Doing Work before Buyer Places an Order


This is mainly a tip for new sellers since veteran sellers probably already know this and it’s been posted before but I haven’t seen it recently. I get reminded occasionally of the importance of this when a buyer tries to convince me to do advance work. My tip is simple: Don’t do work without an order already placed.

I’ve had buyers say all kinds of things to get advance work and some buyers are probably just new themselves, but others will do this very deliberately. The most common reasons I see in my own inbox are things like:

  • “I’d like advance work so I can see a sample”
  • “I’d like advance work but if you do it, I’ll place a lot of orders after”
  • “I want you see proof you can do this kind of work”
  • "I want the work in advance but I’ll pay you for it by ordering a gig after"

    In my opinion, it isn’t worth the risk for any of these reasons. If you do decide that it is worth the risk for you to do advance work, at least realize up front that chances are high you won’t ever get paid for that work. If you are a brand new seller with zero sales and a lot of time on your hands, you could give someone a free sample just to try to get that first elusive order or two, but just don’t set yourself up for grief by expecting a guaranteed sale. I hope this helps someone to avoid a bad situation. Good luck with your gigs!



Reply to @wedd2005: I have some methods for the sample issue. I have a ghostwriting gig and if you look at the gig images (which admittedly aren’t great but they work!) I actually have a small writing sample as one of the images. I also have some pre-written article segments and for a serious potential buyer I will send a .pdf format sample of writing that is watermarked. If they find it worth the trouble to hack the file or re-type the partial article at least it really does me no harm since it isn’t an article I use for anything else. I keep watermarked samples for my other gig types as well.

When you send a sample via attachment it is also a good idea to mention in your message that you retain the rights for the sample. If the person is deliberately trying to steal work from you, they may move on if they realize you do know about rights.


Reply to @genuineguidance: I guess I haven’t been lucky enough to have someone try the “tell my friends” reason yet. Good addition! :wink: I am sure that occasionally a new buyer doesn’t realize that asking for freebies is bad form. I always respond politely (if they asked politely) and just let them know they can see samples in my gig images. I also have some watermarked samples pre-made that I send if they seem serious. Of course, unfortunately, some of the people asking for free samples are just scamming.


I’m new to fiverr. I got a message the other day from another seller saying they have had request for writings in genres that they do not write on. They asked if I would be interested in ghostwriting for them and asked for samples in that genre for them to make sure that I am a good fit for it. I declined the offer because I decided to not write in that genre either but that leaves me wondering, how do you handle potential buyers request for “samples” without unknowingly giving them something away for free? Like I said, I’m new but I understand the need to prove that your work is worth the purchase.


I agree. I have seen over the course of my time on Fiverr new sellers coming in and saying how they are having issues with someone who keeps wanting revisions for an “order” that doesn’t even exist because they didn’t “order” and “pay” for anything, but wanted a “sample” to see if this sellers wares were “good enough” to really “order”! LOL

The one bribe you forgot that they use is:

"I will tell ALL my friends how good you are and send them to you!"

This translates much like a Nigerian in a boiler room catfishing lonely people and getting them to send $$$. He gives your name to all his boiler room buddies to hit you up with some hard luck story or professions of love to get money from you too, since you are a “mark”.



Disclaimer: I don’t want my message to sound like an advice. It’s just my experience.

I do (sometimes) the work before the gig is booked. But it involves a previous discussion with the buyer and some common sense. It’s not that difficult to sense the intentions of a buyer. :slight_smile:

And when I do this, I only do the kind of work that will take me a maximum of half an hour(not a logo, not a whole illustration,etc). Oh, I also do this when I’m not exactly sure that I understood what the buyer wanted and I go with the work up until we are both happy with where this is going.

I’m not exactly a new arrival and I don’t do this because I’m desperate to get orders. I do this when I am confident enough in my buyer’s intentions and when doing this will make things easier and save time for both of us. I also try to stay away from scammers and until now, successfully.


Funny enough my first gig was from a first time buyer who wanted a logo redone. We did everything via inbox but she was indeed honest enough to figure out how to create the gig and allow me to send the artwork through there. She was my first review!

I have had a few freebie lovers. Asking for a portfolio of my work or a quick sample.

Some are as bold enough to send all the information in the inbox and ask me to get started. I simply guide them to my profile. 3 out of 5 actually go and create the gig.

As much good buyers there are on the site, there are the very many scammers. Be very cautious.

If it appears fishy, decline. A better and REAL offer will come along :slight_smile:


Reply to @ajahid1990: It’s too bad, but unfortunately this is true in many cases.


Reply to @flaviav: I agree about those first gigs. I think if you stick to some kind of sample that wouldn’t be usable (like you do with resolution or I do with watermarks) you’ll be fine. I just hate to see brand new sellers get lured into doing work for no pay without knowing the risks. If you are aware of them and plan for them, that’s a step ahead. Good luck with your sales!


Thanks, I have already been faced by such kind of a buyer. Just Fraud


I’m a new arrival over here and got the “sample” test (my gig is for editing and retouching photos) so I get the picture in the message, I do my magic, but after that I take a printscreen of the picture while in Photoshop and I paste it in Paint and send that, not the actual picture. The resolution is so bad that they can’t do anything with the picture so they have to buy the order if the really want the photo. It’s hard for us new arrivals to say no to customers, first gigs are always the hardest to get… :-<