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4 Types of Nightmare Buyers and How to Deal With Them


smashradio

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Finally! You're a freelancer and a successful Fiverr seller. You've made it. You have a steady income from happy buyers, and you're thinking: "This wasn't so hard!". 

Well, you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? Even though you've probably had bad buyers bogging down your dashboard occasionally, it's the big projects going wrong that hurts the most. 

I've written about bad buyers before. But I thought a 2022-version was in order. Honestly, I just felt like writing something other than client projects. So here we are: 4 types of nightmare buyers and how to deal with them. 

Since I've been watching a lot of Stranger Things lately, I'm naming my bad buyers after monsters in the series. You'll just have to excuse my nerdiness. 

Demandogorgon

This buyer has no concept of boundaries, be it personal or professional. They expect you to respond to messages at 3 a.m., even on weekends. When you respond, they demand to know why you haven't replied to their last 16 inbox messages. They are like psychic vampires, sucking the very life out of your day. You just want to block them. 

How do I set boundaries with this type of buyer? To be honest, I don't. I just lock the door, and by that, I mean blocking them. If a buyer turns out to be a Demandogorgon, I will never work with them again. 

If you work with a Demandogorgon, you should at least get paid for it. I used to set up custom offers for "added consultations." 

These days, I'm lucky enough to have the option of firing a client if I don't want to work with them. 

Scopoflayer

You're finally getting to the last phase of an order: delivery. You're proud of your work and have put a lot of time and effort into it. Five seconds later, you hear what I like to call the "my-ear just-popped" sound effect from Fiverr. "We've got news about your order…

Fine. It's probably something minor. I'll look at it right away. 

"There's just a couple of tiny issues we need you to look at," says the buyer. 

You're happy to help iron out a couple of tiny issues. 

*My-ear-just-popped-sound-effect*. 

"Oh, and could you just…."

Five revision rounds later, you realize that the buyer will never stop doing this. There's no end in sight. 

A revision constitutes a small change. I include two revisions on all orders. When those are spent, the buyer can expect their own little "my-ear-just-popped-sound-effect." It's a custom order extra.

I've made thousands over the years on Scopoflayers. I love them. If they don't wish to pay, I don't wish to work. It's that simple. 

Tell them so in a direct but polite manner. Stay professional. "I'm sorry, but I'm unable to take on pro-bono projects at this time, and the changes you've requested are outside the scope of the original order."

Negotodog

Suppose a buyer is constantly trying to negotiate your rates. In that case, you should take a step back and evaluate if you want to work with this person or not. 

Consider why they feel the need to negotiate. It might not be because they refuse to pay your rate. 

Many buyers on Fiverr expect a low price. Even though Fiverr is still a value marketplace, the time of the five-dollar gig has come and gone – thankfully

Depending on the situation, I use a couple of techniques on this type of buyer. 

a) I take the time to educate the buyer on the value I'll be delivering, or

b) I tell them my rate and then make an "exception" to this – but only this time. In my book, this should only be an option on big projects. 

In case a, I won't budge because I don't need the project. I might budge a little if it's one of those "this makes my month!" projects. It makes the buyer feel like they've won. 

But that's not the only type of Negotodog. 

Another type are the ones who have no idea what it takes to complete what they're asking of you. 

In the writing category, I'm sure that the Negotodog thinks I'm just typing away on my keyboard at a blazing speed all day long. They don't consider the planning, research, proofreading, and editing that goes into their content.

And as a voice-over actor, I often get the "but it only takes 10 seconds to record!" line from clients who don't wish to pay my minimum rate for an order. 

Ignorance is bliss until they meet a seller who knows their worth.

I'll often go for option a with this buyer if I'm interested in the project. If not, I'll say, "Thank you for considering me for this project. However, your budget is not aligned with my rates at this time. Perhaps I can recommend one of the cheaper freelancers here on Fiverr?"

The last type of Negotodog just wants you to undervalue yourself and your work because they can't afford you. They get the same response as above. 

Toxic Spider monster

If your buyer has a bad day and takes it out on you, there's no excuse. If the buyer is generally disrespectful, there's no excuse. If they call you names or don't respect your boundaries, there's no excuse. 

Simply put; being a toxic spider monster is inexcusable

You need to run. Now. Don't accept this type of behavior from anyone. The longer you put up with the toxic spider monster, the more they will push your buttons. 

But even when you meet one, be polite (but firm). "I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable with your behavior towards me. I expect all my buyers to treat me with the same respect I afford them. For that reason, I don't think we're going to work out. I wish you the best of luck.

P.S. I wish Fiverr would replace the my-ear-just-popped-sound-effect. 

Edited by smashradio
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Thank you @smashradio! I always look forward to reading your posts and this one does not disappoint!

You seem to intuitively know what issues I'm facing in my business and dealing with difficult buyers is one of those issues. I love how you named these buyers after the monsters in "Stranger Things." I will never look at these buyers the same. 🤣

51 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Demandogorgon

This buyer has no concept of boundaries, be it personal or professional. They expect you to respond to messages at 3 a.m., even on weekends. When you respond, they demand to know why you haven't replied to their last 16 inbox messages. They are like psychic vampires, sucking the very life out of your day.

Luckily, I can usually spot most Demandogorgons before we enter into any orders together. They are demanding right from the start and the warning signs are very clear. I try to block these buyers as quickly as possible. If they waste 3 hours of my time when we don't have orders, I'd hate to see how much of my time (and energy) they'll suck out of me if we do have an order together. You're right - they are vampires!

51 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Scopoflayer

...Five revision rounds later, you realize that the buyer will never stop doing this. There's no end in sight. 

I used to have a lot of Scopoflayers, but I found out I was breeding these types of buyers by offering "unlimited revisions, until satisfied." This was also the reason for many of my order cancelations. Since I've limited my revisions to 3, I've made my expectations very clear on how many revisions they will get and what entails a revision. If I'm clear on the scope of the order, they usually don't try to ask for more.

51 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Negotodog

...Many buyers on Fiverr expect a low price. ... Depending on the situation, I use a couple of techniques on this type of buyer. 

  1. I take the time to educate the buyer on the value I'll be delivering, or
  2. I tell them my rate and then make an "exception" to this – but only this time. 

...Another type are the ones who have no idea what it takes to complete what they're asking of you. ...

The last type of Negotodog just wants you to undervalue yourself and your work because they can't afford you.

Ahh... good point!!!😅 I tend to make too many exceptions (so it's not an exception). My Negotodog buyers are usually a combination of all three characteristics that you mentioned - they expect a low price, they can't afford me, and they have no idea what it takes to complete the project. It often takes a lot of time to educate these buyers, so I often discount (at my own expense)! Thanks for bringing up this point!  I'll work on educating these buyers because I don't want to cancel any more orders due to me taking on more work than what I'm getting paid for.

51 minutes ago, smashradio said:

Toxic Spider monster

If your buyer has a bad day and takes it out on you, there's no excuse. If the buyer is generally disrespectful, there's no excuse. If they call you names or don't respect your boundaries, there's no excuse. 

...You need to run. Now. Don't accept this type of behavior from anyone.

The worst thing about the Toxic Spider monsters is that their toxic behaviors usually don't come out until after the order is placed. Normally they are in a good mood when placing the order. Then, once the order starts, that's when things get difficult. Sometimes they're tired at the end of a long day of work, and other times they are ornery because of bad health or they had a terrible day. Either way, when they take it out on me, it's very confusing for me. I don't do well when someone is yelling at me, is extremely negative, or accusatory. I find the best thing to do is just step away from the conversation and then I come back when emotions have settled down.

I really have a hard time blocking someone that I have a working relationship with. It's easy to block spam or someone from my inbox. It's harder if I have several orders with that buyer or current order with them. I still have not blocked that one buyer you told me to block several weeks ago! I feel like I have to "work things out" rather than take the easy route and block them. I also feel rude for blocking these buyers. 😟

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14 minutes ago, vickieito said:

I really have a hard time blocking someone that I have a working relationship with. It's easy to block spam or someone from my inbox. It's harder if I have several orders with that buyer or current order with them. I still have not blocked that one buyer you told me to block several weeks ago! I feel like I have to "work things out" rather than take the easy route and block them. I also feel rude for blocking these buyers. 😟

Oh no 😮 You're still on with them? Good lord. 

“When people show you who they are – believe them.”
 Bianca Frazier

Best to get rid of problematic individuals such as this. If you let them eat away at your passion, you'll only end up feeling like you're not good enough in the end. And that's a terrible feeling to have, especially when you know the reason is a noncompoop. 

17 minutes ago, vickieito said:

Thank you @smashradio! I always look forward to reading your posts and this one does not disappoint!

You seem to intuitively know what issues I'm facing in my business and dealing with difficult buyers is one of those issues. I love how you named these buyers after the monsters in "Stranger Things." I will never look at these buyers the same. 🤣

Haha - thanks! Glad I can entertain and be of help! 😄 

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I am working on fiverr since 2016 and i met all types of buyers you mentioned in your post. But as a seller we don't have any choice. We have to remain patient or peacefully we can cancel the order to avoid any bad experience or getting bad ratings.

