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New Rating System is Punishing Sellers


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I recently noticed that buyers have started to give lower reviews, and I didn't really understand why. Then I realized that Fiverr changed the rating categories. The current categories are Seller Communication Level, Quality of Delivery, and Value for Money. The problem with this new "Value of Money," which replaced "Service as Described," is the following: Buyers are willingly accepting the price without us ever forcing them to accept it. We offer them a price, then they can decide whether they want it or not. Many buyers often request multiple freebies after the delivery because they claim they can't do certain tasks, and we, as sellers, accommodate them. Yet, we still receive low ratings for Value for Money because the buyer simply has an issue with having to pay for a full-time service. So, this new category is very counterproductive, as buyers may turn away from even Top Rated Sellers who generate revenue for Fiverr because Fiverr allows the buyer to decide and evaluate our prices. We set the prices; they can take it or leave it. But right now this new system is punishing us, because we're asking money for the service we provide.

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The problem is that some buyers don't really read everything or just leave stuff there randomly. I had a very happy client that left me a 3.3 star review and came back the next day. And it was not due to the review system, it's because a lot of buyers just rush to finish the review process. I even have a 1 star review from a year ago because the buyer left it at 1 AM their time and just wanted to finalize the order. I asked what was wrong, he apologized because he just randomly pressed stuff to go to sleep.

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I genuinely wouldn't mind this new rating system if I didn't see my impressions plummet after getting a 4* review. I was getting 2k impressions a day for ages, and now all of a sudden... 200 a day, with no change in sight. It's just so depressing, especially when it's your livelihood. Ah well - what can you do? Forever at the whim of some giant corporate conglomerate who doesn't actually care about the people at the bottom.

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Actually here in the review it was mentioned that the price was too high for a simple task. The problem is that a, it wasn't a simple task, and b, she got a custom offer for the job, what she willingly accepted without hesitating for a second. So the review doesn't even cover the truth.

Edited by istvanszaboifj
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13 minutes ago, istvanszaboifj said:

So the review doesn't even cover the truth.

Which again, points to what I said. The review system adds a lot more power in the buyer's hands. And unfortunately some buyers abuse that power. 

Some people will agree to something because they need it. But they will not be fully happy, since in their mind they overpaid. That's where most of the genuine 4 out of 5 star value for money reviews come. The rest are people randomly leaving stars, or those not understanding the new review system. My opinion, of course, but it certainly seems like that.

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I have almost 3910 5-star rating, about 23 4 stars, 4 3 and 2 stars and 2 1 stars. I always try to do my best, but as I see lately buyers starts to abuse the system with this "Value for Money" rating. First of all, we, sellers set the price, not the buyer as we know what time and work the actual job takes. Second, we don't force a gun to their head to accept the price we offer. Therefore its not their right to judge our prices, the prices what they're willingly and happily accept. The world work this way, you pay for services. I wonder why Fiverr wants to forget this as they're living us, from sellers. But if they're giving even the pricing to the hand of the buyers, that's going to be a catastrophe as most buyer wants everything for free. 

Edited by istvanszaboifj
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11 hours ago, istvanszaboifj said:

Yet, we still receive low ratings for Value for Money because the buyer simply has an issue with having to pay for a full-time service.

Just got 3 stars for that category from repeated buyer... I just "love" new rating system.

Interesting thing is that Fiverr forced us to raise prices in some categories (maybe even all, I don't know as I don't have gigs in all categories), but yet again, they added value for money part.

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Not sure where all this is going, but it surely gives injustice to a lot of sellers. Ok even before a buyer not thinking much could give you 3-4 stars,  just to sign off the feature. But this value-for-money thing can have long-term consequences - a buyer accepted the order,  so did the price,  and now he has the option to judge whether it was pricy. Nowadays I get complaints from de-ranked people, and I can't even find what was the cause. And to my opinion, the "rehabilitation" period lasts too long. 

