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Fiverr's New Seller Level System: Comprehensive Pros and Cons

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Hi all! My name is Tucie because my mom, who ironically has her PHD in English, misspelled Lucie and I have been a successful freelancer on this platform for 2 years (level 2 seller, benchmarks checked for TRS). Please note that this is the first time I've felt the need to post my opinion on the internet, much less on a Fiverr forum. Although this currently feels far-fetched, my hope is to have a representative from Fiverr sees this and take some of these insights into consideration. Otherwise, the next best case scenario is helping sellers better understand Fiverr more as a business perspective.


1. Client Satisfaction

PRIVATE REVIEWS It's first important to understand that Fiverr prompts buyer's to leave a private review after you've left a buyer a review. It's also important to note that the private reviews hold more weight than the public reviews. With that in mind, you never want to leave an honest review on a buyer's profile. From a seller's perspective, you don't want a buyer to leave a negative private review that's stemmed from vindictiveness. From Fiverr's perspective, they expect you to treat your profile as it's your own business (because it is); and in business, it's never a good idea to burn your bridges.

WHY PRIVATE REVIEWS ARE A NECESSITY Given my line of work, I undergo consultations as apart of my onboarding process. The main reason I do these consultations is to build a relationship with clients; and in this consultation, I ask about their previous Fiverr experiences. It was truly shocking to hear how many buyers have had negative experiences, yet still left a 5 star review because the previous seller "tried their best" or they chose to not leave a review at all out of fear they'd hurt the seller's business. When you think about this from Fiverr's perspective, private reviews are a necessity: if buyers are having bad experiences, they will not return to the platform and Fiverr will be out of business. If a particular seller is consistently getting negative private reviews, it is a smart idea to dilute their algorithm until further notice.

PRO: If you're a newer seller just learning about the platform, private reviews have practically always been around. The frustrating part about the old system is not knowing WHEN you got a private review. That said, I am personally a fan of being able to see an overview of my client satisfaction level.

CON: Although sellers know WHEN they get a negative private review, they still don't know WHY. My solution to this is to add pre-written selection of different elements as apart of the private review that can be shared with sellers. For instance, in the new rating system, buyers have the ability to select what they liked about the service. This tells a seller what they're doing well at. While that can encourage a buyer's impulse to purchase a service, it is useless feedback to the seller. Adding a similar feature to the private reviews and sharing that with sellers will enable the seller to know exactly what they need to work on. All in all, showing that there's a negative impact is not specific enough to be helpful.


2. Effective Communication

From my understanding, this is the same as tracking the order response rate. If you're a newer seller, Fiverr is tracking how quickly you respond to your current orders and you're expected to reply within 24 hours. This is something that they've always tracked, but previously was not a requirement to maintain a seller level.

PRO Regardless of it being a direct client or a buyer here on Fiverr, not responding in a timely manner tells buyers/clients that you are overworked and/or that you do not prioritize their needs, which is a major no-no given they're quite literally paying you to prioritize their needs. From Fiverr's prospective, it doesn't make sense for them to boost a gig's impressions if the seller is not responding to the orders they currently have: why would they give sellers with more work if a seller is already struggling with their current workload?

CON Given the endless array trust and safety risks, I completely understand why Fiverr does not allow outsiders to sign into a seller's account. However, it would be nice to have the ability to hire an assistant that can help respond to messages without the fear of being banned. It'd overall be a neat upsell feature: sellers will have the ability to close in on more offers due to a quicker response rate that isn't just a generic auto-response and would be willing to pay significantly more for this feature considering it makes them more money in the long haul.


3. Conflict-free Orders

From my understanding, this is referring to the frequency in which you extend a buyer's delivery date. 

PRO Fiverr's stance on this is simple: give buyers clear expectations. If a seller is consistently extending orders, then it's clear that the seller needs to re-evaluate their onboarding/client in-take process. I understand the need to track this, but the current set-up is wildly ineffective and hurts sellers more than it helps.

CON: When Fiverr rolled out the auto-accept feature extending delivery dates, I thought it was a smart move because it increases the likelihood of an order to be completed (increasing Fiverr's profits) because it gives the buyer more time to respond when life happens. However, this new metric incentives sellers to outright cancel the order from unresponsive buyers and have it removed from seller statistics if the buyer does not reorder within two weeks. 

Speaking solely based on my own personal experience, the times I've had to extend the delivery deadline is usually a direct result of a buyer placing an order without messaging me first, DESPITE clear directions placed numerous times throughout my gig to do so. I know that there is a feature that's already available to some sellers that grants them the ability to disallow buyers to purchase a gig unless it's sent via custom offer. That said, I strongly feel this feature should be available to all sellers with the expectation that the feature itself will NOT affect a gig's impressions; because frankly, it's not fair to punish sellers based on the actions of a buyer. If anything, granting sellers the freedom to have control over their onboarding process will only increase buyer satisfaction.

To that end, I also strongly feel that the consultation option should be available to all sellers. In my line of work, I require a mandatory consultation before taking on clients. Since this feature isn't available to me (despite being a level 2 seller with TRS benchmarks complete), I have to utilize my first package as the consultation. This not only limit's a buyer's purchasing power, but can cause discrepancy of what prices actually are if the buyer does not click through all of the package options before placing an order; and since my "consultation" is in form of a gig package, the times I've had to extend the deadline is usually due to a buyer not showing up to a consultation and/or needing to reschedule on their end; and as stated previously, it's not fair to punish sellers for something that's out of their control.

And these are just some added points for consultations, sellers that don't have this feature available are being put at risk of violating TOS by having to use outside contact via different schedular systems that they have to pay for; but more importantly, it can affect buyer satisfaction if they have to use a system they're unfamiliar with and/or is frustrating for them to use. 


