Fiverr Community Forum

Should I give Fiverr a second chance?

Okay, let me start off by saying that yes, I am fully aware how odd it is that I am asking this question here… but here me out.

I’m not here to rant and berate, as it may seem that way as I continue. I simply want to describe my experience and see if the Fiverr community decides that it is worth giving Fiverr a second chance. I know all sellers are not the same and that one or two rotten apples shouldn’t tarnish a thriving orchard. My experience so far has been really convoluted and ended up being completely atrocious.

I browsed the Gigs; I found people who offered part of what I needed but no one person who offered it all. I decided to post a Request and let the Sellers come to me. I’m was very detailed and ended up hitting the 2500 character count so I had to scale it back. I chose someone who wasn’t the cheapest but was a bit below my budget. She was a new seller and I, planning on launch my own underdog start up, thought that we would work well together. My order was a bit out of her niche market (a branding package) but she insisted it would not be a problem and that she welcomed the challenge. We talked through Inbox messages for a few days, clearing up details until she felt ready to make the offers. She told me she was breaking them up into two, that way if I wasn’t happy with the branding package, I could still pay for the work she had done on the logos. This didn’t sound unreasonable but did cause things to get confusing later. Almost immediately, issues began to crop of. The delivery was late but she was using a “glitch” in the delivery system so that even though the order was days overdue, she kept submitting things as deliveries so I had 3 days to respond and couldn’t cancel. A re-color of a stock image was used for my logo. Luckily, having been in graphic design (and really, I could do all this myself but I lack the equipment. My laptop crashes if it has too many windows open and doesn’t even have enough RAM to install updates it needs… out of the box and after removing all the bloatware) and so I did a reverse image to make sure it wasn’t being used and to see similar images. I brought this up and then started getting harassed by the seller because I wanted to cancel. The seller kept asking for information that had already been given several times, including things that weren’t part of the order, ignoring requests and preferences, and even changing things that were previously agreed on to something entirely different. The TOS violations continued to rack up as we went on at the urging of Customer Support until I had a very lengthy list of evidenced violations, manipulations, and examples of where incompetence was shown to finally the seller was holding my delivery hostage until I withdrew my request for a progress update.

But what surprised me more was the Customer Support I got and the steps they took to “resolve” the issues and is what is currently holding me back from starting another order. Now, don’t get me wrong here either, I’ve worked in Customer Service before too. For a time, I was actually the CS Manager of a smaller, but nation wide, call center. I know that especially when you have things in different places, as with the two orders, it can get confusing but there was only ONE Customer Support ticket opened. Three different people juggled it back and forth and were supposedly reviewing it each time. They told me to block her from contacting me via Inbox but encouraged MORE communication on the order. They should have seen that she was manipulating the delivery system with incomplete orders and messages for more time but didn’t do anything. After one person wanted to confirm that I did indeed want to cancel the order (and I’m assuming found grounds for a forced cancellation) the ticket went to someone else who asked me to review the most recent delivery and request revisions. Not only did it seem like they weren’t familiar with Fiverr’s own TOS agreements, they repeatedly ignored questions related to refunds (rather than crediting my account), higher department contact information, and customer service protocol questions (as on my side, it showed everything on one ticket but I know some software will let the CS representative “soft close” a ticket unless there is a response and that sometimes a new name on the ticket doesn’t mean they have the same ease of access to the information).

I know that sellers are all going to be different and I might find someone who does a bang up, awesome job if I made another request to where I wouldn’t have to even touch the Customer Support. However, I believe that someone in Customer Service is representing their company. Even if you’re bound by protocols and just not able to provide any help or input whatsoever, the steps you take to resolve issues and handle complaints is integral. And as it seems that Customer Support is the only way to get someone who is an employee of Fiverr, they should be even more so. Again, it took me listing out everything the seller had done (for a second time) to get them to finally force cancel an order that days earlier, someone else was confirming if I did want to cancel it. Someone else was breaking rules and I was jumping through hoops to get them to take the action that it stated would be taken under those circumstances. In the end though, the orders were canceled and I did get a refund to PayPal rather than credit. I might have taken over a week for everything to resolve, but it did in a way that I was satisfied.

Now, I am asking that you put your bias aside for just a moment. If this was any other place than Fiverr, say it was at a restaurant, would you recommend your friend eat there after YOU had this experience?

