Fiverr can be a great tool, but are the savings really worth it? Here’s our experience with Fiverr and everything you need to know before using it.
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Have you ever wanted to beef up the look and feel of your Facebook page, your website, or just send someone a hilarious video for their birthday?
Historically, you’d have to find a freelancer who would do these types of tasks exactly to your liking. But now there’s Fiverr, which allows you to have “gigs” done for as little as five bucks.
For this article, I am going to order three different designs from Fiverr–a low cost, medium cost, and higher cost. The point is to show you what you can realistically get from Fiverr to help you determine whether its right for you or not.
Let’s first start with what Fiverr is and how it works:
What Is Fiverr (and How Does It Work?)
Fiverr is an online market that began in 2010. Its name originates from the original cost of gigs or jobs at only $5 per task. It’s classified as a freelance marketplace and offers many varied jobs and services. Fiverr is considered a micro-task site, similar to other websites like Taskrabbit, and offers numerous jobs at similar rates.
Some of the business services you can buy or sell include content creation, marketing, business card design templates, social media or article posting, and assistance with websites or promos.
Alternatively, there are ridiculous services that individuals post in order to earn money. For instance, one guy will say or sing anything with a green screen background, another will say anything you want in a Donald Duck voice, you can have Jesus deliver a birthday or anniversary greeting (in HD!), or someone will even record a professional child voice over for you.
Fiverr also uses some business services many people consider unethical. For example, you can purchase artificial Instagram or Twitter fans, bogus Facebook page likes, or fraudulent reviews to improve your brand name or hurt your competitors. And some services that might even violate the terms of service of other sites.
Since November 2015, Fiverr allowed sellers to charge more than $5 for standard services, and has actually received over $60 million in funding from backers. And at this point, it declares that it’s assisted in excess of fifty million exchanges among 5.5 million customers and 830,000 freelancers.
My Experience With Fiverr
The first thing I’m going to do is log into Fiverr. I already have an account since I’ve used it in the past, but signing up is a breeze if you decide to do that.
I figure since I’m looking for a Facebook banner graphic, I’ll search for “Facebook banner” and see what comes up. Here’s a screenshot of what I got:
Looking a little closer, I see that Fiverr ranked these by relevance, and I see some top sellers at the top of the list:
What I want to do is randomly choose three graphic designers–one at a low, medium, and high price point. For simplicity, I am going to target those with a high rating and a high number of reviews, if I can find it.
Right out of the gates, I see the one on the far right starting at $5. That’ll be my low-cost one.
For my mid-range, I’m going to select the second one on the list, which has over 1,000 reviews, a 4.9 star rating, and is a “Fiverr’s Choice” freelancer.
For my high-range, I decided to scroll down a bit to see if I could get a higher starting price, just to see if there’s a major difference in quality. About halfway down the page, I found a seller with only 138 reviews, but they are a Top Rated Seller and their starting price point is double my mid-range. I’ll take it.
For each of these purchases, I am going with the default, cheapest option. I’ll show you how I was able to upgrade, but I want to keep as much of this test equal as I can.
Low-Range – $5
I’ve chosen this freelancer for my low-range. At first glance, I’m not expecting too much. Their samples look like they’re from the early 2000s, so we’ll see what we get.
Here’s what they’re charging me, and here’s what I’d get at each level:
Out of the gates, I can already see that I’m unable to use the Basic version option for commercial use. This means if I was using it to generate income or sales, I’d have to upgrade to the next level. Since this is for a Facebook banner, I see no issues with Basic.
The more I pay, the faster I get my file, the more revisions I get, and the more platforms I can use it on (i.e., Twitter).
Placing My Order
Placing the order was easy, but I immediately noticed there was a $2 “Service Fee” attached to the total price. Here’s what Fiverr says about that:
The next screen takes me to enter my credit card or PayPal information to pay for the service.
The last screen shows my payment confirmation and a message from the seller, asking for more detailed information. I am going to put the SAME information in all three orders to make it equitable. Here’s what I wrote:
Design a new header for the Dough Roller Facebook Group – (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1649504642004285/?source_id=282604961090)
Please use standard sizes for Facebook cover headers (820 x 312 px) and pull any logos, colors, and images off of DoughRoller.net.
What Came Back
After just three days, my order came back. Here’s what the final product looks like:
Honestly, this isn’t very impressive. It looks like they grabbed the DoughRoller logo and slapped onto a stock image, then added a title beneath it. I wouldn’t use this for my site.
Also, it looks as if they’re exchanging money for goods. As you well know, DoughRoller isn’t an e-commerce site–so it makes me believe that the person didn’t bother to look into the site at all.
Overall Grade: D
Mid-Range – $15
I feel a little bit better about this one, but not by much. Some of their samples look good, others look pretty dated.
Like the previous order, I am going to stick with the cheapest option I can.
Once again I’m getting commercial use, a source file, and more usage rights when I pay more. But as you can see, the price quickly jumps from $15 to $55 and $85, respectively. Talk about an upsell.
I go to place my order and once again see additional options I can add for a fee, as well as the Service Fee.
I’ll stick to the $17 total charge and proceed with the order. As you can see, this seller is asking for a bit more information, but I am sticking with my script to see what happens.
What Came Back
For my mid-range order, it looks a lot better than the low-end one. I got it after three days, as promised. I actually love this design. It uses matching colors (and the colors look like Flat UI colors, which is ideal for user experience), and the graphics are flat as well–which is more modern-looking.
I would totally use this for my site.
High-Range – $30
This guy looks legit at first glance. His samples are clean and modern-looking. Let’s hope we get the same.
Interestingly enough, his total prices are cheaper than the mid-range freelancer, even though he has a higher starting point.
