Recently I closed my Fiverr account after endless problems that ended with me filing a chargeback. I would like to preface this post by stating that I am one of the those people that never asks for refunds and in my entire life have only put in one chargeback. So for me to put in a chargeback- you know there is a problem.
My Fiverr account was about 2 years old and knowing the problems on the site I kept it until this week. One might question why I would keep this account and the answer is simple- low cost and hope. When I look at sites like Fiverr I keep thinking to myself, “if I find the right person and I will be able to reduce cost in some areas of my work.” This is the trap that keeps most of us rolling the dice hoping we will find the right person. I finally wised-up and got rid of the account.
As a marketer and business developer, I run into a lot of issues with people attempting to get services such as content, webwork, SEO, and development done for cheap. Price shopping typically leads to sites such as Fiverr, eLance, and many other sites that offer very inexpensive services. Sadly, it has been my experience and that of my clients, that purchasing from these social media sites often ends in frustration and even disaster.
The three largest issues I have personally dealt with from these sites is the lack of consistency, lack of user credibility, and policy changes. Many people argue that these issues are the exception and not the rule, but I would strongly advise against this thinking. I told myself that for a long time. The fact of the matter is that while there are many users on these sites that might be credible and deliver consistent work, they are overshadowed by the users that are only trying to get a buck out of you.
Because social media selling sites allow for anyone to sign up and begin selling, there are no real standards for quality. The idea is that user ratings will provide the feedback you need to make informed buying decisions. This is a farce on most sites because the disreputable users know how to open buying accounts and make purchases to give themselves ratings. Until you actually purchase something from someone on one of these sites you will not have a good idea of what you are getting. For example, I know lots of people who purchased written content from Fiverr only to receive plagiarized material or material so poorly written that it was unusable. This brings us to the idea of user credibility.
This perhaps the worst issue with these social media sites- you simply cannot trust the users on them. For example, if you purchase content on a social media selling site there is no guarantee that it was not copied from another site or spun from existing articles. I have seen and experienced a number of issues in this area such as copying pasting work or people claiming they can do the work but then are incapable. I am not sure how it benefits these individuals, but many users will claim to be able to do work, accept payment, only to have to refund the money. Their lack of credibility becomes a time and productivity issue for us because we continuously waste time doing this little dance.
The absolute worst problem I have dealt with on these sites is the constant changing of prices. Agreeing on a price on many of these sites does not mean anything. The users have no problem increasing the rate after you have paid and are waiting on work. If you are trying to get content, webwork, or god forbid SEO- you will never be able to budget the work effectively. Here is an example:
In this email I have already paid $125 for work to be done. The person did not finish the work and now wants more money to do it.
When I don't want to pay the money, the person begins playing games saying he finished the work. This went on for many emails.
Some Items have been removed from screenshots to protect privacy.
The Bottom Line
I realize that there might be some people out there who use sites like Fiverr to sell and to purchase work, but my recommendation is to not count on these sites as long term solutions or business processes. I certainly would not give out personal or confidential information of any nature to the users on these sites. In the long term, staying away from these sites is prudent until such time that they create some type of user verification system that is credible.