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My Reasons To Reject A Buyer – An Analysis


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It was around midnight the other day when I was working on an order for one of my private clients. During a break I checked into Fiverr and a message popped in, saying:

“Hi, are you available to deliver translation of one doc tonight?Regards”

I very politely rejected this potential buyer with the following message:

“Hello XXXXX,

I’m sorry. I’m fully booked and busy with a very large order right now.

Best regards,

There are a couple of reasons to do so:

  1. Unprofessional and rude approach, what brought me into the Eff off state of mind. Were are your manners, you bloody disgrace?
  2. I had no time indeed even though it could have been something very small, what could have been done very quickly. This is were all the other reasons kick in, as there are:
  3. Clearly the buyer (who was b.t.w. Top rated) didn’t took the time to read my gig description, where I clearly state that I don’t do fast deliveries and if I happen to do them, I will not charge extra. However, I don’t offer them.
  4. No detailed information. He probably assumed that I got a divine enlightenment in the very moment he send me his message. Of course I would immediately know how long this gig would take. Why should he send me the effing document, so I could at least have a look at it in order to evaluate the time needed to do the job? But OK if you have a narcissistic personal disorder, you assume that everybody already knows exactly what is going on in your f****d up head.
  5. This actually sums up reasons 1 up to 4: no communication skills whatsoever. This is a red flag. I once tried to help a guy like this and it ended in his account being terminated after several threats to my address and a lot of ToS violations from his side. All in one conversation, how stupid can one person be?
  6. His location was on my blacklist and the above reasons convince me even more to keep my blacklist.
  7. Last but not least, and this could actually be #1: my guts told me not to dive into this. If my guts say “No”, I say “No”.

You see, people like that try to treat you like a commodity and especially sellers who are desperate for orders fall into that trap too often. The mere approach of this buyer should ring alarm bells.
If you don’t want to be treated like a commodity, don’t act like one.

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I understand your point of view as to why you turned down the buyer but I also kind of understand their perspective as well. Maybe they thought that sending you the document before you agreed would be insulting by assuming you would take any order (maybe, who knows what they were really thinking). And the message they send you seems better than some of the ones I’ve seen. They said hi, and even threw in a regards! Might just be a missed sale, may also be a good dodge, I suppose we’ll never know.

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It was certainly not a missed sale. At least not a good one.
It’s like calling the garage and asking if they can fix your car without telling them what is wrong. The best thing then would be to show up with a different car when they agree. Yes, I even had an idiot who wanted to send me a ‘similar’ file for a custom offer rather than the file he wanted to have translated.
I experienced a lot of weird stuff with buyers like that.
The next step would usually be that they want to negotiate the price, while my FAQ clearly state that negotiating is not possible. If money is their first concern they will find a seller who meets their budgetary needs.

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I agree with vigasan in so far that the approach would have been ‘polite enough’ for me, though, of course, I concur with the notion that generally a pleasant communication/conversation habit will make me much more inclined to work with someone, especially on a longer term basis.
So, yes, buyers, if you don´t want to hear ‘Sorry, I´m booked out at the moment.’ next time, treating an online seller like you´d do a real one standing in front of you, might go a long way and work in your favour (well, at least I hope you do treat flesh and blood sellers in front of you in a decent way).
Marios post is a good general reminder that while it might be hard to fathom for some, yes, there is something like ‘work atmosphere’ in online work and ‘even’ in fiverr work, even in fiverr low-wage-5$ work, it might only be one fast forgotten 5$ job for you, the buyer, but it might be the daily bread and butter of the seller. A nice work atmosphere is a good thing for us all to have, sellers and buyers alike.

I guess it´s easy for a buyer to have tunnel vision and only see their own project, and think everything revolves around that. It happens, and it´s understandable too, if someone is excited about something, or pressed by their own deadlines, yeah, it will happen.
That brings us to the point of not attaching the file/s in question. I see vigasan’s argument, and, in theory, I agree, that I´d also find it the politer solution to first ask, and not ‘throw a file at the seller’ right away, but we all, buyers and sellers, have the same 24 hours per day, and being able to look at the file directly to decide if we can or can´t do the job, will save time.
I had a similar case recently actually, they asked,in their initial message, if I´m available and if they shall send the files, so I can have a look, that was all fine by me, and as they were short enough, I could squeeze them in right away.

A point to mention for buyers’ consideration btw - even if you picked out for example a translator who has only few orders in their queue - they might sit there with a 100K words literature text right now, or keep their back free a bit, so they’ll be able to pick up the jobs their repeat customers will come with, so better don´t make the mistake to assume ‘they should be grateful for any kind of work and any kind of behaviour that comes their way’ 😉

To #7 I absolutely agree. The few times I did something against my gut feeling, well, it didn´t exactly go wrong, but still I´d better not have done it.

