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The Truth about Fiverr : Good, Bad and Ugly E-Commerce Advice and Tips
Truth About Fiverr® From A Tenured Buyer & Seller
What is Fiverr®?
Fiverr® is a marketplace started in 2010, who earned it's name for the original price of gigs or jobs at only a "fiverr" aka $5 per task which they refer to as "gigs." It is classified as a freelance marketplace but offers many diverse jobs and services.
Some of the ethical business services you can buy or sell include influencer marketing, social media or blog posting , business card templates, content creation and help with websites or promotions.
What some may consider unethical you can also buy fake Facebook page likes, Instagram or fake Twitter followers, fake reviews (which can boost your brand or hurt your competition), and some services that may be considered unethical against terms of services of other websites.
Alternatively, there are unique and silly services which people have thought up to make money. You can also pay someone to write things on their stomach and provide you the picture for modeling purposes, make you a puppet video or one with a hamster writing your name in lettuce, or hire someone to call and punk your friends. One man is selling services to pretend to be your boyfriend and make your ex jealous on Facebook.
As of November 2015, Fiverr allowed sellers to charge more than the $5 fiverr for basic services, and has grown to have had over $110 million dollars in funding from investors. According to an article in VentureBeat, back in November 2015 they stated they were handling over a million transactions per month.
Buying on Fiverr®
Pros of Buying on Fiverr®
Buying on Fiverr® is easy. Creating an account is simple and you can pay for gigs quickly. You can check out right from the marketplace with your preferred method of payment.
The platform is easy to use, you can communicate efficiently with an easy to understand console. It's easy to navigate and even if you aren't experienced with Fiverr® you should be able to understand it.
Buying is so simple, each buyer has their own delivery dates, and gig offerings. You can compare costs between many buyers and search functions for what you are looking for are plentiful.
Remember, Fiverr® offers the marketplace, but the sellers are to be following the Fiverr ®Terms of Service and so you deal directly with the sellers. If you find something unethical you can report them.
You can easily look up a seller's rating or feedback score, or contact them with questions prior to purchase.
Some sellers show samples of their work and this is shown in a carousel for you to peruse before buying.
There are many gigs available in many different areas. The marketplace is huge so you can search easily and compare many services. It's diverse and many things are offered.
You may find some crazy services on Fiverr® that you never knew existed!
You can essentially get services "cheap" or for a bargain-price way below the market value.
Some sellers are students or stay at home moms, and your purchase will help them get ahead.
Fiverr® is considered a micro-task blog, much like other sites like Taskrabbit or Thumbtack and offers many jobs at cost comparable rates.
Poll for Fiverr® Buyers
How many times have you used Fiverr® to buy gigs?
Cons of Buying on Fiverr® : Buyer Beware Do Your Research!
I'm an ethical seller on Fiverr® and so are many others, but this is the cold hard truth.
Economic Meltdown: The Fiverr ® marketplace has so many sellers, that it had originally set a standard for cheap $5 pricing from 2010 to 2015 thereby creating an over competitive marketplace. Although in 2015 Fiverr® allowed sellers to charge more than the $5 gig cost, there is a large segment of users who still sell services at $5. You will find a diverse range of sellers from many countries.
This has negatively impacted the economy of journalists and freelance market in the USA. For instance, ten years ago a freelancer living in the USA with a good resume may have received $300 for a quality article in an online publication. Now, companies may be apt to hire someone for $25 with not as prominent resume for the same article.
Unethical Services by Unethical Sellers: First let me start by saying I'm an ethical seller on Fiverr® as are many people I know, but the old saying a few bad apples spoil it for the bunch!
There are some unethical sellers that offer services that exist that pose a real threat to American businesses. I will give a real true story example. A catering business in USA Big Fat Daddy's had a competitor buy a $5 "fake review" gig on Fiverr. The USA business was plummeted with 1-star Facebook reviews with people living in (Cyprus, Russia, India, etc.) who were not USA based and had never actually used the services.
