Fiverr Community Forum

When Good Buyers Go Bad

This is really starting to annoy me. This year, I’ve had several formerly good buyers who suddenly start going bad. They start out placing orders for work which is within the scope of what I offer. However, suddenly they start placing orders where basically, they start taking the pee.

To demonstrate, I’ve got a few gigs which start at $15 for 300-words of content, going up to $20 for 500-words of content. A new buyer comes along and starts placing $20 orders along with a brief going along the lines of "please white about the importance of network traps in cyber security."

This is fine. They get their work, are happy and sometime later place another $20 order for a similar project. Again. this is fine. However, eventually, they seem to have a lightbulb go off in their brain which says, "hold on. Why am I paying this guy $20, when I could just be paying $15."

In this case, they keep on placing orders but decide to pay only $15 for 300-words. (Despite it being obvious that they need more to cover a particular topic.)

If I stick to my guns and deliver only the word count that has been ordered, I get revision requests where buyers ask me to expand on a topic. Or I get cheeky 4-star reviews. The buyers don’t stop ordering, though. Instead, they start cramming as much as possible into their order brief.

For example, a buyer recently went so far as to order 5 basic 300-word articles. Each of these was divided up into 5 separate subjects which they wanted covering as per the below instruction:

Write about 5G and the potential benefits for the VR industry.

  • Talk about VR industry growth and use figures from 2005-Present. Cover things like Microsoft Holo Lens and talk about big players like Oculous Lens and how they have helped shape the industry.
  • Explain how VR works and why rendering graphics in VR is different to creating gaming graphics. (Explain how polygons aren’t suited to VR, give examples of early VR games etc and talk about onboard Vs. remote data processing.)
  • Talk about the data requirements needed to stream VR. Explain why Ethernet is better than wifi but how 5G networks can deliver comparable data speeds. Mention companies already investing in VR startups in advance of 5G, reference a few apps and devices etc.
  • Explain how 5G works. Talk about small cells and how 5G requires a significant upgrade to existing cellular networks. Mention when 5G will be ready and which networks are helping with the rollout. Cover 5G speeds and link back to VR
  • 5G and VR will still use a lot of data. Talk about how blockchain technology and cryptocurrency can help create unlimited data plans for mobile users. Maje sure to mention the cryptocurrency Electroneum, explain how Electroneum works, who current cellular industry partners are etc. Mention how Electrioneum prices have performed over the past 12-months and explain any dips using sources from cryptocurrency commentators to corroborate what you say.

This is the brief for 1 x 300-word article! - From a buyer who used to place $20 orders for 500-word articles covering single topics. - Not 5 epic topics which in reality, all need to be covered in separate articles to include all the information the buyer wants including. Worse, this buyer placed an order for 5 x 300-word articles with a similar brief for each!

This order was also the result of me politely asking this buyer (over a period of several weeks now) to stop using revision requests after I deliver work, to ask for the inclusion of extra content FOC. Previously, I have also politely pointed out to this buyer how if they want an article covering a topic in-depth, they need to contact me in advance for a custom offer. Either this, or think carefully about how many words they might need to go into as much detail as they would like to.

Sadly, the more reasonable I try to be with people like this, the less reasonable they become.

  • They stop replying to messages
  • They start placing orders like the above for bulk amounts of content, pay extra for 1-day delivery, then message saying not to worry about the deadline, the extra is for the extra word count. (Talk about cheek)
  • They never respond to requests to extend deadlines, nor requests to contact me before ordering next time

In short, they know exactly what they are doing and in every case, this makes working with them uncomfortable, as it’s clear they have zero respect for me or anyone else.

Anyway, I canceled this last order and blocked this buyer finally. My only regret is that I didn’t do this much sooner.


Yep. been there recently too… It’s unreal the level buyers are going to have their cake and eat it too.

1 Like

You guys may be charging too little in the first place. Just my unwanted opinion. These sound like cheapskate buyers who cause problems rather than high quality buyers who are grateful to pay more and get quality.

I kept raising my prices until the problem buyers mostly cleared out.

You both have been here a long time with good reputations so … you deserve more $$$.

Even now I am suspicious of the very rare buyers who order without getting even one of my extras. And they pay $70 for that. So, I know these are budget conscious buyers who are thinking about how much they are spending mostly. 99.9% of the time, if it’s a problem buyer it’s because they are upset they had to spend the money.


Yep. I suppose what I don’t understand is how buyers can be so self destructive. They get a good deal, and they ruin it for themselves.

This is the problem. They don’t start out as cheapskate buyers. They start out as regular buyers who find a way to become cheapskate buyers. I have another order in queue now from a similar buyer who formerly used to pay $50 per article, but has also recently started placing orders via my basic package on a different gig.

If I raise my prices, I punish other regular buyers (and risk scaring them away) because of a few opportunists.


All your prices have to be increased across the board. Set the tone of a high priced high quality seller. They are still problem cheapskate buyers at heart if they are able to cut back on how much they are paying you.

