Fiverr Community Forum

Buyers being difficult about commercial rights

This is a repeat issue for many sellers, including myself. Unfortunately, you will come across buyers who refuse to pay for the rights, no matter how clearly you have stated that they have to do so.

I have a policy of delivering voice-overs even if the buyer refuses to order commercial rights. This has been happening very rarely to me, as I always remind them if needed. I find that delivering the order anyway saves me a lot of trouble with cancellations, but it begs the question: is there a bullet-proof way of ensuring that buyers order the rights (or, at least, a better way)?

Usually, the buyers who refuse to order commercial rights when needed are the 10 dollar orders and not the higher paying projects, so calling your lawyer on a 10 dollar gig is, in my opinion, overkill.

Yet, this has become more frequent, and I’m now beginning to look into other solutions.

Updating my gig description to remind the buyers did not help (because buyers rarely read the description anyway), so I thought a clear reminder in the order requirements form would do the trick.
Reminding the buyer that it is unlawful to use the audio for any business-related use without the correct rights was the last tool I had in my arsenal against these buyers - if you don’t count cancellations (hurting my rating) and bad reviews (hurting my rating).

Nobody wants to get many cancellations or bad reviews, and I appreciate getting paid the right price for my services.

Today I had my first order after including a clear reminder about commercial rights in the order requirements. The buyer’s answer was that they didn’t need the commercial rights because this was going to be used to pitch their business to investors… I mean… Come on… That is, by definition, business-related use!

How do you handle buyers refusing to pay your asking price? As far as I can see, my only option now is to increase my rate to include commercial rights by default. But that would mean upping my gig price, which in turn could lead to fewer orders.

I have used the broadcast and commercial rights to increase my rates instead of raising my gig base price. But at this point, I’m starting to think that’s the only way to get paid what I’m supposed to.

I would love to hear your ideas on the matter!

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This subject is so annoying to me that I’m considering including the Commercial Rights in the price, although I risk losing some clients…

I’ve ignored it if they are new (and if the voiceover is short), but it always seems they do it on purpose. A “let’s see if she doesn’t notice it” kind of thing.

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Hello. I provide meditation music of my composition and I have raised my prices to automaticly include “exclusive full commercial rights”. It’s more simple for me like this.

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I’d suggest increasing your base price, and ‘baking it in’ to that, so to speak. In my opinion, this is the only way to truly avoid people taking advantage of you. It’s the classic ‘some people spoilt it, so now everyone has to suffer’ mentality, but what can you do?

Your work speaks for itself, and your hundreds of happy customers, plus a Top Rated Seller badge prove your worth. Which is why I was surprised to see that you offer 150 words of audio, AND 24 hour delivery, AND a revision, for just $10.

Everyone loves a bargain, but to me your gig is an absolute steal, and I wonder if perhaps you’re attracting a lot of the ‘wrong type’ of buyer? Have you tried raising your prices in the past? We always felt that $30 was too much of a base price, and that it would kill our business, but honestly the opposite has been true. We still get a decent volume of orders (it’s quiet at the mo, but ya know, Christmas) and the ‘type’ of customer we get is so much better overall.

I’ve always found Broadcast Rights to be a tougher sell than Commercial, what with it being so much more expensive, but I find that at our price point, customers are familiar with ‘industry rates’, and they’re more than happy to tack on extras without balking at the price. It’s rare that we get drawn into an argument about Broadcast Rights, and many customers add it on voluntarily, without being asked.

We bake commercial rights into our cost. 90% of our work is commercial in nature. To the 10% who buy from us but don’t need Commercial Rights, I guess it makes our service a tiny bit more expensive to them, but to be fair, they don’t have to buy if they don’t want to. Since implementing this, I’ve had one guy message saying he refused to order from us, unless we made him a custom offer, removing Commercial Rights. I wished him all the best - he sent a few angry messages, then went off on his merry way to annoy someone else.

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Exactly! But even when they realize that I did notice, and that I’m warning them regarding legal liability for violation of the rights to the audio, some of them still keep insisting that they don’t want the commerical rights. I’m considering starting to follow up directly with the companies but oftentimes they are not to blame since they are purchasing the voice over as a package deal through other sellers or companies.

The fact is, my commercial rights are only 10USD. That’s actually cheap. One would think that’s a fair price to pay for staying legal.

@cubittaudio - thank you for your kind words and advice! I’ve been thinking the very same thought myself lately. My gig IS a steal, but that’s sort of my philosophy in everything I do, and have worked well for me. I always kept my price above 5 to avoid the “bad buyers”, but I might have to increase my base rate to include commrcial rights. You might be right, and I might be attracting some bad buyers with my low rate.

I do offer 150 words, 24 hour delivery (I’m the kind of guy that will get up the moment I get a job and just do it, because, if I procrastinate, I won’t get anything done.) and a revision, but given the fact that 95% of the orders I get require commercial rights, most orders never go below 20USD.

But that requires a lot of extra work explaining the rights to buyers. I do worry that increasing my rate to 20USD would cause me to get less orders, but as long as my earnings stay the same, that wouldn’t be an issue.