These types of unethical sellers can hurt American businesses. Removing the feedback is unheard of by Facebook if the user is a legit Facebook user unless you can prove the profile is a marketing profile they will not remove the user or feedback. A photograph is attached so you see this is true. It would be impossible to track down who ordered this and how. This can happen to anyone.
Case in Point: A Level 2 who is surely to hit level 3 top seller on Fiverr® offers backlink creation using automated techniques which I have personally ordered and found some of it to be a scam. The software is creating junk links and are often removed from sites in a week or two. When I looked them up in a few days, they redirected to someone else's profile page. They also give sellers a bunch of redirect links, which are nothing but fake links which are not really there. However, the seller has tons of orders in queue and gets great ratings. Most of the reviews are positive because the average person doesn't understand that a redirect PHP link placed after any site you choose to show someone, will work, but really just isn't real. Unless you are skilled in these things you would never know. Leaving bad feedback for a seller who has thousands of positive's won't do anything.
Quality of Work: As discussed, there are many good and ethical sellers. However, if you do not do your research, your articles or posts may end up on junk blogs that contain so many links you will wish your brand, product or item wasn't associated with them. (See my experience below) It is currently against Fiverr's Terms of Service for a seller to send you a sample link of blog posting--this practice would be so helpful but only can only assume that Fiverr® is worried you will deal direct offsite and not via Fiverr®.
Long Work Hours : Your purchase may contribute to someone's longer work hours. The Wikipedia article of Fiverr® as mention of people working harder for less, incurring longer work hours trying to sell services on Fiverr®. This would make sense, if a buyer is having to sell more at less cost, than selling a few things at more cost.
No Good! Fake Reviews Can Be Purchased on Fiverr®
According to Wikipedia, in 2014 Amazon sued Fiverr® for fake reviews ...Fiverr® worked closely with Amazon to "remove these services" from their site.
My Personal Experience as a Buyer on Fiverr®
My Experience as a Buyer: I have also purchased cheap gigs myself for promoting my at or business on websites and blogs. While some have withstood the test of time, over 70 percent of what I purchased just a few years ago for $5-$15 average, are gone.
The websites or blogs are nowhere to be found making dead links (when I shared them) in cyberspace. Although websites are generally self hosted and perhaps it is true that the person or business did not want to continue web hosting and deleted the blog, but many of the blogs were free blogs on wordpress.com, tumblr, or blogger. You would think they would have just been abandoned and not deleted, but it leads me to think some overspammy or unethical practice was happening and the user deleted or sold their blog. This was not good for my business as we created links to these blogs which are now gone, thereby penalizing our website with dead links and having to take the time to remove them.
I suppose the old saying is clear: you get what you pay for. In a nutshell, the quality of service is not what I had expected, but for only $5 what would I expect? Objectively speaking, there are good sellers on Fiverr® who have reputable blogs and websites and offer good sponsored content but expect it to start at more than $5.
A Review of Selling on Fiverr: Anything Goes
Buyer Seller Survey!
If you have sold on Fiverr, what level are you currently at?
Only a small percentage of people get rich on Fiverr, but it can be done....
Pros of Selling on Fiverr®
It's very easy!
It is genuinely easy to sell items on Fiverr®! Account creation is relatively a no-brainer and should take you less than ten minutes. The platform is easy to use and starting to list gigs is very easy. You will provide personal information in order to get started.
It's a nice little extra source of income for anyone, from the professional looking to expand their resume to the stay at home mom's or college students,
An upgrade from when I first joined, they now have ways you can implement videos , photos, attachments, and an easy to walk though layout to help you list your gigs. Be sure to look for the best category when listing your gigs as sometimes it may be confusing. Several times they have reworked the different categories for digital or social media marketing, so ensure you are in the best category.
