☑︎ last update: July 2020

Today, Fiverr is probably the largest marketplace for online services in the world. However, you might have heard about some people being dissatisfied with their experience on this platform.

It sounds a little like a paradox:

– despite being the most popular destination for freelance services, Fiverr is in fact not for everyone.

In order to get the most out of this platform, there’s a couple of things you should know – regardless of whether you intend to buy or sell.

In this guide, we have collected all our research and experience on Fiverr (we’ve been using it since 2012) to help answer the most important questions:

  • 🦄How is Fiverr different from other platforms?
  • 🛒Is Fiverr good for buyers and in which cases?
  • 💵As a freelancer, – should you choose Fiverr?
  • 😎What’s the biggest advantage of the platform?

A hint about that last one – no, it’s not the price!

Towards the end of this guide we will also be sharing a working coupon code for a 10% discount on your first Fiverr purchase (in case you do decide to try this platform).

…Ah, yes, one more thing before we start: “Fiverr” is spelled with two “r” (for no specific reason other than the whim of its founders), but if you searched for fiverrr or fiver or even fivver to get here – rest assured that we’re speaking about the same company.

Alright, let’s dive in:

What Is Fiverr? Key Differences vs Other Platforms

As we hinted earlier, Fiverr is not an ordinary freelancer marketplace. So, in order to use it effectively, we must first understand how it works and why it’s different.

As a warm-up, here’s just a couple of facts to illustrate the real size and scope of Fiverr’s platform:

Fiverr fun facts

Quite impressive indeed! What’s even more interesting is that Fiverr has been able to grow this huge thanks to just three ideas; they sound obvious in retrospect but were quite unique back in 2010:

  • “Service as a Product” – a novel approach to standardizing freelancer services, including the price, the scope, and duration of work. Buyers were instantly in love with the way Fiverr made their lives easier.
  • Standardization allowed to switch to the model where work comes to freelancers, not vice-versa. In other words, buyers are encouraged to find what they need by exploring Fiverr’s vast catalog with the help of sophisticated filters.
  • Also, there are virtually no limitations on the types of the services that can be offered through the platform – from designing a logo and writing an e-book, to recording your text in Trump’s voice – as long as it’s legal and can be delivered online, you’ll find it on Fiverr.

All of the above has helped Fiverr offer unbeatable prices – in fact, the very name of the platform comes from the fact that every service used to cost exactly $5 during the first years of its existence:

Fiverr beta

The first version of Fiverr (2010). Source: archive.org

Of course, you can’t realistically price every conceivable service for $5 and expect decent quality – so over the years Fiverr has evolved:

  • The $5 requirement was relaxed to make room for better and more diverse offers. Freelancers could now charge more for more complex services, but efficiency and low prices were still a priority.
  • Going a step further, Fiverr Pro was introduced as a collection of the best freelancers, hand-picked and pre-verified by the Fiverr staff (more on that – in the following section).

Despite all that, the basic principles of Fiverr we mentioned earlier remain the same to this day – standardizing services, encouraging discovery, and maintaining huge variety.

You can already guess how this affects the buyers, right?

How to BUY on Fiverr

(Psst!.. if you’re a freelancer and only looking to offer services on Fiverr, feel free to skip over to the part about sellers)

Probably the main concern of any new buyer on Fiverr is of course the possibility of receiving low-quality results for their money.

Let’s look at the tactics for minimizing this risk.

In particular, we will focus on Fiverr’s default process (= “service as a product”) that was described in the previous chapter. First off, the search:

1. Use the filters wisely

If what you need is a fairly standard service (like writing an article or designing a logo) you can simply start with the pre-set categories from the ribbon in the top part of the front page (1a);

…if, however, you’re not sure what exactly you need yet – or if you need something more exotic – the search bar near the logo is the perfect starting point (1b).

In any case, what you’ll typically get from both scenarios is a huge list of thousands of available service providers, sorted by “relevance”:

Fiverr search

Seems like a rather vague sorting criterion, don’t you think? 🤔 Let’s see if we can do better.

