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For those of you that don’t know, there is a website out there called Fiverr and basically the idea is that those listed will do anything for five bucks.  Now keep in mind by anything I mean, the thing they have listed.

For example … “I will _sing you a song_ for five bucks” or “I will _film myself jumping up and down while shouting you name_ for five bucks”.  The things people will do for five bucks is rather mind blowing.

I couldn’t begin to list them all but what I can do are provide you with some tips from my own experience on using the site that might help you avoid some of the pitfalls.

While the basic concept of the site is for a person to offer their services for give bucks, the site has begun to grow and people are now offer basic services for $5 with enhancements for for.  For example, I could pay someone $5 to write the first 300 words of this very blog post or for $5 more they would double the offer and write the first 600 words of this post.

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well for the most part it is and most of the ads are clearly stated so that you know in advance what you are getting for you $5.

However like all good things there are always going to be those jack asses that ruin it.  So tip #1 when using Fiverr.  Look up at the person’s name who is offering to do something for you.  If you see an international flag, especially those from Pakistan or India, you might want to think twice about placing that order.  Almost every fraud or negative story I’ve heard about on Fiverr is because of a provider who came from one of those two countries, mostly Pakistan.

Tip #1 Don’t always trust the reviews.  If you see a person who has no negative reviews one would assume that means they are great at what they do, right?  Not necessarily.  There is a way with the Fiverr system to work around those negative reviews and get them removed so some people may seem great but really they are the worst.

I want to give you a perfect example of a user who abuses the Fiverr system and could cost you money and in return you get nothing but a hassle.

Here is a guy who says “I will modify your wordpress blog/website as per your needs for $5”.

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That sounds great, right?  If you look under his name it even says he’s rated 100%.  Now to me 100% rating means that every person he’s ever done business with rated him well.  Great, right?  Wrong.

Because this person isn’t rated 100%.   Not really.  It’s a flaw within the Fiverr system, something this user is exploiting.

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Notice his rating shows 2 negative reviews.  How can one have two negative reviews and still have a 100% rating?  That’s problem one.  Problem number two, the math doesn’t add up.  If this person has sold 1,179 people this job, how can then 193 people review his job?  He has 193 EXTRA positive reviews from people who didn’t buy his $5 “gig” as they call it.  Clearly an exploit of the system.

If a person does 10 jobs then he should have no more than 10 ratings.  This person has more customers than jobs done.

But that still isn’t the biggest problem with this guy.

The biggest problem is the bait and switch scam.  He offers to fix your wordpress blog or theme for five dollars.  It clearly says so in his ad in big bold letters.  That’s the first thing you see, I will modify your wordpress blog/website as per your needs for $5.

But once the guy collects your money you know what he does?  Nothing.  He contacts you to let you know that your job is to complicated and will require more of his time and as such he will need more money.  And that could be anywhere from $20 to $50.  He didn’t actually do anything for the original $5 he got from you and you got nothing out of it.  But he doesn’t give that money back.  So you just paid a guy $5 for nothing.

So instead what do you do?  You give him negative feedback, right?  Exactly what I did.  Only about a week later I noticed something.  I noticed my negative feedback disappeared from his page.  I put negative feedback on his page again and checked it about 24 hours later and it was gone again.

The Fiverr support department said they were sorry, that the guy contacted them and asked them to remove it so they did but they will note my account and not remove it again without my permission.

My thought on this is, why the hell is Fiverr support removing negative feedback??!  The reason they have the feedback system in the first place is to protect us consumers.  Clearly this is a big fail on Fiverr’s part and an issue they really need to address in the near future.  As Fiverr continues to grow this problem will only get worse.

Next the guy contacted me immediately demanding I remove my negative feedback or I will get banned from Fiverr.  I can’t believe he actually threatened me, but he did.  And this I remind you is the guy that Fiverr removed my negative feedback from, not because they thought it might be inaccurate, but just because he asked them to.

This user told me that “Fiverr doesn’t tolerate people like me” that they know where their money comes from, which are top people like him and if I don’t remove my negative feedback he will get my account banned, that “Fiverr has done it before and they will do it again“.

I didn’t care.  I wasn’t backing down.  So you know how the guy finally got my negative feedback off of his page?  After all else failed he cancelled my job which then means there was no job to complete and therefore I was not entitled to leave him feedback.

I never forgot that experience with Fiverr and used that experience to do much more research into the process.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually really do like Fiverr a lot, now I’m just much more careful in who I do business with on there.  Just because it’s only $5 I’m out, isn’t an excuse to me.  That’s MY $5.  I earned that money and I’m not just going to give it away.

So the first thing I should have noticed on this guy’s post is that his flag under his name shows he is from Pakistan.

If you Google enough stories about Fiverr you will learn that almost every single report of fraud comes from Pakistan with a handful from India.  So now when I want a job done, I avoid booking “gigs” from any provider from those two countries.  I hate to say that but I’m sorry.  Just to much fraud for me to risk it.  It’s my money and I don’t want to just give it away.

The next thing I do is the math.  I look at the number of jobs they have done versus how many reviews they have.  If they have more people giving them positive reviews than actual jobs done, then clearly there is some sort of fraud going on and as such, I avoid those people as well.  If they have 5 jobs done, then only 5 people max should be able to review them.

The next thing I do is look carefully at the job description.  While the ad listing may clearly state what it is that person will do for $5, sometime their description will give hints that there may be extra charges involved.  If they even remotely sound like that is the case, I also avoid booking a job with that person.

I like to keep my things short and simple.  I want a job done ,I’ll give you $5.  You do the job you said you would do for the amount of money you said you would do it, in the given time frame and I’m happy.

If I want “extras” from you for more money than you should have clearly provided me that information up front when I placed my order and had I been interested in those job extras, I would have ordered them at that time.

It’s not uncommon for a person by the way to offer a job extra.

Here is a good example.  This guy says he will “write A Compelling 30 Seconds Script For Your Video Testimonial for $5” and for an extra $10 he will write you a 45 second video script, which is in addition to the original 30 seconds you already ordered for $5.

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Another common gig extra is to delivery the job in 24 hours.

The point is, if you want to charge me extra for things then I want to know what those extra fees are in advance and if I am interested in those services for that extra money then I will order it at the time I place my order.  Telling me you want more money after the fact only pisses people off.

So now you know some things to look for when using Fiverr.  I really do mean it when I say I love Fiverr.  It’s a great site.  I absolutely can’t get enough of it.  In fact, I got some great recipes for $5 from there last night.  Just be careful and always remember if some guy from Pakistan is offering you something that sounds to good to be true for $5, chances are he is going to take your money and run.

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