In a nod of “ok, you’re only doing your job” to the new rating system (despite it being massively flawed), I’ve realized today that the reason for 99% of complaints against the system is down simply to one specific kind of buyer.
This morning I got an order for a Facebook banner. Never in my freelancing career have I ever provided anything like graphic design. In this case, why I got this order just boggled my mind. In fact, in canceling it, I stated that frankly, I was beyond bewildered why the buyer would order this from me. Their response? Because I have a gig video and create sales flyers, they assumed I would have no problem doing HTML banners etc.
The problem here? I don’t create bleeding sales flyers either!
That said, looking at the example of what the buyer wants, I can see why they ordered from me. Average prices on Fiverr for the service they are looking for, come in at $25 - $50. In this case, the buyer has purposefully overridden their own common sense and ordered from a completely non-service related seller, simply because they want to pay less.
Of course, I know not all buyers are cheap like this but a lot are. Right now, for example, I have just got a message from someone saying they are going to order a video from me but want to ask if there is a discount if they order 2. In their message, they have then included a link to a video they want me to copy the style of.
The problem? I create 2D animated videos in my style. The buyer wants me to provide them with someone sitting in front of a camera speaking, in what is basically a testimonial video!
Why would this person think that $30 - $65 will get them a model on a professional film set talking about their latest MLM scam? FROM SOMEONE WHO OFFERS NOTHING LIKE THIS!
It’s not a mistake. It’s not crossed wires. It’s simply a case of buyers looking through relevant gigs, not liking the asking prices, and purposefully tweaking searches until they find a price they are happy paying. This despite the fact that services offered don’t match what they need.
Now, the biggest common denominator with these buyers regards the fact that they are all resellers. In this case, I have something like a potential solution.
If I book a flight, make a hotel reservation, or commission someone to create me a logo in the real world, I don’t get all of my money back if I decide 5 minutes later that I have changed my mind. In this case, instead of punishing sellers who have to cancel orders like this, why doesn’t Fiverr punish buyers with something like a non-refundable 30% administration charge.
A buyer orders, they get to a summary where they have to enter and confirm order details and a big box pops up saying: "You have ordered 300 words of copywriting. If the seller does not deliver, you get a full refund in Fiverr credit. If you are requesting a service which the seller doesn’t explicitly provide, cancellations will incur a 30% surcharge."
This could then be followed with; "Not what you were looking for? Go back and contact the seller directly."
Or something like that.
Of course, many will argue that this would lead to buyers being outraged. My bet, however, is that it wouldn’t. Becaise resellers are the main people ordering so recklessly, they would get stung by the fine but guess what? After realizing their mistake once, they probably wouldn’t repeat their behavior a second time. Normal sellers buying services for themselves in the meantime, likely wouldn’t get stung at all because they don’t order so recklessly in the first place.
The point is time wasting like this costs money but buyers don’t care because its not costing them money. As soon as their own recklessness does, my bet is that buyers will think twice before assuming that sellers can do whatever they want providing they chuck some money at them.