Fiverr Forum

Getting Away With Theft On Fiverr


So I had this buyer coming up to me. He submitted about six pages of text in german, asking me to translate them into english. Which makes sense, because the gig of mine that he chose was titled “Translate German into English”. (He also clearly asked for a translation). So I worked for hours to do just that, submitted my work, only to find that he “updated” the order, instead marking it complete. He suddenly claimed that he had never asked for a translation, but a “rewrite”, that he wanted to use the original text in his blog, but not in that exact same form.

Of course I insisted that he marked the order complete, to get my money, and when he refused, I turned to the “resolution center” (great invention, really). There I only had the option to “cancel” the order. I couldn’t contact the staff of Fiverr.

And as to be expected, the mischievous buyer clicked “cancel” too, got away with my work, leaving me without the 44 Bucks that I actually deserved.

Long story short, if you want to get away with theft on Fiverr (as buyer), simply order something, and upon receipt simply update the order instead of closing, stating some BS-reason. Seller will ultimately cancel the order (cause there is no other option built in) and you’ll have the money AND the product/service.

Never thought i’d experience this here. Me, a Level2-Seller with 100 good ratings.

Really thinking about closing that profile.


Keep in mind if the buyer cancelled the order, they have no legal rights to the material they “purchased” because it, in fact was never purchased - the order was cancelled.

Part of Fiverr’s Terms of Service (Legal Stuff): "Once the order is completed the seller assigns along with it to the buyer, to the fullest extent possible under the law, all of its rights, title and interest, if any, in and to the delivered work and waives any and all moral rights in connection therewith. All transfers and assignment of intellectual property to buyer shall be subject to full payment for the Gig."

If the order was never completed (Ie. Cancelled) and no payment was made, the buyer has no rights to the work and is the property of the Seller. The buyer is violating Fiverr’s TOS should they be using material from an order that was cancelled. Their account is subject to be placed under restriction or potentially banned as all users agreed to this during sign up should they violate Fiverr’s Terms Of Service.

Should you find the proof that the buyer is using the material online (Google search, Blog Post, etc.) get the evidence and report the buyer to Customer Service. The only way someone “gets away with thief” if it goes unreported. This sort of behavior is not tolerated and should be reported to Customer Service so they can handle it accordingly. Just be sure to provide all the information (screenshots of conversations, materials being used, etc.) to Customer Service.

More information here:


Thanks for you remarks, Promogirl,

but let’s be honest.

Wether the buyer will use the works or not it highly irrelevant. It’s like saying. “Oh, so that guy stole an iPod from an Apple-Store? Well, don’t you worry, Apple, for as long as he isn’t using it, it’s not theft.” I kept my end of the bargain. I delivered. What do I care if he uses my work?

Futhermore, how would I even verify that anyway? He might use it offline, like in print, for a leaflet or some sort.

I might be mistaken, but I think the “resolution center” looked differently before Fiverr 3.0. Back then I had a case where a buyer wasn’t happy with a drawing of mine and gave me less than 5 Stars (only time ever, I might add). And there I could chose the function “involve customer service” or something alike. The case was ruled then in my favor and I got rid of the false rating.

It’s a disgrace that we sellers are left alone like that. I mean, does Fiverr really expect us to go outside the Order when buyers are misbehaving, digging through the site to find some editor to contact customer service to inform them about what’s going wrong?

Because when the buyer has what he wants, but refuses to close the case, then the cash never flows. Such a buyer has no interest to ever comply. He has what he wants. If he gets detected, he can always open up a new profile.

Ultimately, there should be function available in the resolution center, were Fiverr-Staff can get called upon directly, if only just for L2 and TRS. With our reputation and record, most of us will not abuse that function.

It’s a cheap joke, if we have to walk around the house, tryin’ to get customer service involved like any other user that just landed on the site the first time.


I don’t think buyers should even be allowed to cancel an order without admin approved cause. In situations like this the admin would see what the buyer originally ordered and then see what you delivered. Inform the buyer that they received their originally requested order and were not eligible for refund or cancellation.