In order to make sense of all this abundance of people eager to do things for you, we will use the filters on top of the results grid to narrow it down to something more manageable:

  • The most important filter is “Service Options” (2a): it shows available specializations and extras for your type of project. For example, if we searched for ”writing an article” the service options filter will contain things like type of text, language, and tone of voice. The Service Options filter alone will usually help you narrow down your results at least ten-fold.
  • The second most useful filter is “Seller Details” (2b), because it lets you choose the seller level. There are four tiers in Fiverr’s seller hierarchy: Levels 1 and 2, Top Rated, and all the rest (new and inactive sellers). Getting to a higher tier requires consistent quality and good ratings, so such sellers also tend to charge more for their services. For optimal results, we recommend focusing on Level 2 at the beginning – this should typically provide enough high-quality options.
  • We’d recommend leaving the “Budget” (2c) filter empty to avoid limiting your choice too early – unless, of course, you’re specifically looking for the absolute cheapest options, in which case minimizing risks of bad quality is not really compatible with your strategy…
  • The “Delivery Time” (2d) filter may come in handy if you need your thing done ASAP. Again, expect to see higher prices for 24-hour and 3-day options!

2. Don’t compare prices in search results

While Fiverr is all about standardizing services, it’s impossible to make everything completely identical – sellers are still free to define what exactly is included in their offers. To complicate things further, an offer itself can consist of 2-3 different packages:

For example, a freelancer offering to write a blog post may quote a price for a specific text length (say, 300 words) but also include several extras in the same offer, e.g. a longer, 500-word text for a higher price.

Here’s the catch: the search results we discussed in the previous tip will only show you a single price. Where does it come from, you might wonder?

Fiverr prices

Yes, it’s the price for the basic (= cheapest) package from any particular offer.

There are two problems with this situation: firstly, the basic package might not be what you need; and secondly – every offer will have a different basic package!

Conclusion: ignore the prices in the search results – instead, carefully read through 5-10 offers from the short list you get after applying all the filters (see tip #1).

Now are we ready to order?

Hold on, there’s one more thing we recommend doing before you go on a spending spree:

3. Contact the seller beforehand

Choose 2-3 offers that look promising and send each of the sellers a personalized message. Describe your project in a couple of words, and ask a question or two.

Observe how quickly the sellers respond. Do the replies sound relevant and proficient?

By the way, even if you don’t have any real questions right now, think something up – the way a seller handles your questions will tell you a great deal more than a pre-written reply you will probably get if you don’t ask anything.

Also, if you really want to get good quality for your money, we don’t recommend negotiating prices unless absolutely necessary:

  • Firstly, Fiverr is already as cheap as it gets when it comes to freelance services. There’s a lower limit to how much people are willing to earn per hour of their time, and thanks to its fierce competition Fiverr is pretty close to that limit.
  • And secondly, most sellers already optimize the hell out of their workflow in order to provide competitive prices, so if you push for discounts, they will be extremely motivated to cut corners and spend as little time as possible on your order – which is totally understandable from their perspective.

Most Fiverr sellers aren’t lazy or greedy – however, simple logic suggests that you are more likely to get subpar results if you try to drive down the price

…not to mention that such strategy is unlikely to improve the sellers’ attitude towards you and your project 🤷

Instead, put yourself into the seller’s shoes for a moment and respect their hard work. Fiverr already makes sure the offers are as competitive as possible.

In any case, once you get replies to your introductory messages, it should be fairly easy to make the final choice. After that it’s just a matter of creating an order, depositing the funds, and waiting for the result.

Speaking of results:

4. Don’t hesitate to ask for revisions

Most Fiverr offers include the possibility of at least 1-2 revisions – but even if it’s not explicitly mentioned in the offer details or package descriptions, any good seller will agree to make reasonable changes if you just ask.

When requesting revisions, stay friendly and keep in mind that some of the issues might well be caused by the fact that your initial task description was not clear enough!

