Fiverr Review – Pros and Cons from a Fiverr Buyer & Seller

Fiverr is the world’s largest online marketplace for $5 services, with wild services such as “I will have your logo or message painted on my back with body art technique and take high res photos for $5″ and an attractive female is willing to “post a video to your Facebook saying whatever you want,” Fiverr is a marketplace that’s naturally viral and has grown exponentially since launch. As a customer, I love that you can find and get people to do the craziest things for $5, but as an entrepreneur, I hate the “black hat” business services that are developing out of Fiverr. More often than not, you can’t pay $5 for quality business services, as the old adage goes, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” This Fiverr Review aims to look at the pros and cons from the perspective of both a buyer and seller.

Also See: The Top 7 Best Business Gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr has grown exponentially since it’s launch, not boasting over 2,000,000 services and even allowing high level sellers to offer services up to $500.  For most new buyers, if something goes wrong you can always fall back to, “Meh, it was only $5.” It’s a no lose situation.

Here’s a look at some of their top business gigs, there are a few good listings, you just have to know what you’re looking for. Look for listings that have a lot of feedback, Fiverr started to publish a cancellation ratio for sellers who cancel their orders a lot, most of the time they do this to offer a refund to an unhappy buyer. Here’s an example of a gig that I bought, and the seller ended up requesting cancellation after I requested a revision:

Fiverr Review

I won’t mention the seller by name for privacy reasons, but notice that the seller has a 99% positive rating over 859 votes, but also notice that his cancellation ratio is 28%. Which means, his positive rating should really be around 70% because he’s canceling and refunding any problematic orders. So 28% of his buyers are unhappy to the point that they want a refund or revision, I’m guessing another 50% of his buyers are saying, “Well, it’s just $5″ and they don’t say anything to the seller at all.

Takeaway: If you see a high cancellation ratio on a Fiverr gig, don’t buy.

While a curious buyer on Fiverr, and even a “Level One” seller (10+ Orders with “excellent ratings and a great track record,” I know a bit about the system. But I wanted more information for this post. I *could* just message a few sellers… but I had a better idea; I could pay a top Fiverr seller to write an article on the “Pros and Cons of Fiverr!” I messaged two top sellers before ordering to get their approval, as I understand that I doubt any top seller would bite the hand that feeds them by leaving a distasteful Fiverr review. One seller declined to write the article citing, “I cannot write on this because Fiverr is the place where I work.” The other seller (who will go anonymous) was up for the challenge.

I specifically mentioned that, “It doesn’t have to veer one direction or the other, just a balanced article illustrating the good, the bad, and the ugly.” And while I thought it would be hilarious to hire one of the writers who can churn out 500 words (of broken english) for $5 we know that doesn’t really work out (See: Is Fiverr a scam?).

I wanted a longer piece thus I ordered the listing multiple times and ended up spending $30. It wasn’t the cheapest article, even for Fiverr, but I wanted to get a deeper understanding of the Fiverr model from a seller’s perspective, and I wanted to avoid any sellers that reeked of BS, sort of like this seller who I found spamming his services on Quora:

Fiverr Review

If you’re going to spam your writing service, you can at least capitalize the right letters…

Without further ado, here’s the full unadulterated article written by a top seller on Fiverr:

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Freelancing on Fiverr

If you have a specialized skill like writing, photography, web design, voice overs, art, or just about anything else you can think of, there is probably a market for your services online. Many people daydream about quitting their day jobs to do only what they love all day long but just can’t figure out how to get started. Freelance sites like Fiverr.com can help you build recognition as an independent sales person in your niche market.

There are a lot of freelance sites to choose from and many people have found success with Fiverr.com although it is not without its drawbacks as well. Here we will examine the pros and cons of Fiverr and let you decide for yourself if this website works for you.

Fiverr has a very simple concept. People post small jobs, called “gigs,” that they are willing to do for just $5. It sounds small, but what it really provides is a platform to grow from. Buyers like Fiverr because they can get small tasks done quickly and cheaply, there isn’t a large risk and over time they can find dependable freelancers they can turn to for quality work. Sellers can grow their business by offering basic gigs for $5 and offering upgrades and extras for additional money.

