So after using Fiverr on and off since 2011 I think now would be a great time to write a fiverr review.
Back when Fiverr first started, the name described exactly what the service provided – that is, people could buy and sell services for $5.
When I was getting started on my online journey this was great. Usually SEO’s would flock to Fiverr, buy a whole load of backlinks and see their websites creep up Google’s ranking.
Of course, those sort of services, along with buying fake reviews and fake Instagram followers tend to be short lived.
But ‘short lived’ is anything buy what Fiverr has become.
Sometime after hitting the market with their unique service offering, Fiverr changed the rules. And now sellers can actually sell their services with very little cap.
In fact, I got an order the other day from another Fiverr seller. Wanting to see what he had on offer I decided to check out his page. He was selling website building services in excess of $500.
And there were reviews on this Gig too. In fact one particular Gig had 33 5 star reviews. Now, there is a legitimate argument to make here and that’s this…
There’s a very good chance that the seller didn’t start off selling this particular service at $500+ – he likely worked his way up. Something I’ll go into detail on in a second – but, nonetheless it goes to prove that Fiverr can be a very legitimate way to earn money as a freelancer.
Fiverr Review: What is Fiverr and How Does It Work?
First let’s just clear on what Fiverr actually is. Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services.
Both sellers and clients can get anything from your traditional digital marketing services completed to political marketing material. You can get sellers to research your genealogical lineage and even pay someone to teach you how to play the clarinet.
The services on offer really are dependent on the creativity of the community.
My Personal Fiverr Review
I signed up for Fiverr way back in 2011 and being pretty dismissive of the $5 range I didn’t see the value of selling services. I did however purchase a few Gigs.
These Gigs would usually be centred around buying backlinks, getting a logo created, press releases and the odd whiteboard animation.
While the quality of work would often vary depending on the freelancer I used, for spending anywhere between $5-$25 max on a Gig – I never had any real complaints.
As time progressed and I focused more on my freelance copywriting business I started to consider Fiverr as a seller a lot more.
Until one day I decided to create a few Gigs in one specific type of copywriting.
Fiverr Review: Sellers vs Buyers
So, we have two main ways you can use the site; you can sell something or you can buy something.
Let’s start with the buying side of things first…
Buying On Fiverr
As a buyer you’re hit with a huge amount of options. Everything from graphic design, writing, programming, audio and everything in between – you’ve got a huge array of options.
Buyers usually come in the form of some type of business – whether that’s an individual or a larger business. But, there are individuals who want some services too and from the addition of the new categories I can guess the team and Fiverr want these types of buyers too
After deciding what you need done, you can use the search feature or category options at the top of the page to filter down your results.
Searching through the listings page you’ll likely be hit with a lot of options. In general it’s recommended that you pick a service that has at least some reviews – but this isn’t always the case.
You’ll likely be able to pick up more value for money if you can find a new freelancer to the platform who is willing to discount their services in exchange for reviews.
Once you’ve found yourself a couple of interesting sellers it’s then time to check out their listing page.
Here you’ll find all the information you’ll need to make your decision. From the services offered, the prices that go along with each of those services and a few other deliverables such as timeframe.
The best Fiverr Gigs tend to have good engaging photos, videos and description to compliment the listing page.
Now, my advice here would be to ALWAYS contact the seller first before placing your order. This is for a few reasons. First you can get a sense of the response time from the seller, if they take too long to respond this is probably a good indication of what to expect further down the road.
Most importantly it also allows you to communicate your project needs to the seller and get clear on everything before starting the project. Finally, by contacting the seller first you’ll also increase the chances of getting a bonus or better price on your project if it differs from the services they’re offering.
Buying Through Fiverr: Review
So what’s my take on it? I’ll be honest, I really favour the marketplace style. Being able to sample a whole load of freelancers easily through the search page allows me as a buyer to get my options down to a few select Gigs.
Then I can contact these sellers and eventually choose the one I want to go with. One thing that is ridiculously helpful as a buyer is the timer that the freelancers are under to complete the project. If a freelancer has stated it will take them 3 days to complete the project, once your order has gone through they now have 3 days to complete that project with a massive timer reminding them how long they have.
As a buyer this feature is incredibly helpful to keep projects on time without spilling over. It helps you plan more effectively from the onset and forces you and the seller to get clear on everything from the start.
FInally, purchasing small, quick to do services is an absolute Godsend for many businesses. For example, say you need the background removed from an image. Sending that job to your design agency would not only be expensive but you’d probably waste more time in back and forth communication than it would take to complete the service.
With Fiverr you can pay someone to have it done for $5 and likely have it sent back to you before lunch.
In regards to less positive things from a buyers perspective…
The quality of work ranges widely. You could pay $15 for a logo from one freelancer and get an amazing piece of work completed. You could then pay $15 to another seller for the exact same service and get pretty poor results.
Now while this can happen on any platform, I have noticed that some sellers are showcasing a portfolio of work that isn’t necessarily there.
