Fiverr Community Forum

Fiverr becoming Unstable for Seller Growth (Levels)

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:

Cancellations:

#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.

Response Rates

#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.

Closing Remarks

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 :slight_smile:

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.

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I strongly support your point of having evaluations consider the sellers performance bimonthly. I think that would ease up the stress many are being put under to bounce back. As someone who was just demoted from level two, I’m trying to take each day as it comes. I’m also more proactive in gig promotion and spreading the word.
One thing I think needs closer scrutiny is the order cancelation. I think some exceptions have to be allowed if the seller, or buyer are faced with situations beyond their control and can’t take on the order.
For example, when faced with a natural disaster like the past hurricane season, many of us had to turn down possible orders and extend time to the max in order to deliver the current orders on time. The same goes for life emergencies for both sellers and buyers.
Cancelling an order in those situations is not a sign of bad performance, rather it shows the dedication and professionalism of the sellers.

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This is better for Fiverr itself. They get to keep their money and the only one really effected is that particular seller. Which is of course unfair.

The new system isn’t meant to develop sellers and allow for growth. It’s meant to retain the most money.

Don’t get me wrong, the old system had that same goal, but I do feel there was a lot more balance to it. And a lot of us had grown accustomed to that system and maximized our abilities on the platform. This new system, however, is really lopsided in my opinion.

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The message system needs to be fixed to stop the response rate falling by error.

Cancellations are inevitable also. I’m not sure what the answer is aside from lowering the standard to 85%.

I don’t agree at all that fiverr is becoming “unstable” for seller growth. On the contrary, this will allow those who deserve to be at higher levels to be there and stay there as they will be aware of what they need to do.

We have seen numerous sellers be promoted to Top Rated Seller level due to this update.

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Definitely,

I can equally also attest that the past Hurricane season was met with lots of issues and the team @Fiverr probably has little to no knowledge or understanding of such occurrences and real world tribulations sellers are faced with, emergency situations can occur at any given point in a sellers life - The practicality of what’s currently in place just isn’t fully there. Perhaps a better method would be allowing demotions to occur bimonthly - e.g. if you fail your evaluation at the second round you’re then demoted - allowing for a 60-day period for sellers to improve their performance - yet allowing for promotions every single month.

In this instance, sellers would still have the opportunity to go back from Level 1 to Level 2 in a 30-day period, and are given a 60 day period before being demoted even further back down to New Seller - It creates at least ‘some sort’ of added stability. With the current system in place one can argue that you’d be able to drop from being a ‘Top Rated Seller’ to no badge at all or ‘New Seller’ in a matter of 90 days, or simply 60 days for the large majority of Level 2 Sellers like myself.

There’s no loyalty portrayed in this - It’s now a frenzy for who can keep up both mentally and physically with the demands that freelancers face. Not only would this seemingly be bad for Sellers but also counter-intuitive for buyers and long-term customers who shop via Fiverr - With the receding Levels (Arguably hundreds of thousands of people will be pushed back levels in the next coming months if nothing is changed) They’ll be equally also met with confusion and less faith and dependency to buy.

Fiverr faced backlash last year with certain campaigns they launched - portraying Freelancers in an over-worked setting, yet despite this they seemingly haven’t learned - I foresee many sellers leaving the platform this year if the attitude isn’t changed in a positive light to actually empower sellers to continue doing great rather than penalizing and promoting competition at any and every point they can in what’s already one of the competitive spaces online.

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By all means everyone is definitely entitled to their own opinion - I’ve simply voiced mines. My issue isn’t with their new progressive layout - I think that’s fantastic, I just think that there are more complications with trying to retain this level and standard and there needs to be a discussion on how we can improve to actually make it feasible, not get rid of it entirely - there are people who’ve worked for years here to gain and build their reputation - and it can be lost in a matter of 60 days (reverting from Level 2 to New Seller) - throwing reputation, sales and the like out the window - it just doesn’t matter any more.

The fact at hand is it will be unstable for the majority of sellers. Yes - there are those who’ve been promoted to Top Rated Seller through-out this update and that’s fantastic, but if they EVER have a bad month or one at which was sub-par they’ll instantly be demoted back to Level 2 and go through the rigorous manual selection process. Badges no longer will reflect seniority or actual deliverables - it’ll simply be performance which can fluctuate easily - as simple as having received 1 bad review for some out there, or even a buyer misplacing orders.

