I am a big fan of fiverr and bought loads of good gigs on here but I’m increasingly finding that sellers are either wanting you to contact them first to discuss or end up cancelling because they can’t deliver. One of the great things about fiverr is the speed and efficiency it provides people, having to contact a seller first is time consuming and extends timelines as you wait for replies etc, then end up having to start again. I appreciate sometimes this is necessary but it seems like this is becoming the norm not the exception and I would suggest maybe instead of having a gig stating ‘anything you need on Excel’ etc, be more specific about what you can & will do from the get go and help buyers to select the right seller from the get go?
Speed and efficiency can’t always guarantee a 5-star rating, but quality does.
Having to contact a seller first is time-consuming only when the seller is not responsive enough. There are so many gigs at Fiverr for you to choose from, I’m sure you can find the one you like even if the trend is developing as you said.
I make no claims to being an expert, but I’ve been here awhile and have a variety of backgrounds, so when newer sellers ask for help on the forums, I often give them basic advice, after reviewing their gigs. One thing I have to say REPEATEDLY is give specific information in your gig description! What exactly will a buyer get for $5. How much do you charge for other routinely ordered work.
I hear what you’re saying! This is a fairly common problem, not just with newer sellers. Many times a seller has been here for quite a while but seeks help because he/she isn’t getting sales. Thin (or confusing) gig descriptions are the commonest problems I see.
The real issue is that we are limited to 1200 characters in gig descriptions. A while back CS told me they would consider increasing the limit so there is hope of longer descriptions.
I took his post to mean the gigs that are so general it seems to cover a lot of jobs (like his “Excel” example), but that when he ordered what he felt fit into the gig’s description they couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. So for example, I make those little knit animals. I describe them pretty well, and wouldn’t expect someone to order a 12" stuffed teddy bear for $5. But if my gig said “I will…make a hand-knit stuffed animal for you”, and the description didn’t say anything much more, a buyer could think, yes, I’ll order a 12" and maybe an 18" stuffed animal. After all, it’s only $5!
But certainly there are going to be gigs that really need TOO much explaining, and it’s understandable that you’d want to discuss the buyer’s needs with them first. (Especially since we know lots of people don’t bother reading the gig description anyway!)
A lot of graphic arts gigs don’t give nearly enough information: nothing about what files you get for $5, or how much those files will cost extra, or what their artistic style is or strong points are. Especially irksome when they don’t have many work samples up, too. IMO that’s why some of those gigs don’t have many sales.
@mgjohn78 hit it right on the nose. We have limited space to explain what we can do. And even then, in situations like my VO gigs, I can’t possibly cover what I can do there. In some cases a buyer has sent me a request that I didn’t know I COULD do it. (ie. I didn’t know I could do a pretty good Paul Lynde impression until a few weeks ago.)
In some cases, you are totally right. The sellers are too vague and are basically wasting time. But in other cases, the contact prior to the order ends up to be a time saver in the long run.
I’m a little confused. I know gig descriptions contain information about gigs but what about the note to buyer text? Doesn’t that show up when a gig is ordered? What info I can’t get in the description gets placed in the note section.
The problem there is the gig has to be ordered at that point. And that field actually has a smaller character count than the description field. Between the two I think you get 2000ish characters.
For example, in my case more than one buyer has asked me to do the “movie trailer voice.” I cannot do that voice. (I would need to grow a third fragglerock out of my fragglerock to even get fragglerocking close.) But I’m not going to waste valuable space in my description or note to buyer to say that. Instead, I say contact me first so they don’t buy the gig and find out I can’t do it. That’s easier than trying to list all the things you can’t do. (Which isn’t a very good sales pitch…)
Just my take.
Author Note: I censored myself so the sheriffs wouldn’t have to…
Reply to @mystic_insight: I wholeheartedly agree. That seller doesn’t know basic tenants of customer service. I have received MANY messages asking me questions that could easily be answered by reading my gig description. I always respond with the answer as quickly as possible.
And I never mind it when buyers ask if I can deliver when my gig says. They could have been burned in the past by a previous seller. Or they understand that sometimes sellers can get overloaded with work. In any event, what’s the harm in sending a, "Thanks for reaching out! I can certainly do that for you."
Anyway, I would argue that messaging that seller before hand in your situation saved you from having to deal with a less than pleasant seller. (Admittedly it ended up taking longer due to them being a schnook but let’s not dwell on that.)
