Fiverr Forum

No good deed........ goes unpunished!

As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

About a month ago, I raised my basic gig price from $5 to $10 (Best thing I ever did, but that is separate thread) and there have been really no issues to speak of with my previous clients accepting that change. I think that most repeat customers being already happy with you, understand that on fiverr we are often giving them great work that would cost hundreds more in the retail market and are happy to support a $10 price point.

I had one customer who had ordered from me several times before, and since I knew he was in a country where money is much harder to come by than in the US, I gave him a couple custom orders at the $5 instead of the $10 even after the increase, knowing that I would raise him someday. But he is a nice guy (so I thought) and I was happy to help him out. He produces whiteboard videos and therefore was charging his end client for the voiceover as part of the total he billed his client.

So, last night I get an inbox message from a new customer who says “May I ask you a question?” As he started to discuss a project that would not go through the aforementioned “nice guy”, he revealed to me that he was the end client on those other jobs.

As we talk, I discover that as soon as I raised my price from $5 to $10, “Nice Guy” started charging the end client $10, while still paying me $5. Pocketing the extra $5.

In the end, the client and I decided that we would not confront the guy, (he does good work and end client didn’t want to blow that up) but I immediately informed him that I was taking him to $10. I am not even really angry, but disappointed.

Lesson: Favors are for your friends. This is a business. Since then both the end client and the “Nice Guy” have both placed orders with me, so for that reason among others I am glad that we handled it without a lot of fanfare.

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Pretty soon some “value” yourself comments are gonna pass through here Mike, but before that I would say, you are correct about this being a business and not a charity.

Having said that, first of all only you know your business the best, so I am sure, you have taken the decision to grant your OG price to the “Nice Guy” with a bit of understanding.

Think about it, he probably wants to raise his price as well, but couldn’t bring himself to do it, since you are only part of his final delivery, he pocketed the extra $5 in terms of him making a bit more on his orders.

Hope you get the gist of what I’m saying. Maybe you could advise him to properly increase his price so he can accommodate your price as well, since you are probably more experienced on freelance business. :thumbsup:

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Yes. The end client and I shared a laugh that my Brooklyn Sicilian family would have chosen to handle the pocketing of the extra $5 the way they did in the 50’s when you got caught cheating at the casino. Others would have reported him to CS. But the client and I agreed that given where he lives, and the polite manner that he has dealt with before, we would simply raise the price, allow him to “save face” and walk out of the casino with all bones intact. Sorry I’m Sicilian, I can’t help it.

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Exactly, and it’s what the “nice guy” understood by making you agreeing in selling your Gigs to him with lower prices.
I don’t see anything wrong with that, he understood he could make you sell him cheaper and so you did. If then he said he had to increase his prices for whatever reason it’s also allowed.
I believe you should have realized that your “nice guy” is the man in the middle, and is the one who will probably earn more (even more than you) by re-selling his work.

With your client? I believe you should be disappointed with yourself. He did a good job at keeping you lower, I don’t see any fault in that: at the end, nobody forced you to sell cheaper to him, you accepted it and was your own decision.

Note:

Why? under which ground would you report him to CS? It was you who accepted that price, and to sell for that price… I don’t understand this point.

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I think you may have misunderstood. He never asked me to sell more cheaply. He always requests custom offers, and I quoted them at the lower price a couple times. However he then lied directly to his client stating that since I had increased prices, collected $10 instead of $5 based on that. The only problem here was that he saw the increase and lied to the end client, knowing that I had not charged him more in the custom offer.

I understood exactly what you’ve written.
Look, you accepted and sent an offer for a job, no matter what he could have told you:
“I’m living in a car”
“my grandma died”
" I have to pay my expensive health treatment"… etc.
Where is his fault? if you agreed to sell him cheaper?
On my other comment, I’ve even asked why would someone report him to CS? :thinking:

Note: I’m Neapolitan from my birth… so I understand you’ve been “too soft” in this case, but not the fault of your client, though

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I think here’s where the confusion lies. I never accepted a price, he sent a request for a custom offer. I quote him $5 for a VO, he says to end buyer, The VO guy has raised his rates and I paid him $10, and collects $10 under that lie. That’s all. It goes to lying to your end client. Had he upcharged without specifically lying about what he paid me that’s a different story.

