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Following our popular post on why eBay sucks for sellers, I decided to write a similar post on Fiverr. Fiverr is a website that allows people to post “gigs,” or services they are willing to complete for $5. The concept is simple but, in my opinion, still has many flaws.
Fiverr’s revenue comes from commissions, but taking 20% right off the bat is unfair. Fourer would be a more accurate name for the website. After Fiverr has taken a piece of your earnings, PayPal takes one as well. If you were to cash out every time you received $4, you would be charged 2%, or $0.08 by PayPal. Bear in mind you can only withdraw after a “safety clearance period of 14 days,” so if you’re in need of quick cash this shouldn’t be your go-to method.
Fiverr is full of spammers and cheaters. There are a huge amount of gigs guaranteeing thousands of LinkedIn connections, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Not only are these offers absurd, but the illegitimate ways they go about completing them are ridiculous. These users harm Fiverr’s reputation.
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Likewise, people can easily create fake buyer accounts and purchase from themselves in order to leave positive feedback. Not only is this incredibly misleading for buyers but it’s unfair to legitimate sellers.
When buyers first arrive on Fiverr they are amazed at what they can buy for a mere $5. These people soon forget that everything costs only $5 and immediately expect $500 results. For example, how long do you expect me to work designing a logo when I’m only, in fact, receiving $4? Fifteen minutes if you’re lucky… It’s important for people to remember how much $5 actually is and for them to keep their expectations at that level.
A quick search for creating a logo yields hundreds of results. Many of these gigs are offered by people who have little experience or are irresponsible. Although buyers can filter the results and sort by popularity or rating, the default is “auto” which makes it rather difficult for your gig to be found. There are simply too many people doing the same things. It’s nice to have many options but this confuses buyers and decreases the sales of legitimate sellers.
The first item mentioned in our eBay post was in regards to illegitimate feedback and it’s ability to ruin someones reputation. The same goes for Fiverr. One negative response can ruin your chances of scoring another gig and push you to the bottom of the search results. Also some people choose not to leave feedback. This happened to me in a situation where I was confident I would receive positive feedback. They decided not to, which decreased my chance of making future sales.
Before getting involved with Fiverr you should know what you’re signing up for. You’re not going to get $5 for every gig you complete and you won’t get feedback, be it positive or negative, on every gig. You’ll find a huge amount of spammers and unqualified competitors. If you do happen to make a sale, be aware that buyers will expect perfection, so do your best to explain your service in advance. Remember, $5 (or $4 in reality) may not be worth your time, if something takes too long you may want to look for other ways to make money online.
Have you ever tried buying or selling on Fiverr?