Fiverr Community Forum

Reputation Management as a Seller - It's Hard Work!

Hi All,

If you have any suggestions then they would be most appreciated.

I was going along just fine with Fiverr with a 5 star rating and glowing reviews for my private investigations gig.

I had moved up to being a level one seller, and then I lost that level one as I had ignored some spam messages from some teenagers in the UK that were pranking me under different usernames.

Basically because it affected my rating based on response times or in that instance, no response on their second attempt to prank me.

In another case, I had to request that I cancel an order for a buyer (mutually agreed upon), because I simply could not help this person out.

Again I was punished this time for my order completion rate was affected.

By the next month (Feb 15, 2021) I had gotten my level one seller rating back, and along came a buyer from the Netherlands that gave me a brief for an investigation. (To find who was behind an Instagram account that was harassing them etc). It was a suspected Moroccan associated situation.

So I diligently went to work on this investigation and uncovered who the people were behind this activity and I found out who they were.

I sent my report to the buyer (delivered my work), and specifically identified people and media related to them.

Then the buyers says that they already know about these people.

Why would the buyer not disclose all of that information in the initial brief? They said that they suspected that it was someone in Morocco, but they had no proof?

I gave them proof.

They then wanted to cancel the order after I had spent several hours working on this rather complicated investigation.

I think that they took me for a ride to be honest. They got the info they desired but didn’t want to pay, so to speak.

Rather than have them write me a bad review or dealing with such nonsense, I decided to cancel the order.

And now my Gig completion rate is down to 88% which is going to affect me yet again with my over all ratings.

Surely a mutual agreement to cancel a Gig, should not affect a Seller’s ratings?

If I booked my car in for work with a mechanic, and the mechanic accepted the booking, and then upon my arrival, the mechanic said, sorry, your vehicle is a diesel and we are not diesel mechanics. But try the workshop down the road as they specialise in diesel engines. Should that first mechanic be punished on Google Reviews etc because I did not specify that my vehicle has a diesel engine? Absolutely not! I would have said that I was sorry I didn’t mention that and thanked them for the direction to the other mechanic’s down the road.

Today I have woken to see an order placed by someone in the U.K for an investigation. My Gig, clearly states that buyers should message me before making an order. In fact, I have typed that in CAPITAL letters on my Gig description.

I like to discuss a buyers needs with them and assess if I can perform the tasks requested, which generally keeps everyone happy.

Now I have a situation where someone is asking about something that I likely can not help them with, and I should have the right to refuse the order gracefully and without harm to my reputation on Fiverr… Is there and option for this situation?

And on a slightly different subject. I live in Australia, and I get messages from people all around the globe on different time zones. Most humans sleep 8 to 10 hours a night. So if someone messages me at 11 PM my time, and I don’t reply until 9 AM my time, all of a sudden I getting a 10 hour response time, which can also affect my ratings as a seller.

Surely a Do Not Disturb (Sleeping time) could be enabled in the system. Not a true “Do Not Disturb” but a grace period that allows for when someone is usually asleep.

Does that make sense?

If anyone has any suggestions on how I can gracefully refuse or cancel orders without it affecting my ratings on Fiverr then it would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.



I hear ya Brett. This is the complete opposite of the promised Trust we will get from Fiverr to protect us.

I think the planets (or the Moon at least) are in a complex place (again). In the last two days I have had 5 people expect me to provide FREE test/demo work as the only way to progress to the next stage in possibly getting their business. When I declined, in every case I got abuse in return. FREE WORK is against Fiverr’s TOS but they do nothing when it is reported. If it is the only way to progress in the running to get the job it is not a test but a hoop. Hoops are work.

To make it worse, in several places where I have raised this, I have simply been told, oh don’t worry about it. Yes sure I will not worry about it when I am being hired rather than being asked to do free work and abused for honoring Professionalism and it’s representation in the TOS.

Being in Oz, I too have the long reply times a lot of the time. Sometimes I get lucky and they are asking me for free work just as I am here so I manage to drop from 8 to 4 hours for a few days. A win! Sigh.



Hi Brett,

They are tough questions indeed.

I agree entirely about the profession, by the way. Couldn’t agree more! The problem is, people often misunderstand it and have a fairly skewed idea of what we do. I was gutted to be told not to launch a gig… I love this work and most of what I do is in the small hours of the morning when the rest of the UK sleeps, and I found it was a really good way to unwind after a day’s editing. Of course, I still do it–but just not via Fiverr.

So, here are a few thoughts for what it’s worth, although these areas are extremely hard to deal with and a source of annoyance to us all.


I recommend you mention your PLEASE MESSAGE ME BEFORE MAKING AN ORDER right at the beginning of the ad as well as at the end. Also, consider placing it inside double asterisks or make it bold. Overkill–yes. Necessary–yes!

Over-zealous buyers will leap in and order before they have fully digested the ad content otherwise.

I believe this to be even more so in a sector in which people’s emotions are getting the better of them. If they are seeking a PI, they may be anxious, annoyed, tearful, etc., so people’s attention to detail is never great when they’re in a heightened emotional state.

