What are Incident Fees?

Incident Fees are incurred for orders that result in a poor buyer experience.

Incident fees are separate from scheduling, commission, and processing fees. Incident Fees are indicators that your account can improve to provide a better shopping experience that keeps buyers coming back. Fee types are described below.

How to review Incident Fees

View Incident Fees by Product

  1. Visit your Performance page.
  2. Select Products at the top.
  3. There you can filter by duration and category, to see which Incident Fees are being charged for which products. Scroll over to view the full page.
  4. Click the amount of the Incident Fee for a further breakdown.

View Incident Fees Rate

  1. Visit your seller Home page.
  2. The  Incident Fees Rate is shown at the bottom, and is a percentage calculated from your total incident fees divided by your net sales over the past month.
  3.  The occasional poor buyer experience is part of doing business, and your Incident Fees Rate is a great indicator of your performance on Tophatter. If you are providing a good buyer experience your incident fees should amount 1% or less of your total sales.

How to reduce Incident Fees

The best way to avoid Incident Fees is to have a high quality shopper experience in mind, from listing through fulfillment. Here are some tips to improve shopper experience and reduce Incident Fees.

  • Ensure your listings are clear and accurate. Remember, Tophatter is a visual, image-first platform. Shoppers should be able to understand what is for sale at-a-glance. The most successful listings include short titles, professional images, and size charts (when applicable), and sizing consistent with US fit standards. For complete instructions and tips on how to set up a listing, please see our FAQ How do I create a Product Listing?
  • If your listings have variations, meaning different options for color, size and/or design, the variations should be clear and each variation should have the correct quantity for that specific option.
  • Inventory should be checked to ensure that it is functioning and not damaged prior to shipment, and packaged to prevent damage during shipping.
  • Ship quickly with valid tracking from a supported carrier, and refund shipping for any combined orders. Try to ship within 2 days of payment and receive an acceptance scan within 5 days of payment. For Tophatter’s full shipping guidelines, check out What are the requirements for shipping?
  • Only issue refunds when a buyer requests them.

Return Fee

The commission and processing fees for refunds with a seller fault return request. Seller fault issues include, but are not limited to: 

  • Claims of defective or damaged items
  • Wrong size
  • Counterfeit or fake
  • Missing parts
  • Wrong item
  • Item arrived late
  • Item does not match description


The commission and processing fees for refunded orders with an Item Not Received dispute. Orders with tracking from a supported carrier that show delivery to the address on the buyer invoice are protected from this Incident Fee. 

Quality Guidelines Not Met Fee

The commission and processing fees for orders which are refunded due to a high rate of poor feedback from shoppers. 

Reported Product Fee

A $2 fee is charged once per product each time it is placed on hold. Products can be placed on hold when Tophatter determines more information is needed in order to sell the product. Usually, products are placed on hold because the description needs to be corrected due to being misleading or unclear. 

Unsolicited Refund Fee

Refunds issued by the seller with no refund request from the buyer. This fee is also applied for invoices Tophatter instructs the seller to refund because of a violation of Tophatter selling policies. 

Buyer Support Contact Fee

This fee results when a buyer contacts Buyer Support. It is a one time fee of $2, never applied more than once per order. Buyer Support Contact fees include, but are not limited to, contacts for the following issues: 

  • Problem reported about the item
  • Request to cancel shipped order, handling time is too long
  • Request to cancel unpaid order, missed details in description (description doesn’t match images)
  • Buyer not happy with cost/shipping/listing
  • Special offer or combined shipment was missing from order
  • Request to refund prior to shipment
  • Item was returned and not refunded
  • Item was refunded because it did not arrive within 60 days
  • Seller did not honor sale
  • Request for clarification about item details
  • Request for status update, delivery time too long

Buyer Compensation Fee

This fee results from any buyer credits applied for seller-fault issues elevated to Buyer Support. If a Buyer Compensation credit was issued to the buyer, the seller is only invoiced when the Buyer uses the credit. Amounts vary, but credits are usually $5 or less, and expire two weeks from the time the credit was issued.

Policy Violation Fee

An additional fee may be charged for each order in violation of Tophatter policies. These fees are issued at Tophatter's discretion and will not exceed $5,000 per review, regardless of the number of orders included. Policy Violation Fees include, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  • Brand Abuse
  • Counterfeit Listings
  • Misleading Listings
  • Off-Platform Communication
  • Refund Abuse
  • Shill Bidding
  • Shipment Fraud