Also, in the past it was well known that Fiverr had a huge issue with fake reviews. That is, the reviews on a Gig for someone’s service. As a buyer this is incredibly frustrating as you don’t know if the services you’ll get is worth the paper (or screen it’s written on).
There has been movement with this however on Fiverr’s side. They’ve clamped down hard on this type of practice almost to the point of stifling Sellers – which I’ll get onto in a second.
For buyers however this is great news – afterall without clients and customers spending their money on the platform there wouldn’t be any money to be made for Fiverr or Sellers.
Overall, Fiverr can be a great platform to purchase services. Don’t expect to pay $5 and get an awesome result however. That said, doing a little research and finding up-and-coming Sellers you can really grab yourself a bargain for your next project.
A neat countdown timer for completed projects not only allows you to complete your projects on time but gives you an additional buffer to plan ahead of time knowing your project will be delivered on or even before the allocated deadline.
Selling Through Fiverr: Review
Selling through Fiverr is a little different. There are essentially 3 stages to being a seller:
- Create a Gig
- Deliver Your Service
- Getting Paid
After setting up your account and choosing the type of services you want to offer, going through the Gig setup phases and getting your offer live – it can take a while to get some traction.
The name of the game here is reviews. Honest, positive reviews.
The more successful projects you deliver the more work you’ll get. Simple but NOT easy.
To get the ball rolling you’re going to need to create an enticing Gig listing. This takes a little learning and testing. You’ll need to not only ensure you’re using the right keywords in the description and title but also ensure your Gig is persuasive enough to initiate a response from the person reading your listing.
You’re allowed 7 Gigs in total and can accompany each with a selection of images and videos to help sell the visitor on your services.
A neat little feature is the ability to price your services across 3 tiers and then add the relevant information for each tier. This gives you ability to offer your services across 3 different price points and adjust the value you offer depending on the price.
As we mentioned above, you’ve also got a timeframe to complete the service. I personally like this feature as both a Buyer and a Seller. I’ve already gone into detail above from a Buyers perspective, here’s my take on the Sellers perspective…
There’s two main advantages of the deadline countdown. First is the fact that every time you log into the messages for an ordered Gig you’re presented with this big timer that counts down how long you have left to deliver the project. This in itself it’s slight push for you to get the job completed and not leave projects lying around waiting to be delivered.
To follow on from this, it’s also a great way to get projects completed without letting others build up and eventually overwhelm you. And if you do find yourself taking on more projects than you can deliver you can always change the amount of days needed to complete a project.
While this will certainly affect some Sellers as buyers won’t want to wait 7 days for example, it’s this exact sort of system that allows up-and-coming Sellers gain work and make a name for themselves. A very well balanced system in my opinion.
After you collected a good amount of solid reviews there’s nothing stopping you from raising your prices either. While this may result in less clients coming from the door, your average order value will go up and then the perceived value of your offer will go up too.
Aside from the slow start a Seller can experience there is one other thing that I need to bring up…
I have a friend who was recently banned from selling any more services on Fiverr. He was penalised and had restrictions put on his account because after he delivered a project he would ask for reviews. Now, of course it’s open for debate on how you actually ask for these reviews but when it happened I of course took to the internet to find out where Fiverr stood when clients asked for reviews.
To cut a long story short, you cannot ask for reviews when you deliver a project. One piece of text I came across was from a forum contributor that said ‘it is the prerogative of the buyer if they want to leave a review’.
Well, that got me slightly pi%%ed off. ‘Prerogative’?
Well of course it is. Just like it’s a ‘prerogative’ of the Seller to ask for feedback on their services – whether that’s good or bad.
This comment just highlighted the longstanding battle between clients and freelancers that has been going on long before Fiverr entered the scene. And I kind of understand where Fiverr is coming from with this approach because of the review issue they and many other digital platforms have had over the years.
In short however? Don’t ask for reviews when you deliver a project. Over deliver on the services and cross your fingers they leave you a review. The good thing is that Fiverr has a review-centred approach and asks for these reviews on your behalf.
Fiverr vs Upwork
So this leads me to the next part of my Fiverr review – Fiverr vs Upwork.
While there are countless other freelance marketplaces in the industry (Task Rabbit, 99Designs and Freelancer.com) these are the two I’ve got extensive experience with and pretty much are the first places that freelancers, agencies and clients hit up.
So what’s the difference between the two?
Well firstly it’s far easier to get started on Fiverr. Picking up your first few clients (assuming your Gig listing is written and presented well) isn’t too hard. It might take awhile but it’s definitely one of the better starting places to pick up freelancing Gigs.
Fiverr is also a great place to build your portfolio of work before moving onto a bigger platform.
Upwork however does offer the option of longer-term contracts that Fiverr doesn’t.
So in terms of project length Upwork would be your place of choice, but for those starting out, needing cash through the door quickly or looking to build a portfolio of work while getting paid and improving your reviews, Fiverr is the best option.