I also recommend you voice this point in a more hard-hitting way. Instead of ‘PLEASE MESSAGE ME BEFORE PLACING AN ORDER’, which may be taken as a polite request, not a mandate, how about:


Dropping the ‘please’ is not a bad thing when it is as important as this. This should lessen your cancellations and within a short period, your cancellation rate will reset itself. You can always soften the harsh tone of the gig by a ‘thanks so much!’ right at the very end.

It is normal (i.e. commonplace but irksome and stressful) for your performance stats to take a dive occasionally through no fault of your own. Just focus on not getting more cancellations by making the message as clear as possible and that will rectify itself–most people will not send orders after they read this.

Having said that, the message on my gigs is pretty clear but now and then, an ‘entitled’ client will order anyway. I think they do it when they know their work is too problematic for a standard costing and they are fearful of receiving a higher-priced custom offer. If they order without prior discussion, they have me cornered at the set rate!

(I just had someone order a costly large gig. I asked him to cancel and reorder at 3.5x the price–I just was unable to take on that level of loss. His was an unusual order and there was no way I could run the edits at the standard advertised rate. Of course, this had to be the one order that was placed with no prior discussion!)

There’s nothing you can do about these periodic cheeky orders but the good thing is that by ensuring most don’t place an unsolicited order anymore, the few orders where this now happens can safely be canceled without any significant effect on my stats.

Once in a while won’t harm you, so expect a few per annum but you should be able to curb the majority by making the message more overt.


In this case, you must send a response to every message. After that, mark it as spam. By answering each one no matter what, even when they are utterly pointless, silly or plain provocative, you avoid any non-response penalty. Even if you send just a couple of words, that’s enough to say you ‘responded’ and to meet the system’s requirements.


The only way you can manage this is by asking a set of core questions of each buyer. Some questions can be posed within your Gig Requirements so each buyer must answer them, but in other cases, just feel out each buyer as far as possible with a detailed set of questions–take those as far as you need to.

And do not be afraid to tell them what your limitations are or to use a prior let-down case as an illustration of why the work did not result in client satisfaction, saying you wish to avoid this kind of thing going forward.

This can assist a buyer to consider whether they are asking the impossible. Similarly, give examples of where you really were able to resolve an issue and possibly add value.

Just a few ideas… it’s extremely irritating to be faced with all these early obstacles but your gig is unique enough to come through these issues and I feel it will continue to perform well.

Best wishes, Brett!


EDIT: somehow, I have overwritten my earlier message, doh. I thought I was adding this separately. Blame the fact it is 2am here in UK! I am only awake because the cat couldn’t sleep… :slight_smile: Seriously…


Sorry to hear that @benedictrm.

I checked out your profile and it appears that you are doing things the right way.

A lot of buyers have no Idea how hard it is for sellers to keep everyone happy. Nor do they care.


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Thank you Annie,

I look forward to your suggestions when you have time.

I don’t think that my profession is any different to that of a researcher or even a program bug fixer.



Except by now you know what color the red undies I am wearing are. Doh! LOL

I can’t necessarily see it being a "bad’ thing as Private Instigators are right up there in age-old careers. So long as the methods used are within the public (lucky I spelled that one right) domain, nothing is found but what is public anyway. If someone gets photographed kissing their “niece” in public it is frustrating to them maybe but not a secret seeing they did it in public. Sharing that in newspapers would be immoral but sharing that with the pet goat who hired you for that task is not.


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Yes, well I keep on the straight and narrow side of the law. And morals are key in this line of business.

Hey Brett sorry you had to face something like this, it’s really unfortunate how some buyers still don’t read the gig description and how mutual cancellations still affect completion rate.

Perhaps you can put in bold and highlight yellow the “PLEASE MESSAGE ME BEFORE MAKING AN ORDER.” ? It makes a bit of a difference as it stands out!

Thank you. I have no idea why a mutual cancellation should affect ratings. It just makes no sense at all.

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I agree! I actually am supposed to be a Level 2 seller but due to a series of unfortunate buyers who don’t read gig descriptions I’ve had a lot of mutual cancellations. I’ve read around the forum that you can talk to support and plead your case and more often than not they will assist. But I haven’t bothered trying it out myself and I did not feel it affect incoming sales. (I guess buyers don’t really mind those levels all the time!)


But the better your level, the better the exposure and more gigs yes? A couple of nutters and a reputation sinks. :frowning:

You’d think so only some people report the opposite when they get promoted.

This is Fiverr where nothing is what it seems. Or maybe it is exactly as it seems, just not what they say it is.

After all many Top Buyers and VDs (oops here’s the I) are the first to be demanding free “test” work or forcing a premium gig after paying for a base version. Yet nothing happens but them getting another badge to affirm their honor in this Workers Paradoxe.


There surely has to be something that Fiverr can do to make this fairer on Sellers? :frowning:

Administer the TOS evenly would be a great start.

And yes very few freelancer places have a get out of jail free button on gig that have been hired against the seller’s wishes but not all. Would be plain illegal in any real country but this is Fiverr.

My partner mentioned how these places hold money earned for a period of time and how they can be earning interest on the sort-term money market with that. I think that explains a lot. I don’t hold it against them as such.

But the moment a business’s real core business is not the same as the advertised core business, things will go very astray. Like what we see here where people are treated as less than human (see their adverts). The spice must flow and all that.