Fiverr Forum

Help! Fiverr sellers provide me with partially completed unprofessional work

I am looking for suggestions on how to better communicate expectations to sellers so that sellers deliver upon them.

Repeatedly I have had the experience of providing sellers upfront with detailed notes of my requirements for a gig, before accepting their proposals, & not having them deliver as required. Problem gigs have been for work on my wordpress site on the front or back end, & revisions to newsletter templates.

I provide detailed sketches of layouts if relevant, a list of instructions, level of expertise required (e.g. if minor coding is required ‘medium level expertise’) & always with including: ‘same visual design as existing website including font, spacing & visual weight’.

Never once have I had a seller complete the list as required. Never has a seller even attempted the complete list of instructions before the 2nd or 3rd ‘revision request’. Then I am accused of wanting work that it is too detailed & being blackmailed into placing an additional order to complete the work, often with a problem to the site or template so that I cannot use it. This has happened with 3 different sellers in the last 2 years. Most recently I’ve even needed to take down the website for a week costing me money, yet I am being blamed.

What am I doing wrong? Are fiverr sellers all scammers? Should I pay them, or can I provide a partial payment?

I know fiverr sellers are working for low rates but I still expect agreed upon work to be provided.


What’s your vetting process for Sellers? If you don’t mind my asking, what did you pay for the scope of work which you’ve described?

Well… perhaps that’s your problem. I can assure you that the best Sellers on Fiverr who produce the highest quality within their chosen fields have prices to match. You get what you pay for.


After the first seller, I ask them for examples of previous work similar to what I am requesting. If it looks like they can deliver & their English comprehension seems good I accept their proposals. If additional work is required once they get into the website I agree to pay what they ask.

The sellers tend to be on the lower end but are not rock bottom. If I have an unlimited budget I will not be looking for sellers on fiverr.


The general rule here is that you get what you pay for. If you hire someone to work on your site for $5/hour then you get the quality worth $5/hour.

Without knowing the details of the job, I’d say you’re hiring desperate sellers who accept the work at a very low price point and once they realize how time consuming it is they will cut corners or ask for more money.

It’s not a rule, but if you hire someone for $20+ per hour then you should get fairly decent results. The price alone is not a quality indicator, but it should be one of the filters to find the right seller.
Interview & their portfolio are probably the most important factors.

EDIT: Eoin made a good point that $5 gigs don’t always mean lower quality. The lower rate might mean that you have to do more work yourself and you get a different type of service.

The price also depends on your instructions and goals. For example:

  • I need to move the Contact Us button 20px down. ($)
  • I need to make the Contact Us button more visible ($$)
  • I need a higher conversion through the Contact Us flow ($$$)

Agree with everything UXreview said above but want to add this.
Some sellers work for low rates
Some offer to work for low rates but are incompetent
Some work for standard or higher rates but are excellent in communication, customer service and attention to detail.

Your job is to interview and vet sellers so that you choose what meets your needs.
Can you spend time giving directions, requesting multiple revisions, repeating your instructions etc? Then it’s no problem to hire someone who can do the basic donkey work for you and will cost very little.
Do you need to give the instructions and leave them to it and have a near perfect job complete without further involvement? Then you need to spend time choosing someone who can do just that and likely pay more for it unless you get lucky.
Do you want to hire someone who has more knowledge and expertise than you, who will advise and direct you in the best way to go to get what you want and end up with a great delivery? Then you will need to pay the highest rates.

If you pick the cheapest and expect the best then it won’t work.
If you pick the best and ask them to be cheaper then it won’t work.


Most of the buyers love to order to the low price gigs. They even contact to buyer. I want some samples.

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Some the buyers come in your ib and ask for samples before placing orders.
This actually I am experience within last couple of weeks.
If we didn’t reply then response rate affects.
If we deny to provide samples the communication would affects.
Then what to do?


This is the best example I have ever seen on this topic and I will be using it without crediting you.


This is helpful & specific. I’m between 20px & more visible, depending on my knowledge of what they are working on.

