Bait & switch pricing


I’m quite certain others have run into this, but I seem to be coming across an inordinate amount of sellers who advertise really well-done work at $5, I then place an order, they accept it, and only then do I get a note back from the seller telling me they will actually need $50 to do the work (or $35, or $25, or whatever). It’s not as if they list alternate pricing - e.g. for $5 you get X; if you want it in full color, then you pay $20; and if you want it in 3-D full color (for example) it’s $35.

I’m not saying the artist’s work is not worth more than $5, but it seems to me that they are hooking you in with an amazing price for their product, only to force/guilt you into paying more. These are the sellers who ONLY list the $5 price, as opposed to the add-ons mentioned above.

In almost every case, unless it’s only a total of, say, $10, I cancel the order. The artist then gets all bent out of shape, but fiverr is excellent to work with in this regard, as obviously their rules on my side. I have ordered dozens of pieces from various artists, and have been quite pleased with those who charge what they say they will.

I don’t want to be THAT GUY who cancels every order - of course, there’s no work being done by the artist (I almost always am ordering a portrait or caricature) at that point.

Has anyone else run into this bait-and-switch practice? I do report these sellers to fiverr, so that, ideally, they won’t continue the practice.


I don’t think you can call it bait-and-switch, as sellers are allowed to have Gig extras.
If there is no clear description of exactly what you get for $5.00, you could send a message and ask before you order.


It is bait and switch if they refuse to do ANY work at the advertised price.


The only advertised price is the basic gig price. Depending on what you want, gig extras come into play. If you want basic prices, you get basic work. A seller is entitled to decline your custom if you don’t want to pay for the gig extras. Note that “prices start at…” is the language used for all gigs.

So I’m not really seeing a “bait and switch” here, based on what is admittedly your opinion with nothing to back it up with. But if prices “start at…”, isn’t the onus on you as a buyer to read the description, do due diligence and tot up what you want with gig extras to find the real price, perhaps message the seller first to see if they do it?

Or are you gonna slap that $5 button and screech? Because that’s what it sounds like from where I’m sitting.


The 5$ will only stand for exactly what is in the description. If you want something extra then you have to pay extra. I had a person say they want a simple animation of a person running, so I tell the guy it will cost 100$ then all of a sudden, he wants the guy to cross the finish line do some cut wheels, then bow down. This will require more 100 dollars.


If somebody offers a service for $5, they need to provide a service. It can be crappy service, but the have to provide it to be in compliance legally. They can upsell me to the moon, but when it comes down to it, they have to perform a service.


Sounds like a job for QWOP!


Dangggg!!! How to play this???:confused:


Dude. You can throw wiki around all you like, but…

If you don’t want to buy the upsell, you’re gonna get what the basic gig is. It quite clearly says that prices start at $x, so your responsibility as a consumer is to see what you get for the basic gig. If it’s not what you want, continue the search. Insisting people give you stuff for free that’s clearly listed on the gig prior to purchase as an extra?

You gon’ have a bad time here. The only service any seller is obligated to do here is that which you pay for. Read the TOS.


That is just it, they wouldn’t give me the basics!
He could have done crappy work and it would be legal. To not have ANY service for the advertised rate is what makes it illegal.
I understood the picture would cost more. I only asked that he tidy up six words. If my logo won the competition, I was going to get the 35$ job to do it right. He shot himself in the foot, really.

Is there a place on the forum that buyers can get opinions of sellers from other buyers? Those star ratings are only from the people that the seller didn’t cancel.


So I just did the gully creeper for a whole 3.5 meters broke my keyboard in the process


Are you sure he shot himself in the foot? You’re doing that “more work for you in the future…” schick which most freelancers, if not all, detest. 6 words or 600 words, it’s a red flag. Also, without knowing exactly what it was you wanted apart from “six words” and that the picture wasn’t needed (until later), it sounds to me like you were bending the rules to fit your own need at the cheapest price. That’s… not how it works here. At the very least, you should message them beforehand to ask if they can do this if it’s outside the scope of whatever the basic gig is.

Consider this. What you might think of as a $5 “tidy up” could be a lot more involved than a very specific process which a buyer has to cleanup a very specific kind of issue for $5. As with all businesses, the seller has a right to decline serving a customer.

To answer your other question, it’s not allowed on the forum to name and shame. There are a few buyers about who might crop up later when they’re online so they might have some other input for you. I would recommend giving a full and honest account of what happened first though–this useless drip of information helps nobody, least of all yourself, if you’re seeking advice.


I made it to 0.8 by accident once. Congratulations on your big success!


He broke the law and I didn’t.


The gigs are clearly listed at starting from the base price. You’re not giving the full story of your experience. Also, you really need to read your TOS, which are legally binding and more so than your opinion. Take this, for example:

Gigs® on Fiverr may be offered at a base starting price of $5. Some Gigs are offered at a base price of more than $5 as determined by the seller.

And as always:

By using the Site, opening an account or by clicking to accept or agree to the Terms of Service when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by these Terms of Service and our Privacy Policy, found here, incorporated herein by reference. If you do not want to agree to these Terms of Service or the Privacy Policy, you must not access or use the Site.

Bye, then.


None of that changes the law.


But feel free to get the last word in because I am all done playing for the day


10 meters. Mostly jumping (sort of) on the knees.



Unfortunately, the whole accusation here rests on the details, which are not being provided, so all this legal willy-waving is just that. It can be used illegally, but in many cases it is perfectly legal, if shady. More info:

A flounce with “you can have the last word, then!” mm, ok dear.