Fiverr Community Forum

My Journey to (Hopefully) Top Rated Seller Status

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:

TRS Requirements:

  • 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
    www.fiverr.com/levels

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:

  1. Review your Gig to make sure it’s accurate, and that you’re offering things you can deliver at a high quality.
  2. Make sure you offer only one Gig per unique service. Duplicating your Gig is misleading and won’t benefit your business.
  3. Review your pricing and make sure it’s aligned with your offering.
  4. Make sure you represent yourself and your skills accurately.
  5. Communicate clearly and quickly, both when chatting in the inbox or during orders.
  6. 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.

34 Likes

I’m sorry, but this will likely see you fail to make the TRS cut. Fiverr likes to see high prices and high sales volume.

If you wait for the next St. Levels day, you will usually see it followed the by a peppering of new "I just became a TRS seller" posts. In a lot of cases, sellers making these are relatively new to Fiverr and they obviously outsource orders to other freelancers. You can tell by looking at their ’Reviews as a Buyer.'

If you can’t outsource, maybe create a gig which you can turnaround in a few minutes to pump up your sales volume. Maybe also ask why you need to be a TRS? It sounds a little like you may think you are failing as a seller by having not achieved TRS already.

In short, maybe don’t put so much stock in the idea o becoming a TRS. However, if you really want it, I would find a way to up your sales volume.

6 Likes

Even if you achieve TRS, it’s not easy to stay there. You are under scrutiny constantly. I don’t know how others did it. I know that from the beginning I noticed I was out performing others in my category except for one or two, who are now gone from fiverr. It’s stressful.

I took about three years to become a TRS and felt that it could have happened a lot sooner. I see sellers becoming TRS in the first year more now, and without as many reviews.
I can see why they were chosen when I look at their gigs.
I do agree that at least one I’ve seen does appear to be a reseller but I’m not positive about that. I’m not sure that even matters to fiverr.

There are sellers who earn over $100,000 a year who are not TRS so it’s really not necessary to be one as far as your income goes.

4 Likes

@cyaxrex Thanks for your reply. I am simply documenting my journey to earning TRS status. I get that earning it requires a high level of both sales and revenue. I should have been clearer; in raising my prices, I am completing MORE orders than before at a higher rate of revenue. I am doing far fewer $5 jobs (actually none at all), more orders of $25 and up. I might consider raising my rates again in 2020, but for now, I am satisfied with what I am earning against the time it takes to complete an order.

I’ve never even thought about outsourcing my orders. Every single one of the 1,300+ orders I’ve completed have been personally written by me. I don’t even know how I would outsource what I do; I’m sure that there is a way of doing so, but I demand such a high quality in my own writing that trying to get the same result out of outsourced talent would be challenging. There are other TRS in my category that HAVE to be outsourcing their work. Boomsa, for example, makes over $1 million a year on Fiverr and there is NO WAY someone could personally complete that level of work without help.

As far as why I want to be a TRS, I think that my reasoning is three-fold. First, I would assume that top rated sellers get sales higher volume, which would be nice (to a point). As I mentioned originally, I do this in my free time; I have a demanding 9-5 job and a family, and there comes a point where there are only so many hours in a day. Second, I’d love the shortened 7-day period on getting funds released. Fourteen days is fine, I’ve dealt with that for as long as I’ve been on Fiverr. I’m certainly not complaining. Third, I’m an achiever. That’s just how my personality works. If there is a goal out there for me to achieve, I’m going to work towards it.

Thanks again for your response!

6 Likes

@misscrystal, why was it so stressful? What scrutiny were you placed under? Did you have Fiverr’s support team getting all up in your business?

As I mentioned before, I’ve never outsourced my work. Frankly, while I’m sure I COULD outsource it, I would need to put controls in place to make sure that the quality of my work did not drop as a result. There are certain things I could outsource easier than others, for sure. I might have to look into what would be involved in doing so.

Thank you for your response!

2 Likes

It’s stressful because it can go away at any time. I would rather not go into details about the reasons or what the fiverr team does. I’ve seen the others in my category drop away and disappear over time. I’ve seen some who were made TRS who lost it a month or two later in other categories. They don’t get all up in my business exactly but they pay attention to everything.
It’s not really about volume although that doesn’t hurt. I see new TRS who don’t have that much volume according to the low number of reviews. It’s more the appearance of quality gigs that stand out.

6 Likes

Thank you for sharing your story, often the shared stories one reads here on the forum are one-sentence stories, so this was a nice slice of life.

In case it’s reassuring, like Miss Crystal, I also don’t think you necessarily need to have high sales volume or outsource, I, for one, neither had/have a high sales volume nor did or do I outsource. Generally, all sounds pretty good, and all you might need might be a little patience.