I am still going to stick with the basic option and proceed to my order.
This seller had pretty basic details needed, so I once again copied and pasted my guidelines.
What Came Back
Well, I got my high-end design back after three days like the seller promised. But this guy definitely tried way too hard. Not only did he add gloss to the image (instead of it being a flat design), but he only gave me this image. If I wanted to use this, I’d have to crop out the size for my Facebook header. The picture also has a shadow underneath it, which will cause some issues for me.
He used some images from our most popular articles, and included some of the sites that we’re featured in–but you can barely see the DailyFinance one due to the glossy-look.
I would rank this #2 out of the three, but I don’t like it and would not use it for my site.
What I Learned from Using Fiverr
1. Price Doesn’t Necessarily Translate to Quality
As you can see, the middle-range design was (I felt) the best. There were other sellers out there offering designs for far more than my high-end one, but I’m not convinced that they’d do a much better job. Instead, I would recommend you look at the sample designs and make sure it’s in line with what you’re looking for, before placing an order.
2. Create A More Detailed Request
For the purposes of this article, I used the general request I was given and kept it pretty simple. I also did not respond to questions from the seller, which I did get.
I would suggest making a detailed description of exactly what you need, where the logos and colors are located, and any other relevant information (i.e., “use a flat UI design”). This way, the seller knows exactly what you’re looking for, and you can ask for modifications (up to the amount you have with the price you chose) to make it right.
3. Use Multiple Sellers
If you can afford it, I would strongly encourage you to place the same order with at least two different sellers. Just like my experience above, you never know what you’re going to get. So if you’re using the graphic, content, video, or whatever else you’re producing in a prominent spot (i.e., your main money-making website), I would suggest getting multiple sellers involved. It will be more costly, but you’ll give yourself more options to choose from.
4. Don’t Use For High-Priority Items
I wouldn’t recommend using Fiverr for high-priority items. For example, if I ran DoughRoller, there’s little chance I’d use Fiverr to create graphics, videos, or content for the site. The product you get back is just too variable.
That being said, if you run a small niche site or are working a small side-gig for a client who doesn’t really care that much, Fiverr can be a lifesaver. I run a digital marketing agency and used Fiverr to create an infographic for one of my clients. It came out looking phenomenal and my client was super happy.
Fiverr Pros and Cons
Easy to use — Using the site and putting in a request is a pretty easy, straightforward process.
Many freelancers to choose from — There is a wide variety of freelancers to choose from who provide a variety of traditional and unique services.
Great for small budgets — Projects start at $5 each.
Inconsistency — The level of consistency is not guaranteed.
Price doesn't correlate with quality — A higher price on Fiverr doesn't necessarily mean higher quality, so you'll have to do a bit of your own research.
What About Selling on Fiverr?
While this article has focused almost entirely on buying on Fiverr, there’s a huge opportunity for people to sell on Fiverr as well. In short, it’s worth it to sell on Fiverr if you have the right skill set, you market yourself well, and you do excellent work. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Is There a Cost?
This is actually incredibly difficult to find. I was only able to understand what Fiverr charges sellers by digging around on the Fiverr forums and ultimately coming across their Terms of Service page, which clearly states that “Each Gig you sell and successfully complete, accredits your account with a net revenue of 80% of the purchase amount.”
Meaning, you net 80% while Fiverr takes 20%. So if you sell a service for $10, you’ll end up getting $8 out of that. Considering how broad of a customer base Fiverr opens you up to, I wouldn’t be too concerned with this commission–it’s just the cost of doing business.
How Competitive Is It?
Fiverr is incredibly competitive. Just doing a simple search for “logos” returns 138,601 results. That’s right–138,601.
In order to be successful, you’ll need to do a few things:
- Show what you’ve got: Make sure your profile is complete and you’re displaying examples of your BEST work.
- Find the right niche: Don’t sell logos. Just don’t do it. There’s too much competition. Find a niche that you can excel in, or pick a sub-niche within a niche (for example, “retro, 80′s style neon logos”).
- Diversify: Whether it’s a diverse set of offerings within your one product line or doing a bunch of different gigs, make sure you diversify what you’re selling so you don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one spot and risk not doing good business. After a while, you can narrow down, but to start you should definitely broaden your offerings.
- Have INCREDIBLE customer service: Don’t settle for bland, automated messages. Make sure your customers are totally happy with your work. Follow up with personalized messages and offer re-work if they’re not happy. I hate gigs that offer a finite number of re-works and stick to that because you’re really gambling that the work is good. If you do good, honest work, most people won’t abuse your re-work policy.
Who Should Consider Selling on Fiverr?
People who should sell on Fiverr, to start, are people that have another job or side hustle. Don’t quit your day job to start selling on Fiverr, simply because there is just too much competition. Other people that will benefit from selling on Fiverr include:
- Graphic designers: There is a huge demand for graphic design on Fiverr, and you can do anything from logos to infographics to the tattoo design.
- Videographers/animators: If you have experience making awesome explainer videos or other types of video content, you can do very well on Fiverr. I’ve actually used Fiverr to produce animated video content for my digital marketing clients and they’ve all been very happy with the work.
- Music/audio: – If you can produce beats, background music, or intro songs for podcasts, you might find an incredible niche on Fiverr.
In summary, this was a cool experiment to see what Fiverr can really give you back. Fiverr can be a great option if you’re looking for help with design and video (or something crazy like I showed you before), but I would stay clear of anything that could come back shady–like links to your site, content, or other sketchy services.
Make sure you’re getting multiple sellers involved, and you’re looking for top-rated sellers with a lot of feedback, and samples that fit what you’re looking for.