Rather than this being more-so a rant - I’ve decided to make this post so that I can voice conflicting situations and the harsh realities sellers will face given the newest update pertaining to acquiring and maintaining levels through what’d now seemingly be a “Performance-Based” system. I’d like to equally encourage others to post below personal situations you’ve been in, whilst also being constructive and offering alternative solutions so that we can hopefully collectively voice real concerns regarding this new update and the affect it has on freelancers - both health wise and monetarily.
Now like others, I myself work full-time via Fiverr - doing so comes with the realities of having to make a living and manage an operation that comes with stringent timelines / deadlines.
The proposed plan to now shift into a performance based level-retaining system now raises the concern of actual stability for trusted sellers who aim to provide the best service possible and who’ve worked so hard to build their reputation
Arguably that should always be the goal - correct? To deliver the best possible service you can. With doing so previously already came with pre-existing hassles, but now inevitably we’re faced with situations such as:
#1. If a seller opens a dispute for a mutual cancellation for any reason, you’re now way less inclined to meet such request as it’ll lower your chance at retaining your level - This’ll not only frustrate the buyer, but also frustrates sellers who willfully wouldn’t mind doing so previously. Now having not provided a refund your chances at receiving a negative review for issues regarding the project are obviously higher - which all sellers know is what we utmost avoid.
Some will argue - “Well it’s the sellers job to mitigate the situation and ensure the issue is solved” - Which would be an incredibly bold statement to make when buyers aren’t always responsive or compliant in heated situations or disputes, you can’t force the buyer into a situation he/she equally wants not to be in - Every properly run client-based operation has some refund policy in place elsewhere, whether independent or on other platforms - More than a percentage in analytics, we’re dealing with real people - It’s a volatile situation
#2. There are then cancellations that are 100% not within a sellers control - such as when / if the following events happen -
A fiverr buyer places an order mistakenly, either for too many of the same gig (added quantity) or the wrong gig entirely.
A fiverr buyer places an order but within 24 hours decides they need to cancel due to either personal or technical reasons including or surrounding the order.
Limitations during an active order that are buyer-induced resulting in an order being incomplete, halted or otherwise rendered incapable on the sellers part to allow for a successful completion which includes but isn’t limited to a buyer not providing additional details or requirements needed for the order or participating in conversations to resolve matters.
Buyers submitting chargebacks, which is against the Terms of Service, yet still sellers are penalized for through performance grades.
This is a very small excerpt on what happens day-to-day in sellers lives and the struggles that go unnoticed. There are once again, many more feasible examples that can be given.
#1. Response Rates can fluctuate tremendously depending on the amount of traction you have towards your gigs on the platforms - moreover there are those who promote their gigs extensively via social means as well to get an added influx of orders - some of which require extensive conversations before-hand. I’ve personally only ever had a max of 20 people reach out to me in a given 24 hour timeframe, which by no means is a small amount in comparison to others, however is by no means the largest amount received by senior sellers - There are Top Rated Sellers and Level 2 Sellers alike who receive 50-100 inquiries per day (or more) depending on the types of gigs they have and their popularity.
Are we to assume and penalize those who have high-inbox rates for not responding within 24 hours. Even with Fiverr’s Quick Messaging feature - essentially now to ensure performance levels are adequate, those who were once comfortable with taking their time responding to their clients and adding MEANINGFUL dialogue to their clients given situation - will now be reduced to simply quick-action and auto-messaging every single person that passes through their inbox, in a rapid race to keep up with “performance” rather than actually assist each and every one individually.
I could continue to write more regarding On-Time Delivery as well however at this point in time I think I’ve voiced enough. I’m not looking to a counter-argument to my argument - It’d be more constructive to come up with solutions as to how we can improve the new implementation in hopes someone @Fiverr will actually take the time to equally help refine this. The point I’m trying to make is that Fiverr is a platform with millions of users spanning differently livelihoods, practices, struggles and actual lives. This platform is becoming more and more machine-like, churning out as much as it can from it’s sellers and whilst It’s great to inspire good work ethic - I think it’s equally important to inspire balance and health for those who are caught up in what will be the biggest race to maintain level and status we’ve seen yet.
My 2 Cents for constructive improvement: At the very least, with still making progress to the platform and inspiring those to “Do”, I think getting demoted should be reduced to if the seller fails to meet the performance-based requirement 2 months consecutively (or) having the performance-based requirement reduced to an 80% threshold for on-going month-to-month evaluations. If your level can be lost as easily as having slightly sub-par performance on a single day within a month - this borderline promotes perfectionism and is going to and already will have an impact on sellers health, financial status and other aspects that do not help empower sellers to continue and could potentially result in burn-out. It’s not the principle that we shouldn’t aim to be the best we can, it’s that now we’re forced to in situations that are very volatile.
Hoping this adds some meaningful discussion
P.S. I don’t know about other sellers, but I’m super excited to bounce back and forth between Level 2 and Level 1 with this update. Who knows, maybe some of us with 200+, 500+, 1k+ 5-star reviews will get reverted back to that “New Seller Status”. At least it’ll make for an interesting conversation when clients reach out to inquire about our services.