Fiverr Community Forum

Free Work is NOT part of a Professional offer

I just had this charmless conversation from this Top Scavenger

It was from a BR and yes the BR did say deme work done on the file shared. I sent Portfolio work which clearly showed my doing the kind of work requested. This should suffice.

The BR also made great pains to say they wanted a Professional. This means that the person works for pay, not that the person spends their life throwing their skill down the rotting tubes of someone who will probably not even reply. Except perhaps to demand more debasement of free work.

This was one of the portfolio pieces that I sent,

If this doesn’t say that I can do the work, the Top Scavenger is either:
  • not interested in my style (in which case why demand free work)
  • deaf and therefore not suited to the work they do
  • a reseller masquerading as a buyer and is passing all this wasted effort from many sellers to the real (hapless) buyer because they are too lazy to do their job properly and collate top responders’ portfolio pieces into a presentation.

If you are this kind of person, stay very far away from me. And definitely don’t take potshots at me when you get revealed for what you are.



Why send an offer knowing full-well you wouldn’t provide what they asked for in the first place and then later become hostile when they followed up by asking for a demo? What you think “should suffice” isn’t what the client asked for/was looking for, as someone that has posted requests on BR with specific queries only to receive unrelated spam, I find what you did extremely frustrating.

Whilst I don’t do demos either nor do I send test before final delivery, and I do agree that no one should do free work, what you did was just childish and you were completely in the wrong especially in the way you responded to this person.



When I get asked to provide a “writing sample” I explain nicely that doing so would violate non-disclosure agreements.

That usually works.

For those Buyers who press for samples I just refuse to work with them.


Clearly, you don’t see the world the way I was raised. Coming in and making me look silly when I made my point pretty clear says a lot.

Let me explain how the REAL world works: A Professional seller has a Portfolio, a body of work they can show that proves what they can do, have done for clients. A serious client looks at that work and shortlists people they would like to talk to.

Asking for UNPAID WORK (two words that are fundamentally incompatible even under Fiverr TOS) is a massive breach of professionalism when a portfolio has been offered.

While I get if someone presents with no portfolio, but something makes them look a like a possibility under a “wildcard” rule, a demo may be asked for but usually, that is an “audition” and not handed over to the buyer. It stays with the creator as future portfolio - essentially Portfolio as above. If she filmed them, Angelina Jolie should be able to show her early auditions. Today, with all her films, if an incompetent director asked her to audition for the role of Laura Craft for a film called “The Pimple Of Doom” her peeps would tell his peeps some things I am sure I can’t print here (and they would be right to do so).

Yes I do agree that to some extent this is on me as I was stooping to even respond to some fool asking for unpaid work but a) I have plenty of demo work which fulfills the real requirements, b) his demand for unpaid work is contrary to TOS so can and should be ignored. As I said he kept pushing how professional the seller needs to be and Portfolio over free test work is the essence of professionalism in this matter.

While not impressed with his first response you will see I held my manners. His snarky response “sure, your choice” was beyond good manners so I have every right to let him know what a POS he is in trying to make his ill manners my issue. Coming a third time - and there was more being typed which stopped when he realized I was about to come back at him, what I had typed, was “One more response like this from you and I will be reporting you”, was enough to show people what this means as an object lesson.

You don’t see that, your choice of course (I can say that right seeing you supported it above)
So as I said in my OP “stay very far away from me”.



I thought I might add that the video I show above was done under one of these oh, score the scene and we will hire you deals when I was less strong about such things.

I was cautions and scored the first few mins only to make it un-releasable. Weeks went by with none of the promised personal response. I followed dup only to be told, oh no the client hired someone. this is nothing to do with me.

Not only had the buyer completely misrepresented themselves as the client but they wasted my time (and god know how many other’s) based on promises they knew they had no intent on keeping seeing they were resellers.

Every time I did test work I got shanked. Every time I declined, I got shanked again (see the OP).

So yes should simply ignore people who even mention it. But like many work is not easy to find right now so you give it best thoughts and try.

