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Haggling Struggles - Why Can't They Respect My Price?

Maybe I misunderstand how buyers are finding me, but the messages always auto-start with (paraphrasing here) “This message is in regards to [gig]”. So, presumably, they had to go through the gig page to send me a message and the price is -right there- on the page. They’ve seen it before we’ve spoken. It’s not a mystery.

I currently sell my gig product at $10 per. My multiples are 1 ($10), 5 ($50), and 10 ($100) - and honestly, I’m raising my rates this week because the consistent volume of work has been astronomical. Maybe some folks do volume discounts, but I’m busy enough that honestly it makes no sense for me to do that, financially.

At LEAST 1-2 times a day, I get someone that has some variation of “I have (200/300/etc) items I need your gig for, what’s the price?” And I say, well, you need # items, I charge per item, so # x would be (amount).

“OMG that’s so much!” (It’s my rate x the number of jobs you want me to do? Where’s the surprise here?)

“You’re crazy, I can’t afford that, I’m a new business!” (Not to be a B, but that’s…really not my problem?)

“Can’t you take (20-40% of my rate) instead because it’s a big job?” (So…I work more for less money?)

It’s hard not to get irritated - I always stay professional, but sometimes I’m like…wtf, guys? I’m an established provider that has worked very hard to get where I am, why should you get a massive discount because you…decided to start a business? I can’t go into the grocery store and tell them I’m new to cooking and expect them to chop my bill in half. I don’t roll up to the dentist and explain they should give me hundreds of dollars in discounts because I’m getting my first root canal.

I also frequently get the “Provider X told me they’d do it for (significantly lower amount that isn’t at all in line with industry/quality charges)!” - I’ve just started agreeing that hey, that’s a great price, you should absolutely take advantage of their services. I’m not here to be manipulated or do some race to the bottom bidding war, thanks.

I’ve had to set firm boundaries because these random would-be clients slide into my messages asking me to take a look at their site, make suggestions, what would I do different, etc. I’m thinking of going even further and setting a message response limit for myself - five back-and-forth messages before I send an offer, and polite refusal to continue conversations if they don’t take it. If I don’t draw a line in the sand, they bother me -all- day and never end up buying anything. It’s really frustrating, because I hate being the “bad guy,” but I need to at this point for my sanity.


Oooh - create a consultation gig. There it is all ready and waiting for these guys.

And, yes, telling them that the cheap competition seems a better fit for their budget is certainly a much better idea than arguing with them.

Raise your prices. A lot.


I’ve found that a little message like “Sorry, I can’t offer a discounted rate on these prices as they are already heavily discounted compared to my prices elsewhere.”
This tends to give them a bit of perspective usually. I do offer a discount on occasion but nothing more than 10% and that’s when I have checked what is to be done and see that there may be time savings from the bulk.

For comparative price claims your response is ideal. I tend to go for a “if you are happy with that price and service then why are you still looking? I’m not familiar with that person’s service but I know the value I deliver.”

People will always ask about discounts and while I know some people will advise blocking them straight away, I find it can actually be an opportunity to set some things in line. What I mean is that you can set the tone for the order then where you are seen to be professional and confident, won’t be hassled etc. When you have a lot of reviews this is more effective as the assumption would be that others went ahead when told the same thing.

Edit: just checked your gigs and reviews - highly recommend doubling price at a minimum.


That’s why you should raise your prices (not with 10/20$ but way more) and keep them this way. Of course you wouldn’t go to the grocery store or whatever shop and start complaining about the price being too high. You either can or can’t afford it. They only do this here because they have the wrong misconception that everything should be fast, cheap and high end quality for 5$ if possible because from 10$ it’s way too much. Keep your prices up and if they complain about them, tell them to go find someone else and block them.


Thank you, I appreciate the support - you’re crazy talented yourself so it means a lot to hear it. Imposter syndrome is a B, but I’m trying to battle myself to value my efforts more. My husband’s always nudging me to get my rates up because he says I’m not charging enough for what I do - it’s hard in a sea of people charging $5 for twice the volume of a similar gig, I have trouble bearing in mind that my quality is stellar. Apples to apples, yanno?

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And inevitably the person asking for the discount is the one with zero direction on their own business…I need X, but kind of Y, but I want it to sort of look like Z, and you do pictures too right?? Noooope. I have started proactively mentioning both my price and the fact I do what I do and nothing else, just so they can’t try and pull a fast one once they accept the offer.

It’s the established businesses that have been through the minefield of 3-times-outsourced “work” at rock-bottom prices that they’ve needed to spend 3x as much cleaning up - those are the ones that never haggle and tip as well. They’re my favorites :smiley:


Those people that ask for discount don’t know how much work you got on your hands already.

