Fiverr Community Forum

How to deal with a picky buyer

So I’m new to Fiverr and this is only my second order. I had someone request a revision on a blog article I did for them, which I was fine with. He gave me much more information the second time around, which would’ve helped me on the first time I delivered my work.

The order was for a 500-word blog article. I have two other options for 800 and 1000, but they chose the 500 word option. I’m not picky and leave it at 500 words exactly, but I ended up getting to 507. I felt like I had enough to wrap it up and I submitted it.

They commented back “Can add few more points, too short.” ??? I mean, hello… you ordered 500 words. I don’t know how to respond to this. I include 1 revision in the order and I did that already, so I’m not exactly sure how to move forward with this. It seems they’re being very picky for no reason.

Thanks a lot in advance for anyone’s help.

I know it’s annoying and some buyers are cheeky (or just stupid), but for the sake of maybe another 50 / 150 / 200 words, I’d be inclined to write a few more sentences and keep them happy.

Yes, I’d be screaming inside - but let’s keep things in perspective. For the sake of another 10 or 15 minutes of your time, you could avoid potential bad feedback and educate this buyer (yes, I do mean subtlety shame them), so should they come back and order in future, they will know to buy the right gig.

I’ve not looked at your gig, but how do you phrase the 500 / 800 and 1000 word limits? Is the deal you offer watertight or is there some ambiguity? In other words, what if someone wants a 600 word blog? Do they order your 500 word deal as it’s the closest match, or do they order your 800 word deal, although they’re not going to fully benefit?

The phrase “up to” is always handy. For example “I will write a blog article up to 500 words. If you require additional words I will ask for an additional $X for every 100 words or less.” I’ve always found this a handy and clear way to band prices.

I’d suggest politely messaging your buyer when you redeliver: “No worries, I’ve added some extra words based on the new information you sent. Hope you like it. Just to say that I’m happy to help on this occasion as it’s been an enjoyable project, but please note my gig does offer different pricing bands based on the number of words you require. Hope to work together again, etc”

I have used similar wording myself in the past and even received a tip, as I think the buyer realised they were being a it unfair. Turn a negative into a positive.

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Hey, thanks for the advice! When it comes to the world limit, I believe you can customize your amount when you submit an order. So for example if they wanted 600 and I have 500 and 800 word packages, they’ll order the 500-word and then customize it to “600”, which in turn will cost them a little extra. Again, I’m still super new to Fiverr so I’m trying to navigate it all.

What I’m nervous about is that this person will likely leave me a sh*tty review no matter what. I could tell from the beginning they would be picky, and I’ve looked at their other buyer reviews and I saw they left someone a 3-star review and said “good order”. So I’m not sure what the end result will be.

I’m just wonder if I re-submit my order, while I have already completed a revision, will that change anything at all? I guess I can just message them with the attachment and be done with it.

It doesn’t make it morally right, but that’s what I was hinting at when I said for the sake of maybe another couple of hundred words and a few more minutes of your time, keep your buyer happy.

Exactly. I don’t like to offer revisions because to me revisions suggest that you’re open to the idea that your work can be better. Well, if it can be better, why wasn’t it perfect in the first place, etc?!

I have found that I still get orders without offering revisions, and if ever my buyers question anything about a delivery, then they are nearly always pleasantly surprised when I turn around and still want to help them (so long as they’ve got a a reasonable point!).

Just my two cents: As a new buyer, it is not a bad idea to over-deliver on your orders. Yes, payment and your time is essential, but isn’t it more relevant to first establish yourself here? Give everything and more for six months - perhaps gain a few regular buyers, and THEN set some boundaries. It worked for me.

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I disagree.

This is where writers open themselves up to exploitation. It isn’t “just” a few words. Is that how we value writing? “Just” a few more words for free? And your example is waaaaay more than a few. Gosh sellers undercharge for writing here…

And if a buyer gets away with it this time with such rosy compliance from the seller, they’re going to do it again to someone. They’re not going to reform and think “From now on I should pay for what I want.” They know what they’re doing. It’s not a mistake and they don’t reform just because you politely messaged them and complied. They’ll keep doing this to you and others and maybe advise others to do the same.