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When I think about it now, buyer might be confused about this with few reasons:

1. Value for money - buyer thinks price for order is too big. (interesting is that $5 orders have value for money option)

2. Value for money - buyer thinks price for order is too low and thinks we don't apricate our work.

3. Value for money - buyer thinks that less stars are better for this category. (like how much was price for the order where 5 stars is high price and 1 star is low price)

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1 hour ago, milos_siena said:

Nowadays I get complaints from de-ranked people, and I can't even find what was the cause. And to my opinion, the "rehabilitation" period lasts too long. 

I think I've mentioned this before, but the biggest issue (to me) is that we're constantly sent mixed messages. 

Just as an example (though of course, that COULD have been for many other reasons as I did have some cancellations that allegedly didn't affect me during that time as well) I went on break in July. Came back to little to no business. MAYBE this month will be the first month I'll make as much as last June. Maybe. I used the OOO feature and as far as I knew, it meant I was safe. Later, we were told that the feature was improved, and NOW it's safe. (do you see where I'm going?)

The same is going on with the reviews. The threshold to keep your level was lowered to 4.2. Now, with the NEW system that's literally designed to give us lower reviews (which in itself is understandable), it's being raised back to 4.7 for TRS (or whatever it will be.) A score we didn't even know of and is supposed to be relatively stagnant will need to stay over what, 8-9 for TRS starting next month? 

My point is that I feel like we're told about one thing; it makes sort of sense, but then it gets changed into something worse. 

I think the value for-money bit COULD make sense... but maybe with some tweaking? Like maybe just a 'was this order worth the price?': yes/no. I think the risk is that people start thinking, 'Oh, actually, I saw, say, writers who were cheaper. Maybe they weren't as specialized as some of us (or just not as experienced but not everyone will reflect on that. A yes/no question is faster and a bit easier just to say 'yeah, I mean I got what I wanted...'

(sorry for the rant back to you, I've been sitting on this for a bit... I'm curious to see what changes tomorrow brings...)

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Fiverr is trying to normalize 3-4 stars (while almost everyone else trying to be 5 or 10 stars). New clients will think this platform just a waste, because all of past buyers were not impressed by the services here.

Edited by creativecolumn
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6 minutes ago, creativecolumn said:

Fiverr is trying to normalize 3-4 stars (while almost everyone else trying to be 5 or 10 stars)

Why do you have a 1-5 star system when the majority of active sellers are level 2 and with 5 stars or 4.9. Check the site and try to buy something. It takes a lot of time to find the right person because everyone has great reviews. Some of them have reviews out of pity, others are exceptional sellers. But they all have 5 stars. How do you choose the right person? Because some of those ratings were not correct in the first place. 

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I still think the best way to handle this would be to clear the system and have everyone start from scratch. Leave the old reviews (remove the ratings) and get rid of levels. Fiverr has enough tiered marketplaces (regular, pro, enterprise, certified) for different groups of sellers / buyer segmentation so far as seller badges are concerned. 

Have an interim period of idk 2-3 months for the dust to settle and give sellers time to collect new reviews. Will they all still be 5 star reviews? Yes, probably. Is this a well-thought out review system? No! But it has the benefit of being fair and simple while giving the system a much-needed reboot away from gamification and bolted-on AI daily performance reviews. 

It seems the only way to solve the 5-star review issue is with a transparently confusing system designed to knock reviews down a notch or two and some little white lies. But just as my solution only solves the problem I don't like, Fiverr's solution only solves the problem it doesn't like while being a terrible new feature for all of its users. 

Here's a post from Reddit today. I bet that seller is full of the joys of spring...

image.png.0e37db2de5e6e4204d87427cf9815a08.png

The whole system Fiverr has constructed makes zero consideration for user error on that front. But tbf that's probably asking a bit much. If only buyers would get a "did you forget to finish your review?" email to go with the mountains of other emails they get. Of course, such a feature would be wide open to abuse by sellers with an army of sadly, but conveniently, recently deceased grannies behind them.

And there you have the crux of it: Fiverr really is punishing its entire userbase for the behavior of its worst sellers. Because it saves them time and money and they know they can get away with it - for now. If I had to choose a word, I would choose "brazen" over "transparent".  