Fiverr® currently charges a 20 percent commission -- they take $1 out of every $5 you earn. There is no fee for having your online "shop" of gigs so this is a huge plus. In retrospect, doing gigs for $5 will net you $4, less any fees you may incur for transferring them . The time for release of funds is long, and will be discussed in the "cons".
Currently, I get my funds deposited into my Fiverr® account, and later when I hit certain threshold, I transfer to Paypal. You can set up Payoneer or bank accounts currently, although options could change based on your location and country.
They have a support forum, and helpful online forum for sellers where you can read the latest articles and success stories. The community is helpful and you can earn different levels when selling.
Anything goes on Fiverr® - there are so many things for sale just about anyone can think up something tangible or not to sell. From selling a tutorial of wordpress, to redesigning someone's blog, or buying a recorded video of someone dressing like Spider-man and singing happy birthday to your kids, anything is possible.
Fiverr® Seller Levels
Generally there are three levels of sellers on Fiverr.
Level one sellers may be new-bees or sellers who have not advanced to level 2. According to this screenshot in my seller console on Fiverr, a level one buyer status is earned after 10 completed orders, and 30 days active with a 4.0+ rating.
A level two seller on Fiverr according to the same screenshot, indicates that 50 orders were complete within 2 months maintaining a 4.5+ rating. A level two seller has more options as far as upgrades they can offer to customers than a level one seller.
A level three seller is handpicked by Fiverr, and the statistics do not note on how to obtain this status. It indicates they are "hand chosen." I assume with this status comes more bells and whistles.
Fiverr® Users Sick of 1 Star Auto Cancel Feedback
Cons of Selling on Fiverr®
There are four major cons or hurdles when selling on Fiverr® and I speak from personal experience.
Funds Take Forever
The first is that the funds release takes forever, or so it seems. An order finished by me on April 24th went into finalization with the buyer on April 27th and took until May 8th to release the $8 in funds (the buyer paid $10). Normally, it takes 3 days for an order to automatically complete once you have delivered it. (Unless the buyer clicks completed first.) Then, it will take 14-15 days on average for the money to clear. Although there's an easy to use bar in your panel showing you when the money should clear, it's quite a long time considering the buyer pays up front for the service and it's finalized once the order is delivered.
Cancel Order 1 Star Feedback Issue
Fiverr implemented new cancellation procedures where if you cannot complete an order on time, you may implement a mutual cancel, or if you extend over the due date, the buyer can immediately cancel the order. Unfortunately, if the buyer automatically cancels, a 1 Star Automatic Review is left on behalf of the buyer saying "Seller failed to deliver."
This has happened to me, and now is a topic of discussion in the forums. Many sellers are unhappy with this new problem. I had an order with a regular customer that I could not complete. I wrote her every step of the way and even gave her extras, but I could not meet her deadline. I asked her to mutually cancel the order (thinking the buyer had this button, but she didn't). Instead she hit "cancel order" and it automatically left me a one star review.
When I asked her about it she said she hadn't even left that feedback the system did, and I asked her to write in and I would finish her work. Support did nothing, and a rep named Bob tried to say I baited my customer and guilted her. Meanwhile, she's one of my regular customers so I told her I won't be using Fiverr anymore.
If they would have read back into the original order, it clearly had me offering the cancel. She hit the wrong button (or the button that was available to her and the system automatically generated the feedback.)
Frustration with Support
I've been back and forth with Fiverr, and they won't remove the feedback of the above. Support claims "it's a violation of their terms and conditions" to remove feedback (even in a situation where the paper trail proves you are right!) Sounds to me like they just don't care about sellers anymore, and that everything is too automated and too big. Thanks for nothing, Bob!
Then they have the nerve to send you a survey....
On Fiverr® you will run into a lack of exposure. Just like any online selling venue, there is much competition and many gigs. You will need to self promote your gigs by sharing them and making sure they are SEO friendly. They give you the platform but you can do the work.