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A few ideas to filter responses to buyer requests


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Just recently I tried the buyer requests section again and 24 out of 30 offers were template responses. Apparently nothing has changed since the last time I used it 4-5 months ago.

In order to expedite my filtering process, I started adding additional requirements. So I’d like to share a few and maybe you’ll find it useful 🙂

Keyword / phrase
Add a keyword or a phrase at the end of your request such as “Start your response with - Ahoy”. So every request that doesn’t start with “Ahoy” can be ignored because the seller didn’t bother to read your request.
However, since most of us know about it, it’s not as effective as it used to be.

Content research
You can do a simple check to see if they are able to follow basic instructions. For example, if you need a writer for your movie blog then you can ask a question about your favorite movie. Basically, anything that would take less than a minute to find from IMDB. Obviously, it doesn’t showcase their writing skills and you should not exploit this to get free research out of it. The goal is to filter out templates and it will definitely help with that.

Outline a basic action plan
If you have a very specific task that doesn’t have a standard solution or has multiple solutions, then you can ask 3-4 bullet points action plan. For example, if you need on-page SEO then you can provide your website address and ask the seller to list 3 things that would improve your website. This will ensure that they will at least review your site and you will see who comes up with the best solution. A seller who doesn’t bother to do a simple research on your site isn’t probably worth your time anyways.
You can discuss the final project scope and total cost later. Your goal is to first filter out a suitable candidate to discuss the project details.

I haven’t tried it on Fiverr, but on a different platform, I asked sellers to send me their best anecdote. Obviously, I provided the project brief so that sellers would know what the job was about, I just didn’t care to read those “I’m expert in everything” templates. If it made me chuckle then I would read their profile, reviews and check out their portfolio.

That being said, your tests should be simple enough for sellers to complete with minimal effort. Keep in mind that only one seller gets to work on your project and the goal is to filter out templates not to test sellers’ skills.

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I have made my opinion of BR as it is now clear multiple times. It is a PITA for buyers and is not fit for the purpose for most of the categories, especially the most popular ones.

However, if people feel they must submit a request then I think what you have suggested are good. I would add that buyers should include a budget as experienced sellers are unlikely to put effort into bidding on a big project, only to be told later that the budget is $5 and that 746 users with similar sounding names have all offered to do it for $5 with unlimited revisions and naming rights of their firstborn.

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