Buyer request for free of charge samples- yes or no?


Recently, I’ve came across multiple requests from potential buyers to make them free of charge demos. The buyers, so it seems, want to get proof of my quality of work, but don’t want to pay for the time invested in making them that proof.
I understand that in Fiverr marketplace there are a lot of sellers and the buyers want to be sure that what they’ve purchased is the right and best thing, but us sellers need to have some reassurance too.
In my field, the audio world, it’s harder to send a buyer an example because they can use it as it is. I’ve tried to add some sound- watermarks but it dosent work all the time.
Plus, I think there should be a minimal trust between a seller and a buyer. If you as a buyer, don’t trust me as a seller, why would you engage with me and make the transaction? Fiverr has a lot of reassurance for the buyers but not so much for the sellers. Buyers should know that sellers spend time on making each product and deliver the maximum result in the minimum price (at least this is the case for me). Every product I deliver is costumized and crafted to answer my buyer’s requests, goals and vision. It’s frustrating to think that buyers won’t trust my quality of work and expect me to deliver them a free of charge product I worked so hard to make.
Have you came across something similar? What do you do in cases like this?
Thank you,
Avri Music


Hi Avri,
I understand it can be frustrating to work for free. Since audio is a tough medium - you can’t exactly use images or add portfolio work - perhaps you could have a few files on-hand that you use for samples repeatedly? For example, if someone asks you for an example, you can tell them that any specific work requires payment but that you can send along 2-3 samples of your work that you have already developed for your personal portfolio that you would be happy to share without copyright privileges. This would save you from having to do the work of making new samples each time and it would ensure that the people you’re giving them to know that these are truly just samples, not free, customized work samples.

I don’t think you can get around the fact that people will always want to know what they’re buying. It would be ridiculous to buy a blue shirt from someone if they refused to show you the shirt first without giving you details about the shade of blue, the cut/fit of the shirt, etc. So even though it’s frustrating, you can’t accuse buyers of not trusting you when they have no way to verify what you say you’re offering.

Best of luck to you!


Have a bunch of samples ready and send them one if they ask, I have a sound cloud page where customers can have a listen to demos, if the customer wants a unique demo then it might be worth your time to send them one. If recording a 10 second demo will secure you a $200 dollar gig then it’s worth it! If it’s a five dollar gig just send them a generic demo. Have 1 top quality demo available for advert, podcast, webinar etc, slap them all in a demo file on your desktop and you can just fire them away.


Or what Mandy said :+1:t2:


Hi Mandy, thanks for your comment. I have a portfolio here on Fiverr and a link with previous works I’ve done outside this platform for the clients to listen to. I don’t think the buyers are wrong by wanting to know how good am I, but they repeatedly ask for costumized work for free and “run off” without paying or completing their gig later. And that, after they keep saying they like my work. That’s my problem…
But thanks so much for your comment and ideas!


Hi, I agree with what you said about securing 200$ by making a short unique sample. But when I do that short unique sample they ask for revisions and more work on my hand, without anything bought. That way, my “short” sample becomes “full work” without any gig bought. Please don’t get me wrong, when they purchase, I give them the revisions requested and make sure they get the exact product they paid for (and even more). But sometimes they expect me to do all the work and then decide if they want to buy it or not…


Hi ;

Never ever do your work for free. Provide them your sample work and thats it . A good buyer will surely trust you and will pay you the amount you deserve :slight_smile:


if you think they want to buy a big gig - then what I do, is offer to do a short sample for $5 (if by some strange reason the numerous samples on my gig/soundcloud aren’t enough) then at least I know they are serious and will invest time in them. It does take time for you to do any job and sadly there are a lot of buyers out there that take advantage of people with requests for free “samples”. If someone is going to spend decent money, they shouldn’t blink at spending $5-$10 to try someone out first if that is their genuine intention.


Its understandable that the buyer wants a sample of your work; however, your Live Portfolio should be proof enough for what you’re capable of. If the Buyer is serious about hiring you for a project, then they should be willing to pay 5USD for a sample. As an above post stated, “never do work for free.”


As a voiceover artist, I frequently hey asked for custom samples. Yesterday I got asked for a sample of about three minutes long!

I gave them fifteen seconds. I figured that should be enough to see if my work was eight for them. And it was as they hired me for the full gig.

Yes, have as many samples of varied projects as you can. With music it has to be tough, but maybe if you chose a section of the production that represented you while not compromising your work it could benefit both of you. If they don’t go for the idea, and you’ve never worked with then before, then I think it’s their loss if they don’t work with you.


Any ideas on how to not work for free? I have just been robbed of 2 hours of my work. The buyer started fooling around and disappeared with uploaded file.


I’ll just add that a “before and after” sample of 3 different types of audio (i.e 1 podcast, 1 music, 1 outro) to be sent to anyone who wants a sample…
חיבוק, מיטל


Just don’t do this. You spend days on such requests and all you hear in the end is “i will contact you soon”.


I think i have been fooled in similar way. A person with 0 reviews contacted me recently to ask me to prove my translation skills. She claimed to have lots of work for me and company just opening in my country, etc. All i had to do was to translate a test file of 300 something words. She was communicative and professional. Until i uploaded the file. Never heard from her again. And it wasn’t my translation that was wrong for sure. It is quite simple trick actually… you cut a long text into 5-10-50 parts depending how long it is, you spam all the translators giving them a small part of it as a “test”. In a day or 2 you just take it all back and combine into one file. Then you sell it on another site where your order came from and for good money. Profit! After that you create a new account and repeat.


I surely agree! Thanks


Hi sue, this is exactly what I was trying to do but the response was either disappearing or a not so good feedback (to say the least).


This is what I thought too… Thanks for your comment.


Totally agree, especially with the last part. Thanks.


I’m sorry to hear that, but yeah, there are a lot of scammers ou there. I’m trying to avoid them all myself. Thanks for your comment.


If they disappear after you suggest that (or tell them you don’t offer free samples) don’t worry about it, be glad It is likely they never intended to give you a paying job in the first place :wink:

A portfolio of your previous work, should be more than enough to show a potential buyer that you have the skills they need.