I was just wondering, given FIVERR’s history, why sellers are not required to offer something for five dollars, then add on other pricing “as needed” to upgrade and make different selections that will cost more.
But to “start” off, all sellers should be required to list something ‘minimal’ that can be done for $5 and then build up to add-on costs from there.
Eh, I’d be hesitant to demand that a company stay the same as it was in the past. Times change.
Also, there are more than enough sellers offering services for $5 already, so many that you probably wouldn’t even have to delve into sellers offering services for more than that if you didn’t want to. The existence of things like extras would make a $5 minimum moot anyways.
I offer my services for as high as $400 (including all add-ons). One of my packages starts at $175. There’s no way I would go back to earning only $5 per order.
Fiverr is no longer the “everything starts at $5” start-up that they used to be. They’re growing up, and are positioning themselves as a professional freelance services marketplace. Most serious professionals offer their professional services for a lot more than just $5. In fact, sellers should always price their services according to the value of those services, not the lowest possible price. Freelancers work here to earn a profit – to make a living. You make a better living at value-appropriate prices, not $5 a pop.
I totally agree with you, especially with the last few lines you wrote about making a living.
But here comes an issue - let me call it like that - about Fiverr, although I’m not blaming the marketplace itself for this: in my field, translations, a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of people sell themselves for nothing. Considering my language pair, EN>IT, the average rate for experienced translators is US$0.08/word. Since I’m not expert, but I do feel self-confident and know my skills, I charge a little bit less, US$0.05.
Now, 90% of translators of said language, here on Fiverr, charge 0.02 and even lower, some even lower than 0.01, which is shameful in my humble opinion.
The point is, while I know I don’t have to follow the mass, and I should always charge my services for what they are worth (and I do that), it is also true that such widely spread, low rates influence - negatively - the whole market. Especially when even experienced translators behave like that: buyers coming across a 5-star rated, experienced translator that charges so little, and another one with no reviews and the same rates or even higher, will most likely choose the experienced one, “safety” matters.
Indeed. And, unfortunately, a large percentage of those cheap-sale translators have absolutely no translation abilities, and just copy text from one language into Google Translate, and deliver whatever gobbledy-gook, the software churns out. Those “translators” – who only list themselves as such because the easy access to Google Translate makes it possible to scam people for “easy money” – give a bad name to the REAL translators that are here trying to actually help people with a legitimate service.
And yes, those “cheap” GT “translators” are far more prevalent than people realize. I’ve seen a number of horror stories from buyers who were unknowingly scammed by them.
$5 base prices were a good idea originally. Moreover, they came in the 2009-2011 period when there was a flood of people from several professional backgrounds moving into freelancing. $5 presented buyers with almost risk-free creative shopping opportunities. Sadly, as anyone who has ever offered services at $5 knows, $5 prices also attract a disproportionate number of problem buyers.
I used to offer 500-word articles for $5 a pop. Daily, I’d have buyers place an order and ask for anything up to 2,000-words. $5 prices also attract disproportionate numbers of people who intend to chargeback on orders. $5, after all, is little enough for anyone to risk losing.
Then you have buyers who see $5 prices across the board and assume that $5 is a lot of money for freelancers. In this case, these ‘great assumers’ treat the people they work with an air of superiority and outright rudeness. It’s not all. However, it is most.
Cutting a very long story short, $5 prices are laughable in the eyes of professional freelancers. Why work for $5 and risk being exploited, when services can be offered elsewhere for going market prices?
I started selling on Fiverr on an experimental basis in early 2015. I did offer $5 basic services. My goal was to make $250 per month. However, even though I reached this target quickly, I ended up pausing all my gigs for six months, as it simply wasn’t worth my time. I was losing money elsewhere, by having to spend more time communicating, negotiating, and revising orders with $5 buyers, than I actually spent working.