Generally the communication thing of course is an iffy thing - you´ll see posts on the forum, where sellers ask for a more to-the-point and fast approach, and such of sellers who prefer a more personal way of communication and want to be contacted before all and any orders, while others are most happy, if people just click ‘order now’ and the least possible amount of time is ‘wasted’ on communication; or any combination of all that.
There´s no real right or wrong there from my perspective, it´s a matter of taste and style. That is, as far as it goes beyond basic politeness and manners, of course. Those two should never be optional. Where communication does happen, at least be polite, even if you´re pressed on time, we all are, and some of us manage to still be polite, some even to be friendly.
And that goes for both buyers and sellers.

Finally, Mario is very right with his point on ‘commodities’.
Thanks to all buyers who simply are nice people and treat sellers as fellow human beings and not commodities! You rock and you can be sure that ‘your’ sellers do appreciate that (and will most probably give your job priority, or accept the work in the first place, while the other kind of buyers might have to wait, or go find someone else).
And you buyers who don´t - consider to change your attitude, it doesn´t cost anything to treat others like you´d want to be treated yourself, you know, and ultimately it will only work in your favour. Cheers.

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Another reason to avoid someone is if they want you to write about their amazeballs company, but have no website, or information, and give you a globally-known corporation’s website to show that they are just as good if not better than them.

And of course, this globally-recognized corporation has the manpower to offer every service under the sun in their industry, while your buyer wants to to distill that (inc. all services with a powerful call to action) in just 100 words, without knowing anything much at all about their company, even after looking up their name.

I pointed out the multiple issues and they never got back to me. Funny, that. It’s one thing to bullshit your leads about how amazingly successful and competent you are, but don’t bullshit the professional bullshitter, who is here to write that stuff. Give the professional bullshitter something to work with along with reasonable project expectations. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense.

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I understand your points but I disagree with you here and there.
I think its important to remember that Fiverr is nothing like walking into a retail store or approaching a business. Sellers are completely anonymous here so just sending (what could be important/personal) documents to anyone is not a good idea and most people would not be comfortable doing that. They may have sent messages to many different sellers who were online, it was midnight so maybe they were aware that most probably wouldn’t do the job. Instead, they could have been seeing who would respond and then giving more details.
Yes, the buyer could have given you more detail such as word count etc but not everyone is familiar with Fiverr, how it works, what sellers prefer etc. Your response was polite and professional which is good but I suggest that you could have said something like:
“Hi xxxx,
I am working on an order at the moment and it is already midnight here, could you send the document so I can quickly assess it and see if it is possible, and if so then I will send you a price.”

Should they send you a smallish document you could then consider giving them a largish price to cover the fact that you are already busy, it is midnight and they want it done immediately. For jobs like that (bearing in mind overtime, unsocial hours etc) I will charge up to 5 times my normal price, making it worthwhile. It could also lead to a new ongoing client (in your case they were a TRB so have at least bought a couple of times), perhaps they were let down by their usual seller and will now buy from you regularly instead. This is how I got one of my semi-regular clients although having paid a lot the first time, they always make sure they have plenty of time now!

Regarding being treated like a commodity - Of course we are all human and need to be treated with basic respect. However, there is great value in having buyers see you/your services as a commodity only. They order, they give details, they pay, they accept delivery. Done! No chit chat, no wanting to be friends, no expecting personal favors because they gave us a $5 tip and now we owe them one. I don’t need their validation or the love of strangers - I want their money and in exchange I will deliver my services. Some clients I like more than others, some I dont have any relationship with as they simply order and send the documents. I probably make more per hour on the ones I dont have a relationship with as there is no time spent discussing, chit-chatting etc.

Finally, as this is an international marketplace, it should be expected that different people will act/conduct their business in different ways. Some see negotiation as an integral part of any business being done - others just see a price and pay it (I love you Germans!), accepting people’s intricacies and working with different cultures is one of the things I find most interesting about working on Fiverr - even the ones who are “eff’ed up in the head”.

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That’s not a german mentality, that’s more of a jooish mentality.

And I am more about that, what’s your price, this, that, thank you done.

But more often than not, sellers tend to rip off customers like that. I recently paid probably double the price for a item I purchased at the store as I did not bargain.

Not that I am rich or anything, I find the matters of bargaining a fickle thing. Just don’t have time to spend on the unnecessary banter.

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I completely understand what you’re getting at. I would have personally asked him to send the file and I would get back to him.

Thanks for the compliment 🙂 I know my time worth and I price around that, if people can’t afford my main gig rates, there’s really nothing I can do. They’ll come back when they order another gig for $5 and see what they’re given.

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