Why Fiverr (mostly) sucks and you should avoid it at all costs

Fiverr is a popular marketplace for all sorts of digital services. Whether you need a website, an article, an image or a video, you will be able to find hundreds of people ready to take the job. Besides the traditional stuff, you will be able to find really interesting offers (see a video below for a few examples). Of course, you can provide services yourself, and all it takes to start working on Fiverr is to create a simple profile.

The first time you get to open Fiverr, you will be amazed how many things you can find in the marketplace. We actually liked the user-interface and the entire design of the site but after a dozen of gigs we paid for, the entire image has changed.

Fiverr or Fever?

Instead of a simple job for a fiver, all we got was chills and fever caused by all the scammers and ignorants

Gigs are more expensive than $5

Before you order your first gig, you might still believe that you can actually get things done for just $5. Unfortunately, the truth is different. For starters, every gig that does cost a fiver, isn’t $5 at all. That will stay unclear until the moment you decide to pay for the first service. For each new gig, Fiverr will take an additional dollar; so it’s a sixer, isn’t it? Sure, the guys and girls who work things around marketplace have to make some money, too, but it is still a hard hit once you realize you will have to pay more than the expected.

The second problem that arises is that there are more and more gigs that cost much more than just $5. It’s not unusual to see gigs for $10, $15, and much more. Truth to be told, all the actual $5 gigs are designed in a way to lure you in for more.

For example, a Fiverr user might advertise his services for $5, but they will make you wait for more than a week to complete a half an hour job. Unless you opt in and pay for a quick delivery. But we’ll get to the scammers later on.

Take a look at some of the most ridiculous and strange Fiverr services

Scammers everywhere

Let’s say that you’re ok with the prices. But are you ok with being scammed? Unfortunately, from our experience, 90% of all people we worked with on Fiverr were trying to play tricks on us or just didn’t know what were they doing.

Here’s are some examples:

The stolen articles

For a new project that needed a promo article, we hired a guy with a quite a nice review on his profile page. All those 5-star reviews and sweet words about his work made us think we’re safe. So, we contacted the seller and explained what we wanted. The response was positive, and the seller wanted us to start the gig. We paid for the gig ($6, not a fiver) and waited for the seller to deliver the promo article. After we opened the attached document, we couldn’t believe our eyes.

Instead of writing about the product we described, the seller was writing about another similar product. After a 30 second research on the Internet, we found out that the entire article was stolen from a popular site. Even after linking him the stolen article, the seller kept arguing about it. Oh well, he did change five or six words from the stolen article, in the end.

You think this might be an isolated incident? You’re wrong.

The delayers

Some of the people on Fiverr try different tactics. After they accept your offer and say they could do the job, you will pay for the gig. Let’s say that you agreed to 3 days delivery. Just before those three days have passed, you will get a notification (and an email) that your order is completed. But after you navigate back to Fiverr, instead of a completed project, you will get a message that your project will be completed soon.

If you have no experience with Fiverr, you should know that you have only three days to request a revision after this point. If you believe what the seller told you and decide to wait for a few more days, you might end up without the service you paid for. Sure, you can dispute things later, and you will get your money back, but do you really want to lose time just to end up with $5 refunded to your Fiverr profile which you have to relocate to another gig?

The sellers just don’t listen (read)

Let’s say that you were lucky with your first gig. You decided to pay; you told the seller what you wanted, and you got the project completed before the deadline. Finally, you’re ready to review their work and use it wherever you needed it. But after a few seconds, a disappointment awaits. An article, image or video isn’t what you wanted! Yes, that’s a quite common problem on Fiverr because most of the sellers won’t listen to you in the first place – they will take any gig just to pick up the money.

Even if you strictly ask them not to write about bananas, for example, somehow they find a way to transform the entire article into a story about bananas. Sometimes we got the impression that the sellers really had no clue what they were doing.

Lost time on modifications

Since you are paying for a specific gig, you expect that you get the job done and save yourself time. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in our experience. Most of the times projects we received as finished ones were not even near the completion. When it comes to written material, the sellers were careless and unsystematic. There have been spelling and grammar errors to be found everywhere, so we lost a quite amount of time on fixing their mistakes.

If you add up all the time you lost in communication, requesting revisions, payment, and modifications, you will realize that you have done nothing more than losing time (and money).

Are there alternatives?