 

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45 minutes ago, perri_edward said:

But as a seller we don't have any choice. We have to remain patient or peacefully we can cancel the order to avoid any bad experience or getting bad ratings. 

Or the 3rd option, be an adult! Stand up for yourself and stop being afraid of what the bad man may say if you don't let them order you around. You worked hard for the money, don't be so scared. 

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On 7/12/2022 at 2:24 AM, vickieito said:

The worst thing about the Toxic Spider monsters is that their toxic behaviors usually don't come out until after the order is placed.

Some of the Toxic Spiders cant conceal their true idenities very well. I have encountered some. They usually approach in Negotodog form with attidute. But you can use your magic torch to reveal their true idenity. Which is not bowing to the negotiations.

First they claim your prices are high, after that they ask why the prices are high. When i get asked "why" for my prices, i usually know it is a Toxic Spider Monster in Negotodog's form. There is still a chance its a Negotodog who wants to know your prices genuinely, but if it becomes uglier after that, use the standart disengage and block abilities. Toxic Spiders are very weak against blocking abilities.

Scopoflayer is my nemesis. They get stronger as the order gets closer to be finished. Each head you cut, 2 more comes up. And i have encountered some legendary Scopoflayers. They are Worse than the Toxic Spider's. They are evil. They give you the impression of revision request while tryng to break your spirit so at one point you just give up and cancel the order. After many hours of work you end up unpaid and they get their work done. Which is what they aim to do. Scammers, traitors, lord of their rotten towers. cant leave those fights without taking any damage.

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8 hours ago, ozan_erdi said:

Some of the Toxic Spiders cant conceal their true idenities very well. I have encountered some. They usually approach in Negotodog form with attidute. But you can use your magic torch to reveal their true idenity. Which is not bowing to the negotiations.

First they claim your prices are high, after that they ask why the prices are high. When i get asked "why" for my prices, i usually know it is a Toxic Spider Monster in Negotodog's form. There is still a chance its a Negotodog who wants to know your prices genuinely, but if it becomes uglier after that, use the standart disengage and block abilities. Toxic Spiders are very weak against blocking abilities.

Scopoflayer is my nemesis. They get stronger as the order gets closer to be finished. Each head you cut, 2 more comes up. And i have encountered some legendary Scopoflayers. They are Worse than the Toxic Spider's. They are evil. They give you the impression of revision request while tryng to break your spirit so at one point you just give up and cancel the order. After many hours of work you end up unpaid and they get their work done. Which is what they aim to do. Scammers, traitors, lord of their rotten towers. cant leave those fights without taking any damage.

You can indeed identify them early at times. But I often get questions about my rates. For instance, a buyer asked me last week why I charge 60 bucks for 400 words when my competition charges 10. 

Sometimes, buyers need a bit of education. So I usually give them a chance, by explaining why I charge more. In this case, it's my level of experience and the time I put into each project. If I charged less, I said, I'll get more projects, but that also means less time for each. They thanked me for the throurough explanation, ordered my gig and I'm now their "go-to copywriter". 

Yes, the scopoflayers are the worst. But I'm stubborn so they quickly find out that I'm immune to their attempts at getting free work done. 

 

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Wow, so many tips about recognizing these difficult clients. In my short life on Fiverr, I´ve had a couple of them and now I always use my instinct, sensibility, or whatever is it called to decide to work or not to work with. The money is always important but if that is going to affect my humor and state of mind then it's a no-no.

Thanks for all the great tips. They are precious gifts to all us new members.

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2 hours ago, mateusbl said:

@smashradio How about the "Nonsense" a buyer who refuse to answer any questions regarding the work to proceed in revisions. I'm struggling with this one and I had to request the support to this worst experience ever.

I guess a name for them could be Demovision (after the Demobats in Stranger Things, of course, combined with "revison"). 

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@smashradio, I've ran into another type of buyer who deceptively agrees with all the gig extras I provide and innocently "adds-on" extra requirements. Do you have a name for this buyer?

Example: 

Buyer: Can you also make another version of my resume tailored to the healthcare industry?

Me: Sure, it's $40 (~43% off) for an additional resume. Please accept the special offer to add this onto the order. [sends gig extra for $40]

Buyer: [accepts the offer] Thanks! I am accepting this offer in conjunction with you also doing my daughter's resume. See attached.

Me: Your daughter's resume was going to be on the next order. Would you like to add on her resume to this order? [sends gig extra for $40]

Buyer: [accepts the offer] What on earth justifies $40 for a college grad resume?!!! I guess I'll accept this, but you need to provide me with 2 additional versions of my resume. I need a general resume that is tailored to both the fintech and healthcare industry. I also want a comprehensive CV that includes everything I sent you in my supporting documents zip file. Thanks.

