The Curse of the TRS Monster 🙀


#1

So, I’ve been thinking about this lately and considered adding it to an SLD thread or some other random joy or complaint thread. It would be depressing in a happy thread, though, and perhaps off-topic in a rant, so I decided to make a post. I don’t know how this will turn out, but I’m prepared for open discussion if anyone is interested. This IS going to be long because I’ve given this lots of thought, so I won’t apologize for it and it’s fine if no one reads it.

I think this might be worth skimming if you are interested in TRS dynamics, but maybe not. If you decide it’s too long, scroll to the bottom and look for the last bolded header to get to the unseasoned meat on the plate.

Successful Level 1 and 2 Sellers

I personally know dozens of level 2 sellers that do pretty well on Fiverr overall. Most have been level 2 for a while. I’ve seen profiles for hundreds of successful level 2 sellers that clearly have long queues and would have to be making some decent money too.

I also know of some level 1 sellers that are probably full time and have decent sales numbers, though I would say that most of the ones I know personally were level 2 at one time and are working back to it after a demotion.

Random Thoughts Before the Monster

For me, a successful seller at any level is a seller who makes a little consistent cash. It pays for fun stuff and they are happy so I call them successful, but they aren’t necessarily full time. Mostly, this post is about what I’ll call full-timers.

When I say “full-time” seller, I mean people who are making enough money to pay their essential bills and housing and put something aside for dry spells so that they rely on annual income, not monthly. The extra-clever ones diversify too, but they could live off of mostly annual Fiverr income.

I’ve known a lot of level 2 sellers from around the world who’ve been full-timers. Those who can handle change and downsize if needed are often best at it. Some just get by with a tight budget, but they all manage to earn enough on Fiverr to cover the basics with or without luxuries.

Recent Posts on Dropping Sales, Leaving Fiverr, Pricing

I see posts about dropping sales. These complaints sometimes come from those who didn’t save for rough months and didn’t diversify. Some provide services that are not unique but in competitive categories. I’m not saying that there aren’t problems on Fiverr. The cancellation issues are bad and not really fair, IMO. I still think it’s possible for an honest seller to make reasonable amounts of money. Those who have prices set below $10 may struggle more because of the new service fees and I am not a big fan of the fees, but they aren’t devastating for part-timers.

Level 2 sellers who work full-time still have some cheap entry points but most are able to command a higher average price. There might still be some lower priced sellers making a living but there are some buyers out there who keep their company names on the down-low. They actively look for the moderate to higher-priced sellers that can give them serious professional work but discounted over agencies.

Badges

Those buyers don’t necessarily care about the badge although they will care about sample work, wordy/realistic reviews and speedy professional responses from the seller.* A few of those buyers might pick a TRS over a level 2, but that far from guaranteed. So why did I name this post Curse of the TRS Monster?

I see a pattern that was already happening prior to January 2018, but really showed up on the forum after January. Sellers in social media groups and elsewhere were talking about it before. Even before Jan 15 a rare TRS would get demoted for one reason or another and then they often really cratered. I won’t go too far into it, you guys have seen the same thing on a larger scale since SLD’s began.

Some demoted TRS seem to lose their momentum and not regain it. Many demoted TRS do report lower sales almost immediately, though I see the same thing when level 2 are demoted to level 1 as far as sales. The level 1 sellers seem to recover more easily for whatever reason, maybe partly due to strong reviews and samples. They seem to get buyers back fairly easily, even while waiting to be promoted again.

Is there a Monster Under the Bed?

Lately, I’ve watched more of these TRS who’ve been demoted and don’t thrive. I’ve also watched some sellers get demoted from level 2 to 1 and even 0 and recover. This makes me wonder:

  • If you receive a TRS badge and get more sales quickly because of it, does it change the way you are perceived, the way you perceive yourself, or both?
  • If you’ve been a TRS with moderate to good sales and you get demoted, do you lose regular buyers, new buyers, or is it dependent on the service since some services don’t bring in regulars like others?

These two a bit different:

  • I am positive that level 2 have chances to appear high in search right alongside TRS, so buyers searching by keyword can find both. If you have a TRS badge, though, dropping to level 2 could cause a temporary rank drop. You might have to work your account like you did as a newbie to drive volume and look good on the screen. Is the comfort zone of TRS causing people to forget how to be in the driver’s seat?

  • If you were getting good sales as a level 2, you were probably doing well when you got your TRS badge or you wouldn’t have been given the badge. If you lost the badge within a few days for some reason, I doubt it would have a big impact on you since buyers barely saw you as TRS. If you had a TRS badge for a few months or years, though, it’s true that it may influence your search rank and cause some buyers who use filters to find you. If you lose the badge, why can’t you get back the sales that you had at level 2 when you clearly had something to GET the badge in the first place?

