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 My Experience with Fiverr

At a recent meeting with a client I was alarmed to hear several managers discuss using “Fiverr” for a graphic design project. Despite being part of a large corporation, the department apparently had finite resources to cover a long list of projects.

I decided I needed to learn more about the “world’s largest online marketplace for digital services,” and spent about 30 minutes reviewing work of various artists on their website. With 91,115 graphic & design artists to choose from, I ended up reviewing less than one percent.

I selected one artist that seemed to be a good fit for my practice assignment: a logo for a fictitious organization. Within one hour, I had created a profile, placed my order, and received confirmation I would receive my logo within three days. Total price: $6.

I got an email in less than three hours announcing my design was ready. With equal parts anticipation and trepidation, I opened my order—and was very disappointed. My instructions to create a visual for an Asian-influenced motif resulted in what looked like a cross between a Crest and an Aquafresh toothpaste logo—a generic, mass-produced corporate icon.

I contacted the designer and offered to pay extra for her to make revisions. I requested two modifications: change the blue swirl to dark green and substitute sans serif type with serif type.

Twelve hours later, I received an entirely different logo with a garish visual and bold green typeface that still appeared in sans serif. It was hideous.


My experience with Fiverr led me to these conclusions:

For Buyers

 You get what you pay for. There’s no guarantee that paying $500 vs. $6 will produce perfect results, but $6 is likely not to buy much. Quality work takes more than a few minutes to create.

Also, don’t trust the ratings. Based on the seller’s portfolio and reviews, her work was a strong fit for my specific project. Either her portfolio was inflated, I badly misjudged my needs, or I miscommunicated the assignment — which, after checking my notes, I do not believe was the case.


For Buyers and Sellers

 Expect limited communication. There are no checkpoints along the way, no options for phone calls, Skype meetings, WebEx meetings or personal emails. With Fiverr, none of these choices is an option.


For Freelancers

 Decide if this is where you want to “fish” for work. While rates for services on Fiverr vary widely, you should seriously consider if you want to associate yourself with a job site where clients choose freelancers based largely on price. For quick gigs or fill-ins to larger work, it may be a good resource. However, donating your services may be a better way to showcase your talents.

What have been your experiences (positive or negative) with Fiverr or a similar site (GigBucks, Zeerk, Upwork, etc.)? Has a client ever awarded work to a Fiverr seller instead of you? I would like to hear from you! Please email me your comments for a follow-up article.

Authored by Cheryl Syrett

Cheryl Syrett is a marketing communications writer and editor. She is a former board member of Freelance Forum.

If embedded links do not work:

Email: cherylosyrett@gmail.com

Link to work on freelanceforum.org: http://freelanceforum.org/project/cheryl-syrett/