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.

Incident Fees are only charged when a Shopper indicates, and Tophatter confirms, a problem with the order and/or product. This includes:

  • Seller Fault Returns – 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
  • Item Not Received Disputes – 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. 
  • Reported Products – 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. 
  • Seller Initiated Refunds – 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 Contacts and Credits – Customer contact fees and any buyer credits (Buyer Compensation Fee) applied for seller-fault issues elevated to Buyer Support. The contact fee is a one time fee of $2, never applied more than once per order. 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. 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

How to monitor your Incident Fees:

Head to your performance page and select Products at the top. From there, you can filter by time periods, and see which Incident Fees are being charged for which orders. You can click the amount of the Incident Fee for a further breakdown. 

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. 

Tips to improve Shopper experience & reduce Incident Fees:

  • Ensure your listings are clear and accurate. Remember, Tophatter is a 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, 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, head to our Seller Hub and check out our article What are the requirements for shipping? 
  • Only issue refunds requested by the buyer. 

The occasional poor buyer experience is part of doing business and will happen from time to time. Your Incident Rate is a great indicator of your performance on Tophatter. Your Incident Rate is your total incident fees divided by your net sales over the past month.  You can monitor your Incident Rate on your seller home page. If you are providing a good buyer experience your incident fees should amount 1% or less of your total sales.

You can view fees that you will be invoiced for by going to your “Payouts” page. There, you can see all of the fees that will be deducted from your Upcoming payout. Please note that the amount shown on your Upcoming Payouts page will change as orders and fees move over from your Pending payouts page. Incident Fees can be charged on unpaid or canceled orders, and after the order has been paid out to the seller. 

Be sure to check out the rest of our Seller Hub for more information about selling on Tophatter.