Fiverr Community Forum

Sellers trying to scam

I am so tired of these buyers who ask for samples and then block you! I caught out one trying to do it to me and I just sent the offer and he said “First do the job” and I chose to block.

Can we have a thread of Buyers trying scam? Add screenshots.


This would breach Fiverr’s forum rules. You can’t negatively call out individuals.

Sellers need to report bad buyers to customer support on an individual basis.


I don’t provide free samples anymore - I send through a bit of my own writing (that is still the same quality as what I’d write normally) and I am working on a porfolio with the games/videos I am credited for - but if someone asks me to write for them for free I just say no.
That being said - and I am saying this from the buyer’s side, I can understand the few who have been burned before. A couple times a seller I worked with (for non-writing related stuff, obviously) refused to let me order until the ‘sample’ was ready and let me tell you… It was because their work wasn’t great.
Or good.
Or even OK.
The point is - many sellers use this as a defense mechanism against bad reviews ; which then makes people think it’s OK to ask for them from everyone/ it’s OK to not pay. It’s not scamming, it’s just browsing. Do I agree with it? Nah. But not ONLY the buyers are at fault (although those who block you, yeah, those ones are pretty nasty.)


I have reported repeatedly and nothing happens so they freely move around exploiting people. And that’s not okay

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So I should be robbed by buyers because of it?

That’s not what I said - I just explained the other side that people who don’t buy on here don’t get to see. I don’t provide free samples either - and I think it’s better not to. Examples of previous works, sure, but not samples. But on an online marketplace there’ll always be people trying to cheat the system.


We need to split the:
a) free custom samples
b) free samples

I always offer free samples that I made for each of my gigs exclusively so client can test the file or whatever it is on his computer.

So I send free samples with first initial message of my respond.

But custom free samples are different.

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I used to send free samples. I also did that when I was just starting, thinking it would help me get the work. Then, I realized it’s not worth it. They could be asking for samples just to steal your work or style and get what they need for free. If they really want samples, they would be willing to pay even just 5$.

Also, I’ve learned here in the forum that you should never give spend your time on something for free. Never.

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As a buyer that’s what I ask for - examples of work that demonstrate an ability to deliver. As a buyer I’m more than sick and tired of portfolios crammed with templates and no actual work they’ve done. I don’t appreciate wasting time briefing, waiting and then rejecting work because it’s not up to the standard described or displayed in their portfolio.

You jump on this every time but this is how you do Portfolio. You are not delivering a some or all of the job, merely a sample of you work in action.

My understanding is that if I ask you about banners and you fire one over at me, it is not populated with my magnificent face and even more magnificent logo. It is a template maybe looks like:

Not really useful for me as such (well it wouldn’t be for you seeing this is one of my templates). This is Portfolio (active portfolio maybe) and not free test or demo work.


Depends on how specific client is in first message.
I do not have only one sample. In 90% cases I already have sample that is inline with what client wants and then it is just matter of customizing it.

And that thumbnail photo is not following the “rules” of YT thumbnail.

Basically offering samples and custom samples depends on a category.

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But I assume you do not customize it until after they have hired you. In which case your samples are not free test or demo work but the equivalent of paint or curtain samples.

The potential client can pop them in their window and see that they fit and are super-stylish and decide that if they committed to you they could have it with their name & colors. My understanding is that you would not send me a banner with my name and colors before I hired you??? (well maybe for me it would be different based on how special I am but you know - the swill…)

And you have assumed it is for the wrong thing, my dear. We all know what assuming does :flushed:

I am not trying to have a go at you at all. My only point is that this comes up about not providing free test work and your example is not in-line with what is warned against. A) You choose to do it, B) It is “active” Portfolio and not work made to the client brief before pay (the real object of these issues), C) the client gets nothing they can actually use before they hire you (and pay).


i do not start any work before placing an order so no problem here :sunglasses:
:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

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[quote=“benedictrm, post:12, topic:597861”]
But I assume you do not customize it until after they have hired you.
[/quote] Yes, I do, 80% of the time I do. Especially if they contacted me before, not made direct order.

Since this is thankfully in ranting pot I will rant.

For most of my services, I do the work in the inbox. Not samples but the actual files. Actual work. For free.

If Fiverr was offering to me as seller that:
a) I will get paid 100% secure in case client doesn’t like the outcome, doesn’t need the outcome anymore, wants unrealistic revisions, or managed to get a cheaper option or his brother will do it
b) I will not have to choose between keeping the money and negative review or no money no review (when the negative is retaliation that has nothing to do with work done)
c) my GIG and rank will not tank in case of mutual cancelation

Then I would do the work only after the order has started.

But with the system set like this, I get clients message, if it has enough details I do the sample draft, I send it back with pricing, then we do the revisions in inbox. Once the design is perfect and client is satisfied I send offer, file, get paid.

Plus what I love about inbox and hate about order page is that I can not send screenshots in order page as seller.

In Inbox I can copy paste whatever I have in clipboard (usually screenshot of the design). In order page I would have to take screenshot, save it, name it, and then upload it… so much wasted time.

