Fiverr Community Forum

The problem with revisions, refunds, and buyer satisfaction

I’ve been trying to make a more economical gig, cutting down on free revisions and the like, to minimize time spent. I ask the client to submit all of the relevant information regarding the character design, and then I work to completion based on that info, and deliver it. Sounds simply and easy, right? Nope.

The reason I stopped offering free revisions because it stretches the task out much longer than it is monetarily worth, and they don’t want to compensate extra for them to be done. In the past, I just did the revisions until the client was satisfied, but working this way is totally counter to my success. It drains my time, motivation, etc.

The core issue is that clients will not leave me CLEAR information regarding pose/expression/whatever and then when I delivered the final product, they go on about how they wanted it in that pose they never mentioned, or that hair color that was never mentioned.

Now when they find out that they failed to tell me they wanted it in a frontal pose instead of a 3/4 pose, they expect me to redraw the entire thing for free - as if it didn’t just take me an hour to draw and color the whole thing. I tell them they have to pay for it to be done, but they are outraged. They have no grasp on how long it takes to do a task, it seems. The client seems to think that they are buying my time with that $20.

If I don’t offer free revisions, they are unhappy. If I offer refunds, they take them because they’re unhappy. If I don’t either offer them a refund or free revisions, I’m stuck with a bad review, or an order that never gets completed. If I offer free revisions, I’ll be working on a project way past it’s value. If I offer refunds, I’ll be cancelling orders left and right, surely making no money at all.

This all stems back to them NOT providing me with the info, and then being upset that the illustration didn’t reflect that information at delivery. How am I expected to deal with this incompetence without spending extra time doing work over and over again until the client is happy?

Can anyone help me figure this out?


Hey Mate!

I experience similar issues to you given we seem to be in the similar category. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s an easy fix to this other then clarifying/questioning any information that may have been left out in the buyer instructions before actually starting the order to try reduce potential revisions/problems with buyers.

I’ve definitely become better at spotting difficult buyers and tend to avoid if it is clear they are not willing to pay an appropriate amount for the work they are after or if they are not clear with there instructions from the start, Its a tricky balance in trying to keep your pricing etc competitive while still valuing your time.

In saying that I have come across plenty of amazing buyers who are not only happy to pay appropriately but leave generous tips for the work I do, I try focus on these experiences because unfortunately in platforms like these, there are always going to be some buyers who want everything for nothing. Who will probably soon learn that you really do get what you pay for!

Sorry I couldn’t really provide much help, but you definitely are not alone in that struggle!

All the best!


I try to utilize “requirements” in my Gigs as much as possible because of this. In my astrological Gigs (and products on other sites!) specifically, I require birth information, and a client forgetting to give me that birth information puts me behind schedule because I can do NOTHING until they give it to me. Then, my Gig becomes late because they never gave me the exact information needed to actually create the Gig.

My best suggestion: utilize the requirements as best you can. Give the buyers options for poses, colors, or other things that you do; make it mandatory to answer so that they cannot avoid it.

Some buyers want everything for free. You must ask then to pay for your time. Your time and talent are not free. You should mention this in the gig description nicely… If they give you a bad review because of asking for more to fulfill a service that send a message to customer support.

To make decent money on fiverr as an artist you need to be super fast or come up with a quick gig that’s still appealing enough to make loads of sales.
If like me you strike out on both then just do something you enjoy and branch out to offline freelancing. Offline art still pays much better than online art (just apply your art to whatever is popular right now in your area, maybe custom painted tablets, gaming consoles or whatever you can think off).

Hey Glitchfool,

You’re preaching to the choir! I think new fiverr buyers think that they can get anything for a fiverr. They do not have a clue as to how fiverr has evolved or what any of the missions of fiverr are. My fiverr is something I can do in f minutes–thats my goal. I rarely sell any of those gigs because most people knowe you just can not get much for $5. But if I can do it in five minutes–well that’s $60 an hour. Not what I am after but if it fills my otherwise empty slots in my schedule, better than nothing.

The real problem is these well below market rates that we allow some buyers to get away with just lessens our value for us and our communities both in and out of fiverr.

The moment a buyer wants to manage what a creative’s artistic choices, is the moment that buyer should do the gig themselves or send it to China to be done cheaply, inexpensive and have little value.