Luckily, if you didn’t quite like Fiverr, there are alternative marketplaces where you might find someone ready to do a gig for you. We won’t discuss these markets since we haven’t had much experience using their service. Instead, we would just like to let you know that there are other marketplaces for digital services like:

  • Freelancer
  • Upwork
  • 99Designs
  • GigBuys
  • Microworkers, and much more

Our colleagues at Gigs That Work have created a very nice list of Fiverr alternatives for 2016 so make sure you check it out.

If you are thinking about paying someone to do a gig for you on Fiverr, think twice and be ready to ask for a refund.

In the end, we must accentuate that everything described here was merely our experience. Even though we’re not satisfied with Fiverr at all, there have been several gigs where the sellers knew what they were doing, delivered the project on time and were nice all the time. Unfortunately, those were left in the shadow of all the other bad ones.

Have you ever used Fiverr? What are your experiences?

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6 thoughts on “Why Fiverr (mostly) sucks and you should avoid it at all costs

  1. It’s unfortunate that you have not experienced Fiverr in the light that it was originally intended for, and that your “trial” only met up with one individual who couldn’t do the job.

    This is not reflective of every seller who works there and if you worked with fiverr developers like I do, you would know this and not write this degrading article about them.

    You have to know the type of people you want to work for their REVIEWS for $5.00…this is worth everything to them. If you think that $5.00 is too low a price, try paying $50.00 and hour for the chance of the same service and outcome. And looking at your reviews, be real.. if the seller has 48 star reviews and he’s only been working at fiverr for 2 months, you know these are dummy reviews.

    I employ students from Bangladesh, obviously a poor country, but these kids and 75% of the sellers who work there are earnest in getting the job done, regardless of any price, yes I get jobs for five dollars sometimes because I give honest reviews and when they start out, they work like dogs for these reviews. This is part of building their career and all of getting my network built and completed.

    I myself can’t afford to pay the extravagant costs that developers on ground level blow up for the same service. You get what you pay for? NO. You help kids and the suppressed and know what you paying for.

    • L Susanne, this article was very helpful and informative.
      There was nothing degrading about degrading about it at all. It sounds like instead of listening to the honest review of this persons genuine experience working with fiver, you took it personally, and only take your own experiences into consideration.
      Fiverr isn’t a charity, it’s a market. When a seller offers a service, they are expected to deliver that service plain and simple.
      Instead of expecting people to share your views and trying to change their objective opinion, maybe you should work on being a little more understanding of other peoples points of view.

  2. I’ve purchased six job through Fivver so far. Two were fantastic. One was okay. One was mediocre. Two sucked.

    But I was not surprised by this. I’ve worked with outsourcers before and there is an art to it when working with direct overseas. Fivver is not really vetting very hard, which is why the prices can be so cheap.

    Here are two keys with ANY outsourcing service:

    1. Once you find someone that is good on Fivver; bookmark them. And use them over and over. They are gold. And blow off the rest.

    2. Plan on buying the service three times if it is in a new category. Buying a pic for $20? Plan on paying $20 with three artists and see who does best. Fortunately, a $500 to $1000 picture from an established local artist really does only cost $20 on Fivver; so $60 is still insanely cheap. And it _almost_ always does go to the third-world artist. (I say _almost_ because there is always abuse going on somewhere in any system.)

  3. And one other bit of followup: Don’t buy English text from culturally non-native speakers. So, sadly, purchasing an article or book content is almost doomed to fail. True English speakers are very expensive and there are better outlets than Fivver. Drawings, photos, layout-work, coding, etc. work much better on a system like Fivver.

  4. Fiverr blows. One thing you forgot to mention in this article is freelancers that take a job, don’t do it right, so you spend hours creating revision notes only to have them decide to cancel the contract. Sure you get your money back, but what about your time??? Then you realize, you don’t even get to review the person to let other potential victims know what they did…

  5. I’ve had a couple of bad experiences. Most recently I hired someone to create and post my Ad for Facebook . I get a message stating that I requested my payment method be shut off., this stopped my Ad. Come to find out the address on my payment account was different from my own .This person had my Facebook log in info and no doubt probably did this .I live in New York and the Zip code was from somewhere else. My bank stated that Facebook did not reveal the entire address. I sent picture of my driver’s license and everything . Now I can’t use my own card for my ad account. We all need to ban together to get rid of Fiverr unless they screen their workers better.

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