Fiverr Community Forum

Free Samples/Sketches? Are You Out of Your Mind?!

Hello Fiverr community,

As an illustrator on fiverr I am rarely asked to provide sketches prior to beginning a project. However, when I am, it is one of the most annoying requests I can receive. I will explain.

When I am working on a project outside of fiverr I will provide my clients with sketches. During these transactions I am paid 15% of the total cost of the project up front and I stand to make much more than I would on fiverr. The allure of fiverr is that transactions are fast and straight forward. You see my work, the description of my services, and the price. Take it or leave it. Even my custom orders are straight forward. When I get a request for samples prior to beginning a project on fiverr I feel forced to take on the role of negotiator. I hate to nickle and dime someone over $5, but I will not work for free and neither should any artist here. Several times over the last few weeks (and about an hour ago) I had to deal with angry buyers who feel as though they should not have to pay for a sample. It is as if they do not understand that It will take me an hour or two to create a sample. That is two hours that could have gone to a paying customer.

The fact of the matter is that the buyer must trust that I am about to do what I say I can do. Sketches and samples are tedious time wasters that “gum up the works” and most certainly are not free.

Do you guys agree or am I just being ridiculous?

No, you can show them your previous work for which you have copyrights. I am sure there will be something that you own as a sample apart from your paid work. Everyone wants to invest at a right place. some buyers have bad experience on fiverr with some bad sellers so they even not trust good sellers… :)>- :smiley:

I agree with you and that will work for most buyers. There are some however who want very specific samples. For example, there was a customer who wanted me to create characters for a story. He wanted me to first create a sketch of a specific character before placing the order. I showed my samples and sent a custom order for the sketch. Needless to say he was not to happy.

@linavox I was about to suggest to direct them to your portfolio and see that you do in fact have samples so if the buyer does not think that you are capable of delivering what you say, I suggest you move on. Best wishes.

It’s well within your right to reject such request if the buyer came to you. I agree, I would always advise against doing work for free, unless guaranteed. What a fiverr artist could do instead is to send them a quote for a sample - small amount, give them something you can produce quickly. If they like what you’re offering, all the revisions can be work out in the actual paid order. The fact that the buyer came to you shows that they’re already interested in your work, most probably willing to pay you for it. They just needed to know if they’re investing in the right place :slight_smile:

Although I don’t deny the probability of ‘buyer’ ripping off your idea with the sketches and run off with it. It happened to a friend of mine before. Always a good idea to be wary (So if you are a storyboard artist, free samples are a bad idea)

I have been fortunate enough not to have an experience like that. Buyers usually message me with illustration samples that they need and I would show them some of the work I’ve done in the past that is similar to what they wanted, It’s been working well. Maybe one thing to consider is to have a diverse portfolio of work - or a unique one! So that they know your capability and trust you as a seller :slight_smile:

Never do anything for free for a client. Your work is your product. Part of the issue unfortunately is Fiverr sends the message that the work is cheap. So I’m not surprised it attracts people looking for bargains. to some, that means paying zero!

This is always going to happen from time to time here on Fiverr. I believe part of the reason is that many people have never bought artistic service before and have no idea how it works.

This situation is awkward, because there are some buyers who expect everything for $5. Try specifying in your gig that you don’t provide free sketches, and maybe create another gig for “I will sketch your project for $5” that you can direct people to. Also, make sure you have a big portfolio and more samples (watermarked if you like) to send upon request.

It is silly for someone to expect no charge they don’t understand the concept of fiverr. Good luck with that one.

You are right. The Gig-images, the Gig-video, the Gig-portfolio plus a seller’s reviews from previous buyers should be enough. This is a starting from $5 site. If the buyer is so demanding, then probably they will not be satisfied with the delivered work too.

Plus, I have seen a website where someone is selling graphic design works as his own and it is filled with samples that have nothing in common. No common artistic style at all. The guy who has this site is also selling voice-over work and he has lots of various voices samples. Fishy.

Reply to @kailezka: Great advice!

In terms of ripping off work. I thought of perhaps using watermarks on sample designs. I have never used them before, but it could help.

Thank you.

Reply to @luckygutsy: Thank you!

I love the new gig idea. I will definitely create one. Great tips!