Fiverr Community Forum

How do I avoid getting scammed by buyers?

So I’m new to Fiverr, and so far I’ve only gotten two messages from two different buyers. Both of them gave me red flags that screamed "this is a bad idea!"

The first wanted me to design a magazine cover for him, and when I asked him for information about his magazine so that I could see if I could help him out, he refused to give me anything other than “I want it to look like this” and showed me covers from a popular magazine. I messaged him several times and he eventually ended up not messaging me back. I think the reason he stopped messaging me was because I asked him if he had images/photos that he had the rights to. I was worried about copyright infringement.

The second buyer wanted me to write a paragraph of copy for them before ordering a gig. I figured that’s a good way to do the work without them having to pay me. Right?

So the question is this, how do I inquire about these concerns without driving away actual buyers, but not ending up screwing myself over?

Yes, you are right, do not do work for free, that is a way to get scammed for free work. And it was good that the other one just stopped messaging you, you are right to ask about images if they will be supplying proper images that they own the rights to.

The issue is you are a new seller, so scammers may target new sellers to try and get free work or work done that they know it not legal. Just stay strong and use your good judgment. Always be very professional in messages that you write to these buyers and if someone down the line ignores you and orders, then do a cancellation right away.

These wouldn’t have been real buyers so you don’t have to worry about scaring them away. A real buyer who needed a magazine cover would have said, yes, I will be supplying you with the images. Just ask politely about stuff and you should be fine.

Okay, thank you! I feel better about that now. I was sort of second guessing my judgment because I’m not sure how buyers act/present themselves here. Do most of them fill out their profiles or leave them blank? I’m a profile stalker so I normally try to find out if people are scams from the info I find there. But I have a feeling most buyer profiles here are pretty empty? Is that the case?

Other than posting on social media (which I’ve been trying to do with no avail) how do I try to get actual gigs going? I’ve been registered for several weeks and I’ve only been contacted by the two I described above. I’ve been posting on all the places on the web I exist on, but so far no one’s been interested. Does it generally take this long for most people to get going on Fiverr? Or should I try to redo my descriptions in a different way at this point? If new sellers are the ones most frequently contacted for scam work, I’d like to move on from being a new seller. :wink:

Buyers do not need to fill in their profiles, there is no reason really. Some buyers who are also sellers will naturally have that witten.

And yes, it takes awhile, many sellers report it can take weeks to get things going.

But I do think you need to freshen up your gigs a little bit - you have no real samples on the social media, there are no photos of banner designs or a before/after slide that shows how you helped freshen it up, your magazine cover doesn’t have any real samples…have you actually ever created a magazine cover for anyone? It’s kind of a dark photo and plain text, which may look a little too simple…

Spend some time researching other gigs that are similar to each of yours, search for them, look at the high rating sellers and take notice of how they write their gigs up, what kind of photos and/or videos they use, and so on, that information can be helpful and give you ideas. Don’t copy but just get ideas on how to improve your gigs a little bit.

good luck to you.

Makes sense. I was just hoping for another tool to help me weed out trouble. =D

Yeah, I wasn’t sure how many photos to add to each gig. I was a little confused when I was setting it all up - I’d add in photos and the main photo for the gig wouldn’t be what displayed first. You’re right, I should play around with that and see what I can do with it.

I actually haven’t created a magazine cover for someone - I’ve done a few covers for fun, but nothing that anyone’s requested or anything. With fiverr I was really hoping to get some practice in and add to my portfolio for sure, while making some supplemental income.

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

Here, for each of your gigs, do some research…the more real you can make your own sample made up cover look like, the better…

Oh yeah, I totally understand from the buyer’s perspective how important it is to hire someone who at the very least seems like they know what they are doing. I was actually kind of perplexed when I discovered that I couldn’t find a spot in my profile to link to portfolios or websites or anything for people to check out previous work. Maybe I just missed it?

But yes, I’ll have to take some time to create some more samples to upload to gigs so that they can see what I can do. That’ll mean that it’ll take me much longer to get going since I don’t have a lot of ready-made samples to put up, but in the end it’ll probably be worth it. Thanks for the links - I did do some preliminary research on similar gigs to see what kind of format was generally followed and the type of extras that were offered, but some more research never hurts!