Fiverr Pros

  • Clean and clear website design, easy to navigate, easy to use
  • Clear and easy to understand concept
  • Active and fun community with supportive forum
  • Make money doing something you love

The biggest advantage to Fiverr, of course, is making extra money doing something you love. Now, there are a few lucky people out there that have turned their Fiverr.com gigs into a full time job. There is even a recent story of a Fiverr seller who bought a small house exclusively with Fiverr money! It can be done, but of course it takes dedication. More likely though you can use Fiverr as extra income and who wouldn’t love to get paid for a hobby?

Because Fiverr offers basic jobs for a set cost, they attract a fairly decent quality of work. Some freelance sites that allow people to bid very low on jobs attract nothing but low end work that is often plagiarized or automated. Since the job costs are more on a level playing field the quality is a little more level as well.

Fiverr is a very easy website to use and the communication from staff is friendly and conversational. For the most part customer service concerns are handled in a timely mannor although they can get bogged down from time to time and delays can happen. The staff is generally friendly and they follow up to make sure the issue was resolved.

Fiverr Cons

  • 20% revenue sharing with Fiverr, that’s a pretty big fee for them to host your services, other sites do it for less
  • Limited ways to get paid, mostly relies on Paypal with additional fees
  • 14 day hold time on funds
  • Automatically accepts jobs, limited control for sellers

One of the biggest drawbacks to Fiverr is their rating and level system which is highly automated and is too easily skewed by things that are clearly outside of the seller’s control. For instance, if a buyer places five or ten orders on the same day for a service the seller doesn’t provide, or worse something that is illegal or against Fiverr’s rules, the gig gets automatically accepted by the system and the seller is forced to cancel the orders which will most likely cause them to lose their seller level for a period of time. Since the system is automated complaining to customer service will do no good, and the seller will have to wait to complete more good orders to renew their level. Fortunately customer service can do things about erroneous negative feedback and buyer scams, but they can’t do anything to circumvent their own automated leveling system at this time.

Sellers often report issues with the payment system being slow or costing too much in fees. Fiverr is attempting to add other forms of payment but at this time the 14 day waiting period stands for users at all levels.

Some people have a difficult time getting noticed on Fiverr, particularly if their gig is in a popular category. The rate at which your gig appears on the first page seems to be a combination of your activity; so filling orders, getting “collected” and getting feedback all lead to you being bumped to the first page which can help you get orders. Fiverr staff hand picks gigs to be “Featured” and unfortunately they don’t change very often leading the “featured” sellers to be the same day in and day out and often these sellers fall in rating due to late orders and you have featured sellers at low ratings. A great way to get noticed though is to be active in the forums, chatting and helping other users.

Overall, Fiverr is a valuable freelance website that allows sellers a lot of freedom in what they choose to offer and what extras they choose to charge for (once they get to level one or above). If anything, it is a great stepping stone on the path to transitioning from working at a 9-5 job to becoming your own boss, doing what you love to do.

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They proved that the on-demand marketplace works, it’s opened up a new market in many different verticals. Some are focused exclusively on SEO, others on design. Some carbon carbon copies are simply targeting a different price point (Tenrr – $10). Keep in mind that Fiverr is, as far as I know, the only well funded of the aforementioned marketplaces.

Did you enjoy my our review of Fiverr? What do you think of Fiverr? Let me know below!

  • kingozai

    simply, fiverr has a lot crafty methods for preventing release earnings to freelancer. such as clearance periods, unnamed payment verification mails etc.

    - clearance period: 15 days! we are in 2013, that’s communication era, everything is fast. its just a trick.
    - withdraw fee: currently it only send transfers to paypal and its free. but fiverr cut off 50 cent from each withdraw.
    - payment verification mail: fiverr will send you a verification mail upon withdraw request. and this mail contains no subject or sender title. and directly goes to spam folder of your mail client.

    • http://www.audreyisms.com/ Audrey | www.audreyisms.com

      is there a minimum amount you need to withdraw?

      i didn’t get e-mails after I initiated withdraw. it just refreshed the page and erases what I typed in in the withdraw field/info..

      • jaysoriano

        Don’t think so, but keep in mind they charge $1 for withdraws I believe.

  • aiko

    fiverr is a big scam, and being racist on top!
    Just because a user is form outside USA , they cancel any gigs made!
    They a lot of incompetent people working just to use you!
    If anybody wanna get rip, just use fiver, they surely will strip you naked!
    God shall rip them off this world, god will reward fiverr for each its bad work!
    Amen!

