Wondering why Fiverr is bad for sellers? Maybe you recently came across an article by a six-figure freelance writer advising you to stay away from freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and content mills.
While at first, they may appear just dismissive, they do have a point.
Fiverr isn't a great place for freelancing for a number of reasons, but first, if you are new to this platform:
What Is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a popular online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. It’s been around since 2010, and it’s become one of the most popular places to sell freelance services online.
On Fiverr, you can sell all sorts of services, including:
- Content writing,
- Graphic design,
- Voice-over work,
- Copywriting services,
- Relationship advice, and more.
Pricing starts from just $5 a gig, but you do have the freedom to choose your own rates and delivery periods.
Fiverr also offers a “Fiverr Pro” program for high-end sellers who want to offer more premium services. You do need to be vetted to join this program. Pro sellers typically charge upwards of 5x, 10x, or even 20x what regular sellers are charging, and still land buyers.
The Biggest problems with Fiverr for sellers
Now, let’s take a look at the reasons why Fiverr is bad for you as a seller:
1) Huge Fiverr fees
The first problem with Fiverr is the fees. Fiverr takes a 20% cut from every order, meaning sellers only get 80% of the money they make. This can add up quickly, especially if you’re selling a lot of services.
To put this in context, if you offer a service charging $1000, you only make $800, as Fiverr takes their $200. That’s a lot
Fiverr also bills buyers a “service fee” for every order. This fee never gets to the seller.
2) Lack of Fiverr seller protection
Fiverr does not offer much protection for sellers, which means they can be taken advantage of by buyers.
For example, buyers on Fiverr, can reject a delivered order and even go ahead to request order cancellation at any time and get a full refund, leaving you, the seller, with no money.
The number of canceled orders also affects your rankings and levels on the platform, which means you are being punished for losing money.
3) High competition for new sellers
Fiverr has nearly 2 million freelancers, all of them struggling to earn just enough to make a living. This explains why Fiverr continues to thrive despite having no regard for the sellers, its workers essentially.
With huge competition, it can be difficult to land clients as a new seller on the platform. While strategies such as underpricing do work, you only get low-quality clients who take advantage of you without fair remuneration.
4) Low prices for services
Fiverr prioritizes affordability over quality and professionalism, which can lead to poor output from sellers. This means you’d be competing with other sellers who are offering low-quality services at a lower price point.
Also, since Fiverr takes a 20% fee from each seller's revenue, including tips, your profits are essentially low per order.
It’s a platform with some of the highest service fees. Here are what other platforms are charging:
- Upwork: 20% for your first $500 earnings, then 10% for your first $10,000, and then it’s just 5%
- People Per Hour: 20% for first £250, 7.5% for first £5000 earnings, and just 3.5%
Regardless of how much you’ve earned on the platform, Fiverr doesn’t badge on its whopping 20% fee.
5) Fiverr seller rating system
Fiverr uses a rating system to measure your work and reputation as a seller on the platform. It's based on customer reviews. But it's unreliable. Fake or biased reviews can lead to unfair penalties.
It also discourages taking on challenging projects as one bad review from a difficult buyer can hurt your reputation. This system can also make it hard for new sellers to break into the market.
Fiverr's algorithm that calculates gigs rankings is not transparent. So, you can't know how it works.
6) Lack of high-paying clients (Buyers)
The sad truth is, your dream client isn’t on Fiverr. They are everywhere but Fiverr. Buyers on Fiverr come looking for quick work for low budgets. Upwork is a better alternative.
To get high-quality clients, consider manual cold outreach. It does take time, but with consistency and a great portfolio of work, you should be able to land a few clients within a few months who pay you well…
While Fiverr can be a quick way to make some extra money, it can also be draining as you need to do lots of orders. Imagine having to fulfill 20-plus orders daily just to make $100!
8) Difficult to build a brand
It’s not possible to build a profitable independent brand using Fiverr, as it’s designed for quick and easy transactions.
When you sell your services on Fiverr, you're essentially becoming a Fiverr brand rather than an independent one.
Communication between buyers and sellers is limited to the platform's messaging system, making it difficult to establish a trusting relationship outside Fiverr.
9) Limited opportunities for growth
Fiverr is primarily a platform for one-off transactions, which can make it difficult for sellers to grow their businesses and develop long-term relationships with clients.
Repeat purchases aren’t as high on this platform as on Upwork for instance, where you could be working with a client for a few years before the project ends.
10) Shallow Algorithms
Fiverr's algorithm for monitoring performance is shallow and mainly focuses on completing work quickly, which leads to some sellers cutting corners and submitting work of subpar quality.
Since these algorithms don't take into account the true value of a seller's work, it becomes difficult for high-quality sellers to get noticed without lots of 5-star reviews.
To compete, you’d be forced to do the same, for lower prices.
How to please Fiverr
If you want to be successful on Fiverr, there are a few things you can do to please Fiverr.
First, make sure you provide high-quality services and customer service. This will help you get good reviews from buyers, which will help you stand out from other sellers.
Second, be active on Fiverr. Respond to messages quickly, deliver orders on time, and stay active on the platform. This will help you build a good reputation, which will make it easier for buyers to find and hire you.
Finally, consider offering more premium services. Fiverr Pro is a great way to stand out from other sellers and attract high-paying clients.
Fiverr may not be the best platform for sellers who are looking for more control over their work, higher prices, and the ability to build a strong personal brand. However, it can be a good option for those who are just starting out to make extra cash fast.