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If you advertise it for $5 . . . you must sell it for $5!


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I think also, the complaint is not only the amount, but the type of tasks. As several others have mentioned, the complexity of the gig determines the amount. My basic one is pretty straightforward - x words read for x price. However, my new gig is an animation, so that could get pretty complex. Yes, for $5 I’ll give you a short simple cartoon, but if you want a bunch of different people and voices and custom logos, you are looking at hours of work which makes it more.

However, that’s not the only issue. For my husband, who does coding, yes he will do a simple coding project for $5, but he needs to know if what you are asking is in the realm of his expertise before you buy it. Yes, complexity is involved, but it’s also the task itself, it’s language and whether the project if feasible. For those who do things like programming and app building, that’s a pretty important measure.

Kjblyn, you do have a great point though. I know there are sellers that never intend to do a thing for $5. You brought up a valuable consideration, as did the others who mentioned second language and so forth.

It’s a great topic and it’s nice to see so many active. I don’t think that most are trying to argue, but merely to share their experience. Because Fiverr is so cutting edge in this service, there are a lot of things to explore. Most people have no one else to share their experience and thoughts and you helped to stimulate that outlet, so don’t feel that it was a bad thing and I’m sorry a few others got nasty. The whole point of the forum is to provide outlet and support and sometimes it takes on a life of it’s own.

As you point out, everyone play nice <3. We all have different thoughts and opinions. Remember, as it was written may not be as it was thought.

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Reply to @kreativa:

Because the US will ban websites here in the US that do not follow OUR laws. They have done it to countless gambling websites. One such site spent a lot of money in the US sponsoring the World Poker Tour and was still banned here in the US. And from the looks of things, most, not all, but most buyers are from the US. Being banned here in the US would hurt everyone. I’m not saying it is fair or that I like it.

Personally, if you really want to know the truth, I’m politically a Libertarian. I don’t like government oversight of ANYTHING. But my personal opinion doesn’t change much. I saw an issue developing and I thought by explaining WHY certain things are the way they are that it might help some people. Also, I don’t think it is right that some sellers follow the rules and some don’t. Deceptive tactics, where intentional or not, do work to a certain degree. Which means the rule breakers have the potential of making more money than the rule followers if this is not addressed.

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Reply to @mark74:

You are the type of seller I’m trying to reach with this post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. What you said is WHY I posted what I did. It is not about the contract, it is about the fact that we here in the US are not as “free” as we would sometimes like to think. Our government bans foreign websites ALL THE TIME. It is sad but true. I like Fiverr.

I use to play Texas Hold’em on a really big website. That website spent a lot of money here in the US on advertising and sponsoring sporting events. They were a lot bigger than Fiverr is. They did not think, because they were not based here in the US, that they had to follow US laws. Now they are banned here. We in the US can’t access their site at all.

Buyers here in the US can (I said can, didn’t say all) be cry babies. I am seeing a growing amount of complaints on our consumer watch sites about “fraud” on Fiverr. It is only a matter of time before our FTC starts an official investigation into these claims. I personally don’t believe ALL the “fraud” on Fiverr is intentional, which is why I posted what I did. I think if sellers understand what is at stake (being banned by our over protective government) and what the rules are (which is why I posted a link) that the amount of accidentally misleading the buyers will go down.

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Reply to @mrproofreading:

Oh I know. What is sad is that I have looked at the profiles of the people who I have been being attacked by and they are ALL rules followers. None of them are doing what I have addressed here. Almost ALL are in the creative area (writing, voice-overs, video, and marketing) The problems are coming out of the tech area, not the creative area.

The ones disagreeing with me over and over are not the ones I was targeting with this posting, which is why I’m starting to realize they are just bored trolls. From here on out, unless the comment was a real question or comment about the topic, I’m not responding to these comments.

I have also noted that not A SINGLE buyer (primary role is buyer, I know most sellers also buy from time to time) has disagreed with me. That should speak volumes.

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For those of you outside the US I will try to explain why following our rules, right or wrong is so necessary.

If you are outside the US you can access two really large websites: PokerStars and FullTiltPoker. We Can’t!!! As you probably know, if you are outside the US. these sites are much, much larger than Fiverr. Before they were banned here they spent a lot of money here in advertising. That didn’t matter. They didn’t follow US rules and so there were banned here. This has happened to other offshore websites, but I know you all probably know those two sites so I used them as examples. Most people here in the US think they were “shut down”. They don’t realize they are alive and well in other countries and that we just can’t access them because we are not as free as we think we are.