However … I know, you said you have a very busy life … and it’s great that you do, but, you know, don’t we all. I think you definitely should work on your on-time delivery rate if you want the status. 93% seems really low to me. Even if you tell your customers in advance, you’ll still be late, and even if they are nice about it, you don’t know what they say in the “secret review”, they might say “deliver on time” to the question what the seller could improve (it’s a while since I bought my last gig, so I can’t definitely say that that’s still a thing but it was last time I filled out the private review questionnaire).
Maybe try to observe why/when exactly orders get late and figure out how to avoid it (change delivery time if you’re busier than usual, use the “limit allowed orders in queue” function if it happens because too many customers book directly without contacting you and you being able to negotiate the deadline, pause gigs, make use of Out of Office mode, …).

I can imagine 93% being a value that might make the editorial team pass you by, you need to keep in mind that there are lots of sellers with good stats, even with perfect stats, and not even all of those with perfect stats get chosen. I don’t necessarily think perfect stats are needed either if there’s something to outweigh a couple lost percent like a truly unique gig but less than perfect stats certainly won’t help and 93% just seems pretty low to me, and it’s actually a value you have rather much control over, too.

ETA: Reading this, I hope this doesn’t come across as me dissing your 93%, if so, sorry, many people certainly will consider that a great percentage, but I thought you might benefit more from my point of view on that than me saying “looks great, good luck”.

TRS is about exceptional everything. If you’re lacking something they are looking for in one department, you might be able to make up for it in another, but I’d definitely try to excel in the known criteria, already because it’s much more difficult to excel in unknown criteria. :wink:

Good luck on your journey, I hope I’ll catch the updates and see you reach your goal. :slight_smile:

12 Likes

After a few months of being nominated and not promoted I wrote customer support a funny, well-written, Oscar-style concession speech thanking the ‘academy’ and lamenting about how great it was ‘just to be nominated.’ I realize customer support doesn’t do the deciding, but my thinking was that if it was clever enough it would get passed to the right folks. I was promoted the next round, but don’t know if that had anything to do with it. Lol. Obviously if everyone did that it wouldn’t be original or cute any longer, and maybe it wasn’t in the first place. Maybe I would have been promoted anyway and wasted their time. But sometimes if you can think of something generally non-invasive and clever to get the right persons’ attention it can push your name to the front of their brain come promotion time. Granted, this only works when your work is exceptional and your stats are where they need to be because bringing attention to your name and gig at the wrong time could backfire too.

12 Likes

That’s one of the greatest things I’ve read on this forum. :smiley:

I’m happy your ingenuity was rewarded.

6 Likes

Thank you, @miiila (I really had to guess on the # of “i’s” in your username. :smile: I’m glad you enjoyed reading my story. I enjoyed writing it, and thinking back on my Fiverr journey over the last five years.

You’re absolutely right about my on-time delivery metric, and I believe that may be the one that is holding me back. It’s a trade-off, for sure. As I mentioned previously, I’m a busy guy outside of Fiverr, and have active kids to boot. Usually a late delivery happens when I’m wrapped up in work, have a bunch of kids activities to attend to after work and can’t get to something until later in the evening. It happens. I try not to, but it happens.

And no, I didn’t feel “dissed” by your comment. I asked for feedback, and I certainly appreciate you providing it! Thanks again!

8 Likes

Bahahaha well I will never know if it really was, but writing a concession speech somehow made not being promoted funny instead of disappointing.

4 Likes

@kariannc, I love it! What a fun, creative idea. I’m going to let it ride for a few months from here on out and track my activity and percentages here. If all goes well, I may try something similar later in the year. Thank you for sharing!

5 Likes

Thank you for share your motive story with us. I’m still level 2 seller with trying get into TRS. It’s really hard for me as I’m getting fewer orders these days. And my prices are bit low dur to high competition in graphic design industry. Let’s see how it goes. Thank you for your contributing.

1 Like

Nah, I’m not really worried about becoming TRS.
I’ve been level 2 and nominated each month since they rolled out this new system with evaluations. (How long ago it was, 2 years?)

I would guess that it is because my conversion ratio is low (I get a lot of impressions and more than enough orders for me per month to keep me busy all the time, but the ratio is still quite low.)
My stats are all 100%, with response rate from time to time dropping lower when I get lazy, but overall I don’t even have that many competitors in my field (I mean good competitors with original work, not all those copy pasted gigs with pictures taken from the internet)

It’s already quite stressful with all this people placing wrong orders for cheaper price or for something you don’t offer where one cancellation can make you loose your level and when you are a TRS that will hurt even more.

To sum up: it would’ve been great to have 7 days clearance period, but I’m pretty comfy at level 2 and don’t even notice those 14 days to clear find because of the constant flow of funds.

1 Like

Wow, you are doing so well. You will continue to be successful no matter what category you are in. This article has so much good detailed info.