If you didn’t have any orders in queue and someone said “Can you do 200 descriptions for 1800” I think that you would gladly accept it.

It is better to get that job secure than to lose a client and earn nothing. :smile:

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For a smaller discount like that, I’d weigh my options. But the would-be clients I’m talking about here are more in the “Can you do 200 descriptions for $110” range, and well…the answer’s always gonna be no! It’s not just about what’s currently in my queue, even though I’ve been in the 20+ range for more than 2 months now, it’s about opportunity cost. If I accept even half price - 1k for 200 descriptions - now I’m stuck working on alllll those half-price pieces when the next day I might get 2-3 people ready to pay my full rate for an equal collective volume.

The problem is that a mindset like that hurts the whole industry. The prices that some of these people are asking/expecting come from a place of their budget, not a fair wage for what they expect. If I provide my 10+, certified, highly-rated work at a rock-bottom rate, they’re going to be abusive and dismissive to the next person that they approach for work, and try and pay them cheaply as well. It’s a cycle that goes on and on.

Do I need to care about my “rivals”? No, not really. But even in the freelance world I feel it’s important that we set a price floor for fair pay, otherwise we’re just giving fodder to pushy clients that have caviar tastes on a tuna fish budget. I know my rates are really low compared to similarly-skilled providers, going lower would hurt both me and my community.

ETA: Also, you mentioned “Those people that ask for discount don’t know how much work you got on your hands already.” - they actually do, anyone that looks at a gig can see how many orders are currently in the queue for that gig. The problem is that none of them look at it, lol!


OMG. Truly happened to me. 1/3 of my message box filled with this type of client.

“If I order more drawings, can you give special price or discount?”

I’m not a factory where I can mass-produce drawing, where you can cut cost in overhead cost if you are ordering in bulks. I took the same amount of time and effort for each drawing, why do I need to give discount if you want to have more? It doesn’t make sense.

So I just said to them I strictly don’t offer discount and my pricing is fixed. Then I just them if they would like to proceed, if not, end of conversation.


This is bad advice. A lot of sellers are doing exactly this. However, to be be honest, a lot also seem to be incapable of doing anything but charge high prices. This reflects badly on Fiverr, as it turns every purchase into a pot luck game of, "will this order work out or not?"

I have buyers sending me articles they have paid $30 to $70 for on Fiverr, that read like they were written by someone having a seizure in the middle of an English foreign language lesson.

In many cases, the BUYER feels like they have done something wrong to end up with what they have. Either they think they musn’t have communicated their brief properly, or they think that they mustn’t have the know-how necessary to appreciate just how good an article really is.

This practice of "just charge high prices, yey!!" Is ultimately detrimental, as where writing is concerned, there are now several platforms that provide buyers with a guarantee when it comes to the quality of deliveries - and they do so for more reasonable prices than on Fiverr.

Writers should not chase $$$ signs. They should learn how to add genuine value to what they deliver, research the content marketing budgets of their target market, and structure what they offer and their prices accordingly.

I wish I could offer practical advice here, but I’m pretty much in the same boat. For the sake of my sanity, I just cease all communication when a buyer seems to want to haggle for a discount.

As a rule, most buyers who want discounts also:

  • Want to see samples.
  • Can’t tell you clearly what they want without several tedious back and forth messages.
  • Are usually male and sound short. (It’s a real thing, flag me if you want.)

In this case, I initially reply to messages like I would any other, but the minute buyers mention samples, using word-count gymnastics to get a lower fee, or seem to have an attitude of "Huh? This is confusing. I thought I’d get a discount by wasting several minutes of this sellers’ life with pointless messages," I just cut off all contact.

I don’t even say sorry I can’t help. I just ignore them until they take the hint and find another seller to annoy. This might seem rude, but I have had far too many of these people flip and become hostile, just because they can’t have their way. Typically, when that happens I get the old "Good Luck!" Or "There are thousands of writers on Fiverr anyway." Or "You really need to work on your customer service buddy."

In short, stop being nice. Don’t try to let these people down gently. All you do is waste your time and energy on people who aren’t worth it.


110% man, nail on the head. I tell my husband, I feel like I do when I’m trying to guide our 10 year old nephew to the right answer to his math homework without telling it to him.

“Do you write?”

Nah, I’m just here on Fiverr for the hell of it. I like to fool unsuspecting clients into thinking I have talent in my field - jokes on them I guess, huh?

