Fiverr Community Forum

Possible problematic experience alert?

Hello!

I had a potential buyer messaging me asking for my services. The first sketchy part is that his profile has no reviews and that he started the conversation with a custom order request despite my gig offering various packages. He didn’t clearly mention the amount of services he is interested in, only mentioned he has 3 product lines.

He said he studied my gig and my reviews from previous buyers and would love working with me. That is very nice, but what came up next looks like a total red flag that’s been mentioned on the forum countless times: he said he cannot show me the logo, as it is still in progress, because the graphic designer didn’t manage to make it right after many revisions. That he still lacks what he wants, so he wants to compensate that with quality and creativity on the copywriting side.

I politely replied that I am very busy for the next couple of weeks and that we can resume the discussion then if he’s still interested, but if it’s urgent, I advise him to hire another seller.

He then responded complaining again about other sellers he’d worked with, saying that no copywriter managed to deliver the results he wanted, that he would love working with me and that he will wait for me.

This puts a pressure on me, because even though I absolutely trust my skills and only deliver my best work, it seems like it could be a problematic situation, with lots of revisions asked (although I only offer 1 free revision, but we all know that buyers can click the revision button as many times as they wish). It sounds like it may also end in a cancellation, which would both affect my statistics and waste my time on work the customer might get for free.

What do you think of this situation and how would you handle it? My gut feeling is telling me something is not right.

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Yeah, sounds like he is unable to provide a decent brief to be honest.
Gave you no details and blames sellers for there being lots of revisions.
One seller, fair enough, it might be a bad one. Multiple sellers, it is the buyer that is the issue.

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Did he tell you why they failed to meet his expectations? Typically, I decline to work with someone who says they’ve had multiple bad experiences but can’t pinpoint what went wrong. I’ve found a few bad experiences to be expected, but if every project they get doesn’t meet their expectations, they probably don’t know how to communicate their expectations in a way that you can satisfy them, no matter how hard you try.

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He didn’t mention what was wrong, but I didn’t ask either, because I tried to not lengthen the conversation, which could lead him to think I will eventually take the job or even place the order now.

Creative fields, such as copywriting and logo design, can be very subjective, and even the best work might get nit-picked by a particular customer, but I agree that mentioning multiple inefficient sellers might indicate that the buyer failed to provide a clear brief.

Thank you both for your responses! I still don’t know what to do. I’ve never specifically declined working with someone here (apart from telling them I was busy at the moment), and I don’t know how to do it without the risk of him placing the order anyway and starting off on negative terms. Saying I’ll be busy for the next 2 weeks didn’t stop him from wanting to work with me.

You could say, “At this time I am not accepting work from new customers. I have a full schedule with repeat buyers, but wish you the best of luck in finding a quality writer for your project.” If your gut is telling you not to take this project, listen.

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First trust your red flag feeling! Next, I say, “I am going to pass on this project. There are many wonderful sellers on Fiverr and I am sure you will find the right one.” I never give a reason why because good “con” people know how to work around every answer you give them. If the buyer persists feel confident to block.

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Step 1: Listen to your gut
Step 2: Raise your prices! Girl, you’ve got great reviews. You deserve more money - and better potential buyers. :slight_smile:

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Due to many posts of scamers, if i were in your shoes i would charge him again for any additional revision extra. And if that person tries to cancel order DON’T DO IT. Many people have been scamed out of their hard earned cash. Even if you dont do the job “the best way” you still used YOUR free time and YOUR energy to accomplish the work no matter what anyone says.
To sum it up. DON’T cancel order as many did.

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Yeah I mean even if it isn’t a scam, this buyer is clearly a nightmare and not worth working with.

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People like this often don’t have a product or idea that it is possible to sell in the first place. My worst buyer like this was someone who had a business where they would send you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the post. (Jelly being jam if you are not American.)

These people can also be resellers who have no idea how to relate their clients’ brief. I had one buyer recently who wanted me to write copy for a secure SMS service for celebrities. All they could say was that their service was secure. They couldn’t say how it was secure or why it was better than existing secure SMS services.

Basically, run a mile from this buyer and run quick.

3 Likes

I’ve thought about raising them, but wasn’t sure if it would be a good idea to do that now, as I don’t have too many reviews yet. But thank you, I think I’ll do it after all :slight_smile: This might also help me in this particular case.

Thank you! Learned this the hard way a while ago, with the only problematic buyer I’ve dealt with. At that time I chose to cancel the order, as I didn’t have many reviews and, although it meant losing time and money, a slight decrease in statistics seemed less harmful on the long run than a potential spiteful 1 star review that would have messed up my rating and could have chased off new buyers.

But yes, when you have enough good reviews, you shouldn’t cancel orders that you delivered according to the description and buyer’s requirements. This is also stated in the TOS.

Thank you for your advice and for sharing that! Yep, some people either have totally bad business ideas, or are unable to put a proper brief together, then blame it on the writers/designers/social media experts etc.

It’s a pity that even the best professionals have to go through this sometimes, but I guess every negative experience also has its upsides (in this case, becoming more cautious and spotting red flags more easily).

There is nothing sketchy about this.

There is nothing sketchy about this. I have regular buyers who send me custom offer requests all the time even though they know what package to purchase. Some people just find the custom offer more reliable or trustworthy perhaps.

There is nothing sketchy about this either. Logos take time to nail down. I had to extend the delivery time multiple times while the buyer was waiting for another seller to finish the logo. Some buyers also ask to leave empty space for the logo because it’s not ready yet. They insert it themselves later on.

Now, this is sketchy. I’d say that I was overbooked and wasn’t comfortable with keeping them waiting. Something along those lines. Go the good old “it’s not you, it’s me” route. I’ve had a few situations like this when the order was already placed. They miraculously ended well but I’d decline if I was contacted beforehand.

Are you saying you wouldn’t want a delicious, soggy PBJ to arrive in the mail just when you happen to be getting hungry?