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