I appreciate the help! <3

Sorry I haven’t been really clear - I have samples of other graphic design projects, just not magazine covers. I’ve done other things, but nothing that’s specific to a couple of my gigs. I’m trying to branch out. I figured it wouldn’t be very helpful to post samples of flyers or posters or whatever to a gig specifically for a magazine cover. I was hoping to use the website to give potential buyers samples of whatever work I’ve got out there, in an attempt to instill confidence in them that I could most likely do whatever it is they’re looking for. Getting samples of magazine covers will take longer, because I haven’t done any. So I’d need to make them before I could put them up as samples.

As a buyer, I always ask my seller for samples. They usually are completely unrelated to my topic… that’s OK! I’m just trying to experience your expertise. $5 isn’t a lot of money but I do not want to pay a “Graphic Artist” $5 to draw stick figures using MS Paint or an “Author” to write me an article that consists of poor unreadable English.

You are right to question EVERYTHING. Just remember the P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence). Physical Evidence is just as important to getting your sale as your actual product (service) is.

Reply to @sincere18:
From a BUYER’s Perspective: There are a quantity of ‘airhead Sellers’ in the community - “Yes, I can do it (whatever)” - “It will be beautiful-perfect”, etc. Some are scammers, others just inexperienced in business practices.

The second case might simply have been an interest in experiencing the QUALITY of your work. A reasonable thought.

The first case, maybe a little whacko. Who’s to say…

Let me give you an example. I have a client who wanted a YouTube CHANNEL setup for his category. I received 20 Seller replies. NOT ONE WAS RELATED TO THE REQUEST.

Most were spam about their various gigs. One WAS related to YouTube. Seller wanted to supply a banner - when questioned, said they didn’t even READ request. Go figure.

Reply to @chazlyn: Just play aornd more with photos. GO look at other high rated sellers, you have to always consider the competition.

As for magazine covers or any design gig, if you don’t have a real client sample, use a sample that you made up for fun, as long as it looks professional. Did you you search some other gigs to see what real magazine cover design looks like?

Also, buyers don’t come here to Fiverr to hire someone to practice their skills, they are buying a gig because you supposedly know how to do what you say you are selling. Now, you can certainly be using Fivver to learn behind the scense but it always has to look like you know what you are doing from the perspective of a buyer. So when a buyer sees no real samples that’s something that they may turn away from.

Reply to @ronasia:
Ha! Yeah, I always feel a little amused when it becomes obvious that - whether in emails or in Fiverr messages - someone hadn’t even read my reply at all! So funny.

For the second example, the one where they were hoping I’d do a “test paragraph” I offered them the link to my website where I have a small portfolio of previous copy writing I’ve done. Actually, I think I offered that twice in two separate messages. If they were read at all, they were certainly ignored, leading me to think they didn’t really care about the quality of my work in particular - they just wanted it for free. All well.

Question to the room at large - do the inclusion of words such as “perfect” “amazing” “fantastic” etc actually give gigs a leg up? Half the time when I see those words in the gig title I have to resist the urge to roll my eyes, because either the art displayed doesn’t match up to something I’d consider “fantastic” as well as the thought that, sure you can say it’ll be fantastic, but I’d rather see you put your money where your mouth is. Maybe that’s just my cynicism? I just see so many gigs using that phrasing that it seems it doesn’t really mean anything in the context of the site, I guess is what I’m trying to say here.

Reply to @chazlyn: If you have magazine covers or portfolio pieces or even websites that you have designed, why can’t you just take a screen snapshot of where they are on another website and use those for now to start so at least you have a few real samples? I am confused, at first you are saying that you do have samples on other websites and portfolio links but then you say it will take you longer because you do not have ready made samples to put up - that doesn’t make any sense.

I think there might be one other site you can use, not sure if it’s Flikr or not, research that more, but the problem with putting in links to other websites and portfolio sites is the ability to then contact you outside of Fiverr. It is against the Terms of Service to contact a seller/buyer outside the Fiverr system.