4. & 5. Order Cancellations and Delivery Time

It's relatively straight-forward as to why Fiverr has always tracked these metrics. As a seller, you kind of have to think of offers like a contract: whether it's completing the project or delivering it on time, you are obligated to hold up your end of the deal. If you're unable to do so with the orders you currently have, then it makes no sense for Fiverr to boost your impressions.


6. Value for money

Ironically I am a sales coach that has worked with billion dollar clients such as AT&T, Apple and Samsung as a sales manager for over 5 years. I was responsible for launching events any time a new phone line came out on a regional scale managing teams of 200+ people. With that in mind, this is the stupidest metric I've ever heard of.

VALUE Have you ever bought something that you thought was a great deal, but when you expressed excitement about this deal to a loved one, they told you that you got ripped off or they thought you were downright stupid for making such a purchase? Why is it that you thought it was a great deal and they didn't? It's because value does not equate to price whatsoever. They are entirely two separate things: if you have a bigger need for something, then you'll value that thing way more than someone who doesn't have a need for it. In my opinion, this metric is an absolute wild card because it's judging a seller based on the severity of a buyer's needs which is something a seller cannot control. I sincerely think "reccomend to a friend" represents the same thing: if you saw great value in something, you'd reccomend it to a friend.

MONEY Sellers, especially if they're based in countries like US, have to compete with sellers from other countries that have the same quality work with a lower price point. That part is what it is, but pricing is in particular difficult because there's a 20% service charge on top of having to save 30-40%+ taxes, never mind any business expenses a seller may have to account to perform said service. In all seriousness, it's asking a buyer to judge their money's worth based on double the price of what it would be compared to invoicing a client directly and in a time where inflation is unprecedented. Quite frankly, there's no incentive for sellers to keep buyers on the platform other than the fear of being banned. Implementing a structure similar to Upwork where the service fee is lowered when specific metrics that met and are encouraged based on the frequency of working with the same client over a period of time would be an ideal solution, but I highly doubt that Fiverr will ever make that transition.


Edited by tuciemaykay
Corrected some typos.
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I absolutely love your insight on these new changes and I totally agree with the problems regarding the value for money metric. What makes it so much worse is that Fiverr chose to equate the adjective "exceptional" with 5 stars. Exceptional implies that we give the client more than they paid for or expected. How is that reasonable?

Another issue in my field (presentation design) is that not all work even has the capacity to be described as exceptional. If I'm taking a blank slide and creating a polished branded deck out of it, that's exceptional, but other times I'm simply expected to integrate their pre-made brand guidelines which is a straightforward task. 

As for delivery extensions and multiple revisions, I had no idea that had a negative impact on our gigs. My recent batch of clients have requested revision and extensions because they were waiting on a team member to get back to them with feedback or they were too busy. How is that my problem? If I start rushing them now, I'll probably come across as impatient and get rated poorly in private reviews.  I'm now wondering if this is the reason my impressions have fallen from 800 impressions a day to 100 a day since last week. 

Fiverr should have first done more to inform us about ways in which private reviews are impacting our performance before moving on to a whole new level system.  I've registered for their upcoming webinar on these changes, so let's see how it goes. 

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Thank you for sharing !

I have a 4 as success score because of 

-value for money 

- conflict-free orders 

And it's exactly like you said , for the first one I've met buyers who wanted me to do the work for 2-3$ .

And for the second one , i always deliver before the deadline but it takes time from buyers to ask for revisions and it's marked as "late" .

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You and @anniejenkinson are both doing an incredible job of bringing your professional perspectives to the forum. I think it's amazing that Fiverr is attracting this level of talent to the platform.

But it's absolutely dismaying to see the complete lack of response from Fiverr to posts like this (I know it's the weekend, I'm talking more generally). 

Step up YOUR game Fiverr. If you want top talent, don't put them in the same basket as the sellers you are trying to eliminate with this update! Nobody has an issue with metrics if they are done right and with REAL openness and transparency. We all have an issue with how horribly the company has handled and continues to handle this botched product release.


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4 hours ago, emmaki said:

"Nobody has an issue with metrics if they are done right and with REAL openness and transparency. We all have an issue with how horribly the company has handled and continues to handle this botched product release."


Say it louder for the people in the back!

Edited by tuciemaykay
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This is very thorough well done @tuciemaykay


Agree with you, there are no doubt merits to the system. To add my two pence to your insights, I've got some builds on the value for money aspect. I really hope Fiverr heed the thoughts of it's sellers.


Now that it's in place, I have to say I find the "value for money" rating really worrying - for all the reasons you've outlined. But another thing I've noticed is that it means there's a negative incentive in a way. I've now done it a few times, and have heard of others doing it, when in the initial stages of a project you are discussing the budget / fee - and the prospective client finds it to be too expensive. Because of the new system, I think it instills a sense of paranoia, and a slight desperation on the part of the seller to avoid a negative review. Therefore the seller declines any further communication with that client, and ends up rejecting a potential sale. I've done this - even when I'd been at the point of renegotiating with the client out of fear that the client will mark me down. This is based on a real experience. I received my first ever sub 5* review literally the day after the new system was introduced - despite agreeing up front with the seller the budget - they then marked me down for it. Hardly encourages retaining clients / repeat buys does it?

I think a little bit of adjusting is needed to this new system - there is some pretty widespread dissatisfaction amongst sellers.


It also means the platform becomes slightly unpleasant to work on. No one wants to have this constant threat of a negative review hanging over them every time they work through Fiverr. Of course, reviews inspire good work - however the importance Fiverr places on reviews and the impact they have on your sales, coupled with this now enhanced ability for buyers to review in private / other factors to negatively impact your score brings this somewhat nasty level of anxiety to working on the platform which is hardly the best condition to inspire the greatest work.

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