Fiverr Community Forum

Greed ... Rip-Off ... folks, it's business, don't you have one yourself?

Just a small … rant. Anti-rant? Anyway. Just seen, once more, rants about Fiverr being greedy and ripping off buyers.

I don’t know.

The fees are clearly stated in the terms of service, it’s not as if they are hidden.

If I decide to buy a coffee at Starcoffeething, I don’t lounge in their - extremely comfy, by the way, don’t get that at the cheaper coffee places and not even at some of the equally or more expensive ones - armchairs and rant at other coffeedrinkers at the surrounding tables about how the coffee is a rip-off because they don’t just add 1% to the price of the ingredients, neither at the staff (who, by the way, make a pretty content impression at the Starcoffeething places I know, and need to be paid as well, just as the “free” wifi, the managment, the machine maintenance guy, and all the other overhead).

If it was a rip-off, there should be some real competition on the horizon but as there isn’t, probably there’s nobody who can manage to set up something like Fiverr and just take 1% or 2.5% or whatever some ranters would consider as not a rip-off.

I bought four gigs lately, and you know, even with the fee and a tip and a fee on the tip, you still get a good or even great value if you find the right gig/seller. If I compare what I could have bought “in real life” with some of the money I spent on some gigs …

I wouldn’t know where I could get the same thing, convenience, and everything for less money as a buyer, also I’d not know where to get the same thing Fiverr provides me as a seller for less money.

Sure, if Fiverr managed to reduce their overhead, profits, etc. and decided they can and would reduce the %age they take from buyers and sellers in order to keep the machine running, certainly few buyers would say no to paying 3% instead of 5, or sellers to getting 90% instead of 80% but we all want the machine to run, don’t we.

It’s even more astonishing to me when buyers rant who don’t just buy a gig here and there as do I, but who buy gigs to run an actual business around those gigs and I’d be really interested in knowing how much those who think 5% is too much ask from their own customers compared to what they pay for whatever they sell. 5% doesn’t seem like an outrageous markup at all if you’re selling something, be it physical items or services?

As someone else posted in one of the ranting threads - if you can afford US$90, especially if you’re investing them into your business, chances are you can afford US$94.50. When I get out of the comfy and warm S-place after having had convinced myself I deserve half an hour of leisure and rest from walking (I rather save on the public transport fare by using my own two legs) being dry and warm, people, wifi, and a coffee, I also have a euro for the next homeless person on the way home. If not, there’s perhaps something wrong with your business plan and I shouldn’t have had that coffee in the first place.

Just some musings, if you find illogicalities, faulty comparisons and the like, you may keep them, it’s December and the time of giving, after all :wink:

Couldn’t find a glass is half full meme featuring a cat …


so take this cat …

Cause there needs to be at least a cat if I’m already wasting your time and …
I don’t know.
I cat be pretty pozzitive. Even when ranting. :wink:

Can you?

Feel free to rant about greed or about people ranting about greed, or about your greedy cat, or to post cat memes. Dog memes are fine, too, this is an inclusive rant.


@miiila - you’re right. People come here to fiverr for cheap and cheerful - and complain it isn’t cheap enough … which makes it not cheerful enough!

If people want to build their own businesses, the should know that in my category, agencies in real life don’t get out of bed in the morning for less than $2.5k.

Out of that they pay all their own overheads - mortgage, local tax, federal tax, electricity, gas, broadband,staff wages (if they have them), broadband … and anything else that they use on a daily basis in their work.

Add to that marketing expenses and time spent chasing clients who don’t pay.

For the fee that fiverr charges, we have a fairly secure payment system, fiverr brings a lot of buyers through paid advertising, they supply servers, web space, this forum and various other things that we all take for granted. Including not having to turn up to an office and deal with all that.

I’m happy with it. The fee is real world appropriate - if you were working through an agency, their fee would be around the 35-40% mark … but they wouldn’t tell you about it.

Fiverr is at least transparent in that way.

I have cats - don’t need memes …


I totally agree with you, and I think that both 20% and 5% are more than justified.
When I place orders (once in a while), I always leave tips, and sellers are usually surprised because buyers don’t take it for granted.

