I came across Tophatter I think from an ad on Hulu or some place similar. While I have never been much of a shopper, the idea of a 90 second auction made the marketer in me perk up.

I used to sell quite a bit on Ebay (way back in the early days before the margins shrunk.) Surely, this will be just more of the same with a quicker turnaround? But…. maybe someone savvy with a little bit of free time could cherry pick some deals here?

Won for $10 with no shipping.

I bid on a couple of electronics items. A set of blue tooth earbuds (not a brand I recognized) and a Samsung MicroSD card (32GB) Both auctions opened at $1 and true to advertising, once the bid was made, it had 30 seconds with you as the leader, 30 seconds with the status GOING ONCE, and 30 seconds with the status GOING TWICE. If, at any time someone else bids, the status changed with them as the leader and continues until it reached SOLD.

I won the bluetooth earbuds relatively easily. I only had to bump the bid a few times. Then I was surprised to win the MicroSD card after bidding only $1.

What I failed to notice was that this item was different from the earbuds – it did NOT have free shipping. I had just assumed that since the first item showed FREE SHIPPING on the bid button that everything on the site had free shipping. Doh!

$13 after shipping was added

Since I can buy a 32 GB MicroSD card just about anywhere for less than $10, I felt kinda hosed by this transaction. That was until I came to the option of canceling a purchase.

There was an option available to choose “Just learning how to bid” as a valid reason for canceling a bid that you’ve won. I was able to get off the hook without any fuss.

After looking through the offerings, let me give you my rundown. This is a good site for picking up electronic gadgets at reasonable prices. There are a ton of other categories like jewelry, clothing, home & hobby etc. I didn’t dig very deep in those. If you are looking for inexpensive items, it is probably worth checking out. If you can avoid getting caught up in the race to win a bid and just wait for that item to show up again later, you can get some decent pricing.

Again, don’t think this is the answer to all your shopping needs – not even close. But, if you need a White Elephant gift that is unique… there is a good selection. And, if you share a link LIKE THIS you can earn $5 after someone using that link makes their first purchase!

by Chris Doelle

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