Fiverr Community Forum

Fake Merchants/Sellers-Fiverr's Vetting Process

  • EDITED*I recently completed an order with a lovely client who was very excited about her short story/poem book. She wanted it converted to an audiobook, so I happily assisted her in doing so. She wrote the poems herself, but hired a ghost writer from Fiverr to assist with the short stories. The book was already listed for sale online and as she was compiling the audiobook files, it was brought to her attention that ALL of the short stories she had purchased from the ghost writer were stollen, i.e; not original work. She is devastated, as this was her FIRST purchase from Fiverr and needless to say, has left a very bad impression about Fiverr as a reliable marketplace for this, and other services. She has now had to remove her book from all platforms, and basically start over. I suggested she reach out to Fiverr Support and make a complaint but the seller…is no longer active. Their account is GONE!

My question is, does Fiverr Support, veteran sellers, or just those who are REAL and take their businesses seriously have any suggestions for how clients can weed through the mess?

There are tons of scam artist sellers, passing themselves off as legitimate artists, only to leave people running for the hills and opting not to use Fiverr altogether. I had to convince her that not all sellers (who offer writing services) are this way and suggested a few merchants I know are legit, but it doesn’t help that she now has to shell out more money to solve a problem/provide a solution Fiverr was supposed to provide in the first place!

Why doesn’t Fiverr have a vetting process in place to weed out trash sellers/merchants? It’s not enough to have a stellar delivery rate, response rate, or low amount of cancelled orders.

I once had a guy reach out for an audiobook, and among his many questions, ask me A SERIES OF QUESTIONS ABOUT MY ETHNICITY AND BACKGROUND to which I was sort of offended! I explained to him that I take my craft VERY seriously and provided a slew of references, links to my work, etc. He went on to explain that he has ordered from Fiverr in the past and when he thought he was getting a PROFESSIONAL, it was A BLATANT SCAMMER WHONDIDNT POSSESS THE SKILLSET THEY WERE ADVERTISING ON THEIR GIG/PROFILE. VERY MISLEADING. He was mortified and mislead, as the profile, the photo, and the samples included on the profile were all convincing! He had no reason to believe otherwise, having taken the seller at face value! He apologized to me as he didn’t intended to offend, but his experience, much like my most recent client is all too common. I offered him a real time sample, reading our convo back to him just to prove I was legit. I shouldn’t have to do that!

I too, have been burned by fake Fiverr merchants with fake reviews and not even sup-par service. I found a gig offering legit IG growth, I messaged the merchant before purchasing, asked about their process, was told they create a formula for hashtags, to help grow your following and provide a process through which to test what is working/not. I was specific in stating I didn’t want a slew of ghost followers and was assured. The rating and reviews supported the sellers claims and I thought, why not?

I ended up with over 1,000 ghost followers! When I went back to Fiverr to complain, I couldn’t contact her. She wouldn’t respond and shortly after, her profile was gone. NOTHING screams unprofessional like an IG business page with over 1,000 followers but an average of five “likes” per post!

What can be done about it?

We are all competing in our niche for sales, how many viable sales are being lost to scammers and people who are not genuine professionals?

I take my craft seriously. THIS IS MY DAY JOB, I dont’ have a 9-5. Between Fiverr and other platforms, this is it fir me. So it pains me to see that real people are being taken advantage of and I wonder, how often? Fiverr is now public, people are actively INVESTING in this platform, and for good reason. We have to find a way to get rid of the joke accounts/sellers and/or create a more stringent vetting processes for those looking to offer services on Fiverr.

I mean think about it, right now, ANYONE can create an account on Fiverr as a merchant and offer…well, ANYTHING! This has to change, guys.

Many of these stories are encoded. Here is a plagiarism checker that shows the text with anything hidden that helps text pass copyscape: http://www.cynosurex.com/Software/Text%20Encoding%20Detector/index.php

My biggest tip is to check work for originality (every single word) before completing the order. Also, I know we’re all cheap, but steer clear for sellers who offer like 7k words for $5 with 1 day delivery. Almost always scams.

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This is very helpful, thank you. I guess my main concern is how can Fiverr prevent these accounts and thieves from working via the platform in the first place? It’s an inconvenience to customers and scaring people away. I get it, Fiverr makes their 10-20% regardless if a client is scammed or not, but can we take measure to ensure this doesnt happen to people?
My mother was scammed trying to get a website built
I was scammed trying to get social media help
And my client was scammed geying to find a ghost writer. It’s too frequent. I get it, scammers exist…okay, but there has to be a way to weed out the fake accounts from thr legitimate ones. If no measures are in place, perhaps creating some will make clients feel better about purchasing services through Fiverr. It just cheapens the quality of work and effort thr real sellers put forth.

