Toxic and bargaining buyers


#1

There’s been a significant increase in bargaining and toxic buyers on Fiverr lately, as well as those who are just plain illiterate. I don’t like calling someone that, but this is the fact for certain buyers.

To clear things out first, most of my buyers, I’d reckon more than 80% of them are great buyers. For me, that means the buyer will give you clear instructions on how to deliver his final work and will read your gig instructions prior to this. Having a lot of repeat customers, they know this, so they don’t have to go back and forth reading my order specifications. They give clear instructions, I provide the great final results, give them a certain value for what they spend and I get the 5-star rating and, usually, a tip. That’s their way of showing the appreciation for the value I give them.

Now, to the point, I’ve been getting some toxic buyers since I’ve registered on Fiverr back in 2014, but those were really rare. Nowadays, there’s a much larger number of them.

Yesterday, a buyer who claims he’s from the UK and his account says that (I’m pretty sure he’s not and he just used a proxy to create his account) orders one of my gigs. I’ve worked on few orders previously and he was always the type of buyer who will order a certain gig, not read the scope of it and just add instructions. From the first order, he wanted more than he has paid for, but it was slightly more, so I over-delivered a couple of times for him, letting him know each time that the editing I’ve provided goes beyond the scope of what he paid for.

He refers to you with: “Hi friend”. Oh, that’s one of the signs. :scream:

So, yesterday he orders my basic gig and adds instructions. I’ll just copy/paste from here:

ToxicFriendGuy: “Hi friend i need you to edit this picture for me but to make it better bit i will add the picture”

“it needs to be 1200 x 270 and 12MB can we get rid of the 1 ,2 & 3 also on the box it says eBay seller can we change that to -*” (removed his store name because that would reveal his identity.)

“can we also change the background to a different colour”

“i need as soon as possible please

“also the items coming out of the box can we change them to like different items such as screen protectors headphones mobile phone cases etc”

Then I’ve got a chance to reply:

"Hi there,

I saw your photo and instructions and I could do it for $10 since it requires much more editing than the basic gig scope includes.

Best regards,
Ferid"

So, I just gave him $10 price instead of $5, but the price should’ve been at least $15 for what he asked me to do.

He replies: "Hi thats completely fine, when you complete the job then show me and if i like it i will request another job for the remainder of the funds or leave you a tip :slightly_smiling_face: "

Knowing that he won’t be tipping as he never did, but also not wanting to let him decide the price of my order due to his likings, I’ve replied:

“Hi, there’s actually an option that allows us to change the scope of the order immediately. I’ll send you the request now.”

He accepts, but now he paid this HUUUGE sum, he’s replying:

“the work will need to be really exceptional for the price i hope you will be able to deliver

And I’m like WTF, for what you’ve paid, you should be very grateful if I deliver a decent work. I always deliver great work regardless of buyer being a*****e.

I’m letting him know: “Hi there, the price is standard for needed editing and it’s specified in my order requirements. Of course, if you’re not fine with this price, we can agree to mutually cancel the order and you’ll get your refund back.”

I would be glad to just get this over with, let’s cancel it, it will affect my rankings because of ignorance, but whatever.

He says: “thats completely fine please deliver as soon as

Bear in mind, he hasn’t paid for express delivery, but I still delivered earlier than I should.

Today, he sent order dispute for cancellation. Stated issue: “The seller is not qualified to do the work I requested” :sweat_smile: :rofl: :joy:

Message: “Hi Friend, thank you for completing the work but unfortunately the editing is very bad for this type of job please cancel this order so i can purchase from someone else i will not leave any negative feedback regarding this transaction as the previous work you have done for me is always 10/10”

I’ve agreed to cancel, but I really let him know my feelings. :face_vomiting:

I had a similarly bad experience related to my other gig, I might write about it in the future.

In the past, I used to send tickets to CS regarding these and with much worse buyers and I always had overwhelming evidence, but Fiverr CS will never do anything in favor of the seller, so I just gave up and haven’t sent them a ticket regarding any of my orders for two years now.


#2

I’ve been here for years and, when I used to list my services at a lower price point, I’d get these buyers far too often.

You’d explain they’re asking for more than they paid for, they’d agree, and then they would still want more than they paid for. They’re a headache and drain you of all energy. You’re doing yourself (and all sellers) a disservice by continuing to cater to their shameless greed.

