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What to do if a buyer asks for endless revisons


smashradio

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Some buyers will want you to work for free. As a professional, you should politely decline this type of request. Here's some tips on how to avoid endless revision loops and buyers trying to manipulate you into working for free. 

1) Be clear about what's included in the initial price from the start. 

2) If they ask for addition work, require payment. Try "Thanks for the update! Here's my quote for the additional changes you requested" or something similar. 

3) If the client goes "I'm not paying for that. It should be included!" you can respond with "I understand that you feel that way, and I'd love to help you out. However, this is outside the original scope of this order. I'd be very happy to set up a custom order extra for you, but I'm unable to take on pro bono work at this time."

5) If the client refuses to accept the offer and you're sure you have delivered what was promised, according to your gig specifications and agreement with the buyer, deliver the order again, thanking them. Remind them in a polite manner that this order included X amount of revisions. Make sure to include that you're happy to assist with their revision when/if their budget allows for it. 

There's no reason to work for free. Ever. If you get a bad review, you can respond to it, explaining that the buyer wanted you to work for free and asked for changes that weren't agreed upon for free.

99% of people reading that review/response at a later date, will be

a) a person with a grasp of how to do business, i.e. they will understand and appreciate you as a freelancer, or,

b) another buyer who wants you to work for free, i.e. someone you'd want to avoid at all costs anyway. 

And remember: if a buyer threatens you with a negative review to scare you into working for free, you can report them. That's not allowed. 

Finally: never offer unlimited revisions included in the price! No serious professional would ever do this. Every revision is an oppurtinity to earn more money. 

Edited by smashradio
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17 minutes ago, customerin said:

A helpful post to all, I think. Thanks for your great explanation with proper guideline. I just saved this post in my personal pocket. Waiting to have more like this master piece!

Thanks! Glad to be of help! This is something I see a lot of questions about on the forum so I thought a new topic about it could be useful 🙂

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@smashradioall good advice. I would however add one caveat for any one reading this. For a new seller, or one on a lower level, a bad 'private review', which is not seen by the seller, can really harm their account, especially when that seller does not have the volume to 'dilute' that bad review. Many buyers know this full well, especially those who operate in the VO sphere for example - I'm talking middlemen video creators etc, on 5r. -  they specifically target newbies, not only because invariably their prices will be cheaper, but because they know that they can hold them over a barrel with revisions etc for fear of that seller incurring a bad private review. Something to be mindful of - even when a buyer is being unreasonable.    

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On 6/2/2022 at 6:20 PM, fiveroptic1 said:

@smashradioall good advice. I would however add one caveat for any one reading this. For a new seller, or one on a lower level, a bad 'private review', which is not seen by the seller, can really harm their account, especially when that seller does not have the volume to 'dilute' that bad review. Many buyers know this full well, especially those who operate in the VO sphere for example - I'm talking middlemen video creators etc, on 5r. -  they specifically target newbies, not only because invariably their prices will be cheaper, but because they know that they can hold them over a barrel with revisions etc for fear of that seller incurring a bad private review. Something to be mindful of - even when a buyer is being unreasonable.    

I truly believe that if you stand your ground as a professional, you will command respect. If you let others push you around, you will fall. 

If a new buyer starts out his career with a mindset that he will get abused, so he better just accept it, he has already lost. 

Being agreeable is one thing (for example by including an extra revision or fixing something simple "on the house" to make your buyer happy), but when buyers keep coming for more freebies, you're opening yourself up to more abuse, not less. 

Frankly, if you're unable to stand your ground and defend yourself in a professional manner when buyers try to abuse you, and you're so afraid of a negative review and feedback that you end up accepting this type of behaviour, you are not a professional at what you do. 

I would encourage new sellers to be firm, yet polite, stand up with their back straight, and if they think it's a good business strategy to give a buyer an extra revision for free, by all means, do so, but know that you risk endless revision loops and falling into bad habits. 

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omg I needed this!! Thank you so much!!

