What's With The Fiverr "Bait & Switch?"

27 replies
This is going to be a little bit of a rant, but I think many people will be able to identify with it.

I've been using Fiverr since it was completely unknown. I think I opened my account the third or fourth week after they went live.

Anyway, I used to use it for all kinds of stuff -- ecovers, logos, blog headers, YouTube channel headers, timeline covers, article rewrites, etc, etc, etc.

It was great. Somebody advertised something for $5 and you got something nice for $5 and they made a little money (which I thought was the whole concept of Fiverr anyway).

Lately this has changed. It's near impossible to get the same quality of work done for $5. Now vendors want you to order 2 or 3 Gigs, buy this add on, etc. Anyhow, I don't know why they even call it "Fiverr" anymore because you rarely get anything for $5, and even when you do you end up paying $5.50 and not $5, so maybe they should change the name of the site to "Fiverr-Fifty."

This is all well and good. Sites change. Businesses evolve. I get it. The higher the Gig price, the more money Fiverr makes. Duly noted and I can certainly respect wanting to increase your profit margin. I also understand that if I don't like the rules then I can leave and not use Fiverr anymore.

However, one thing I simply cannot accept is what I like to call the "Fiverr bait & switch." It's simple. A seller advertises a service for $5, such as a logo, header, ecover, etc. Once you order they then contact you with some story about how it's going to be $15 and this is not a $5 order, etc. Sometimes they don't even say anything they just send you a custom order for $15 or $20 and let you question them.

Let me say that I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with someone wanting whatever they want for their service. That's their prerogative. That's why it's an open market and I can look elsewhere for lower prices if I want.

However, if they want $15 or $20 for a Gig then JUST SAY THAT in the Gig. It's not right to advertise your service for $5 and then once people order you tell them you cannot do the job for $5 but you 'll do it for $15. Totally wrong. It's false advertising.

I have tried to get a simple logo for one of my blogs for the last 3 days. I have placed 4 orders and this has happened on 3 out of the 4. Finally, last night I found someone who will actually deliver what they advertised, which is a logo for $5. Don't get me wrong -- I don't expect to get a $100 logo design for $5. The thing is though that I don't want a $100 logo. It's a blog I am going to throw up 25-30 good unique articles on and put up some Adsense ads and a few opt-in forms. I don't want to be spending all kinds of money on a blog that is going to probably make me $25-$50 a month profit.

Now before any graphic designers or writers get up in arms, let me reiterate that I have no problem with a writer or designer getting whatever they want for their work. If they are good at what they do then they deserve to get paid well for it.

However, if you advertise a logo for $5 don't come back to me with a long sob story about you usually only work on freelance sites and you are used to getting a lot more for your work, etc. I could care less. I only want what you advertised. If you don't want to do it for $5 then don't advertise it for $5.

Rant over.
#bait and swirch #fiverr #what with the fiverr bait
  • Profile picture of the author arrival7
    I agree with your rant 100 percent. I remember when everything was $5! It was a great site and a great concept back then, but now the site has changed. Lots of people may not know what you are talking about because they did not use Fiverr during its ground floor days so they see fiverr just how it is and doesn't have anything to compare it to. I do feel your pain on that one!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I hear your frustration.



    I remember back in the day, I ordered 10 graphics, it was $50.

    These days, they want "$50 per image" or something crazy to give you "commercial rights".

    I found this to be particularly annoying, especially because after much research, I determined that the buyer should own commercial rights to intellectual property purchased on Fiverr.com.

    The lame part? Fiverr.com seemed to never write me back when I asked them who owns commercial rights the second time around.

    Again, I'm with you, as someone who has sold stuff on Fiverr.com, I understand that it's a good thing to ask for more money. (lol).

    But, we can still voice our lament, right?

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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      I hear your frustration.



      I remember back in the day, I ordered 10 graphics, it was $50.

      These days, they want "$50 per image" or something crazy to give you "commercial rights".

