In short, no.
We’re getting a lot of repeated themes and posts lately… These particular posts often strike me as, reactionary, upon only realizing the cut they take after a few sales. Although I am not suggesting this is what happened in your case.
I’ve had over a decade of experience working as a freelancer (on and off over the last 20 years.) I was working freelance long before Fiverr or any of these sites. And they are a god-send in many ways.
In the service industry (and especially with very large clients) They can take 30-60 days to pay on an invoice (at least in my country and in my personal and extended experience), and with that you may have to chase them. With Fiverr you know you’re paid already, and just have to wait, what is in fact a very reasonable period. I’ve even had clients who didn’t pay in full or I had to chase for several months, it can be a pain and take extra time from your actual work.
I’m lucky now though as I’ve many clients who pay on delivery of the content, but there are still some of the larger agencies and companies that have to pass the invoice onto the finance department who pay out on all invoices on day-x of every month. I make some pay 50% up-front if they are an unknown entity to me, but that can also be a deal-breaker. So, all of this is why platforms that hold the money for x period and then pay you are win-win. You don’t have to chase and you can plan as you know how your cashflow is going to be.
As for the 20%. Agents take a cut, Publishers take a cut, it;s all standard as they are all providing a service themselves. Advertising costs money too, if you do all your business out of your own website, that costs in hosting and the SEO and time required to drive business to your site. ALL of that is handled on a storefront platform like this.
If 20% is too much for all of the above, then try to do it without Fiverr and see how it goes for a while. As a new startup it’s very tough to get rolling, especially in this gig economy. I’d rather give up 20% of something than 0% of nothing, which is what I’d get from Fiverr if I didn’t use their service too.
If you’ve not budgeted for the 20%, and it makes the work unfeasible, then price at a higher rate, or bear with the current rate until the time is right to price higher. There are workarounds. For example, if you were a voice actor working for 100 words for $5, then offer 80 words for $5, that way you’re working less for the same money and it should balance out. It’s not unethical either, you’re just adjusting your rates to factor for an unanticipated overhead, it’s business at the end of the day, not charity.
There are probably lots of suggestions and much more to discuss, but all-in-all, Fiverr -whilst I don’t agree with all they do in respect to extra fees, or taking a cut of tips (imagine if restaurants did that, well, none that I ever worked in dipped into the tip jar, as it was for the servers - but I digress) for example- the 20% and the 14 day hold are fair, upfront and I have no issue with them, and if they make some interest in the meantime whilst it is in escrow, more power to them - Wish I’d thought of setting up a site like this back in the late 90s! I’d be like Scrooge McDuck by now.