Fiverr Forum

How to not appear racist when putting a buyer's request


Me and my partner, through different accounts have hired people in a variety of fields; from graphic design, to programmer and traffic, etc.

Out of 92 people in ***, only 1 performed well. Yes, let’s take the time to let this sink in: 1 out of 92.

Most of the time they said yes to work they didn’t know how to do, probably trying to figure out how to do it with tutorials, came with endless excuses about why things were not done, outright lied about a few things, etc.

In fact our experience is exactly in line with the numbers published by a newspaper in India (

For this reason, I would like to figure out how, on the next requests we’ll put out, to word the text in a polite way that says we don’t want anyone from these countries anymore, without appearing negative. At this point we have a lot of data, and time and money wasted to back up that choice.

Mod note: Post edited - general criticisms of sellers based on their location is not allowed on the forum


You can write at the end of your request “native Americans only” or any other country of your choice but for that, you will have to check their local time them because there are VPN users out there that lie about their location.

Good Luck :thumbsup:


You can’t - if you put in your request anything about where sellers come from etc. you request will be declined.

It’s up to you as a potential buyer to go through each seller and see if they’re a good fit for what you require, regardless of where they come from.

Why not use the Fiverr search rather than buyer requests if you’re looking for something in particular?


would a timezone requirement be declined?


You could possibly say you prefer someone in your own time zone, but that won’t stop everybody approaching you anyway.

Also, you’ll miss out on an awful lot of good sellers who can communicate well and do a good job.

I presume you can read what I’ve typed without any problems? I’m not in your time zone, so perhaps that wouldn’t be the best way to approach it either.

Sorry, regardless of how you try to spin it, what you’re wanting to do does indeed appear to be racist.

Fiverr is a global community - perhaps you should be looking for a solution closer to home?


That is interesting. So is saying that Indians (for example) are worst software developers than software developers in other countries racist? (according to the posted article by OP thus statistically)


The method of searching via buyer requests that the OP wanted to use would be against Fiverr’s ToS, because they would be wanting to exclude certain sellers from their search, based on their country, which could be classed as racist.

I haven’t made any comment on the _statistic_s provided (lies, damned lie and statistics etc.) :slight_smile:


Everything you’ve said in your post reeks of racism and you want to know how to appear less racist. Well, don’t be racist. If only 1 out of 100 Indian engineers (or whatever) can code, how do you explain that the top 10 Indian IT companies generate revenue of $147 billion in 2015? I own shares in Indian IT companies such as TCS. Did you know that TCS has a market cap of over $75 billion? In comparison IBM, the biggest IT company in the world has a market cap of $142 billion. That’s not that much of a difference. Don’t be racist, racism is stupidity. [Indeed, if one was to go further into the difference between IBM and TCS, there is no difference as software development and IT services accounts for 40% of IBM’s business. The rest comes from its range of products in cloud computing, hardware, IT infrastructure, data and analytics. So if you are talking about IT outsourcing purely, TCS is the biggest company in the world in that category.]


Do you think it may be a bit of an exaggeration just to get some attention on a potentially controversial post? :slight_smile:


Yes I do. It sounds suspicious.


Haha, I have to give it to you to some extent, I hear you regarding statistics overall, a lot of Bull*hittery is going on in those areas, true :slight_smile:

However OP has some statistics in terms of Fiverr work regarding the experience he had of Fiverr, and if they are indeed true, they are a tangible source of statistics.
And if they are, there is definitely nothing racist if OP states that on Fiverr, in his experience he finds that a small percent of Indians are capable of xyz.


Well I don’t see what connection there is, comparing people that work on Fiverr out of India using the internet with Indian IT companies that are successful. But I guess you are talking about OP’s linked article?

The population in India is 1,34 billion, that is quite a lot. I don’t know all the figures, but even if the article is true, and taking into consideration that a lot of people in India would study to become software developers, it is actually possible to have quite a lot of those successful programmers when taking into consideration the population of India.
Thus there would be no problem to have an Indian owned company having great success.


