What can you get for five bucks? Turns out, quite a bit – if you’re on Fiverr.com. Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for five dollar services. You can find just about anything on Fiverr, from traditional services like copywriting and graphic design to services a bit more… unusual. An attractive woman will post a message of your choosing to your Facebook page. An artist will draw you as a cartoon character. And countless other odd little jobs you’ve probably never thought of.
But aside from the novelty aspect, is Fiverr a realistic way to find a freelancer? As a freelancer, is Fiverr a good way to sell your services? I spent some time on Fiverr over the past few weeks with those two questions in mind. Here’s my complete review:
There’s really no limit to the types of services you can find on Fiverr, but they are arranged in nine general categories. They are:
These categories are broken down into subcategories such as Social Media Design, Cartoons & Caricatures and so on. Each of these categories can be viewed in three ways: High Ranking, Recommended or New.
You can click on the Sellers page for more information. You’ll be able to read about the Sellers qualifications and more about what service they provide. You’ll see the average time it takes them to deliver a finished product and their overall customer satisfaction rating.
Everybody has something they offer for $5, but there are usually additional services as well. Prices on Fiverr can actually go up to $500. For instance, say you wanted a caricature. A black and white drawing might be $5, color would be an additional $5 and a background in the picture would be another $5. You have the option to select what you want when you place the order. You can also private message the Seller directly – great for more complicated jobs.
Top Features of Fiverr.com
Ability to find a freelance you like. One of the biggest advantages to Fiverr is you can get a feel for the capabilities of a freelancer without making a significant financial commitment. You can order one five dollar gig from, say, a freelance writer. If you like the quality, you can order more work in the future and ideally form a professional relationship.
Easy to navigate. Fiverr’s look has remained relatively unchanged since the beginning. The categories and subcategories are clear and specific enough to allow you to easily find what you’re looking for. Plus, the search bar within the site works really well.
Reliable information on Sellers. Feedback on each Seller is very clear. Sellers are grouped according to their amount of positive feedback. At first, every Seller is a Beginner. As they gain positive feedback, they can advance to Level 1, Level 2 and Top Rated Seller. You can also view comments between Buyers and Sellers. Buyers can even post their final product if they like, so you can see real world examples of the work being done.
Diversity. Never discount how fun Fiverr can be. While there are plenty of serious professionals on Fiverr, there’s also a lot of talented folks with fun, five dollar gigs you might enjoy. Get a custom cartoon made from your picture. Order up a custom singing birthday message. The possibilities are endless with Fiverr.
From a Buyer standpoint, payment is easy and simple. You can use a credit card or PayPal. The entire transaction is handled through the Fiverr systems, so your personal information is never at risk. You can also communicate with the Seller through the secure Fiverr system – you can even safely transfer files.
From a Seller standpoint, payment is a little more complicated. Fiverr takes a pretty hefty fee – 25%. For a five buck gig, this is an entire dollar. There’s also a 14 day hold before funds are transferred. These are hirer fees than most freelance sites charge. At the same time, Fiverr has a huge user base so there’s a large built-in audience for your work.
From a Buyer’s perspective, there’s not a lot to criticize. You have tons of information on the Seller readily available, and the price structure is always very clear. Plus, Fiverr handles all the financial stuff. Not that I don’t trust a caricature artist, but I rested easy knowing Fiverr was protecting my privacy and would be available if there’s ever any dispute.
Sellers do seem to have some complaints about Fiverr’s system. The 14 day hold is a bit excessive, especially when dealing with relatively small amounts of money. Also, orders are accepted automatically. If the Buyer wants something the Seller doesn’t provide, the Seller can cancel the project – but the Seller’s rating is hurt as a result. Reading forums online I found quite a few Sellers complaining about this. Of course, not every Seller has this problem, and a clear description in your profile can hopefully help prevent it.
If you’re both a Buyer and a Seller, your profile page might get a little busy. Both buying and selling are tracked on the same page. This probably isn’t a huge issue for the majority of Fiverr users, however.
Fiverr’s main customer support method is information on their site. They have extensive resources for both Buyers and Sellers. The support information is clear and engaging.
You can also contact Fiverr employees, but it’s not as easy as I would like. Still, there are plenty of safeguards in place during your transaction. I think they place more emphasis on making sure the transactions work smoothly in the first place then they do on fixing problems after the facet. Considering the amount of transactions which take place on the site each day, it’s probably unrealistic to expect tons of personalized support. I was able to reach a person within 24 hours of sending an email, however.
If you’re looking for something fun, Fiverr is certainly the place to go. But is it the place for professionals? Yes, but with some exceptions. You’re not going to find great quality with a five dollar gig from a graphic artist, programmer or copywriter. However, you could develop a relationship with a professional.
This is where Fiverr really shines. You can order a small project and get a sense of a freelancer’s capabilities. Then you can order larger projects – possibly going outside of the Fiverr system entirely.
Fiverr is also great at getting relatively simple projects completed quickly. Most Sellers have a turnaround time of just a day or two.
As long as you keep your expectations realistic about what you can get for $5, Fiverr is a great place to find a variety of talented freelancers. The site is easy to navigate. The profiles of the Sellers provide a ton of useful information so you can make an informed choice. Plus, at $5, you don’t have to make a big financial investment in order to assess someone’s skills.
I recommend Fiverr as a great way to connect freelancers and clients. There is absolutely a place for professionals on Fiverr. Of course, while you’re visiting, don’t be afraid to check out some of the wackier gigs as well – you never know when you’ll need a cartoon drawing of yourself.