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By samples do you mean they are asking you for free work? No way.

For the record, what I ask sellers for is examples of work they have done for former clients that is similar to my gig, so I can see if their style & skill set matches my needs.

Yes of course to some extent you get what you pay for, but it’s a shame that integrity has a price tag. I’m loyal & stick w sellers that deliver for years.

I am not hiring at the lowest price point though at the lower end. If sellers ask for more money I almost always agree (often adding it as a tip per their request) particularly as I personally can do most of the work I hire out for & know approximately how much time it may require. I supply detailed notes prior to accepting seller offers providing both written & visual instructions from $ to $$ range of your scale.


I tend to know exactly what I want & which is why I provide sellers with detailed instructions. Not picking the cheapest sellers.

If at all possible, try to take a bite-size chunk from the job and order that first, with an as short as possible turnaround. If the seller can’t even get that right or starts to make weird excuses to extend delivery time, move on.

I think most sellers actually like that course of action. If I, for example, get an inquiry for translation of a complete book, especially if it’s fiction, or anything else, where style matters, and the buyer doesn’t ask for it on their own, I usually offer to do a page, chapter, whatever seems appropriate, first, so we can both see if we work well together, if style matches, etc.
If not, the buyer would only lose a small amount of time and money.

It’s not that easy for all kinds of jobs, but if you’re looking for reliable and good sellers for long-term, it might be even worth it to “invent” a small order that could show you if they have an idea about what you actually need them to do and avoid losing time with those who really are bad draws.


I’d say the higher price range comes from the know-how and experience.
A lot of newbies take on jobs that they are not ready for. They either overestimate their skills or believe that they can close the knowledge gap while doing the job. I’m sure if you take like 10 sellers you’ll find at least 2-3 who call themselves as experts.

In most cases the problem starts from the wrong price range, but if that’s not the case for you then you might wish to review your vetting process. You did mention that your instructions are clear and sellers have the chance to accept or decline your job request. So, it seems like you have the basics covered.

Since we have spent quite a bit of time on this, I would actually like to see an example.
Could you take one of the requests where the seller failed to deliver and copy the description here? You don’t need to take the most complex request and please don’t mention any names. The goal is not to name & shame someone and it’s not that I don’t believe you. It’s just that I know from my own experience that what seems like a simple and well described project brief to me might sound like a rocket science for someone else :slight_smile:

If you missed something important in your job request then we might be able to help you and if you didn’t then in worst case other readers will see how to write a proper job description :slight_smile:
There are plenty of buyers who don’t know how to write a project brief / job requirements.


I was not saying that you asked. But I experience that. So that’s why I asked to those expertise who are replying here.

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I don’t know if it’s been said before but you can order milestones. Tell your seller that you pay x if they’ve done the tasks according to the price, when they deliver and you’re happy with what they did, make the next order for y and so on till all milestones are completed. If a seller is pressured into delivering good work because otherwise you won’t order the next milestone, they will most likely do what you ask them to. On top of that, the tasks you give are split up and may not be as overwhelming as receiving an entire list.

On a side note: I’ve been working with resellers from the beginning. Most of them asked me to do way too much work for not enough money or time, I was constantly stressed and annoyed by it but it was my only way to receive orders at the beginning. And every now and then the seller/buyer had to come back to me because I didn’t read the requirements properly and maybe missed something since I had to do crazy amounts of work in a rush just to make a little bit of money per month. So maybe that is something to consider? The lower the rates of a seller, the more they have to work to compensate.


Sure, I will add actual examples instructions for a newsletter project I want to post as a gig request soon. This is a learning process for me & I welcome helpful feedback.

Thank you @janali it is also your experience.
I had experience that.

Me? Oh my, I am flattered. Maybe open a different thread and ask for people to look over your profile and I’ll see what I can do. I wouldn’t want to interrupt the conversation that is already going on by throwing in a different subject.

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I have posted this question already. If you could kindly answer me there.