Unilateral disarmament and the Fiverr review system


The problem we have here is that one buyer can’t give us a 4 star review, which is still a positive review, without us getting a bit uppity. I know, I’ve done it myself (got uppity, that is).

For the review process to work effectively and help both buyers and sellers alike, we need to persuade all buyers to think more carefully about their review. Sellers, too. Sellers need to learn that it’s okay not to get a 5 star review.

Of course, if just one buyer does this, at the moment, as a seller, it’s simply frustrating.

If one seller did this, by telling their buyers that they appreciate their truly honest opinion of their service, they’d never get any orders because they’d be lost in a sea of sellers with lazy 5 reviews.

I’d be truly fascinated to see what would happen if the ‘secret’ reviews to Fiverr became the public reviews. Maybe it’d be the same. Who knows. Anyway, if anyone has any ideas on how to solve this problem that takes up way too much of our work time worrying about, you know what to do.


The answer is not to care. Problem solved. Know you did the very best you could and probably the very best of anyone in your entire category, each and every time.

Then reviews don’t matter



Would you be OK with a repeat customer placing 50 orders over the next year and only give you 4 stars each time? How would you respond to that?


@landongrace I don’t know how it would affect me. I would certainly ask him why after about the third time he continues to hire me. (That might not have been a question to me but I answered anyway :slight_smile:)


I had 1. After the first order. He rated 4s and immediately placed a second order. I asked gently, if there was anything I could have done differently to have earned 5 stars. He said he never rates 5 stars. I sent a mutual cancellation on the second order and said that I wasn’t able to provide what he needed for that order. He excepted the cancellation. I am really aggressive to do everything I can to create an out of this world experience and if it is not possible I am less motivated.


@landongrace I probably would do the same if a buyer said he never rates 5 stars because he is showing a bias that is unfair and not at all encouraging or in keeping with the quality I am delivering.

I don’t blame you for rejecting his order.


I did have a repeat buyer who never gave me a 5 review. I kept asking what I needed to do but all he said was ‘everything’s fine’. I finally asked him to stop ordering as I take pride in what I do. If there’s nothing I can do for a 5 review then I don’t want to do the job.


I think it’s very important for all Fiverr sellers to get more comfortable with a less-than-five-star review here and there. I’ve never seen any marketplace where there is so much pressure for this absolute perfection. When I buy items or services off-Fiverr, I don’t think twice about leaving a review that isn’t the highest possible but is honest, tells what I love about my purchase and being truthful about what I didn’t love as much. It doesn’t mean that the purchase was bad or that I want my money back and it definitely doesn’t mean that I’m not happy enough to want to keep what I bought.

Most things on Fiverr are digital deliveries, so to compare to that, I buy a lot of e-books. It is very common for me to leave a 4 start review and say I really, really liked the book and I’m glad I bought it BUT that I wish it had been proofed. I think Fiverr should be the same, where reviews can reflect the truth. If it’s a bad experience for a buyer, I think the courteous thing to do is to accept a refund if offered one instead of leaving a bad review. However, if the seller is rude to me or if they haven’t offered a refund when I feel they didn’t deliver what they promised, I would still leave an honest review after paying for my purchase.

Fiverr seems to be pushing us toward this honest review situation. It’s not just the private reviews, it’s the fact that they no longer allow the trade of a post-delivery refund to remove a review. CS will not remove a review anymore unless they REALLY feel that the buyer was in the wrong in a huge way. If they stick with it, over time, we are going to see a lot more honest reviews on all seller profiles from newbies to TRS. Sellers will have to adjust their own expectations. Personally, I anticipate that as positive in the long run. I hope that’s true!

As to regular buyers, that’s a tougher question. The way things are right now, I would probably be uncomfortable working with someone who said they were happy but kept leaving me less than 5 stars repeatedly. If the overall “climate” changes and it becomes much more common, then my feelings on that might change.


Like @fonthaunt said: Buyers shouldn’t be commenting that they had a wonderful experience, rate 4 stars and place another order within the same 10 minutes.

Before rating a seller on ebay, it is important to know how the ratings impact sellers. According to this article, dropping below a 4.3 rating on Ebay can cause you to lose your seller rights. According to most buyer’s definitions, that is a rating of almost 90%.

If Fiverr is going to define the rating system, they need to explain it to the buyer. The buyer shouldn’t assume that they rate on Fiverr like they rate a hotel experience. The customer is easy to give you an 80% rating, but is a lot more particular when choosing a new provider.


