There is no doubt that Fiverr is one of the most famous freelancing websites. It’s known by most freelancers and buyers all around the world. Probably you also have an account on Fiverr or you’re thinking to create one. Whatever the case, I would like to reveal some information and hidden secrets that I learned from my practical experience.
You can think of this post as a “Fiverr Review” based on 5 years of real experience and not in a cookie-cutter style.
I had a chance to work on their platform for a couple of years (since 2017). However, I don’t work on Fiverr anymore, nor do I want to. But I still have my profile though.
Not to mention, I worked both as a seller & buyer on Fiverr. So I had the chance to see both sides.
Please note: I did not write this review based on my anxious or anxiety or failure. Literally, I personally did great on Fiverr and earned a lot (see screenshot below). And I still have my profile on Fiverr as proof. However, I have a totally different reason for being successful on Fiverr. So this “Fiverr Review” will be honest and unbiased.
Why Fiverr is bad for freelancing?
Fiverr is one of the worst freelance websites both for freelancers and buyers. During the last five years, I came across many shoddy experiences and saw the struggles of others.
Every day many people join their platform with big hope and quit with frustrations at the end. Their forum itself is one of many proofs of this statement.
However, Fiverr is a million-dollar company and I am not their competitor. It does not matter to me if they double their revenue in the next year or quit. Sharing my experience has only one simple intention which is to provide accurate data so you can build your freelance career in the right direction.
Lowest pricing model on Fiverr
Fiverr is one of the cheapest freelancing websites where you can expect anything for just $5. If you don’t know its name come from the “5” (five).
Not only that, the Fiverr freelancers were bound to sell everything for five-dollar until 2013. Though they lifted the starting price and now the freelancers can increase their base price among three packages. But their marketplace still encourages & influences to have a 5-dollar price (indirectly).
It’s a totally different and awkward platform that does not honor the global market price or the actual price of a specific service.
As a result, most low-budget customers come to buy on Fiverr. Another big problem is that these low-budget buyers underestimate everyone. No matter how experienced you are or the dignity you deserve. They will chase you for being cheap and if you do not agree with their price, they will not hesitate to insult you. See the screenshot that shows one of many conversations with a low-budget client.
One single client does not represent overall buyers on Fiverr but I have seen these types of buyers a lot. They generally become astonished after getting a quote and try to underestimate & insult the freelancers. They don’t even try to understand the difference between quantity & quality.
So if you’re a freelancer and thinking to start your career with full-time freelancing, I will not suggest Fiverr as a valid option.
Fiverr’s priority on quantity over quality
Fiverr shows those gigs on the top of search results that have many orders in the queue. That means if a gig has 7/30 existing orders, Fiverr will push those gigs to the top.
As a result, bad freelancers take fake orders from their friends & families. This is just for the sake of manipulating the Fiverr algorithm. That means anyone who has the ability to invest money to manipulate the system will win the game.
Also, Fiverr will send you more prospects if you deliver lots of orders. To comply with this strategy, many writers write 20/30 articles every day, designers produce 50/70 logos per day, and so on and so forth.
Before started building my own team, I hired a lot of writers on Fiverr. The above screenshot shows my conversation with an article writer on Fiverr.
I hired the guy to write 2 articles and that’s why I ordered twice. Do you see in his message that he already has 90+ orders?
That means he have to write 90 articles in a single day because his gig was set to 24 hours delivery.
Can you imagine how in the world it’s possible to write 90 articles within a day? If so what would be the quality?
I don’t know about you but in my personal experience, those are garbage.
But this is how Fiverr works and this is how they make money. The more garbage you can deliver the more order you will receive.
So if you need to hire a freelancer then it’s time to think if you want just quantity or if you need quality. I hope it will help you to make a decision as a buyer.
Insecure freelance career on Fiverr
The freelance career on Fiverr is totally insecure & vulnerable. The freelancers try to do anything and everything to get orders. Only a few of them are able to make a good amount of money. But their account is still insecure.
Because Fiverr can ban or remove freelancers’ accounts for any reason and even without any reason or system bug.
I saw a lot of freelancers on their forum who had been working for more than 5+ years and many of them had well ranking on Fiverr. But their account was banned, removed, or blocked.
Some of the freelancers said that they don’t even know the reason. A few of them have received email confirmation regarding the ban but they claimed that it’s not the true reason described in the email.
See the screenshot below that shows a top-rated Fiverr freelancer who was banned from Fiverr after 8 years of his freelancing career and without a valid reason (according to his explanation).
You can also read the whole conversation & history on the Fiverr forum. Before I conclude this topic, I would like to quote the last few sentences:
Your account is not as a valuable business as you think! It’s not a business at all…It’s just one mouse click from a fresh graduate can make you loss 8 years of work.nine_tails_fox
So if you’re a freelancer who is trying hard to build your career, think wisely if you’re not wasting valuable time, effort & reputation in your life with Fiverr.
Related: Why you should not depend on freelance marketplaces.
Fiverr is destroying the entrepreneurs
Fiverr (indirectly) allows people to sell 3rd party tools, software, themes, plugins, and other digital assets. For example, there are lots of freelancers on Fiverr who sell WordPress themes, plugins, and SEO tools but it’s totally illegal to sell those items. Because they are not the owner of those products, nor they are allowed to do it.
On the other hand, a lot of bad buyers are buying those digital products from Fiverr instead of going to the original distributor.