I am also asking because I hope that the Fiverr Community is better aware of the normal, every day occurrences. Maybe one bad seller with issues on two orders got things a bit muddled? Maybe it was the holidays that had Support scant or maybe even slammed? I don’t know. The handful of friends and family I’ve talked to are all like “Why the heck would you even consider it?!”. The information I’ve read on Fiverr has also been pretty polarized from both buyers and sellers, people who closed accounts to success stories.

And I also want to ask IF I was to decide to place another order through Fiverr, what are some tips from both BUYERS AND SELLERS, to use to make sure this time is better? For example, I was pretty open with my color palette since no graphic elements existed yet. I asked for a color palette based around pinks, blues, and purples but told them to feel free to play around with shades and hues. Is it better to give a few different concrete HEX codes? Rather than say a social media pack for Facebook, do I need to give image dimensions? Is it better to have one large order with everything listed or take it step by step, with the same person, a little at a time? I know that cost, whether we like to believe it or not, does tend to equal quality. Are there ways to make sure that as a buyer, someone actually READS my requirements and is genuinely interested about the project and doesn’t just post an insincere offer, hoping a low price will get me to bite?

Any answers, tips, or advice is welcome. I usually am not the type of person to swear off an entire company because of one bad incident, but it wasn’t just the Seller this time, it was the only part of the company I could contact. If I did run into trouble again, which I hope I wouldn’t, I don’t know if I would get a refund again (since apparently this is a REALLY rare thing). Would I get the same, seemingly inept, service? I decided to try Fiverr out because I liked the way the delivery system seemed to work (before finding out how it could be manipulated) and because it wasn’t a cookie-cutter system. I could pick and choose a designer whose vision seemed to be in line with my own rather than some professional company who’d ask me a few questions and stick me with someone. Fiverr does seem to have a long list of Pros but I also found out there are also quite a bit of Cons with my experience.

Lastly, I know this is incredibly long, but thank you for sticking through till the end and an even bigger thank you for any replies!

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Sorry for your bad experience but as you said that all experience not always the same. I hope your next project will be perfect.

I can’t give any advice on any of the problems, nor on the buyer/seller angle. I do feel for you, and empathize that you had to go through such an ordeal. “Once burned, twice shy,” right?
I’m glad you’ve found the forums, though. You can find a crazy amount of useful info here. But I do recommend reading the forum rules as a priority. I can tell you already know how important knowing such things is, but the forum ones will also give you a good idea of who you can trust on here as you can easily tell who doesn’t know them.

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I think it can be difficult to hit the seller jackpot on first try. Imagine you want to buy a pair of jeans and haven’t tried one on ever. The first one you happen to pick up and try on might be the perfect fit but you might as well need to try on two or three or even seven pairs to find one you really love. The 2nd or 4th though may be “okay enough”, at least.

You can find lots of topics on how to “vet sellers” in the “Tips for Buyers” category.

Especially if you’d use Fiverr repeatedly/regularly, investing some time in finding sellers which are respectful of the rules and a good fit for you, can be very much worth the effort/time. Those that you are happy with, most probably will be sellers which will be available on the platform in future as well, and once you found sellers for all your needs, you can stick to them, the longer they know you, the better they can cater to your needs and wishes, and the less time you’ll have to spend.
And Fiverr is still a very good option for nearly any budget, and you can find sellers for pretty much any requirements and budget.

I’m mainly a seller myself but I’ve bought quite a few gigs too by now, and I must say that I usually spend quite a bit of time checking out seller profiles and Gig pages before deciding on a Gig. On the plus side, I was happy or at least satisfied with the majority of my purchases. On occasion, I spent a bit more when it seemed worth it, and sometimes I bought something cheaper that I thought “should be good enough”, and usually the results reflect that.

Regarding communicating with support, most of my interactions were great but it can be frustrating at times. From my experience, the best is to be as clear, precise and short as possible. And to be very concrete, as in ask concrete questions/tell them “seller x did y and that’s against your ToS (quote relevant part of Tos - for instance the thing with delivering incomplete orders is against ToS and a huge red flag)” and tell them what exactly you want, for example if you want a refund to your payment source, tell them exactly that, and not just that you’d like a refund because in that case, you’ll get a refund in form of Fiverr balance.

I hope that helps a bit.

Oh, and another thing to keep in mind - on the forum, you’ll typically read about things that go wrong, all the many satisfied and happy buyers and sellers rarely come to the forum to write about their positive experiences, many of us have never seen even one of our happy (repeat and regular) buyers post on the forum because they don’t really have a reason/need to ask questions or vent or rant :wink:
The forum most probably shows a rather skewed picture.

