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Sellers from Countries Where English is not First Language - Tips for Buyers


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I have seen a number of threads complaining and offering warnings about sellers from various places and I’ve especially seen threads regarding sellers from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

This thread is about how to be a discerning buyer in these cases without losing chances at great interactions. I have said before on the forums that I personally buy and sell. I have also said that I have talked with and placed orders with sellers from other countries than my own. Sometimes I do this on purpose because I want a non-American accent or whatever, but sometimes those sellers just seem to offer a good service and I want to buy it. In my experience, certain things have scared me away and other times I’ve ignored red flags and bought anyway, only to end up with a problem. Today, on the other hand, I can report another fantastic transaction with a seller from Sri Lanka (with no voice work or anything that made their location important to me) and that prompted me to write here. So, here are my suggestions for successful and sometimes amazing transactions with these sellers:

-Look for a seller who is clearly honest. Watch out for stock photos in the profile, photos that don’t seem to match the country, and poor written English but claiming to be from English-speaking countries. If the country listed doesn’t seem to match, that is red flag 1.

-If the seller advertises location in a way that seems accurate and has what appears to be a real photo, nicely done avatar, or a super logo, read their profile and gig descriptions carefully next.

-The seller that did a great job for me today either wrote in fluent English due to her language skills and/or was careful to have someone else help. That inspired confidence for me, but more important, I understood exactly what we were talking about in messages. Watch out for what is described in the next point.

-If a seller has a poorly written profile, that is red flag 2. If you are buying a service for data entry, article writing, etc. I would already think it might be time to move on. If you are buying a service that doesn’t require fluent English, keep going.

-If a seller has poorly written gig descriptions that are unclear, poor spelling, offers a gig that appears to have no $5 option (i.e. “Prices start at 10 dollar, do not by without contact becauze my work worth more than 5”) or anything else in the description seems off, something may be wrong.

-Send a message to the seller. Fast response time is nice but is by far not the most critical. I would rather have a slower (1-3 day) response time but great communication later than a 5 minute response that I can’t really understand. If the seller never responds (5-10 days or at all) use great caution.

-If you read a great profile description and a fluent gig description but the seller responds with something really different, this is red flag 3. The seller doesn’t have to be perfect, especially for gigs that don’t require writing! On the other hand - the seller should be able to convey answers to your brief questions in a way that can be clearly understood without text-speak or gibberish. I’m not suggesting you overload a seller with silly questions. Just ask something simple and make sure they seem to be able to communicate. You don’t want someone who got help writing the profile and descriptions but can’t communicate afterwards. On the other hand, don’t be overly harsh. If they are selling flyers or holding up signs and can convey decent response back and forth, they don’t have to write perfectly. Even one typo doesn’t mean they can’t write you a okay blog article. Consider the type of gig you need, how much you are paying (all work should be best effort but if you pay $5 and have to fix one typo, it is different from paying a $300 custom quote and having to pay someone else to re-do the whole thing) and go with your gut.

-Remember that there are gigs that are outright scams or just people advertising what they can’t deliver. The best way to get rid of these gigs is to be a discerning buyer and don’t buy the gigs. The sellers who can’t make sales will eventually fade away. Even if they had a way to buy fake ratings and fake reviews themselves, they can’t do it forever without real customers. Don’t buy gigs that violate Fiverr or other company Terms of Service, like thousands of fake Twitter followers (I made that mistake myself in the early days and got my Twitter account banned.) Don’t buy gigs that are from obviously dishonest sellers. Don’t buy gigs if the seller cannot communicate. But - for the best experiences on Fiverr - buy from all countries if the seller offers a great service!

-Do buy from sellers who represent themselves and their locations accurately and well

-Do buy from sellers who need a boost to get their levels and are trying to follow Fiverr and other site rules

-Do buy from sellers who provide a nicely described service and communicate well, no matter where they are from

-When you get a service and it isn’t quite right, communicate with the seller and see if they can fix it before you ask for refunds or rate them lower than 5 stars since that can ruin a Fiverr seller

-When you get a service that is as described and the seller communicated well, even if they made very minor mistakes as human beings - DO rate that seller at 5 stars and leave a review that says what they did right

-If you feel the urge to leave a less than 5 star rating, try to talk with the seller first. They will probably try hard to make it right, though you also should remember that it isn’t right to ask them for hours of work on a five buck gig unless they advertised they would provide it

-If the seller tries hard but still falls a bit short, consider leaving no rating instead of a lower than 5 star rating and just don’t buy from them again - fair enough

-Levels aren’t everything. In general, yes, I buy more from people with a level 1 or more. Honestly, though, there are some Top Rated Sellers I wouldn’t buy from and some featured gigs I wouldn’t choose. That is part of discernment. Sellers with no level at all will never get to higher levels without buyers, so don’t exclude them on level alone.

-Remember that all of us on Fiverr are trying to do something that is kind of new and amazing. We are contributing to a global system that allows people to buy at bargain prices and others to sell and get food for their families or save up for that trinket that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. We are still human. That does not excuse bad behavior on either side, but just keep in mind that none of us are robots either.

Edited for one last tip - I cannot recommend sellers who spam the forums or list their gig offers in forums others than “My Fiverr Gigs” no matter where they are from. I see a lot of spam and I personally don’t buy from those people.

I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, and I welcome comments of support or argument. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Maddie “FontHaunt”

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Reply to @manawalo: I agree. I actually encouraged buying from honest high-quality sellers anywhere. In one of my first points I addressed dishonest sellers by writing about those who have a photo and/or communication that doesn’t seem to match where the seller claims to be from. My overall post could be used as an aid in selecting a great seller from anywhere in the world, but my chosen title was somewhat in response to other posts I’ve read. Thanks for your comment!

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