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Stand your ground with arrogant 'clients'


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My experience this morning from a potential client:
“I need a poster, like a 1950s science fiction movie poster (google 1950s science fiction posters)
The poster would be 8.5 x 11 a PS layered file, mostly illustration.
I would receive source files.
It would have the appearance of being done in oil or watercolor.
I had someone create one and I paid him but after he did six revisions it is still not what I am looking for. I can send you a copy.
No rush not needed for 10 days.
My offer is $50.00 US
Let me know if you have an interest. I am in the USA Eastern Time zone. Expect a reply within 10 hours of this post.”

And my response:
“Hi there,
After completing over 4,500 of these retro style posters as well as my wealth of experience as a full time designer outside of this genre, I am more than qualified to produce this project for you.
However, I am going to have to turn your request down due to your manner in which you express your brief.
A very basic level of manners is required for me to entertain you as a client. Maybe starting your message with ‘Hello’ would have been nice, and maybe not ending your message with a demand of response.
If you chose to use artists to design for you, do your research first by looking at their portfolios. Does their portfolio reflect the style of design you require? Secondly, converse with them as if they are standing in front of you. I’m sure you’d introduce yourself, say ‘hello’ at the very least and not ‘demand’ anything in your first conversation.
Just a couple of tips for you.
All the best in your search.

Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones who has a nice amount of work coming in through Fiverr along with my work ‘outside’ but I think everyone should be able to stand their ground and not be intimidated by clients who are clearly lacking in basic manners.

Just my two pennies worth!


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Exactly. In one initial message, this client has told me:

  1. He has no manners to even say “hello”!
  2. He is demanding to the extreme but having someone make SIX changes to a previous order
  3. He is arrogant enough to think he should be waited on hand and foot by asking for a 10 hour response time.

Yes please - I’d love to work with you! 🙂 NOT!!!

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You gave them an earful. I had a buyer tell me to reduce my quote because I am new and he was trying to shortchange me. I refused to reduce my quote politely yet firmly, but he responded with personal attacks.

He said “you are new so you must give discount, I have many other offers”. Now there’s two things here, if the fact of me being new is bothering someone, they can simply avail the binary option of BUY/DON’T BUY. There’s no reason to shortchange me by creating a false strawman of me being new. If it bothers you, you are free to buy from others, but claiming that I am new and squeezing me on my quote doesn’t reflect very well on professionalism. So basically it really doesn’t bother you that I am new here when I am offering the same thing for peanuts, but when I expect a fair price, suddenly I am new?

I am not new to work, btw, I am only new to Fiverr. I have been working at a web development agency since 5 years now, and delivered thousands of completed projects. I guess this part is going to be difficult for me to explain to potential buyers who are trying to squeeze me for being new. Uphill task ahead, I reckon.

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They do it to TRS sellers as well, so you’re never quite going to shake this “I deserve a discount because I am God and you are a [insert excuse here]” people.

Life’s rich tapestry… I just send the custom quote and tell them to order or go.

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It’s clever not to put too much energy into this. A speech like that will not change anything. The person will not change the approach to others. On the other hand I just turned a pain in the bum into a cheering customer in my private business. I told him immediately that my prices are not negotiable and didn’t discuss.

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Haha so they use the same argument both ways then.

“You need to reduce the price because you are new”
“You need to reduce the price because I am new”

Well played. The economy isn’t that bad, dear buyers, it’s just 5$, we can’t give away our kidneys and intestines with it. One can’t expect sellers to provide a nuclear reactor for 5$. It’d be interesting to see if someone with a dark sense of humor actually went ahead a created such a gig selling nuclear reactors and if buyers start placing orders, asking for 2 nuclear reactors for 5$ 😃

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I have to disagree with you on this and I dont see the arrogance in what the buyer has said.

Buyers here can be busy people and not want a “best buddy” relationship with every seller they contact. There are also many sellers who would prefer not to have these over familiar types contacting them, a phrase often used by sellers on the forum is "Just place the order and dont waste my time.
This buyer has been very straight with you from the start - This is what I want, this is my budget, I want it done correctly (revisions), no rush - 10 days is fine but also dont waste my time and contact me because I want to get this sorted.

Why you would refuse a buyer for these reasons is beyond me.
As for the multiple revisions, having worked with a number of designers here and elsewhere, it amazes me that sometimes a revision request can take six times to get right eg. pointing out 5 spelling mistakes but they only fix one or the fix it incorrectly.

In my opinion, these kind of straight shooting buyers should be welcomed here, not told to work on their manners.

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Even sellers need to understand and value themselves and not set ridiculous rates and compromise quality just for the sake of making a sale. I can’t stress enough, the number of people who come to me, most of them aren’t first time buyers who are getting started with their website but people who have been thoroughly roasted by the typical ‘college dropout kid’ caricature who bids the lowest on all projects and messes up their client’s sites in exchange. Those clients then go to another seller with a “I had hired a college kid to build me a website for 2$, now my site is broken, I need you to fix it. I will pay you 1.5$ because I have already lost 2$, and I expect a top class finished product from you. Thanks”

Sure. Maybe if you raised the budget a bit and paid me 3$, I could build you the next Facebook. 😃

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The best buyers I’ve had are ones who talk least. Some of them don’t even send a message. They read the gig description, hit order, provide the details, and that’s how it should be done. I certainly don’t expect ‘hi’ and ‘hellos’ from buyers. Fiverr is not Tinder.

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