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Why it Might be time to Build a Wall


cyaxrex

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Ok, we’re all experiencing it (or at least a lot of us are. Orders are going down and as Emmaki has just cited on another (albeit ranty-ish post) Fiverr has the most terrible reputation in the mainstream freelance world.

Are sales going down ‘just a phase?’ Possibly. However, having such a poor reputation won’t be helping things and WILL result in fewer people ever migrating to Fiverr in the long term. Also, more and more people are freelancing every day. This means that prices on other platforms are falling. The result? The kind of competition you don’t need when you’re already regarded as the worst place in the world to throw $5 dollars away anyway.

However, professional reputation is only one of Fiverr’s problems. Lately, whoever is at the top has got greedy. Sneaky secret increases in processing fees (justified or not it was sneaky not to announce it). And now the pay to feature gigs system. Fine on paper but come on, the majority of the first people to jump on board of that opportunity are going to be the no hopes with no sales who are going to drag the rest of us down by providing a pile of manure or two for deliveries when they do finally get their first orders.

Things worked fine before featured gigs. All it is is a way for Fiverr to rake in a bit more in the way of commission, without providing customers with anything in the way of better service.

Aside then, from greed, there’s the naff seller brigade to deal with too. Sorry, but having had a look through quite a few random gigs prior to writing this, there really is an appalling number of trash heap gigs out there at the moment, two of which are carbon copies of my own aside from the video intros.

So, what’s to be done?

Well, (and no, it’s not the election making me say this) I think Fiverr should build a wall. Be like Envato Studios and make becoming a seller on Fiverr invitation only for a while. In the meantime, like on Amazon where if you are in their affiliate program you get booted off after 180 days if you don’t make sales, kick sellers off Fiverr who don’t make sales during a similar period.

Too many opportunist and absolutely useless sellers are bringing Fiverr down. Meanwhile, good sellers are having their productivity and rankings battered by a no longer fit for purpose resolution center. I know this personally as due to one buyer repeatedly ordering but not supplying order details or accepting cancellation, one of my best selling gigs fell off the face of the Earth 6 weeks ago,

Controversial? I don’t care. Fiverr is not a charity which exists for people to make a quick buck, Fiverr is a marketplace which competent sellers pay hundreds in not thousands of dollars a month for the privilege of being able to take advantage of,

Lastly, from a PR & marketing perspective, limiting new seller sign ups and kicking off sellers who don’t live up to high enough standards would be genius if such actions were implemented alongside a well-circulated press release. It would say hey folks, we do actually care about quality and we’re doing something about it.

Anyway, something needs to be done as I haven’t seen this big a personal, sustained, or as much popularly discussed drop in sales since I’ve been here.

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Meanwhile, good sellers are having their productivity and rankings battered by a no longer fit for purpose resolution center. I know this personally as due to one buyer repeatedly ordering but not supplying order details or accepting cancellation, one of my best selling gigs fell off the face of the Earth 6 weeks ago,

This is a major problem. Fiverr needs to correct this.

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I took a leave of absence from Fiverr these last few months (I’m back!) because I got screwed over on an order by a buyer. He wanted a blog comment and I gave him a blog comment and he asked for a cancellation because, “Grammar is horrendous and sentences didn’t make any sense at all like a child wrote it,” just to save his $5. I accepted the cancellation in fear of the almighty negative review.

Months later I checked out the site I left the comment on and it is still there. It wasn’t an easy site to comment on either. It was something I had to research to make the comment sound like I knew about the topic matter and I put in about 600 words. Fiverr needs a better rating’s system so buyers can’t bully sellers to cancel and run with the product because they know we need our ratings (when customers are mean to retail workers knowing they can’t defend themselves). Meanwhile, my gigs are lost in the sea of opportunist seller’s that are just spinning articles or clearly can’t write a sentence without grammatical errors much less an entire article.

They really need to weed out the bad sellers or do an application process where they (If they are content writers) have to write an original essay, etc., before being accepted into the Fiverr community and then placed on probation until they prove that they can write.

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Yes, fiverr should improve its gig in a few categories.

I don´t agree with invitation only (I can´t, I’d never have gotten in here then 😛 and voted your OP up not down btw ;)), but there are quite a few things that could be done to improve quality and scam-ratio, for instance by making mupltiple account registration harder, that aren´t that hard to do. 2-factor-authentication btw might be not a bad idea either.

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I know invitation only would be a pain for new sellers. The entire point would be to repair Fiverr’s train wreck reputation. It’s customers perception of Fiverr which needs to be focused on first and foremost.

Look at any gig category, they go on for pages just crammed full of gigs which no one should buy. Anyway, it won’t happen.

