Fiverr Community Forum

Is it Nice to be Nice?

A buyer contacts me with respects to an animation he/she needs done, however, the person didn’t have the correct file format. After speaking with the person, which was a nice conversation. The agreement was he/she didn’t mind the limitations on the animation due to not having the file format, I said ok no problem. Proceeded to work on it, delivered it. Within minutes of the delivery, 3 star rating… perplexed… the buyer didn’t even ask for a modification or communicated afterwards. I offered a refund, no takes. I was just left confused. Needless to say, lesson learnt. I guess it isn’t nice… to be nice.

Screw 'em. I had a 3-star lately from someone super-happy inside the gig. Dropped my rating down, too. However a bunch of 5-stars after pulled my rating up and I left a snippy review for them. Just don’t work with them if they try to hire you again and explain why.

By all means pretend to be nice but never actually be nice. I had a guy yesterday who had requested 2 free stock photos with a basic $5 writing gig. Usually, I charge a $5 extra for this but the order was 4 days into a 6 day deadline so I provided them free on the basis that I should have checked the order details sooner. Anyway, I delivered a pretty darned impressive article complete with accompanying images only to have the buyer reject it immediately. The reason? He wanted it all written in HTML format.

Now up until this point communication had been super nice and friendly. However, the minute I pointed out that I don’t offer this service as part of my basic gig the buyer became very hostile. This being the case, I canceled just to get rid of the idiot.

In this case, only be nice until someone tries to cash in on that niceness. Then when they do, flip them the finger and move on before you get a buyer who stresses you out and starts renting head space.

I bet he didn’t mention that HTML requirement before, too. I have had a couple who wanted basic HTML (bolding, italics, headers etc) but they always checked with me first to see if I could do it. Because they were rational, normal people…

Thing is, I didn’t even get a warning. My buyer just ordered the gig and with what happens a lot, they don’t read the instructions and upload jpegs instead of .ai or .eps files. After explaining the limitations on the jpeg, the buyer then said, very nicely, anything you can do will be fine [and of course gave the dreaded ‘:)’ which personally, I don’t like to see but… ]. So, I replied that I’ll lend a hand. To then end up with three stars, no communication, no modification, not even responding to a refund. Recently checked the buyer’s profile. Joined: March 2016. Let’s just say as well, Peter just paid for Paul.

This: I had a guy yesterday who had requested 2 free stock photos with a basic $5 writing gig. would make me reject the entire sale. Immediately.

Undervaluing your work to such an extreme even to include freebies attracts a certain
type apparently. Make the $5 buyers pay for extras. They try to see what they can get away with sometimes. I’ve become wary.

I looked at your gigs and you are doing fantastic! I’m very impressed! Considering you have over 2000 5 star reviews in only two years, the 3 star one won’t affect you at all.

Thanks very much, I appreciate the encouragement. I guess it is the principle of the matter that is troubling to me.

Yes these people are out there and we all run into them at some point, and it’s always disturbing but I try to shrug it off.

Indeed. Well, the update is, I finally was able to reason with the buyer and they agreed to remove it.

I took it to mean free, as in creative commons quick search. If it were paid I would have asked for $10 or whatever.

Usually, I charge a $5 extra for this but the order was 4 days into a 6 day deadline so I provided them free
Since he only paid $5, what kind of buyer would ask for something extra without expecting to pay another measly $5? We are talking about a tiny amount of money.

So you can be super nice at all times without letting buyers take advantage. It’s smart to show you value your work also, not only for your self esteem but to show your brand has value.

Yes, you are right. Any add-ons to my basic gigs need to be paid for, as well as any previously unspecified extras like the HTML thing this buyer later asked for.

In the above case, though, the buyer had sent me a message 2 days into the gig asking if I needed any more info regarding his brief. I at this point didn’t see his request for relevant images also being provided and told him that everything was fine. In this respect, I would have felt a little rude asking for further payment when I actually got started on the order,

That said, I do get sick of people requesting extras which I either do not provide or state very clearly that such extras need to be paid for. I’d say that one out of four of my orders request 400-500 words of content as opposed to 300. I never commit to this. I deliver 300 words as per my gig description and if this is ever followed up I simply reply by saying that this extra wasn’t paid for, hence why it wasn’t delivered.