Actually, I only require broadcast rights for TV/Radio/Streaming ads, and the clients who buy that type of material usually have bigger budgets. So I rarely have issues with broadcast rights, but even those are cheap with me, so that might be it. I see many sellers charging 100 or even 500 for broadcast rights.

I’m seriously considering raising my base rate to 20 (30 is a bit high in my opinion, but then again, I’m a low-cost kinda dude), and seeing what happens. It’s worth a shot!

I appreciate your advice on this.

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Another idea would be to raise the base price but put in description “if you do not need commercial rights then 10$… contact me for custom offer…”

So you cover both options but ensure those who purchase without asking or reading get and pay for commercial rights.

My field is design and I include commercial rights in all my basic prices, but my basics are much higher then Fiverr minimum and much lower then my actual rates. So you win some lose some buyers there.

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You are absolutely right.

Looking at this a different way, I’m wondering if your $10 charge for commercial rights sends out the wrong message to buyers. $10 is incredibly cheap.

If for instance you charged $50 for commercial rights (still cheap) - it then makes a statement like “I’m a professional. Don’t mess with me. I know what I’m talking about”.

Whereas charging $10 feels like it’s an after thought and you can’t really be bothered with it. Maybe this is why people are abusing your service?

I’m not saying I’m right, it’s just my immediate reaction on reading your story. I do like the idea of ‘baking in’ the fee to your standard gig as @cubittaudio put it - but I know me… I’d still be annoyed that some buyers were trying to abuse me.

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One of the big issues here is that buyers are clueless and commonly deliberately (and proudly) so.

People don’t want to know what the rules & reason for them are. they dissemble as you person here has and say oh but I am not selling this therefore it is not commercial. Like the lying phone caller who says they are not calling to sell anything but to give me info info designed to make me want to buy their crap on the next invasive call.

:slight_smile:

Thanks for your advice! It might be, but personally think voice over services are overpriced considering many talents still charge rates from a time when you had to travel to a special studio, or when you absolutely had to pay for super expensive ISDN etc. Times have changed, and I’m just going with the flow. I still make a very good living doing this at my current rates.

However, I think most of the buyers here on Fiverr would simply view expensive rights as “false advertising” and would simply buy from someone else (and there’s always someone else).

But I’ve increased my base rate to 20USD now, and included commercial rights - and I’ll try that for a few weeks and analyze the results.

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thank you you have give us great idea…

You may actually gain customers by having commercial rights available for all your scopes and price points because you’ll be more discoverable if people use the Commercial Rights search filter to narrow their search.

Plus you won’t have to spend time and energy from getting buyers to make sure they aren’t using rights without paying for them.

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Specifically because of that possibility of knocking myself out of searches because I don’t charge for rights, I’ll be borrowing a technique from another VO seller’s gig I saw in which commercial and broadcasting rights are listed just to show up on searches. The seller doesn’t actually care if a buyer purchases them, and makes the fact clear in their gig description, video, and order requirements that they aren’t necessary.

I guess if a buyer accidentally purchases rights, they can be converted into other gig extras or just more words recorded.

  • It would be a whole lot easier if Fiverr just allowed voice actors to include commercial or broadcasting rights as bundled with a base purchase like they do with high quality audio format.

Did you notice any actual drops or have any numbers on how many searches where the buyer actually uses that filter? Just curious, because it would, at least to me, seem a bit odd if a seller includes commercial rights while also making it available for purchase. I’d have to explain that to every buyer who includes it in their order themselves, and that seems like a hassle.

Actually, I have nothing to compare it with since I have never charged extra for commercial or full broadcasting rights since I starting selling this March (which was a heck of a time to try to start online freelancing what with Covid starting to go rampant at the same period).

I am retooling my gigs this very moment and have not implemented the change yet, so still no hard data to compare it to.

It’s weekend now, so it’s difficult to get anything done since there’s hardly any buyers on the weekends - at least not for me. But I’ve included commercial rights in my base price, but also as an extra, and pointed out in the gig description that there’s no need to add it. We’ll see what that does. I did confirm that you drop out of search if filtered by commercial rights, and that’s not something I want.

Very strange that Fiverr hasn’t allowed us to include commercial rights in the base gig. I’ll get in touch with customer support and suggest that they do so.

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That would help clarify things enormously without potentially confusing customers or negatively impacting sellers. Hope Fiverr listens.

Considering my thread with customer support about gig video compression (Fiverr ruins gig video audio quality to the point of it actually hurting the business of voice over talent) have been open for three months with no update, I’m not holding my breath. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

You really should raise your rates. Why do five $10 orders when you can one $50 order? You may attract more buyers who see the $10 as a sign of perhaps poor quality work. Some people want to pay more, even expect it. Those are the buyers I want.

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That’s the crux of another debate. There are incredibly successful Fiverr sellers who go for “cheap and plentiful” orders, and incredibly successful Fiverr sellers who go for “valuable but infrequent” orders. Each has their merits.

Price doesn’t dictate quality of outcome, but can definitely play a part in one’s expectations.

A buyer may very well assume a $5 or $10 gig as being poor quality. A buyer may also assume a $50 or $100 gig as being grossly overinflated. There’s no one-size-fits-all pricing strategy that works for everyone (except free, people seem to love free stuff even if it is of questionable quality).

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