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.
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.