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Avoid These Bad Buyers on Fiverr

Whether you are a new seller or an experienced seller on Fiverr, you are more likely to stumble on bad buyers from time to time. It is important to be able to identify them so you can avoid closing a deal with them whenever possible.

Bad buyers come in different forms. They can be manipulative, dishonest, exploitative, difficult… overall they are just an unpleasant bunch to deal with.

Most of the time, the headaches that come with bad buyers are not worth your time or your mental health.

I am a level 1 seller and have been on the Fiverr platform for almost a year selling Virtual Assistant services and copywriting gigs. So I’ve had a share of some unreasonable buyers.

In this post, I want to share some of the bad buyers on Fiverr, how to spot them and how you can avoid them, too, sparing you from the negativity and stress.

They’re rude

Never work with a buyer who is rude from the get-go.

If they start off insulting your work or guilt-tripping you to bring the price down, saying things on the lines of,

“Why are you charging so much for such an easy task?”

“Are you serious?”

“Your pricing is ridiculous.”

Block them right away. You don’t deserve any level of disrespect. Nothing you say will change their mind or behaviour, so don’t feel the need to explain your worth or the value of your service.

That being said, if they start being rude during or after delivering the order, try to hold off any emotions and deal with them on a professional level.

Personally, I’d rather refund them and cancel the order than risk a one-star review and further mistreatment.

Additionally, you might also want to block them to avoid any future dealings with them.

They want to pay later

“I pay at the end of the week.”

No. That’s a big red flag.

I have someone who wants me to use my Facebook account and make my own Craigslist to list real estate properties. They then tell me I can start working and they’ll pay me at the end of the week, because “this is how we do.”

I kindly reminded him that what he was trying to do goes against Fiverr’s terms and conditions and I won’t start the work until the order is placed.

Fiverr blocked them for me so I never got to hear what he got to say.

There’s no guarantee that they’ll pay you later. As tempting as it is to make a sale it’s not worth the risk of giving away your time and work for free.

I made this mistake with a recognised buyer (he has many good reviews on his profile). He asked me to rewrite a letter and said he needed it urgently. After pressuring me and hurrying me with the work I sent him the finished letter to review it.

He never got back to me after that. Even after I sent him the customised order as well as a reminder message.

It’s possible he just got busy and forgot. Either way, the risk of not getting paid with established buyers is still there.

From thenceforth, whenever I do get a recognised buyer who asks me to start the work without placing an order first, I kindly remind them I’ll start as soon as the order is placed.

They want to communicate outside Fiverr

“Send me your details on +129979xxxx and we’ll provide you with the work.”

This is pretty obvious. Usually, Fiverr would block these scammers before you get the chance to, but like viruses, they evolve and keep finding new ways to get past Fiverr police.

That being the case, not all buyers who want to communicate outside Fiverr are bad. I have held zoom meetings with a couple of serious clients.

However, before I even agree to go on a Zoom meeting I check their profile and reviews and the reason why they wanted to talk. I also try to learn more about their business before agreeing to get on a call with them.

It’s understandable for someone who wants to use your service long-term to want to get to know more about you, and it’s easy for miscommunication to happen in chats.

Sometimes, business owners are very busy and may not have the time to sit and chat back and forth. So they prefer to Zoom and make their judgement whether to order with you from there, especially if it’s a big order.

If during Zoom meetings they are talking about paying you later or paying you outside the platform, kindly decline and persist in going by Fiverr rules.

They are asking for discounts

“Can I get a discount on your hourly rate?”

“I have more work for you in the future.”

The discount asker. Sigh… Now, I must say they’re not all necessarily bad. Typically they’d ask for a discount on the promise they’ll provide you with more work in the future.

Not all sellers feel unhappy to agree to bring their price down. Especially if the service that they provide can be done so fast and they don’t feel like they lose much. For most, it also means potential return buyers and more future work.

But for the services I provide I do spend a lot of time and focus, and some work do require me to do some research on the buyer’s industry to get a good understanding of their needs.

In one example, recently I got a buyer approaching me about a work I’m not familiar with (academic writing).

I was happy to take on the task even though it meant extra time researching, proofreading and going through similar materials. When the buyer asked for a discount, I admit I wasn’t keen to move forward with it.

If this was when I’d just started Fiverr I might agree to it. But now I’d rather use the time focusing on my blog and my freelancing business outside Fiverr.

Ultimately, it’s your call whether you feel you want to agree to a price decrease or not. If you feel that being paid less it’s going to affect your motivation to produce amazing results, then I advise you to politely decline. 

They have unrealistic expectations

My brother is a professional artist and he makes amazing artwork. You can check his beautiful pieces on Instagram here. After giving him the idea, he got on Fiverr and made a gig offering 15-minute sketches for $5.

A buyer/Instagram follower pulled out one of his 22-hour masterpieces he posted on Instagram and asked him to draw something similar to it.

After getting similar unreasonable buyers, my brother got fed up and decided to close the gig.

My experience offering virtual assistance services is a little bit different.

I have a buyer who messaged me about answering messages as a Virtual Assistant. Since their business is in the beginning stages, they don’t expect a lot of messages within their company. They want me to be on standby and respond to the messages immediately from 4 am to 2 pm every day of the week.

“We only want you to work 1 hour a week.” 

They only want to pay me for one hour… but expect me to be on standby from 4 am to 2 pm every day (weekends too). When I explained that’s not how it works, they said “It doesn’t cost you to be on standby.”

I politely turned them down.

Know your worth and limits. This type of buyer is exploitative and unreasonable. They want to milk your time and energy for little money they’re reluctant to part with.

They want a free trial run

This is more common with new sellers. However, even as a level 1 seller I still get this kind of buyer.

I have someone come to me for my social media gig. They want me to offer my service for a month as a free trial and if they are pleased with my work they will hire me.

Laughable, right? Another buyer approached me and then said if I was interested in working with them I need to complete a copywriting task. It was a task if I completed it; it’d benefit them (if that’s what they want), but would be my loss if they had no interest in hiring me.

Did I think it was worth proving myself to them? Well, unless it’s a company or someone I REALLY want to work with, then nope.

Please note that there are buyers who would like to test your work with the intention of working with you long-term. However, unlike the first two examples, they are willing to invest and pay for the trial. They tend to place an order for the basic gig and then decide if your work is what they’re looking for. These are buyers who respect people’s time and usually are good to work with.

They have poor communication

If you have a language barrier between you and the buyer or they’re just bad at communication, it’s best to avoid closing a deal with them.

It’s hard for them to get across their needs and you may end up with an unsatisfied buyer that leaves you with a bad review. Politely decline and move on.

And that’s all for this post! I hope you enjoyed reading this. Do you have any extraordinary experiences with Fiverr buyers? Share your story down below in the comments!

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