How Do I Tell a Buyer "Thanks, but NO Thanks?"


So, I have had 6 buyers for my gigs so far. up until this one buyer, each and every one of them has sent me the information I requested, and their projects were a joy to work on. But then…early this morning…I woke up to a new order. I KNEW it was going to be a mess just from reading her order information, it was a jumbled mess and it didn’t include any of the elements I asked for… So, I contact the buyer and I finally got what I needed to complete the work (somewhat got what I needed…), but it was still crazy because the buyer isn’t really detailed and isn’t keen on the concept of specification, so I had to simply guess what she wanted…which I despise…

Anyhow, when I delivered her work, she sent me back a list of long modifications - I did exactly what was asked of me, but the mods threw off the project, and now it looks funny…but, it is what was requested. I KNOW the buyer is going to submit more orders, but I REALLY have no desire to work with this person ever again, my nerves can’t handle it.

I wanted to go into business for myself to work for the clients I want to work for, not to have to wake up and hate my job because of clients who can’t follow simple directions. Somebody please chime in and tell me how to handle such a situation, because somehow I don’t think my idea of telling this buyer to “shove off” is exactly the best idea…


Reply to @itsyourthing: Politics in the form! Entering the Danger Zone


I get clients like that all the time. In other words they don’t follow gig instructions but just wing it knowing they can request a mod later. A lot of these type of buyers are lazy or don’t know what they really want. It can drive you crazy. I’ll try to work with them, but if it feels like I’m just spinning my wheels it is time to cut the ties and move on. Usually I just politely tell them that we are not communicating and if I don’t understand what they want, I can’t do a good job. If they attempt again, I take the blame for not understanding and tell them it is best they find someone else to do their gig.


Simple, before you even started working on this, you should have sent a cancellation with the words. “I’m sorry, this is too complicated for me” or "Apologies, but this isn’t something I feel comfortable doing."

Other things you can say.

  1. I don’t think this is for me. I think you should hire someone else (and you might refer someone, copy and paste their Fiverr link)

  2. This is not my area of expertise.

  3. I don’t have time to do this.

  4. I don’t feel comfortable making a website for an Adult site (or whatever category bothers you), so please accept this cancellation request.

  5. I’m sorry, I thought I could do this, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

    Your absolutely right, Fiverr is about doing things you enjoy. Some sellers even list a laundry list of things they won’t do, but I don’t do that. I never know what I’ll enjoy doing until I try it, so unless something really offends my beliefs, or a project is too complicated, I will do it.


    P.S. I prefer buyers who aren’t too detailed, and who are clear and concise in their messages. “Do this, don’t do that.” Too much information is extremely annoying for me.


Reply to @steveeyes:

I like your miscommunication angle, I shall adopt it hence forth. Thanks a LOT!

Gosh, you people are so helpful!


Reply to @fastcopywriter:

You know, you’re right… I KNEW I should have just cancelled the order as soon as I saw it…it’s uduslly best to go with your first thoughts instead of forging ahead through something that doesn’t feel right.

Thanks for the tips.


Customer service for me is sometimes the hardest part of my job. I have been dealing with the public in one form of service or another for a long time. I find also that customer service can be a lot of fun too if I stay calm, relaxed, and in the drivers seat. Sometimes saying no can be difficult. Especially when the person is a lovable with lots of personalty. In my opinion, dealing with people takes a “knack” or a talent that is wanted by a worker or a professional and is either inherited or learned. People at Target who deal well with people are at the cash registrars and out on the floor. The other people at Target, the people you don’t see, are in the back taking care of “in-the-back-of-the-store” things because they hate dealing with people. What I am trying to say is to try and find your own way of dealing with people with whom you don’t want to deal. Either by saying no and telling them the truth why you don’t want to work for them anymore and to “shove off”, or give them an excuse to spare their feelings and keep good word of mouth, or avoid the conflict altogether and go hide in the back of the store. These are extremes, and I find that I am usually in a balancing act between all of them and a balancing act between all the shades of gray of them as well. In my opinion it is best to polite, compassionate, and understanding, and tell the person you are no longer doing these types of jobs. These things happen all the time. Lastly, I used to hate dealing with people on a business level or public service level until I learned not to be intimidated, don’t take things personally, people pleasing has to go, and I need to know as soon as possible whose corner is the power in, who is in the drivers seat. Them or me. Start with this one to go find your talent and your power. I think everyone is different as every business is different. This is your business you have built. You are the professional!


