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Spotting problem buyers


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I feel like I dodged another bullet today. I think I am starting to see when a buyer could be trouble. I was talking with a buyer today who wants me to do some rewrites for them. The first conversations were polite and interesting until we began speaking about price and timeline. I stated the price and how long it would take and sent a custom offer. Almost immediately there was a shift in attitude. They seemed surprised that I only offered two revisions and asked if I could send them bits and pieces of the content as it was completed. It was a website content rewrite of about 6,000 words. I told them I would only send the content when it was completed. They seemed to agree to the price but then added a comment to the effect that it better be good. Immediately I’m seeing red flags popping up telling me to let this one go.

I’ve learned from dealing with buyers with similar behaviors that when you see this shift in attitude from your buyer it is an indication that you could be setting yourself up for unnecessary problems. It is a hard choice because all though we all need the money from an order, sometimes it’s better not to “chase the bus.” I did that on two occasions. I saw the red flags but ignored them and ended up with one cancellation and two bad reviews. (I had maintained 5 stars from 80 reviews) Also, this buyer has been on Fiverr for two years and has no purchase history.

I wanted to share this story with new sellers who may feel that desperation of needing that order but have a gut feeling something is wrong. Trust that feeling and walk away. That feeling is warning you that you could get scammed by this person and end up with a cancellation or a bad review because they have unrealistic expectations or they have done this to other sellers in the past and it is working for them.

When an order gets canceled the buyer can keep the work that you have sent them and they will get their money back from Fiverr. It is frustrating to see your hours of hard work go down the drain and not be paid for them.

So a word of warning -

  • State your price and timeline clearly (don’t waver)
  • Never negotiate on price (this is your business and you are not an employee)
  • If you see a shift in behavior (starts becoming demanding, critical, wants more free samples, revisions. etc) run don’t walk in the other direction
  • Check new buyers profiles when contacted
  • Trust your gut and don’t chase the bus

I was on Fiverr for months before getting my first order. It takes time but it will come.

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Amen! Although I tend to give custom offers instead of doing orders often, so I can match the price to each individuals request. Most end up messaging me before taking orders. But I’m a teenage worker, so its not like I’m making a living off of this, and I get how if you were, you wouldn’t want to be lenient on prices.

Rude or unprofessional buyers are always a no go. always check a buyers’ reviews!

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