I have been a TRS for several years. First, I have no insider info about the process. I can only guess like you. I have some pretty logical assumptions.

You are going to have to get the attention of someone that works at Fiverr. It may not necessarily be a customer service person answering your ticket at a help desk. When you get their attention, they will look at your stats and they need to be 100%. Why would they turn someone else down that had better stats than you? I did 1000s of orders before I had my first review that was less than 100%… Everyone can do it, it just takes alot of work and some good luck. I know those first 100 orders are really difficult. They all are difficult. 1 out of 20 of my orders are a complete nightmare. I just build it into my rate because I know it is coming. I think overall monthly volume probably helps. I had to structure my offerings to make sure I was getting 150 orders every 60 days. This helps you to maintain statistics without a bad rating tanking your account.

Do they still require you to be an active part of the Fiverr community. If so, that would include being involved here in a positive way.

I always strive to be the nicest person that someone would work with on Fiverr. In reality, we are all representing Fiverr and together we can raise the value and reputation of customers’ experience on the site. I really believe that.

After I was TRS, I realized that some of my best months were when I was level 2. Don’t discount the power that you already have at level 2 to make some serious money.

I have never subcontracted work. To me, it is too expensive for this platform and I would not have the control and speed that I need to provide the service and products that I provide.

I have never advertised outside of Fiverr, No particular reason. I just haven’t.

I don’t believe that I ever have used buyers request. Nothing against it. I just haven’t used it.

I have never had more than 2-4 gigs at 1 time. I think that moving on to new gigs can take your focus off of making each gig work the best.

I wonder if it has been intentional to have less TRS by demoting TRS sellers through the new rating reviews every month. If they were trying to have less TRS, I wonder how many new TRS they are wanting to introduce to the system each month? You guys may be able to guess how many TRS are added each month by the publications and the forum posts.

3 Likes

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I am enjoying this conversation so far.

So…I don’t know if I pissed somebody off, or if the algorithm really is just that fickle, but my gigs have all been buried at the bottom of the search results again. After getting 5-6 orders over the last week, I checked my search result ranking yesterday morning and I was gone off of the first page…all the way to the last page. As in dead last. As in out of 2,800 sellers, my gigs are both showing up on the last page (page 60?). Same thing today, dead last in ranking.

Nothing else has changed in the last 48 hours, save that I received seven orders since Friday. Two are completed, one 5-star and one 4.5-star rating, two are delivered but have not yet been marked as complete by the buyer, the other three are in work with anywhere from 24-48 hours before the deadline. I don’t know WHY the search algorithm is so schizophrenic, but it’s driving me NUTS!

On the plus side, it will make for a relaxing 4th of July holiday weekend for me, not having any orders! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Great post. It’s nice to see a bit of discourse from advanced sellers recalling the journey of their career.

As an experienced writer, but new seller on Fiverr, I’m sympathetic to some of the frustrations that you are having. Writing particularly (whether proofreading or resume-writing) is a highly saturated and thus competitive market. I’m not sure exactly how Fiverr’s algorithm reconciles ranking users with its business model; rewarding established sellers with exposure but at the same ensuring new sellers who also offer a good product have the opportunity to develop. It seems quite bizarre to me at least, how this might be implemented for an ordinary buyer, who say, doesn’t want to scroll through 40 pages of sellers offering the same product.

Wouldn’t you agree that the most likely scenario in that example would be a majority of the buyer market either being concentrated on a few pages as they scrutinise a couple of handfuls of different sellers?

As you’ve also made the point, I agree - it seems strange top rated sellers could handle heavy loads of sales each day on products, which may additionally require a high amount of personalisation, additional work and low delivery times in order to keep their status as a top rated seller. And this is before you add in revisions or customer care (i.e. delivering it before the stipulated end date).

Writing and career coaching is something that I’m passionate about, and it would be nice to have a steady flow of income from it on this site, at some point. I do think that filtering sellers is going to be important in the long run in order to establish industry professionals from the cowboy sellers (and I have see at least some of these on this site, with respect), I’m just not sure the current system in place is the ONLY way to do it.

Best of luck, all!

1 Like

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s 4:20am here and I promised myself I must read every bit of this thread before going to bed. :smiley:

I’ve been a Level 2 seller since 2016 and really, I am excited with the idea of being a TRS. But again, I don’t know if I’d be able to handle the stress.

I have some repeated gigs, which I guess could be what’s hindering me from being a TRS. But the thought of deleting the repeated gigs and still not getting the badge comes! A bird in hand is better than two on a tree. Hahaha! :smiley:

In the main time, I’m still a level 2 seller, delivering 50 - 75 orders monthly and I find joy in what I offer. :man_cartwheeling:t4:

3 Likes

Why don’t you send Time Extension requests to your customers just before orders run late?

Congratulations,keep working hard

1 Like