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Why Fiverr Is The Worst Place To Start A Freelance Career

why-fiverr-is-bad-place-for-freelancers

I recommend many platforms for freelancers for finding work. But, Fiverr is not one of them. Want to know why?

Fiverr is a platform that demeans freelancers by forcing them to put cheap price tags on their skills and services.

If you’re freelancer who’s just starting out or planning to become one, avoid using Fiverr to offer your freelance services. Here’s why.

 

BONUS: Join my FREE email course to learn valuable tips, secrets, and expert advice on building a successful freelance career.

 

Make It $5, $25, $50, Or $100, Or Else!

Fiverr’s cheap pricing model targets cheap employers (or clients) who browse the site looking for the cheapest freelancers to get their job done at the lowest possible cost. Most of them don’t even care about the quality, they just want the job done for cheap.

But, ask yourself: Would you rather be known as the guy who designs logos for $5 or the guy who design logos for million-dollar startups?

Even if you managed to catch the attention of a good client, Fiverr limits your pricing to either $5, $25, $50, or $100. Sure you can also add extras or ask for multiple order placements to charge higher for your services, but each time a buyer places an order Fiverr takes 20% off of each order (plus PayPal processing fee). Is it really worth it?

This type of a fixed pricing model makes Fiverr a cheap marketplace for freelancers to not only sell their skills at cheap but also to bid adieu to their freelancing career. Because chances are, if you’re lucky, you’ll probably end up selling 50 or 100 gigs per month earning you around $250 to $500.

Why limit yourself when you have the potential to make $5000 a month, or maybe even more?

Fiverr Puts Quantity Over Quality

Do you know how much it costs to design a logo by a professional designer? It’s about $250 at minimum for a basic design or £500 in the UK.

Makes you wonder why graphic designers on Fiverr offers to design logos for just $5. And you won’t believe how many logo designs some freelancers on Fiverr deliver in one day. Some deliver 50 to 100 gigs per day.

How the hell do they design that many logos in one day when other designers take weeks and sometimes months to design a single logo? There’s a secret behind that too. I’ll get to it a minute.

But, even after working all day to deliver 50 gigs what do they get? Only $250. It’s what other designers make by designing one logo.

The difference is those professional designers can actually point out to their work and say “I designed that logo”.

Sites like Fiverr are designed to put an emphasis on quantity: The more gigs you deliver, the more you get paid. They don’t care how you deliver it, as long as the money keeps coming in.

There’s Too Much Competition And Scam

It’s the highest rated gigs on Fiverr that gets the most jobs. And there’s a neat trick that most service providers on the platform use to get more reviews and 5-star ratings for their new gigs: They buy reviews.

That’s right. They pay their friends to leave fake reviews for their gigs. After all, they can get their money back after placing those fake orders. It’s the secret that Fiverr service providers will never tell you.

And service providers, like logo designers and article writers, are mostly scammers as well.

Designers on Fiverr are obviously using templates and stock graphics for designing logos, which you can easily buy from a site like GraphicRiver or steal from Shutterstock for cheap. Writers on Fiverr have been caught more than once copy-pasting entire paragraphs from other articles on the web.

How else can you explain these individuals delivering 50 gigs per day?

Reading most of the posts on Fiverr forums and Warrior Forum is more than enough to get an idea of what’s really going on inside this platform.

Hello, Depression And Anxiety

A quick Google search will show you hundreds, maybe thousands, of Fiverr success stories about how some freelancers make 6-figure income by providing services through the platform.

For instance, there’s one story that describes a “kid” from Greece who makes a full-time income (around $2600 a month) using Fiverr. He gets over 200 orders that need to be delivered within just two days.

Can you imagine the amount of pressure all that work would put on you when you have to deliver over 200 logo designs in 2 days?

If it were me I would lose my mind. I ask for 2 days to deliver just one blog article. I’d probably die half way if I have to deliver 200 articles in 2 days.

Don’t Take My Word For It

I can go on and on explaining to you why Fiverr is bad, but it’s better to share what others have experienced in this marketplace.

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It’s not just the clients, but the freelancers on the platforms are also starting to realize the true side effects of Fiverr.

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fiverr-freelancer-review-2

Every category on Fiverr is filled with scams and low-quality services and gigs. After all, we can’t really blame those service providers. It’s what you can expect to get when you go there looking to buy services for $5.

I’m not trying to diss Fiverr as a horrible platform or humiliate the freelancers who are already using the platform.

I’m simply trying to show you that there are better ways to offer your services as a freelancer where you don’t have to limit your pricing to a fixed model, or work 20 hours a day like a slave, or give in to scam strategies, or pay the price with your health.

You can work 20 hours a day delivering 50 jobs on Fiverr and call it freelancing. But, can you call it a career?

Work smarter not harder and always choose quality over quantity. Follow those two simple rules and you’ll be well on your way to building a profitable career as a freelancer that will last a lifetime.

Did you find this article useful? Then you should check out my book Freelance Like A Pro. It includes 21 lessons and 5 secrets from my freelance career to help you supercharge your journey as a freelancer. Click here to learn more.