Put your foot down, charge them what you deserve to be paid or refuse to work with them. It’s that simple. I promise it will enhance your experience as a seller! :wink:


#3

Thank you for the reply, Sydney.

I’d absolutely agree with you on all points that you’ve made.

I have actually increased my prices (through offering less work for basic $5 price) several times and, while it did filter out some of those buyers, there are some still coming back. I even saw an increased number of them lately.

For the services I offer, it’s really easy to spot those who get work on sites like UpWork and outsource it, These tend to be troublesome.

I let all of my buyers know the exact price and if they ask me to do something for less via inbox, I refuse every single time. If what they ask of me is just something a bit extra, I tend to do that for returning customers and also for customers who politely ask. They usually end up giving me a tip anyway.

Put your foot down, charge them what you deserve to be paid or refuse to work with them. It’s that simple. I promise it will enhance your experience as a seller! :wink:

So true, I’ve refused like $800 worth of orders this month and did the same in the past. It’s not that easy for inexperienced sellers though, but I agree that you should always price yourself properly.


#4

That’s the perfect approach! I think most sellers on here have found that having a starting price of at least $10 or $15 deters “bargain buyers” from ever even clicking on your gig to begin with, but I know that strategy doesn’t work for everyone.

It sounds like you’ve got it worked out though. The $800 of orders you’ve refused surely would have taken much more time than they were worth, so don’t see it as money lost–it’s priceless time saved. :smile:


#5

Yeah, I heard that increasing the base price from $5 to a higher selling price helped deter this type of buyers for quite a few sellers.

I would’ve definitely done this by now, but I do indeed offer some simple editing that doesn’t take a lot of time and I think it’s fairly priced at this base price. Prices I offer are let’s say on the higher end compared to other Fiverr sellers, though everything is discounted on Fiverr really.

It sounds like you’ve got it worked out though. The $800 of orders you’ve refused surely would have taken much more time than they were worth, so don’t see it as money lost–it’s priceless time saved. :smile:

Definitely! I still had one of those “high” months. I’m going to repeat myself here, but it isn’t that easy for inexperienced sellers to do this.


#6

After Fiverr raised the service fee to $2 on orders less than $40 I raised the prices on all of my gigs to a $10 minium. I have not seen a toxic buyer since that time. :wink:


#7

You really shouldn’t do this.

These buyers are toxic because they get away with behaving like this time and time again, precisely because sellers cave and cancel.

You did the work. By cancelling to avoid a bad review, you are technically manipulating the review system. Plus the buyer will likely use your work anyway.

Scrub this buyer and raise your prices.

As for the cheapo, discount, pain in the bum brigade, their numbers do seem to be increasing. I’m getting a lot of buyers sending me full project details in messages but not placing an order. When I tell them they need to, they act surprised but still don’t. Then a few days later they appear asking for their delivery. - What? I can see reviews they have left past sellers. It is obvious they know how Fiverr works.

Then I have buyers asking for discounts left right and center. I need a 1,000 word article, my budget is $7. - Then find a $7 seller Dumbo.

Then I have buyers who order once and expect discounts on all future orders. 12-hours I spent making and revising a video for a buyer. They ask for 2 more videos. I send an offer and they are shocked that they can’t have 30%-40% knocked off the price.

I just don’t respond to these people. They get assimple I can’t help response and get shown the door.

That said. I do like some of the people who pretend they have ordered and come back a few days after later asking for their delivery. They literally can’t contain their hate and rage regarding me not having anything ready for them to collect. - Shows you who those sweetie pie “Hi Buddy!” people really are below the surface.


#8

You really shouldn’t do this.
These buyers are toxic because they get away with behaving like this time and time again, precisely because sellers cave and cancel.

I agree, but I’m off to a vacation in a few days, can’t really go through CS. They’ll just take even more time, etc.

You did the work. By cancelling to avoid a bad review, you are technically manipulating the review system.

I didn’t do this because of his review. I have the 5-star average from 538 reviews on this particular gig, so it wouldn’t affect me at all. There was a buyer in the past who tried blackmailing me into giving them more or canceling or they’d leave me a negative review. I refused so easily. Let them give me a bad review, I have 3-4 of those reviews shown on my gig page.

Plus the buyer will likely use your work anyway.

Nah, I’m a graphic designer, Fiverr’s automatic watermark is added to each photo until buyer accepts the delivery, so no worries there.