The best are the ones that literally just paste a product URL as their opening line and nothing else until I’m 3-4 prompting lines later. Like I’m the content equivalent of a QR Code reader or something and when I open my mouth a circa-1996 AOL modem screech comes out instead of human words. I admit to being only human and once or twice I’ve had to stop myself from responding passive-aggressively with a “It’s such a pleasure to meet you as well! I’m doing fine, thanks.”


Still a better non-reason than “because we … just came back from a 14-day vacation to some tropical place”, while you haven’t even had a weekend off in two years in truth. Also, the people who start haggling about €10, while their car visibly cost twice as much as the house you’re paying mortgage for. Well, guess there’s a reason why some people are rich and others not :wink: (That wasn’t on Fiverr, though, but I’ve experienced it “in real life”, and it’s even worse then.)

A non-reason nonetheless, and, as others already said, yes, raise your prices; you can still give discounts if it’s justified for some reason or other. I do give discounts, if some things align and it’s Thursday and new moon as well :wink: but the amount of work is not the main deciding factor.


My favorite was the client that endlessly harassed me for two weeks straight to “do” a contract for them (I could not possibly have come up with another way to say “I don’t do legal documents, my work will not hold up in court and I refuse to take on liability”), even after I sourced, interfaced, and guided them to an actual legal writer here on Fiverr out of the goodness of my heart and to get them off my back.

They came BACK to me after, apparently, falling out/not using with the person I steered them to and wanted me to “proofread” the mangled found-online-and-altered-in-MS-word contract that they kept sending through messages after I’d told them no for the 100th time. They cried poverty and said that they could afford no more than $5 to have a legal contract done.

The contract was for $3,000 to an Instagram influencer to promote their product. :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

I was glad I stuck to my guns on that one.


I’ve had to aggressively force myself to alter my own language - female freelancers in particular are prone to giving in when they shouldn’t, apologizing when they’re in the wrong, leaving space for pushy clients to occupy. You are absolutely right to recognize you’re not a factory, and that’s an artistic fact, nothing that should ever be apologized for.

I’ve replaced things like “I’m sorry, but…” with phrases like, “I offer a quality experience…” and talk about value-added rather than apologizing for rates that, honestly, I don’t need to be apologizing for. They came into my “store,” and they’re the ones with the issue, not me. If I went into a store and saw the prices weren’t in my budget, I wouldn’t go harass the shopkeeper and try and shame them for their prices, least of all expect them to apologize and capitulate…I’m the one who walked in!

The whole “replace sorry/apologize with thanking them for patience” thing if you’re running late (in work or in life) sounds small, but man did it change my mindset.


Me? I think you mean Eoin.

The difference between us is that I mix with the big boys elsewhere (FB, for example) - they don’t get out of bed in the morning for less than 2.5K. By comparison, my prices are … a lot less - so I don’t feel that I’m overcharging.

You might try a similar exercise … go where your particular “big kids” play - and charge a more significant fraction than you do now …

that’s how you get more comfortable with it …


I said what I said! You are very talented and you clients obviously love you. :slight_smile:


I don’t think you’re being the “bad guy” by limiting the amount of consultation you’re willing to do for free.

I feel like half of the messages I get these days are people asking for me to “review their website” and tell them “what it needs” or to write up and send them a “plan” for how I would structure some series of blog posts. Ummmm…no? I’m very happy to do those things for someone who pays for that time. I’d be very happy to do that work if I was charging thousands of dollars per project and knew that that time investment would pay off for some percentage of potential clients.

But, uh, this is Fiverr. I love Fiverr, I love my clients, and I’m happy with my prices, but they don’t include putting in 20 minutes of pre-work to then get an order for which I’m going to make $8, if that.

Any hint of “someone else offered to do it cheaper” or “your prices are too expensive” or someone needing their hand held through two days of messages back and forth before shooting me a $5 order and I send a polite, “I can’t help you with this request.” It’s too bad that everyone in my inbox these days has to bear the burden of the sins of the buyers who came before, but this kind of haggling and dilly-dallying are hallmarks of “difficult” buyers.

Of course, sometimes people really do just need a little guidance, but you can usually tell the difference between someone who has just never hired out work before and someone who wants to squeeze you for free work.

Anywhoosal, I went on a kind of a rant there myself, haha! In short: I don’t think it’s mean to cut people off after a certain number of messages or if you can tell they’re going to be difficult. That just seems like good business sense to me.


I feel attacked

Feeling better again!


A giant among men, truly - skyscraper of talent! :smiley:


You can be short without having short man syndrome. You have never struck me as even being short, so I think you are safe. :wink:

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