At the end of the day, how/if Fiverr ever improves is up to money men and investors. The only problem with that is that when money men see a ship starting to sink, they try to sell as many tickets for its final voyage. That and milk it for everything it’s worth during its final leg rather than fix it.

You can’t build a successful business on an ever more widely derided reputation. It’s simple.

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<<Look at any gig category, they go on for pages just crammed full of gigs which no one should buy.>>

While this is most certainly correct, those do not entirely belong to new sellers, and there certainly are new sellers who come in with skills and talent and provide some of the gigs that draw in buyers.

I rather not comment or think about the rest you wrote there, I´ve been seeing it at another place I really like since recently and it´s making me sad. I try to keep the negative thoughts at bay though, after all it would make no sense for them to not think about improvements themselves. There is always hope. (bonus points for those who know whom I quote).

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The company needs to build trust and minimize the risks posed by bad sellers to buyers and vice-versa. Building a wall… hm, well, given that Fiverr is an Israeli company, that might not have been the best turn of phrase! But I digress. It shouldn’t be so much about building a wall, but building bridges politician hat comes off. That means addressing the most common complaints and issues, while making a big PR move to show that all the new barriers to access is not about blocking people, but rising the professional bar to create a marketplace where you save money on good work, but won’t be scammed.

  • Tests for all. A competitor site had those, and while the tests can be cheated, it places a basic barrier. A test to show that you’ve read the Academy and understand the rules. Tests to test your skill at [whatever]. That sort of thing. Where we now have in our profile a self-selected skills list, that could be proven with tests. And yes, Fiverr, you could even charge for them outside of the basic “this is how Fiverr works” test.

  • more stringency in reviewing and allowing gigs. This is absolutely a mandatory no-brainer, in my opinion. Fiverr was started as a cheap and cheerful place, but unquestionably it is growing, which means it has to mature. Adding downvote buttons–while fun and a nice little frill–is… well, you know. And of course, the forum cannot be accessed through conventional means. You see this a lot with any “improvements” Fiverr makes. I don’t have access to their to-do list, of course, and I don’t really know how enormously complicated this all is: but I’m talking about the message that end users receive here.

  • No more credit-only refunds. You’ve all seen the furious complaints. No matter who was in the wrong, no matter if it was only $5 and the seller was completely incompetent, it’s a poor experience, they don’t want to try another guy and they want their money back. They can, of course–but the dispute is not cool. Sellers should be paid, and a part of our 20% should be put in the kitty to give sellers the money they worked back. Fiverr’s escrow is meant to protect both parties, but neither party is particularly happy with the system as it is.

  • translations. Now, as a global site, they need to ensure that their translations are professional. IMagine, for example, that you translate from English to German, and your gig description is in flawless English. Oh no, a German in Germany has found it and sees only machine translated gibberish with no suggestion that this is machine translated for nobody’s convenience! Outside of gigs, several regions need localized TOS, rules and all the rest of it. Will those people read it? Doubtful, but they really have no excuse if a professional translation has laid it ou.

  • more transparency, more communication with the community. How many times has the CEO promised an interview only to delay it and delay it and delay it? That’s not vitally important (aside from the fact that this an “order canceled, CEO failed to materialize at all!” situation), but consider this: this forum is a great place to get a feeling for how the community feels about XYZ.

Of course, none of this will happen and we will be called negative nancies. Sometimes, a community is better off for being vocal about its failings. How else can we improve?

I’m tickled pink to see my “controversial” rant post has 14 upvotes and no downvotes. As a direct challenge to one of the admins and an ambassador, that should really tell the company something. Successful businesses listen. If they stop listening and rest on their laurels while increasing revenue opportunities, sure as night follows day, people start to leave–and a trickle can become a flood with the right set of circumstances.

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I fully support your testing feature idea. It’s becoming more and more difficult to separate quality sellers from scammers. I’ve already started to try out writers in ******* because they have a more established system to test and evaluate freelancers. They don’t just evaluate language skills, but also customer service and terms of use. Making sure that their sellers know how to communicate with the buyers and how the system works.

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We’re still getting buyers dipping their toes in despite Fiverr’s reputation so there’s still time to fix issues (not that they will because apparently giving a ‘vote down’ button was higher up their priority list imagine screwed up expression of complete non-plussedness)

Tests are a way to go but favour people with good English skills unless you can translate them. And they can be cheated on. Do we end up in some kind of space-time vortex if people on Fiverr are asked to take the test for the competitor site and people on the competitor site are asked to take the test for Fiverr? I hope we never find out.

I’d like to see us clean house first, I’ll admit, and somehow get rid of the bad sellers. “Somehow” being the operative word.