Client wants blue, go blue, screenshot, send, red, change to red screenshot, send… approve, send offer, get paid.

I had six cancelations total and each hurt my sales:
a) 200$ packaging design order made without contacting me first, the client had no idea what she wants, I created 8 designs instead of 1 trying to get some responses from her, she asked for cancellation
b) ordered overlay set under basic price and then listed message with all the extras he wants and paid to be rushed order
c) Orders without contacting me and then asking for cancel

One negative review or cancelation can hurt your profile on Fiverr forever, point of no return. So for my services only (design), it makes more sense to send a quote, do the drawing, get approval, and then get paid.

For banners and overlays I do not get clients that do not pay at the end, it is not something that they can get recreated cheaper, and for logo, the drafts I send to a client I emphasize I trademarked them on my name and if they are happy with the design after purchase I will cancel my trademark.

So it is a win-win. Either I get money for a logo or I have another logo to put in my portoflio for future sale.

It all depends on the age of the clients and the service that you are selling.

What I am doing is wrong for the writing category or music for kids (Fortnite, Twitch, that pixelated cubes thing) etc. categories.

Different clientele completely.

A client that wants banners for his event is not going to ask me to make a banner and then look for another designer that is capable of reproducing all the elements and move them around per need. Time is of the essence.

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Ok thanks.

This still covers one of my criteria: it is your choice. You choose to operate that way, not as a result of a stand-over tactic that says gimme some or all of my job free or I’m popping a cap in ya.

I understand your rationale. For you it works. I can accept that.

However, understand that the more people do that, the more the system will break down as people will then say, oh but 'thingo" does it so you should too and we are left to appear (and feel) bad based on a competitor (or not even a competitor) who colors outside the lines.

I am not saying stop (and nor do I think any of these other posts that try to hold the line on honorable trading) but I am hoping that you might not muddy the waters of these discussions with your unique choice when broadly we need a lot less of the mindset here that sellers have to waste their lives & love on free test work that more often than not is never recouped in any way. And increases the lack of commitment that causes buying and selling to far more problematic.

I know I cannot do my job unless my client is committed to me. I cannot half-mix a song or half write a movie score. It is all or nothing.


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Two problems. The first is that you ask people to visit your website and tell people how to contact you outside of fiverr. (Both are in violation of ToS)

The second is that you have no contents to show, so it’s understandable if they want to take a look at a sample of your writing. If you had uploaded some samples in the form of PNG, your complain would had been justified.

That being said. @marinapomorac says it right.

This is within the norm and acceptable behavior.


A little bored. So I’m going to scrutinize (mainly because I think the thread starter spits fire at people who means well).

Maybe a sample request is actually giving your gig a 2nd look? :smoking:


Hi @davidnorrington! At last, a voice of reason!

This is one of my absolute pet hates here on Fiverr - the quality of sellers. Don’t get me wrong: I wish for everyone to have their place in the sun - but then you should know your stuff.

I am a buyer and a seller, so I know what I am talking about. You should only be a seller here if you are 120% sure you can deliver professionally. If not, you are wasting everyone’s time. I so wish Fiverr would introduce some or other basic barrier to entry. After all, when I go to a restaurant to enjoy myself, I want to know that the chef can cook and that he is not someone without credentials picked off the street.

I am happy to provide my buyers with samples (mostly not in their genre) but so that they can see the quality of my work. Because YES - you want to see that the person you hire can ‘cook.’


I understand your reasoning. But in some categories it is difficult to provide a small sample, because it may be a kind of work that cannot be easily broken up into some equal units. For example, in book design, designing a single chapter, as a sample for the potential buyer, involves making the (conceptual) design for, practically, the whole book, because all the book elements are intrinsically linked and dependent on each other. So, because this kind of work is not so much quantitative as it is creative, that one chapter would represent much more work than expected.

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I think we have people using the term Samples/Free Samples with different meanings still.

A sample of work you have already done (preferably for another client if possible) is Portfolio and probably should be called that for sake of clarity.

A free sample/test/demo where you have to make and hand over some or all of the client’s actual job request is what is being called out as not only is it unprofessional, leads to bad outcomes, but is actually against the NO FREE WORK part of the TOS (or would be if Fiverr enforced that properly/evenly).

Any seller who doesn’t have their version of Portfolio to show is not ready to sell.

Any Buyer who is offered Portfolio then still asks for free test work of their project is breaking TOS and proving themselves dangerous to work with either because they are clueless or lack professional honor, i.e. scamming you.

It is not entirely unfair if a seller has no portfolio (unwise in the extreme) for a buyer to ask for some sort of small test if they feel that despite being unready the seller is likely a good choice for their project. This work then goes into the Portfolio of the seller and is NOT DELIVERED in any usable form to the buyer. By not delivered, it must clearly be unusable with watermarks or the like to stop many 'test" fragments from being assembled.

If these basic professional actions are followed by all there will be a lot less sense of scamming from both buyers & sellers.

Fiverr could also help greatly if they were to be more consistent and active in removing those sellers who show fake portfolios (or images of seller & their workspace) along with buyers who make demands for TOS-breaking things like free “test” work.