In 99% of cases, buyers (and many sellers) don’t read anything. Sometimes, they don’t even care if they know the rules, because their project is unique and you should be grateful that they brought themselves down to your level to offer this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Lately, the number of people, who want to work out of Fiverr really increased.
They want to call me (I clearly don’t understand the reason for calling me; place an order, add files and that’s it!), they attack my social accounts with messages, and they don’t want to accept the fact that it’s more convenient for me to give 20% to Fiverr, just to forget about all the issues related to order handling.
When you remind them about the rules, they get mad and promise you eternal misery.

I worked in a company with the same management style for 4 years. Even when there was a lot of money, we would work on outdated computers, buy the cheapest tools, while the management would talk about “permanent and heavy crisis” constantly reducing salaries. I left it when they decided to fire people on December 31 and hire them back on January 1 “for administrative reasons.”

The real reason was hidden in 10 days of holidays. According to the local labor law, if you fire a person on December 31, you can only process all the documents on January 11 (the first working day).


It should also be noted that Fiverr has still not turned a profit but yet these economic geniuses (who quibble a couple of dollars when saving massively) make claims like Fiverr will be undercut by lots of other businesses. Have you seen the ghost towns that have tried that? Even tumbleweed doesn’t bother visiting them.


For those who say they haven’t turned a profit, you must not realize how the more successful businesses started out as publicly traded companies. Take a look:

So smart fiverr investors are planning to hang onto that stock long term and not sell it.

And how long before Amazon started showing a profit in the US?


Yes, you’re right. However, with all the sales and marketing that goes into bringing in customers, there just isn’t space for multiple competitors to try take over from Fiverr by having lower rates which is what my point is, not that Fiverr needs to charge more.
The critics of the fees seem to have some notion that Fiverr is making a fortune when it’s simply not the case.


I expect fiverr to follow roughly the same path as Amazon did over the coming 10+ years.

People saying they aren’t making a profit don’t know how big business works. You have to look at other big successful companies like Amazon to see they took ten years or more to show a profit. I think it will be much sooner for fiverr, more like five years.

Anyone with money to invest in a stock would do well to choose fiverr for the long run.


Wow, good decision to leave that company, let’s hope it helped them figure out that their “administrative reasons” might not top everything else.

And yes, I only ever had one single case where a buyer asked for me to call where it made sense - and that wasn’t to talk about a gig instead of, as you say, simply ordering and attaching files and instructions, but to make a “test call” to their company hotline to check if the text was correct.

Yes, I have seen quite a few by now, and had the same impression of a lack of tumbleweed :grin:

As A. is the big model, it makes sense. Fiverr’s CEO said Fiverr is trying to build “the everything store for digital services”, after all.
There were some posts about a new thing with reviews a bit ago, by the way, I forgot what exactly it was, but briefly after those posts, I bought something on A. and noticed the same feature. Ah, right, it was that “Was that helpful? Yes | No” thing.

Here’s a recent quote by the CEO that expresses something else that people who rant about the fees, prices, tend to overlook too, and I’m also pretty sure that this is one of the reasons why Fiverr is not just a $5 place anymore, and what the sellers or non-Fiverr freelancers who rant about Fiverr as a cheap labour place tend to overlook - that many people are okay with paying fair/higher prices, including fees, for convenience, to save time, do do everything online from their pc or even phone:

“The average time to order a service on Fiverr is 15 minutes,” he said. “Why would you spend a minute more doing it any other way?”
(quote taken from:

And time=money, as we all know. :wink:

Good thing that there are so many people for whom Fiverr offers enough benefits, whether as buyer or seller, to use it, whether quietly accepting the costs of doing business or ranting about the fees.


This is the basic problem. This goes against basic consumer psychology. If I buy something advertised for $10 anywhere and the prices goes up to $12 at checkout, I wouldn’t be happy. Imagine if that happened when you went to the supermarket. Then you got told that you should have read the supermarket T&Cs before shopping.

This depends in what you are looking for. As far as writing goes, it is now easy to buy articles (that are screened by independent editors before delivery), for comparable prices to what you would pay on Fiverr. Those platforms also attempt to entice writers by offering low fees.

But let’s imagine we are running a business. Before buying a $90 service from a seller, I might have to get a purchase order approved from the higher up. If after being given the all-clear to go ahead with my $90 spend the price jumps to $94.50, it makes my costing look out of wack.

It is also the case that every penny does count. $2 here and there quickly adds up. That’s why Fiverr has $2 transaction charges to begin with. It is, therefore, a bit disingenuous to say that if you can afford $90 you can afford $94.50, when at the same time, Fiverr’s CEO has bosted that Fiverr’s fee scale allows Fiverr to make 35% on all purchases. (I don’t have the source for that, but remember him touting this on TV as Fiverr’s IPO was underway.)