[2 cover letters, 5 resumes, 2 LinkedIn profiles, many gig extras, and 3 deliveries later]

Me: [sends 3rd delivery] Here are your latest revisions. Please note that any additional revisions will cost extra.

Buyer: Where's the general cover letter? Also, all files need to be in txt format as well as the PDF and Word docs that you sent.

Me: Only two cover letters were included in this order (fintech & healthcare). Also, as noted in the order requirements, your delivery is a PDF and Word document of each file. Changing all the files to txt will take additional time and formatting due graphics and columns in your resumes. Would you like me to add on the 3rd resume to the order as well as the extra txt files? [sends gig extra]

Buyer: [ignores gig extra, but accepts delivery] I'm closing this order! We can take care of all the revisions and extras in the inbox. No pressure. 😊

Me: 🤦‍♀️

Although the buyer gave me a 5-star review, I gave him a 4-star review, and let him know that work and revisions are only done on open orders, not the inbox chats. I think he might give me a negative private review based on my inbox conversations with him. At least he paid! His order ended up being quite large with all his add ons.

Edited by vickieito
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The Buyer Stands on top of my Dashboard with requesting a revision but not providing requirements.

I have this buyer who is a Fiverr Select buyer. After thorough discussion about their requirement and the outcome they can expect we started our first order. After Delivery this happened;

Revision 01:

Hi,
I really like this video ad. Here are the two small Revisions, I would like to see.

Delivered the revised version.

Revision 02:

Hi we may need to change the style of this video. My partner said she wanted some video graphics content to be in the commercial

Honestly I have no video clips of their product or there's no video content on the internet to source. Since I informed the inability to source video clips from my end and I am willing to replace some footages, if they can provide me some video clips, I am not getting any reply from them. It's been 7 days and still they are not responding. 

 

 

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On 7/29/2022 at 2:48 AM, vickieito said:

@smashradio, I've ran into another type of buyer who deceptively agrees with all the gig extras I provide and innocently "adds-on" extra requirements. Do you have a name for this buyer?

SInce I'm out of names to use from Stranger Things at this point, we're going to have to innovate our naming strategy for additional types. 

Your description of them did help me arrive at a great name for your buyer: Decepticon. From The Transformers franchise, of course. 

I would block that buyer, btw. Ugh! 

On 7/29/2022 at 6:54 AM, digitalcontntlk said:

I am not getting any reply from them. It's been 7 days and still they are not responding. 

A buyer can't use the revision button unless the deliver didn't match the gig description/custom offer, especially not if they don't have any requirements/info about what they need changed. That's abuse of the revision button. I would just re-deliver and explain to them that they can't ask for a revision without providing the material/specifications. Never offer unlimited revisions, make sure you charge for them with custom order extras if anything they ask for wasn't included in the original order. You're not here to work for free. 

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These types of stories always bother me. I haven't yet gained traction on here yet, but I know the freelancing game. Why is it so hard for people to recognize respect is a two-way street? You would think they'd be more cautious when we're working for ourselves and not trapped under some corporate "the customer is always right" ruleset.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/31/2022 at 1:07 AM, chriphenix said:

These types of stories always bother me. I haven't yet gained traction on here yet, but I know the freelancing game. Why is it so hard for people to recognize respect is a two-way street? You would think they'd be more cautious when we're working for ourselves and not trapped under some corporate "the customer is always right" ruleset.

True, those guys don't understand the risk of messing with us lol. Like when you are in restaurant you don't want to mess with the cook, unless you want him to spit in your food :classic_happy:

Imo its good to develop cold head approach when dealing with any client. If you are freelancer and take everything personal and emotional you're gonna have horrible experience.

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I know hundreds of Nightmare experiences

 

What about these?:

 

1- The client that does not want to give you any information, you ask him several times but he refuses to make their part or be cooperative.

 

Example:

 

Seller: "i know that you want a graphic with a car included, can you please name a car model or kind of car you want in there?"

 

Client:" You are the expert, work your magic"

 

After that you explain you do handcrafted work but the client remains to say the same "read my mind" thing

 

You deliver and the revision arrives with the client mentioning he was thinking he wanted to see a different car and model. 

 

Now i just need to press CTRL+(carmodel) key on my keyboard and it should be designed as magic!.

 

2- The one that threats you saying he knows someone from customer support... you report him and you realize he keeps doing the same and lives forever on the platform with no consequences.

 

3- The one that contacts you mentioning he only had bad experiences in the plattform, he even dares to mention their past orders being refunded!...for me this is a big warning light. A client with very high expectations nobody can please. 

