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Fiverr is awful (my experience of outsourcing work using Fiverr)

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Mission1

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Here is my experience of outsourcing work using the Fiverr website.

Conclusion:
I would NOT recommend using Fiverr if you need to outsource a continuous, regular flow of work.

The benefits of Fiverr:
- It's okay for a once-off job that is exactly what someone advertises e.g. "remove background from product photo"
- It's interesting to browse the available services because you can find people that you didn't know existed e.g. illustration artists, animators, ...

The negatives of Fiverr:
- Lots of part-time people or moonlighting on their day job. This leads to unreliable and inconsistent everything.
- The service can be used on a cell phone app. Sellers are abusing the "response time" metric and ranking system, by communicating with you whilst they're not in front of their computer. Or sellers will lead you on, saying "yes" via their cell phone, then "no" when they actually look at the work. Sellers will try to conduct business with you via their cell phone. I've had people send me Photoshop images via their phone or send me quotes for video editing from their phone. What the heck?!
- The app has bugs and is poorly designed. You send information to a seller and they can't see it on the app.
- The website is confusing and poorly designed. e.g. There are 3 separate places where you can see your communications with other people. There are different types of messages (msg, comment, request). The chat session does not update, you have to manually refresh it.

Here's a few tricks I found:
1.
Firstly you should follow the tips that you can find via google.

2. Check if the Seller is using the Fiverr app or a real computer. Find out what software the Seller has. They might just be using a 3rd party service to do the work.

3. Develop some skill-based tests that you can use to filter potential candidates. You will need to pay the candidates. The task will evolve over time. You want a task that is simple, yet has some "tricks" whereby if you give the task to 10 different people, you get 10 different levels of result.

4. Develop some communication-related tests
e.g. I ask about their equipment setup, their experience, "tell me about your background", "are you familiar with topic ABC". Then I subjectively guess if I can work with them.

5. I send all required materials in a ZIP file with a copy of my instructions.
This filters out people who don't have basic computer skills. Also tries to reduce friction from the terrible Fiverr interface and Sellers who can't remember the task requirements.

6. I send them a link that doesn't auto highlight. Fiverr can't handle asterisk symbols.
e.g.
The person has to copy-paste this into the URL bar.
This filters out people who don't have a computer mouse or basic computer knowledge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More about my experience with Fiverr:

This is mainly a rant. Over the years I have used various websites to outsource work. In the last two months I've been trying to scale an operation and using Fiverr daily to outsource a continuous stream of work.

Tasks such as:
- 3D modelling (making simple 3D models, adding textures)
- Image editing (photo touch-ups, enhancement effects, color correction, digital manipulation)
- Video editing (combining clips, adding titles)

I summarize my experience as "horrible".
It's time-consuming trying to micromanage a large number of people across multiple work streams.
I have wasted a lot of time finding people and checking the work done by people. Really what I need is to find some reliable people with the appropriate skills. So why use Fiverr when I can just hire someone the old fashioned way.

Firstly, I filter people on Fiverr by their portfolio. But there are so many "end result" photos where you can't tell if the person actually did the work. Multiple times I have asked for exactly the same thing but the Seller can't do it. And they still expect to get paid!

I have tried filtering people from English speaking countries. However even if they understand the work, they still could be unreliable when you send them work regularly. The person could be a busy student or single parent. Or they could be a professional who is swamped by too much work on Fiverr.

I think there are a lot of fake reviews.
How can someone have 1000+ 5-star reviews for "Task xyz" but when I talk to them they don't understand what "xyz" is. Maybe they get 1000 reviews from local people.

So now I filter people in 3 steps: portfolio (expected skills), language reading and writing (can they understand what I want), and actual skill (one or more test jobs).
It's time consuming!

First I start with a trial job. A task priced at $20-40 that I send to multiple people. I have a conversation to gauge their language skills. I check their results.

For one type of work, I gave a test to 6 candidates. Here are the results:

Person 1: Advertises as an experienced professional. Achieved what I wanted on first attempt.
Person 2: Also advertises as an experienced professional. Sent me something close to what I wanted. They didn't understand my "creative vision" and did something different to what was requested. LOL :)
Person 3: Another professional. Sent me a quote and did not follow up to do the job.
Person 4: Could not achieve the result, after 2nd revision. I still paid her.
Person 5: Also could not achieve the result, after 2nd revision. I paid him anyway.
Person 6: Could not achieve the result, kept promising to fix it, more excuses, then I cancelled job 2 weeks later.

