Review: Why Fiverr is awful+ my bad experience as freelancer
About one and a half year ago I joined Fiverr providing cheap services, mainly writing restaurant reviews for websites that provide them. I stumbled upon the platform with hopes that these “gigs” can enrich my experience and portfolio. After considerable time, my efforts fall short of my goals. This coupled with the disappointment with my experience had made me telling my acquaintances to think twice about joining.
This article shares my bad experience as freelance editor on Fiverr, and I hope it shines some light on Fiverr’s not-very-well-thought-out mechanisms.
Note: if you are new to Fiverr, it is a platform for lean entrepreneurs and freelancers to seek extra income, and consumers who intend to save up on costs. Their services span to almost every category one can imagine, but the most popular ones are related to design, voice-overs, video editing etc.
1) Denied for no reason
My grudge with Fiverr begins when they have deleted my gig, without any forms of notice. According to the two emails they sent me (written in a quite unreasonable tone), I am banned for writing paid-for reviews and infringing intellectual property rights. I have been providing genuine reviews for a foreign foodie website, based on the restaurants I have been to on personal occasions, and the content is purely on my experience. I took every picture I posted on their website, and never copied from an external source. Evidently, Fiverr has never looked into the matter appropriately before denying a gig.
2) Automatic replies and lack of intention to help
Their reply was anything but sincere. They sounded as if they have copied and pasted the words for every seller that complained. Fiverr has yet to convince me that they have conducted a "thorough review"- I would love to know the items their integrity team looks at before approving/ denying a gig, and more importantly, a specific explanation to why my gig is rejected for "mistakes" I never committed.
3) Poor evaluation systems
I don't see the logic of removing badges from less-active sellers: not everyone is making a living relying totally on Fiverr, a lot of users see Fiverr as an extra source of income. Instead of sending harsh emails and penalizing "under performing" users, Fiverr would better off improving its loyalty schemes and user experience.
4) Fees incurred in almost every transaction done on Fiverr
Fiverr is notorious for charging sellers a staggering 20% commission based on the sales proceeds. I would not like to raise the debate on whether subscription or commission model works better for Fiverr; but all I know, is taking 20% off from proceeds could discourage sellers and leave them no choice but to raise their prices. Comparing with other sites, 20% is a pretty big fee.
Fiverr also encourages their users to both buy and sell on their platform; each user has a wallet that documents earnings and expenditure. In case customers buy services with their own money instead of that accumulated in their accounts in Fiverr, $1 is charged per transaction. Also, a fee is charged whenever money is withdrawn to Paypal or bank accounts. As you could see there are limited ways to get paid.
With that being said, many find Fiverr useful as it is indeed a large (and friendly) community of people doing things they love. The website is easy to navigate and use, and the communication tool is fair. Fiverr could be a great stepping stone on the path to transitioning from working nine-to-five to becoming your own boss, but for me, its poor customer service is a huge put-off that made me stop using Fiverr for the time being.
Some awesome links for your reference:
Comment below if you want to share your stories of freelancing!