Fiverr Community Forum

Buyers asking for free samples

Hey there,

It has happened a few times now that buyers want me to make free samples for an illustration project.
I always decline because I don’t like to work for free and without any promises of actual paid work…
What is your opinion on this?
Is it even fair for them to ask free samples? Because they could walk away with your work without paying anything at all…

X Debsdraws


if you’re watermarking your samples so the potential buyer can get an idea of what you’re offering then fair enough.

That’s why it’s sensible to offer samples only with watermarks.

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Yeah but it’s not even that I’m afraid they will walk away with my designs, my problem is working without any promise of actual paid work…

happens this to me much time,
after completion of sample Clients Fly away, without any comments
and never Message Back

That’s exaclty what I’m afraid of… is it even legal within the rules of Fiverr?

It’s not whether it’s in the rules or not, it’s whether you want to do it or not.

Buyers can ask for samples, you can say ‘no’ if you want.

which is why you watermark your samples, IF you want to offer them. The sample you offer doesn’t have to be ‘their’ work BTW - if they ask for a sample of your work, that’s what you send them - a sample of your work.

Thanks for your response @offlinehelpers but I think it’s a bit harsh to say it this way, because these potential buyers imply that they will work with you after completion of a sample, and then they don’t, and everyone’s okay with that?

I hate saying no to potential buyers but also don’t want to do work they don’t want to pay me for…

I’m not talking about samples of my work, but actual samples of the work they’re asking you to do!
I always send extra samples of my work if someone is unsure if they want to work with me, but that’s not what this topic is about, I’m sorry if I confused you.

So don’t do them - it’s easy enough to say ‘no’! :sunny:


its Not legal to do Sample First,

Actually, the Buyer ask from many Sellers todo a sample and in this method Buyer Work completed without any investment,

But for Graphics Designer when Buyer Request for sample then Protect with WaterMark

this is what I was wondering. Is there a way to alert Fiverr that people are trying to scam people out of their work?

I know how to say no, but it’s very hard because I really want to be a freelance illustrator, and you don’t become a freelance illustrator by saying no all the time.

And even if I say no, and therefore don’t get scammed, other people can still be the victim of their scamming…

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i dont think fiverr will Help Buyer in This Setuatin

Here’s an older thread which will pretty much cover your question:

Thanks! I Haven’t read that topic yet, will do that right now :sunny:

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Actually, he gave you wrong information. I have asked Customer Support about buyers requesting free samples, and after some back and forth, they told me that it wasn’t against the rules. Buyers can ask, and some sellers agree to do small samples. However, there’s no guarantee that the buyer will really place the order, and with no order in place, there’s no guarantee of payment.

As far as I can tell, Fiverr doesn’t want to play a babysitter; they want each and every freelancer to decide for themselves whether they’re going to offer free samples or not.

So, all you can do is politely refuse, and ask them if they want you to send them a custom offer for a small sample. They usually leave after that, because they had no intention to buy, they just want work done for free.


@catwriter thanks for your reply. That makes a lot of sense. I will definitely use your tip in the future!
I feel very good about saying ‘no’ now :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ve done this before, from 5 buyers asking for samples, 3 of them bought my gig. Because I am a new seller here, there is no harm in trying harder. :slightly_smiling_face:

I get this a lot. I send them a short reply that isn’t really open ended - they can either order or move on. It saves time and I have roughly a 50% conversion rate.

“Hi there! Thanks so much for getting in touch. Unfortunately, I don’t offer any work outside of active orders. If you’re interested in moving forward with your concept, feel free to place an order through my gig page.”

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Samples help quicken the conversation and fixing the deal. Sometimes I provide watermarked samples from my previous works that match the buyer’s required quality or idea. But sample of the buyer’s specific project? It’s a big NO.

I don’t agree. Suppose, I create an original design for 50 bucks and redraw an already created design for 20 bucks. The buyer can get my original design for free and get it redrawn by other artist for 20 bucks or less even though it is watermarked.