Fiverr Forum

Why are some people so stingy?


To be honest, I want to rant about this but instead, I’d rather ask any buyers reading this why they can be so averse to paying more for some services when sellers simply refuse to do extra work for free.

To put this in context, here’s my beef and just one of many examples of what I have to deal with on a regular basis:

Last week someone ordered a one-minute explainer video from me for $10. This wasn’t a custom video. Although I do offer custom work, my $10 package is for a standard template (which I have created) which I simply alter the text and logo on, in order to customize it to individual client requirements.

The problem in the case of the order in question was that my standard template simply didn’t suit the story my client wanted to tell with their video. This being the case, I added a lot of customizations free of charge and basically created a full custom video.

The good news? The client loved it. However, they decided after delivery that they wanted to use a completely different script. Stupidly I, therefore, amended the video FOC. The big problem, however, is that today the same client has come back and asked me to make further changes to their video. As soon, however, as I quoted this person $10 for the necessary revisions, they became hostile.

In this case, my question is why? Why do so many buyers get so enraged about the idea of paying for extras they need, even after already getting the full red carpet treatment?

The original order is closed. the buyer acknowledged that the work exceeded their expectations and acknowledged the fact that on an order with no revisions included, they got one very big one FOC. Why then, in their mind are they so shocked (and perhaps even insulted) by the idea of paying more now in order for me to basically go back and completely repurpose their original work due to their brief having changed. - Over one week after the original delivery?

This is like going to McDonald’s, getting a big mac (for the same price actually), then going back a week later and saying you actually wanted a chicken burger. I mean, would you expect to get your chicken burger FOC? No! Of course not!

These people make me so effing angry!


pulls out lawn chair and sits down to watch

I’m curious to see if any buyers here will admit to doing this. :eyes:


This was the point where you should have sent them a custom order for a new job.
Some people take advantage and want to keep on doing that.



That’s perhaps what I haven’t made clear, this buyer isn’t a reseller or the like trying to get as much as possible FOC. The client is their own startup and was initially very friendly. Now, however, they are acting as if I just set fire to one of their kids on Christmas day.

The big problem then is that even if they do accept my $10 custom offer, I strongly suspect that they will leave a negative review when the new work is finished, saying something like I wouldn’t make a small change etc, while completely missing out any mention of getting a custom explainer video for $20.


I once had an argument with a buyer who loved my work, but then on the second gig (for quite a lot more money, it should be said) turned on me and accused me of outsourcing it to someone as the style was so different. It was–because the original gig was sales copy, and the bad gig was something sagging under his awfully strict parameters. So he really did get what he wanted.

Fiverr supported me, as the work was exactly what I promised and fitting his brief. I offered him a revision if he went through it line by line (this is just one of my punishments while ensuring great service!!), which made him mad, so he got his biz partner to do it. His biz partner did a rather bad job of it, I made the appropriate edits and then they told me to rewrite the whole thing in line with one of the least-edited descriptions. I told them that this would cost extra, at which point the ship started to burn out of control. So, secondary option: I’ll do it for free, but you need to pinpoint exactly what needs to be changed.


  • pony up the extra $$$ and I’ll do whatever
  • spend a lot of time making fine line by line comments pointing out exactly what is wrong and I will edit.

So that rumbled on for ages. I just redelivered once a week reminding them of the choice. That was fun. Anyway, long story short, I won and they left me along. Surprisingly didn’t leave a review either.

I still haven’t figured out what was so wrong with the writing-(hint: nothing)-but I do remember him asking for a discount as “this is a large project and we will have lots of work for you”. I rather pointedly ignored that and sent him the non-discount price. So yeah.

I hope this rambling tale of hardship is of some use to someone, somewhere.


They can start out friendly while having a plan to take advantage. I am always sure to mention when I go above and beyond for a client in my final message, so they know that I know that they got a lot of freebies and should be appreciative. It’s good to point it out when you are extra generous to them.

Mentioning your ground rules in an initial message will also help to let them know you like to be paid for revisions.