      I found this to be particularly annoying, especially because after much research, I determined that the buyer should own commercial rights to intellectual property purchased on Fiverr.com.

      The lame part? Fiverr.com seemed to never write me back when I asked them who owns commercial rights the second time around.

      Again, I'm with you, as someone who has sold stuff on Fiverr.com, I understand that it's a good thing to ask for more money. (lol).

      But, we can still voice our lament, right?

      Yes, I've encountered the whole "commercial rights" thing also. Some sellers make it an "extra" that you have to order with the Gig, which makes no sense to me at all. In other words, if I order a blog header to be used on a blog that I promote products on and make money from, does that mean I cannot use the header I already purchased unless I buy this extra "commercial rights" Gig? Basically, I pay somebody once to create a header for me, then they expect me to pay them another fee so I can use it for what I ordered it for? It's ludicrous.

      I also think it's a grey area with Fiverr and they don't seem to want to give out a solid answer and then back it up. They dance around the question like a politician. If they say the buyer owns commercial rights automatically, they lose all of the revenue they make every time somebody pays a seller for that Gig extra. If they answer no, that means every seller would have to start charging extra for commercial use and that would piss off lots of buyers. It would also bring up a lot of copyright issues about who paid for commercial rights and who didn't, and who is using their Gigs the wrong way, and who will enforce it, etc, etc.

      Back on the topic of the "bait & switch" tactic, I don't think Fiverr should allow that. Any seller who is caught doing that should receive one warning, and if they get caught again they're gone. One warning is enough. If the seller does it again they have no excuse and can't claim they didn't know.

      I also want to reiterate that I am not trying to devalue the work of graphic designers or content creators or video producers, etc. I think they have the right to be paid whatever they think their work is worth, and they are well deserving. I'm only saying that they shouldn't advertise a service for $5 and then turn around after they get an order and inform the buyer the price will now be $25.

      I wonder how well it would go over at Wal-Mart or Target if they decided to double or triple the price of an item when the buyer got to the cash register?
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  • Profile picture of the author Garymgar
    They have gotten really ridiculous as of late . I have had quotes of $150 and above from an initial gig price of $5. There has to be a better or another alternative.
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  • Profile picture of the author conradomahy524
    I agree with pretty much every comment above. Fiverr started out so innocent and pure lol that was focused and on track. Nowadays it is a bloated corporate money making machine that values their own profit above anything and all else.

    It was pretty good in the beginning but now, not so much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nisip
    Banned
    what's more, also they waste many days, and you lose your clients, who get angry after waiting for
    all those days in vain

    the quality of this site has been collapsing too much.

    I stopped using it about 1 year ago, when I calculated that the seller gets practically just 39 $
    out of every 55 $ spent...

    which means that the fees are the highest compared to any other site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I wonder how well it would go over at Wal-Mart or Target if they decided to double or triple the price of an item when the buyer got to the cash register?
    According to my Wal-Mart receipts it's their SOP. The price on the shelf (not the item ) will be one thing and the price on the receipt will be another. I estimate they get me for about $10 per month.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      According to my Wal-Mart receipts it's their SOP. The price on the shelf (not the item ) will be one thing and the price on the receipt will be another. I estimate they get me for about $10 per month.
      LOL. I hear you man. I caught Target just the other day charging me $1.29 each for yogurt that was advertised for $1. Luckily I caught it before I left the parking lot. Damn straight I went back in and got my $3 and change!
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  • Ever heard of inflation? It's when they print money things get cheaper at the same numerical number. That is the problem with 5dollar price.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    This burns me up. OK so there are still some people on fiver who offer an excellent service. However, scammers are moving in. Often, they are from poor countries were $30 is a month's pay and they want to earn it in one day, but what else can we say. I use to rec FIVERROR years ago. I would tell people to put some FIVERROR in their diet, but alas no more. Things have taken a turn for the worse. Maybe we can jump start a rival service. Basically, the key is to keep scammers out by keeping track of all these sharks who ask for additional gigs. Just remember that a few rotten apples can ruin a users experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      This burns me up. OK so there are still some people on fiver who offer an excellent service. However, scammers are moving in. Often, they are from poor countries were $30 is a month's pay and they want to earn it in one day, but what else can we say. I use to rec FIVERROR years ago. I would tell people to put some FIVERROR in their diet, but alas no more. Things have taken a turn for the worse. Maybe we can jump start a rival service. Basically, the key is to keep scammers out by keeping track of all these sharks who ask for additional gigs. Just remember that a few rotten apples can ruin a users experience.
      In my recent experience there are more than just a few rotten apples. There might be a couple of entire orchards in there.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

