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Fiverr Needs To Better Protect Buyers From Seller Scams


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After ordering numerous writing related gigs from a Top seller, noticed a trick a few Sellers seem to use when deadline approaching notification is triggered.

The Sellers respond that gig is delivered, when actually nothing is delivered… and seller typically states they need more time, and promises delivery "soon…"

Problem is, “Soon” never comes and after 3 additional days, Fiverr marks gig as completed, washing their hands of the matter and the Buyer is screwed out of their payment(s).

Let’s follow the timeline…

Order Started

Your payment for this order was successfully collected by Fiverr.
The seller will be paid when the order is complete.

This order is expected to be delivered on December 26, 2013.
00:39 December 24, 2013
Order approaching deadline

You'll be able to cancel this order if the seller
does not deliver within the next 24 hours.
01:36 December 26, 2013


This order will be marked as complete in 3 days.

Although the Seller marked the order as "delivered", nothing was actually delivered and this little trick is used to prolong and/or avoid the Cancellation option for buyer.

This fraudulent practice is wrong on so many levels. Why is this this allowed to happen?
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Thank you for the information.

“Delivered Empty” is a new term I have just learned.

My God I am so torn, and want to give these guys and gals some leniency if they need a little extra time, but now see how some abuse the system eroding the goodwill of the community.

The last thing I want to do is give someone a thumbs down or get them in trouble over a $5 gig. This really becomes a problem because I tend to order multiple related gigs simultaneously and the “Empty Deliveries” become multiplied.

My preference is to give the person a chance to “fix” the problem and do the right thing.

Thank you

PS: I’m buying your first New Year’s drink, as long as you hang around dive bars with $5 Draft on Tap:)

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I have “delivered empty,” but only when communicating with the buyer ahead of time AND only in cases where I am waiting on some info from the buyer to complete the job.

If the sellers are unable to complete their gigs in the stated delivery times, I think the best practice would be to edit their gigs and extend the stated delivery times, rather than set up false expectations with buyers.

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Reply to @teenytinypress: Thank you for your insight. I agree that editing gig/extending deadline is better option, rather than delivering empty.

Here is where it gets tricky: We have a different Seller who occasionally will do a partial deliver empty. After loading this Seller up with 6 to 10 simultaneous gigs, they have sometimes delivered a few of the gigs while providing a time-frame for the completion of the remaining. In this case, it has been acceptable because this Seller has always delivered as promised in their update.

Although both sellers are “delivering empty” I see a distinct difference between the Seller “delivering empty” situation outlined originally and the example mentioned in this latest response.

At the end of the day, I have come to embrace Fiverr community and fascinated in the wide variety of $5 gigs offered. Truth be told, this has turned into an almost addiction:)

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Guest matt_garry

Reply to @lharrison98034: I hate to admit it but I probably deliver empty 1-2 times a week for many reasons. I can’t control my flow of business, I have people ordering my extra fast option, I have people order my gig multiple times intead of ordering my extras meaning additional days are not added when they are needed to complete the project on time. oh and lets not forget about people who ordered my gig and want revisions, and the people who ordered my gigs weeks ago but havent go back to me yet so I could get 10 people in 1 day asking me to revise.

so ya just a few excuses but basicly I find it impossible on a weekly basis to deliver on time and 99% of my customers understand

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@matt_garry I hear you and understand there are many reasons that a Gig Seller may miss meeting his/her deadline. As another poster, @teenytinypress responded "I think the best practice would be to edit their gigs and extend the stated delivery times, rather than set up false expectations with buyers."

I agree with her and also believe the “Gig Delivered” status should mean Gig Delivered, and nothing else. Fiverr has probably kicked the idea around, having a Gig will be delayed/deadline extension option status notified, and as it may be a somewhat good idea… it too could be abused. Again Matt, thanks for your feedback

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Reply to @anarchofighter: A simple analogy would equate each new Gig order as a trip through the McDonald’s Drive-Thru window. Every new order creates an up-sale opportunity; would you like to super-size today?

99.9% of my transactions have been wonderful and I kind of like having a go-to team of Gig Seller Ninjas on a Saved speed-dial. Based on the responses today, I feel more confident that there are tools in place to weed out any of the few bad apples. Again, you guys taught me how to handle these situations if they ever occur again. Your help was above and beyond:)

A short update regarding my situation. The resolution center is being used as recommended earlier and entered as problem with Seller. Since there were about 10 of these Delivered Empty gigs, I included a short note letting the seller know, delays are understandable especially with the Holidays and all, however using the Gig Delivered status and Delivering Empty is to avoid Fiverr’s deadline tracking system is not acceptable. A mutual cancellation for each of the gigs was proposed. I am still waiting on a response.