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Yes, and thank you. I’ve already read it a couple of times over. It seems that few people actually do that anymore.

Funny thing, when Customer Support seemed to be muddled in their responses, I peeked at the forums to see if anyone else had gone through similar situations. While the few threads I found did vary from person to person, one of the replies listed the “blank deliveries” as a way for them to manipulate the delivery system. The General TOS did mention manipulating and circumventing the order process, but didn’t give an example of how someone could do it. So finding the answer here and seeing it described was a huge help and actually what helped me get it canceled! Instead of asking them for revisions on my end, I could request a progress update and ask them to show all the materials they had prepared. (And this led them to saying that they would not deliver until I had withdrawn my request, even going so far as to say they couldn’t deliver anything with an open dispute).

Like, in the TOS I saw that a buyer could cancel a late delivery, and the order was showing that it was late, but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t even seeing the option to cancel for it being late when it was 7 days passed due from the agreed on delivery date with no formal request for extension.

And we aren’t talking about the impartial deliveries maybe being accidental, they did it on 12 separate occasions.

But again, not here to rant really. I also made a few mistakes on my end just because I wasn’t as familiar with things as I am now. DEFINIETLY “Twice Shy” though.

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This might have been your first mistake. If your project brings together different talent disciplines, it is unrealistic to expect a single seller to offer everything you need under one roof.

You should have looked at what well reviewed sellers were offering. Then you should have broken your project up and split and delegated different parts of it to the best sellers. Instead you:

i.e. You hired someone with no social proof behind them who bid below your budget. It’s nice to think that sellers do this to offer you a discount. In reality, it’s because no one else is hiring them and there is probably a reason for that.

All that said, your second mistake was using Buyer Requests. For competent sellers, there is absolutely no incentive using buyer requests.

In my case, I offer writing. When I have experimented with Buyer Requests, I’ve found that:

  • Most projects aren’t worth bidding on.
  • When projects are worth bidding on, buyers will often turn around after I send a proposal and reveal that their real budget is $5 or even less.
  • For every Buyer Request posted, there is an average of 30 other sellers who will offer to work for less and hook clients that way, even if they are rubbish.

By comparison, I work on other platforms where (because I have verified my skills) I can simply login, select projects that I want to work on and start working. There are also similar sites for people who offer voice over work and other services. In this case, if you are posting a job on Buyer Requests, you need to keep in mind that you will typically be scraping the barrel as far as talent goes.

Sadly, this might not necessarily constitute a breach of TOS. I work with a lot of cryptocurrency startups and real estate agencies who clearly build their business on the back of budget freelancers. (Not just on Fiverr.) I know this because they all use slightly amended versions of the same stock images.

The above are the worst offenders. However, they are all free to use (for commercial purposes) stock images. As a result, it is fine for the likes of a logo seller on Fiverr to amend and resell these. (As it is thousands of other images.) This may be why Fiverr CS is reluctant to refund orders like yours. (Unless your seller explicitly said they were designing a custom logo.)

The problem here largely rests with the fact that Fiverr TOS states that orders can not be canceled on the basis of personal preference. - If you don’t like what you get, that’s not their problem. After all, Fiverr can’t force you to buy from the best or most competent seller. Nor can Fiverr tell you how much to spend.

Typically, problems like what you are describing stem just as much from having unrealistic order expectations, as they do sellers acting fraudulently or maliciously. In your case, you have chosen to hire someone with no reviews who admitted that your project was a little bit ‘out of their market.’ - This was a bad hiring/purchasing decision on your part. Sorry, but that’s simply how it is and Fiverr can’t take responsibility for this when it happens.

You would really need to clarify what your seller was doing here. You say they boke an order for a logo and a branding package up into two separate projects. You bought the logo first and they did deliver something. (As you say the image they delivered was a stock image.)

If you have requested cancellation and they have rejected and redelivered your work, that is their right. (Though delivering a copyright protected stock image would not be.) It is not a case of fraudulently extending the time on an order. It is a way to decline a buyers’ offer to cancel in favor of receiving a bad review.

As you probably are aware, Fiverr TOS states that refunds are issued in the form of Fiverr credit only. In this case, your dealings with Fiver CS did work out in your favor.

I’m going to suggest that you think carefully about hiring anyone anywhere for the time being.

Project discovery (asking questions) is vital for the successful delivery of any project (via an agency or a freelancer). I’d suggest you put this vent down to a temporary inconvenience and create a thorough break down of exactly what you need to launch your startup. Then break down what you want from your brand persona and get some examples to show a new agency or freelancer what you are looking for.

Once you know exactly what you need, research going market rates for the same. Then start approaching people in specific fields who have social poof behind them (reviews). - And for the sake of your sanity, stay away from Buyers Requests. This part of Fiverr is badly in need of a complete makeover before it is really worth buyers or sellers taking seriously.

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Your first mistake: hiring a new seller for an important big job. I don’t care how good they chat it up with you. You need to see a lot of reviews and hopefully get a well seasoned long term seller. A great designer will have tons of rave reviews with very few bad ones. They probably would be a top rated seller as we are held to some very high standards and watched more by fiverr staff.

If you can see the profile, samples of what they’ve done for other clients, reviews, and there are enough of those to show beyond a shadow of a doubt they consistently do excellent work then you have a lot more to go on than simply having them say all the right things in a chat.

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Usually most of the time I would’ve been on a sellers side :wink:
But I spent too much time on this forum. Even for me as a seller it’s so surprising to see all this low ethics sellers that doesn’t even understand what’s wrong with copying someone’s descriptions or even a portfolio because for them it seems pretty normal.

I didn’t realise how big is a problem on fiverr until I tried to buy something myself. I would even say that 80% of sellers on fiverr is not worth it.
I tried to look for them myself and got tired after a couple of pages. I posted a request and every time people who responded on it was pretty bad. The last one I needed animation done and most people who replied was people who has gigs in data entry telling me that they can do my job perfectly :exploding_head:

It is tough to find a good seller. I probably would advise to work with sellers from your origin because you will have similar work ethics. Eg if you are European then work with European sellers, Americans etc. If buyer is Indian/Asian etc then it will be easier for them to work with sellers from their region.

For sellers who knows what they are doing this info will be totally irrelevant. I work with branding and of course I know all dimensions that needed for all social media platforms. Hex codes are needed if you really felt in love with one or two colours that you saw previously otherwise it might be quite limiting for a designer. But of course for sellers who have no idea of design it will be necessary info and you don’t want to work with sellers who need hand holding along the way.

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Thank you @cyaxrex for your very in depth response. I would like to clear up a couple of things though, for anyone else who may reply to this later.

It probably was but as a new user to Fiverr, it was an easy one to make. In my defense, both fell under Graphics & Design > Logo and Brand Identity. To me, they are similar as in most cases, a logo will be created as part of the branding process. However, I found as I messaged sellers of all levels that sometimes it was actually worlds apart. As a quick example, a Pro-Verified seller in Brand Style guides was not able (or maybe just not willing) to do a branding board for a quick, visual reference of the various design elements because he was not comfortable laying out all the brand elements on one page, stating they were more comfortable listing out the details of each individual element of the brand rather than using a “one page summary”. The same reverse was also true; top sellers in Logo Design didn’t seem to understand the need for a Style Guide (that sometimes what looks great on a light background looks awful on a dark background). Some Logo Designers did Signature only and wouldn’t include (a possibly created) brand icon in them. This hasn’t stopped them from being Top Sellers who offered work that I fawned over, it just means that unless I did a lot more leg work on my own, I may not have found anyone willing to do everything that I needed… even if it was broken down into smaller orders over time.

Personally speaking, I feel that every Graphic Artist has their own style and feel. Graphic Design can be just as unique as a person’s handwriting so it was very important to me that I find one person who could do everything, rather than getting a logo from Person A and taking it to Person B for a Brand Board and social media icons that came close to matching, then taking that to Person C for a Brand Style Guide which is what landed me at using the Request Feature.

Again, being new to Fiverr, I wasn’t aware that this was the case. It may not be that way for all Sellers, some of who I replied were very attentive, had a great ratings. and willing to do the work I needed. I ended up placing my bet on the wrong person because they talked a good game and showed an offsite portfolio with testimonials. They talked a good game and I got taken.

Lol, if those are the worst offenders, you’ve had nothing but great luck but yes, the seller explicitly stated in her Gig Descriptions and my Custom Order that the images were unique, hand drawn, and she didn’t use stock images or icons.

