Fiverr Community Forum

A Buyer Is Being Unfair and Not Responding, Not Sure What To Do

Hi, I am having an issue with an active order with a buyer. He placed an order for my gig package which clearly stated that I would write 500 words based on research for $5. He then proceeded to give order information demanding three different writing sections totaling approximately 2000 words (through his own specifications), which was way out of the scope of the gig.

Further, the information provided in the description wasn’t even sufficient to begin work in the first place. Regarding these two issues, I messaged him seeking clarity in the hope to come to a resolution, but did not get any reply at all despite my repeated requests for clarification and the user being online.

Therefore due to the following reasons, I cannot complete the order.

  1. The order placed is four times the work specified in the gig package which is outrageous and unfair
  2. The description itself is insufficient to do any work whatsoever
  3. The buyer has failed to respond or clarify despite repeat messages across 12 hours

I finally sent a message to the Fiverr team but it shows they might take more than 24 hours to respond. What should I do, can’t even deliver anything because there’s nothing to do but cancelling the order would affect my metrics through no fault of mine. Plus the guy is not replying at all so I’m helpless.

Would really appreciate some guidance, feeling a bit lost right now.

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Just cancel the order! Write a message in the order page (it doesn’t matter if the buyer won’t reply) stating that you’ve tried to get a hold of them but since they are not available you will ask support to cancel the order based on the reason you listed here. Then open, or update your current ticket with CS to cancel this order for you.

That may or may not affect your metrics but even if it does you don’t want to put yourself in this situation just because it will affect your metrics.

Good luck

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Alright. I’ve followed your instructions. Appreciate your response a lot! Have a great week, thanks.

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No one who buys 500 words for $5 is going to be an ethical or fair buyer.

Sorry, but you’ve made your own bed. True, responsible professionals don’t buy things for that cheap.

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Your main writing gig is for academic work. If your buyer hired you to write an essay, cancel the order. We’re not allowed to offer such work here on Fiverr.

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While I feel sorry you’re in this situation, it’s worth taking a step back and seeing how you got here.

You’ve offered to carry out research and write 500 words for something like $3.50 (after Fiverr’s fee and tax). Maybe even less than $3.50 depending on your tax bracket, and where in the world you are.

I don’t know about you, but it would take me a minimum of an hour to carry out even a limited amount of meaningful research and to write 500 words.

So you’re basically saying to potential sellers “I’m happy to spend an hour working for $3.50”. That’s wayyyyyyy below minimum wage in any Western country.

That doesn’t make you a credible seller, and that lack of credibility attracts scammer style buyers who recognise someone they can easily target.

I don’t want to sound harsh, but sellers have to learn, offering $5 writing gigs tends to lead to misery.

Not that I offer writing services on Fiverr anymore, but when I did I would have been looking for at least $25 for an hour of my time as a freelance writer. Double that off Fiverr.

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3.5 an hour is about minimum wage in Portugal. Which is the most western country in Europe, btw.
And the seller may well be from a non western country where that’s a fair hourly wage? I can’t tell, their profile doesn’t appear to exist, it redirects me to mine. Weird.

I still agree offering stuff for $5 is a bad idea, because it attracts bad customers, and because this is a global marketplace. I freelance online precisely so I don’t have to be tied to local salaries, because they suck. It’s much better to make 25 bucks an hour in a country where the minimum wage is $1 an hour than in a country where it is indeed $25.

And why would you charge double for a service outside Fiverr? I charge more inside Fiverr than outside. Outside I don’t have to pay fees. And I get paid in advance. And I can tell annoying, unreasonable customers to **** off without any fears of bad reviews.

Fiverr is without borders, therefore to work for one of the lowest rates possible in the West (arguably well below) does no one a favour.

Let’s look at some of the minimum hourly wages of major Western countries. In the UK it’s £8.72 ($10.76), in the US the average minimum wage is $10, although it varies state to state, in France it’s €10.03 ($10.85), in Germany it’s €9.35 ($11.03).

Those are minimum wages, the absolute lowest government approved wage that should be paid to a worker. Not a recommend wage, or a living wage, or an ideal wage. The minimum.

Therefore to sell a skilled service like writing for less than half the minimum wage is a strange thing to do. If anything, a skilled service like writing should attract a premium price.

But as we’ve seen so many times, people still charge rock bottom prices and are then surprised when things go wrong.

I charge more outside of Fiverr because my corporate clients are prepared to pay more, but by my own admission my corporate work is sporadic, which is why I also appreciate a steady income stream from Fiverr, albeit at a lower rate.

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Yup - that´s right.

Fiverr is the absolut minimum with pricing.

Outside Fiverr I am charging 70-90€/h.

Fiverr? After all cuts exkl. Taxes? €25-30€/h

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Wow, then you’re doing much, much better than me! Congratulations.

Although I try not to judge others, I do get irrationally very, very annoyed by sellers who try to justify or defend working for ridiculously low rates.