As a result, entrepreneurs & tech industries are losing their money every day. Fiverr could prevent those illegal sales but they don’t stop them.
Fiverr would take immediate action when it comes to their loss. For example, if a freelancer transacts outside of their platform, then Fiverr will definitely take the step toward it. But Fiverr ignores those illegal sales until they transact inside the platform. After all, Fiverr also makes money from those illegal sales.
The above screenshot is just an example but there are hundreds of them. Some of you may think that it’s just the installation of the themes & plugins. But if you open the gigs and see the detail, it will become clear to you. See the below screenshot as an example of a gig description:
Otherwise, the titles on the screenshot also indicate the license. But no one is allowed to resale or disbursement those digital products. Also, some of them are nulled themes & plugins.
So Fiverr is a big threat to the entrepreneurs and tech industry. If you’re a solid person, never buy those illegal products/services on Fiverr.
Bad customer support on Fiverr
Fiverr customer support is one of the worst places that don’t like anyone to reach out to them. Even if you contact customer support, they generally give copy-paste template answers.
In my personal experience, I contacted them several times and I found most of their answers are the same line by line. These are generally stock answers and they just copy & paste. See the screenshot below as proof.
After I meet all the requirements of being top-rated, they have not promoted me because it was a manual process. After a couple of months, I thought it was better to contact them. Maybe they did not read my question and answered me just by seeing the title/subject of the ticket.
In the above screenshot, you see that I contacted them 4 times within a 6 month period. I wrote different subject lines each time and asked questions differently. But I received the exact same answers that were copy-pasted from their template.
Seems they also have not updated their template in a long period of time, isn’t?
However, it’s not about my story. It’s all about the environment on Fiverr. If you go to their forum, you’ll see how much upset their sellers are! Let me help you to find a few of the forum posts:
- Fiverr’s TERRIBLE, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Customer Service
- Worst customer service do not use ever
- Very bad experience with Fiverr customer support
- Worst customer service
I could show you a couple more hundred bad experiences. However, you got the idea, aren’t you?
Fraudulent activities on Fiverr
Fiverr is a piece of cake to fraud buyers. In many cases, these frauds get their job done for free and the freelancers always become the victims.
Generally, the frauds initiate a refund request intentionally and always win the game. For example, at the beginning stage on Fiverr, I wrote some code and once I delivered the order, the buyer downloaded the code and initiated a refund.
However, the buyer was very happy during the development process and confirmed to me that he got everything as expected. He asked me to send the file to him and as soon I sent it, he downloaded it and asked for a refund. Actually, this was on his mind from the very beginning that I have not understood. See the screenshot below that will make everything clear to you.
On the above screenshot, you saw that I was hired to fix a theme (code) and I rewrite the theme & fixed everything. Then the buyer confirmed with me and told me to send the file. But as soon as I sent it, he opened a dispute and asked for a refund, and complained that I removed important files. It was a total lie. Also, the buyers are always able to download the code from their order page (delivery).
What can you do against these fraudulent?
This type of case happened to me several times. Also, these happened with many other freelancers on Fiverr I believe.
But as a freelancer, you do not have anything to do if the buyer initiates a refund. Fiverr itself happily declares that it will not give you the money until the buyer accepts the work. No matter if you completed the whole task successfully or as per the agreement. The buyers are always king on Fiverr. And most frauds take this advantage & misuse this opportunity. If a buyer asks for a refund, you have nothing to do except for leaving it in God’s hand.
However, Fiverr is still in a safe situation, and its profit is still there. Because they will not send the refunded amount to the buyer’s bank account & will keep it in the Fiverr balance. That means the buyer has to spend the money only on Fiverr in the future. So Fiverr can get their profit and use the money that was held on their balance.
Fiverr says that they made this system to protect sellers but in reality, this system only protects their company. The sellers are never protected and they are the victims.
Do you still think that Fiverr is a legit platform to do freelancing? I don’t know about you but I decided to leave their platform (though I still have the profile).
Fiverr is a barrier to startup businesses and individuals
Many of their promotional strategies & campaigns are trying to educate that people are wasting their money with existing freelancers & agencies who run their businesses outside Fiverr.
According to a document on Wikipedia, one of their advertisement was “You’re paying too much for design.”
Actually, Fiverr is trying to tell people are spending more money that is unnecessary. And they can provide the design service at a lower cost on their platform.
But in reality, they are making freelancers poor and serving below-average services.
If you do not agree with me on this topic, you can search on Youtube and see what people got after ordering on Fiverr. Let me help with one example that has been reviewed by Ahrefs and the link below contains their experience on Fiverr.
Fiverr is a rating & quantity-focused freelancing platform. Their main marketing strength & tool is the cheap pricing model. The more ratings & number of orders a freelancer has the better chance he/she gets. Freelancers have no security when it comes to disputes or refunds. They can ban any freelancers at any time and even without any valid reason. Their customer support is one of the worst & angry teams who doesn’t want the freelancers to contact them.
Therefore, a lot of freelancers are trying hard to land a job on their platform and many of them quit every day. Also, there are some freelancers who are able to make money on their platform that’s a nice thing to hear about. But there is no guarantee or consistency. Anything can happen to anyone at any time.
As I said at the beginning, this Fiverr review is not biased anyways. Though I posted some screenshots and references according to my personal experience. And these are required to prove the different circumstances and to elaborate on the overall environment on Fiverr. My main goal is to write an honest review and to help other people, especially freelancers. So they can take a wise decision and invest their time, money & energy where it matters.