Reply to @mystic_insight: I can sort of see where this seller might be coming from, though. Obviously, you were not asking questions that were answered by his gig description or which would have taken a lot of his time, and therefore would not fall into the category of buyers I’m about to describe. But, I do have buyers that message me and send me a link to their webpage and ask, "what could you do to improve this?"
Essentially, they want me to spend time going over their entire website and tell them what needs to be done. That’s time I may never get paid for. There are clients that I spend weeks messaging with before they decide to make a purchase. Again, that’s time I’ll never get paid for.
Most of the time, people are asking about my pricing structure (which is extremely basic and depends wholly on how many words they need), my turnaround time, asking for a discount, or topics I can write about. Those messages are ones I’m happy to answer and don’t really take that much time.
Of course, I still prefer buyers to message me beforehand and I always try to reply to those messages promptly. But I can see where some sellers would prefer that people just place an order, and then they will spend the time to communicate with them. I’m not one of those sellers, but maybe, for some reason, he doesn’t value customer service and still somehow gets buyers.
Reply to @emasonwrites: I have just been on both sides of this and you describe both frustrations well. As a buyer, I was trying to reach a seller with many high ratings and I wanted to ask one question about his gig. The seller has a normal response time of 1 day and posted feedback to his recent buyers (and he did not have a ton in queue.) He never responded to my question and it has now been 6 days. I would be unlikely to order anything from him now.
As a seller, I spent a lot of time writing back and forth about an extra-large order with a buyer yesterday since he had lots of questions and it was a complex order. I offered to work a gig at a time or with all gigs ordered up front. He seemed thrilled and said he would send me a file to work on and decide on order method in the evening. At least he did have the courtesy to inbox me that night saying that “something came up.” There are lots of legit reasons for the non-order, but it was still a waste of my time when I had other orders in progress. If I had been the buyer in that situation, I would have at least ordered a $5 gig to thank the seller for all the work.
Poor professionalism on the part of buyer or seller hurts everyone involved.
I think the trend of sellers asking buyers to first contact them before ordering is because when they don’t, usually you end up wasting more time than saving. Granted, not all situations are the same, but a vast majority of buyers who buy my gig without contacting me first either don’t provide enough information or the information they provide is confusing. Consequently, I have to contact the buyer. In most cases, the buyer doesn’t always respond in a timely manner so I have to cancel the gig.
99.9% of the time when a buyer contacts me before ordering, within hours after contact they are placing the order. If for some reason I can’t do the gig, I tell them and they don’t waste their time placing an order that will be cancelled.
Also, Fiverr has their rules. One of those rules is you can only use certain words so many times and your are limited to how many words you can put in the gig description. Since the gig description can’t cover every possible scenario, best the buyer contacts me to discuss their needs.
In my experience, clients who contact me before ordering saves time while those who order without contacting me first usually end up taking longer or I have to cancel because they wait 2 days or more to reply eating up the time I need to complete the gig without being late.
For most of my gigs I have the buyer contact me first. I offer writing services and want to be sure that a request falls within the scope of my gig. I ghostwrite eBooks and web content, and while I can confidently research and write any topic - there are some topics that I don’t want to touch for a variety of reasons. As an example, I won’t write nonfiction true stories, because Fiverr isn’t the best platform for that type of material as things get lost in what I call “inbox translation”. I make it my goal to respond promptly, and I have created a FAQ that I send out.
Having worked my gigs for a couple of years - some questions I get asked repeatedly. The FAQ saves me time because I get hourly inquiries from around the world.
I’ve learned that if you continue to run into the same questions and conflicts with buyers, then it makes sense to update your gig description and promo video in attempt to avoid dealing with same issues over and over.
Obviously there’s no way to prevent all misunderstandings, but it doesn’t hurt to refine your gig description over time to make your offering as clear as possible.
Just my opinion.
Reply to @mystic_insight: Okay, that’s weird. Why would he ask you to message him beforehand and then basically just tell you to order? Really rude.
Refining gig descriptions seems to be the best method I’ve found. My problem is I offer office work of varying types. I could piece meal the different types into gig specific gigs but I’ve found that people find me easier with the single Office Assistant gig. The only type of work I have seperate is Surveys and Survey work while a type of data entry it’s specific with specific and needs of my clients. That said. We really need another tab perhaps that allows us to be more descriptive.