  • Fiverr Hater

    Fiverr is incredibly terrible. They denied all of my gigs even though they were straight forward. Didn’t allow me to upload apropriate clean images to support them when I was setting up the gigs that didn’t work. Then I had to contact them just to be able to delete my account. SUCH A HUGE WASTE OF TIME.

  • engg_fahd

    Good one!

  • Gerard Thomas

    Fiverr is simple & quite easy to use all you have to do is to create right gig at the right time How Fiverr Works is very complicated way to understand.

  • Thomas

    I prefer SEOClerks over fiverr in term of sales, quality, and support.

  • Matthew Danskin

    I have only recently discovered fiverr but really enjoy it. I posted a gig writing messages using license plate letters from my collection and have had 2 orders a day for 3 days so far. Everyone has been easy to work with and happy with the product they received. 15 days hold time is a little ridiculous but it’s extra income anyways so who cares? I enjoy the small ($4) reward for each gig I do that only takes me a couple minutes.

  • hasanimam369

    i think it is the best site

  • robby

    I will never attempt to use fiverr.com again. TWICE I have requested projects and TWICE they claim they are delivered but they were not. One I couldn’t open because I don’t have aprogram to support it (yet the creator of the gig claimed the format detail was in the service recap (I promise you it wasn’t), and the 2nd one sent me a message to pick up my gig in a foreign place where I didn’t understand the language (sorry, I’m English speaking). I wouldn’t recommend fiverr to NOONE. For $10, I’ve received $1000 headache. It’s not worth it!!!!

  • Roshan

    Good article! I personally don’t think Fiverr is such a good market place either. This is the article I wrote on Fiverr – http://www.roshanroy.com/software/fiverr-not-such-a-great-marketplace/

    I have been a Fiverr seller for a long time and these were the thing I was able to observe 1) Fiverr takes 20% of your Income 2) Fiverr usually take the buyers side 3) Fiverr site design isn’t that great 4) Fiverr gives buyers unlimited time to leave a review 5) Buyers can’t edit their feedback or remove it after a certain time

    • Entrepreneur

      I agree with some of what you said, but the tables have turned now. Now it’s the seller who has all the control & can do whatever they want. What irks me more than anything is that a seller can have my review removed if they don’t like it. If you sellers think that’s fair, then seriously I won’t even say what I think about that.

      And because a lot of sellers are upset at buyers, they also take it out on me.

      To all sellers – I am NOT the buyer you had a problem with, I’m someone new, don’t take your anger out on me for someone else’s actions. If you don’t like Fiverr (sellers often complain about how little they make) then REMOVE your account.

      Very simple.

      • Roshan

        Are you sure though? Because I email Fiverr staff to remove buyer’s feedback with very valid reasons…they say…sorry we can’t do that. Please sort it out with the buyer. I tried literally 10 times for each sale before. Even if they are inactive, they refuse to remove feedback :(

        But I somewhat I agree with you because sometimes, its the sellers fault and not necessarily the buyers. Some are really lazy and don’t actually make an effort to produce 100% satisfied results. I am talking about the 0.01% of the buyers who tend to leave negative feedback to get back their money.

        And yes, if they wanna complain about how little they make, why don’t they charge higher? I charge $45 for a decent email template and not $5. As a result I get lower number of sales but then again, I started getting great feedback on each sale and made up for all the lost $5 sales in no time :)

        • bjk

          My novella was proofread by two Fiverrs– one outstanding, one good. I also hired a graphics artist to design my book cover. Although the first designer stated he spoke English, clearly he did not because he created a porno book cover for an innocent teen romance. Then he tried to get more money from me to create a different design when he clearly stated that he would revise as many time as necessary. He harangued me daily until I removed my just review saying I was “ruining his life.” The second designer created a charming cover and was pleasant to work with.

          My chief problem is with uploading. I have a Mac, One day, I tried to hire a Kindle formatter for my novella; it wouldn’t upload. After two tries, I cancelled and the seller described me as having to “go to mental hospital.” This formatter should be fired from Fiverr.

          Overall, the sellers are generous and talented. Clear communication is the key for quality service, which is hard if there is a language barrier, and the seller has misrepresented his ability to speak English.