I absolutely agree with everything you’ve stated below this point. I must admit I never had someone giving me the project details, didn’t place an actual order and then asked for the delivery. That’s just playing dumb. :roll_eyes:

I’ve got similar messages lately. Though, I usually have success with most buyers.

A few days ago, the buyer asked me if I can edit his photos as specified and give him some samples of my work. It went like this:

-Nope, you have samples on my portfolio page
-Other sellers gave me the price from $50 to $80, can you lower your offer to $100.
-Nope, they have their prices, I have mine
-Can you deliver it a bit sooner than specified?
-Sorry, this is my delivery time.

He ended up giving me a 5-star review which took all the characters to express how he felt with my delivery. He gave me a nice tip and wrote a reply in my inbox to further express how satisfied he was and that he’ll continue working with me in the future.

I had numerous similar experiences prior to that. I’m not trying to sound overconfident when I talk to them or price myself up, I’m just stating my regular price and good buyers appreciate this greatly.


#9

Ugh… one of my first clients ever. So I like the heritage of them coming back, but I charge more now. So the client asked for 2 audio drops. I sent them 6. (Created some extras, and thought they would like the options. :slight_smile: Done this a few times for them over the last few months/years.

10 revisions & 2 phone calls later. So uncomfortable when buyers ask for phone calls b/c they can’t type what they want.

All for $8.

Listen to the audio.

Its good. All version of it. They said so themselves. Among other copy and pastes messages repeating the same same same…

I did message them to work with someone else in the future. That might have made them upset. They said I didn’t understand their culture? 1 starred. Shouldn’t waited till after the order delivered.

(Funny they were able to get that part of the message and respond to the situation there though, finally! HA!)

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#10

Unless you have the permission from CS, any contact outside of Fiverr is a ToS violation.

Perhaps you could try with a $10 base price, but do $5 work via custom orders? Even if you put $10 as the base price, people still ask if you can do so-and-so for $5.


#11

“Unless you have the permission from CS, any contact outside of Fiverr is a ToS violation.” My thoughts exact Exactly! Try to explain that to them. I don’t get it.


#12

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, because it would be a violation of Fiverr’s Terms of Service, and we could both get banned for doing it. All the information exchange and communication must go through Fiverr.”


#13

Me neither. You know it’s against Fiverr’s ToS to contact Buyers outside of Fiverr, but you’re doing it anyway? For $8?

Why?


#14

That is what I do. :wink:


#15

A thousand times, this. The majority of folks contacting me now follow this pattern. The first red flag for me, as others have experienced, is a message in my inbox asking how much to do such-and-such gig with no pertinent details to give them an accurate estimate. “How much to record a VO that’s between 1:00 and 1:30, and how quick to deliver?” Well, if you’d actually read my gig page…

The biggest warning is the demand that I “do this first one for $5 with full commercial license and if satisfied there will be many more gigs to follow.” No, there won’t.

I’ve learned the art of “Thanks, but no thanks.” Even then, I still sometimes get harrassed by the buyer trying to convince me to take the gig through sheer force. Thankfully, Fiverr’s response rate algorithm is based on response only to the first message in a thread, because I simply stop responding. It’s the only way.

I like the idea of raising the base price a little to avoid toxic buyers. I’ll be making that change today.


#16

Good move. It does help keep a lot of these folks away.


#17

Oh they spend hours and several messages trying to convince your to work for them. But a pet peeve of mine is the lack of enthusiasm to (some buyers) communicate anything else. Type a whole sentence please! grrrr


#18

It’s time for me to raise prices as well finally and get rid of those annoying, bargaining buyers… too much of them indeed… And after all you do for them, at the end they don’t even appreciate…


#19

Raise your prices is the best advice. Your clients will change. It’s like the difference between those who dine at all-you-can eat buffets and fine dining. The buffet eaters will fill their pockets, purses and backpacks with food and STILL complain. Fine dining clients will appreciate the service you did.


#20

Fine dining clients can be extremely picky and demanding. If someone pays $50 or $100 for X, they’re going to expect the best X in the world.

I will admit however, that when you charge $5, you get a lot more problem buyers than at $10. I don’t know why that is, maybe the cheapskates don’t want to pay more than $5. However, I’ve had to refund orders in the $20, even the $40 range. So no price point is safe.