Fiverr Community Forum

Always remember: don't give free work to buyers

I was reading about situations where buyers take your free work but keep asking minor (useless) changes till you are obliged to cancel the job.

It’s an interesting topic, as example, because I often release test tracks before the final delivery, and those are much more than test tracks. I mean, the buyer could use them as completed works because my test tracks are always quality tracks even if not final.

I was wondering how you would deal with such situation. I was thinking including a watermark in the test tracks, so they can check them, but can’t use them anyway, like beeps or similar. Your ideas?


Watermarking audio is an interesting challenge, imo, just because so many ignore or plain don’t read the disclaimer that “THE NOISE IS INTENTIONAL” for sample work.

Fiverr has automatic watermarks for image files, but not for audio (or video). I get that. Programing is complicated. A program to auto-add an audio layer to a delivered work until the order is marked complete would be amazing, but if someone invents/codes for that, they’re sure not going to get a bid on it from Fiverr. Only way Fiverr gets that kind of program is if someone already on-staff makes it.


I think you could/should add a wartermark to the samples/test you send. It could be a voice saying “sample” if beeps might not be clear enough that that’s the watermark. Thought the less it obscures the original audio the easier it might be to remove.

I don’t think it would be that hard for them if they’re already re-encoding video and already have a way to not give images etc. until the buyer accepts the delivery (though they don’t show a watermark on video deliveries I think and if they show it somewhere it may be overlayed with html).

I think changing audio/outputting a temporary (preview) audio file with the added watermark shouldn’t be that hard (wav format should be quite easy). They could just replace (or add the values to - adding should be better) whatever is in the audio from the seller with their watermark audio at various points (eg. just a list of numbers for the samples/waveform - 2 lists for stereo I think and one for mono - with a header too). Maybe it might introduce some clipping depending on the source. Basically code to add it to audio shouldn’t be too hard I think.


Thanks for all the suggestions. At the moment I use beeps every 10 or 15 seconds, depending the lenght of the work. Seems the customers are ok with this. Probably I’ll find sooner or later a customer complaining about my beeps, but not yet.

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Even then people are offering “Unlimited Revisions” and “Lifetime Support”!:thinking:

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unlimited revisions are wrong, because a buyer could use them to force you to work much more than what expected from the GIG description. at the moment I offer 1 or 2 revisions maximum.


DJs when selling packs will have a fluctuating volume on the sample tracks, so, you could just automate your master fader and basically make a sine wave on the automation, that way it’s enough for the person to hear but not enough for them to take. Another solution is what’s done in Hip Hop/Trap, just use a producer tag, make it annoyingly present so that it cant be cut out, add a long tail of reverb with a chorus on the reverb and delays, that way they can’t just remove it.

Personally, I don’t send tests, not a fan of the concept, but then again my gigs are done in -24 hours.

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I presume sending tests inside an order is safe, anyway the watermark is important. But I never send tests outside an order. The problem is that there are customers asking that also outside an order, which is something I don’t accept completely. In both cases Fiverr chat is used, anyway.

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I made a VST that did exactly that many moons ago. It was called “something Buddy” and came with another device called Pre-Roll Recorder. It automatically inserted a beep or sample of the user’s choice every n seconds.

It wasn’t able to undo the watermark tho as once something is on audio it ain’t comin’ out (despite what people try to tell you when selling software with grand promises).

I do wish Fiverr would provide a watermark but they are really easy to do in any DAW. You just have to remember to do it.

And yes deal with the person saying you are stupid because the track goes beep every few seconds and how apparently it makes it totally impossible to listen to (said whilst rising to a shriek).

Nothing wrong with using a spoken sample at partial volume. They ain’t getting that out too easy. That method is really common in Rap circles and Pond5 do the same.


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In the end I’m just using beeps. They work. But they are inserted overwriting content. So you can’t obtain the original wav just cutting the beeps (would be a terrible work anyway). Overwriting makes this awful job, in any case, impossible.

That wouldn’t be that hard, FFMPEG can merge files via the command line, in other words, this really is one command line execution. Am sure LAME could do the same too.

Am happy to play around in my dev zone here if anyone wants a quick command line hack.

I’ve done something similar in the past, I watermarked ringtone previews so people didn’t try to steal the files. People were ripping us off before that, also added DRM forward lock to stop folks from sending files on but that’s a different kettle of fish altogether.

Had to batch process about 30,000 files to get the watermarks sorted. Mare of a job.

Something similar to Premium Beat’s watermarking would be easy enough to do, Fiverr already have the tech to butcher, I mean compress audio, so they certainly could, they’d just need the will do to so which I suspect is lacking Will it make them money? Where’s their incentive then?

Would have said this 20 odd days ago but got suspended for being worse than Satan and having an opinion which is harmful to snowflakes…



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While watermarking audio files is great for progress reports and samples from the seller/user side, I was thinking of Fiverr doing the same, like they do for image files, where the watermark won’t be removed until the order is accepted or auto completes.


In the end I decided for a Vocal watermaking. A Voice Artist saying a specific phrase that watermarks my demos. It’s a good idea. Beeps can be annoying.

Excellent, Agree with you… :grin:

Agreed. I’m not going back and forth and doing work on top of work on top of work just because somebody says “but you have unlimited revisions”. It’s “nice” but it’s also a great way to be exploited