Thankfully, a lot of my buyers are regulars who I have recently persuaded to paying $6-$8 per article (and they order in bulk which is a bonus). This being the case, I don’t get too wound up about the small fish when they moan and just find as quick a way as possible to get rid of them. Hence the immediate cancellation request which I sent the buyer in question.

Here , it almost never pays off to over deliver unless its for initial good reviews… Everyone is expecting the world for $5 and they dont understand the rating system and how important it is to the seller. They just don’t concern themselves with it.

Even attempting to refund them may just give your gig a cancellation ratio hit (someone correct me if I’m wrong?)… Which may even be worse than a 3 star rating.

Exactly - sounds like you are doing quality work and are sick of the people scrounging for freebies. I hear you and I turn them away probably even faster than you. Quality work is one thing … giving away free work is only devaluing yourself and other freelancers in the niche/on this entire platform.

I’m letting buyers know up front before they even buy anything as much as possible in the gig descriptions of some gigs that it’s going to cost more than $5. I don’t mind losing $5 sales because it more than makes up for those sales when the other buyers come along. Yes they can get something for just $5 but it’s not worth any more than $5.

Ah, I glossed over that bit! Well, Cy explained it all below so I’ll shut my piehole :slight_smile:

It doesn’t pay to be nice. No. However it does pay to be professional I’ve found. Some buyers will respect buyers who are nice, sure. I’ve seen buyers respond to niceness with niceness. But then there are those that see niceness and think that it means they can push the boundaries to get as much as they can.

However, they never do that with professional behaviour.

To give an example: Early in my Fiverr career, I acted as I usually do in my real life. Offline I’m an animated, friendly person who’s prone to laughing, telling jokes, and being the center of attention. I tried to be that way with new clients because I thought that by being gregarious they’d respect me and we’d develop a customer/client relationship. Sometimes it worked, but about a fourth of the time, someone would try to be friendly back just to get free stuff. Asking for more work than my basic $5 gig offered. All under the promise of “I like you, I’ll bring you more work.”. At the time, I was desperate to get some reviews and my foot in the door so I did it. Then they’d take my work, and never return with the promised additional work.

So after being taken advantage of that way, I changed my profile completely and now I’m as professional as I can be. I’m not in this to make friends, after all, I’m here to help pay my bills. If they want a friend they can go somewhere else. Now most of the time I’m not taken advantage of, and the few times buyers have tried to toe beyond the line I’ve told them flat out that it’s unacceptable to do additional work without additional payment. Sometimes they’ll relent and accept, sometimes they don’t and move on. And for those that moved on there’s sometimes two more that are willing to work with me.

So yea. Ditch being nice and be as professional as possible. Next time someone leaves you a three-star rating, be professional, but terse in case additional clients look. Could work for you.

I appreciate the reply, though, professionalism encompasses being nice, or should I say it depends on what your definition of nice would mean. In this case, I simply extended the opportunity to assist due to the conflict in file formats; of course, it’s either have the correct file formats from now on or no work is being produced.

But with that said, when I say nice, I don’t mean over-friendly, I meant it in the spirit of not being rigid. For example, if you offer a 500 word article for a certain amount but the buyer wants 502, do you make them pay for the extra two words, or do you say, you’ll let it slide.

Why would not charging for the extra 2 words make more sense in lots of cases. Most buyers will see that as a sense of reasonableness and work to suit. I’m not saying this is a must and I’m not saying that is the case, it was just a thought, in-fact I’ve gained many repeat buyers through this mind-set. However, it perplexed me at the principle this buyer couldn’t grasp that has me more so than the 3-star rating. With that said, speaking back with the client, they removed it, so that’s a +.

Now don’t get me wrong, any client who comes to me with a: “can I get a discount” on the first buy, or “I’ll bring you more work and lots more clients”, these potentials are quickly categorized as being potential difficulties.

“I’m sorry, but I have decided that if I don’t value my time and service no-one else will, so I have instituted a policy of no discounts. I feel that my prices are already extremely competitive for the service I provide.”

I think I stole that off someone else here, but it’s a real crowd-pleaser (well…). “More work and more clients” people just openly invite me to ignore that part of their request and continue as per normal. I did get shouted at today by someone who didn’t read my gig description, wanted to know what 10,000 words would cost and HIT THE ROOF when I said “well, I usually charge $275 per 1000 words, so before we go any further with this…”

Funny thing was, if they’d looked at a more relevant gig they could have slashed costs.