The amount of those who were demoted greatly outweighs the amount that were promoted (thousands were demoted). Those who fail to now meet the next evaluation in less than 30 days (which sometimes just isn’t enough to bring back up your performance) You’d thereafter be demoted again. There could be as large as a 4 month gap period of bouncing to and fro Level 2 to New Seller back to Level 2 yet again - to which it could be lost yet again at any given time due to outside circumstances that are out of a sellers control.

It’s simply a very rigid process - and inevitably will be unstable for a lot of sellers as once again - we’re all humans and there’s so much that happens in the day-to-day lives of everyone here, it’s near impossible to expect that the majority will be in-line at every single evaluation through-out the year and performance drops can occur for even reasons out of our control - and I don’t think the present solution presented is feasible for long-term growth for the “majority” of sellers on this platform.

P.S. I’m not one of those who’ve been demoted fortunately, however this definitely is a concerning matter that I’d say has high-odds for causing issues for a lot of people within this community.

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If you have practical suggestions on how Fiverr can tweak and improve their systems, I would be grateful if you could share them here:

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I’d have to equally 100% agree with you. It’s simply a revenue-play - to ‘empower sellers to do more’ by making it all about performance. I will have to say however that this seems like long-term it’ll have more of a negative affect due to the instability it’ll bring for both long-term sellers and new alike. Performance doesn’t equate to quality and demotions will likely have lots of sellers lose confidence and move elsewhere.

Definitely - Will make a contribution to the discussion :slight_smile:

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This is because there was never any mechanism to demote any sellers before. Once promoted to a level everyone stayed there no matter how badly they performed. So the levels had no real meaning.

I hope all who were demoted again get promoted back to at least the level they were at before.

I wish there was a way to differentiate between sellers who have a lot of cancellations to avoid bad reviews, and those who have to cancel for reasons they have no control over.

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Yes, a bimonthly evaluation I think would work best. There’s not enough time in a month to increase those percentages back to 90%, or better.
For example, being demoted to a level 1 will affect visibility of the sellers gigs, this will make buyers contact them less, thus less chance to improve response rates, or order completions.
Furthermore, a buyer who wants something of good quality has a higher tendency of looking for those sellers with a higher level, like a level 2 buyer will be more trustworthy, than a level one and so on.
This is not to say that there aren’t those who will give the level 1 sellers, or a new seller a chance, but that’s a minority.
This also means less flow of serious requests.
I also think that for buyers whose performance has been exceptional and only got demoted because of a few spam emails, or canceled orders that were beyond their control, an actual member of the fiverr team should hand-evaluate those sellers, not throw everyone to the AI wolf.
As I read more and more around the forums, I’ve started giving serious consideration to the idea of starting a petition requesting bimonthly evaluations.

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Definitely. Only solutions I can think on for cancellations affecting sellers would either be to not include Mutual Cancellations or to reduce the Cancellation threshold to 80-85%. It’s unfortunate as there’s many who were demoted due to this I believe as it’s probably one of the most talked about aspects regarding the change. Im wondering if they do make the change if they’ll revert those who were affected back or if you’ll still need to work your way back up.

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There has to be a better, more fair way. Obviously there are going to be cancelled sales for a wide variety of reasons, 90% of which are due to buyer behavior, not sellers.

Some sellers I have heard about will wait until the last minute, ignoring an order, then ask to cancel, so it’s the bad sellers who have brought this about.

Those of us who are totally 100% responsible sellers who don’t do things like this pay a heavy price for the bad sellers.

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Today I went to buyers requests and decided not to bid. What’s the point? I can’t afford bad reviews.

“If you don’t do nothing, nothing can go wrong.”

That’s should be Fiverr’s new slogan.

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thanks, mate…

Also, they are removing gigs without giving any advance warning or giving any chance to modify them. This is really Absurd! 3 of my best selling gigs was removed & I got this message “third party claiming”!!

If you mean your BuzzFeed and Huffington Post gigs (including posting on Blogher, which only allows personal, non-commercial use), they were for spamming websites that are not yours, and therefore a violation of a third party’s terms of service.

Fiverr doesn’t have to warn sellers before they remove gigs that violate the ToS. It’s up to the sellers to make certain that they’re allowed to offer something before they create the gig.

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Am totally agree with you. Am a level two seller because of this new rules am demoted to new seller just bec of <1%.