Hello all, I am a new member. I signed up because this sounded very interested. I am a graphic designer trying to generate some business. I took a quick stroll through the site and looked at others’ services, and I’m absolutely shocked at the pitiful prices people are charging for graphic design. Why should I sell my skills that I worked hard for, for dirt cheap?
And why do people on here, feel comfortable charging so little for their work? Not only does it hurt the graphic design field as a whole, but also the designer who is asking much less than they deserve.
I don’t mean to be negative, or critical, but I honestly don’t understand…
This is a really good question, asked in a reasonable manner by someone who is genuinely interested in how things work here so I am going to put some time into my answer.
I don’t work in the same field as you but I am accused of hurting the industry that I work in. My response to that is that I believe competition drives innovation and so competition actually helps industries in the long run. The ones who are hurt are those who overcharge and underdeliver. They end up with less work. The industry itself becomes more advanced and better.
I earn a full time wage between Fiverr and other platforms and Fiverr has recently become my biggest earner though. I live in a relatively high cost Western country - Ireland. I offer a service, my main one, which is between 50-70% less than the “professional” or agency fees. Even so, you can also find people who charge half my price on Fiverr! Whether they are of the same quality as me, whether I am of the same quality as the professionals - I don’t know exactly. I would assume it varies, some are probably better, some are probably worse.
It should be noted that ANYONE can sell on Fiverr as long as they are over 13 and abide by the rules. There are high school kids, students, unemployed, employed, stay at home moms and dads, self employed, retired people, people from all over the world selling here. The ease of access is what attracts many people with no set up fees, no monthly fees etc. There are currently approx 10,000 gigs that offer Logo Design. This inevitably means that there are a lot of low quality logos designed here. It is something that people use to put Fiverr down regularly. However, that does not take away from the fact that there are great sellers here too but anyone expecting a world beating logo that the designer has spent 2 months coming up with for $5 is literally an idiot. No other word could describe them yet they are many!
With the above in mind you can imagine that quality in any category can vary quite dramatically. I have seen people who deliver outstanding work, worthy of much higher prices and others who deliver work that is not worth a dime. From what I can see, those who deliver quality work, have patience, promote themselves etc are successful and earn better money. Those who don’t, generally sink. What has really amazed me about the site is the sheer volume of traffic it delivers even if it does ebb and flow quite drastically at times. I can get a lot of orders from doing practically nothing. All while sitting at home.
Fiverr used to require all services to be $5. Then it became that each service has to have a basic fee of $5 and higher priced packages could be added to that. Now, most categories allow much freer pricing. If you are currently in a situation where you are making good money, with good work conditions, reasonable hours etc then Fiverr may not be for you. If, like me, you prefer to manage your own time, work the hours you like to work (for me it is 2am as I write this, just after my peak performance time), then Fiverr is worth considering. My daytimes are split between some work and other things I like to do. I could never do that when I worked full time for other people and that would not have changed until retirement at 67.
Some people use Fiverr to build a portfolio, I spoke to a high schooler recently who is doing just that. He spends his earnings here on new equipment and software. His portfolio is growing and by the time he graduates high school he will probably have a couple of thousand designs done and been paid for them all! That’s how Fiverr works for him.
Another recent poster on the forum spoke of how he became a full time voiceover artist 5 months after beginning on Fiverr. He gets a huge amount of orders at a fraction of the price you would pay elsewhere but he is happy with his earnings and judging from over 1000 5 star reviews, his clients are too.
It all really depends on what you want, from life, from your career etc. It is not for everyone, it is tough going a lot of the time, being a seller of graphic design will likely require a lot more than being a graphic design artist. Customer service, marketing, negotiation, selling, management, etc. Some prefer to let others do all that and just focus on the graphic design alone - these are called employees
Below is a post I wrote some time ago where I go into more detail about what I like about working on Fiverr and my experience here. I have been a seller for approx 15 months now and the post is still valid although the numbers are all bigger at this point. Give it some thought, perhaps try out buying a few gigs to see what is involved and what your competition looks like (be fair though!). It might grab you, it might not. I never thought I would stick around in the beginning but it took just 6 weeks for me to see the potential here.
I offer translations, illustrations, and a bit of graphic design stuff here.
Fiverr is something I do on the side, and even though I don’t make as much as my main
job outside Fiverr, it is still a nice source of income.
Outside Fiverr, I am a freelance illustrator and translator, and for example for my illustration
work I often get paid $200 ~ $300 per image no matter how complex/simple the image may be. The payment is nice, but since I am freelance and am not super-famous or anything, I don’t get a stable flow of higher-paying jobs.
So what do I do when I don’t get those higher paying jobs? I work on Fiverr.
I do make sure to set my gigs in a way where I feel like I am not spending too much time.
I charge the basic $5 for a line drawing. I add another gig for the color. I have a stack of
"line drawing poses" I’ve saved over the years, and I use them as a template to speed up the process. The character drawings I offer are in a simplified style with less details.
While I’m watching Walking Dead or some funny clip on youtube, I get the opportunity to
casually draw an anime character and get paid for that. OR I can sit in front of the PC
hoping that the publishing company will contact me and give me another several hundred
dollars simply because I believe I deserve to get more money.
Do I deserve to get paid more? I guess, in a way. However if my skills were so darn
wonderful and awesome, I should be getting several hundred if not thousands of
dollars every single week, and I won’t even need Fiverr in my life. Clearly I’m not there yet.
If the buyers believe I deserve more, they can give me a tip. There is one rule I stick to,
I will not lower my price, I will not give away discounts for bulk/large orders.
As long as you manage your gigs in a way that fits you, Fiverr can be a great place to
do business. I guess it’s quite simple, if people think that they shouldn’t give away their
skills on Fiverr for a cheaper price, don’t. If you want to give it a try, hop on board!
You can either make some nice extra income and buy Starbucks everyday guilt free
like me with the Fiverr money, or depending on how well you do, buy a new car.
I felt exactly the same as you two years ago when I discovered fiverr. I seriously couldn’t understand why people would offer their work here, but it only took a few months before I was able to move past the low rates (that I offered as a deliberate strategy to get reviews on my gigs) to a point where it was sustainable.
Fiverr is not the only place I work, but as a VO artist, I am happy to get paid less and not have to spend literally hours each day applying and auditioning for higher paid jobs, which are very hard to get. It goes up and down, but fiverr is a substantial part of my freelance earnings and whilst I won’t go into detail, I am doing pretty well here in Australia (a country with a high cost of living) and I work from home around my young family.
Yes there are people who offer really low rates, but there are many professionals who charge a lot more than the basement rates and still get lots of work, so it is not always about the price - quality work/customer service = quality income in my experience
Thank you all for the responses. There is a lot of insight here, and you make great points. As I said, I definitely don’t mean to come off negatively, so I appreciate the nice responses. I now see how Fiverr could be a good avenue for some, and for others, maybe not so much. I hope to forge my own path as a designer, and create my own job, my own schedule, and my own pay, someday. But perhaps you all are right. It can’t hurt to give it a try on the side, and maybe not make a 100% living, but a bit of extra income while keeping skills sharp. And my portfolio could use a little beefing up.
Long story short: charge little for an extremely basic job. Charge regularly for a regular job. I can get 50 words orders for $5, yes. Is it underpaid? Yes. But if an order is over 200 words I do charge my full professional rates, and I’ve had clients pay $200 for a voice over of mine, in Fiverr.
If you sell top-notch, unparalleled quality products, you can charge whatever you feel is right. What happens if you don’t land any sells? Well, you’ve got that already if you don’t work here. But heck, if someone decides to give it a go, it’ll pay off already.