    This is going to be a little bit of a rant, but I think many people will be able to identify with it.

    I've been using Fiverr since it was completely unknown. I think I opened my account the third or fourth week after they went live.

    Anyway, I used to use it for all kinds of stuff -- ecovers, logos, blog headers, YouTube channel headers, timeline covers, article rewrites, etc, etc, etc.

    It was great. Somebody advertised something for $5 and you got something nice for $5 and they made a little money (which I thought was the whole concept of Fiverr anyway).

    Lately this has changed. It's near impossible to get the same quality of work done for $5. Now vendors want you to order 2 or 3 Gigs, buy this add on, etc. Anyhow, I don't know why they even call it "Fiverr" anymore because you rarely get anything for $5, and even when you do you end up paying $5.50 and not $5, so maybe they should change the name of the site to "Fiverr-Fifty."

    This is all well and good. Sites change. Businesses evolve. I get it. The higher the Gig price, the more money Fiverr makes. Duly noted and I can certainly respect wanting to increase your profit margin. I also understand that if I don't like the rules then I can leave and not use Fiverr anymore.

    However, one thing I simply cannot accept is what I like to call the "Fiverr bait & switch." It's simple. A seller advertises a service for $5, such as a logo, header, ecover, etc. Once you order they then contact you with some story about how it's going to be $15 and this is not a $5 order, etc. Sometimes they don't even say anything they just send you a custom order for $15 or $20 and let you question them.

    Let me say that I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with someone wanting whatever they want for their service. That's their prerogative. That's why it's an open market and I can look elsewhere for lower prices if I want.

    However, if they want $15 or $20 for a Gig then JUST SAY THAT in the Gig. It's not right to advertise your service for $5 and then once people order you tell them you cannot do the job for $5 but you 'll do it for $15. Totally wrong. It's false advertising.

    I have tried to get a simple logo for one of my blogs for the last 3 days. I have placed 4 orders and this has happened on 3 out of the 4. Finally, last night I found someone who will actually deliver what they advertised, which is a logo for $5. Don't get me wrong -- I don't expect to get a $100 logo design for $5. The thing is though that I don't want a $100 logo. It's a blog I am going to throw up 25-30 good unique articles on and put up some Adsense ads and a few opt-in forms. I don't want to be spending all kinds of money on a blog that is going to probably make me $25-$50 a month profit.

    Now before any graphic designers or writers get up in arms, let me reiterate that I have no problem with a writer or designer getting whatever they want for their work. If they are good at what they do then they deserve to get paid well for it.

    However, if you advertise a logo for $5 don't come back to me with a long sob story about you usually only work on freelance sites and you are used to getting a lot more for your work, etc. I could care less. I only want what you advertised. If you don't want to do it for $5 then don't advertise it for $5.

    Rant over.

    I feel your pain. What I have been doing is giving the new Fiverr workers a chance since they are hungry to build their reputation.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by DURABLEOILCOM View Post

      I feel your pain. What I have been doing is giving the new Fiverr workers a chance since they are hungry to build their reputation.
      That's EXACTLY what I've been doing. I click the "New" filter whenever I do a search and find a Gig that was just posted from a seller that only has a few Gigs and not many sales.

      The downside to this is you often have to order from people with only a couple or maybe no reviews so you don't know what kind of experiences other buyers have had.