Off topic for a moment, when it comes to Graphic Design in general… I used to use Stock a lot and sometimes even in commercial projects. However, how images can be used and license agreements can be a huge pain. The original creators of a pieces can tag their submissions when they sell it to a site, often multiple sites, each with differing TOS that govern how much an image may be used or altered to constitute an original work. While I have never had the misfortune of crossing path with Adobe’s legal department, I’ve read stories from those who have and it is a situation I do not want to find myself in. They are extremely strict with Stock use and generally don’t allow it to be used for a logo (which creates a lot of confusion for someone with a subscription who can type Logo into the description and come up with hundreds of pages of relevant images because the creator tagged them with the word “Logo” when submitting them). Outside of the fact the seller was saying these were unique, I still would have had to buy the license for use which wasn’t brought up.

Actually, the TOS at Fiverr does allow for removing Gigs that are “exceedingly low quality” and “spam, nonsense, violent, or deceptive” but I guess it is up to Customer Service to define just what constitutes as what. This wasn’t just a case of “I don’t like this color scheme” but the seller continually asking for requirements that were posted when the order was placed, a couple of times during the order process with examples, and delivering things that weren’t asked for and wasn’t in their own description.

This also isn’t exactly the case. In the Buyer FAQ it is stated that they will do a one-time refund and any subsequent refund requests will be assessed by Risk Management. In the TOS, it says deposit refunds are limited, subject to review, and may come with associated fees.

They were doing what was called an “Empty Delivery”.
Basically, once an order is placed it has to be delivered by the date specified when the Gig was set up. If it is even a day late, the Buyer can cancel. However, as the deadline approaches, some sellers will submit something as a delivery that isn’t the delivery. It’s a message for more time, a partial delivery, or a delivery they know that will need revisions. By submitting an “Empty Delivery” they move the order to “In Review” by opening the three day window for buyer’s to review and ask for revisions and take away the Buyer’s option to cancel an order that may be late. So long as they keep submitting “Empty Deliveries”, they can extend the Gig deadline, even though the Gig will still show as late. It’s a practice that, from having searched the forums, is pretty well known and is also used by people who don’t abuse it. Those who abuse it are hoping that the Seller will miss the window of opportunity to reply (as there seems to be some debate on whether that windows shortens the longer the order is late or how many times reviews are submitted)

And while I said that this was not a vent, nor a rant, I do want to say that this whole process lasted 11 days and the Support Team’s responses were confusing at times, even telling me at one point to block communications with the seller in my Inbox but encouraging more communication when it came to resolving issues with the order. There were very clear violations from almost the start to varying degrees (what I consider pretty minor, violation for stock image use since that can come up even when using professionals time to time to the seller holding the delivery hostage until I placed another order with them for the amount of the canceled order). I can even let a few of the “empty deliveries” slide as them excusing it like I did the first few times because she was submitting brand related materials. But yes, even though I did get a refund and the issues were resolve, I’m certainly not going to leave a glowing review… and I started this for one purpose and one alone, to see if I should use Fiverr again.

I do wholeheartedly agree. All of this has been already been broken down but I was eager, optimistic, and naive. I’ve just been out of the Graphic Design and Marketing game awhile now so I wasn’t sure what going rates were. From looking around, they can range from $50 to $5,000. Most other sites in my niche just happen to offer to do branding as well and wants you to use them.

However, after reading this reply and also @mariashtelle1 ‘s replies, I think I’ve decided that Fiverr might just be the wrong place, looking for full branding for a start up. Maybe a quick order here, revision there. Having to scroll through pages of Sellers, messaging even top Sellers about something they should know about and don’t, and hearing that the better sellers don’t even bother with requests… it’s pretty disheartening. But at the same time, not totally unexpected either.

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I can tell by your unusually long messages in this thread that you place a lot of weight on how much messaging goes on. You got someone who appeased that need for you I think.

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Oh no that’s not what I said :wink: I disagree on this one.
You can totally find people for what you need. Branding board is not something uncommon. I’m offering it and I saw a lot of other sellers in my niche offering it as well. So there you might just try to change your key words search. You can most definitely find one gig for your needs of logo and branding. (Of course it wouldn’t work if you need for example logo and a website)

What I said that it takes time to find right seller, use people from your region, and of course price point is the main thing. If you see an offer for a branding board that less that 200$ then I doubt it will be anything original or the quality you are looking for.

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If you have a negative experience it doesn’t mean that fiverr is a bad platform because what works with me maybe doesn’t work with you either. You need to understand seller mindset by analysing his profile before ordering. You can do that by applying what @mariashtelle1 said.

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