You may lose this type of buyer but have them replaced with buyers who are not driven by trying to save a few bucks. There are almost as many buyers who appreciate paying more and attracted to that. They have the opposite mindset.

Look at how much Emma charges for example. People can get the sense she is worth more and many have no problem paying more. For you, simply having hundreds of great reviews over time has established your worth.

You obviously are not a $15 type of seller, but you are attracting those who are taking advantage of you.


@cyaxrex, @misscrystal is right. I started getting some “interesting” buyers like that and raised all my prices to start at $100, after adding the dreaded “please contact me before ordering”. Those guys went away. Much nicer, more flexible buyers started arriving.

My regulars I still charge the old rate.

You do great work. Charge what supports both your lifestyle and your mental health. Self care is important.


I only recommend that for sellers who have been here for a few years with an established great reputation, unless you are just doing this part time.

1 Like

You forgot to add how they get annoyed if you ever bring any of this up.

That is a very interesting way to put it.

If they are paying $15 for a 300 word page, then give them the 300 words. That is what you offer. Shouldn’t be no problem. They probably just can’t afford $20 for the 500 words every time. If you think that writing them 300 words that they paid for isn’t enough, then charge more, or take advantage of your Gig extras :slight_smile:

If you offer revisions as part of your gig, then that is your job. If you don’t like this idea, you should then charge extra for revisions. Which will solve that problem.

If they pay for 300 words, then 300 words is all they should get. I think you should make this very clear to them. If you give a kid candy when they ask for more. They will keep asking for more.

Anything 4stars or higher is good! You should be thankful for 4 stars. You won’t beable to please every customer everytime.

If you made 5 sales for 5 300 word articles, where would be the problem in that? It would be your job to write 5 articles with 300 words each.

If the client only paid for one 300 word article and gave you 5 articles to write about. You should reply with an answer asking which article do you want me to write 300 words for?

If they reply ALL 5 Of Them!.. Then you should reply and note and explain how the quality will be poor and that the 5 articles totaling 300 words will be limited. And if they would like to choose one of the articles and order additional or larger gigs for each article… it will improve the quality, variety and details of the written pages.

Again, if people/your clients are abusing a feature you offer, then maybe you should charge for this feature to compensate your work.

It’s not reasonable if you offer something to them and say they can’t use it. Again, charge for it or just don’t offer it. Problem solved.

If you ordered something as a buyer in a store. And it said it had this and that feature. You would expect to have those features available even if you didn’t use them. I honestly think that maybe your frustration towards this subject might be filtering toward your customers making them frustrated.
Also, a good thing to remember like i said above. If you give a kid candy, the kid will ask for more. You need to be the adult and learn to say no.

I think what you’re doing is great and the services you offer are fair. Even if they are purposely abusing your offerings… It is your job to handle it.

1 Like

Doesn’t raising prices cut traffic tremendously? And if that happens, then goes your spot in search. I ask this very genuinely, as I’ve tried raising mine in the past, only to result in tumbling down into obscurity.

I keep getting orders so that’s all that matters. I’m not sure where my gigs are any more. They move around constantly. I have lots of repeat clients also so that helps.

1 Like

It will cut out the penny pinchers yes. You should charge for the quality and quantity you provide. In that order.

Quality will set the standard for (each)
and quantity will fill in the remainder.

If you provide low quality, then automatically you would want to produce more quantity.
Again, if you provide high quality, then you won’t need as much quantity to fill the gaps for missing quality.

Again that doesn’t apply to EVERY gig, but it surely will apply to this one.

This hasn’t been my experience, but I understand the reasoning behind it. It’s great that raising prices has worked for so many people. I just can figure out a way to implement it without cutting out amateur children’s books writers who can’t afford to pay 50-$100 an illustration.

Perhaps I’m a bad businessman, but I can’t see how setting my prices high while cutting 90% of potential clients out is a good move. I create quality content, but I haven’t seen the client base that’s willing to pay for what it’s actually worth, and I’ve tried.

It’s true, raising your prices effects how and who your selling to.

I am no writer, but you have to definitely look at what kind of customers you are targeting. Are you targeting the ones who can’t afford higher prices for better quality content? Or are you trying to target as many people as possible regardless of what they see as good quality?

You will have to at some point draw a line and set your standards. And I see alot of people on here who don’t have any clue about how to set a standard, or (bottom line). This is why you have some logo designers that can make $30,000.00 per design, and others who make $5 for the same design.

You have to find your spot, and know what your content is actually worth to the buyer. Not your personal opinion of how much you think it should be worth. There is so many factors that persuade all of these variables. To name a few… Price, Quality, Quantity, the Market you target, Where the market is, the demand for this market and how saturated it is… etc…

I’m sure with time you will find the perfect sweet spot to get exactly what you want. But again, TIME.

I appreciate the write-up. I’ll definitely ponder all of these variables. Like you said, I think it’ll come down to experimentation and that takes time. Maybe push prices a bit here and there and see what happens.