Contacting, getting replies from and just keeping your cool with some clients and freelancers on Upwork can be right pain too. In fact, I have one client who is still yet to get back to me on a completed project – 5 months after we started the contract.
Upwork does have a 14 day lay period however that protects in these situations. Assuming they’ve funded the project, after 14 days the fund will be released no matter what communication you have with the client. Fiverr also has the same thing but for less time.
As a freelancer I would always recommend you have both accounts set up. But, you will need to approach each one slightly differently. Everything from how you apply to jobs to creating and listing your work, your portfolio and the contact you have with your clients – it’s all slightly different across the two platforms.
From a Clients perspective, using Fiverr you’ll not only be able to get small tasks completed without going through the rigmarole of interviewing and hiring a new freelancer but often end up paying less for those services too.
That said, if you hire correctly on Upwork the standard of work you can get there tends to be higher.
Recently I needed some sports graphics made for a website I own. I searched both on Fiverr and Upwork and decided Upwork was the place that this project would get completed. I was able to get preliminary sketches done and 2 revisions with absolutely no problem.
While I could in theory have done the same with Fiverr, the quality of what I wanted vs the services that were on offer would have made it slightly harder.
I do prefer the search layout for freelancers with Fiverr however. You can search and contact freelancers with Upwork but the ease and process of finding the services you want on Fiverr makes things slightly easier.
Fiverr vs Upwork: Overall
Fiverr leads with freelancers and their services on offer whereas Upwork leads with a client first objective in the way of job posts.
The deadline thing on Fiverr for me, is absolute gold in comparison to what Upwork has….nothing. It saves time, encourages clearer communication and gets jobs done with minimal time invested.
I have found some absolute gems of freelancers on Upwork however and the platform tends to foster a closer relationship between the client and the freelancer – something that Fiverr doesn’t do that well.
In general they are both different marketplaces where Upwork tends to focus on higher skilled freelancers while Fiverr focuses on quick to deliver projects. But, while they are essentially different platforms there’s no questioning that a lot of their services overlap – So as both clients and freelancers I would recommend being on both.
Just remember however, how you approach them will be slightly different.
Drop Servicing Using Fiverr
Can we drop service using Fiverr? Can we find clients elsewhere (whether that’s through inbound or outbound marketing) and then outsource the work to someone else on Fiverr for cheaper than we are charging our clients?
Of course you can. There’s one sticker though…
This will (if it’s not already) get pretty saturated. So, you’re going to have to make sure you position your offers well.
The first time I used Fiverr for drop servicing was when I was working for a local sports coaching company. They needed some content to go along with the website I had just built.
Part of the content was recruitment infographics they could use in hard copy and that could also be repurposed on their site.
So I went and created these infographics myself….Not.
I created the written content yes, but then outsourced the design of the infographics to someone on Fiverr.
In total I paid $50 for the 3 infographics and when it came to invoicing the company I simple marked the price of these infographics to $120.
I’d almost go as far to say I probably outsourced around 60-70% of that particular project to Fiverr. I then marked up the services anywhere between 10-50% depending on what it was. This project went on for over a year – so you can imagine it turned out pretty profitable for me to say the least 🙂
How To Drop Service Using Fiverr
There are essentially 2 ways to use Fiverr when you’re drop servicing. The first way I’ve just gone into detail on above.. That is, finding a client away from Fiverr (Upwork, through outreach methods etc) and then outsourcing the work to someone else on Fiverr for less than you’re charging the client.
The second way is getting the work through Fiverr itself. If you’ve raised your prices well enough to leave you enough profit, you can gain the work first through Fiverr and then outsource this to another freelancer or agency elsewhere.
Of course, you’re not going to be able to do this with $5 or even $25 projects. But if it makes sense, and you’re happy with the profit split you certainly can get the clients through Fiverr and outsource the work elsewhere for cheaper.
Fiverr Review: The Final Word…
In general, while you may see a load of negative reviews surrounding Fiverr, there are thousands of freelancers making a profit through the platform.
Yes there were some questions behind the $5 limit, but since that’s been lifted the sky really is the limit.
If we use Upwork.com as a comparison, both platforms will have their advantages. In general Fiverr is a lot easier to find you first few Gigs while Upwork can give you a better chance at securing longer term work and better relationships.
And for clients you’ll approach the two platforms differently. The freelancer showcase at Fiverr works for them and the client first approach at Upwork equally works for them.
As both a freelancer and client myself I will end this post with this…
After the limits have been lifted on Fiverr now is a better chance than ever to get work. If you’re just starting out you should definitely be on Fiverr. But, don’t just stop there, using the work you pick up through Fiverr you can then start to build your client base on Upwork, and even secure yourself longer term contracts.
For both freelancers and Clients alike, while there are drawbacks to Fiverr, I personally thinks it’s a brilliant little platforms that serves their market position very well.