A nationality is not a race. You could only be accused of nationalism. The racism card is played for everything these days.

There is an easy fix for your situation: create a custom message that you have chosen for another applicant to do the job. A reply will be send in seconds and there are no accusations.

The numbers are not surprising at all b.t.w.


If you selected 92 sellers and only one of them was good, I would forget about trying to use their country as an excuse and start looking at how you select people.
Sure, the sellers should not take on jobs they cannot do but whatever is making you choose to work with these needs to be examined.
PS: Although I am also a seller, I am speaking as someone who has bought from approx 100 sellers and I don’t believe any were unable to do the job - had some cancellations for various reasons but not due to incompetence.

PPS: Regarding dismissing a large portion of the world’s population, you neglect to recognize that all of those sellers only have you in common. Declaring those countries as being unable to do the job is not an accurate interpretation of all the information available - ie. you are adding 2+2 and getting an answer of tomato.


Let me give a bit of context and you’ll see it’s not so controversial:

First, I am not saying that there are no good programmers in India; I’ve worked with great programmers from India and working in a different industry, we did a bunch of H1-B visas for Indian nationals and it went really well.

The issue here is two elements put together:

  • We’re not conducting interviews for a job here where we can meet the person, etc: we need a lot of very small tasks done well and fast ‘on demand’, hence coming to fiverr; so there is a random element.
  • The ratio of qualified programmers vs. unqualified ones is worse in India than in the US, or EU and I think Indian nationals will all agree to that.

So, picking randomly from a pool where we have a lower chance, statistically, to get someone competent is not appealing.

Today, I have a failed graphic designer begging for SEO work but no worries, suddenly he discovered he can also program. I also have another one that asked for an extension after only being able to demonstrate that he managed to run our sample after 3 days. A while back another one claimed to have designed the No1 site in our business category, although we know that these guys don’t outsource. I even told fiverr when cancelling gigs that I have left some drag out of pure entertainment since I was provided every possible excuse in the book, from family death to doctor’s orders!

We have something around 7 fiverr accounts since different people here handle different domains; not one has been spared.

What we found out is that the pattern is the following: “can you do…” “yes, I can do it” “I didn’t even explain the details” “trust me, I am an expert, I can do it”; then they struggle and we discovered that many try to cobble things together from online tutorials and eventually we get something that doesn’t work well, or, in many case, nothing at all.

Maybe the real answer is that fiverr is not a viable platform for us; we have found one awesome guy so far.
I know hiring faceless guys online, without a verifiable resume, is a gamble; what I am trying to do is to change the odds by hitting geographical areas where these odds are better. We even considered putting ads in German, Spanish or French to be able to localize the pools better.

I feel being insulted when people lie to us about their skills and then being labelled as a racist when I want to avoid the geographical area with the highest incidence.

To take an analogy, if an area of town was full of crime, so you decide you don’t want to go live there; this area is full of Italians, does that make you racist? or do you use facts to make an informed decision? not everyone in this area of town would be a criminal, there would be great people, but the stats play against that area. Same in this case.


Thanks for the context.
BTW, I feel like we have had this conversation before - your name, story, multiple accounts, programming requirements - all sound similar to another conversation I had a while ago.

The issue you are having and the reason some comments are saying that your proposed approach is “racist” is because it is - Racist meaning based on race. The reason some find it offensive is because you are talking about making a decision to exclude certain people from working with you based on a generalization about people from particular countries. You will find that this is almost the definition of racial discrimination in the workplace and it would not be allowed in most countries I know a little about.
I don’t believe you are deliberately doing this due to hatred or anything sinister, you are just looking for a solution for your company’s problem. I think there are better ways though.

One thing to do is to avoid “scraping the bottom of the barrel”. I said this to someone else today - when you scrape the bottom of the barrel, you tend to have to go through a lot of grime before you find a gem.