Later, I returned to Fiverr. However, I imposed strict limits on what I offered for $5. - Limits so strict, people would have no other option than to order a $10 minimum order. Sadly, even this didn’t negate the negatives of the platform caused by a certain genus of buyer. Namely, buyers whom build entire off-Fiverr businesses by reselling $5 services for a higher markup.
In short, if Fiverr were to impose $5 basic prices on sellers, there would be no one left on Fiverr but peddlers of the lowest kind of services available. This would impact adversely on Fiverr’s wider reputability among both buyers and sellers.
Universal $5 basic prices simply don’t make good business sense. More importantly, clients worth working with know that $5 sellers shouldn’t even be on their radar. Usually, the only people who argue in favor of $5 basic prices are those whom seem to believe that they are eligible for some kind of charity.
Fiverr is not a charity. $5 prices were a simultaneous business model and marketing experiment. The marketing side of the experiment succeeded. The business model side of the experiment failed. The proof of this is evident today in the many Fiverr copycat sites out there. They abide by $5 basic price rules and both buyers and sellers avoid them like the plague.
Businesses change and grow. Fiverr no longer wants to be seen as a “cheap services” website, and wants to be seen as a professional services website. Professionals usually value their work well above $5. You can’t expect a company like Fiverr, that is preparing to go public, to stay the same as it was when it started. Fiverr is playing with the big boys now, and the “everything is $5” model just doesn’t work for them anymore.
Oh yeah, we’re seeing something very interesting here. We’re seeing a business transform before our eyes. Fiverr was like the dollar store of freelancing at one point. Now there are Gigs for sale starting at $10,000.
It’s fairly rare for such major reinventions to happen in the business world. This site is quite special in that respect.
Speaking as someone who develops brands for a living, no, it does not. “Fiverr” is Fiverr’s brand name. People know and recognize the “Fiverr” name, just as a good brand strives to do. You don’t change a popular brand name just because you expand your services. You change your marketing to match the popular brand.
Fiverr will continue to be “Fiverr”, because “Fiverr” is a popular and well-recognized brand.
Point of fact, Facebook started as a college student social media site (a social yearbook of sorts – hence the name, “Facebook”), then expanded to being a general social media website for anyone – not just college students. Then, as they continued to expand their brand, they opened up the site for businesses to have a presence as well. When that happened, Fiverr didn’t change their brand to “Businessbook”, they remained as “Facebook”, because that was the popular and well-recognized brand that they had become. They changed their marketing to include businesses, they didn’t change their popular brand to match the product.
Flexibility, the ability to choose your gig title, prices, etc, is what made Fiverr what it is today. It’s true that at the beginning everything had to be $5, but things change, companies evolve.
Besides, for some of us, $5 (which is really $4) isn’t enough. I’m setting all my minimum prices at $10, sometimes $20. If charging $5 means everyday I’ll get 5 buyers that pay $5, 2 that pay $10, and 1 that pays $20, then I will gladly charge $5.
Nowadays, $5 means you rarely get an order. At least that’s my experience, what’s yours?
There is no regulation in place that says you have to offer something for $5.
There is a regulation in place that tells Pros they may not price their gigs under $100.
Somehow, that, and all the discussions we had about the reasons for raising the processing fee from $1 to $2 for small orders, tells me that forcing sellers to offer something at the $5 price point is not high up on Fiverr’s Do-List.
They certainly are fine with people offering $5 gigs, however, especially after the fee hike. If they can make good money with higher-priced gigs and with high volume of lower-priced gigs, why not. But they really have no good reason to force people to sell something for $5, no matter if it makes sense or not - as others have said, for some gigs, it may be possible to find something that makes sense, for others, not so much. Also, don’t forget inflation. $5 get you less and less each year, not just on Fiverr.
On top of that, many sellers sacrificed their $5 gig tier, especially since the mutual cancellation policy was changed, not because they wouldn’t want to offer something for $5 but because they don’t want to deal with certain kinds of buyers and worry about their ratings and levels constantly.