Again i say i would have let this lie if the Top Scavenger hadn’t tried to pass his bad manners back onto me with snarky comments when presented with his POS business practices. He didn’t need to respond in the first place seeing I had clearly presented Portfolio in place of free work.



You are being way too aggressive. I get the idea, but it’s just not a good strategy in the long run.


None of this is supposed to be Long Run. It was put in the RANTING POT section for a good reason.

But in a world where scuzzy thieves can have their say whenever they like, saying that others can’t do the same is rather worrisome.

Perhaps again that just shows my old-fashioned pre-Hipster upbringing when honor was important and should be defended. If none of us have honor there is nothing to lose eh!

I agree tho that in future I would be better not giving pond life like this the benefit of anything but what they have already said about themselves. Then I have no cause to be upset when they behave like pond life.



I don’t mean here on the forum, that’s fine. But talking like that to other users (buyers or not really) on your seller account… I wouldn’t do it. There’s nothing to be gained there anyway.

1 Like

I agree. I’ve had some real…ahem…winners come through my inbox, I just use relentless, professional politeness at them and gently end the conversation if it dead-ends in a place I’m not comfortable going (e.g. asking for free work). We have a saying here in the south, one my husband often ascribed to his steely (now dearly departed and very missed) mother - Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. I do my best to make my late mother-in-law proud with how relentlessly, icily polite I can be in the face of beggars, belittlers, and con men.

OP, folks have a point though - what outcome did you reasonably expect, applying to a BR that asked for free work at the onset? It’d be like interviewing for a job advertising $8/hr and getting angry they wouldn’t acquiesce to your demands for $15/hr. Scummy or not, he made it pretty clear what his expectations were, so the hostility is misplaced. Maybe focus on applying to opportunities that better align with your needs rather than using random BRs as emotional pinatas?


:rofl: I just love your play with words @thatwordchick

One should have a pretty thick skin as a freelancer. A great 2021 to you!

1 Like


A potential client holds a sign up in the air with their wants and needs, a professional seller sees they can provide these services but would prefer not to under the terms the potential client has requested, so the professional seller walks away. The end.

Times may be tough but no client has any obligation to accommodate to what you think is right or wrong in a professional setting because they are the ones paying, the same way you have no obligation to put yourself forward to work with them.

I’ve a tad mixed opinion.

Sometimes BR have the minimum $5 put in place, but state in the Request itself to make a bid. This means that the $5 is a placeholder. Because of this, it’s reasonable to assume that other $5 requests are the same, even if they don’t state such outright in the wording and unless they direct state otherwise. I can completely see bidding on ‘$5’ Requests with an appropriate actual rate.

In the same way, Demo and Sample requests as part of a brief. If the buyer were new, they might not know that true pros don’t make custom samples. And they won’t know unless someone tells them.

As the OP mentioned, the fact that this Buyer was asking for a professional AND a demo was in conflict. I can see why the OP bid, as they focused on the request for the former. Just like if $5 were a placeholder, rather than a requirement.

Without knowing the specific wording of the BR itself, I cannot make a call on the OPs decision to bid. Just that I can understand why he did.

That said, I do think replying to the ‘your choice’ line was a poor choice. I completely agree with the reply (and if the buyer were new, it needed to be said), but it might have been wise to not respond at all.

1 Like

Thank you for a balanced reply that took all I said into account. This allows me to feel that my situation & feelings were heard and I am not simply being told how I am silly for taking a chance on something and being upset when a) it didn’t come off and b) offended when the person decided to turn my professionalism into a personal insult.

Yes probably you are right about simply not responding past the point where the person transitioned from simply being clueless to a deliberate piece of :poop:

I posted to help bleed off that frustration. Being told it was all my fault (and by inference the Top Scavenger is the better man in the situation) is not really helping there.

Being heard evenly helps :hugs:

I also hoped that by posting, a person or two might realize that a) this is a terrible way of doing business that builds nothing but misery (even for the “buyer” who had to deal with ire he raised), and b) that no one has to bend a knee to this sort of pond life ever.


1 Like