And finally - the monster itself:

If people losing TRS causes them to lose sales, lose confidence, lose rank - even though they were doing well at level 2 - is TRS a curse of a sort? If so, perhaps reasonably successful level 2 sellers should be a bit more content and not really strive hard or care much about promotions.

If that’s true, people who were demoted from TRS should be able to work hard and get back to a reasonable sales volume if they wish, even if they have to downsize, cut back or get a job too. Whatever worked for them before they “made it” could buy them time. Once they get back to that volume at level 2, maybe they are better off to stay there instead of to be cursed with a TRS badge.

Sure, if you have a TRS badge already and you are doing great, it’s lovely and I don’t mean to detract from that. But alongside my thoughts when I wrote this, I’m kind of glad I didn’t get an instant TRS badge just because I started helping on the forum a few years ago. Thoughts… Feedback?


By the way, someone might ask why I didn’t mention the Pro badge. Pro is new, Pro is not a level, it’s just a badge, Pros cannot easily control their minimum prices and they aren’t subject to automated demotions. It’s just not relevant to this post, so I’d rather avoid a comparison to Pro here and focus on TRS vs. Levels 1/2.


#2

Thread is awesome . Lot of knowledge here .


#3

This does scare me a bit, I’d like to believe that at this point I have enough repeat
buyers and enough ratings where I will ( hopefully) continue to make a good
amount of money, but who knows.
So far I’ve been lucky enough to keep my TRS badge, but once I found out that the
evaluation will be held every month I freaked out a bit.
Then after a while, I thought meh, in the end, if I continue to get sales who cares
about the badge…

but then, it does kinda feel good to have that golden badge and it would s*ck to
see it taken away especially if it’s due to something you can’t control.

I go back and forth between these emotions every now and then.
I guess there is a monster hiding under the bed, and it sneaks out from there and
crawls into my head every now and then.

(I’m going to comic con from tomorrow, I’m hyped up and in the mood to draw :stuck_out_tongue: )


#4

There really isn’t a lot of knowledge here. This post is mainly about questions and curiosities. No need to comment just to write something random. :slight_smile:


#5

Now THIS is an awesome comment! My post was so dry without illustration. THANKS Zeus and have fun at comic con!!!)


#6

No one else has any comments on this thought? I would really love to hear some responses. TRS’s welcome. Ex-TRS’s welcome, upset or not. Level 2, 1 or 0 welcome. If you don’t want to read the whole OP, that’s still fine, this is the crux:

If you were already level 1 or 2 and doing pretty well, do you think there is any risk if you get promoted to TRS? Am I wrong? Are there some circumstances where there is less risk earning good money at level 2 instead of ever getting used to rank/perks of TRS?


#7

Thanks for taking time to write this post and sharing with us.

I agree with you as I have also seen many level 2 sellers getting heaps of orders, while some TRS get few?

The question becomes, why sellers want to be TRS so bad if they already getting the number of orders they want?

Some TRS complain about being at that level, as scammers/low budget buyers increased for some reason?

I think its better for TRS to comment about this and tell us about their experience. Is it really a curse?


#8

4 posts were split to a new topic: Being Singled Out for Location


#9

Read your whole post. You mentioned and asked many good questions. I am just going to address random things here and there.

I was level 2 seller for approximately 3 years. Was promoted to TRS on May 2017. So, it really took me a long time to get here.

I personally don’t think TRS badge helps to get lot of sales. Of course, it might help a bit and can get a few orders. There are a few months where I make less compared to what I used to make when I was level 2. But as far as I remember, September 2017 was the best month ever, things went downhill since then. I think fiverr started some sort of testing in the end of 2017 and its still going on…

I won’t say TRS badge is a curse. I enjoy 7 days earning clearance and many other benefits that came with my level. As I mentioned previously, not too many buyers come because of my TRS level but some do mention it when they contact me or in reviews. So, not every buyer but I think a few buyers do notice seller’s level.

I am/was never worried about evaluation day since all my starts are at 100% (or at least far away from red zone)


#13

TRS is nothing to do with sales and I can confirm that because I experienced almost have zero sales for 1 month even I’m a TRS in my category.

You ask why’s that? It’s because fiverr not really make TRS as valuable as it used to be in the old days. TRS even not at the very 1st page of Best Selling. They don’t have their own cool filter like the PRO. What they can get now is ‘worry’ about the yellow badges being taken every 15th of the month, nothing else.

I gonna tell this feel extremely sucks if any thing happen in any sales.
That’s meant you only can lost it, or you keep it but with no any special treatment.

