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Seller Protection is an Illusion


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Hey all,

Just wanted to share an experience I just had both with a buyer and Fiverr support. I had a buyer ask for a paragraph of about 250-300 words to be cleaned up and made nice (it was fairly awful), which isn’t a big deal. I knocked it out and sent it over the buyer as per the usual. Said to reach out if he had questions or concerns.

Here’s where Fiverr fails to protect the seller.

He insults me three times for leaving out the word (that) in the piece and said I incorrectly used grammar in another section (which isn’t true). Didn’t ask for edits. Didn’t respond to anything else. Then proceeded to give me two stars and leave me bad feedback.

Notes on the buyer:

New buyer

No previous feedback

I immediately ask Fiverr support for help, given that I wasn’t given a chance to protect myself from the malicious verbal attack OR to fix my work by adding the word (that) into the piece. Fiverr support instantly tells me to pound sand (which means we’re not going to help you because it’s fine if that happens).

So tell me this. What’s to stop me from creating a buyer account, ordering from any of you, and leaving you bad feedback because of random reasons? Nothing. A whole. Bag. Of. Nothing.

Seller protection is an illusion, and even though I’ve made $5,000 in the last 34 days, Fiverr is wearing thin on my respect level.

Why should I believe I’m safe? I’m open to suggestions.


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I think that the parameters under which Fiverr actually will remove negative feedback are fairly strict, and for good reason. In my experience, you either have to prove that the buyer said that the work was great and then left negative feedback just to spite you (or as an accident), or that they left negative feedback and then said they would remove it if you did additional work for free/provided a bonus/some other form of blackmail.

Here’s why I think this is generally a good thing: otherwise sellers who are truly trying to scam buyers, or who just don’t offer what they say they offer, etc., etc., could run to support and ask them to remove the feedback because they weren’t given the chance to defend themselves or make a change.

Of course, that leaves the sellers who are offering high-quality services/products a little high and dry when a buyer is being unreasonable (as yours was). Yes, it’s out of balance. Sellers definitely have less power than buyers (though a little more than when I first started here–mutual cancellations not affecting our scores and reviews–though only positive ones–showing up on buyers’ profiles, for example). The only area you have to defend yourself is your review, which shows up underneath the buyer’s review. I’d recommend using that space to explain your side of the story, especially since he just posted the generic two star review, instead of actually writing something.

In general, I think we have to accept that some people are just butts, but that the vast majority (like the other 118 buyers who have left you feedback at the time I creeped on your gig), are pretty reasonable. With $5000 under your belt, you must be turning over a lot of orders. It may be small consolation, but I’m sure it’ll soon be buried by truthful positive reviews.

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I don’t know of any safety guarantee by Fiverr. It’s just a platform where you can offer your services and buyers can buy them. Buyer and seller beware. I agree with you that buyers can be a headache (sellers can too) and you aren’t protected all that much because you are essentially running your own business here. You get a small umbrella for your 20% commission since Fiverr does handle the display of your gigs, a little bit of advertising if you are included in search, payment methods, and some degree of support. They’ve been fairly attentive to my tickets so far.

I think it is nearly impossible to sell a large number of gigs and avoid an occasional difficult buyer. I’m not defending your crappy buyer or even Fiverr, I’m just saying that you made a lot of money on a platform that didn’t cost you anything until you made money too. You can choose to sell elsewhere anytime.

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Your story reminds me of my last job, LeviNewman, leaving the word “that” is no big deal, it’s an easy fix. People who can’t write are sometimes jealous of those who can, so they relish the opportunity to throw stones over a tiny mistake.

This is why I tell people that keeping a 100% positive rating is very hard. Clients are fascinating, one might write “I’m not gonna use what you did, but I like your efforts” and gives you 5 stars. Another is happy you did more than what they pay you, and you get 5 stars. Others get two revisions, and then you get 3 stars or 1 star.

I’m glad we can review the review. That’s when you respond bad reviews with the facts: “You didn’t demand a revision and you didn’t ask for a cancellation.” If you got paid to write headlines, you can write: “So you don’t think this headline and that headline are any good?” That way other buyers can judge for themselves.

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I’ve experienced that situation on more than one occasion. I’ve learned to persist in communicating with my buyer until they let me know what I can reasonably do to satisfy them enough to change the rating they gave me…


Get them to admit on record that they are complaining about something that was not paid for or that is outside of the scope of my gig. If you can keep the dialogue going with the buyer, it won’t take long for them say enough to prove the case against themselves. And that makes it A LOT easier when requesting assistance from customer support.

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Welcome to the club. You had a luck due the fact the guy admitted that he was cranky. Most of the buyers won’t play that game and it’s their ‘birth’ right to leave a review that fits their expectations for the product.

The writing jobs, it’s the sector mostly hit by ‘smart’ webmasters when it comes to reviews, our profile went down to 99% positive due reviews on the writing gigs, other than that everything is 5 star (around 500 orders anytime now). You can’t “wow” them with text and you can’t read their mind when they leave minimum information … so this happens.

The seller protection gets worse when you experience PayPal dispute on your order after month of work and a big order. Just got hit by a buyer on that one, and I still feel it. Fiverr just banned him, funds were gone!

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I totally get where you are coming from however things are certainly getting better.

The key here is that we, as sellers, can now rate our clients - this never used to be the case and it was possible to have someone leave malicious feedback.

Although not perfect, the rating of buyers is certainly a step in the right direction, depending on how we use it. Personally, and after 2500 orders, I utilise this ability to do a bit of background checking on each and every client to ensure I’m dealing with someone who is likely to be a reasonable buyer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not infallible in terms of people intent on leaving malicious feedback simply opening up an account and your work being their first purchase - in those cases there will be no feedback on their account but again, a simple check of when they joined will give you more of an insight into whether or not you feel you want to work with them.

One thing I am aware of is that, in my humble opinion, Fiverr listens to sellers. It may not always seem like that in terms of FS response times etc but only recently they have put the ‘JOBS IN QUEUE’ information back based on feedback from a thread on here.

I have no doubt things will get even better, but for the interim, I think a little background checking on buyers is the way forward before any work is started.

Hope that helps.



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If a new buyer leaves you a poor feedback, you can give him a 3 star rating (unless they changed it, feedbacks with less than 3 stars don’t show on the buyer’s page), and explain your side of the story. What was requested, what you delivered, how the buyer responded. Do it politely and professionally. That way, other buyers who see your response will know both sides of the story and will see that you’re a professional who ran into a “cranky” buyer, and that buyer will have hard time finding sellers willing to work with him when the only feedback he has is that he was unreasonable, rude, and wanted you to work for free (or something like that).

Just a suggestion. Might make that sort of a buyer quickly become incredibly reasonable, and willing to remove the negative feedback. 🙂

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