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Repeat buyer getting pushy

I’ve been working with this buyer semi-regularly for the past couple of months. Working for her at first was great. She was really cool and I enjoyed working on her projects. But I think she’s gotten too comfortable or forgotten that I’m not her employee. The past few gigs she’s gotten really pushy, expecting me to turn around eight 1000-word blogs in three days.

Now she’s put in multiple orders. The first one she used one of my packages for a single webpage but is requesting three for it. (Considering the regular money I make off of her I’d be willing to overlook it if it weren’t for the attitude lately) the second she hasn’t given me clear instructions for and is acting super put out that I’m asking clarifying questions. The final order she says to prioritize over the others even though it has the longest due date.

I’ve tried to explain to her that I have other buyers and non-fiverr clients as well as a full time job. And I’ve tried to explain to her that I’m bound by Fiverr’s standards and if she wanted things done in a certain order that needed to be discussed before the orders were put in.

Now I’m torn. She’s my most reliable buyer and I’ve made a good portion of my money off of her but working with her lately has been a nightmare. I’m questioning if the payday is worth it…

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Don’t be torn. She is using her supposed loyalty as a bargaining tool to manipulate and exploit you. The fact that you are even contemplating continuing work for someone who wants you to go out of scope to suit her fancy means it’s working.

You are the freelancer. You set the terms. Clients who think they can override that and boss you around just because they give you repeat business are actually abusing you.

There is nothing valuable about being manipulated and losing quality of life just to get routine orders.

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She’s right, here! I was just mentioning in another thread that freelancers - female freelancers in particular - have a very hard time with boundaries, especially when they’re just starting out. Add imposter syndrome and cashflow anxiety to a gendered tendency to people-please and you have a toxic brew that will absolutely level you if you let it.

When I have a hard time with the “no,” I kind of mentally step into the persona of a cool, dispassionate concierge at the bell desk of a high-end hotel. My talent is the super-primo-luxe penthouse behind me, and there’s a reason that not just anyone is allowed to stroll in there, it’s been created for people willing to pay the price of admission. Your job is to keep the riff-raff out of that penthouse, you know?

Repeat orders are simply an indication she likes your work, as well as your pricing. She has discovered a product that works for her, and so she buys it when she has need of it. That’s not some great feat that deserves to be awarded with discounts…that’s literally just commerce. I’m not saying my regulars don’t get friendly chat and a little something extra from time to time, but I control that flow, not them. If any of them asked for a freebie and I didn’t specifically owe them for something they’d done, they would get a kind “no,” period.

I had one of my original buyers get so demanding and persistent that I ended up cancelling a gig order he sent (after I told him not to) and blocked him outright - I didn’t need the stress and I sure as hell didn’t need it for $5.

Politely explain to your client that you’ve examined your workflow and available working time and have made a decision to raise your rates across the board and stick to firm deadlines, effective immediately. Then do it. If she balks, you know that she wasn’t going to be in it for your journey to success anyway, and focus your energy on picking up new, better clients.

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:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

Yes! Oh goodness, yes!

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This is such great advice! I think I am going to print this out and stick it to my notice board. I love the mental image of the concierge. That’s me from now on!

Sometimes regular buyers “go bad”. I had to part ways with two (had 30+ orders with one of them, 70+ orders with another).

One of them basically stopped communicating because “I knew what they wanted anyway”. Another one started ordering extremely detailed work while still paying the basic price for it. We had multiple discussions about the issues I had with their approach, I completed multiple jobs for them while trying to settle the matter. They ultimately didn’t care about my time and my process so I had to let them go.

One of them left a long tirade in my inbox about how ungrateful I was and how she was the person recommending me to everyone she knew and the sole reason I even had work (haha).

Try to explain your position (repeatedly), then cut them off if it doesn’t work at all and they don’t hear you. It’ll only escalate from here.

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Absolutely love this response. :sparkling_heart: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

1 Like