Fiverr Community Forum

How to Up Your Prices Sensibly and Sustainably - UPYOUR

This post is about pricing and is primarily aimed level 2 and TRS sellers. The aim is to help you grow towards sustaining yourself as a freelancer and really making it possible to make an actual/better living from it!
Others may find it useful too but new and level 1 sellers are really in the beginner phase and often need to do more work for less money until they become established.

Grab a coffee and get comfy.

Your price is an extremely important part of your business and what you offer. It can be the difference between success and failure here all on its own.
There are a number of things to remember when pricing your services and unfortunately many of us do not consider them enough. The most obvious thing is Whether a buyer will actually pay what you are asking and all of us “consider this” so I will begin with this.

I say “consider this” but actually we tend to just be worried that they won’t want to pay our price. This fear is often irrational and the thing is, you will need to face this fear every time you give a custom offer, quote or when you want to increase pricing. With this in mind, it is a fear worth facing and dealing with now!

  • If you don’t believe your service is good enough to earn money from then why are you trying to sell it?
  • If you are not going to sell it for a price that makes it worthwhile, how are you going to sustain it?
  • If you are working way more hours than you should be to complete orders, why are you doing it?

If you are still here having read the above questions then great. Self-belief, confidence, sustainability and value for money (from your POV, not the buyer’s) are vitally important to being a freelancer. After all, you don’t have a nice boss to come along and encourage you nor a nasty one to give you a kick in the butt when you need it. That role is now yours, as is the employee role!
Phew - but nobody ever said it would be easy!


So now that you are pumped up on self belief and the caffeine boost has kicked in, lets really look at your pricing.
Get a pen (non electrical device used for old school note taking) and start writing down some figures.

  • Check out some of your orders and work out how long each one took you and the price you were paid for each. From these figures, find out what your average hourly wage is from Fiverr income.
  • Next, write down what the minimum wage (if you are “unskilled”) is in your country or what a realistic going rate is for your industry - key point here is realistic, not maximum. An example could be your hourly rate earned at your current/last job.
  • Now, what is the difference between the two figures?

In case you didn’t see the point, this exercise should give you a good idea of whether your prices are realistic, fair, sustainable etc. I choose hourly rate as a benchmark because your weekly rate COULD be based on 10 hours work or 60! Hourly rate is much better for measuring.
If your Fiverr hourly rate is less than the appropriate “going rate” then you should put your prices up. If it is roughly the same or above the rate then you need to look at why you think your prices should go up and be able to justify it. It could be that you do exceptional work which is above average or perhaps you are getting so many orders that you need to slow things down a bit - both good reasons but they need to be true!


Now we come to the crux of this post - Deciding the price.
Some basics:

  • You need to be able to earn enough from this to make it worthwhile.
  • Your earnings should be enough to justify not getting a job although for some this may not apply as it may not be possible or the benefits of working from home outweigh it. eg. If you only have 2 hours free in the morning, 3 at night and a couple at the weekend - there are very few jobs you could have that would allow that flexibility.
  • Your rate needs to be relatively competitive with others. If you are asking for more than your competitors then you should be able to justify this. eg. through better communication, an extra service included, more experience, more variety etc.

If something you do has value to the buyer then it should have a monetary value to you, if not then why do it?


Ways to increase earnings without increasing prices
This sounds like a dream, right? But actually it is very possible for many people.

Can you add something extra to your service? I mean, make it better and more valuable.
Here is one example - Logo design: As a buyer, I would happily pay to get some quick sketches done as a couple of options before then ordering one that I like to be properly created. Most (original) logo designers create these anyway but the client never sees them! By saying you offer this, eg. For an extra $10, I will send 3(+/-) quick sketches for you to choose from you are making an extra $8 for one message!
Even better, it should cut down on unhappy clients/ revisions! Win-Win!

Up your minimum order value: For some of my services, I used to (because I had to) have a $5 service. These were a pain because people would order them and take a huge amount of time in messaging etc. It’s difficult to manage this situation and very often, requesting them to pay more for what they are asking takes longer than actually doing what they ask! But then they ask again…
Now, I do not offer $5 services that are like this any more. The ones where consultation and “homework” are required have no $5 option and this means that I get a higher amount for these orders, simply because I know 99% of them will take more time. Remember that messages, follow-up, revisions etc are ALL counted in the amount of time an order should take. If you can cut out some of the messages, cut out some of the lower value orders then you have more time for larger orders AND CRUCIALLY, you can spend more time on marketing yourself so you can actually get more large orders!