Roshan Perera
I’m Roshan Jerad Perera, a freelance writer/blogger and the founder at FreelancingHacks.com. My goal is to help other people get started in freelancing and guide them toward a successful career and financial freedom.
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18 Comments
  • Sara H May 26,2020 at 3:04 AM

    Excellent article. 100% my experience. I honestly would switch places with you if I could. I am a PhD in engineering woman out of Australia and am going to provide all documents re my experience freelancing on Fiverr so please, if you are a stake holder and interesting in investigating further, please feel free to contact me any time re this, would love to show all of my communications and emails and dealings to founders of Fiverr or investors. I have DOCUMENTED everything. So I opened a gig offering something I am very good. My gig was unique and I was getting attention from the get go. 5 star after 5 star, with NO ONE leaving me anything less than 5 star. After a month, I was promoted to level 1 seller, appearing at the very top. The quality of my gig, in terms of the image, the presentation was far superior to vast majority of people and I noticed that clients from western developed nations definitely were attracted to me compared to the 99% who were offering gigs out of developing economies. In 6 weeks, I was making money for myself and for Fiverr, UNTIL a psychotic client approached me. Everything about her was suspicious. Everything. She had multiple FAKE profiles with OBVIOUSLY fake reviews, I mean, so obvious a child could see them, like 6 consecutive 5 stars from someone with the same exact avatar and name and even description etc, have an image of that too. She was all sugar coating talk, all acting like she is my girlfriend & slowly doing her best coercing me into saying yes to everything she wanted. I wasn’t offering zoom meetings or video recordings, she told me she does it all the time and everyone does it, all acting upset and disappointed at me. I accepted at first and gave her a tentative date for a zoom. Then I realised, this is probably not allowed as I remember reading the terms and it was vague. So I contacted customer service like any decent ethical seller would. They were at first all helpful and cooperating, but they didn’t exactly make it easy for the zoom option and for $35 and the whole day I needed to work on her case, I realised it is not worth it. I tried to cancel her 3 times. Each time she refused. She also wasn’t around much, would only come on fiverr every 3 days. I ended up having MY FIRST LATE warning from the gig, went on panic mode, wasn’t sure what to do. So I made video recordings for her, took 3 hours and an ENTIRE SATURDAY trying to figure out how to upload and how to send to her due to size limit. She was NOT even responding. Fiverr staff tried to help me with the attachment issue. Anyhow, a whole Saturday went by, my family was so angry at me due to all sorts of mess that created, Fiverr staff, probably 4 or 5 were working non stop trying to help, was a TRUE CHOAS. From that day, the woman only returned 3 days later asking for her work. I was about to choke her, but I politely said, It has been delivered 2 days ago, please refer to your delivery page. She then returned 2 days after, and said something like a pure trap, trying to get me to admit that I didn’t give her the job with correct information. This time, she had a NEW fake profile. A NEW profile?!! How is that even possible?! Anyhow, I had to go through 100s of messages I had received in the 2 weeks prior when she was sugar coating me and priming me for a disaster and find her exact request. Sent those all in documents. She disappeared. Not a Thank you. NO rating. NOTHING. I told Fiverr one thing which I think alerted them to start punishing me as the ‘naughty seller who refused to be SLAVE”. I politely told Fiverr if this client gets to review me anything less than 5 star, including a 4 star review, given how much I went out of my way for my lowest price on my gigs and how much I accommodated her and how many days I lost to her for her $35 and extremely deva abusive behaviour, I will leave Fiverr for good. EXACTLY from that moment, Fiverr, without telling me, removed me from search pages. After a week of noticing this and not complaining, assuming it’s a mistake or glitch, I opened a new ticket, asking them to tell me why. Then they got back to me and said it’s all fixed. I pressed more and asked them why that had happened and also why my statistics and analytics is all gone and I only get error messages. They ignored me and ghosted me and then a day later, I found out that my gig was not there again among hundreds of inferior gigs with much less ratings. I opened another ticket. This time, they got back to me and said, sorry, your gig is under REVIEW due to some issues. Then a day after, they told me I must fix ‘misleading’ information. There was NO SUCH A THING, NONE whatsoever. My 5 star gig that had been so popular and so ‘perfect’ went under some BOGUS review all of a sudden, only because they couldn’t apologise to me or to tell me honestly that they f&&&ed up. I deleted 90% of my bio and made it quite robotic and impersonal just to satisfy them. It is still under review. I know they are doing their best for me to leave. I was investigating and found out that close to 90% of Fiverr’s employees are from 3 nations in South Asia. And my gig was in direct competition to people from the exact region, I’d say 90% of those offering what I was were from those exact nations. I am beginning to think Fiverr has turned into a Nigerian style SCAM which is rife with favouritism and discrimination against western high quality English speaking highly educated sellers and the founders/upper management of Fiverr are either incompetent or they are CLUELESS about what’s going on. That woman was probably a paid SET UP just to get me destroyed & Fiverr’s lower staff are either in it with their cousins or friends who were threatened by my presence or they just look the other way. What a sham!

