Fiverr Community Forum

Why you need to be explicit in your gig description to AVOID cancellations

I created a gig for Wikipedia support and failed to be detailed enough in the gig details. Anyone who has dealt with Wikipedia knows that there are an iron clad rules on submission and the quality of articles. As you can imagine i got several orders quickly and ended up with not one, not two but 3 cancellations of purchased gigs. This hurts considering the impact of cancellations unless if they are mutual and it also sucks because for each cancelled gig (total of $35) i had put in time in a vain effort to make them work only to realize i was fooling myself in thinking i could work with insufficient material.

The problem was that of the people who bought the gig, only 2 were actually in a position to be ready for Wikipedia and the 3 i cancelled are new businesses that don’t have a track record. I hadn’t addressed this in the gig copy and they all bought without talking to me first so i couldn’t explain.

This probably doesn’t apply to most gigs however i just wrote this to advise sellers to save themselves headaches and wasted time by making the requirements for their gigs explicit. If your gig needs buyers to provide material like mine does, make it clear so there is no confusion. If you are like me, go ahead and share your mishaps so we can all learn from them and if you are not, share with us your tips of what to write (or not to) in our gig copy

I agree with you. I know in some cases there are so many variables that you can’t cover every possible situation in your title or description. Each gig can have an individual uniqueness that you may of not encountered before. Consequently if my clients want something beyond the basic $5 gig, I ask they contact me to discuss their needs to be certain it can be accomplished. It is best to work out the details before ordering, not after, because once they order, I need that time to work on the gig, not to work out the details.

Agreed. I have rewritten my gig description several times in order to make it clear that, if they want me to write about their businesses, buyers have to supply me with enough information. At first I thought that’s an obvious requirement, since I’m a writer, not a psychic, but after a number of orders with a link to a Lorem Ipsum website and a brief sentence or two, I’ve realized I had to be much more specific.

It doesn’t always work because some buyers think they don’t need to read the gig description, let alone provide me with information, but it does help.

Even though I sell 1000 words of fiction and that is my gig title I’ve still had several orders for non-fiction, as well as numerous messages about it. Writing non-fiction, sadly, isn’t something I can do, so I had to cancel the orders. Fortunately most people do contact me in advance and I can tell them it’s not something I can do, and that is something I really do appreciate.

In my gig I tell people what genres I can write, because it wouldn’t all fit into the title, but I still get orders for things that aren’t within my skill set and I don’t want to change the title to 1000 words of speculative fiction, as that isn’t the only thing I write. I write romance and I will try my hand at other genres if I have the time to. However I do ask people to contact in advance, because it makes things simpler - that way I can get some idea of what they want and whether it’s going to be something it’ll be easier to write in batches (especially with the longer stories).

Reply to @catwriter: So true, i thought it would be obvious as well that if i’m writing about your business i need information ;). Three times now i have had to play magician with words to create content about websites when none was given. Luckily they have all liked what i wrote, Phew! Now i have a template of what i need before each web writing gig so buyers can follow

Reply to @kawebb: Now that’s an original gig! I love the concept of it and can imagine the fun topics you have worked on.

There’s definitely a beta round for all of us, I think. You’re definitely right–being explicit as possible, in the characters allowed is the best policy. Like other’s have said, it can take time before you really understand what you need to say in order to get buyers to send you the right information/tasks.

Like you, I originally assumed that my buyers would understand what I needed from them, because they were the ones who were making the request (i.e., if they needed content for their website, I assumed they’d know to send me the link or at least an example) and only had a short description. Now, I use up all of my characters in my description and in my buyer instructions, just to make sure I’m being as clear and explicit about what I need in order to get them what they need.