          I would like Fiverr to add an optional tip gig after a product is received. I would’ve liked to have been able to tip Fiverrs whose work was exceptional.

          • http://keepcalmandtravel.com Clelia Mattana

            Hi,

            I was looking for a designer to create a simple logo. I Chose one based on the reviews (my bad I didn’t check out this article first), and I had to pay in advance (25$ as I wanted 3 logo concepts). I sent my requirement to the seller but he still haven’t replied.

            Just in case he doesn’t reply, I know I can cancel the order but what about the money? is that true that I can use them to get another gig?
            If so, can anyone mention a name (here or privately) for a good logo designer? I don’t want anything too complicated, just a professional looking logo.

            Thanks

          • Katie

            I used this logo designer http://www.fiverr.com/vcards/design-your-everlasting-logo-in-retro-vintage-style I paid $10 to get it quicker and was very pleased its a simple vintage professional looking logo.

  • sonniewithachanceofmeatballs

    Great article. Truth is, fiverr’s not such a bad market place.

    It just has too many idiot buyers who:

    1. just can’t follow instructions (i’ve mentioned in my gigs that I don’t do academic content and book reviews because i’m such a slow reader, and yet I still get requests for book reviews)

    2. think I’m from planet Krypton. You really think I could write 15 500 word articles in 1 day? seriously?

    Cancel their order and my ratings plummet. It came to the point that none of that matters to me already, but then again, my ratings is what’s keeping the orders coming.

  • Mike Kennedy

    I have had good luck and bad with buying services on Fiverr. One person never completed the gig, but pressured me to put positive feedback up within his timeline. Had an app made for $45 that went nowhere, but I can see that as being my fault for the concept(although the app was seen as a virus on some friends phones). Got a nice logo made for $5. Tried some different $5 market gimmicks, but most of them I could even tell if they worked. Did not see any results from having these backlinks produced. My focus was on promoting either my Youtube Channel or my facebook page that promotes my youtube page. Paying facebook, while expensive compared to fiverr seem to have better results for my Facebook page. Nothing beat just one of my videos becoming popular for no apparent reason that I have failed to duplicate.

  • Quaisha A. Thornton

    I am a current Fiverr Seller and Buyer for more than 8 months. This is a good article but I had to point out the paragraph about cancellation ratios. There are numerous reasons why there are cancellations for a gig. The way you talked about it, it made it seem like its because of the Seller’s work that there are cancellations even in the slighest. This is not the case. I had to revise one of my gig’s information several times due to buyers stupidity and/or they cannot read nor follow proper instructions. Several occassions, they flat out order the gig the gig that states it doesn’t do the very thing they request. So as a business person, I cannot do my job based on stupidity, missinformation, and flat out ignorance. It doesn’t help anybody. So the cancel request is a good option. :-)

    • http://Fiverr.com/Inkdfemmefatale Cassandra Martin

      I totally agree! I have had to use cancellations due to incomplete information and very poor communication. Sometimes the buyer will submit orders and never write anything after that forcing cancellation

      • http://cutiedddgamer.com/ Quaisha A.Thornton

        That has happened to me or after they submit information, I never hear from them again. Not even a thank you whatsoever!

  • Entrepreneur

    I’m upset that Fiverr took away the cancellation ratio from seller’s profiles. When I asked why, Fiverr ignored me just like they always do when they don’t want to answer a question that is very important.

    I WANT to see how many problems a seller has with their buyers, that’s a determining factor for me if I should trust them.

    I get that some buyers are idiots, but so are many sellers who NOW cancel any order I place if they don’t like something.

    Clearly Fiverr it making it MUCH easier for sellers to waste my time & cause me stress.

    I’ve also noticed that the quality of sellers has decreased a lot since I first became a buyer. Now many of the sellers think they are gawd’s gift to the Universe & they control all the shots. It’s also clear that if you can just get any negative review removed, then WHAT’S THE POINT in the system being fair? IT’S NOT!

    I never abuse anyone, if a seller isn’t clear in what they offer, that’s their issue, not mine. That’s why good communication & respect is paramount.

    But this is a Fiverr issue, not a seller one.

