I am going to respond
very briefly* to what you wrote here but also a general comment the the thread below some of the other replies. This part is only regarding what questions I am interested in from your original post.
I can entirely understand your desires to see all reviews. Fiverr hits sellers very hard when it comes to reviews and most sellers feel an incredible pressure to maintain 100% 5 star feedback until they have hundreds of reviews. If they do not while building up to hundreds or thousands of reviews, sellers often are either eliminated from the Fiverr home search page or they are dropped low so that it is much harder for buyers to find them. When you add that to the cumulative effect of all reviews, a seller with fewer reviews has an enormous struggle to get a reasonable freelancer business on this site and earnings start out small after Fiverr’s 20% cut and PayPal’s cut. If a seller tries to limit early bad reviews which may be caused by the initial learning curve, they may have to refund the buyer. By doing that they lose their time and money (justifiably or not) and sometimes buyers don’t respond to the refund offer which puts yet another negative mark on a seller’s account. Other things that negatively affect sellers here are late deliveries even if not the seller’s fault and how fast they respond to messages even if the slowness is at 2 or 3AM. Sellers have no way at this time to purchase ad space or boost their gig listings on Fiverr, so literally the only thing that really helps a newer seller to succeed is their reviews.
That still doesn’t make me disagree with your desire to actually read the reviews instead of just seeing the impact in terms of lowered ratings and search rankings. It just makes me sympathetic to what newer sellers might do to minimize damage to their “storefront.”
It’s quite different for sellers who have already gained thousands of total positive reviews even if some of their individual gigs have only a few reviews. Since it’s about ratios, a TRS could be minimally affected by a 1 star review but a new seller could be badly affected by a few 4 star positive reviews. Sellers with lots of reviews usually leave the bad ones on display because otherwise the good ones are hidden too. Most of the time when a seller deletes or hides a gig with a lesser review, chances are they are doing so because they don’t yet have enough reviews to take risks.
Anyway, that’s a lot of words to really say that I don’t dispute or disagree with your actual point, but comparisons to other sites only go so far. Many sites don’t punish their users so heavily for every single misstep.
On this - “It is not possible for me, or any other buyers, to determine if the seller is reliable.” I agree. However, reviews alone are not enough. The best way to learn about the reliability of a company, auction seller or freelancer is to try them out. You can’t always do that on some sites because it would be too costly to just do “tests.” On Fiverr, you actually can. A $5 investment for a sample is incredibly useful by itself, and if it’s a bigger order you can pay in milestones allowing you to back out at low cost if it’s not going well. Sure, reviews are nice, but they can be fake on any site and they aren’t the only barometer.
As far as your last question - why are buyers not able to see the full review history - I actually think that’s not necessarily what was intended in the beginning. Fiverr is actually not a very old company, and they did not start out using a star review system. At first there were also no levels, no Top Rated, and far less competition. If a seller got a “thumbs down” on the binary review system, it was automatically attached to that exact gig. It still affected the comprehensive rating just like now. If someone paused a gig, the review was hidden then too, but since Fiverr was small and few sellers had yet mounted up thousands of reviews, rankings quickly went down if someone got bad reviews. In time, Fiverr changed and reviews became more important while competition also grew. During all that, the code was already in place for a review to be attached to an individual gig. I could see Fiverr changing that at some point down the road, but since it’s an issue that has only become more pressing in the past couple of years, it’s going to take quite a bit of time to re-code for that. You’d have to write to Customer Support to see if they can share more than that.
*Note to @writer