1 Like

You got it! I might be new on Fiverr, but I am not new to sales/marketing :slight_smile:

I am considering raising my prices for my patent search gig. I raised by $10 today as a trial. I know I am pretty new, but I am steadily getting good ratings from my clients. Some clients, however, order my gig without even reading the description and ask for extra work that isn’t included. When I contact them, they tell me they forgot to read it. So I think maybe my prices are just way too cheap and that’s why they don’t even care to read the description.

When I drastically raised my prices I had one motivation which was to eliminate problem buyers. I kept raising them until I apparently reached that threshold they wouldn’t cross. The last one thought he would instantly get his payment refunded by me and he had a surprise when he didn’t get a refund.

I wish I had done it years ago. I didn’t want any more problems caused by penny pinchers. I don’t get as many orders which is fine. There are only so many hours in the day I can work.

I’m so sorry. Exploitative buyers make life so stressful.

If I may say so, you’re charging way, way too little. In my experience buyers who are cheap to begin with are the ones most likely to try to exploit you even more. That’s always their goal. I refer to them as penny pinchers. Raising my rates really helped weed those people out.

I know it will affect your ratings, but personally I just cancel. The more you let someone manipulate you with threats of bad reviews or whatever, the more likely it is that they’ll keep coming back. You’re stoking the fire.

1 Like

I see that you have 1 review and literally been on Fiverr two minutes. In this case, here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Even if you offer zero revisions, a buyer can push the revision button as many times as they like to request a revision.
  • You can request that a buyer pays more to cover the cost of a revision. Sadly, many buyers will ask to cancel instead, or simply refuse to pay more.
  • When buyers purposefully underpay for a service, a sellers only option is to swallow their pride and deliver or cancel the order

As future experience will no doubt teach you, buyers who purposefully try and game the system, are also likely to later cancel an order after delivery with CS, or by filing a chargeback with their credit card provider.

I would politely ask that unless you have ordered from me and found what I deliver lacking in any way, you do not insinuate that I do not deliver what I say I do. Nor suggest that my standard of customer service is lacking in any way.

Indeed. This is why I prefer to cancel what appear to be problem orders right off the bat.

If you are referring to my gig here, I must say that I find this very inappropriate. Please stop. I am sure you would not like it if someone started insinuating that what you offer is a bit rubbish and that you try and compensate for this by offering more for less.

As it happens, the pricing of my writing gigs reflects the needs of my target audience.
For the most part, these people are content and affiliate marketers who need to publish a lot of high-quality content regularly to see any ROI.

As an affiliate marketer myself, I know that my buyers can not afford to pay $50 - $100 on Fiverr, for individual articles, when they need 10, 20, or 30 a month. (As well as other other forms of media.) Like myself, many of my clients are also aware that price isn’t always indicative of quality on Fiverr. In fact, I’ve read content provided by TRS and top priced sellers which I personally find embarrassing.

My pricing strategy works by:

  • Setting a base price which I know most of my clients can afford and which new buyers will be happy paying to sample my work
  • I deliver consistently high-quality work, designed to get the best potential ROI for my clients
  • Because my content is very high-quality for my price point, and because it does get results when used by people who know what they are doing, I generate a lot of return business

Do you know who is buying your work and why? Do you know what the average ROI of your work is when used correctly? Have you done research into the average marketing budgets of the kind of start-ups and SMEs your gig targets?

When you’ve done that kind of research and built a strong client base, I’ll be happy to compare notes. Until then, please pardon my being ever so slightly offended.

It’s not a good move. At least, it’s not when done in the way being suggested above. As I’ve just said, you need to understand your target markets needs, create a service that meets them. and price it accordingly.

Taking a look at your gigs, I’m impressed! However, I think you could be missing a huge sales and marketing opportunity. Thousands of buyers come to Fiverr looking to have books formatted as ebooks ready for release on Amazon. There is also a booming kids ebook market.

If I were you, I’d consider creating a gig where you say something like I will create illustrations for your new Kindle children’s ebook. (Potential target keywords being Kindle, eBook, Illustrations, etc.)

What you offer wouldn’t be very different from what you offer now. (Though, ideally, you would need to digitally alter your art suitable for a white/transparent background.) However, you would be tapping a new high-value market and set your prices higher accordingly.

You can also use free eBook software creation tools like Sigil to see how creating art for eBooks might be different from creating art for actual books. Maybe, you could even think about creating a children’s ebook to add to your marketing portfolio… :wink:

And of course, with a little training, you could possibly start offering full-service children’s ebook illustrating and formatting, where you take books and make them Amazon ready.

Basically, look at niches to diversify into and create new gigs with different pricing tiers for different services. This way you won’t risk losing buyers on your main gig by hiking up the price suddenly.

(Also, children’s ebook illustration and formatting is just one idea. Don’t take this as a rock-solid recommendation regarding how you should expand/diversify.)

Either way, good luck!

1 Like