 

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21 hours ago, istvanszaboifj said:

I recently noticed that buyers have started to give lower reviews, and I didn't really understand why. Then I realized that Fiverr changed the rating categories. The current categories are Seller Communication Level, Quality of Delivery, and Value for Money. The problem with this new "Value of Money," which replaced "Service as Described," is the following: Buyers are willingly accepting the price without us ever forcing them to accept it. We offer them a price, then they can decide whether they want it or not. Many buyers often request multiple freebies after the delivery because they claim they can't do certain tasks, and we, as sellers, accommodate them. Yet, we still receive low ratings for Value for Money because the buyer simply has an issue with having to pay for a full-time service. So, this new category is very counterproductive, as buyers may turn away from even Top Rated Sellers who generate revenue for Fiverr because Fiverr allows the buyer to decide and evaluate our prices. We set the prices; they can take it or leave it. But right now this new system is punishing us, because we're asking money for the service we provide.

Very glad you've touched on this. I think this is incredibly unfair for sellers. After over 3 years I've suddenly just started to get lower reviews, and this is because of the stupid "Value for Money" section.

My work on Fiverr is related to fixing website glitches and server issues for clients. I sometimes get buyers who are very distressed, they need their websites to be fixed - fast because downtime of their sites means potential loss of income or service. I charge a very modest price depending on what the issues are. My price isn't just related to the job that I do but to the level of skill and experience I have obtained working in this industry for so long. I get many clients who have bounced around a few other Fiverr "Website Fixers", who have charged them a cheap price but ultimately made their situations much worse. 

I then fix an issue for a client, sometimes it's an easy fix, sometimes it is not. And after describing how relatively simple some issues are, they decide all of a sudden that I'm not value for money. THEY WERE NOT SAYING THAT PRIOR TO NEEDING MY ASSISSTANCE.

By accepting the offer that I send a buyer, the client has already AGREED that my service is "Value for Money". I think this new rating system is ridiculous. 

I feel sorry for people that spend a lot of time providing a service to a client for them to get knocked down in the rating due to "Value for Money". The buyers were not forced into making that purchase, they would have shopped around beforehand to find that seller and had already made the decision that it was indeed "Value for Money".

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The other thing that perhaps some sellers don't realize is how horrible the user interface is for the buyers.  And 'value for money' is the last click (before the review part) First click, you choose '5 stars' for whatever the first category is, then -- and this was VERY confusing at first, but like anything one learns how it works -- then you get the same damn screen again now with extra images below it so buyers with too much time on their hands can click on pre-digested little wordlets to say why this first category is good or bad .. so you click past THAT screen and you're on the second category.  You click '5 stars' (or whatever your rating is .. ) on the little emoji screen and then THIS screen refreshes with wordie craplets for this same category.  Again, VERY confusing, because after clicking you assume this is now something else .. it feels like the fourth time you've had to do a rating.   Then you click AGAIN on the same screen and you get to the third category .. the 'value for money' one .. click '5 stars' .. and then THAT one refreshes with image craplets to click past.  Now it really feels like fiverr is intentionally wasting your time .. you've had to click at .. and look at an array of images .. six times.  

Without intending any harm to my sellers, I'm afraid I've gotten angry at the screens often enough to simply exit and go on about my business.   

So  .. it's a terrible terrible user interface, terrible design, terrible idea.   But perhaps it isn't usually the buyer being newly critical, it's only trying to get out of the rabbit hole of a terrible design.  

Edited by will998
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18 hours ago, milos_siena said:

And to my opinion, the "rehabilitation" period lasts too long

Often sellers don't know what they did wrong or if, they did get a poor rating, when/if a gig will recover. So, they keep tweaking their gig, wondering what's wrong with something else they might be doing, and hoping that something finally sticks FOR MONTHS. It's tormenting.  

Edited by mandyzines
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Yeah, I've noticed that more buyers are now leaving 4.3 and 4.7 stars, including the ones who give me tips. It makes no sense. They will put 5 stars for Quality of Delivery but then 4 stars for Seller Communication or Value of Money. It's ridiculous. 