I don’t want that to happen to Fiverr.

If you are here in the US, go to some of our consumer protection watch-dog sites and look at the complaints on Fiverr sellers. You know as well as I do that if this trend in complains keeps up, “big brother” will step in to protect us against ourselves and we will not have access to Fiverr any more. You also know as well as I do that we here in the US are a bunch of spoiled consumers.

Now stop trying to shoot the messenger! Hating on me, calling me names, and arguing with me about whether this is right or fair doesn’t change anything.

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Here are some definitions (from various legal websites), just in case some people would like some clarifications about the laws mentioned in this post

False advertising is, “Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities” (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1125(a)).

"To establish that an advertisement is false, a plaintiff must prove five things: (1) a false statement of fact has been made about the advertiser’s own or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activity; (2) the statement either deceives or has the potential to deceive a substantial portion of its targeted audience; (3) the deception is also likely to affect the purchasing decisions of its audience; (4) the advertising involves goods or services in interstate commerce; and (5) the deception has either resulted in or is likely to result in injury to the plaintiff. The most heavily weighed factor is the advertisement’s potential to injure a customer. The injury is usually attributed to money the consumer lost through a purchase that would not have been made had the advertisement not been misleading. False statements can be defined in two ways: those that are false on their face and those that are implicitly false."

The “intent to deceive” is not necessary in order for false advertising to take place.

The Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act does say, “Advertis[ing] goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised” is a deceptive action.

What the court case would focus on, in case one was ever filed, would likely be whether or not the gig description (in the circumstance that a seller has a title that’s something like “I will create any website for $5” and then clarifies what that means in the description, whether that is to say that they say it actually costs more or that the pages or blank, etc.) is part of the advertisement, like “fine print” as someone else has already mentioned it might in this thread.

Here’s my opinion: this is kind of an unexplored area of the law. At least, I couldn’t find any court cases having to do with micro-job websites and how their sellers list their goods and services. I don’t think we can say, “this is unethical,” “this is illegal,” when in reality, we don’t know how the courts would define “advertisements” on a website like Fiverr. Of course, the best practice is to be as truthful as possible and gigs that don’t actually offer anything for $5 are against Fiverr’s rules and should be reported.

Because of character limitations, the situation where a gig title says something like “I will create a five-page website,” and the gig description clarifies that to say, “the five pages will be blank, have these features, etc.” makes it feel like descriptions are "fine print."

Sorry for the super long post. Just did some research about this topic and thought I should share it.


Consumer Protection - Consumer Laws


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Reply to @christari:

As with almost everyone that has replied here, I looked at your gig descriptions and you are NOT the problem. Your descriptions look find to me. You don’t have the word ANY in your headlines/titles. Most of the gigs that are causing complaints to be sent to the FTC involve using the word ANY in the headline or not using any restrictive words. You use restrictive words. Nothing in my post was directed at sellers like you because you already follow the rules.

Most people, trolls excluded, that disagree with me have valid points, but I’m not the one making the rules. I’m simply trying to make others aware that there is a problem. The folks that are arguing with me are going to be just as out of luck as the rest of us when and if the US bans Fiverr. You are from the US, did you even know that over half the websites on the WWW are banned here in the US? That shocks most of us, but it is true. I don’t want to see what happened to Pokerstars (a much bigger site than Fiverr) happen to Fiverr. I also know that many reading will say that it is not the same just like many have argued that Amazon on Fiverr is not the same. To those people I challenge you to look up the names of all the business sites, not gambling or sex related, that are banned here in the US because they didn’t follow the US laws. If you are in the US you will not be able to access them, but there are list out there that you can look at.