The short answer is that they can’t. Even if they presented original stuff to be vetted in, what they did after that would be out of Fiverr’s control. You’re totally right, though.

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There are ways of determining which sellers are legit and which are not. Look at reviews and star rating. If that’s a no go, browse some TRS sellers and maybe some PRO sellers; both are vetted.

Greetings,
Kindly avoid stating countries name. There are many excellent service providers from Pakistan. For one or two seller you just can’t mention a country name like this.

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"Posts that have content or links that put individual regions or sellers from specific regions in a negative light may be pulled for review, edited or removed. Be careful if making any post that may make users uncomfortable due the mention of specific cities/states/provinces/countries/continents/regions or ethnic groups. "

The above is from the forum rules: Forum Rules + Do's and Dont's

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Even if it’s something shared from a past conversation? She was just sharing what she was told by a client.

Ratings do nothing. I’ve worked with a TRS seller who gave me encoded material.

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That clearly wasnt my intention, as you can tell from my post (if you read the post). I was simply stating what happened to a client, not bashing anyone one from a particular country or region. Relax.

Unfortunately, this doesnt help either. My main point is that Fiverr is seemingly large enough to have a more thorough vetting process, and personally, I wish they did.

Yeah, I’m not sure why I need to explain myself as that CLEARLY wasnt my intention. The issue here is fake sellers/scammers, not hurting people’s feelings. Im not sure why this is what stands out to you and not the fact that people are lying about the services they offer. If me talking about real experiences from Myself and clients are offensive, idk what to tell you.

People pointed it out because it’s a forum rules not to call out countries.

However it is a big problem on fiverr that you are talking about. Every day I have at least one person that reaching out to me saying that they had horrible experience with other seller and they just copied work from the internet. We see sooo many sellers even here on the forum EVERY DAY asking to check their gig and give them an advice as for why they are not receiving orders and the answer is usually: they posted stolen work on their gig.

And I’m also not sure what solution fiverr can provide, because people might provide legitimate designs for the verification but after that in orders, one on one with client send stolen work because it’s faster. And it will be impossible to check each and every order.

I guess the solution for now is really not to fall into the cheap or even average price, real work cost time and time is money. Most Legitimate sellers charging proper market rate (which of course seems huge in comparison to all those 5-15$ offers)

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I didnt call out other countries but makes sense and the post has since been edited. My client spent $577. Hardly a cheap gig. I just felt awful for her. There has to be a way. I dont expect all poser account to be scrubbed from the site, not even really sure how that could be done but something’s gotta give. My fear is that with enough of these, people like her will take her business elsewhere and I’m sure there a lot of credible service providers who couldve used her business (I wish I could write because I could use $577!) whole providing a great product.

At the risk of offending everyone, if you stick to top rated sellers there is less chance of being scammed. We get checked on more than other sellers, more frequently, our reviews are read constantly by fiverr staff, and everything about our work gets checked regularly. Pick one with mostly 5 star reviews.

Of course I’m not saying that only top rated sellers are good, but that is my strategy when buying. I know what it takes to remain a top rated seller and it doesn’t take much to be demoted.

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I have said this before and everyone got mad so let me say again that it is not to disparage other sellers. Not at all. Just saying that we cannot have mistakes or give bad service without getting demoted.

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Haha yes, now this is some good advice! Moving forward from my experience, I’ve gotten in the habit of messaging sellers BEFORE ordering to at the very least, ensure what I’m asking for is understood and within their area of expertise.

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$575 for just one short story is an unrealistic budget.
The average short story is around 5,000 words and it sounds like she purchased multiple short stories for that price.
Without being unduly harsh to your client, what was she expecting?

Yes, the platform does need cleaning up but buyers need to perform their own due diligence and maintain realistic expectations.
If you want a professional product you have to pay professional prices.

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You’re correct, she did purchase multiple short stories. She wrote a series of poems and requested a short story for each poem and assuming the price point and sample work provided it was the real deal. I think because most people don’t have $500+ lying around for things like that, she thought she was getting original work.

It is realistic budget if someone seek an original story with deep concept, especially if its written for a books and it’s still cheap if it’s written for a side story of a game/movie.

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