Fiverr Forum

What do I need to know before making major Fiverr purchase?


I am new to fiverr…but requested proposals for a mobile app and received a lot of responses. I sifted through them, talking with some of the respondents and have had extensive communications with one in particular whom I plan to work with.

This is a very high priced engagement (especially considering most gigs on here seem to be 5-50 dollars??) to develop an entire mobile application from the ground up.

We have established a few milestones throughout the project…25% up front, 25% after a significant milestone and the remaining 50% upon completion and delivery.

What do I need to know about fiverr and any buyer protections or transaction nuances before sending money? All i know so far is that there is a fee I will have to pay which it sounds like is 5%.

Any tips or guidance is appreciated.


This is a great question - kudos for asking it BEFOREHAND.

What is vital for a project like this is that the milestones are clearly measurable.
There was a buyer recently who complained about issues they had for an app and it transpired that they had ordered in milestones but had no way to actually understand what each milestone meant. They received some code or something but it was not anything they understood - despite this, they proceeded, thinking that the receivable was progress and not the nonsense it really was. In the end, their final milestone was cancelled but their other ones were not as they had accepted them as they were.

In the case where you receive a milestone and the work is not as agreed, you can give the seller time to fix it or ask them to cancel the order. Depending on exactly what has been done, they might agree or you might need to go to CS and ask them to intervene.

Note: If they have delivered something you just think is below par in terms of quality, this is not generally grounds for cancellation. If they deliver nonsense or nothing then you will get a cancellation through CS.

In the case of difficulties, it is vital to try keep communication open with the seller - there is no point blowing up over something minor. Work WITH the seller, rather than operating as an employer; this works much better for me as both a buyer and seller. In this way, you make things run more smoothly and also, if there is a major issue such as incompleteness or whatever, CS will view your approach more favorably.


I don’t know what kind of app you’re building, but I do hope you’ve picked your developer carefully.
Buying an app is not as simple as purchasing a portrait of yourself or a commercial intro from a voice over artist.

The app’s design and functionality are probably the least of your problems. You have to worry about security, copyright etc. So before you hire someone make sure you can trust them to build you an app that won’t end with a lawsuit.

I’m not trying to scare you :slight_smile:
There are some great developers here as well, but if you’re serious about your app then make sure you take your time before you accept an offer. :wink:


Security I am ok with, any tips for how to avoid copyright issues?


Will I see how to structure milestones and expectations when I go to place an order? Or does the seller need to basically offer a gig for the specific milestone and then I place an order for that gig? We have milestones established in project documentation, just not sure how to tie that to the fiverr purchase.

The way we have discussed it, my only real exposure is the initial upfront payment (25%) because it is an advance payment, and not contingent on anything having been done. For the subsequent payment I avoided ambiguous milestones like “50% done” in favor of something more deliverable based…so “must be provided a functioning app where features A B and C are usable”.

I am wondering if I just need to shift my thinking and consider the upfront payment, payment for all the work leading up to milestone 1…so if I do not receive a functioning app with features A B and C working, then I cancel the “up front” payment I issued? The one concern there would be that first chunk of work is expected to take a few weeks and I dont know if fiverr limits the time for milestones?


You will need to structure each milestone as an order.
If you haven’t done so, read the Fiverr terms of service - it sounds like you are not sure how Fiverr works. You could skip the section for sellers but overall, the text is easy to read and not a typical legal text. It will ensure you know how things work and what you should do if there are issues.


I cannot give you any advice when it comes to milestones. Generally speaking, online you just will not find any guarantees that you will exactly receive what you ordered, fiverr is not an exception. You can do quite a bit to reduce your risk, which I see, you are already working on while being in contact with some sellers. Go into details, and I really mean, dive into details as much as possible, that is a very good start. Try to assess if they really understand what you need… Be as clear as possible, I had dev’s working on my own website and literally, there is no such thing as giving too many details. Here on fiverr you have the added benefit of looking up their profile, look through reviews, see what others say about their gig, take some time to go through their gig description and look at their profile picture. When you finally decide to trust someone with your project, make sure to repeat all of the details within the gig description while placing your order.

