Unrealistic pricing by sellers


I’ve recently joined this site but am very curious indeed about the pricing structure that many people are offering. Are people really offering to proofread 1500 words for $6 or 4500 words for $19? This particular member even claims to have 400 positive reviews on the site. Many others have prices listed as $6.42 for similar word counts and claim to be Top Rated Sellers. This is utterly unrealistic and makes it impossible for professional editors and writers to compete or indeed to make any money at all, I would imagine.

I questioned whether this was simply a tactic to attract clients with an incredibly low price then negotiate with them for the ‘real’ price, since this would seem to be what’s going on. However, I have spoken extensively to Fiverr Customer Support and they assured me this this was not only untrue but also against the rules and they would take action. I did refer them to some of the many members on the site that are offering these rates.

So what’s the real story? I understand that clients often go with the lowest price possible, regardless of quality, but it’s hard to believe that anyone will work for these kinds of fees.



Sellers can’t claim to have a certain number of reviews or be top rated sellers. They either have the reviews and the associated level, or they don’t.

Why not try ordering a $5 gig from one of the sellers you’ve mentioned and you’ll get a better idea of what they’re offering and how the site works.

Good luck! :sunny:


Check out the verified pro sellers, they often charge loads more than average. There is space on Fiverr for all types, expensive and not so expensive. It’s not impossible to compete with the lower-end prices.

There’s a proofreader on Fiverr with over 15,000 reviews who does 1,000 words for $5. I don’t name names, but this person is pretty successful from what I can tell. It takes all types.


It appears to be simply a starting point with most of them, as I suspected but was told was not the case by Customer Service. The low fee attracts potential buyers who are then expected to buy all the extras.


The extras are optional and don’t have to be purchased if the buyer doesn’t require them.

Go on, buy a gig and try it otherwise you’ll never know!


1,000 words for $5 would entail a cost of $250 to edit a 50,000 word manuscript. Professional editors with experience can’t compete with that at all. I’ll have to give this site some further thought since it does seem very dubious.


I take exception to that. There’s nothing dubious about my services or many others on here.


Yes, I understand that, but the unrealistic low price does seem to be the hook.


That’s why it’s called ‘Fiverr’…


I think it is important to differentiate between proofreading and what your gig offers.
Although my proofreading gig is currently paused, I am one of the people who is earning a living through the prices you claim are “utterly unrealistic and makes it impossible for professional editors and writers to compete”.
What you are offering is copy editing, not proofreading and there is a world of difference between those. Sure, I have seen some offering to copy edit for low prices too but nowhere near as many.

While it might be jarring to see people being paid so little, this is the reality of a global marketplace. It is the same when it comes to any product or service, there are always people who will offer to do it cheaper than the majority. Those established sellers with thousands of reviews have put in a lot of work to get to a place where they have clients coming to them and ordering without any or much chit-chat. In other freelance platforms and offline, how much pre order contact has to happen before you can actually get down to work?
Fiverr allows a pretty much straight-to-it approach and so the rate advertised reflects a price which is without the bells and whistles such as meeting a client for coffee to discuss their project - likely an hour of your time and you probably pay for the coffee too.

When you get to a point where you have a stream of regular clients coming to you, your extra-curricular work is lessened greatly meaning you can then spend 40 hours actually editing/proofreading instead of 25 hours of actual work and 15 hours seeking new clients and pre order faffing about.

This is called business. The vast majority of people who sell anything will give a starting price but the more you want, the more you pay. There is nothing dubious about it as a concept. Obviously you might come across some individual sellers who are bending or breaking rules and can report those but the concept itself is absolutely normal.

Edit: Forgot to mention, the idea that clients go with the lowest price possible regardless of quality is way off. If your service is worth the extra and if you are successful in communicating that to potential buyers then you will get orders.


sorry dude, but in countrys like mine (venezuela) i can traduct even 3000 Words, just for 5$, because here 5$ represent many food… a complethe Month of pay


Case in point.

My rate for translation from Spanish to English is literally 10 times that.
I get plenty of orders, and my gig is currently paused from being overbooked.


Obviously, but that still means it’s difficult to compete, but I’ll investigate further.


Obviously. I’m full aware that it’s hard to compete with people all over the world due to pricing being different.


Cool, if you need to sub-hire someone, here i am xD…
genial, si necesita sub-contratar a alguien, heme aqui xD…


Thanks for the offer but my clients hired me because they wanted me :wink:


All good points. I was referring to the fact that Customer Service told me that the low prices weren’t just a hook to attract buyers.


I think that might be a case of bad wording somewhere - perhaps CS need a copy editor :slight_smile:
A lower than industry rate price is a hook - no matter what anyone says. It is up to the buyer to establish what they are getting is what they are looking for though.

Sellers must deliver what they offer at the price quoted. Any bait and switch type attempts are against the rules. However, saying “I will proofread 1000 words for $5 but if you want copy editing done it will be $15” is not bait and switch. They may say that in the extras or elsewhere in the description. Furthermore, many buyers do not actually know the difference between proofreading, copy editing etc and that is the cause of many issues and accusations of bait and switch.


I will tell you something, in my case, I am a graphic artist, and I make drawings of professional academics, even (without underestimating other artists) I have not seen people who work with the same quality.

but that does not mean that although I charge less than others hire me, why?, because people want with simple cartoons, or very funny portraits, people do not care much about quality, if not, the simple, time and the price… and i dont like make simple Copy/Paste kind of art, dat can ruin me and my portfolio :confused:


A simple truth, and can make you look bad in the future