So the test was successful, I found one (maybe two) workers for a cost of 4 x $35

I picked the best two people and started sending them more work. They did a couple of jobs ok. Then their performance starts to go down e.g. not responding to messages, lower quality results.

Then I have to start all over again, auditioning people for the backlog of work.

It's time consuming. For more complicated work, I spend a long time writing out the requirements. I annotate or sketch the required work and include reference information. In software engineering I know they have dedicated product managers who corral the outsourced workers. Trying to prevent a result like Boeing.

It is annoying and time-consuming to correct people's work. I don't mean subjective things. I mean, if I highlight (annotate) something and you get it wrong, then I have to annotate your work again and send it back. There's no way to use the provided app to make this easier.


Anecdotes:

A worker told me there would be a delay to make revisions because his team member had got sick. Obviously I was paying too much if he was outsourcing on a 2nd level.

I have received work from Professional Designers with decades of experience who forget to do parts of the job. Or when making changes, they fix one thing but revert something else to an older version. How can people be so careless.

I have worked with Professional Artists who can't follow an itemized list of requirements. They do 2 out of 5 items. Or they focus on the last item and ignore the others. So you have to micromanage or treat them like a child: "do this", "ok now do this".

I ask people to send me a quotation for a job. This phrase doesn't translate well.
The system forces me to enter a minimum dollar amount of $5
The person replies: "I can't do it for $5, goodbye" (I asked for a quote)

A lot of things are typical of hiring people in general. Their work is late because "my dog ate it", "my child got sick", "I forgot to attach the file".
I give them 2 or 3 chances, but when you get excuses too often, you have to find someone else.

People that can't say "no".
If you can't do the job for whatever reason then tell me so. Don't lead me on or ghost me. If this task is beyond your ability, just tell me.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's the end of my rant. Feel free to post any suggestions regarding how to outsource work or share your own funny stories.
 

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johncharles46

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Jun 9, 2020
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Agree, if I want quality work done I'm not gonna find on Fiverr. However, there are definitely quality freelancers there though.
 

Sean P

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Jul 4, 2014
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I've always used 5rr for simple tasks and haven't always been disappointed. I use Upwork for something more complex because it is a more professional site for outsourcing than 5rr. Again, never had problems with quality or price.

But here's what surprised me - Facebook. It's easy to see who someone is on Facebook, because you can easily tell a fake profile from a mile away.

So you can find who you want by joining Facebook groups related to the field that you would like to outsource work in. Most group admins frown upon promotional posts but there are quite a few who actually allow them once a week.

That's where you find someone, by first asking for more details with regard to their experience and testimonials. If they provide you with testimonials or references on Facebook and those give you good feedback, there you have your guy/girl.

Another way and a quicker one at that, is to post about what you're looking and ask group members for references. Check the group rules first because some groups don't like members asking for references either because of the chances of the thread turning into a promotional one.
 

df1992

Contributor
May 26, 2020
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I've had mixed experiences with Fiverr. The frustrating thing with the platform is that they won't allow you to speak with the person over the phone/zoom. This can be challenge if you're dealing with a complex task.

I have now found a few reliable people for design and animations (from non-speaking english countries). You do have to micro manage and take your time in explaining clearly, but for the money you can get great results. However, it's taken a lot of poor results to get there...I have had a lot of really really poor work done that was a complete waste of time and money.

For anything more complex there are some really great people on Fiverr Pro.

Generally Fiverr makes me think of the expression "If you pay peanuts, you'll get Monkey's"
 

liero1

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Oct 17, 2019
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always had pretty decent experiences with freelancer.com, just saying
 

Young Money

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Here’s how my experience usually goes with Fiverr:

Seller offers 3 Packages
Basic $22
Standard $50
Premium $95

Based on my requirements for the task and the description the seller has for each package, I assume my service cost will be Basic.

But they don’t let you proceed to pay, they always love saying in their description “please message me before ordering!!”

So I message them, tell them what I need done and they come back with the price $105! “Due to my experience and training blah blah blah your task is more difficult because (some excuse) whatever blah blah.