    Oh & they ALSO removed how many negative reviews a seller has. Clearly they don’t want buyer’s to know the truth about sellers, they ONLY care about making money.

    • Matt Gould

      When you post as an anonymous entrepreneur, you kind of create, the same problem on your review that you are upset with them over…Just saying.

    • Shiu

      Making it easier to sellers? REALLY? It’s a damn inferno being a seller there, Fiverr is clearly buyer friendly, not seller friendly. Buyers don’t even have a profile page with “stars”, a seller just can’t nudge a contract, once it came your way you MUST finished and guess what? If a buyer ask for something you never offer in your gig, even if you ask mutual cancellation it affects hardly the seller. Oh and if you are new there say goodbye to your level 1 upgrade in the near future.
      I joined Fiverr a month ago only to do little commissions while resting from my big projects and sadly I’m already planning to leave, it has stress the way out of me. While the web has Amazing buyers, people it’s absolutly friendly and the forum communit help a lot, the company takes $1 per every sale, so freelancers get only $4… Not only that, if you commit any mistake (as simply linking a portfolio) you get hardly punished, not able to level up, they remove any tag from your gigs and any extra perks you may have. I have read of people being level 2 and TRS who lose all their levels for a damn link that was not allowed, is that even fair???? We are speaking of a $5 USD website, not even big and REAL freelancer webs has that silly rules :/
      People can’t just expect to have the world for $4,it’s for fun or little things that needs to be done quick. You can’t have an outstanding project done there.
      Fiverr it’s a great place for fresh ideas, friendly community, friendly buyers. Period. The problem with fiverr it’s fiverr.

      • http://cpugrade.com/ Dylan

        Of course it would be biased towards buyers. Buyers are where Fiverr gets its income. It takes 20% of whatever you make on each order.

      • Nyree

        Oh, you don’t get $4, you only get $3.92 when you withdraw your funds which take 14 freakin’ days to be available. Fiverr is a waste of time.

  • http://www.fiverr1.com/ Hanna P

    Thanks a lot it is always nice with some vice words.

    Fiverr or http://www.Fiverr1.com are a mix of everything there are a lot of cheat and blackhat mixed with some god Gigs and not so god Gigs. What is good ?, for is it a lot of cheap services i can use for something, help to programming, funny videos, …. and the bad works are for me all the fake and chaet and blackhat and some low Q work.

    I never buying 10000 backlinks, i never buying 10000 followers and so on i only use the sites funny and usefull things i belive are good works, i don’t be poor to waist 5$ but also i don’t like to spend 40$ for some crap.

    I love sites with Gigs special fiverr1 becourse it is more easy to sell there, i have 5 Gigs but i can not survive for the money i get but i make about 20 – 80$ every week.

  • Shay

    I am not happy with fiverr. I had trouble sending a music link and when I finally sent it, the seller would not respond to say whether he could open it. I tried support twice with two different people who were unable to get in touch with seller and now have to cancel order. A waste of my time. Shailah Edmonds

  • http://www.testlifeinuk.com/ John Lau

    Had used it for a few times now but NOT a single time I can get a satisfied service. For most SEO services on Fiverr don’t even think about trying! That’s my experience…

  • ElroyFlintstone

    I tried Fiverr on the advice of a friend, and bought a bunch of services saying they could get my YouTube views up. It worked. Then today I got a notice that two of my YouTube vids were removed due to violations re: machines creating fake views. So not only did I lose the artificial views, i lost the legitimate ones, which in some cases were around 400. For an indie musician like me, this is a fucking disaster, and I will never use Fiverr again.

    • http://cpugrade.com/ Dylan

      And this is why you don’t buy fake views. Do it the legitimate way and gain your views like everyone else (that isn’t a money grabbing whore like Shane Dawson, etc).

      People like you are the reason why YouTube content is sinking below a good standard.

  • riste
  • http://www.oxvodesign.com/ Joseph Feliciano

    I’ve just recently finished a 22 day experiment using Fiverr as a platform for designers. I wrote about my results, profits, and experience here :

    https://medium.com/@createbuildwin/22-days-as-a-designer-on-fiverr-experiment-cash-cow-or-design-rape-dc985892a72b

  • fxpro

    I am one of the seller on that website that focus on day trading and proprietary trading. they have nice services for those who looking for start a business.

  • mindwarriorrk