I’ve posted on the forum before about wanting to achieve Top Rated Seller (TRS) status this year. Instead of piggybacking off of other people’s posts, I decided it might be prudent to start my own post here as a sort of diary of my efforts and the end results.
I’ve been a seller on Fiverr since 2014, when I started doing small resume and cover letter jobs in the evenings while my wife watched TV. It gave me something fun to do in my spare time and brought in a little (very little) bit of side income for my time. I enjoyed it, but was pretty sporadic about it in the early years. In 2015, I completed six orders and earned $60 total. 2016 and 2017 were also both pretty light on workload, I completed about a hundred orders in 2016 with my average revenue of ~$8. In 2017, I doubled the number of orders, completing just over 200 orders at an average revenue of $9.75. That was the first year that I realized that I could make a decent amount of income off of this platform, and 2018 is when I really started to focus on improving my ranking and sales metrics.
In early 2018, I achieved Level 2 Seller status. At that time, I completed a complete revamp of my orders (it was sorely overdue), better outlining what my offerings included and raising my prices to reflect the amount of time I was spending on each order. I was VERY worried about doing this, I did not want my order volume or ranking to fall off. Instead, my sales began to spike and in 2018, I completed nearly 500 orders. With the price increase, my average sale also increased to almost $17, and the amount of time I found myself spending on Fiverr orders increased exponentially.
My search result ranking also began to increase. As I made more sales, I got more ratings and in turn began placing higher and higher in search results. While the ranking would rise and fall depending on whatever the algorithm determined, I was ranked pretty consistently on the front page, and averaged 9-10 orders per week.
In late 2018, my family suffered a personal tragedy, and for several weeks I was out of pocket. I was unable to complete the orders I had, and ended up with numerous cancelled orders and bad reviews. As a result, I lost my Level 2 status in December. I hustled and was rewarded with a return to Level 2 following the January 2019 review period, and saw my order volume return to its previous levels.
In early 2019, I decided to revamp my gigs again, raising prices across the board and deactivating low-selling gigs or gigs that took more time than was worth it based on the revenue I was generating. This took me from eight gigs down to four, but allowed me to focus my time and energy on the most profitable gigs. Again, I was really worried about taking this step, as I doubled my base gig from $5 to $10 and doubled the price on my Premium gigs to $50/$100. However, my fears were unfounded and my order volume and revenue both climbed again. Even better, I found that I was making more money while completing fewer gigs. Win/win.
In March 2019, I finally passed the milestones for a Top Rated Seller. In case you don’t know, they are:
- Complete at least 180 days as an active Seller on Fiverr
- Complete at least 100 individual orders (all time)
- Earn at least $20,000
- Maintain a 4.8 star rating over the course of 60 days
- 90% Response rate over the course of 60 days
- 90% Order completion over the course of 60 days
- 90% On-time delivery over the course of 60 days
- Avoiding receiving warnings over the course of 30 days
I didn’t know what to expect in that first review session, but I was hopeful that I would be selected. Alas, I was not, but in the email I received from Customer Service the following instructions were given:
Here are a few things you can do, to better collaborate with buyers and improve your stats:
- Review your Gig to make sure it’s accurate, and that you’re offering things you can deliver at a high quality.
- Make sure you offer only one Gig per unique service. Duplicating your Gig is misleading and won’t benefit your business.
- Review your pricing and make sure it’s aligned with your offering.
- Make sure you represent yourself and your skills accurately.
- Communicate clearly and quickly, both when chatting in the inbox or during orders.
- Make sure you keep our community safe by following our TOS.
For more information, please view your stats or contact our customer support team.
I thought that I had done all of these things, but I went back through my gigs to review them again. Everything appeared to be aligned with what they wanted, so I went ahead and reached out to Customer Service to ask what, if anything, I could improve to give myself a better chance of being selected in future reviews.
During a very cordial back and forth with one of the customer service reps, I learned that the TRS process is manual and that it can take some time for a nominated Level 2 seller to be promoted to TRS. The rep was very considerate, and advised me to check back in with customer support if I was not promoted during the next review.
The May review period came and went, and again I was not selected for TRS. I got the same email instructions as above (review your gigs, don’t duplicate, follow TOS), and I realized that email is a stock email for non-promoted sellers. Per the previous month’s instructions, I reached back out to customer support and was again advised that the TRS team reviews and selects each Top Rated Seller manually, and that I would be notified if I was selected. Interestingly, the CS Rep also said the following:
Top Rated Sellers are manually chosen by Fiverr editors, once a Level 2 Seller meets all the requirements at 100%.
Our editors look at many different factors when choosing Top Rated Sellers, including seniority, volume of sales, exceptional customer care, and community leadership, among other criteria.
Our editors look for highly original sellers who have a high volume of sales; provide unique and high-quality services; are extremely professional in delivery and communication with buyers; and present their Gigs well, including by using high-quality images and videos.
I have always maintained high levels of compliance with the four categories we are rated on as buyers: Response Rate, On-Time Delivery, Order Completion and Overall Rating. At the moment, I am at the following:
Response Rate: 98% (this should probably be 100%, but I’m pretty sure I got dinged for a message that was marked as spam…it wasn’t worth bringing up to customer service to fix it, but in the past I’ve been dinged for spam messages and when I contacted CS, they bumped my response rate back up to 100%.
On-Time Delivery: 93% I have a very busy life outside of Fiverr and while I try to get all of my orders completed on time, it just doesn’t happen 100% of the time. With my increase in prices came more complex orders which take more time. I rarely deliver late, but if I am going to, I always notify my clients ahead of time and give them a realistic expectation for delivery.
Order Completion: 94% This is just the nature of how orders are placed on Fiverr. About once a week, I’ll get an order followed by an immediate cancellation request because the buyer ordered “on accident” or for some other reason. About once a month, I’ll get a buyer who is completely dissatisfied with my delivery and I’ll offer to mutually cancel their order. Every buyer is different, and everyone is not going to like my writing style or how I address their requests. That’s fine, it’s just a part of life as a freelancer.
Overall Rating: 99% I have to say, I’m incredibly proud of this rating. In five years as a seller on Fiverr, I’ve completed more than 1,300 gigs and have more than 700 five and four-star reviews. Nearly ALL of my one-star reviews came during that rough period in late 2018, and I have nine total one-star reviews in more than five years as a seller; roughly one-half of one percent of my total orders.
The June review period came and went without promotion. I intend to keep pounding away at this, providing the best quality service that I can provide and working to delight my customers. At this point, I believe that is all I can do. I’ve seen other frustrated sellers who have not been promoted to TRS; if anyone would like to share their story, I would love to hear it. If you haven’t been promoted to TRS, why do you think that is? If you have, what did you do differently and what advice would you have for other people hoping to make that leap?
I’m very thankful for the Fiverr platform as a whole. Early on, it gave me an outlet to do something fun and creative while earning a few bucks on the side. Now, as I’ve become a more active seller, it has provided a secondary income stream that enables me and my family to do things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. For example, I took my family on vacation earlier this year using money that I had earned from Fiverr.
Lastly, I plan to use this forum post as a sort of monthly recap of what has happened during the previous month. I will report my monthly stats, whether I saw an uptick or decrease in orders/revenues, and what, if anything, I did to change, edit or revise my gigs. Hopefully at some point in the near future I can post “I made it to TRS!”
Thanks for reading all of this. I know it’s a lot, and I appreciate anyone who wants to contribute to the conversation.