In art commission, it is usually very difficult to make major changes after the sketch stage of the artwork, especially when the art is already lined and colored. Major changes may even require to redraw the whole art, which is another artwork that needs to be paid! There are probably going to be those people that ask for BIG revision after the art is already done and it is very troublesome! Hopefully they are just clueless on how art works and I will be understanding of that. But if they have an intention of exploiting the revisions to get new artwork for free... that's bad 😠 

I removed revisions for my art commissions that have color for this reason. I also added a fee for an extra revision. Now I know what to politely say when a buyer does this!

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On 6/3/2022 at 2:00 AM, smashradio said:

Finally: never offer unlimited revisions included in the price! No serious professional would ever do this. Every revision is an oppurtinity to earn more money. 

Today I discovered you here in form & read a couple of your posts. You are tips and advice is very helpful. It's been two year I'm selling and sold 200 happy orders. I didn't update too much my gig but I'm sure I am gonna do it very soon because in my package I have Unlimited revisions as well. 

You just open my eyes. The couple of thins I have wrote on my gig description which is useless after reading your post. You know when I started I though this will attract buyer to place an order but I'm wrong. 

When I started I was no job but right now I have & I have to manage my time as well, so I don't think I'm going to put all that is kind of fake

Here is the things I notice, I have to remove very soon from my gig description. 

1. "Long time support after complete the project" (Why will I support long time rather I can say if the work is very short time then I can fix it but if it takes time I should charge)

2. "100% money-back guarantee" I think I should also and instead of this I can write if you didn't get what I promised then we can discuss. What do you think about this?

3. "Unlimited revision until you satisfy" OMG, Though I didn't get such a bad client but I have to delete this.


Thanks for all your tips. I have a question if you can create a post or maybe you can reply me here as well. Let me expelling what I'm asking

I do we design and I charged $300 bucks for 5 pages website(Very cheap I know) but I have to see my competitor package as well but the problem is sometimes buyer come to my inbox and they offer 5 pages website but those pages are huge and depending on the design if I say I will charge $500 and they tell me, you are offering 5 pages for 300 bucks then why you are asking me this. I often explain them but do you thing should I mention something like in this package every page have 5-6 section or I should increase the price?

In my opinion if I increase the price then I won't get knock from client because my competitors offer less than that. I'm little bit confuse about this. If you can assist me in any way that would be awesome. 

Keep posting your awesome experience here. Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, rajibbapy said:

I do we design and I charged $300 bucks for 5 pages website(Very cheap I know) but I have to see my competitor package as well but the problem is sometimes buyer come to my inbox and they offer 5 pages website but those pages are huge and depending on the design if I say I will charge $500 and they tell me, you are offering 5 pages for 300 bucks then why you are asking me this. I often explain them but do you thing should I mention something like in this package every page have 5-6 section or I should increase the price?

In my opinion if I increase the price then I won't get knock from client because my competitors offer less than that. I'm little bit confuse about this. If you can assist me in any way that would be awesome. 

Keep posting your awesome experience here. Thanks!

Happy to be of help!

To your question: I've actually had this happen to me as well. Sometimes, a project will be more complicated, requiring additional work due to unique requirements. 

I prefer to solve that using my gig FAQ. The chance of your buyer reading this before reaching out is very low. But you can put limitations on your gig offering by adding something like "Please contact me before making an order! All projects are unique and different." You could also limit the amount of work that goes into each page with a bulletpoint list of what's included, like: 

  • Up to 10 images on each page
  • Up to 500 words on each page

And so on. 

Then explain further in your FAQ that all projects are different, meaning your pricing will vary depending on the requirements of the buyer. 

When the buyer asks you "why 500? It's 300 on your gig page", you can say "Yes, but...." and show them your FAQ/refer to your gig description. 

Hope that helps! 🙂

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  • 2 months later...

