Fiverr Community Forum

Hoist the red flags

Hello Fiverr sellers. Although I sell voice work I think this topic is universal to us all. I’m starting to notice a trend of things that hoist up the old warning flag that something isn’t right with a buyer.

What are some things that start raising red flags with you?

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I have a few secret things I don’t reveal publicly.

But one of them I can tell you is if they talk about how they were scammed by other sellers on the first message. These don’t usually buy anything though.

I don’t know what would make someone send me a message to tell me that but it happens a lot. I never understand why that is something someone would send me a message about.

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Starting by asking for a discount.

There are sellers who are charging less than I do, so why not contacting them instead of me?

Or, “if you give me a discount and this works out, I’ll have a lot of work for you in the future”.

More work for less money, why would I want that?

Or, “if you give me a discount and I like your work, I’ll recommend you to my friends.”

Why would I want to work with their cheapskate friends?

“I’m looking for a long-term relationship…”

Err, Fiverr isn’t a dating site.

“I want unlimited revisions.”

Then look for a seller who is offering them.

And so on…

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Agreed, but unlike your other flags, this one surprises me, I never once got that.


Someone who sends the wrong file, or a link to a document you’re supposed to edit which doesn’t have edit permission and such - not a red flag as in “don’t work with this one”, they can be perfectly nice people to work with, but as in “set a longer delivery time, just in case”.


What are the red flag trends that made you start this thread, James?

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The most common one being that they want a certain voice but they don’t actually know what that voice sounds like. For example I speak Welsh and someone asked for a voice sample and then after review said they couldn’t comment as they don’t know what Welsh :roll_eyes:

I’ve had a couple were a buyer has asked for about doing a gig but don’t actually have an idea what they want. Example of conversation.

Them: Hi! I’m looking for a professional sound in my animation to present to a meeting.

Me: That’s great as that’s exactly what I do. Do you have a script or idea how long this script is so I can work out an offer?

Then: it’s not finished yet but if I send the first part you should have an idea of what to say. I need the sound syncing with the animation too. The animation is about 15 minutes long I’ll need commercial and broadcast too. My budget is $5

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Maybe to intimidate you?

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But they do, they want something that costs $5 max :wink:

You speak Welsh, I’m in awe now.


But another red flag, as the above is OT …

People who don’t use any punctuation marks at all. Any. Ever.

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Born and raised in Wales. Speech and language lessons at school because I just couldn’t pronounce a lot of English words. They had the side effect that I can mimic nearly any accent lol :joy:

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It’s doesn’t intimidate me and why would they want to do that, for what purpose?
It’s telling me they are victims of others who cast spells. But I have no idea why that’s important for them to send me a message about.
They say things like "I’ve spent $5000 on spells and none have worked. "
Then when I ask them where, since they usually have new accounts, they say it wasn’t on fiverr.

I’m almost sure they are lying too. I’ve never had one say it was on fiverr.

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Into doing a proper job.

Some people intimidate you to make sure they get the results they want if they are afraid of fraud.

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I usually tell them it’s best to stop if they had a bad experience. I certainly am put off by having them announce that to me enough to where I don’t want to deal with them. I don’t feel their past experiences are anything to do with me.

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A red flag for me would be differing locations. For example, I received a message this evening saying “Help, I’m Lee from China” but his Fiverr profile clearly said that he was based in “Europe.”

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Yep. So not worth it.

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My biggest red flags are people who cannot communicate, send single messages of just “Hi,” and/or ask me to repeat everything in my gig description.

Typically, I’ll have some reincarnation of Einstein message to say "can u write content for my site?"

I feel like screaming "What blooming site? What do you do? What content do you need?"

In every case, I just say I can’t help. If I don’t, I resign myself to days of messages where buyers do everything but say what they are looking for, then drop a "can I see some samples," or "my budget is $5" bomb.

To me, buyers to avoid are anyone who:

  • Can’t succinctly say what they want in a single message.
  • Start messages by asking in the vaguest way possible if you do what you say you do in your gig description.
  • Ask for samples when they clearly have no idea what will constitute a good or a bad sample, and only ask because they want to feel important.
  • Tell me that their client wants X, etc. - These people usually have clients asking for a picture of a red tractor, but the person dealing with me will ask for a video of a kangaroo on a skateboard and complain when their buyer doesn’t like it.
  • Start messages by throwing buckets of compliments. - No, you are not getting a discount, go away.
  • Ask me to help with anything spiritual, political, or on the life-coaching spectrum. These people generally turn out to be hard work and get steadily ruder and more condescending with they message or order update.

I also have a blanket ban on some countries. I’ve probably missed some points, but they’re my basic red flags.

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I get people who write me a book on their unhappy relationship in their first message. They hope to find someone to rehash every detail of it with. A sentence or two is ok but not page of text that would take me an hour to read.

Sending a first message of just “hi” is definitely a red flag.

Asking ongoing questions for over ten minutes is another one.

None of these types are going to become buyers. Their initial purpose in contacting me is not with the idea of possibly ordering.

It’s shocking how many purely manipulative messages I get now every day.

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Guilt-tripping probably rather than intimidating.
You might feel guilty that another Fiverr seller “did that to them” and thus be extra nice or good or throw in some extra, or whatever, or so they seem to think or hope, whether consciously or not.


Oh, yes, love that so much, the pertinent dialogue reads like The Ridiculous Comedy by Dantee

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Yes! Sending a new message for each new sentence. Drives me nuts. And ending with “???”

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As long as I continue to answer they continue to ask another question. And sometimes asking the same exact thing over and over in spite of me answering.

I’m a very patient person but when it’s going absolutely nowhere I have to simply stop answering.

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Definitely red flags on these for content writers! The few I have done in these categories were always the hardest to please. I try to steer clear of the political topics all together.

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Adding one more to the above. It’s less of a red flag and more an indication of the type of client I don’t want to work with:

The people who ask me to send them custom offers for $5 gigs. Just go to the gig page and place the order there, man! I’m convinced they do this because it makes them feel important.

And I dislike doing it because I want to know what my average custom order rates are at the end of the month and $5 orders will obviously bring the average down.

I try not to be dismissive of these people, but I’ve started to tell them that I don’t create custom orders unless the terms of the order exceed what’s on my gig packages.

Also, people who call custom orders “invoices”. Confused the hell out of me initially, and now I just see that as a mark of people who are unused to working with Fiverr sellers.

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