Same here. When applicable, I give out free stuff (just completed an order where, while tinkering with it, I had tried something else and made a 2nd version. Delivered both for the price of one). I’ll even make an extra free revision if I think it’s justified.
But, yeah, I make sure they know & understand that the custom thing I develop from scratch is extra work and that the next revision will cost them. So far, knock on wood, maybe it’s the nature of my gigs or I have been lucky with clients or I’ve managed to say the right things at the right time, I didn’t have to face a buyer like this.


Well Andy Bhai don’t worry so much…

…put your prices up and lose a whole lot of cheapskates with one fell swoop. Plus, @emmaki had some great tips in that awesome post which she wrote.


Question: Did you make a big deal of the fact that you normally charge for the original FOC update?

If you decide to gift someone some work, ALWAYS tell them the value of what they received when delivering. (“I normally bill $20 for that change, but it’s a first time buyer gift from me this time.”)

For many jobs, when we do it very well it simply looks easy. (That’s probably because you’re very good.) The client doesn’t realize you did a thousand other orders to gain that level of skill, and they don’t appreciate it UNLESS you make it clear.

It’s excellent/appropriate to go above and beyond, just make sure the client is clear that they received a BONUS or extra value beyond what they paid.

They are not surprised when I request a payment for something more, as they already know the value they received. I don’t want to spell that out the next time they ask for a change. I want them to know that right after the initial gift is delivered FOC (or at a reduced rate…)

ALWAYS make them aware when you add value. Don’t assume they will recognize your extra effort.


Short Answer
. . . because it is easier for cheapskates to cheat a seller over the internet than face to face.

Long Answer
I do hope that majority of your buyers are more generous. From what a few of the sellers, including you - in one of your gigs - have said, most of us want to compensate a seller for their work.

Sorta Off Topic, But Not Really
I typically do not like animation on gigs - as I’ve said dozens of times - but yours are so darn good. I’ve watched a few of your several times. You are VERY good at what you do. Everyone, cheapskates and generous buyers all want to hire you.

BTW, I would love to read your article on how to eat cheerios with a chopstick! If it’s propriatary, than I may just have to have you write me an article on “How to eat Froot Loops with a chopstick!” :grinning:


It is so frustrating. Bloody cheek this buyer asking for a ‘revision’ after the orders finished. Tell him he has to pay the full price now. :slight_smile:

I had a buyer once ask for a $50 gig which I did. He came back saying, great, can I now add in this extra parameter. Trouble is the function I’d used had to be set up precisely each time. Couldn’t just be tweaked to add a new parameter, so I pretty much had to do it all again. I offered him a stupid discount to redo it for him with his new requirement (said I’d do it for $10, instead of the $40 it should have cost) and he got hella stroppy about it being over their budget so they couldn’t pay it. For heaven’s sake!

Anyway, I ended up doing it for free because they said they couldn’t use it as it was with their original requirement and I didn’t want anyone paying $50 for something they couldn’t use.


Hm… I bet they were happy to pay $10 for their lunch, though. I would have stuck to my guns in this case.


I knoooow!

I was Fiverr-naive in those days. I still feel cheated though.


Gina, your so lovely! I see you are an aspiring author. In this case, if you ever get a book finished let me know and I’ll see if I can do a free video promo for it. Also, I’m pretty good at ebook formatting so might be able to help with that too if you’re not familiar with that side of things.

In the meantime, keep being so lovely. You’ve made me feel all warm and fuzzy and there isn’t a red wine glass or a pair of french knickers anywhere in sight.


Cy -

If allowed you to give me a freebie, I would be going over to the Dark Side! :grinning:



I am a buyer on Fiverr. However, I am a “seller” to other people in my own business (outside of Fiverr).

I have been an entrepreneur/business owner since 1994. My business is doing well and grows every year, but I have had to learn a lot of lessons to make that happen.

