I have been a buyer on Fiverr for years and a seller for a couple of months now. I’ve got 10 completed orders that all went fine, and my eleventh has been a nightmare!
To dive straight in - A buyer sent me an 8000 word document (in Russian) to proofread with the instruction of - Put it through Google translate, then check the document for spelling and grammar mistakes.
So I did just that, obviously there were a fair few errors after being translated, I altered all of these, used the Track Changes function which is pretty standard, checked over the document again and sent it over to the buyer.
First he tells me that there are huge errors in the text and that it isn’t English at all. He sends me over a passage of the text that appears to be quite jumbled and all but accuses me of scamming him.
I politely informed him that he had enabled the ‘Track Changes’ function and what he was seeing was the parts I’d removed plus the new parts.
He told me ‘Just send me normal word document’
Fine, not a problem, I accepted all the tracked changes myself so that he couldn’t see them and was left only with the final document. I sent it over again.
He informs me that I haven’t changed anything and that it doesn’t make any sense.
I check it over again, apart from a single misplaced comma, I’m pretty confident that it’s correct so I send it back again.
This guy, to whom English is obviously not his first language, then tells me that the text makes no sense and it’s not in English.
As someone who has been a writer and editor for many years, I could accept if he picked me up on the odd syntax error - we all make them now and then. But to claim my work is not even in English is quite shocking.
He requested I cancel the order. I declined, because I’ve done the work requested.
He keeps asking for a revision of the text and tells me that if I can’t do the work then he’ll have to give it to someone else.
So basically here are the things I’ve learnt as to why the system favours the buyer (I know this won’t come as a revelation to many of you);
- Buyers have no incentive to be polite/civil. As a seller if I was unprofessional in my messages then I would get a bad review and it would affect future sales. Buyers don’t have levels and ratings so can be as rude as they like without consequence.
- They can keep asking for revisionz indefinitely, even when no revisions were included in the order.
- They can bribe us with bad reviews and cancellation of payment without fear of any comeback, but if we even hinted at something like that then we would get a warning/ban.
I’ve enjoyed Fiverr so far, but if 10% of my orders are going to be like this then I don’t know if its worth it.
Any advice or insights you would like to share would be very welcome here!