 

4- The one that was expecting to see several "iterations" of your work with no adding any extra. Sometimes they promise a tip for the work to be done or future projects...of course, these are false promises.

 

5- The ones that threat you with a bad review, or the ones that ask you for something extra before closing the order

 

"i will leave a very good review IF you do this or that" what if not?

 

6- The one that needs to consult every change with a team of members and each one of them ask for a change or wants something different...i wonder why they do not make a decision before ordering what they need. 

 

7- The one that canceled the order and still uses the work you did.

 

8- The ones that leave a raging review because the order was closed automatically... always have a sick parent and they were unable to check the order earlier.

 

9- The ones that ask for impossible stuff

 

Example: Attached is a picture of my girlfriend, i want her to be facing front (the picture attached is from a profile view)

 

10- You explain to the buyer something wrong in the order and still want to continue even with those mistakes, after delivery he wants to correct those mistakes you explained.

 

Lately, i just refuse to work with people that just arrive demanding with not even say a Hi, or hello. I've learned to trust my gut, unfortunately, this will continue happening, there are a lot of abusive buyers and the system was made to be on the client side. Also, there are lots of sellers that would be willing to accept all these behavior to get a little money, so clients assume all of us work the same.

All these kinds of clients along with:

 

-The clients that order by mistake

-Other sellers asking you to give them work

-The ones that send you viruses inside a zip file to get in control of your account, or a link to a phishing site.

 

I can mention a lot more but i am afraid i am dealing with another Demandogorgon right now, so i need to RUN!

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1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The client that does not want to give you any information, you ask him several times but he refuses to make their part or be cooperative.

Indeed a nightmare buyer. I rarely have this type of buyer, simply because I don't charge five bucks. By making them invest a considerable amount in their order, the buyer is more likely to take the time to get it done right. It doesn't make you immune, but it helps. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The one that threats you saying he knows someone from customer support... you report him and you realize he keeps doing the same and lives forever on the platform with no consequences.

“There are two kinds of idiots - those who don't take action because they have received a threat, and those who think they are taking action because they have issued a threat.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The one that contacts you mentioning he only had bad experiences in the plattform, he even dares to mention their past orders being refunded!...for me this is a big warning light. A client with very high expectations nobody can please. 

Clients with a history of cancelations is certainly a red flag. But then again, I tend to support the buyers on this one. If a buyer comes to me after having a negative experience on Fiverr (it does happen) I do my best to make their experience with me the best possible one. I don't mind high expectations, because I also expect the best of myself. But the keyword here is high expectations. Not unrealistic expectations. I often get buyers who have ordered a translation or voice-over from some amateur here on Fiverr, and they're naturally disappointed about the whole thing. Then they decide that "Hey, it might be worth it to pay a bit more for quality and try out this Top Rated Seller here!". I'm gonna make damn sure they still think so when they download their delivery. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The one that was expecting to see several "iterations" of your work with no adding any extra. Sometimes they promise a tip for the work to be done or future projects...of course, these are false promises.

That's a Scopoflayer. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The ones that threat you with a bad review, or the ones that ask you for something extra before closing the order

Threatening to give you a bad review is not ok. Customer Support – here I come. Threats also qualify the buyer for my Toxic Spider Monster badge. 

The ones asking for more before closing the order are Scopoflayers

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The one that needs to consult every change with a team of members and each one of them ask for a change or wants something different...i wonder why they do not make a decision before ordering what they need. 

Good lord. Yes. This is another classic example of the Scopoflayer. A very common specimen. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The one that canceled the order and still uses the work you did.

I have one word: Lawyer. That's a direct violation of the terms, and in most countries, of copyright law, since the terms clearly state that the rights are only transferred to the buyer after payment. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The ones that leave a raging review because the order was closed automatically... always have a sick parent and they were unable to check the order earlier.

Which is why I always make sure my buyers know that they can come to me any time for help/included revisions/additional work if they need so, even after the order is completed. I don't care if I have to make a revision today or tomorrow: if it's included I'll happily do it for them. If the work is outside the scope of the original order, they have to pay for my time. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

The ones that ask for impossible stuff

Yep. This harkens back to unrealistic expectations. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

You explain to the buyer something wrong in the order and still want to continue even with those mistakes, after delivery he wants to correct those mistakes you explained.

These can be very annoying. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

I've learned to trust my gut

Good choice. 

1 hour ago, kickgom said:

 can mention a lot more but i am afraid i am dealing with another Demandogorgon right now, so i need to RUN!

Sorry to hear that! I wish you the best of luck on your quest to The Upside Down. 

Edited by smashradio
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