Fiverr Forum

"A dispute was opened via Paypal" and negative balance


Hi there,

4 weeks ago I did a job for a client and finished the work on time. I received 5 stars review and perfect feedback from my client.

Yesterday I received the following message from Fiverr:

A dispute was opened via PayPal for your order ***********: ****************. As a result, we have to cancel this order and ask that you discontinue your work.

After that I checked my Fiverr account and I realized that my balance was negative!

I wrote a ticket to Fiverr Support and somehow they explained me that it doesn’t depend of them because they don’t have the funds now.

I understand the explanation but I would like to show the situation from seller point of view:

  1. We work offering a service in a marketplace that we really trust
  2. We deliver the gig and recieved perfect review.
  3. We get paid and we withdraw the money or even we spend back in Fiverr buying gigs (I do it)
  4. One day we receive dispute notification. Our balance is negative, now we owe money and plus we realize that we were working for FREE (and it was not our will, because if we want to work for FREE we can do it for any ONG, I did many times and it was a pleasure, but I don’t want to do it for “clients” that are taking advantage of a situation and scamming honest sellers).

Now, knowing this scenario I’m so scare to offer my services. Who is taking care of honest sellers? Who is protecting us from scammers? The current scenario shows that scammers can do their stuff in peace getting gigs for free, they just order and then they fill a complain. If somehing happen, they open a new account and so on.

I feel so upset about this situation. I’m honest seller and plus I’m service buyer on Fiverr. I spent good money on last months buying gigs. I finished many successfully projects. I’m using Fiverr for more than 6 years ago.

What is the reward for working honestly? Scammer client enjoying the result of my work for free and honest seller with negative balance…

Fiverr Chargebacks

Unfortunately it’s not something that can be prevented. PayPal transactions are no guaranteed payments. Just make sure you deliver good work (In this case you did apparently) but that doesn’t prevent people for opening a dispute.

I would, as a safety measure keep the money on your Fiverr balance or PayPal balance for sometime before SPENDING it just to make sure you don’t get yourself in debts. Be wary for huge transactions or a lot of smaller one from the same client. Try to spread your incoming over several clients and do a risk assesment of your highest paying customers (contact them to see if they are satisfied and ask if there’s anything else you might do for them).

Good luck!


You should try and I get a Payoneer card for receiving payment, PayPal are easily hacked


This can happen with any online business that uses credit cards and is the cost of doing business.

For merchants to be able to accept credit cards, users of credit cards need to be assured that they can get refunds if they need to or no one would feel safe using them.

Unfortunately some dishonest people take advantage of the fact that it is easy to get a refund if they used a credit card. So anyone doing business must be aware that this can happen and accept it as the cost of doing business. Welcome to the world of being self employed.

All self employed people who take payment with credit cards will experience this occasionally.


I mean as another user pointed out, this isn’t really preventable, and is the price of doing online work.

HOWEVER… if a buyer issues a paypal chargeback, and you don’t have the money in your fiverr account, you essentially become in debt on fiverr. Especially if it’s a large order. And in that case, I think that its very unfair to place that debt on sellers. Because Fiverr is open about the fact that they don’t respond to paypal disputes. So pretty much they return the money, whether right or wrong, and place the debt on you, without you ever having a chance to defend yourself.

If you were not on fiverr, and there was a paypal dispute, you could at least have the opportunity to defend yourself and control your own fate. But on fiverr, you get metaphorically “thrown to the wolves.” And then it’s on you to make up for the loss that you both faced, as you’re paying for your own gig and the service fee that buyer most likely paid. Leaving you out of work and out of money.

I understand why they do this, it’s just really really really unfortunate when it happens.


Unfortunately, unlike other freelancing platforms, Fiverr refuse to eat the cost of a PayPal chargeback.

Want to know the worst part?

If a client cancels the PayPal chargeback, the money goes BACK into their account and they have the option to reorder from you if they wish. They do not need to. They can actually reorder any gig with the returned funds. HOW COOL IS THAT? It means that every buyer is allowed to scam exactly once.


Unfair, unethical and in some cases illegal to demand a seller to work of the debt of another fiverr client!


I have seen seller get their money back from paypal disputes to be fair. But it was mostly for larger orders. I’ve seen one for close to $600. But anything less than like $100 idk.


I agree 100%

If everything is ok, Fiverr will get its 20%. It means: you win and fiverr wins, right? Let’s share our earnings.
If somethings goes wrong (paypal complain) then the only who is losing money is the seller. Let’s share our losses (?)

We can’t put Fiverr and Seller in the same level since seller is selling its time and Fiverr is getting its portion from seller’s time.

If you were doing businesses with any other client that you found out of Fiverr, it will be at your own risk, right? But if your are in a marketplace that is charging you 20% for every order, what service or costumer protection you are getting back?


I think it’s not about him using Paypal or Payoneer. Client used Paypal refund policy which means he got his money back but i am sure if someone does that he can say bye bye to his account

Yes people does that but fiverr also close these account so they can’t do this again.


No. Fiverr close the account until the PayPal dispute is withdrawn.

When the thing is withdrawn, the account is unbanned.


It sounds great, this way they can cheat next seller…


agree sellers should not be punished for such type of scams its fiverrs responsibility to handle if fiverr is taking money advance from buyers