      The upside is that I have found that new sellers are willing to work extremely hard to please you, especially the ones that are looking for the first rating. That's how I ended up finding the seller to do my blog logo after 3 bait and switches. It was very good work and she delivered in less than 24 hours.

      I have started making a list of "bait and switch" sellers so I don't order from them anymore, and I have considered making a list of new sellers I have used, but the problem with that is that after they get a few reviews they start to pull the same nonsense.

      Fortunately for me there are hundreds of new sellers popping up on Fiverr every day.
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        Fortunately for me there are hundreds of new sellers popping up on Fiverr every day.
        New accounts. New 'sellers', perhaps not so much. That supposed female is potentially the same guy that's baiting and switching you. Still, either way, they are likely to perform better to get the ball rolling on that account, but you'd maybe fare better finding an honest individual by whatever ways might be available to you to do that. Trial and error no less.

        Some will argue that Fiverrs ad strategies devalue the professions of many industries and the fact that people are now upselling, through bait and switch is just an envitable consequence which is challenging the integrity of the website.

        Inflation too (as mentioned by someone above, albeit incorrect in definition) is also a reason why nothing could or would remain at $5.

        The upsells are just things others are stating as gig extras in most cases so it doesn't really make much difference. The gig extras alone detract from the supposed five dollar model.

        With all things considered, Fiverr is a place to just consider as a place where you can get work done cheaply after you whittle down to find a small pool of reliable sellers.

        You'll have more to consider on a level of morality when you witness sellers demanding tips (after upselling) through a series of messages. It can become very insightful in your quest to find people who you will do future business with.



        Daniel
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        • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
          Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

          New accounts. New 'sellers', perhaps not so much. That supposed female is potentially the same guy that's baiting and switching you. Still, either way, they are likely to perform better to get the ball rolling on that account, but you'd maybe fare better finding an honest individual by whatever ways might be available to you to do that. Trial and error no less.

          Some will argue that Fiverrs ad strategies devalue the professions of many industries and the fact that people are now upselling, through bait and switch is just an envitable consequence which is challenging the integrity of the website.

          Inflation too (as mentioned by someone above, albeit incorrect in definition) is also a reason why nothing could or would remain at $5.

          The upsells are just things others are stating as gig extras in most cases so it doesn't really make much difference. The gig extras alone detract from the supposed five dollar model.

          With all things considered, Fiverr is a place to just consider as a place where you can get work done cheaply after you whittle down to find a small pool of reliable sellers.

          You'll have more to consider on a level of morality when you witness sellers demanding tips (after upselling) through a series of messages. It can become very insightful in your quest to find people who you will do future business with.



          Daniel
          I agree with you. As I said though, I have no problem with people charging whatever they like for their services. As far as Fiverr devaluing the services of outsourcers, I can totally see where that's a valid point. However, if they don't like Fiverr they don't have to see there.

          My problem comes when you advertise a service for a price and then after that price is paid you basically hold the buyer hostage and demand more money. I'm willing to bet that more than half of buyers will cough up the extra money just because they feel they are halfway into the transaction or maybe they really need the work done.

          At any rate, I guess it just boils down to who is honest and who isn't.
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          • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
            The point I made was, these people do like Fiver as a selling platform. That's why they are there, doing what they are doing.

            They like it because they can disregard the supposed price point and upsell via bait and switch or gig extras earning the around the same for four times as less work.

            From what I know, there's no rule against quoting for each order on a case by case basis (though I may be wrong) and the gig extras obviously aren't against rules, so sellers are joining up, taking advantage of fiverrs 5$ ad tactics then simply charging a price that's closer to their normal rate once they get the lead.

            I don't take a side and understand your position, but this is just an explaination of what seemingly appears to be happening.

            Daniel
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            • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
              Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

              Rant over.
              Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

              I'm not sure if it is against Fiverr's TOS. If it is, they don't enforce it because I have personally run into lots of sellers doing it.
              Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post


              My problem comes when you advertise a service for a price and then after that price is paid you basically hold the buyer hostage and demand more money. I'm willing to bet that more than half of buyers will cough up the extra money just because they feel they are halfway into the transaction or maybe they really need the work done.