In the end, I can tell you that I am not only a seller, I used to and still plan to buy quite a few gigs on here, a couple of times I had some mediocre experiences and fiverr had to step in. I can tell you from experience, that if needed, they WILL intervene and help if appropriate.

Hope this post finds you well and encourages you to evaluate and give someone a chance to work on your app.

Please report back and let us know how it worked out for you!


Great advice, thanks! I just checked out the ToS.

So it sounds like each chunk of work should be posted as a custom gig by the seller using all of our previously agreed upon criteria as the scope for that gig…and then I pay them for that custom gig, and as long as they deliver, I then pay them for the next custom gig which is the next phase of the project etc?


That sounds about right, if you choose to go the milestone route :+1:
Wishing you much success with your app!


Just to add to the already excellent advice provided above, make sure you keep all communication with the seller within the Fiverr platform. Some sellers do ask for communication outside the platform (it’s something I do as a Pro seller) but in this particular case, because you need a very clearly defined piece of work, make sure you detail everything with the seller through the Fiverr communications platform.

The reason is, if there is a dispute or issue, Fiverr CS can use the messaging history between you and the seller to understand any potential problems and make a decision. It’s why, even if I communicate off the platform, I send a follow-up message on the platform so everyone is clear what has been agreed.

Note that this does not mean you will have an issues, it’s just an extra level of protection for you.



If I was you, I would ask any app developer you plan on working with three basic questions:

  1. How do they build apps? - What software are they using.
  2. Do they have a free app which you can download to test drive?
  3. What kind of on-going support (if any) can they offer you?

I was actually looking at creating and selling mobile apps on Fiverr this year. For me, the best way to be able to offer this was going to be via a whitelable 3rd party software service. - Basically an online app builder.

I wanted to go this route not because it was easy (the license itself would have cost $5K) but because as well as allowing me to build and sell apps, the platform itself would automatically keep apps updated for 3-years.

Also, part of my own marketing plan was to have a few apps availble FOC on IOS and Google Play stores. This way, potential clients could download these prior to ordering to get a feel for my service. I personally can’t see any good reason why a developer wouldn’t do the same.

For me, how apps will be updated in future would be the biggesr issue here. - 100’s of apps become obsolete every time Apple updates its IOS software and devices. In either case, good luck!


It depends on the project, cost etc.
For example, if I need a simple app for $500 then I’ll use a freelance platform such as Fiverr to find the right developer. This budget would simply be too low to hire a software company.

However, if I’m planning to build an app that’s going to handle sensitive data or I’m planning to invest $10K then I would hire a local software company for it. I would meet them in person, get the contracts, the whole nine yards. On Fiverr there are no contracts so if the code is stolen (even partially) and you’ll get sued for it then nobody on Fiverr cares. OK, maybe the better wording is that there’s nothing Fiverr can do to protect you against copyright issues.


Thats actually a good idea. I think you are talking about a 3rd party service like appery or something. I had looked at those separately and had not thought to specifically request on fiverr that someone develop me a mobile app…in that specific framework. It would definitely make future support easier since you could give any other developer access to that environment.


My last general question, is there a way for the seller to attach any of the documents we have developed in the gig? or would the gig just say “all things done as per functional proposal” and then in our chat history on fiverr, CS could see the functional proposal and tie that to the order that was placed?


Make the documents part of the deliverables you require. If an app developer won’t deliver them, don’t work with that developer.


The documents I am referring to are the scope documents for the engagement which specify what the application will do, what features it will have, and how it will function.


Indeed, so just make them part of your requirements - of course, the developer may well charge for that service, but then you will have the docs you need.


What do you need to know? If you’re seeking a writer keep your instructions brief yet complete.

As a writer, getting too much information can be as bad as not getting enough. I recently had a buyer who sent me a 3,000 word (no kidding, this happened) instruction sheet for a 2,000 word article.