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Ive just sent my two cents to Fiverr regarding this new system. I too said its punishing sellers even more than the old system, for a number of reasons. Judging us on metrics like value for money and customer satusfaction, where they even say theyre going "beyond reviews" is stupid because we have no way beyond reviews to know how were performing in those mtrics or how to change them. 

Also judging a gig based on its entire history rather than just the last 90 days seems like its oging to punish sellers with gigs that have run for longer, due to, in their own words, it meaning that change will occur very slowly in someones ratings. yes ok I suppose that also means its slower to be demoted, but not necessarily.

 

Im normally a Level 2 Seller, been on here for 5 years, 5 star rating across the board etc. and ive been demoted sometimes simply for response time as a lot of my clients are american and im english meaning i get messages in the middle of the night and ive been demoted for not replying within an hour. then i have to spend a month at level 1 before i can return to level 2. but now its looking like i may have to wait longer, and with no clear idea of how to improve this very vague "success score" metric. 

 

I wasnt fond of the system before but I absolutely detest this new one already.

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Haha it looks like Fiverr is kicking out old sellers with good ratings. With the new "Value for money" and "Seller communication" I started getting 4.3 and 4.7s, even when the client is super happy, leaves an amazing review and a tip. But now I have seen the new LEVEL system, it's outrageous, I got downgraded from Level 2 to Leven 1, but it's a separate topic I guess..... Fiverr gives me a strange feeling I'm no longer valued

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Exciting when you have all GREEN criteria for a Top Rated Sellers, on your profile?  BANG!! New updated and my profile is now FLAGGED 🙂 

I have been told that they have detached LOCATION INCONCISSTENCIES.

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I have been on here 10+ years. 8+ of them I was Top Rated Seller until 8 months ago when they rolled out new changes. Demoted to Lvl 2 for no reason and support couldn't give me any input on it either. Bit my tongue and moved on. Now with new "level" changes I am down to a Lvl 1! Have always maintained a 4.9-5 overall rating. My 2 most popular gigs are apparently factoring in on the "metrics". Satisfaction being the main and yet over 3,100 5 star reviews on the one gig...less than 20 under 3 star. None of it makes any sense and fiverr can't make it make sense. Greed is all I have seen drive this company the last 4 years. More fees for buyers, more services for the seller to have to buy to be "successful". Constant unneeded changes. Used to be a great site.

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premium gig.JPG

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4 hours ago, russflex said:

Yeah, I've noticed that more buyers are now leaving 4.3 and 4.7 stars, including the ones who give me tips. It makes no sense. They will put 5 stars for Quality of Delivery but then 4 stars for Seller Communication or Value of Money. It's ridiculous. 

Communication is a factor weighing in on my metrics....

I don't need to communicate if I have all the information. It's like fiverr expects us to have full conversation with clients bout their order, their day, their feelings, their dogs feeling....like come on!

Time is money, I don't need to waste time communicating if I have the info I need and can get to work.

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I don't know about anyone else but it seems cancellations have changed?" I had two cancellations on a gig both before requirements and max two minutes after they were placed and in big letters there was a text box saying the cancellation would not affect my score  -  yet on the new "levels" on that same Gig is "strong negative impact" on that gig. This means they must have taken those two into account as they are the only two cancellations. 

 

I mean what the hell? Have they changed policies?

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8 hours ago, dianeofmusgrave said:

 I had two cancellations on a gig both before requirements and max two minutes after they were placed and in big letters there was a text box saying the cancellation would not affect my score  -  yet on the new "levels" on that same Gig is "strong negative impact" on that gig.  

Same here!! I've had 2 cancellations in 2 years on a certain gig, both of which were accidental orders that weren't even activated and it explicitly states that these orders would not have an impact. It's got to be a bug. Please contact support to raise the issue!   If this particular metric is so clearly flawed and we can actually prove it, I can only imagine how some of the more subjective categories may be messed up. 

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