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Think about it. You ask me to run to Tabacchi for a pack of smokes. I pay $5 but tell you that I paid $8, pocketing the $3, Proper?

That’s what happened here. I agree I stupidly felt sorry for the guy and quoted him a deal. That does not make it ok to lie to the client and collect more , claiming that he paid me more than he did, which is untrue.

Thats the point.

Another issue is, what if the video producer’s gig allowed for revisions, including a certain number of revisions to the voice-over (unless he charged for each of those). If his customer asked for revisions to the voice-over, and if he wasn’t charging enough for it, that could have made him lose money on it (since the original voice-over wouldn’t include revisions in the price).

Sorry to insist on this point, but you admit:

So, if he said to his end client: I had to pay more, and it was not true. Where you fit in all this by reporting him to CS?

If his end client accepted a price from him under whatever reason… where fits him on reporting the “nice guy” to CS?

You accepted/quoted/sold for a certain price
The end guy accepted a certain price
Business is closed.

Now, if you would like to say he did something morally wrong, then we would be discussing something completely else: which would have been subjective because we would be talking about morals.

Note: I would not say it has been stupid, soft? yes. But at the end you got money for your work, maybe the feeling you have now is not the best, but the “nice guy” as a seller, has his right to puffing

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Not for all friends… I think :expressionless:

I think I can sum it up like this.

Scenario A: Reselling something you bought at $5 for $10 is great. Bravo.
Scenario B: Lying to someone about what you paid to pocket the difference.

To you they are equivalent?

Could it be classed as something like “obtaining money by deception” (against the law in certain countries).

He was (apparently) deceptive (lied) about the price he was paying the voice-over person (I think).
It would have been no problem if the video producer just said “this is what my price is” (and his buyer could have accepted it or not) and hadn’t said that his voice-over person had increased his priced to x.

To me not.
But my morals are not the same as other people.
And if he doesn’t care about morals and he’s not doing something illegal, then why being angry or even think about reporting him to CS?
I’m actually curious what CS would answer you or the end client if you both report the “nice guy”

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Yes, he lied to his end client that he had already paid me the $10 price, when he knew he was getting $5 price. That’s the point.

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As I stated in the OP, I’m really not angry, just more disappointed. It’s the classic story of stopping to help someone change a tire and they steal your wallet while you do. That’s all. Not looking for a solution, just a comment. As to morals, i think outright lying and deception are fairly universally frowned upon. Not that I want to, but to your question, does TOS frown on fraud. Again because of the lie part?

This I don’t know. If I would be you, I would just ask CS, without involving any name (the “nice guy” obviously), and asking about a possible scenario, describing what happened to you in this case, and then see what they may answer you. I’m actually curious.
Regarding the lies, there will always be a degree of puffing in every seller. Now, if this attitude of Mr.Nice Guy fits into the legal category of puffing or goes beyond, I’m not in a position to tell. That’s a decision that lies on someone else: CS, Judges, etc.

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Honestly, I am not that worked up about it to actually go to CS. You mention puffing, as far as I know, puffing is where you say “Greatest coffee in the world”. You can’t sue someone for that because it s clearly puffing and ultimately not able to be proven. But in this case when I casually mentioned to the end client "I am going to have to tell “nice guy” about the price increase soon, and end client responds “he told me that you were already charging the higher rate , and I’ve paid him accordingly”. That is just plain fraud.

BTW, I have meant to tell you that your recent appearance and prominence on the forum has been a breath of fresh air. We have needed that for a long time.

Hmmm… comes in my mind something:

I increase my price and I tell my clients: I had to increase my price because I have too much work to do and I need to select the better clients (fact: I have zero orders in queue and one may also hear cricket rumours from the distance)

Second thought:
I say to my clients that I’ve increased the prices because my internet bill is now more expensive (but it isn’t)

Third: I increase the prices and I don’t give any explanation

Morally: the third would be morally accepted, but the other two not. However… are these two considered fraud?

Note:

… and I thought that Mr.Nice Guy was the other one! :blush:

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Morals are funny. To me I would only have to go to confession for the first 2.

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