              At any rate, I guess it just boils down to who is honest and who isn't.
              And you've contacted Fiverr how many times of this happening and submitted your formal complaints?

              Does you no good to rant about it here.

              Better yet, send a complaint and get one of those petitions going on a free petition site and see who else wants to sign it.
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              • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
                It's also important to consider the actual gig.

                There are some gigs which can be assigned a flat rate and others that naturally need to be a bit more open ended, priced on an individual basis which can vary considerably.

                Daniel
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              • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
                Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

                And you've contacted Fiverr how many times of this happening and submitted your formal complaints?

                Does you no good to rant about it here.

                Better yet, send a complaint and get one of those petitions going on a free petition site and see who else wants to sign it.
                I've contacted them once, actually. I don't believe I ever received a response. I don't feel it's really even worth my time. I know a rant here will do me no good. That wasn't really the point of it, anyway. I just wanted to share my experiences and get others opinions about it.
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                • Profile picture of the author driven2fly
                  Also if you cancel a Gig for slow response from the seller you never get your money back, Fiverr will keep your money until you spend that money with them again. That is the most ridiculous policies I have ever seen.
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  • Profile picture of the author mustafavanancio
    You've made some good points.

    They need to change the name from Fiverr to something else because it does not live up to it's name of every job starting from a fiver.
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  • Profile picture of the author PinkStar
    I have for the most part had good experiences. But I have only purchased a few gigs. And most of them for $5 or the latest $5.50.

    The bait and switch I came across was a designer with some nice banners in his gig (not customer work that posted reviews). I sent a message inquire about the banner and the change I wanted. He said Yes and I placed the order. Only to get something completely different. When pointing out, what I though was a missunderstanding, he got annoyed that I thought the banner he had on display was available and canceled my order - Yeah, silly me lol.
    He wrote me back and said he canceled because he didn't want a bad review. He did end up making a decent banner that I paid for and rated 4 stars (due to the bait and switch) and he got annoyed again and demanded 5 stars, which I ignored because I was being generous with my rating, knowing how important it is for sellers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Irwin
    I haven't ran into this type of bait & switch yet but it would definitely make me mad. If you are going to charge a certain price, be upfront about it. No need to be deceptive, you are just going to offend people and ruin your chance of repeat business.

    I would also have to agree that new sellers typically will go that extra mile to make you happy. You might find a gem if you give a newbie a chance.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelswengel
    I would hate to run into that kind of switch. That isn't cool at all. As you said, people can ask whatever they want for a service but don't change the price after a customer orders. I think people who do this should be reported to Fiverr for false advertising, honestly.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by michaelswengel View Post

      I would hate to run into that kind of switch. That isn't cool at all. As you said, people can ask whatever they want for a service but don't change the price after a customer orders. I think people who do this should be reported to Fiverr for false advertising, honestly.
      I'm not sure if it is against Fiverr's TOS. If it is, they don't enforce it because I have personally run into lots of sellers doing it. I would say more than half of my orders have had this happen.

      Lately I have been ordering all of my Gigs from new sellers and it has been working out really well. Just this afternoon I got an awesome intro video with my logo in it for branding my YT videos for $5. Wasn't that supposed to be the whole entire concept of Fiverr?

      I think giving newbies a shot is definitely the way to go on Fiverr. If there are a lot of other people thinking like me and doing the same, eventually the sellers who are pulling this crap will lose their business and most likely get pushed out.
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  • Profile picture of the author kk075
    I've personally grown tired of Fiverr and the horrible customer service that most people give there. It seems like on every single job there's a problem and I don't think anyone there has ever met their self-imposed deadline.
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  • Profile picture of the author megalinktraffic
    its good you shared it so that other warriors who are going to buy will
    be much careful and get their query answered before they order a gig..
    good business practice must outlay the exact product which will be
    delivered for what price if this is spelled out initially disappointment
    can be avoided and money and time can be saved..
    rueben
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