I’m not arguing against Fiverr trying to make a profit. However, rip-off complaints stem from buyers feeling like Fiverr’s fee scale is not transparent.

1 Like

Here are the stats for US freelancers (online and not online)

  • There are 53 million people doing freelance work in the US – 34% of the national workforce
  • People who freelance contribute an estimated $715 billion in freelance earnings to our economy
  • Twice as many freelancers have seen an increase in demand in the past year as have seen a decrease – 32% experienced an increase versus 15% who have seen a decrease
  • 80% of non-freelancers say they would be willing to do work outside their primary job to make more money
  • Earning extra money (but not financial necessity) and schedule flexibility are the top drivers of freelancing
  • Finding work and, correspondingly, income stability are the top barriers to doing more freelancing work
  • 69% of freelancers said technology has made it easier to find freelance work
  • 77% of freelancers say the best days are yet ahead for freelancing
  • 65% said freelancing as a career path is more respected today than it was three years ago
  • 36% of moonlighters who have a primary job have thought about quitting to work completely independently

73% of all freelancers work online. So fiverr has a growing market.

And from Forbes:

Many freelancers are earning more. The fastest growing segment of freelancers is those making $75,000 and up, with 31% in that category, notes Kasriel—up from 16% in 2014. “These are highly educated, high-earning people,” he says.

For the supermarket, you’re certainly right, nobody would expect that you read their terms before you buy.
However, you need to register on Fiverr before you can buy something and need to click that you accept the terms, which is the point at which you should at least scan them.
Then many people probably do take a look at the help pages to see how all of this works, or they should (to make things more flawless for themselves and the sellers).

If there was someone at the entrance of the supermarket on my first visit blocking my way and handing me a printout of the supermarket’s ToS and require me to register, tick a box to confirm I accept the ToS, give them my email and phone number before I may buy something there, (ETA: and, I forgot, make me pay with credit card or PayPal) then yes, chances are I’d read the ToS.
That’s not practicable in the case of supermarkets, of course, so they build their fees into their product prices.

With a system like Fiverr, though, it is, or should be, pretty clear that Fiverr sellers aren’t anything like supermarket employees, so I don’t think the thought that there might be a fee to use the platform is too far off to look at the site or Google for info, especially if you plan to use the site regularly or your boss expects you to tell them the cost beforehand.

Online is different than offline. When you shop online, it makes a lot of sense to find out “how it works”, like is delivery included in the price or not, is VAT included or not, is there a discount if you’re a registered company, etc.

Latest after someone bought for the first time - no, not even after they bought but before they paid, so they could still jump ship if they deem the fee too high - they know there’s a fee for all following transactions.

When I get a new lead and have a hunch that they might have no idea about the fees, sometimes I do mention it when telling them the price, it depends.
I didn’t ever have someone not accept my offer because of or rant about, or even mention the fees on their part, I think, in over 3 years.
I have lots of repeat and regular customers, they clearly don’t have an issue with the fee.

In short, I don’t think it’s as big an issue as the people who rant about it make it out to be, and I don’t think there needs to be a big bright green “+ 5% platform use fee !!!” sign cluttering our gig images.

I don’t know. Everything depends.

I think it could be an interesting thought for Fiverr to offer its buyers something similar to Amazon prime, a kind of fee flatrate/membership program (linked to the amount they spend, a decreasing fee after a certain amount spent per year, etc.) and that could be prominently featured on the site or on registration perhaps, listing benefits like lower fees, then it would be very clear that there are fees to even someone who doesn’t read ToS or inform themselves before they use a platform.

(edited typos - Where has the edit reason feature in the post toolbar gone to, if that’s one of the forum changes in effect already, I don’t like it)


I see the biggest challenge is for fiverr not to mess things up. I’ve seen this a lot with sites who lose some kind of basic vision as they grow. Constant changes are made as all those employees have to be kept busy and they all are giving input into the running of various aspects of the site.

This is part of the genius of Amazon, which has not changed how it’s site looks or runs much over time.

And they apparently have a great technical department. I’ve only seen the site go down twice for a few minutes. There aren’t any glitches or bugs.

It seems like fiverr is much better lately on bugs. They could stand to make that customer support login page easier to navigate.

1 Like