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Why you should ask your potential buyers to contact you before ordering


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I am a video designer and have been working on Fiverr for over a year now. This is my first forum thread here, and sadly it isn’t a pleasant one. If you are a new seller, or are just starting to add gig extras and expect to earn more from Fiverr; take the time to read this and learn how to do it right, I can promise you that you will learn a lesson that it took me a year of selling on Fiverr to learn myself.

I have completed about 100 jobs on Fiverr. I am a level 2 seller here, and a lot of the time it is great, but sometimes it just isn’t.

To get to why this post is titled, “Why you should ask your potential buyers to contact you before ordering” I have found that if you offer gig extras and do not request that everyone contacts you before purchasing your gig, you will get people who purchase your base, $5 gig, and expect you to not just do more than the $5 gig offering, including, but not limited to, some or all of your gig extras, that some will also request things that you may not even be offering on Fiverr. No, I am actually not exaggerating.

My main gig goes a little something like this: for $5 I will put your logo in a specific template of mine, add your 3 main points, render the video, and send it to you. For $15 I will do a similar job, but you can choose which template you would like, or I can select one for you, and your logo and main points will be added in, rendered, and sent to you. For $25 I will take one of my templates and customize it - change the colors to match your website / logo, maybe change the music or speed of the video, etc - render it, and send it to you, and lastly, for $45 I will make a custom 30 second video for your business. If you want a custom 1 min video, then it is another $45 (logically), 1.5 min is another $45 (just to make it clear). Now I am not trying to sell my services here (frankly I am considering taking that gig down, so this is in no way self promo), I am just wanting to explain how the service I have been offering works.

How does this relate to me, you may be asking yourself, well; here we go. If you offer a base gig that is a product or service where you can complete the job in under an hour (As far as I have seen; most people don’t offer things that take much longer than this for $5), and gig extras that take more and more work the more your buyer pays, then you have a similar structure to what I have. If you are new to being a Level 1 or Level 2 seller, then you may have not experienced this problem yet, but you will, so take heed to my warning now, and ask your potential buyers to contact you before placing an order. Why, you may ask, wondering why more orders matters, you can always ask them to purchase gig extras after they order if they need something more than the base gig they paid for covers, right?

Wrong. This is where it gets tricky, and this is why I have placed this thread in the tips for sellers section. If you do this, if you do not ask your potential buyers to contact you before placing an order, then they will buy your $5 base gig with the eyes of an 8 year old in a candy shop. They have looked at your ‘real work examples’ and seen the work you can do (all of those people got gig extras to get such a nice job done), and they are ready to get their $5 masterpiece to. You know what, they felt generous and got your $10 gig extra, however; their order is for $15, and they are requesting a $45 job, what do you do? If you decide to ask them to purchase the appropriate gig extra (which is frankly kind of hard even if they wanted to, as your gig extras are for $10, $20, and $40, and they need to get their order from $15 -> $45, but that’s pretty irrelevant because of what happens next), then [most likely, and as far as my experience has taught me], one of two things will happen. 1. They will immediately ask you to cancel the order / swear they will never work with you again / tell you that you are ruining the market by charging so much when everything is supposed to be $5 / or not respond at all. Or 2. They will ask you to do it anyway / do what you can for them - in other words give me the most you can for my $15. In this case, you have about a 50 / 50 chance of them liking the finished product (if you decide to go ahead and do it for them). Either way, you have probably already spent more time than you would have if they just bought your $15 gig extra expecting to get what you’re offering for $15, so now you have done more for them, and somehow you have a 50 / 50 chance of them liking it, that sounds pretty bad, right? Right.

That possibility of a negative feedback or a possible order cancellation is not worth a job that you would have to do extra work on anyway. Avoid taking these jobs by first screening your potential buyers by having them contact you before ordering. Go over their project with them, give them a quote and explain why you are charging what you are. Take the time before the order starts to make sure that you have a better chance of the order ending in a success for both sides. You don’t want to get stuck doing hours of unpaid work for over expecting buyers, or facing negative feedback or order cancellations after you have done all that work.