If what you are looking for is similar or takes a similar skillset then why aren’t you conducting “interviews” in the form of test orders to find people to work with on a regular basis, rather than going fishing every time?
Below is a method I use and have advised others to use for your type of situation. It requires initial investment but the payoff is well worth it.

Find 10 sellers who have profiles that match what you are looking for and who have reviews which are good. As I mentioned before, I stay away from the Buyer Request section for my purchases and I suggest you do the same. Instead, send custom offer requests to each of them and see who responds with a price which is more or less your budget. Place the order with each one and see how the jobs work out. Eliminate those who are less than satisfactory and then from there, give bigger jobs to each as you go on. Upon completion of those bigger jobs, give tips to those who are up to your standards. For any who have done well but not quite to your liking, you should point out how they can improve/change it to the way you want it done.
Depending on the size of the task, this should take you approx 2 hours to find them, 2 hours to order and respond to queries and then a couple of hours to evaluate what has been done. The second round of orders should take less time. In total, I would estimate around 12-15 hours would be spent on this process and I would allow approx $300 split between 10x $10 orders and then 3-5x $40-50 orders.

At this point you may have one, two or more people to choose from. The initial cost of paying for orders that you don’t need will be repaid to you as you go on with less time spent chasing up bad sellers and as your relationship grows with the seller(s) they will work better with you and probably be glad every time you order from them.

For me, $300 is worth approx 10 hours of my time, adjust your budget to whatever would be similar to your situation. This approach has probably saved me a couple of thousand dollars in the course of the last year. It has also probably saved me a couple of weeks of my own time in that I can place orders with certain people and just forget about it until it is delivered rather than wasting time in trying to deal with new people all the time. The sellers I work with regularly know what to expect from me and I know what to expect from them so it works for us both.


It is very possible you’ve had this discussion with me or someone that works with me since we’ve been having that problem for many months.

Yes, that’s the approach done for a lot of jobs in Asia; hire a lot of people for the same tasks and then keep the most performing ones.
In our case, this hasn’t been financially costly, since most of them just don’t end up delivering; they say yes and assume they’ll somehow figure out on the way and it hasn’t worked a single time.
The real issue has been the time wasted going through re-explaining the same things over and over and dialogs where it becomes obvious they won’t be able to deliver 3 hours after they started, etc.

But your approach is giving me a new idea: paying people to pass a programming test; it would be very cheap since I’d ask them to work on something a competent engineer would solve in 20min and the current statistics will probably hold, so most will fail; I’ll craft a test that is not something that can be googled and ask them to provide a working solution. Then I should be able to get a few competent guys out of it

It’ll try this and report.


Or you know, you could just talk to them in detail before making an order. Additionally, mention “Failure to do the job as described or requested will result in a negative review - canceling an order for a refund is not acceptable”


Whenever you assess the cost of something on Fiverr, always include your own time in that cost. When you do this you realize just how much you waste when dealing with bad sellers. Allocating a day or two to run the test you are talking about will really help you in the long run. Don’t do it half heartedly, go for it properly and put your time and effort into it.

Also, I personally stay away from buyer requests - do the legwork and check out sellers yourself before picking the ones you like the look of. Writers are what I hire a lot of but with writers, there are many different types; sales letters, content, books, courses, articles, product descriptions etc. I choose to narrow down the field by checking seller profiles, gigs, reviews etc and only selecting those who match up with my particular requirements - apply the same principle to the ones you select.
Many busy sellers do not check Buyer Requests but are still available for orders. Often the ones who respond are new or have no orders - this can be good in some ways but very bad in other ways.

Would be good to hear back from you about this.


Do not be surprised if some time down the road you will find a Fiverr gig with the solution to your riddle :smiley:

Also interested how this would turn out.


I’ll set this up on Monday and will post back in the thread once I have feedback.