I’m lucky enough to retain my TRS though. Lucky me.


#14

I think the big issue for some is that they see the TRS badge as the goal they want to achieve.
This is not the way I see it - I see it as a mere acknowledgement or “side-effect” of how well a seller is doing. In that way, should I ever lose it, I can put it down to the silly evaluation metrics or whatever and continue achieving my actual goals which are earning money and building an ongoing client list here.
I have said it before - I really don’t see that TRS is SUCH a big deal. I am one of very few TRS in translation and while I am busy all the time, this was the case before I got the badge.


#15

It isn’t much of a difference now to have TRS. Before it was. But again, even when I was level 2 I was doing fine. And when I became TRS, first few months there wasn’t any difference. Only in 7 days clearing period. Later I was getting more work, but I can’t confirm that this was because of TRS. Also, repeated buyers are always there, no matter about level you have.

My opinion is that TRS now is way different then before. When there wasn’t pro gigs, then having TRS was great.
Also, many TRS (including me) have dry run or even bad month, so that isn’t level related at all…


#16

I think its just that when seller gets a TRS badge he/she thinks - Oh well I’ll get a lot of sales just because badge.
But, when they lose it they freak out because some of them are not used to put in some effort to get sales,like in the time they were TRS. And demotion sure will leave a scar of smaller amount of sales.

That is somehow a curse in my opinion.
Im not talking about TRS in general,just some of them.


#17

I think sentiments like this summarize everything that is wrong with Fiverr at present.

Earning and keeping a TRS badge should be seen as an incredible achievement. More importantly, a TRS badge is the only real assurance that buyers have that they are about to place an order with a high-quality seller who will deliver work which meets their expectations.

Now TRS is starting to be seen as a liability. Namely, because of how monthly reviews are rigged against many sellers.

Rewind one year and Fiverr is a marketplace where anyone can start small and work their way to the top. That’s good. That imbues Fiverr sellers with a streak of competitiveness, gives them an objective to strive for, and gives rise to homegrown Fiverr entrepreneurs who are constantly on the lookout for new ways to expand their business.

Now Fiverr is a marketplace where the prevailing sentiment is one of 'why bother to do any of that? With so many variables outwith of the control of sellers, it does not make sense for any seller to purposefully try and win a TRS badge. If you are a web designer who could lose it again after a single cancellation, being a TRS is of no material benefit.

That’s the TRS monster in the room and its a bit sad really.


#18

Interesting points. I hadnt really considered it that way.

It’s true, I never really celebrated getting the badge and was initially hesitant to make much noise about it because it could be lost the month after through no fault of my own. As it is, I have casually added it to some of my profiles online but not made any reference to it on my gigs or Fiverr profile.

I actually got the badge 2 months after I had decided that I didn’t care about getting it any more so it was more of a hmmph when I actually got it rather than “Yay, I worked so hard to achieve this and this is the fruit of my labor”. I did celebrate making particular monthly earning milestones which were my actual goals but not TRS.
So has the “competitive edge” or the incentive been lost for sellers? You are probably right there when I think about it.


#19

This is exactly what I had in mind.
I got the TRS badge some days before but I didn’t feel like celebrating about it.
I am not crazy about the TRS badge, just focus on improving my services.
A change in badge doesn’t change my attitude of work honestly.
My customer service is just the same and I always deliver the best works I can offer.
Maybe I will share my thoughts some days, but not after I experience and keep the badge long enough.


#20

Congratulations! :bouquet::tada::champagne:

I can do that for you! :slightly_smiling_face::sunny:


#21

It’s very nice of you. Thank you Lorna.


#22

One issue with this is that if someone was level 2 and had good sales, then got TRS and had mildly improved sales plus 7 day clearance and other perks- they won’t see it as a “curse.” If they are demoted, though, and they don’t return quickly to their level 2 income, perhaps it was a curse all along. It is easy to lose TRS nowadays and not easy to regain it. Level 2 is also easy to lose, but you can regain it within 1-3 months with automatic promotion.


#23

TRS, Levels… they’re all well and good, but…

When I became a Level 2 Seller a few days ago, the feeling of accomplishment was there, but it lasted… not nearly as long as I expected. I didn’t have any real expectations attached to my reaching the level; I knew my sales wouldn’t magically increase or anything like that.

What I found out, however, was my new ambition in relation to Fiverr, one which goes to the heart of why I joined this platform in the first place:

Queues.

I can’t help but be thoroughly impressed when I see a Gig with tens or hundreds of orders in queue. It’s advertising all on its own; it says, “You’d be a fool not to get in line (if you need my services, of course.”

That’s what I’m aiming for now: queues.