Hope you got something from this and please comment your thoughts, questions etc.


This post is one of a series of posts I am doing which are aimed at helping sellers to Up Their Game and begin to earn more from their work, gain new clients and make the most of being a freelancer. The posts will be based on This Poll which is still open so if you haven’t made your voice heard, please do so as the more that vote on an issue in that poll, the more likely I am to post about that issue.
I chose to write about pricing first as, even though it is not in the poll. It seems to be a major issue for many of us. It also makes sense to adjust pricing BEFORE we focus on marketing (which will be next) and other issues.
To see all posts in the series, Click Here

23 Likes

When I had prices for $5 and also when I’m in high season (November-December) I’ve learned to politely say (it may sound “arrogant”): sorry this messaging back and forth took already too long for me to go on, you can surely find another designer who can help you
These situations come even now when my lowest price is $10, mostly are people asking for Custom offers. When I evaluate and give my price, they write back and forth because what they want to pay is the minimum… to get a lot of work done.
I will add: you don’t have to work for everyone who will give you some bucks. Instead accept challenges, jobs that will give you much more satisfaction and $$$$, quality instead of quantity.

5 Likes

You got that right! Good post!


2 Likes

This issue is one that wastes a lot of time for both sellers and buyers.
My solution to this is to offer a consultation for a set price. These can work in 2 ways.
One is to offer them an hour of your time for $XX where you will stay online with them and discuss their needs.
The other, IMO better option, is to offer this but as a 2-3 message option where they can send you a document with their needs, questions and anything else relevant. You then respond in detail (having had time to think about it) and give them a plan of action etc.

This works well for me as a seller and I also have done it as a buyer - unfortunately some sellers don’t take me up on it which leads to frustration on my part. My time as a buyer is also valuable to me and I am prepared to pay someone to not waste it! In other words, I want sellers to take time on their answers and not have me ask the same thing over and over or have me waiting for an answer when they are actually not going to respond for 6 hours!

Edit: I especially do this with sellers that I really like the look of, who do something unique or if I have questions about it. The more orders a seller has, the more likely I am to simply ask for a consultation first - it’s basic respect I think. A short question or two to establish their credibility and then a proper consultation order.

4 Likes

Absolutely right!
When you’re serious and also your buyers… on both sides, we try to minimize times by being prepared with what we want or need.
Sometimes I feel “pity” because I also think in the amount of time the buyer wastes, by trying to push the price lower. But then I think also about my time, and at the beginning I was anyway taking the order because of the amount of time it took already to settle a price (wrong decision from my side, as it always happened to be a problematic buyer), because the feeling is: “well… it took already so long that I HAVE to get something from this”, I would not advice doing it, I’ve learned from my mistakes.
On the other hand, I don’t mind of course having 30 minutes of messages when the project is for $200, and I realize the buyer is serious.
Your method about “consultation price” is absolutely great. I don’t think though, that it could be done in my category… online, but it is what I also do when I get jobs in “real life”.
Thanks for a great post! It’s always interesting reading these kind of topics.

4 Likes

I was thinking about this but actually, I think your category and specifically you, would be perfect for consultations. From a buyer’s perspective, you have over 1000 reviews, you have 9 orders in queue and your reviews suggest a knowledgeable seller who knows what (s)he is doing. If I was looking for your service and had some questions, I would feel that it would be unreasonable to take up a lot of your time without paying for it.
I know many buyers seem to think that we are all sitting with our fingers crossed hoping they will pick us to order from but the reality is very different and I think more experienced buyers recognize this. If I had the option to pick your brain for an hour or get your opinion on my idea before I commit to ordering then I would take it. Another bonus of this method is it often leads to higher value orders as the buyer is more confident in your abilities.
It’s worth thinking about - you could simply have a line in your description like:
Not sure if I am right for you? Why not order a consultation first? Just send me a message for details.

5 Likes

Like I’ve said before: It’s always interesting reading these kind of topics, especially from people who know what they’re talking about.
I definitely will try your suggestion. I will also post the results after and share my experience (and your idea) with all in the forum.
Thanks a bunch!

Ps: is “she” :slight_smile:

3 Likes