Here is a clip for Wikipedia to get you started:

“Internet censorship in the United States is the suppression of information published or viewed on the internet in the United States. The protection of freedom of speech and expression against federal, state, and local government censorship are rooted in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; however, in 2014, United States along with other major economies such as China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia were listed by Reporters Without Borders among the “Enemies of the Internet”,[1] a category of countries with the highest level of internet censorship and surveillance that “mark themselves out not just for their capacity to censor news and information online but also for their almost systematic repression of Internet users”.[2]”

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Reply to @emasonwrites:

Thanks for your comments. The court case against Nutella should interest you. It is not a micro-job site, but it does demonstrate just how extreme the courts are about even implying something is not true. In that case two mom sued over Nutella ads implying that Nutella was healthy . . . and WON. Nutella never even stated it, they just implied it on TV ads. I know Nutella is not Fiverr. But my point is that their fine print, their nutritional information, was plainly printed on EVERY product and it still didn’t save them.

Here is a link. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/04/nutella-consumer-class-action-settlement/


ABC News: Breaking News & Latest News - ABC News


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Reply to @ginnymenges: They still had to pick a specific statement to contest, though. In that case, it was the one about milk, hazelnuts, and a hint of coco, which yes, absolutely implies that Nutella is healthier than it is (like saying that a Snickers is just milk, peanuts, and a hint of coco).

I’d guess there would still be a big gray area over whether or not a reasonable person would assume that, going back to my example, the statement “build a five page website,” implies what those pages would contain. I’d still wonder if the description would be a full part of the advertisement or would be fine print.

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Reply to @ginnymenges: Nonetheless, this is one of the most popular threads I’ve seen in a while.

I think it’s natural for technology gigs to have some degree of variance.

Personally, I proofread 1,500 words for $5 - simple.

For a writer, they may write 500 words for $5 - simple.

For a coder, they may write a basic script for $5 - the problem arises here. For an advanced user with 40 years of experience, most scripts may be seen as basic. On the contrary, a graduate fresh from university might deem most scripts as ‘complex’ and require additional funds to compensate the additional time needed (simply due to a lack of experience).

Couple this with the limited word count and you have a recipe for disaster. I think it’s pretty much impossible to set boundaries and cover every contingency when the tech space is subjective (and vast).

I suppose that’s how fiverr differs from other freelancing websites. Perhaps the atmosphere is more laid back here, which I personally prefer (hence the reason I don’t work a 9-5 job).

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@ginneymenges before “educating” the sellers of fiverr, make sure you have properly educated yourself. My dad is a lawyer so I am quite familiar with the current laws and loopholes.

  1. Businesses are not responsible for customer perceptions. This means that if someone says “I will create a responsive web page for $5” they are well within their rights to offer an extremely minimal one page website with no bells or whistles and as long as it’s “responsive” then they are not guilty of false advertisement. It doesn’t have to be the website you want, it just has to be the website they offer. The seller isn’t responsible for your expectations.
  2. Be aware that none of us are operating as a business. We are freelancers and different rules apply. Fiverr is responsible for any legal application. Anything that is “highly illegal”, as you say, is Fiverr’s responsibility to monitor.
  3. All advertising has fine print. For you to say that the descriptions (fiverr’s version of “fine print”) don’t matter is foolish. Many businesses offer ads that say “buy one get one free” but in the fine print, aka description, it says something like “Applicable to these specific items. Free item to be of equal or lesser value. Other restrictions apply, ask your associate for details.” The customer doesn’t have the right to go into that store demanding a free 60" plasma tv because they bought a candy bar. This isn’t false advertising or illegal, it’s business.

    Every seller is obligated to offer what they advertise for $5 and 99% of us do that. I offer virtual assistance for $5. As long as I provide some sort of virtual assistance for $5, it’s not false advertising. My fine print/description will tell you that it’s only 30 minutes for $5. If you asked for an hour for $5, I’m not doing anything illegal by refusing to provide you that amount of service. What your expectations or perceptions are of my advertisement, isn’t my problem. It’s your mistake for not reading my fine print or contacting me first.

    When it comes to contacting the seller first, you try to compare this to Amazon but that’s apples to oranges. Many sellers offer a service rather than a tangible item. Most businesses that offer a service do require prior contact. Cable companies, internet providers, construction contractors, nanny’s, web developers, assistants… the list goes on and on, all these people provide service and they all require contact prior to beginning the work. It’s a common courtesy and ensures accuracy and appropriate pricing.