Instead I do this:

I politely remind the buyer of the scope and politely give an ultimatum:
A) I can do the extra work for said price
B) Redeliver the order as-is.

Always works for me. They usually choose A.

Buyers test you. When they see they don’t have a leg to stand on, they are less likely to keep pushing unless they are total jerks. You’re not suggesting this OP even try to get what she is due and encouraging her to comply with sketchiness instead.

Never exploit yourself to try to get a good review. This is why writers undervalue themselves here and why buyers undervalue writers here, too.

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I’m one of the few to bang on about writing being a skill and it should therefore attract a premium price. There was a reason for offering the opinion I did…

At the point of writing I wasn’t clear how the ops pricing structure for the 500 / 800 / 1000 word packages was worded in the gig, and in fairness I did explain this in my response.

I have seen writing gigs advertised where the pricing structure is very much open to interpretation. For example, using the 500 / 800 word example, does 500 words mean just 500 words, or does it mean up to 799 words before hitting the 800 word requirement for the next price level? The seller might think one meaning, the buyer might think another. That’s why I suggested on this occasion giving the benefit of doubt, but to make it clear in the response about “noting the correct gig prices for next time”.

If the gig wording is watertight, I would never encourage sellers to roll over and give in to the handful of morons who test us. My point was simply, if the wording of the gig was open to interpretation then just draw a deep breath and keep the buyer happy.

Sometimes as sellers we have to practice pragmatism. It doesn’t mean giving in to abusive people. But if the gig description was unclear, then for the sake of a few more words and a few more minutes of time, why risk a bad review? It’s the pragmatic approach to take rather than firing from the hip. Just my humble point of view!

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I sincerely doubt the buyer just wanted another 50 to 200 words. Not all the impression I have.

Her next tier is 800. There was nothing to stop the buyer from ordering that as it is very clearly a better fit for what they want. I found it totally clear.

Any buyer who assumes if they have undershot the runway for the medium tier that they can just buy the lower tier even though they’re out of scope is not someone I would want to work with.

I don’t find it pragmatic to give a buyer what they want that they didnt pay for it when there was clearly a more appropriate option.

You say “just” a couple of hundred words. But her higher tier was 300 words more. That’s two thirds of a tier for free. Not pragmatic. Sorry.

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And I agree with this part.

But I maintain that the point of my original post was around the issue of potential ambiguity. Anyway, I’ve made my point. I’m not going round in circles with this one.

No, it’s not pragmatic to give into people who are deliberately trying to undercut seller rates. This is very bad business practice (for many reasons, but mainly because it generates ill feeling) and, as you say, I would not want to work with such a buyer.

There was an occasion when I was so riled by a potential buyer saying my rate was too high, that he still wanted to work with me and to do so for half my normal price. I responded with a custom offer for 2x my normal rate. I wrote “I suspect you won’t want to pay me double my rate, in exactly the same way I don’t want to work for you for half my rate. Have some respect for experience, skills and time.”

Not surprisingly I didn’t hear from them again. I always advocate for standing up to the handful of pond life who inhabit Fiverr. But sometimes pragmatism is called for.

We’re not going to agree on this one!

I agree with you, and I don’t see myself rolling over for someone like this again. Just made me feel icky and especially that I didn’t charge extra. In a typical situation as a freelance writer, where “reviews” aren’t in play, I’m not going to just suck up to an a-hole and give the buyer what they want. I’m still learning the ins and outs here, but now I know what not to do anymore.

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^^^^^This right here^^^^^^

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Yes, it’s actually a principle of law that you can’t hold someone to something in a contract if it’s ambiguous. Nothing I argued disputed that you can’t hold someone to something that’s ambiguous.

We’re not disagreeing on this at all. My point was not that she should get the work despite ambiguity. My point was that nothing she said or had in her gig was ambiguous.

Everything I wrote was explaining why it wasn’t ambiguous, not saying she should get what she wants despite being ambiguous (because she wasn’t). My point was that there was no grey area that would have made it appropriate to expect this extra work for free.

It isn’t pragmatic to say a buyer can get free extra work if their request falls between the scope of two tiers. No business runs that way. And it actually didn’t. He wanted the standard tier for the price of the basic.

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