What kind of question am I asking? Especially since I raved about Fiverr a year ago. Heck, I even gave out a free tutorial on how to set up an account on Fiverr. I was doing so well on Fiverr for a long time. Why would I even ask if it is such a great freelancing platform considering that? Has something changed?
Before I go into those details, I will highlight the advantages of Fiverr. The advantages that the platform has over others that is. One huge pro is the fact that you do not need to bid when it comes to Fiverr. Potential buyers find you based on the keywords they type in which would be tied to the services that you are offering. If they like what they see in your gig, then they contact you. More often than not, they go ahead and make the purchase. So they buy your gig.
If you end up with a considerable amount of good reviews, then you develop a good and solid reputation on Fiverr. That means you can increase your prices, which is the other great thing about Fiverr. You can set your own prices. This platform sounds wonderful, right? Well, you know the term that things are not what they seem.
What Is The Problem With Fiverr?
Don’t let the advantages of Fiverr fool you into thinking it is the best platform around. Because, Fiverr has many flaws. Too many flaws which means yes, the cons outweigh the pros. I did not start running into problems with Fiverr until this spring.
Before that, however, they always took a 20 percent chunk out of your earnings. I never complained about that in the past because I figured they needed that cut to maintain their platform and to do marketing on your behalf. However, when they start taking 20 percent out of your tips, the tips you earned from exceptionally happy buyers, that is a problem.
What is more of a problem is that Fiverr seems to have a hidden agenda. It is not based only on my suspicions. It is based on reading the bad experiences that others had on the platform that confirmed my suspicions. Fiverr shows preferential treatment. And they show preferential treatment over sellers that refer buyers to them. They give you a referral link and they expect you to hustle up buyers for them! Because if you don’t, they penalize you in sneaky ways.
Those ways show in their algorithm. See, with Fiverr, you are promoted to three levels after you join which provides you with different advantages. After finishing up a milestone, you are promoted to Level 1 from New Seller. After finishing up another milestone, you are promoted to Level 2 from Level 1. And finally, if you accomplish really large milestones, you are promoted to Top Seller from Level 2.
Fiverr does not seem to have an issue when it comes to promoting sellers from Level 1 to Level 2. However, they will not easily promote you to Top Seller status from Level 2 even if you have earned it. I know this because I experienced this first hand. I read of others who experienced the same thing. That is when the algorithm becomes questionable. And the problem is you have to have a 90 percent completion rate over a 2-month period. That means you cannot cancel orders that bring your completion rate under 90 percent.
Unfortunately, the odd time buyers who don’t read your gig description carefully will go ahead and buy your gig and expect you to do the work that you state on your gig that you cannot do. I always have had to cancel when that happened and it didn’t really happen too often. Before nearly entering Top Seller status, I was penalized even harder for canceling orders. And that seemed strange since I wasn’t penalized too badly in the past for doing that.
One cancellation that I had in May, for this reason, brought me down to Level 1, after nearing the Top Seller Status. I definitely did not deserve that. I was one of Fiverr’s very reputable sellers. Over 98% of my reviews were 5-star reviews. Sure there was the few unhappy buyers here and there but I never had a 1-star review. In fact, a few negative reviews are not such a bad thing to showcase, especially since you can refute them out in the open. And a few negative reviews show that you are legitimate.
I don’t know about you but I get suspicious if I see a business have all perfect reviews. That seems fishy. Anyway, my point is, I had a solid and reputable profile on Fiverr until they decided to mess with it. And again, based on what I read from others who experienced the same thing, Fiverr likely messed with my profile because I did not go out of my way to refer buyers to them.
From what I heard as well, Fiverr likely does this to experienced sellers is to weed them out and to give new sellers a chance to make it big. The competition is fierce and they want to control it. They also want new sellers because they could be the ones to potentially refer new buyers to Fiverr. If that is true, then this is so dirty. Very dirty.
From what I understand, any buyer that buys your gigs are not your clients. They are Fiverr’s clients. This is why it is against their TOS to work with them off of Fiverr. But what happens when they contact you via social media? If they catch you, they will disable your account even if you have funds pending. And it takes 2 weeks for your funds to come through, unless you are a Top Seller. Top Sellers only have to wait 1 week.
Fortunately that did not happen to me. And I do not regret selling gigs on Fiverr. I did make some nice money, and I did end up with some great clients 🙂 I also gained experience. However, if you do decide to sell on Fiverr to make some money and to gain freelancing experience, go for it. Just be aware of what you are up against. That is my advice to you.