I agree with your points. I actually think that Fiverr is pretty hard on sellers and it sounds like Ebay might be worse. I really don’t understand why the rating requirements for levels are so extremely high. I would love it if they lowered all the requirements just a little. Some buyers will always rate like they would on Yelp and it’s not that hard to pull a newer seller so far down they can’t get back out.


If 4* ratings get more common, than an average of 4.5* or perhaps even 4.3* is the new 5*.

If ratings are going to go down over time, we need some sort of weighing based on time, otherwise new sellers will find it tough for some time to get a foot in the door. A seller with 600 5* reviews needs quite a lot of 3 or 4* reviews before the average goes down.


Less than you would think, based on my casual looking around at reviews and how they are averaged over time.


When I deliver my orders, I always ask my clients to send me a message or request a revision if there is anything I can do to improve their order. I ask them to leave a positive review if they are happy with my work. I never ask them to leave a 5 star review, just a positive review if they had a good experience. I do always hope for 5 star reviews (and so far I’ve gotten 100% 5 stars) because I think the ratings have a big impact on your ability to make sales. People can say whatever they want about themselves on Fiverr but the reviews don’t lie, so they are a good indication for buyers.


That’s an interesting example. If a buyer bought an editing gig for a book on fiverr for example but not the extra the seller offered for proofreading and the seller does an outstanding job with the editing but no proofreading, a 4 stars with complaint about no proofreading would be off, if the gig included proofreading, of course complaint and less than 5 stars would be acceptable.

I’m torn between the arguments for stars and those against the ‘5 stars culture’ honestly, there are arguments pro and con both.

Not giving 5 stars for a really outstanding work ‘because I don’t believe in 5 stars’ for example, well. And of course it’s all very subjective anyway, if you have 5 sellers who do the exact same job, objectively, in the same time frame, with the same level of communication, probably they could end up with anything from 1 to 5 stars, judging from many things one reads on the forum, depending solely on the buyer, not their work.

Then of course some kind of review is helpful and needed, and if it was more honest and didn’t have this fixation on ‘only 5 stars is acceptable/good’ , anything less is bad’ it might be more helpful, but as long as anything less than all 5 stars hurts a seller, obviously that’s problematic.

I think it would take a conscious effort from fiverr’s side to change that ‘stigma’ of less than 5 stars, in the perception of both buyers and sellers, and not sure if it would be possible even then.

This is different to buying something on amazon or ebay too BTW because the contact between seller and buyer is more direct, more personal often, I think. You’re just bound to take criticism /stars more personal then, too.


Yes …you are right but when seller gives his/her 100% and still the buyer give less review then that is really frustrating…I am little greedy for 5 star reviews but still i never tell any buyer to put 5 star review or infact to put the review…I just click the default delivery button… take it as a bad day sometimes and move forward…


I´d never tell a buyer how to rate my work/me either, when I started on fiverr I mentioned something like ‘I´d appreciate a review’ in my delivery message on my first orders, because obviously I wanted/needed a few reviews, but I do that rarely if ever since a while, maybe I should, but I hate feeling pushed myself and I hate feeling pushy - yes, I know, many people will say it doesn´t have anything to do with pushy and it´s just common business sense, but it´s my personal sensibilities and I´m fine with the consequences. :wink:

Of course I still appreciate reviews, a lot, but I think the opportunity to review sellers is pretty visible system-side, so I don´t feel like ‘reminding’ buyers. If they leave a nice review it makes my day, if they don´t, I´m still thankful for the work/payment I got, hope they might review the next time for a second and move on.

I personally don´t really like the idea of rating other people as a whole, but I suppose in the world we live in without ratings buyers would be left a bit clueless, as it´s most apparently not even safe to go for good ratings too much/only, as any regular forum reader will know. :wink:

How to make the rating system really fair though, is honestly beyond me and I can´t really see the unilateralism stopping any time soon, but the secret/public reviews point of view from the OP is interesting, maybe making the system more ‘realistic’ is what they are trying to do, without letting us ‘see’ but only ‘guess’, as usual. :wink:


Neither do I.

I don’t recall ever leaving reviews on anything I do, except Fiverr. I go crazy with reviews on this site because I know sellers need it and/or want it. :heart:

I enjoy leaving great reviews. As the old saying goes, “praise in public.”


Raised in the Republic

I know, doesn’t make sense, but felt like rhyming it. :loop:


True!! :grinning:

[I :heart: 20 characters, 20 characters rock, 20 characters is an awesome rule! :laughing:]


This emoji takes care of the 20 chars:

stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: