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Trust & Safety Tips When Buying on Fiverr


Kesha

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While we do our best to diligently vet users to safeguard buyers from dishonest sellers, we also encourage all buyers to play an active role in ensuring you're not falling prey to any scams while working with a freelancer on our platform. Here are key tips to consider when doing business on Fiverr:

Use discretion when sharing sensitive information
When working with freelancers, sharing sensitive information and data may be necessary for them to get the job done. If you are able, have freelancers use their own login credentials and add them as an admin. In these cases, adhere to the principle of least privilege; meaning granting admin access only for what is necessary for the job. 

In cases where sharing your password is unavoidable (e.g., for website building or community management), consider using a password manager as a secure way to share credentials. After project completion, be sure to properly offboard freelancers by revoking their access and, for added security, consider changing your passwords.

Keep conversations limited to the platform
It's crucial to restrict your communication with freelancers to the Fiverr platform. Not only does this adhere to our Terms of Service, but it also protects you from potential scams. 

Communicating off the platform complicates our ability to resolve any issues and makes it nearly impossible for us to intervene effectively. While we can typically review on-platform conversations, issue refunds, and address concerns, these actions become challenging if communication occurs outside the platform, which leads to far longer resolution times.

Contact customer support
If you ever feel uneasy during your collaboration with a seller, you don’t have to take matters into your own hands. Simply inform our Customer Support team as soon as possible. They will be able to investigate the situation, offer guidance to resolve concerns or assist in canceling the order if needed.


Remember, while we implement various security measures to protect buyers, taking a few extra steps can further ensure a pleasurable and secure experience on the platform, free from scams and potential issues.

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Thanks for this topic, @Kesha! Most buyers won't be on the forum to see this, so maybe once you get some feedback, this could be emailed out to new buyers.

It can be really hard for new buyers to find a good seller to work with.

3 hours ago, Kesha said:

Keep conversations limited to the platform

This is probably the #1 tip to avoid working with scammers. If buyers keep all conversations on the platform, they only have to worry about dealing with bad sellers.

3 hours ago, Kesha said:

Contact customer support

It took me a long time to figure out how to do this on Fiverr. There isn't a phone number to call and many new buyers don't know that they need to keep clicking past the "I still need help" to get to the screen with the help desk ticket. They can email Fiverr support but then they don't know how long they need to wait for a response. Often the forum provides quicker responses but sometimes the feedback from forum members isn't very helpful.

3 hours ago, Kesha said:

Use discretion when sharing sensitive information

Not only is this important to protect your information, it may be against third-party ToS to allow a seller access to your account. LinkedIn may shut down a buyer's profile if a seller from a different geographical location logs in. Thinkific has fees for adding users to build a course and website on their LMS platform (so they don't allow multiple users on one log-in).

3 hours ago, Kesha said:

taking a few extra steps can further ensure a pleasurable and secure experience on the platform, free from scams and potential issues.

I agree! I think it's also important to add:

Know Fiverr's ToS

Newbie buyers tend to overly trust their sellers. You can have negative experiences with sellers who have over 1k 5-star reviews or even ones with the TRS or Pro badge. I've learned the hard way that some sellers will try to bend the rules when orders don't go their way.

These sellers can be very convincing to new buyers who aren't experienced on the platform. They may try to make you feel like it's okay to get a partial delivery or give a good review on a partial delivery (they will deliver the rest in a few hours). But don't let them do that! Sellers doing this are trying to avoid getting penalized for late deliveries and/or bad reviews (note: both are against Fiverr's ToS). If you do as they say, they'll most likely stop responding to you because once an order closes, you are no longer a priority to them. Know your rights and get customer service involved if a seller tries to bend the rules.

Pay Attention to Seller Communication

How a seller communicates with you in the inbox chats will give you a good idea of what it will be like to work with them.

Is your seller rushing you to place the order (and isn't fully responding to your questions)? Or is there something in your communications making you feel uncomfortable? If so, then most likely you won't have a good buying experience either.

Also, if your seller claims to be a writer but has many grammatical errors in your chats (even if their portfolio samples are perfect), beware.

Don't Ask For Free Work or Do Orders in the Inbox

You can ask for samples of your seller's work, but if you want custom samples, place a mini-order instead. This protects both you and your seller. 

I've approached several sellers as a buyer just to inquire about their services and they thought I was asking them to do work. So they did free work that I didn't want or ask for. That was a waste of time and effort for them.

Even if English isn't your first language, you should know that if there isn't an order, there isn't an agreement between you two. Sellers shouldn't provide free work in the inbox and buyers shouldn't ask for free work. Placing an order with your seller, even if it is a test order, will keep you and your seller accountable to each other and Fiverr can protect both of your interests.

Some sellers may try to give you several custom samples of their work and once you pick one you like, they will then give you an offer for you to place an order and deliver the file to you. Avoid that. This is review manipulation and sellers are doing this so that they can flush out any bad reviews (at your expense). If you agree, you may never have a good sample (lost time for you), the seller can ignore you (you can't control the order), and there is also no way for you to let other buyers know of your experience with that seller. You can only leave reviews if you place orders.

Edited by vickieito
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For confidential projects buyers could also split the project (if possible) between more than one seller - if that would mean it would be more secure by having each seller not know the full info.

14 minutes ago, vickieito said:

Some sellers may try to give you several custom samples of their work and once you pick one you like, they will then give you an offer for you to place an order and deliver the file to you. Avoid that. This is review manipulation and sellers are doing this so that they can flush out any bad reviews (at your expense). If you agree, you may never have a good sample (lost time for you), the seller can ignore you (you can't control the order), and there is also no way for you to let other buyers know of your experience with that seller. You can only leave reviews if you place orders.

The buyers can leave reviews on orders placed from custom offers though. And the buyer could still say "this is the preferred custom sample but I want it changed/different in this/these way(s)" and they could still ask for revisions if it isn't how they want. So unless the seller is saying they can only have one of those custom samples (without changes/variations decided by the buyer) I don't think it would be really review manipulation.

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41 minutes ago, uk1000 said:

The buyers can leave reviews on orders placed from custom offers though. 

I think we are talking about two different things. Hashing out the scope of the order with the seller and then placing an order is different than trying to do a full order in the inbox and only creating a custom offer when the buyer states they have an acceptable sample.

The problem is, there are sellers out there that refuse to give a custom offer until the sample is delivery-ready. This means buyers can't leave a review if the seller ends up not giving a custom offer. 

If the buyer decides to leave at that point, this isn't a win-win because the seller only avoids a bad review whereas the buyer is out on time, has a negative experience, and still has an unfinished project. Other buyers will only see the curated positive reviews that the seller ended up with and won't know how many buyers had their time wasted with the seller (i.e., did not get a custom offer to place an order).

I don't see why all of this can't be done in an order. This gets rid of a lot of headaches. Sellers can still share different samples in an order, and the buyer can pick the preferred sample. This protects both parties and both parties need to keep up their end of the bargain. Allowing buyers and sellers to work in the inbox opens the door for a lot of abuses and Fiverr can't protect either party because there isn't a formal agreement.

Edited by vickieito
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