Fiverr Community Forum

Platform improvement?

Hello guys!

I have recently noticed the 20% commission rates, and Fiverr supposedly bans people for reaching out to their clients outside the platform, and artists working for pennies driving prices down for everybody else.

Do you think that an affiliate could solve this? - you promote yourself and get lower fees (e.g. 1% instead of 15%). This way you could get well-paid work, a lot of reviews, and organic traffic from the platform.
And secondly, how about minimum hourly rates for these platforms? About $6-$10, do you think that would help with the cheap labor issue?

I’d love to hear your opinions on this.


Hey Matej, what do you mean you “recently noticed the 20% commission rate”?

I see you only just joined the platform.

It’s been this way from day one.

This is a platform for Freelancers, so people can set their own rates.

If you feel 20% is high, adjust your pricing accordingly. Fiverr is no longer a $5 platform.

As for the rest of your proposals, feel free to email Fiverr and share them.

Although I’m pretty sure you are thinking about unionizing Freelancers, which I don’t see happening anytime soon for various reasons.


No offence meant, but I think you are missing some key points…

Fiverr is a business. Those who own and run Fiverr will want to protect their investment by preventing people form agreeing deals outside of the platform. This is good business practice and is perfectly understandable. As sellers, we agree to Fiverr’s rules.

As you point out, there are many people selling services cheaply, pushing down costs. But there is a saying - “you get what you pay for”. In other words, if a buyer spends $5 on a service then they should expect to receive a $5 service. To be clear, $5 in most modern capital cities like London, New York, Rome, Paris, etc buys one nice coffee in a cafe. What I’m trying to say is that $5 in most developed countries is next to nothing.

Sensible sellers will therefore set a market rate for their niche (for example $50 and not $5), and sensible buyers will not only be prepared to pay a market rate, but actively seek out more expensive gigs.


None taken, happy to lean!

I do understand that but wouldn’t the affiliate system help Fiverr as well (disregarding the exact % I mentioned)? Just hypothetically

And about the low costs, I just find it hard to understand how can people from e.g. US make a decent living compared to developing countries who are willing for a fraction of that (I know they can, its just the why). Do you think that the overall skill level in the US is then higher? Or am I missing the point entirely?

Thank you very much for the reply

Hello Frank,

I meant I was surprised when I found out but now I see that it seems to be a fair deal, should have read a bit more beforehand.

I am not sure about unionizing, but I get your point. What reasons do you mean? I fail to see how minimum wages would be a bad thing.

Thank you Frank

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I just want to point out that Fiverr isn’t the only platform that charges this 20% fee. It’s, more or less, the standard with other platforms. Upwork’s initial fee is 20% (though you can lower that when specific buyers repeat buy from you). I used to teach online with italki and they took a 20% fee from each booked lesson. This is inescapable until a company figures out a different way to make money to keep their platform afloat.

I don’t know about an affiliate system. What I personally would like to see is a system similar to Upwork’s. When a buyer, say, orders 5 times from me, we both get our fee knocked down to 15%. Then maybe 5 orders later it goes to 10%, and so on. It could also be based on how much a buyer spends. One of the main reasons, I feel, a lot of clients don’t stick around is because the fee just racks up.

Regarding the “cheap labor” approach some people tend to fall back on when complaining about platforms like Fiverr, that too is also something you can’t escape. The simple reason is that most people who buy from platforms are either not business savvy or straight up don’t care about quality and just want cheap and fast with quality being a bonus. There’s always going to be someone out there willing to fill that market for cheaper services and goods. Learning to understand markets and focusing on a specific audience is key when trying to grow freelance business.

My 2 cents. Feel free to yell at me if I’m being obnoxious.


The whole “cheap labor from third world countries” is a catch-22, I feel. At one hand, people from third world countries are expected to charge lower due to lower cost of living (actually not applicable to all third world countries, but nobody cares to investigate further). But if they keep charging peanuts, they are cheapening the industries they are in and giving potential customers the notion that the standard pricing is cheaper than what it really is.

On the other hand, if they charge higher, people will also question their abilities especially if they are in the industries that are biased to people from first world countries (e.g. English writing/proofreading services, marketing/communication-related services, etc).

I honestly prefer everyone to charge the standard rate from first world countries - but I can understand that it would essentially make the third world country freelancers lose their competitive edge unless they are extremely talented and professional (and that this quality can be measured concretely).

Not obnoxious at all, thank you for the reply.

Sure, but Upwork goes to 10% after $500 and to 5% after $10k. If anyone would be ordering that much, wouldn’t they realize the money “lost” on fees and try to contact someone directly?
That’s why I mentioned an affiliate system as in my field (digital art) it is pretty common to self-market on Reddit, etc. and could potentially serve as the best of both worlds.

And yes, I think you are right about the second issue, thanks again!

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Yes, it is likely inescapable.

But by exremely talented and professional you mean what exactly? I get that with language specializations but in fields like design, art, etc. there should not be as much difference in competence. I am just trying to understand the reason. Perhaps it could be better education of first world countries that allows them to charge normal prices?

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I think art is one of those fields that don’t depend on the bias since it is highly subjective. I know several artists from third world countries who manage to command high (or at least standard) pay for their trade.

I was talking about a different field - like writing, for example. Unless you are a best-selling author/work (or have worked) in respectable publishing companies/graduated from a top university in the world - it is highly unlikely you will get chosen over a native speaker from a first world country - even when said native speaker doesn’t have prior experience/qualifications.

TLDR: there are some fields where people from third world countries have to be much better qualified to be chosen over those from first world countries - so the easiest leverage they can have is to simply charge lower.

But to answer your query, yes, there is definitely a skewed perception in third world or developing countries that arts/design is not a necessity and therefore shouldn’t be expensive.