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Fiverr hides the name, but I’m sure a lot of full-time freelancers have accounts in multiple places and know which one I mean 🙂
I’m still coming to Fiverr because there are some hidden gems here, but I hope they have something in their pipeline to keep this system going

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All points sound good to me.

this here:
<<* translations. Now, as a global site, they need to ensure that their translations are professional. IMagine, for example, that you translate from English to German, and your gig description is in flawless English. Oh no, a German in Germany has found it and sees only machine translated gibberish with no suggestion that this is machine translated for nobody’s convenience! Outside of gigs, several regions need localized TOS, rules and all the rest of it. Will those people read it? Doubtful, but they really have no excuse if a professional translation has laid it ou.>>

+1 for the German gibberish part
As to the localized rules etc., I actually just today added to my latest CS issue I had to write on, that it would be a good idea to have translated instructions how to use fiverr in a specific language in this case, and asked to please pass it on to whom it may concern, and while you´re right that not everyone would read it, at least those who would, could, and a seller could point them there, when ‘technical problems’ happen.
I know for a fact from another international place I frequent that it helps lots if you can hand people info-material in their own language.

(oh and as this appears right under the ******** thing, the place I was talking of isn´t one for work, just for fun ;))

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No system is perfect, of course. I’m just floating one potential way that has been used by other platforms to so-so success in the past. There’s a company that does all of these tests so it’s probably a case of giving them $5 a month (lol) and not much else bar integrating it into Fiverr’s systems. The tests can be gamed, but its about another barrier to entry with the initial “Fiverr Academy Test” ( or the FAT test, as I like to call it, starting from now)

What I will say that as a global business site, anyone selling here should have at least a basic grasp of English. I’m not saying everyone has to be Shakespearian, but if you’re going to be taking buyers from all over the place and you don’t share a common tongue, English is the best way to go. 100 years ago it would have been French, and before that Latin. Maybe tomorrow it’ll be Mandarin Chinese. But right now, it’s English. So I don’t particularly find this pre-qualification to be too bad. How many bad buying experiences are down to terrible communications and misunderstandings?

At the end of the day, it’s still people’s hard earned money and they want at least a usable result. Can you really get that with someone selling the moon on a stick for $5 with poor English? If you do, it’s probably a rip of someone else’s work. Combine that with begging for 5-star reviews (something I have never done) and immediate refund to maintain a pristine account. That’s scammy, and Fiverr needs to find a solution to it. The easiest solution is dumping these kind of sellers.

As sellers, we are obliged to deliver good work while juggling a whole bunch of other stuff and fighting some of the more inane issues with the system. It’s not easy, and I think a lot of the new sellers who aren’t that competent, but hopeful don’t really understand how rigorous and disciplined you have to be if you want ongoing success on this platform. You can’t test for that, but you do need the aptitude for it. if you can jump through all the hoops and you’re good at what you do, Fiverr should treat you well. That’s what these buyers expect. That’s what these new sellers should aspire to. Hard work and a willingness to keep working on your skills will eventually get you where you want to go.

Otherwise, as one disgruntled person posted in the Ranting Pot not so long ago, he was quitting and going to work at Walmart because he’d make more money pushing carts about, and we should all join him and escape this scam.

That’s why people fail. Hurdles are meant to be jumped over. Fiverr itself is one of the greatest hurdles out there…

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The silliest thing is that Fiverr has a huge pool of home-grown translators to pick from here. They could do this, do a little PR stunt and celebrate the talented translators on Fiverr making it a more global blah blah blah and marking a new step forward in the freelance market. That kind of fluffy drivel that PR people love. It would be a great rep boost for the chosen sellers, too.

Honestly, it’s almost like they’d rather throw money at people like Gary Vee for a dull interview that gets… well, nowhere. Except for lining Gary’s pockets more, of course, while Fiverr hopes that his army of acolytes come and buy lots of gigs from, er… well, hopefully a semi-decent seller? Hmmm, better to fix your house up before reaching out to communities in this way, I think.

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…and the downvote button is gone. Ooh la la. Perhaps they remembered why Facebook don’t have it. You know that FB only introduced their other “reactions” to further improve their marketing by gauging how its users feel on certain issues and extrapolating that to improve their targeted ads?

This was nowhere near the level of thoughtful design that went into the FB overhaul. It’s painfully obvious.

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It´s good enough to make me smile and for a small and mousy like at least, and it even changes to a gayer green on execution! Nowhere as flashy as a nice fat red downvote, for sure, but green is the colour of hope, isn´t it (okay for some other things too, but let´s pretend).

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I didn’t know Israel built walls? I thought they were more fence people over that way? Ah well, you learn something new every day.

In either case, I suppose my OP was just a rant really. I know nothing will change and I’m only really annoyed as I have severely let myself go everywhere else this year by going all at it on Fiverr. Time for new gigs, better risk spreading and perhaps even a facebook account finally to see what all this social media marketing business is about.

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