I completely agree with you, it’s a bunch of BS! Sellers should be in control of their services and how it’s run. Basically the return policy should be in the hands of the individual seller. Just like if you had your own website, you would decide your own return policy. Fiverr is essentially comprised of millions of mini websites offering services and products. The way we earn our money is left up to us and the way we do business should also be left up to us. If we don’t offer a fair return policy, well that’s on us but at least we would have the option of protecting ourselves. In my opinion, any company that requires 20% of sales, owes those sellers better protection than what is currently provided which is nothing.


Thank you very much, Missashley8705!

I was just thinking. Imagine a buyer orders something big. Real big (for Fiverr-orders that is). Let’s say he wants you to translate like 100 full A4-pages. Because you have a good track record. And because it’s so - let’s not say cheap - let’s say, the pricing is advantageous. He wants you to translate 100 pages for - let’s say - 2 gigs a page (still very cheap compared to professional companies offering translating services). That would be 200 gigs equalling 800 bucks in revenue.

Given my experience, there would not be a way to protect yourself from thievery. You would have to deliver first, not knowing if the guy would every pay.

Ok … you could break it down into 10 orders of 20 gigs. But that would be highly ridiculous. No serious translator would work like that. Because it’s inefficient.

Bottom line, if you do little money, 2 - 3 gigs, then you won’t be too disappointed, if you get punked (I guess).

But for bigger orders, we sellers are really out in the rain. Potentially, and that’s a risk too high for me, to ever accept bigger orders on this platform ever again.

For me, Fiverr has shown it’s true colors today.


Scammers are annoying, and unfortunately, theft is something all businesses must deal with. There are always dishonest people looking to get free stuff illegally. It is simply the cost of doing business.

If you could figure out a solution to prevent theft, you’d likely be richer than Bill Gates. I agree, in some aspects Fiverr could give a little more power to sellers…however, not all sellers would handle this power appropriately.

If you have gotten “punked” on a big order, I’d say that’s extremely rare. I have not had a cancellation on any large orders ($50 or more) so far–usually it’s the $5 orders that cause problems.


I hear you Mintyone

But having said that I am not going to accept bigger orders on this site ever again, I just realized … there is a catch even in that.

I mean, what if someone decides to go for my translation gig and orders, let’s say, 50 gigs? There is no way to limit the numbers of gigs one can order.

So there I would be with an order of 50 gigs. Given what has happened to day, I would have to file cancellation. Because it’s very likely that I wouldn’t know the buyer. But declining just like that because I don’t want to give a stranger the benefit of the doubt, would make me look bad. Even with today’s debacle to show for.

So I disagree with you in the sense that Fiverr could actually do something about that. It’s not rocket science. Maybe at least built in an “admin interference”-switch if the order is at least 10 gigs worth?

But I doubt they go for that. Otherwise we would have this version 3.0


I’m sorry to hear you’re going to let 1 bad experience ruin thousands of dollars in potential earnings. It will solve your problem; however, at a very high cost to you!

I’m all for hearing new ideas, but I don’t see how adding an “admin interface” would prevent people from being dishonest.


Reply to @jukra13: I agree 100%. Fiverr is guaranteed to be paid. If a buyer steals a sellers work and the seller doesn’t get paid, Fiverr insures that the company still gets its money one way or another by offering refunds through credits only. This means that if a buyer purchases $50 worth of credits, that Fiverr always gets their $10. The company doesn’t care if it’s through you or another seller. The company NEVER loses. It’s the companies losses that prompt a company reaction but if an individual seller loses they obviously don’t care.

Honestly I have had good luck so far with having good buyers, but that’s all it is… luck. If my buyers had no conscience or integrity, then I would be screwed.


Reply to @mintyone: Well admin interference could refuse the buyers cancellation request. Just like a store can refuse certain return requests that don’t fall into acceptable guidelines. Fiverr could say sorry, no returns on services that were completed to the originally requested standards. That could happen. Sure it would upset a dishonest buyer but that’s like offending a child molester, who cares!


Thanks a lot, Missashley8705, seriously!

"Admin interference could refuse the buyers cancellation request"

That about sums it all up.

It’s an incredibly bad Joke that I have to file a complaint outside the actual order to get a staff-member of Fiverr to realize that a so-called buyer is refusing to mark an order complete because of highly questionable reasons.

That function should be built in within the order.

But you don’t give a, do you now, Fiverr?