The problem is that people don’t understand that you get what you pay for, or rather that you need to pay for what you are asking to get, and someone like me (experienced and who has a large portfolio of works) isn’t going to spend several hours making a video for $5 or $15 - If someone was new to the business, and wanting to get experience and grow their portfolio, then maybe you could get a video made for $15, but it simply isn’t going to be done with the experience and knowledge of someone who has been doing this for the thousands of hours I have.

Will I add your logo to a template that I made, render it [while I eat lunch], and send it to you for $5, sure - that is what one of my base gigs offers, but some people expect custom videos or editing services for $5, $15, $25, when their jobs are $45, $75, $90 jobs, respectively.

Due to the increasing amount of people either contacting me to do something at a price way less than what I am willing to do it for (and then complaining that this is Fiverr and things should be $5 and that I am ruining the marketplace by wanting to charge so much), and the increasing amount of people who agree on a project, and then continue to ask for more once I have delivered what we agreed on (without expecting to pay more; while asking me to do twice the work as originally agreed), I have decided to continue offering my services on Fiverr, but just cherry picking those who I want to work with by offering a new gig that is titled, “I will send you a quote for a custom animated video for $5”, that’s right. I still offer to throw your logo in a template, render it out, and send it to you for $5, but if you want a custom video, you can now pay me $5 to take a look at your project and send you a detailed quote over viewing my services, what I will be able to do for you (such as arranging a voice over to be created, or royalty free music to be added, and, of course, the video animation), and what the price will be for the job that you desire. I am hoping that this will decrease the amount of dissatisfied people who want lots of work done without wanting to even pay me minimum wage to do it.

So, to get to the end of my story, I am still offering my services on Fiverr, but am attempting to move my main focus to working on Odesk and via my website, where I can work for people who are willing to pay for the services I am offering, instead of expecting a discount based on the idea that ‘because the base gig is only $5; if I want more it must be cheap too’.

Have you experienced similar problems? Share your thoughts below.

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I think your post was a bit wordy, but I totally get what you’re saying. 🙂

I recently closed my gigs after a two-year run (due to increasing buyer manipulation, the star system which hadn’t yet taken place but was coming, and a few other things), but I had a book trailer gig (video commercials for books, like movie trailers). I tell ya, I hated that we were restricted to 1200 characters on the gig description page (even though that was an increase from what it was when I started). I had to keep editing and editing and editing to include everything I would and wouldn’t do. Buyers just kept coming up with all this stuff that I had to concede to “just this once”, and then I’d have something else to add to the gig page.

I made sure to have a line in there about contacting me with any questions or if they weren’t sure if I could do what they needed. Sometimes it’s hard to put things nicely when you’re ready to wring some necks. 😛

So yeah, I getcha. Always a good idea to contact the seller before buying. 🙂

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Reply to @goodgift: Wordy…? I used the max character limit… 😛

I totally understand. In one of my gigs I basically just introduce myself, say that I do photo editing and video editing and creation, explain what the base gig is, and then tell them to contact me [before ordering] for more information if they want more than the base gig. There just isn’t enough space to tell them what you need to, and just like you were saying, tell people what you will and wont do. If they let us have another 200 or 400 characters enough to let people know if they should or shouldn’t order our gig, but they only allow for a straight forward explanation of what you do; no details.

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I totally agree with you on your post. I do have that on my gig text “Contact me before ordering” and I still get people ordering without even giving me a heads up. 😊 But you shouldn’t take your gig down. You should simply say:

“I will give you 5 seconds of animation for 5 bucks” LOL and then, they’ll f*ing get it.

Anyways, I cam to the forum to check a couple of things out, and find out if and when they’re making some changes about the seller’s levels.

See ya!

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