Fiverr Community Forum

Let's Talk: Offering Samples

Hello Community,

My story starts out like any other. A potential buyer reaches out to me to create three custom Twitch Emotes (emojis for a live-streaming service). Super! We discuss the price, the duration, etc. Everything is good, right?

Then... he asks for it. A "sample". Keep in mind that this is my best-selling service and my gig portfolio has plenty of examples. No, he wants me to create his custom emote and show it to him BEFORE starting the order. He seemed like a cool person, so I made a rough example of what his custom emote would look like. Then, he has the audacity to start making modifications to the emote (can I see it with a gold chain, more cartoon-ish, etc). Still without accepting the custom offer. 

I finally put my foot down and nicely explain to him that I would make the modifications that he would like when he accepts the offer. He says, "That's fine". I do not like to be pushy, so I gave him 2 days. He never responded. I reach out, like "Hey, haven't heard back from you! Do you still want to move on with your order?". Now listen to this... he responds with (copy and pasted), 

“well i was waiting for you to show me the other two before i placed the order”

What? Huh? Am I going crazy? This is another important part: the two other emotes were supposed to be him in different characters, and he said that he would provide me with pictures of him. So, HOW was I expected to make the other 2 emotes when he didn’t even send me the reference photos, even if I wanted to? He expected me to make all 3 emotes FIRST, and then place the order? How does that make sense to anyone?

Anyways, I know that I can be dramatic, but this really irked my soul. I would like to hear your stories on offering samples!


I don’t have stories to share, I don’t offer samples. Gigs have galleries and live portfolios. TRS also have a separate portfolio page. I just kindly refer potential buyers there. They never come back because they’re mostly scammers looking for free work. The end.

PS Actually, once I was approached by a self-proclaimed art director and founder of an indie movie festival I never heard of. He wanted multiple (!) samples and after I said I couldn’t help him with that, he went on a rant in my inbox about “us people expecting everything to be handed to us” and so on. Based on my own limited experience with film industry people, he most likely couldn’t handle some chick being unimpressed by him putting “art director” and “movie festival” in the same sentence.

Don’t offer samples. It’s bad for you.


Thank you for the advice! Your “potential buyer” seems like the person who expected everything to be handed to him for being an “art director” by the looks of it. I know that samples are risky, but now I think that I will refer to your advice and kindly refer them to my gig portfolio. Thank you for sharing :blush:


Offer customized samples - but charge a price for them. Always. No exceptions.
I have tried it both ways and when you ask for a price, you find out what the buyer is like.
If they try to convince you then definitely do not do it.
No respectable person would beg for a free sample once they are told no.


Wow, that is a really good idea. People ask for samples before ordering because they do not want to commit to paying anything. This is really good advice, and I might start using it if they are super insistent on having a personalized sample. Thank you!

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Reasonable people don’t ask for free samples from creatives.


I don’t do samples. Period. In my area, that’s the reasons for live portfolios and links to portfolios. For me, simple.


Costco gives samples. Artists show portfolios.

I keep on hand one watermarked “sample” PDF, where they can’t select any of the text, that’s almost the same as what you can see in my Live Portfolio. A surprising number of people don’t make the connection; I’m not sure if they even check the portfolio at all. I tell them:

“Your work will be customized, of course, but this shows some examples of what to expect. If you’d like to move forward, I’ll be happy to send you a custom offer.”

…or something to that extent.


It depends on what kind of mood I’m in (though it’s probably different for me because I’m a proofreader, not an artist). Generally I charge for samples.

Though, if I’m feeling bored and the buyer seems like a decent person, I might do one for free here and there. Recently got a pretty big job from doing a free sample, so it just depends.

Probably wouldn’t offer free samples if I was an artist though.



I did something similar once. It was a paid trial. I think the buyer wanted just three posts to see what I could because he didn’t want to invest in a whole package if it wasn’t right for him. So I made him a custom offer for three posts. He really liked them and he made a second order after that for a full package.

It’s totally understandable if a client isn’t ready to invest in the whole shebang. Just make sure you get paid for your work. He can always do a smaller project with that he can use for something else, so it wouldn’t be wasted money for him.


its a great idea, it is because they have no intention to pay

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