I use Fiverr to have things done for me that I can’t have done by my employees or contractors - because they don’t have those skills. The things I need from Fiverr sellers are things I only need once - or occasionally. I am grateful to Fiverr for having this platform, even though some of my experiences here have been quite frustrating. I keep coming back because of the GOOD experiences I have had.
I wanted to explain the above so that you could better understand my perspective. I don’t speak for all buyers of course - just me. :slight_smile:

I read your comments, I looked at your profile and your “explainer video” gig. Here are my thoughts:

  1. You, like most sellers, may be giving too much credit to buyers - you think that buyers know what they are doing, understand totally what YOU do, and know and exactly what they want. I don’t think that is the case most of the time.(Sometimes, yes.) OK, yes, I am speaking just for myself. I personally rarely understand what the seller does, how he does it, or what he is talking about when explaining the gig. I have to google lots of words!
    All I see is an example of the finished product that I like and think: “Yeah, I want THAT!” I read and read the descriptions, which for the most part seem to assume I am a peer of the seller and understand the lingo. I don’t. I believe in clarifying things to decrease misunderstandings, but have had sellers get mad at me for asking questions… indicating to me that I should know or already understand.

  2. The sellers I have the best relationship with are the ones that are very clear with what is in the gig. They often list what is included in the gig, and what is NOT included in the gig - but give options to add more of the NOT included items, should I want them. They usually answer my questions in their description - they seem to understand that many buyers don’t understand their lingo. When I order from these sellers, I feel confident (and relieved) because they seem to embrace us buyers who are “kindergartners” in understanding how things are done. I noticed that you answer questions in your description of your explainer video. Very nice!

  3. f I had not read your comments here, I would have not clearly understood what you did NOT include in your explainer video. I can see from your perspective that you might think anyone who didn’t understand might be not be a sensible but I think it would be helpful for you (and other sellers) to expect that buyers just aren’t always going to “get it”. So… break it down in to the Kindergartner level. For example, in your explanation, add something like: “You get the exact video above with some words changed to fit your company. If you want more changes than these, order the custom video…” It would help to delineate precisely what each priced video includes. Your description may be precise to your and your peers, but for someone who doesn’t speak your language -me, for example- I am going to misunderstand all over the place!

  4. My perspective on what happened with the buyer you described: He ordered the piece of chocolate cake on the menu. You gave him whipped cream and cherry sauce when he asked for it, but didn’t charge him. (I think he thought he was ordering the chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherry sauce - he didn’t realize they were extra.) When you didn’t charge him for the extras the first time, it validated that he was correct in thinking that these changes were part of the gig. (Remember, buyers don’t usually understand what takes place to do what sellers - they don’t understand the work entailed.) Therefore… when he asked for more revisions (oops - whipped cream and cherry sauce), he expected them because it was delivered to him in the beginning. How to prevent this?

    a. be more absolute in your descriptions to prevent misunderstandings.
    b. if someone misunderstands, kindly correct them "I will be happy to do that for you under the custom order gig for $50. You can go ahead and place the order now and we can start working on the script. Did you have any more questions before you place the order?"

I didn’t mean for this to be this long… but I did want to explain my point of view, and I hope this was helpful. (These things I mention here are all things I learned how to do and become an expert at, in order to grow my business. :slight_smile:

By the way, I really like that explainer video!!! :slight_smile:


Stingy people usually want everything for free. The problem was YOU constantly giving them free changes.
I set a price for my gigs - if someone doesn’t pay for it, they don’t get it. I work very hard and deserve nothing less.


Well, at least you are lucky. I delivered a 50 dollar job for 25 dollars, and paypal just had to come in and say hi


I just had a revision request! I will respond/deal with it tomorrow:

Hello, thanks for the writeup. I’ve added the bulletpoint list to the [copy] below the quote after removing the question marks. Please see for grammar and if we can keep all those points. Also, i am thinking to keep the book title “" instead of "*”. What’s your opinion on that?

This is scope creep. I recommended with the delivery, as they were too cheap to spend $10 on more words, to add in a part of what they already had to complete the thing and round it off, while recommending that they not use question marks as it was just all wrong.

Now, the thing here is that despite requesting proofreading in all but name and requesting my opinion, I know the concrete budget is $10. Are they going to cough up another $10 for a new service that isn’t part of the deal or call me a housewife writer?

We shall see. Either way, I’ve got Imgur. This buyer is a red flagger too, because they kept pushing the budget issue–and I’ve already over-delivered (I go by word count, so it’s clear as day to a buyer who looks to the bottom left of MS Word and espies the word counter).

So, what would you guys do, out of interest? I know what I’m going to do, but here’s a real time situation to deal with—though I won’t be dealing with it until I’ve gone to bed and woken up, fresh to write and fight.