in FAMILY MEMBERS to compete against sellers. They are given higher exposure and time to expound on their items.
****, I am surprise that if you had read what transpired here that you would still assume that what was done is correct. I have NOT sold items on your site that were not authentic, and the one item that I do no have a receipt for, I first saw on your site. Instead of ALWAYS trying to find negatives with the people who have worked so very hard to build up your company, I believe it would be much more beneficial to help your sellers. Sellers,for the most part, are hard working honest people. They do not deserve to be always walking on egg shells for fear that they are going to be accused of some unfounded issue. That is NO way to treat anyone, and certainly NOT the way to keep good sellers.
As for Pay Pal, many sellers made it quite clear that they would not sign up for that, the reason their was no legitimate reason for it, and so they left rather than battle with you.
Your company has NO RIGHT to defame a seller by sending out messages, which indicate that a seller was BANNED for not meeting your rules. Does not take two brain cells to figure out what that means.
***** was wrong the first time that she did this, and she is EVEN MORE WRONG, this time. She needs to go for a course in Interpersonal Relationships.
Thank you ****, I appreciate your getting involved. God bless.
Final Business Response
1. Our response times are quite excellent, with a 24 hour turnaround at this time. You can read our official response time window here:
2. We are always happy to respond to specific questions, and all of our policies and guidelines are clearly posted on our help page help.tophatter.com. You can always use the search feature to look for specific areas of the policies.
3. We do not remove users for questioning our motives or practices. Users are, however, removed from further participate for failure to abide by Tophatter rules.
4. The PayPal permissions were rolled back because we realized that our community was not happy with the changes.
5. The seller's lounge is a place for sellers to engage in constructive conversation with each other and with members of staff. We also have he community forum as well as several category specific Facebook groups to allows users (Sellers or buyers) to communicate with each other. Users are of course free to exchange information and ideas freely via private messaging means as well.
6. It is not clear what you perceive to be conflict of interest. Please elaborate and I'm happy to discuss further.