We should be proud of our skills (after all that is why the decent buyers come to Fiverr), and we should be proud that we can attract a premium. We are in business.

I’m a writer because I’m good at it. I’m not an artist because I’m terrible at art.

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3.5 an hour is about minimum wage in Portugal.

Minimum wage in Portugal is 3.97 EURO/hour = $4.29.

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My point is that you can be one of the most skilled practitioners, be living in a country with one of the lowest hourly rates on the planet, and yet be charging the going rate of one of the largest Western economies.

That’s the beauty of Fiverr and other online marketplaces - the only potential borders are generated by language barriers and mindset. The mindset one is key. If you think cheap, you will attract cheap.

If you’re good, it shouldn’t matter where you live - you should still be able to charge the industry rate of larger economies.

Hence my point. Working for around $3.50 an hour is doing no one a favour.

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Yeah, as I said - about 3.5. From 3.5 to 4.2 is not a big difference, is it?

Again, it depends. For me, it doesn’t. For you, it doesn’t. For someone in a country where the average monthly wage is like 100 bucks, and that can’t get anything better, it really does. Of course if you are amazing, you can charge international prices regardless of where you live. Most sellers here are nowhere near amazing, they are just trying to get by at any cost. I understand that.

It’s not a matter of doing anyone a favour. Minimum wage in portugal is 635€ a month. People work 40 hours a week for that - like, a third of the population. I find that insulting, and doing no one a favour. However, people must eat, and will do what they need to do.

Exactly what @visualstudios said. While I agree with you in theory, I work from India where it is very different from developed countries such as the UK or US. For the same amount of work, I get paid twice the amount on Fiverr than I do outside of it in my country, and the amount itself is quite high for me on average. Earning $5 an hour is way above the minimum wage in this country and as I said for the same job if I worked in an organization or did a freelance gig similarly outside of Fiverr, I’d make closer to $2.5 an hour.

You’re right that the beauty of Fiverr is that it’s a global marketplace so I should be able to charge a price irrespective of my country’s economy and prices. However, you fail to consider that this is something only established sellers can do as they have more negotiating power. A new seller has to undercut or price low in the beginning to get buyers otherwise how will he build his portfolio at all? A buyer obviously would not pay a premium price (despite good skills) for an unrated or low-rated seller when there already exist established sellers at the same (or less) price.

I appreciate your comments as they give me more perspective, would love to know your thoughts on this as I do want to learn and improve.

Sources:


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Copied from my reply to another comment in this thread…

While I agree with you in theory, I work from India where it is very different from developed countries such as the UK or US. For the same amount of work, I get paid twice the amount on Fiverr than I do outside of it in my country, and the amount itself is quite high for me on average. Earning $5 an hour is way above the minimum wage in this country and as I said for the same job if I worked in an organization or did a freelance gig similarly outside of Fiverr, I’d make closer to $2.5 an hour.

You’re right that the beauty of Fiverr is that it’s a global marketplace so I should be able to charge a price irrespective of my country’s economy and prices. However, you fail to consider that this is something only established sellers can do as they have more negotiating power. A new seller has to undercut or price low in the beginning to get buyers otherwise how will he build his portfolio at all? A buyer obviously would not pay a premium price (despite good skills) for an unrated or low-rated seller when there already exist established sellers at the same (or less) price.

I appreciate your comments as they give me more perspective, would love to know your thoughts on this as I do want to learn and improve.

Sources:


Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I was genuinely interested to read your post.

You are right. I was looking at things exclusively from a Western perspective, without considering the rates of pay in some other countries such as India.

You know something? You’ve made me rethink some of my beliefs about Fiverr. And it takes a good person to do that! I am genuinely very pleased that Fiverr gives you an opportunity to be successful compared to others in your country.

The Fiverr marketplace is big enough for all sellers with genuine skills to offer. The problem is that some buyers (thankfully a small minority) are always going to be idiots and try and abuse individual sellers and the Fiverr ecosystem.

Rather than me be negative about people who offer $5 gigs, I will instead say that since I doubled my basic rate about fours years ago, the quality of buyers who I work with has improved greatly. I wish you success my friend.

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I know very well the differences in the exchange rate and the cost of living.

But this is a global marketplace and the fact that your money goes farther in India doesn’t change the fact that you’re opening yourself up to exploitation.

And $5 × 2 is $10. Even with that exchange that is still far below an appropriate price. Anyone who does that is not going to be taken seriously and is going to get burned.

Just because your money goes farther doesn’t make it credible to undercharge so extremely in a global marketplace. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re undervaluing your work and when you do that, your buyer will, too. No matter what country they’re in or what they know of your exchange rate and cost of living.

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You’re all speaking about money and minimum wages and yeah that’s a thing, but what also matters is the value that you give to your work. What is it worth to YOU? You udervalue your own work and that can’t be good. Maybe you thought: cheap = more sales, well sometimes it’s true but not in your case because you have to show that your work is quality work (and I don’t doubt it)!

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Thank you. True professionals charge by value, not their costs of living.

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