I can’t really acknowledge that they are evil. They want to make bank, obviously, but they don’t force anyone to buy or sell here, and, as urdeke pointed out, the fees are clear; when you sign up for an account, you’re supposed to have read and agree to the terms, and the fees are clearly stated. I’ll rather keep my personal “evil” label for other things.
I do agree that it seems a lot if you look at the percent of the low-value orders like $5. However, I see it this way: Fiverr has a theoretical/average overhead per order.
There are associated costs for Fiverr, like the general costs to operate Fiverr, transactional costs they have with their payment providers/gateways, etc., which are distributed throughout the orders/fees, and then there are additional costs that happen when something goes wrong with an order.
In this case, let’s say customer support needs to spend 1 hour on a $5 order vs. on a $100 order, or a $1000 order, it makes sense to me that the fee is higher (percent-wise) for low-value orders than high(er)-value orders. In addition to that, going from what you often read on the forum, it’s highly possible that, on average, low-value orders create more work for support than high-value orders.
It’s about the same reason that you’ll virtually be bullied out of some popular Parisian street cafés if you sit around for too long with just a cup of coffee, they either need/want several people per hour sitting at that same table with a cup of coffee each, or one person who buys a can of cocoa, a croissant and a petit-four during that hour - or to sell you a rather expensive coffee or cocoa … which they’d never even dream of doing … right?
It makes sense, too, I know how it is to be an entrepreneur and run a business, I won’t hang around a busy café in the city center with high rent for an unreasonably long time, or occupy a table in a busy restaurant and just drink a glass of water.
(disclaimer: the last paragraph was just to add a bit of fun, and I’ve never been bullied out of one of the great Parisian street cafés by one of the extremely polite and friendly garçons … or have I … )