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Why Fiverr Is The Worst Digital Sweatshop And You Should Avoid It

Updated on February 19, 2014
A homeless man is selling his service on Fiverr.
A homeless man is selling his service on Fiverr.

The reasons why Fiverr is a joke, a sweatshop, stupid, a waste of time, and why anyone should avoid it at all costs (even if it's just 5 bucks!).

I'm not going to spend time writing about what Fiverr is. If you are here, it means that you've at least heard of, or have been using the website to either buy a service, sell a service, or both. In case that you've heard of it but not quite sure what it is, there's Google out there to help you. To keep it short, in their own words, it's a "marketplace for services, starting at $5", hence the name.

All services offered on starts from 5 bucks. And you'll be surprised how many people are offering premium services that otherwise would cost "at least" $50 for mere $5 on Fiverr. Reason? I can't answer this for everyone else, but for me, it was the consistent flow of buyers that you got on there. You don't even need to market your service the traditional way, which means you save on your marketing spending, you just set your "gig" up and with the amount of traffics that Fiverr has, you don't need to seek out buyers, the buyers will come to YOU. This way, you only need to focus on giving your buyers the best service possible. Sounds like a good plan?

Not really.

Not after reality sets in and you realize the "only" buyers that Fiverr is capable of attracting are cheapskates who are short on cash and sometimes, short on manner as well. To be fair, it's not really Fiverr's fault, it's just that their business model attract cheapskates, that's all. Again, to be fair, there are people who "know" what to expect for $5 (or $10. or $15..), but then again, if they have self-respect, they wouldn't even be on Fiverr.

If you are looking to use Fiverr in a long time, this is what you should expect:

What Fiverr IS NOT:

  1. A marketplace for professionals.
  2. A platform for real online business.
  3. A place to find potential long-term clients.
  4. A place to have fun.

What Fiverr IS:

  1. An online flea market where you could buy services and things at prices cheaper than a made-in-China flip flop.
  2. An online sweatshop that devalues real professional workers or entrepreneurs alike.
  3. A place to see people make a fool of themselves in exchange for a few bucks.
  4. A place to make fun of other people (and yourself).

No, Fiverr, nobody buys a real house from the money they make working on your website.
No, Fiverr, nobody buys a real house from the money they make working on your website.

My Own (Shitty) Fiverr Experience

It's in my nature to try to provide the best service to make my buyers/clients happy. It's just the way I work, even before joining Fiverr. I always deliver more than what is promised. When I first started selling my service on Fiverr, I opted the same kind of mindset and work ethic I always have. But soon enough I realized the more you give on Fiverr, all the more the buyers will be asking. And they never want to pay more. They always find a way to blame you, twist your words, or threat you, in an effort to get you do more work for free of charge. At first I just put up with it. Sure, there'll always be some bad apples. You suck it up and move on. But there's always more of them coming. The ones who expect to have mega job done for them for mere 5 bucks, even if you state it very clearly in your gig's description that they would have to order extras. No, doesn't stop them from being cheap.

The funniest thing with these people is that they always try to make you agree with them by telling you they have "more jobs" for you if you "complete this one quickly". Why would they be thinking we would want "more jobs" from them if they are already giving us such a hard time just to complete the current one is beyond me. Promising more jobs doesn't make us jump in excitement if you still want to pay quarter of what you're supposed to pay for every single job. So no, thank you.

I was told more than a few times by buyers on Fiverr that it was hard for them to find someone who could complete the job successfully and that I was the "best" seller in my niche after I delivered them the completed job. It's funny because even if I'm the "best" according to them, half of them are still not willing to spend more accordingly. So I made it clear to them that good service wouldn't last forever if the service provider keep on having to "suck it up" every single time. Sooner or later they would just have had enough and go somewhere else where their service will be appreciated accordingly. Some get the message. Some still don't.

And apparently, I have had enough.

Comes The Worst

The worst comes with the buyer's ability to "reject" the work after it is being delivered. With this feature, a seller would have to succumb to buyer's intolerance and would need to provide "revisions" as many times as the buyer simply desires.

This new system can easily be abused where a buyer can reject the delivered work and asks sellers to do "extras" without paying for it. All they need to do is hit the "reject" button over and over. As long as they keep on rejecting the work, the order will never be closed, Easy peasy lemon squeezy. No money needs to be spent for extras ever again. Wink. ;) As for sellers who offer "unlimited revisions" as an extra, too bad, their extra isn't worth anything anymore, thanks to the new system.

And why would Fiverr think this is a "good" feature to be included in their system is still anybody's guess.

So in the end I made a decision. Fiverr is not worth it. I have 100% good feedback on Fiverr, but I was never really happy selling my service on there. It's like a sweatshop, and sellers have become slaves to the system.

I am so done with Fiverr. What about you? Share your experience, good or bad.

Fiverr Seller Question!

What kind of money are you making on Fiverr?

See results

Fiverr Buyer Question!

Why do you 'shop' on Fiverr?

See results


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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      I've heard a lot of good things about Fiverr so it's interesting to see another side of it. Doesn't Fiverr have some protection for sellers?

      If sellers can prove that they did the job they were supposed to do as well as they could and that said job doesn't need revisions anymore, will they still be required to offer free revisions to their buyers if those buyers reject the order?

      What if they state in their gig descriptions that they will not revise anything unless there is a valid reason to do so or that they will not revise anything for free? Can't they do that?

      Also, it seems that Fiverr is only lucrative or possibly worth it to those who get a lot of sales and customers on the site. But what about those that are new to Fiverr? How would one get sales in the first place? It seems that it would take quite some time before those that are new to the site can even get a single sale.