    Your stance on this subject leads me to believe that you aren’t an experienced consumer. If you had any knowledge of normal business procedure, you would realize that bold advertising with small fine print is the accepted norm. Clearly you are upset because you were likely hoping for the world at a $5 cost and became upset when it didn’t happen. In the future, realize that Fiverr is made up of real people offering great work at a great price but not for pennies. We have to live too so excuse us if we can’t provide you with everything for $5. Maybe next time you will message the seller first and find out what type of “I will _______ for $5” they are offering, instead of assuming.

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Reply to @ginnymenges: Fiverr isn’t new. The FTC will not be getting involved and that’s a guarantee. FREELANCE WORKERS ARE NOT BUSINESSES. If pigs fly and the FTC starts going after companies like Fiverr, E-lance, O-desk etc because of the actions of a couple of users on their platforms, I will happily eat my words, but that won’t happen. Throwing around government organizations in an attempt to scare Fiveer is not new behaviour on the forum. It’s just white noise.

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Reply to @missashley8705:

"Throwing around government organizations in an attempt to scare Fiverr is not new behaviour on the forum. " So what your telling me is that others have raised these concerns before?

Any engaged in the act of selling goods or services is a business. Freelance workers are businesses by definition because they engage in the commerce of selling goods and services.

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Reply to @missashley8705:

Your lack of knowledge on the subject shows me that, if your father is indeed an attorney, you didn’t consult him on any of the statements you made. There are too many errors for me to even address them. Please go let your father explain this to you because I can’t. I will however demonstrate just how incorrect you are by addressing your comment that you are not a business.

This is how the IRS defines a business:

“Trade or Business” Defined

The term trade or business generally includes any activity carried on for the production of income from selling goods or performing services. It is not limited to integrated aggregates of assets, activities, and goodwill that comprise businesses for purposes of certain other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Activities of producing or distributing goods or performing services from which gross income is derived do not lose their identity as trades or businesses merely because they are carried on within a larger framework of other activities that may, or may not, be related to the organization’s exempt purposes.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Apr-2014

So PLEASE, before using your daddy’s name in to back up your lack of knowledge in an attempt to call me out, consult with him so he can help you get your facts straight.

Also my dad was a doctor, but I don’t go around telling people that because I’m a doctor’s kid that I can do their open heart surgery. Being the child of an attorney doesn’t qualify you to know anything. My degree, however does.

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Reply to @emasonwrites:

I want to make sure we are talking apples to apples here. Follows are examples of the headers/titles that I have an issue with. I don’t go looking hard for these. They are all on the first page of a tech category. They represent the majority of gigs listed on that page

I will anything related to Google Map API for $5

I will to optimize and secure your website for $5

I will convert any Mockup to Bootstrap for $5

I will create useful web or desktop application in php for $5

I will develop Website for you for $5

I will create GUI for web application,and software for $5

I will write any script in PHP for $5

I will fix any wordpress ,html,css issue or bug for $5

I will develop mobile app for company, business, website for $5

I will create any type of Mobile App for $5

Everyone of these will pass the reasonable person test as to expectations of services being offered. A reasonable person will read “I will covert any Mockup to Bootstrap for $5” and be correct in expecting any mockup to be converted to bootstrap for $5. Wouldn’t you agree?

The last one listed about “any type of Mobile App of $5” also list in his description that there is NO app sold for only $5. I’ve said it over and over but I will say it again. I have not seen a problem with a single seller that is arguing this issue with me here. Everyone on here that is contributing is articulate enough to word their titles in the correct way, even with Fiverr limitations. I’m not addressing these sellers.

I’m sure you see the use of the word “any” in many of the examples I have listed. No gray area. Your example states a five page website. There is a BIG difference in your example (which clearly give a limitation) and the one listed above that says “fix ANY wordpress, html, css issue or bug”. By stating very plainly that they will fix ANY bug, they are now required to fix ANY bug. No amount of small print will allow them to reverse that statement.

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I never realize so many seller DID NOT realize they operate small businesses until seeing so many inform me how that they are NOT a business. That’s not really on the topic but here is an advice site that I found on helping Freelance works with their business taxes.



The Finances of Freelancing: Tax Tips for Confused Contractors

The vast majority of freelancers like being independent workers -- right up until they have to deal with the added complexity it puts on their taxes. If you freelanced in 2012, here's what you should know, before those 1099 forms start arriving.