Hang in there and know that most of our more experienced,repeat fiverr buyers are great and reasonable folks.

One strategy that might solve your problem of not being able to offer anything as an artist for just $5 is to make your base $5 gig a consultation in which you’ll discuss with the buyer what he or she wants. After all, your time is valuable. Then, you offer your step 1, 2, and 3 extras for whatever price you like: $10, $20, $40, etc. The simple truth is that people who pay less, pay less. Making them pay a token fee just to get access to your input will send away the buyers who’ll push you to bottom dollar and still try to beat you up for a refund.

This happens to me also many time and i am sure with many more here…We have to compensate with such clients in any way and then move on…just do not deal with such client in future and fiverr has lots of other potential buyers who know what they are actually looking for…Just work for them…

I always try doing revisions and make the buyer satisfied. This is important to make your buyer satisfied, and that really affect your profile.

Some Buyers will set you up for the rip-off. The classic setup is “I have more work for you” (but first you have to work for free). The other is not providing enough information. The latter gives them plenty of “wiggle room” to get something for nothing, in your case 2 poses for the price of 1.
You don’t have to do business with every Buyer that places an order. Cancelling up front because they didn’t provide enough information, AND asking them to reorder when they have what you need to start the project, won’t affect your ranking, but bad reviews will.

That’s solid advice.

Yeah i totally agree with chrylent , almost 30 to 40% dont know what exactly they want so first off before they order a gig you got to tell them what you are going to deliver and also mention that if there is mistake in the character " i will gladly offer revision " if you want completely new pose and expression then charges will be applied.

I can see how that can be a major issue to you, since you’re drawing characters. Buyers will think it’s a simple thing to fix, not being aware that you have to redraw the whole thing for just one small change.

Many people will imagine things differently and won’t express themselves well enough before you get to work, and that’s just how it is sometimes. I don’t think you should offer unlimited revisions, but offering at least one or two would be a must if you’d like to succeed.
I understand it’s incredibly hard to work on something for hours and then having to redo it, even though you haven’t made a mistake, but buyer satisfaction is very important, especially when you’re just beginning to build your business.

Every buyer is different, try to communicate as much as you can, try to help them understand in a polite way. If anyone is abusing the rules, contact Fiverr’s Customer Support.

Arm yourself with patience, learn as you work and good luck!

This strategy also makes it really difficult for the buyer to request totally random modifications after you’ve delivered the order because you and the buyer will have just hammered out all the details for the order before it even started. When the buyer comes back with an inane modification request, you can politely decline and say,
“This is literally exactly what you asked for.”

I use mandatory requirements in all my gigs, and I’ve written literally in all caps, “DO NOT CONTINUE UNTIL YOU’VE READ EVERY WORD OF THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH,” because said paragraph has, you know… the instructions the buyer has to follow. And yet, buyers will just do what they want anyway. Those are the circumstances when I send a request to cancel just so I can pause the order clock and make the buyer listen to me while we figure out their order details.

Is there a way to know or figure out that these buyers are with bad reviews, so that we can avoid them before sending an offer?

Totally agree. Some buyers like to do fishing for free work by setting a trap with “I have more work for you”!

Oh my god!..thats an excellent idea!! I was thinking on adding that kind of text on the mandatory answer but I didn´t want to sound rude…but I already have some bad experiences because the buyers don´t read and don´t answer my requirements. I am going to use your text if you don´t mind n_nU

I feel you…what I learned, is always let them know that I need them to be “very specific” in what they ask, and yes…that didn´t work at all… with people who dont like to read and be patient, in some way, the buyers want you to be capable read their minds.

My advice is, be patient, and don´t offer more than its value for $5, I always explain to my buyers that the $5 are for a basic design, if they want the full package they need to purchase the $20 or $50 option.

Nicely explained. What I have been experiencing is the same. After introduction of number of revisions by Fiverr, the issue has come out. I believe, until the revisions introduction, buyer used to be well researched and well prepared to let us know their requirements. Probably they now feel the luxury when the seller is proposing unlimited revisions. The sword is 2 sided now, if you do not offer unlimited revisions, buyers feel they are deprived of the right to ask for modifications and if you keep the unlimited revisions then the buyers feel luxury to be less informative. What to do ?