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Know what you order

I’ve made a poster a while back, the topic was the beauty industry which I am always excited about because I love drawing pretty girls and there is an opportunity to do something cute and fun (which isn’t what my job always is).

The buyer’s adamant she wants an Adobe Illustrator file. Someone has told her it’s the best option available.

A year goes by and she contacts me because she needs to translate the poster into Arabic. For this, she needs me to rearrange everything to be “the other way” and copy/paste the new text.

I’m mildly dyslexic and unfamiliar words and symbols break my brain a little. I did a design in Icelandic recently and nearly lost my mind working with the text. Which is why I always warn the buyers that I can do Latin and Cyrillic because I know how they function but that’s it. For the rest, if they are open for me to leave the blank space for them to copy/paste the text, I’ll be happy to help. If not, I usually say no to avoid all kinds of formatting issues after.

So I decline and go about my day. In a few days I start receiving messages about her “iphone and mac turning all the files she downloads into .PDFs”. So she can’t send my .AI to another seller because it’s not an .AI anymore, it’s .PDF. Her phone and computer magically turn one into another. I suspect she has Photoshop but not Illustrator which is why.

I send her a dropbox link she can just send to the seller to avoid downloading the files herself, she thanks me and we’re done.

The next day I get a message that no matter what file format they (whomever they are) open, it’s one layer. It’s not editable, it’s a disaster and it’s my fault. And I’m thinking to myself, “there is no magic, she just wants me to do it for free”. She didn’t like me refusing very much, now I’ll have to pay for that instead of quickly closing my active projects before the vacation.

Then I ask what software are they using. And it turns out, they are opening a highly detailed Adobe Illustrator file in PowerPoint or Photoshop and fully expect it to be editable. It isn’t, it’s one layer indeed.

The thing is, I can’t explain that to her because seller#2 (who is, in fact, an editor/translator) told her my files are wrong. They speak the same language, his opinion automatically trumps mine.

I’m extremely close to just blocking her but after her going about “wrong one layer files she can’t open” in my PMs, I’m worried about CS getting a wrong impression after reading through.

So I suggest to just remove all the English text so that the seller#2 can open it in PowerPoint or Photoshop or whatever they’re using in one layer and just type the new text on top of it. She agrees, I send the files (through the PM attachment which is my mistake). 20 minutes later I get a message of her reminding me everything turns into .PDF if she downloads it. So I need to create a dropbox link. I do, in another 20 minutes, she tells me she needs me to use wetransfer (which thankfully doesn’t need my email to share the file).

I think now we are done but I’m nervous to open my inbox at this point.

The point of this story is, know what you order. It’s your business, your brand, your money, your time. It may be tempting to make emotional statements about things being WRONG and impossible to work with but those statements won’t lead to a productive result.


What a nightmare!

To be honest I would’ve just go “files are all correct (and attach a screenshot of layers) and as this is AI file it can be open only in illustrator (as you asked specifically for this file at the beginning). I would suggest to hire more professional person that knows that Pain doesn’t open it in layers.”

I think you did a great job with this staying patient.

I once had a client who asked me to create vector files and after that came back complaining that her printing company said that they all “pixelated” when they open it. (Need to say that this was an elderly person probably 60+ years old)
So I was shocked that a professional printer would say something ridiculous like “vector files are all blurry and pixelated”. Tried to explain difference to her and that vector files by default doesn’t even have pixels, but of course she trusted more her “printing guy” and left 1 star review. Blocked her right away.


These people are social apes. This sounds very similar to some of my recent video buyers. I get messages asking me to revise work 1-year+ later. However, requests aren’t revision requests. They need a past delivery modifying because their brief has changed. They also always start with insane accusations.

I had one buyer a while ago who left a 5-star review, then messaged me a few weeks later saying they needed a revision. Why? Because the typography used in their video was English but they need it Swedish!

For some reason, I also get a lot of buyers who think I create videos in Power Point or Photoshop. Whenever I get a revision request to send a video in a .psd file instead of an mp4 file, I feel like tearing my hair out.

I also say that I need a copy of a business logo to use in a video in .png format on a transparent background. I’d say 80% of the time, people instead send me .jpeg or even PDF files. Then they blow their top when I say I can’t use these.

In every case, problems stem from buyers not having a clue about what they need, or believing that when they order, they get magical lifetime free revisions. On that note, I hope you charged for even the minor modification you ended up undertaking on this order.


What do you do with these people? I bet they immediately go to declare that the format you’ve provided is unusable to them hence they shouldn’t pay you.

I had to convert 9 .PSD files into .AI once. Because the buyer took them to someone else to update the text and that special someone told them “.PSD can’t be vector”. Whether completely clueless or a liar, that seller set me up for a fun evening. I was so upset just by how pointless and a waste of time the process was that I refused to work with the guy ever again even though he’s paid for the conversion.

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I was actually exploding inside the entire time but I was also very curious what they were doing with my files. I still can’t figure it out.

“Printing guys” are my favorite. I’m convinced they’re bored at their job or downright hate it and just enjoy torturing people with unreasonable demands and weird claims because they have power over the final product and love using it. I’m sorry about this situation.


You are right about some printing guys. They act like fussy artists. And breathing in the ink fumes constantly doesn’t help.


I point them back to my gig description where I state that I deliver in .mp4 and that I do not give away source files. I also try to point how ridiculous even asking for a .psd file is.

Of course, you have to be careful. As we all know, where some Fiverr buyers lack brains, they more than make up for deficiencies with buckets of ego.

Telling some people that a .mp4 file can’t be opened and edited in Photoshop is like a grievous personal attack. This is why in all my messages I now speak in short, straight to the point sentences.

Explaining that Photoshop is not a video editing tool just leads to fury and more questions. I say " Sorry, as stated in my gig, I deliver in .mp4 format and I do not include sourcefiles with deliveries." That closes things down. Then it’s just a case of waiting for buyers to get distracted by some other horrendous life injustice like an inability to play a DVD in a VCR player.

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