Their listed prices don’t mean anything, they obviously just put a low Base price to get more people to click but they don’t really work for that price.

So I tell them “no thanks” and then I get several messages after with lower prices that they randomly pull out of the air. “$95? What about $80?” Its all nonsense.

So yeah thats my experience, a lot of wasted time just trying to find out the “real price.” I might try upwork next time
 

rpeck90

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Nov 26, 2016
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Here’s how my experience usually goes with Fiverr:

Seller offers 3 Packages
Basic $22
Standard $50
Premium $95

Based on my requirements for the task and the description the seller has for each package, I assume my service cost will be Basic.

But they don’t let you proceed to pay, they always love saying in their description “please message me before ordering!!”

So I message them, tell them what I need done and they come back with the price $105! “Due to my experience and training blah blah blah your task is more difficult because (some excuse) whatever blah blah.

Their listed prices don’t mean anything, they obviously just put a low Base price to get more people to click but they don’t really work for that price.

So I tell them “no thanks” and then I get several messages after with lower prices that they randomly pull out of the air. “$95? What about $80?” Its all nonsense.

So yeah thats my experience, a lot of wasted time just trying to find out the “real price.” I might try upwork next time
I do (almost exactly) this (my name on Fiverr is PCFixes), although I don't make up random prices.

If someone asks for a complicated thing (I've done some extraordinarily complicated work such as making a maze solver for this computer science course), I have to price it accordingly.

The high end stuff is not recommended to be purchased through Fiverr; many of the people who've bought very high-end (expensive) packages ($500+) from me have not been high quality. One guy even tried to sue me in the UK because he decided to go and buy someone else's service, after I had put in 2 weeks of solid work to get to a working solution... which he didn't like.

I may lower the price if I feel there may be some wider benefit, but I generally stick to the prices. The other thing is that a lot of the tasks people require help with are not cut-and-dry, meaning I don't know what it will take to "fix" the problem. I get it a LOT where some guy will ask for one thing, and actually mean another... the difference often being days of work. The counter can also be true - I can make money quickly if the fix is simple.

A recent example is the following order, which I rushed to complete two weeks ago (he needed it "within 3 hours"), and now - 14 days later - is still asking for revisions because "his client" is constantly meddling with it:

33611

The other side of it is that, as you've pointed out, my position is that I have put in a significant amount of time/effort into accruing the skills behind the work. I often share my github account (richpeck) with prospective buyers as an attest to this - I've got 7+ years of professional software development experience, and about 10 years before that of semi-professional exp.

To demonstrate this, here is a snapshot of a server template I've developed over the past 3+ years of having my own VPS:

33613

This was for my own use, but if I get people asking me to help them deploy a VPS, this is the template I'm able to use to get it working. I've delivered several orders using it, including two guys who wanted to host their blogs on DigitalOcean, and a German guy selling aloe vera products online.

Whilst this doesn't directly affect the quotes, it does give me a precedent from which to work.

--

Anyway, my point is that, especially if you're dealing with "real" people, it's a quid pro quo.

It must be noted that if it's an easy solution, I often do things for free:

33612
 
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Mission1

Mission1

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Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

@rpeck90 - "You fix my computer for $5 from England !?!"
;)


But seriously, gosh you're doing it tough man, doing all those different consulting gigs.
Btw, that's a great domain name: PCFixes.com
 

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rpeck90

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Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

@rpeck90 - "You fix my computer for $5 from England !?!"
;)


But seriously, gosh you're doing it tough man, doing all those different consulting gigs.
Btw, that's a great domain name: PCFixes.com
It starts at $20, which is for things like getting CPanel emails working, fixing a broken wordpress login or finding out why someone's PHP script suddenly started showing errors.

The price goes up to $55 for multiple fixes and then $125 for larger fixes. It exceeds that amount if the request is large enough (custom app development). I also have other income; found Fiverr from @Damian Pros, put up a profile and wanted to treat it as a means to accrue feedback for the domain.

The domain cost $3.5k some years back (I also own the .net, .org etc). I have not got around to putting content up on there yet - main reason being I don't want it to be a "computer fix" service; I have a wealth of high-level software development experience, and wish to compliment it sufficiently (with a legitimate, real, business service). I also bought VPSDeploy.com last year for £5k with the same intention.

There are a number of similar services, namely fixed.net and bobcares.com.
 

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