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Scams, Cheats, Conmen and how to avoid them


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You may have heard the phrase “You can’t cheat an honest man”.

While this is a great phrase, it implies that those who are cheated are dishonest and deserve whatever fate awaits them. Frankly I think that is not necessarily true. Sure, a dishonest person is someone who is looking to get something for nothing or for less than it’s value for their own personal gain but that description could apply to any number of people. I myself am quite happy to receive something for less than its value - does that mean I am dishonest? No! It is also often the case that the scammed person is simply misled, ill-informed or naive. None of these things are a crime and so the person does not deserve to be scammed.

So, let’s break this down - People who are most often scammed are one of the following:

  • Looking for Value/lower than standard cost.
  • Misled, either by a seller or someone else.
  • Ill-informed, do not know what they are buying and so don’t know the cost and product to expect
  • Naive, don’t expect to be cheated and believe that the law will always side with them

Looking For Value
Most people look for good value when it comes to buying anything and particularly on Fiverr, the general consensus is that things should be cheaper here that elsewhere. That is generally true. The key here is to establish how much cheaper the service is and why. “If an offer is too good to be true then it usually is.” Excuse the cliche but it is a fact. When something is exceptionally cheap for no good reason then it is suspicious. If it is far below what others on the same platform are charging then you need to ask why - why wouldn’t they raise their price a bit? Some new sellers do offer ridiculously low prices for a time to enable them to get a couple of reviews under their belt - that is a good reason but it is not without risk and you should weigh up the risk with other factors such as the seller’s suitability for the task, how knowledgeable they are about the subject etc. Remember that most people see Fiverr as their income, consider the time it will take for them to do the job and how much you are paying. If dealing with a country where living costs and wages are lower, will there be a difficulty in communication - if so, how much of your time will that take up and how much is your own time worth? Weigh it up and above all, manage your expectations by being realistic about what you get for the price you pay.
Value is not dictated by price but by the overall experience and end product.

Why are you buying the product? Who says it is a good idea? Why is this seller better than others?
You may have read somewhere that buying on Fiverr is great because it is soooooo cheap and so easy to use. Someone may have told you that they got great service here and you should check it out. You may have seen ads for Fiverr that made you curious and you are blinded by the array of services available.
Fiverr is a platform that connects buyers with hundreds of thousands of services from a huge number of individuals. That is what Fiverr is. Each seller is an individual with their own expectations, goals, prices, values etc. Getting a great service from one seller is no guarantee about the quality of the next one.
There is also the fact that the person who commended Fiverr to you needed a low quality, dirt cheap price for something they do as a hobby. The seller who delivered that for them may not be able to produce a high quality, professional service that you require. Do some due diligence and check out the people you decide to spend money on.
Read the many tips for buyers on the forum and perhaps even ask a question yourself if you need some advice on how or what to look for. You may be surprised how helpful the community of sellers and buyers can be!

Do you know what you are doing? Do you know the extent of the possibilities? Do you know how Fiverr works? Do you know what to do if things don’t work out the way you planned?
I have said the following many times on the forum in response to people who say they were scammed or are having trouble. It is the first piece of advice any experienced buyer or seller will give you yet it seems to be an extremely uncommon thing to do.
I know it is commonplace for people to simply tick a box and never actually read what they are agreeing to - I do it all the time on sites that I use every day. However, the Fiverr ToS are different. They are made to be read and understood. They are written in good sized text and laid out in sections so you can easily recognize and focus on the parts that are most important for you as a buyer.
The vast majority of buyer issues, complaints and rants that I see on the forum could have been avoided, minimized or solved had the buyer read the ToS. Do yourself a favor and read it.

In case you didn’t notice, you are on the internet, on a platform where users can remain anonymous to you. Some people believe that NO MATTER WHAT, the rules/law will be on their side if things go wrong. This will be the case quite often, however the majority of conmen/scammers will know the rules and law much better than you do. They will know ways to get around it or at least muddy the waters to make it difficult for the authorities to intervene.
Now before you run away, simply consider how you would act if you were walking in the street and someone offered you a great deal on a new car. What would you do? If you are someone who would simply take it then you are either hopelessly naive and I can’t help you, or you are dishonest and I also can’t help you.
If you would question where the car came from, ask for registration details, reasons for the price and take it for a test drive then you will do well on Fiverr. Check out what you are buying, from who and perhaps try out a cheap version of the service before committing to a larger purchase.
This is called due diligence and should be done with your purchases if you have any doubts about the transaction.

Please Note 1: I have focused on “how cheap” things are but the same due diligence should be done where, for example, a seller is much more expensive than the others. There can be good reasons for this too but you need to find out why - try a paid sample.
Please Note 2: Don’t waste a seller’s time with loads of questions for a small order. It is unfair on them and won’t be appreciated. If you have specific questions, ask the seller if you can place a “consultation” order with them. This shows your professionalism as well as the facts that you are both serious and value their time.

I have made over 160 purchases on Fiverr, spending several thousand dollars on services from $5-400 although the $400 was broken into a couple of parts. Of these orders I have cancelled a handful which were mostly when I first started on the platform, the rest were good-excellent experiences.

It is possible to save a lot of money by using Fiverr correctly, I have and I hope you do too.

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