When I set up my Gig, I somehow set Revisions on my most expensive package to Unlimited. Not sure how it happened (maybe I was tired and it slipped by), but I'm paying the price now (I now have 15 versions of the video on my hard drive), and I'm making about $5/hour. Lesson learned. I'm going to be changing it asap.
2 things I learned a long time ago and this experience reminded me of (like a bucket of ice water to the face)
1. The cheapest clients are the pickiest clients and expect the world for nothing, so competing on price (like a lot of 5R "gurus" recommend for new sellers) is one of the worst things you can do
2. Unlimited revisions is the worst way to get business. It wastes your time and the client's time
Sigh. Back to Revision Hell...

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/3/2022 at 2:00 AM, smashradio said:

Some buyers will want you to work for free. As a professional, you should politely decline this type of request. Here's some tips on how to avoid endless revision loops and buyers trying to manipulate you into working for free. 

1) Be clear about what's included in the initial price from the start. 

2) If they ask for addition work, require payment. Try "Thanks for the update! Here's my quote for the additional changes you requested" or something similar. 

3) If the client goes "I'm not paying for that. It should be included!" you can respond with "I understand that you feel that way, and I'd love to help you out. However, this is outside the original scope of this order. I'd be very happy to set up a custom order extra for you, but I'm unable to take on pro bono work at this time."

5) If the client refuses to accept the offer and you're sure you have delivered what was promised, according to your gig specifications and agreement with the buyer, deliver the order again, thanking them. Remind them in a polite manner that this order included X amount of revisions. Make sure to include that you're happy to assist with their revision when/if their budget allows for it. 

There's no reason to work for free. Ever. If you get a bad review, you can respond to it, explaining that the buyer wanted you to work for free and asked for changes that weren't agreed upon for free.

99% of people reading that review/response at a later date, will be

a) a person with a grasp of how to do business, i.e. they will understand and appreciate you as a freelancer, or,

b) another buyer who wants you to work for free, i.e. someone you'd want to avoid at all costs anyway. 

And remember: if a buyer threatens you with a negative review to scare you into working for free, you can report them. That's not allowed. 

Finally: never offer unlimited revisions included in the price! No serious professional would ever do this. Every revision is an oppurtinity to earn more money. 

really it's A helpful post to all. i want know also, i'm not agree to do the free work then buyer give me a negative feedback. when i contact fiver support and explain it, so what fiverr remove the feedback in my account?

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Great post. One additional tip... when a buyer has used all but one of their revisions on an order, when I deliver the revision, I always say something along the lines of "Hey, here is your revised delivery. I hope this is better for you. You have one free revision remaining, so if you need any further adjustments or have any questions please just let me know". This is a nice subtle and polite way of letting them know you're keeping track of the revisions they're using.

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I would like to add my perspective on 'Unlimited revisions' after I read all of the comments above.

Im a small seller in vocal recording/singing and i changed my revisions from 2 or 3 to unlimited about a year ago. I did gain orders, not the same second tho, but revisions never went to more than 2 so far anyway. In my perspective im like, if i would be buying, i would be calm that even if the vocals or song will not be what i needed, i have plenty of deliveries available. Higher chance of ordering.

Unlimited works for me, because with vocals are orders so specific, like exact song cover or parody with their lyrics, that they get the same thing over-and-over, with different quality or vocal composition etc. They wouldn't get another song cover, like they would at art pieces as somebody above mentioned.

What do you think about this kind of use for unlimited revisions? I am only sticking to it because i haven't yet have a bad experience with someone abusing this option. Thanks for any answer!

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  • 7 months later...

As a Top Rated Seller, It was easy to do business in 2015-2020, but things have changed significantly. Maybe it is because of more sellers, but one buyer can put you down for a couple of months. Some Categories have very clear Gig structures, but in Web development, There are many things that can lead to confusion. 
- It is very important to clarify what revisions would include.  Sometimes It can lead you to offer extra work for free or a Cancellation.  and Level demotion too. 
- If your client wants Extra work for free and you refuse to do that, You are going to get negative feedback.
Thankfully, With the Zoom call option things are getting better. 