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I think you should use your own judgment to see whether it’s their own fault that they are late in delivering or if the order you placed was reasonably big - and deserves more than what time has been given. You can always request a modification / mutual cancellation / contact CS / or even just give a negative review.

With my gigs, they are all 24 hour express gigs - which can be very stressful and time consuming at times to deliver before deadline, but I do end up delivering on time, always. I would not have made my gigs this short of time if I knew I couldn’t.

This is what I think other people should be doing, understanding if they cannot deliver 24 hour deadlines - and making them longer, if they need to. Not tricking customers into buying their gigs for that time and not delivering on that promised time.

But of course I sometimes get bulk orders all in one, which for some reason fiverr does not extend the time and instead leaves the one big order, with up to 8+ in the same one to 24 hours. Times like that I have had to partially deliver the work, and send through the rest later.

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Again this conversation has shared so many wonderful views and scenarios that can occur between the Buyer to Seller/Seller to Buyer within the Fiverr Gig arena. Celine makes a valid point that getting those big orders can understandably put pressure on meeting deadlines.

As a Buyer, I am OK with delays however it is the marking gig as “delivered” and Delivering Empty, as the sole method of extending a deadline that makes me uncomfortable. Currently with 20-30 open orders, it can be confusing to keep track what is delivered and those gigs that are outstanding. As others have suggested, there should be an alternate ability to extend deadlines, subject to limitations.

You guys are educating me so much and I appreciate it and this has caused me to take a look at my “team” of Sellers and how I tend to buy gigs. Sorry Sellers, I am/have been guilty of placing those larger orders. Most of my team is top rated and have up to a 2 week completion stated in their descriptions. My attitude is pretty laid back, and not prone to rush people Last night I did something different and had pre-order conversation with a new potential writer. As a result, we seem to have a plan to start slow and see how it goes, which is good.

@celinedesigns Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts on this topic.

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The only time I delivery empty is when I have permission from the seller. I have one regular buyer who orders my extra fast gig extra instead of 21 multiple gigs. I deliver that right away and then get all the pieces he wants by the date we initially agreed on. It works better for him, so he’s happy. There have been a few others who have agreed to me delivering empty because they’ve not supplied the information in time (instead just written something like “will get it to you later” and started the clock.

However, communication is essential in these cases. Every time I’ve delivered empty, I’ve always stated the day/date that I would get the final product by. I believe that seems to be your main concern–that there was no communication about it. I’d suggest getting back to the sellers and finding out when the service will be delivered. I see nothing wrong in asking for a set date.

Good luck!

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I actually don’t think I’ve ever delivered empty. And I certainly don’t mean that as any kind of bragging statement about my time management skills, but it just seems to me that other options make more sense. I mean, what if the buyer is upset about the empty delivery then marks the order as complete so they can leave negative feedback to warn others? Being able to bash your delivery practices on your gig page and warn others may be worth losing the $5 for them.

In the scenario where I’m just slammed with orders and have a hectic schedule, I extend my delivery time to a deadline that I know I can deliver by so that buyers know exactly how long they may have to wait. Otherwise, if my gig page shows a delivery time of 7 days and the buyer finds out after ordering that they’ll actually have to wait longer than that, they may just want to cancel their order, causing my cancellation rate to rise (they may also be working on their own deadline and can’t wait longer than the delivery time that is shown on my gig page).

Another scenario that may present an issue with delivery time is when a buyer sends a very large project that will certainly take longer than the delivery time displayed on my gig page. My gig is editing and proofreading documents, and this may apply if a buyer sends me an entire book. In that case, I make sure to communicate with the buyer about their order’s expected delivery deadline and send updates about my progress on their project. I let the order run late instead of delivering empty and just deliver the late order when I’ve finished. I’ve never had an issue with letting an order run late in this kind of scenario because both the buyer and I have an understanding that their project will take longer to deliver than what is shown on the order page.

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As a buyer (and having happily worked with quite a few people on here from all over the world) I have to say that it should be made easier and clearer how to contact customer support.

Case in point I hired someone to do two different logos, I was sent clip art with wording on (first logo), when I replied saying they were no good I got further clip art back (still only the first logo) the seller did not answer anything but simply put a generic reply (here are two logos) , there was one.

As I had told them I was cancelling the order (they declined) after contacting customer services I rated the seller with a negative, not very clear (and rather bizarre) that doing that has now made the job complete…so they buyer gets paid for two jobs and never did one.

P.S. I didn’t try to hire cheap designers I hire people whose work looks good (and better than some I have paid $100’s for over time. Not happy.

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I can sure have empathy for @nickih when a buyer throws an entire book at her (for gig and proof-reading purposes), however that should also be viewed as a testimonial to the good service and positive community reputation she brings to the table with her gig offering(s). This weekend, for some odd reason, I have thought long and hard regarding some subtle tweaks that could be implemented to add a mutually deadline extension feature for sellers to use, rather than Delivering Empty.

The Gig Delivered status (in my opinion) should be sacred and only be used when a gig is actually delivered.

@cromwell316 I feel your pain brother. Here is a little something, something I do when it comes to buying logo gigs.


Keep it simple stupid!

I have two logo Sellers that I use to launch a project. Both sellers with their respective gigs are provided only with, Logo Text for gig, along with a brief 3 or 4 word description of web site vision.

Typically there is an additional gig purchase from each Seller, where in the 2nd Gig, I might add a Tag Line to the main Logo Text.

On a rare occasion, I may provide the vector art but really try to avoid it because at the point I interject myself into the creative process, the whole project goes to Hell.

From my experiences, these sellers deliver amazing creative logos every time, all without my micro-managing.

By allowing these talented people to use their creative juices, bringing fresh eyes to a project, the delivered logos are much better that any concept I could have managed to muster together. Please bear in mind, the final selection is ALWAYS difficult because each artist has delivered a pair of awesome logos, very intuitive to my project vision.

Now with the Fiverr Gig Extras, as a buyer we can purchase a gig extra where we get the vector/psd files for the logo we will ultimately use for that particular project. The standard delivery times for these gig Sellers are between 5 and 10 days, which is worth the wait.

Oops… that was a long rant. Gotta run along and order some more gigs:)

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Hi L (lol) I have bought a few logos and other stuff, and usually look through the portfolio of work, some of the stuff I have received has not been great but then I don’t expect them to revise and revise over and over again I just put it down to “oh well it’s just a fiver”, but they mount up, on the other side of the coin some sellers have done far more on projects than I expected of them (even if I have never used it at least they have put the effort in).

I do subscribe to KISS and make the brief easy to follow (and especially where I have used buyers who may not have English as a first language, but whose English is far better than my grasp of any foreign language in case anyone takes that as offensive).

In addition the first thing I usually say is “I have no artistic talent so I will leave you to it”.

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Thank you to the entire community for all your awesome help. I have gained valuable insight from both sellers and other buyers. Regarding the Empty Delivery issue I had, the seller and I mutually agreed to cancel the gig order(s) and $55.00 was returned to my Fiverr account. All is not lost because along the way met some amazing people in our community.

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Hi, Having just joined this community last week I had ordered a logo from a seller, whose work I was excited to see. When they posted an empty delivery, I thought it was a mistake. I tried to contact them, but there was no reply. I was confused about what to do and felt taken advantage of. It is not so much about the financial loss, as much as the principle. I order based on the image I see and wanted the logo design. it just feels bad to be taken advantage of. Perhaps there could also be a way to indicate this empty delivery stage in the process, so that sellers with empty deliveries would be vetted at that point and the buyer has an opportunity to cancel the order before it is paid to the seller.

Fortunately, the sellers who responded were spot on and not relying on this one seller to deliver my logo made my total experience with fiverr a more positive outcome.

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I have purchased gigs on Fiverr so I have seen the “empty delivery” tactic a bunch of times. I don’t understand why they do it knowing that the buyer can take steps to notify support and to cancel the order. Does the seller make money when buyers forget too cancel the gig or don’t contact support? Are they simply posting bogus gigs knowing full well that they never intended on fulfilling the order and make their money from those buyers who fail to report the issue to support or don’t cancel the order? I ask because I have seen the empty delivery tactic done to extend the time frame on orders. For example, the seller posts the order as delivered, doesn’t deliver the order until a couple days after they tried closing the order but do eventually send the order. That tells me that they are buying time in those cases but I have also seen sellers simply cancel the order after it has come in a few days later. There are 2 completely different sellers that have the same exact service and they both cancel every order I have placed. Their offering is a 5 x’s what others are offering too so I have attempted to buy gigs from them to try them out but they always cancel the order. Even after I have fulfilled the gig instructions correctly several times. What is the whole point of even wasting their time posting gigs and logging on to fiverr just to cancel. What scam is this that they are trying to pull? Anyone else who has seen this happen please do advise as too what is happening as well as your own experiences. The information, insight and feedback would be very helpful to me. Thanks.

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@aromaed It’s so funny that a couple of weeks ago, I would have had a hard time putting a name to something that had happened, that seemed wrong. That “something” as I was taught by other helpful buyers and sellers was the “empty delivery”.

Yes, it is a method that is used as a workaround to extend delivery deadline(s).

With that being said, when it happens, those guys and gals are probably NOT trying to scam you. Unfortunately, the answer is not always black or white. There are always mitigating factors that are interjected into each gig deal. Previously I had no clue as to how to navigate these uncharted waters, but folks around here held my hand and showed me the way.

If you still need a good logo gig, hit me up on PM. There are 2 i use on a regular basis that consistently produce great logos for me, that I would feel comfortable recommending.

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