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First of all you cant buy anything for $5, check my gig i offer video related service and i have broken down my service as 40 words / gig. and 1 gig cost $5

Secondly, i am not a US Citizen, so that law does not apply one me, why shall i care about it? I am a UK law student, and for Consumer rights, there are certain buyer rights aswell. And make your facts right! Fiverr is a marketplace where services are STARTING FROM $5, not every gig cost 5 bucks.


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Reply to @steveeyes:

What seve? You have nothing to say about just how wrong she was? No comment about how this child of an attorney doesn’t even know she operates a small business by selling her services on Fiverr? No comment how her first line states that I’m uneducated? I would have not had a problem with her stating her views had she not started off with a statement of how “uneducated” I am. Her dad would most likely be embarrassed if he knew she was using his title to make such incorrect statements. I would have a real problem if one of my grown daughters did that.

And YES my husband has been a cop for 26 years, my father was a doctor until he retired in 1988. and I have a legal education. I spent many years as the sales manager for the largest newspaper conglomerate in Michigan. I have raised two great girls, one is a teacher and one is still in college. I now own and operate a tech company. I have 36 1099 contractors working within my organization. So yes! I speak from personal knowledge and experience on the matters I address here.

seve you are getting really old really fast. I’ve had about enough of you trolling this discussion. Consider this a warning. I will report you if you keep it up!!

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Reply to @poseidonrage:

Yep you are the first person to comment on here that I have found that actually DOES the violation I am speaking of.

You have a title that says

"I will create your Business Promotional video for $5"

Then in your description you say

"The Gig contains 12 Heading, you can add videos/Images

For complete video containing 12 images you need to order 2 extra gig, check below for an extra cost."

You have made it to become a level two seller even though you are in violation of Fiverr TOS. Your gigs are the type of gigs I have been talking about.

Because you state that you will create a business promotional video for $5 you must have a business promotional video that can be purchased for $5. It does not have to be at the 12 images level, but you have to have a video that can be purchased for $5, which you don’t.

I’m not trying to be mean or put you on the spot. I think, based on what you said, that you did not understand the TOS. But thank you so much for your post. You have just proven what I have been saying for two days. I don’t mean that bad either. I really do thank you for sharing.

If each of your gigs does not have a $5 base that can be purchased for $5 you are in violation of Fiverr Terms of Service. If you don’t want to sell to buyers in the US, then you are right, US laws don’t apply. But if you do want to sell to US buyers, our laws do and you must follow them or you might find yourself blocked from selling in the US or from using US services like Paypal. Paypal is owned by eBay which is a US owned company. If the US government orders Paypal to block the transactions of Sellers not in compliance of US laws, believe me Paypal will do it.

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Reply to @ginnymenges: I’m not disagreeing with you that gigs that offer to do anything for $5 and then in the description say they do not actually offer anything for $5 are deceptive and probably illegal. That’s why Fiverr doesn’t allow them and why we should report them, when we find them.

If all of those gigs you listed say in their descriptions that they don’t actually offer anything for five dollars–report them.

I’m just saying that in a lot of cases, there is going to be enough ambiguity that it would take a specific court case to determine whether or not the gig title is misleading and whether or not the description can be included as part of the advertisement. My entire point in commenting was that while the law sounds pretty rigid, there are always going to be lots of exceptions, especially because laws that govern the internet are pretty much still in their infancy.

I still think there’s a lot of ambiguity. For example the one that says, “optimize and secure your website.” That could mean anything. He could change the color of some type and update my SSL protocol and call it done. And “I will create any type of mobile app,” is very different from "I will create any mobile app."

My question would be, then, if a store says they are offering an “All Day Sale,” in a commercial, and the text on the screen includes an asterisk that points to some small print that says, “*from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” that’s false advertising? Since it’s not actually all day and the details are in the fine print? I’m not trying to be patronizing, I’m just trying to understand what you’re saying. That’s not a completely linear example, but I’m sure you get the gist of what I mean, that fine print is often used to clarify what is promised in headlines–we see it all over, all the time and most companies aren’t slapped with false advertising lawsuits–they’re protected by their fine print.

And I actually do have a gig that under what you’ve said would be false advertising. It’s a ghostwriting gig and because of character limitations, I couldn’t include the the maximum word count in the title. It’s outlined clearly in the gig description, but am I falsely advertising because I couldn’t fit “500 words max.” into the title?

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