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1 hour ago, saimii said:

As a Top Rated Seller, It was easy to do business in 2015-2020, but things have changed significantly. Maybe it is because of more sellers, but one buyer can put you down for a couple of months. Some Categories have very clear Gig structures, but in Web development, There are many things that can lead to confusion. 
- It is very important to clarify what revisions would include.  Sometimes It can lead you to offer extra work for free or a Cancellation.  and Level demotion too. 
- If your client wants Extra work for free and you refuse to do that, You are going to get negative feedback.
Thankfully, With the Zoom call option things are getting better. 

You are absolutely right Sir. I'm facing these things in SEO. Mostly buyers come and place order when we deliver the work they demand no.1 ranking. If someone place order without having a detailed information of what thing he is going to hire then I think they will come to know SEO takes time. Anyways sometimes we can say bad luck for seller when he found such type of buyers. 

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9 hours ago, mrleodesign said:

It couldn't be more accurate. I always explain everything about my service to the clients to avoid any misunderstanding through the work process. 

That's Correct. But I have noticed that some experienced Buyers are aware of the impact of feedback and they use it as a threat sometimes if you refuse to do extra work in revisions. 

9 hours ago, shahzadaseo said:

You are absolutely right Sir. I'm facing these things in SEO. Mostly buyers come and place order when we deliver the work they demand no.1 ranking. If someone place order without having a detailed information of what thing he is going to hire then I think they will come to know SEO takes time. Anyways sometimes we can say bad luck for seller when he found such type of buyers. 

Absolutely! I think SEO needs more clarification because this is something Where you can't show them results in days.  

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  • 2 months later...

I agree with all these points. They do also lead me to another question…

So, if the buyer is saying that what you have delivered is not what they expected, but they are out of included revisions and refusing to buy more – and you have delivered everything in accordance with the agreed specifications….

What’s to stop them now just requesting to cancel? Now the buyer can take the delivery, and the seller gets nothing (except a negative review, soon).

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13 hours ago, charlsmcfarlane said:

What’s to stop them now just requesting to cancel?

You. 

Let me explain. 

You can refuse to cancel the order. If the buyer then goes to support, they must prove that they didn't get what was described in the initial offer or gig description. This is why clearly defining your offers is so important, paying as much attention to what you won't do as what you will. Think of it as a contract with clauses and terms. You don't want to cut corners here because having a strong initial custom offer to go back to in a dispute often means the difference between winning the "case" or having your order cancelled by support. 

And no, the buyer can't take your delivery. The terms are pretty clear on this, and in the very rare instance a buyer behaves like this, I will let them know that my legal team always follows up on any unlicensed usage (and I mean it). So if a buyer cancels and then decides to use my deliverable anyway, you could take them to court or have your attorney follow up. The terms on Fiverr states that the buyer only gets the rights to a deliverable when the order is paid for. 

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17 hours ago, smashradio said:

You. 

Let me explain. 

You can refuse to cancel the order. If the buyer then goes to support, they must prove that they didn't get what was described in the initial offer or gig description. This is why clearly defining your offers is so important, paying as much attention to what you won't do as what you will. Think of it as a contract with clauses and terms. You don't want to cut corners here because having a strong initial custom offer to go back to in a dispute often means the difference between winning the "case" or having your order cancelled by support. 

And no, the buyer can't take your delivery. The terms are pretty clear on this, and in the very rare instance a buyer behaves like this, I will let them know that my legal team always follows up on any unlicensed usage (and I mean it). So if a buyer cancels and then decides to use my deliverable anyway, you could take them to court or have your attorney follow up. The terms on Fiverr states that the buyer only gets the rights to a deliverable when the order is paid for. 

Okay, thanks for clarifying. This is interesting and I wasn't really aware of how Fiverr support can help with this particular issue. To be clear, it's not something I've dealt with personally as I don't really get cancellations all that much anyway. I was just curious about it because I would imagine  this scenario can happen.

Thanks again 

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