@webdesignjunkie - I’m dealing with the same thing right now. I actually just took down one of my gigs (copywriting) because I got so frustrated with the lack of information that people provide (despite a detailed list of items that would be helpful). It just wasn’t fun anymore.

I completely agree with @fastcopywriters suggestions for how to gracefully bow out of a gig before it has even started.

I do always worry about the buyer not clicking the cancel box as well (they have no real incentive to, I don’t believe). I read somewhere that if they don’t click it to mutually cancel the order, that it can still affect your cancellation rate? I could be wrong about that part though…


Reply to @webdesignjunkie: My pleasure, I learned the hard way.


Reply to @elyserides: What kind of copywriting where you doing? If you’re writing e-mails for people, you only need their website and then you can figure out what to write, if they don’t give you a website, ask for some talking points.

If it’s headlines you’re doing, you don’t need a ton of information, if a guy tells me “I sell weight loss tips” than that’s usually enough for me.

The only copywriting I don’t do is long-form copywriting, that is boring as hell, but can be very profitable for those who enjoy it. Some might charge $5 for up to 500 words.

Others can make quite a bit of money writing blog content, I tried that but found it boring in some cases, and so entertaining in others that I would end up wasting 30 minutes, even 1-hour, writing blog content for $5. Not a good deal for me.


Oh MY… She’s back with another entire page of revisions. That’s it, I’m cancelling on my own and taking down all the work I’ve done. It’s just not worth it, I’ll take the hit. Sheesh!



I don’t think canceling would have been the best idea. Seeing as you’re still new, any cancellations look really bad, since the cancellation ratio would be high. Which would turn away a lot of potential buyers. Personally I just rough through it to maintain good rating.



Yeah I’m pretty sure if they don’t do anything it leaves a bad mark. Which, in a lot of cases if the buyer already has a tough time communicating, they’ll just leave and not look at it again.


If I may… I would suggest putting in your description that you reserve the right to turn down projects and requests, and the buyer should contact you prior if your description doesn’t cover what they want.

This way you are covered with cancellations if need be. Ideally as others have stated go through with the changes, and adjust yourself with it. leave a message with that buyer after delivery that should they return (which you want) that they provide as much information as they can from the start…

OR in your buyer note that they see when they order, put in there everything you need from them. "possible mods, dimensions, details, etc all up front so you can start on it. and as you go send them screen samples so they can request mods on the go instead of after all the work after you complete it.

Thats just my 2 cents. I hope it helps, and hope to see you get to the top where you deserve to be for your hard work.


I wish for this reason it would be possible for sellers to screen and accept/reject gigs. I’m glad you managed to get something out of the situation but it definitely can be stressful when you just know someone is going to be difficult to work with. @fastcopywriter has some excellent advice and don’t be afraid that you’ll never get another order again just because you’ve turned one down that doesn’t feel worth the time/money.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to salvage most situations where I though I was going to be unable to deliver a gig as someone had been vague with their specifications or not really provided me with all the information required. I think a lot of people do mean well, just maybe people who don’t sell themselves don’t always realise we aren’t mind readers, so I do my best to be patient and see if I can work something out.


I’ve cancelled on my end, I asked her for mutual cancellation, but that’s her decision…I’m done. They don’t print enough money…


Reply to @fastcopywriter:

fastcopywriter said: I think you should hire someone else (and you might refer someone, copy and paste their Fiverr link)
Is this a tactic to bog down your competition? :slight_smile:


@webdesignjunie You never want to wake up stressed as a Fiverr. You want this to be fun. You’re a freelancer! And things sometimes are not what they seem. Your buyer could have a boss standing behind them who is throwing out all this confusing mess. Sometimes you get the wrong impression of people. I had one lady order my ebook who I could have sworn was some little old invalid from middle of nowhere, giving me the old “I’m not a computer person” line the whole time (then step away from the computer with your hands up!) but seriously, come to find out I look her up on the web and she is some young, gorgeous(ok, I’ll take the hit for that) smart professional in her field. So, I don’t have the eloquent advice that everyone here has, but just the truculent attitude. Semper Fiverr!


Reply to @itsyourthing: You mean to keep them busy? No, not really. The goal is to have that buyer order something else from you someday, or have the Fiverr seller you are referring to do the same for you. It happens.


I like to use phrases like: No Way Jose but this might be looked as racial discrimination if said to a real Latino/a. good luck to you :slight_smile: