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Getting into the Mind of a Scamming Buyer


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I think everyone has had, or heard of, a buyer who tried to get work done for free.

The fact is that there seems to be a lot of buyers like this. Why?

Simple, because they get away with it. From what I read, the majority of sellers will cancel an order if there is the possibility of a negative review. This is madness and sellers need to grow up in how they handle this situation.

Here are some things to consider:

If I was a buyer who wanted work done for free, I would simply scour the listings for sellers who have 100% positive reviews - If a seller has over 100 reviews and has not received any negatives, it is highly likely that they refund whenever a buyer wants.

I have had two negative reviews, within a day of each other, and 2-4 months ago. Both were, I feel, trying to get the work done for free. I allowed them leave negative reviews even though they were both $5 orders. I responded in my review of them, explaining what I felt was going on.

Scamming buyers can be reported and removed but they can also set up new accounts. If you let them away with it, why wouldn’t they come back to you with a different name and do the same thing to you again - possibly with an even bigger order - as they know you will give in.

If you are a new seller, it may be good advice to cancel the order, a negative in your first couple of orders may be a big problem. I would say that anyone who is Level 2 or more should not be afraid of a negative review. If you have 50 - 5 star reviews and you get a 1 star review, it will drop you to 98%, if you have 100 reviews it drops to 99%. Who would not order from a seller because they have 98-99% positive ratings?
As I said above, it might even help keep the bad ones away.

Finally, if the buyer has been unreasonable, threatening etc, report it to CS, ask them to remove the negative if you want, and it might disappear. Personally, they don’t bother me though and before you know it, the negative will be out of immediate sight of potential buyers.

Come on, fight the good fight and help rid Fiverr of this kind of Buyer!

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Good customer service and communication go a long way to killing bad buyers dead. And if you can prove to customer support that your buyer has been totally abusive and the review is totally unfounded, chances are good that you can keep your money and get the review removed.

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Ditto that. If you make an effort to work things out (in my case, that usually means asking them why they left this bad review and then explaining to that person why I upheld my end of the order, so they will not be getting a refund) with someone who is obviously being unreasonable, CS will back you up, in my experience at least.

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I keep Customer Service close by just in case. Early in my Fiverr career, I had the mentality of “Don’t get negative reviews.” and I allowed myself to be taken advantage of.

Then I read the ToS, and I realized that buyers cannot cancel an order just because they do not like how you did the job. This, of course, isn’t a license to do shoddy work to get paid, a negative review on shoddy work is still deserving, but if you complete the work reasonably with their specifications in mind, you can often revert negative feedback from scamming buyers.

After I learned that, I had one buyer who did exactly that. He had purchased my writing services, and simply told me to “write whatever” about the subject he wanted to be written. Fair enough. I made sure it was done well, coherent, and even well researched. He didn’t like it, told me to redo the whole thing, but wouldn’t even divulge with me what he wanted. When pressed, all he said was “Just redo it completely.”

I wasn’t going to redo it completely and give him two versions of the same subject. So I proofread a little bit more, changed the intro, sent it in. He requested another modification, and we continued in that way until he finally accepted, and left me a 1-star review that was pretty nasty.

I screenshotted the conversation, kept a copy of the work I did. Went to customer service, and explained I did everything that the buyer had requested, and that it was all on him for not providing me adequate information to get him the project that he needed. I’m not a mind reader after all.

Customer Service agreed, and within several days, the negative review was taken down.

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I give lots of credit to customer support for being fair. They are good at knowing who is the wrongdoer. They can tell fast.

If a seller has a good reputation for always delivering great work and suddenly a buyer is making trouble and complaining they take that into account.

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