Afraid of Buying a \'Bad\' Gig? This is what you need to do BEFORE buying any


Are you finding yourself searching for a gig that meets all of your needs - but you’re also afraid of giving your money to a shady seller?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, I’ve put together a few helpful tips that could be just what keeps your hard earned money from falling into the hands of a shady seller.

Here’s exactly why you need to do, BEFORE buying ANY gig:

Ask questions - And this doesn’t have to be a ridiculous amount of back-and-forth messaging either. You can learn a lot about a seller and their gig by just asking these three questions:

  1. Can you please send me some samples of your work?

  2. What is your website URL (if applicable)?

[Edit: As there was a lot of concern regarding whether this request violates the fiverr TOS, I contacted fiverr support to ask if a seller requesting website URLs (relevant to a gig), is a violation. Thanks to the help from Mitch from support, he responded with this:

"To protect our users’ privacy, user identities are kept anonymous.

Requesting or providing Email addresses, Skype/IM usernames, telephone numbers or any other personal contact details to communicate outside of Fiverr in order to circumvent or abuse the Fiverr messaging system or Fiverr platform is not permitted.

Any necessary exchange of personal information required to continue a service may be exchanged within the order page.

Here is a list of URLs that can be shared either through conversation or gig description:"

Therefore, asking a seller if they’d be okay to share a website URL, in which you are able to view samples of their work, is not a violation of fiverr’s TOS, UNLESS you intend to continue further contacting them outside of fiverr.]

and my favorite:

  1. Are you willing to perform a super small task for me, so I can see if your services match what I need done?

Now, #3 might seem a little weird at first, but hear me out. The reason you’re asking these questions (and these three questions only) is so you can get a feel of the personality of your seller.

[Edit: Even if a seller absolutely cannot accommodate ANY of the above, you as the buyer are just looking to see what the seller CAN do for you. For instance, you might come across a seller who cannot accommodate the above requests, but they are willing to at least answer questions you might have about the actual gig (e.g. How does this work? How long until I see results? etc…).

I guess the question you’re going to ask yourself is: How stubborn is my seller?

Although it would be ideal that the seller you’re contacting would be able to accommodate ALL three of these things, you’re ACTUALLY just trying to learn how flexible they’re willing to be with you.

#3 is my favorite, and here’s why:

One, it comes super handy when you’re contacting a new seller, or even someone who is actually new to selling the services they’re offering in general.

(Fun fact: I happen to be one of many fiverr sellers who first started out their business here on the fiverr platform.)

Two, a seller should (for the most part) be able to accommodate this one. As a matter of fact, I learned this from a buyer who asked me to do this when I first started out - since I didn’t have any samples of my work to show him. This helped him determine whether he wanted to hire me for the rest of his project (and he did).

What should the “super small” task be?

It should literally be a tiny version of the project you need done (maybe like 1/8th or 1/4th of the actual project). I mean it. TINY. Don’t be rude and expect the seller to perform an ENTIRE project for free. Don’t do that. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure (as in failure to find anyone who would want to do business with you). Remember: You’re mainly doing this to test the flexibility of the seller, NOT so you can get as much free work done as possible.

And the conclusion to this is simple: If a seller becomes purposely dismissive of one or all of these three questions, and/or does not show any willingness to be flexible, beware that they may potentially be a poor, or worse, shady seller.

**Please Note: The above tips were intended to simply help buyers make a more informed decision when buying gigs. The inability to accommodate one or all of the three requests above does not automatically make a seller a “bad person”. For the most part, most fiverr sellers SHOULD be able to accommodate at least ONE of the three. If you are a seller who is unable to accommodate any of the above requests, it’s okay. Tell your buyers the areas you CAN be flexible in.

I hope this helped.

Best regards,

Angie Federico


Let’s make this a fun post! Sellers, please post in the comments below, the flexibility you offer your potential buyers, in order to help build trust and rapport. :slight_smile:


2. What is your website URL (if applicable)?

and my favorite:

  1. Are you willing to perform a super small task for me, so I can see if your services match what I need done?

I don’t have a website URL and probably most sellers don’t, and it might be against terms of service to ask this also.
I also wouldn’t perform a task for free.


That’s a great point, misscrystal. I went ahead and submitted a general question to fiverr support, asking if it is against the fiverr Terms of Service to ask for a seller’s website URL, even if it’s for the buyer to view work samples of the seller.

Also: My post did say,

So, although you may not be able to accommodate ANY of the three requests, are you not able to offer SOMETHING to help build trust? Such as: Answering general questions? Guiding the potential buyer to view your reviews from your other buyers?

I’m sure you at least help answer general questions to help your prospective buyers feel comfortable making purchases from you.


MissCrystal is right! Asking a seller for their information such as a website URL can cause trouble for the seller. Please don’t do it. Sellers accounts have been banned over things like that!!!


No samples, no URL and no super small tasks from me either (and frankly, the samples should cover the super small task). I’m happy to do a sample small project though.

I am a terribly shady seller :wink:


Plus your live portfolio should do the talking for you.


I am a new seller and I have also create a website for my portfolio. Can you please comment about this website if it is perfect or I need to do any other work to use it as my portfolio? Here is the link
[Disallowed link removed by Moderator.]

Thank you


Your website isn’t on the list of the approved URLs, so you could get in trouble for sharing it.


I don’t have any website. and being a graphic designer I don’t want to do a sample for free , I can add a watermark on image but I am pretty sure another graphic designer can easily remove that watermark.


@graphics_hub211 You can prepare a few generic samples that wouldn’t be useful to steal but would show your talent. Another graphic designer with skills wouldn’t need to remove your watermark, and a correctly applied watermark would take too much time to remove.

A seller with a long history and strong live portfolio might not need generic samples, but newer sellers can use them to be more competitive. I would not suggest offering free custom work/tasks but basic samples are handy.


To be honest, if I were to get a message requesting these three things, I would most likely refer the buyer to another seller. As for question #1: the work I do is highly confidential, so sending samples would violate the trust between myself and my buyers. Question #2: I would never risk breaking ToS to link a potential buyer out to my private website. And question #3, if someone were to request free work from me, I would be really suspicious as to whether or not they intend to pay for any services at all.

To me, these can also be big red flags in a potential “shady buyer”.


I don’t think these guidelines apply for every type of service. Even if you ask for samples, there’s no real proof that these samples were created by the seller. We’ve all seen plenty of sellers who use fake photos and stolen logo designs in their portfolio.

When I need a logo or a design element then I start with their $5 gig and if I like it then I get the source files, commercial license etc. It will also work with writers, I first order an article with the minimum amount of words and if I like it then I continue using them for longer articles.

First, do your research and then order their cheapest gig to get a sample. Buyers are more protected in Fiverr than sellers. There are a number of ways to get my money back if I come across a shady seller.


Thank you for being a reasonable buyer.

@angfederico In addition to what all other sellers on this thread have said. No samples. The Fiverr live portfolio system is a good way to check for a seller’s previously delivered work. This serves as sample.

Are you willing to pay a super small fee for my services so that I can be sure that I will be reimbursed for my work? Just a super small fee, umm…like 5$?


My suggestion , never buy a gid without consulting to gig owner.

Because sometimes it is shown that you never very pro service, but gig offers mid level service.

That makes a big confusion between buyer and seller :slight_smile: