Fiverr Forum

Bait and Switch-dishonesty

I really get tired of sellers saying contact them. They never commit to the gig at the price posted. Its always an upsell. Just please post the gig and the price, so I can make an informed decision. I don’t have time for this! Shame of Fiverr for allowing it. It keeps me from finding the good people on Fiverr.


I agree that it’s not something sellers should be doing. I can’t imagine them getting orders this way at all.

I think it’s a consequence of simply having a worldwide marketplace with a lot of amateur sellers. At least you know not to hire them this way.

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That’s a real pity.

We sellers often get this the other way round.
Our prices and terms are clearly written out all over the gig and sometimes buyers who message instead of ordering directly, waste their and our time by asking for the exact thing our gig states the exact price for, for so much less that it should be clear to anyone that it’s out of the question.
Or some order directly a gig that includes a, but send a, b, c, and d to work on instead (if possible on a gig with short delivery time too), in the hope that sellers will do a-d for fear of a bad review or cancellation.
Or buyers message and ask what x costs, you tell them, they accept, and then in the requirements, they ask for additional things or unveil some facts that they really should have mentioned before the seller decided on the price and sent the offer.
Or buyers who try to get a lower quote with the promise of “future orders”.

I wish I had $5 for every time I’ve heard “too expensive” when I told someone the exact same price my gig states for what they want done, often even with better conditions than they’d have gotten vs directly ordering the gig (price calculated for their exact word count instead of “up to x words”, better delivery time than the gig has when possible, not included in the gig price file type for free,…).


I totally get you. As a buyer here though, I haven’t encountered that behaviour really, maybe it’s easier to pick honest sellers when one is a seller oneself. I must say that I usually need ages to decide on a seller though, unless I “know” them from this forum. Spending time on finding the right seller probably helps. I also tend to stick to sellers I found.

I can honestly say that in all my orders here (not that many, I’m mainly a seller, after all, but still), I’ve never experienced Bait & Switch.
If I saw a seller tried to do that, I’d not order from them.
Of course, if I want to order something that is different from what their gig offers and would require a custom offer, I’ll see what they want for it and if it seems reasonable to me and I still want it, that’s fine.

I’m curious though - you’re talking about interactions with sellers who sent you offers to Buyer Requests you posted, or about sellers you found yourself through browsing categories/using search?


Hi @delmetri

Sorry to hear your going through this.

Have you tried placing the order directly? I hope you know buyers can do that.


I didn’t know I could do that. Is that using a custom offer?

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Just go to the gig you’re interested on and order directly from there if that gig covers what you need, else, you’ll necesarilly have to ask for a custome offer.


That’s what I usually do, but I get messenges from some sellers who say I should have contacted them first. Generally when I contact them, they say I have to pay more even when I tell them I only want whats offered in the gig. This isn’t all of them. I have some really good sellers that I try to reuse. Its just enough to make you frustrated.

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Sadly, here you only have two choices, either you order the gig directly or you just leave out those sellers and find others.

I’m glad to hear this. :smiley:

Don’t despair, I’m sure you’ll find the other good sellers you still need. They are many out there waiting for you!!! :wink:


As I have seen on the page and read, some sellers will charge an extra for products added to the work. sure you have contacted any of them. but I think that looking for more you will find the one that makes your proposal at the price you are looking for.

First of all, I didn’t know I could do buyer’s request. Most of the time it is a gig they offer and I like the gig and the terms, but it says contact them before ordering. They never talk about the original gig. They’ll ask my budget and etc. I tell them I just want one of the gigs on their page. Most of the time I order standard or premium. They find some reason why they can’t do it. Some get upset if I order the gig first. Look I have paid other outsourcers thousands on projects. I just need you to be honest with your price and deliverables. None of this contact me first before you order crap. Its always a way to bait and switch. There are cases where I like a gig, but need it customized. I will contact them and ask them to give me a custom order.


Look, I am honest with my prices and deliverables and the 20 or so sellers I ordered from here have been too.

I also don’t get upset with buyers if they order directly and only send so much work as they paid for. My gig clearly spells out what is included in the gig and for what buyers are supposed to contact me.

If someone orders exactly what my gigs offer, they don’t need to contact me. But as we have only so many characters for the gig description and only 3 gig tiers we can set, though, not everything a buyer might want to order can be included there. My general translation gig, for example, is, as stated, for Word files. If buyers have different kinds of files, or want me to even work “live” on their website, that might take me a lot more time and I might ask a higher price for that.
The prices of the gigs are for exactly what the gig descriptions detail they are for. If someone wants specific things that the gigs don’t provide, that’s what custom orders and the option to contact the sellers are for.

A seller can also choose to not accept custom offers at all and just leave the buyer the choice to order exactly what is in the 3 gig tiers - tough luck for buyers then if they want something that’s a bit different than what the gigs offer. Most of my buyers contact me before they order because many of them want a custom offer and are pleased that I can cater to their needs flexibly if possible.
Some have more words than the gig offers, some want a faster delivery time, some have “exotic” file formats and want me to download and use a specific software to work with their desired file format, some even want me to do something completely different than what my gig offers … Anyone is welcome to order exactly what my gig says it provides without contacting me but “Contact me first before you order” is not c*** and not always a way to bait and switch, sorry. It’s just a normal part of doing business.
If you experienced that it always is bait and switch, you’re definitely picking the wrong sellers.

If you really want exactly what their gig offers, I don’t see a problem with ordering the gig without contacting them, I never had a seller get upset with me for ordering their gig without contacting them either.

Well, good luck, anyway, I just tried to provide an insight “from the other side”, I’m no fan of bait and switch myself.


I am so sorry you are facing issues, but to be fair, why don’t you contact your seller beforehand?
Is it harmful to do so? I do not know what category you are buying from. But in my category, it is very useful to contact me first.
For example: I do Excel (and google sheets) automation, sometimes it can be done using Excel’s built in function (cheap) sometimes not, which makes me develop a custom function (2nd or 3rd package or even higher).
And customers might not know that their request can be done in a very specific way.
Yesterday, I got an order for my cheapest package without buyer contacting me, his request cannot be done without a custom function, when I explained to him, he agreed to pay more, wouldn’t that be easier if he contacted me first. AND he even apologized for not contacting me!!

PS: I removed the conv. between me and the buyer.

At the end of the day, they paid more, and I delivered, and they left me a 5 stars review.

In conclusion, it does not hurt to contact your seller.:slightly_smiling_face:


I don’t mind contacting sellers and I am sure you are honest. I know exactly what I want and they have the gig up, but they still ask me to contact them. I tell them I want to order gig # x. Then they’ll ask me my budget. I tell them gig # x is my budget. Sometimes I won’t here back or I guess I can do it, but it will take me x days (thats not in the gig promise). Or they’ll say they can do it for this extra amount of dollars. All I want is what is promised in the gig at that price. Again, this isn’t all of them. I have been on Fiverr for many years ordering gigs of all kinds. Its just frustrating when you run into that issue. If what I need is not on a gig, but I like their work I always contact the seller first. Its not a problem for me. But, there are sellers on here that use that contact me first just to upsell you. I also have those, that ask me to contact them then try to get me to buy their services outside of Fiverr. I stay away from those sellers.

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Some sellers might give a cheaper price than their gig/gig package price once they know the exact requirements and after contacting, eg. through the seller sending a custom offer. Putting “contact first” can also help ensure the seller can achieve exactly what is being asked for (and if not, through contact, an alternative could be agreed upon), a lot of which can depend on the buyer’s source content. Some things might not be achievable depending on the buyer’s source content. Asking to contact first could also help stop orders that could (without the buyer knowing) be against the terms of service (eg. things that could infringe copyright).

If Fiverr allowed more packages and more things in the gig and package descriptions and more gigs to allow for more specific pricing, there’s be less need for custom offers and contacting for a specific price.


Well, as long as you know it’s not all of them, it’s good, all the “they” and “always” did sound a bit generalizing.
Of course there are some who do that, and other things, such as trying to get buyers to make deals outside of Fiverr - we sellers do get quite a few buyers who try that with us too by the way.
Luckily, despite there being some buyers who don’t behave appropriately in a lot of different ways, though, I know that most buyers are very nice and honest people, and I’m pretty sure it’s like that with sellers too. Else there wouldn’t be so many deals done here every single day since nine years already. Fiverr would be out of business since long if the “bad” sellers and buyers were the majority.
I hope you’ll have fewer of those bad experiences, and will have a bigger circle of sellers you enjoy doing business with over time.


Please report every seller who does it to Customer Support. I know it’s additional work for you, but you will help both honest buyers and honest sellers by doing it.


I will say that I have paid for 98 gigs from Fiverr and about 90% are successful! The path to finding the right seller isn’t always easy.


Agree with @catwriter, you should report sellers that are doing this.

I’m a seller and I work only with prices offered in my gig packages.

Some time ago I needed some work done and 6 sellers out of 5 did the same: I contacted them and they gave me higher price even though it completely fell into their gig requirements with some vague explanations like “but it’s too complicated” etc. So I also can imagine how buyers feel having to deal with this behaviour all the time.

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I’ve seen some gigs with different levels of complexity for each package. Maybe the sellers you mentioned should have done something like that and not charged any more if it was too complex (eg. either charged the gig/gig package rate or just said they couldn’t do it). But it may not be clear to the buyer which package that should be in (eg. which level of complexity a particular delivery would require), and there isn’t much space in package descriptions to define exactly what each could be for (eg. in terms of the max complexities of each). The seller might not know how complex it is going to be before knowing the buyer’s exact requirements and their exact source items.

No, it was quite clear, and they did have packages.
I’m a seller myself so I know more or less the scope of work. But that case was super clear and very straight forward. (E.g Let’s say it was to convert 10 files from pdf to jpg and their 10$ gig was offering to convert 15 files. But for some reason price became different when I contacted them. Which I did only because I’m a seller and I prefer when people contact me upfront.)

And that’s also true that most sellers start their conversation with “what’s your budget”.

Doesn’t matter how much I want to believe that most people working on the platform has great working ethics that’s still remains untrue. We are all from different countries and in some countries that’s exactly how they do business. (And that’s perfectly normal in their environment where for others it’s quite disturbing)