    • Roshan Perera May 31,2020 at 2:45 PM

      Hi Sara, Thanks for sharing your story in such detail. Could you send me an email using the contact form. We could share this as a story to possibly help other freelancers from falling victim to such circumstances.

  • Etienne Apr 21,2020 at 2:42 PM

    It’s so true, I got exploited so bad by doing cheap video editing in which one I was spending hours and days to hope to make a career growing up, and now my account is gonna maybe get banned cause I refunded a customer through paypal because he took the wrong order, and if we cancel an order we get bad statistics.
    Fiverr takes money, doesn’t care of sellers, some pro sellers got back for nothing and still didn’t get money pending clearence.
    It’s a pure scam, they just shit on their sellers, even pro sellers get 0 support from them… I feel so bad.
    Do you know a legit freelancer website for a studient as me with medium video editing skills but able to make some quality editing ?

  • Zarrar Khan Feb 12,2020 at 7:04 PM

    Thnaks for your help. I was confused about whether I should start freelancing on Fiverr or not and you helped me alot in making my decision

  • Ben michael Nov 12,2019 at 7:03 AM

    Beautiful observation to say and well directed article pointed on the flaws of fiverr..but still learning a skills like writing or graphics designing alone will be difficult to grasp without guides from a professional..l have been trying to learn from YouTube but most of the graphics tutors, ain’t straight forward. Shortcut maneuver confused me alot..l struggle to understand their trainings on PSD and Corel draw.. I love graphics designing.. Any help on way forward @roshan perera

    • Roshan Perera Nov 12,2019 at 5:27 PM

      Hi Ben, thanks for your kind compliment. I agree, learning from YouTube videos is tough. Mostly because they give directionless advice. You need to take a course that takes you through the process step by step. Drop me an email and I’ll give you a few suggestions.

  • Peter Parker Oct 30,2019 at 2:06 PM

    Well, anything that works for anyone, is best and awesome for that person. But my experience with them wasn’t so great. End up being lose all ranking. If you ask me which marketplace to choose from, i would recommend ZvMarket

  • Don Aug 14,2019 at 3:06 AM

    Any suggestions where one can work on projects to build a portfolio and still make a few dollars?

  • Tom Crown Jul 4,2019 at 11:07 PM

    I’ve worked in radio and TV for years: 1975-1993 as news film editor, radio announcer, producer and talk show host. I set up a recording studio in my apartment and put together some demos. I just signed up with Fiver and the only response is from a prospective client who wants me to set up a Skype account so he can talk to me about a potential gig. I thought everything is supposed to go through Fiver. Is this a scam?

  • Usman Jan 5,2019 at 6:15 PM

    If buyer ask for extra work and call it revision then
    Fiverr’s Policy Goes Like:
    Customer is always right.
    Seller can go to hell

  • Ashish Jat Dec 28,2018 at 8:44 PM

    It’s actually very easy saying that fiverr favours quantity over quality but ask your own self how many business or people are in this world really ready to spend $300 on a logo. Truth is that only big enterprises cares about quality work other SMEs are only there to get work done in cheapest way possible.

    Aside from that there is hell of competion in the world. Many of the people on fiverr are ready to develop website for just $5.

  • Joey Nov 19,2018 at 3:14 PM

    101% Correct. Fiverr has been hell for me. I had to design 40 T-shirts for $100 in 3 days. This Account was eventually suspended for assisting a buy to buy bitcoins, which is not listed in their Terms of Service. Horrible site

  • Ushmil Oct 27,2018 at 9:13 PM

    Where should I begin then? Can you please suggest better platforms where one can try finding one’s luck in creative writing?

  • Ebby Sep 19,2018 at 9:12 PM

    Fiverr is really the worst Freelancing site ever.
    Their policies are only made to facilitate Buyers.
    Buyers will blackmail you, ask for additional work, and whatever. But you cant refuse to help, if you refused, they will ask Fiverr Customer Support and there you go under the heavy load of Punishments.
    Degraded Gigs, degraded accountl, sudden disappearance of new orders and eventually suspended account.
    People are now avoiding Fiverr, as its a Stress.

  • Ritika Mourya Sep 3,2017 at 12:00 PM

    Very helpful article, I recently completed my graduation and thinking to start my career as a freelancer. I already created my profile at Fiverr, Freelance & Upwork but still not getting any work offer.
    Thanks for guiding new freelancers like me.

    • Roshan Perera Sep 3,2017 at 5:23 PM

      It’s best to avoid major freelancing sites until you develop a portfolio of work.

      Good luck! 🙂

  • Paulomee Deb Dec 11,2016 at 9:16 PM

    Where was this gold-mine of a website before? The excellent flow of words makes each of your article deliciously informative. Just one thing that is annoying me so much that I can’t help but say – as an editor, I found certain proofreading errors to be quite distracting. Then again, I loved the articles and can’t stop reading.

    • Roshan Perera Dec 14,2016 at 11:48 AM

      Thanks, Paulomee. I’ll keep an eye out for any errors in the future. 🙂

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