(If you do decide to ask for something that you simply forgot to include in the original task, make sure to leave a small bonus for the extra work.)

…and yes, everybody knows it’s polite to say “thank you”, but just in case –

if the seller was extra helpful or exceeded your expectations, show them some appreciation by leaving a positive review and a bonus

This is especially important if you’re planning to work with the same freelancer in the future – which we will discuss in more detail below:

5. Be strategic and build relationships

“But I’m just planning to use Fiverr for that one thing!” – you might object.

True, this could be the only time in your life when you require digital freelance services… Did that sound a little unrealistic? That’s because it probably is!

Once you get used to Fiverr’s simplicity and huge choice, there’s a high chance that you’ll discover you want to outsource more work to this platform 🚀

So, whether you have an existing pipeline of projects or just looking to accomplish a single task right now, it pays to approach Fiverr strategically:

  • Start with a small project to test the above tips and find a freelancer that meets your requirements. Once you’re comfortable with using Fiverr, it’s time for higher volumes and more serious projects!
  • Save your favorite offers using the heart-icon; once you have more than 5-6 favourites, it might be a good idea to organize them into several lists in the “Saved” section of your account (top right menu next to your profile picture).
  • Always leave reviews and ratings, and try to resolve any disputes directly with the seller before leaving a negative review.

By the way, did you know that sellers can also leave ratings and reviews on buyers? This means that – just like in real life! – every interaction counts.

In other words, being polite, patient, and adequate as a buyer helps improve relationships with both current and future sellers. And this will only reflect positively on the quality of work you get!

Get Job Done with Fiverr ›

Alright, what if you’ve decided to post a public job request as a buyer, instead of looking for freelancers yourself? A couple of additional methods for your arsenal:

  • Use a secret word in your job post to weed out sloppy, copy-paste offers: this can be as simple as asking the applicants to add a specific word (e.g. “absolutely” or “crazy”) anywhere in their responses.
  • Set a realistic price that’s not too low. This will signal that you’re a serious buyer and thus will attract better sellers. In any case, each seller is able to set their own bid for your project, which guarantees that you’ll see some variation both over and below your figure.
  • Ignore automated emails with the “top offers” for your job – these candidates seem to be chosen randomly, based mainly on how quickly the sellers respond to your job post. Trust your judgement instead of the algorithms!

Once you get enough offers for your job post, it’s a matter of following the same tactics as we discussed earlier.

***

What if you want to absolutely maximize your chances of getting high-quality work though? There’s one more option you should be aware of:

Fiverr Pro – Is It Worth It?

Remember we talked about seller levels earlier? In fact, Fiverr has one more tier we haven’t explained yet – it’s called Fiverr Pro.

In order to become a “Pro”, a Fiverr seller must submit a special application to the Fiverr staff, together with a portfolio of previous works; all applications are reviewed manually, and only the top 1% pass the review process.

Fiverr Pro

So in a sense Fiverr Pro is quite similar to the Top Rated seller level – but even more exclusive.

What about prices though? “Pro” always sounds expensive… Does it make sense to choose Fiverr Pro when there are already filters for seller levels available in the standard Fiverr search?

True, Pro services tend to be anywhere between 2 to 4 times pricier than the non-Pro offers in the same categories, so they aren’t really any much cheaper than what you’d get on more traditional platforms like Upwork.

Here’s the thing though:

Fiverr Pro is not a separate platform: same marketplace, same user account, same everything – it’s just another tier in Fiverr’s seller ranking system (the highest one).

To reinforce this point, there’s even a special switch to only show Pro offers when you’re using the standard Fiverr search!

This brings us to the biggest advantage of Fiverr as a freelance platform:

On Fiverr, you have the ultimate variety. Need something done quickly and inexpensively? No problem. Looking for zero-risk, high-quality execution? Here you go!

In other words, you can mix and match according to your needs, picking both the ultra-cheap and the best 1% – and everything in-between. Which other platform can boast this degree of flexibility?..

Speaking of percentages –

BONUS: 10% Off Fiverr Promo Code

Regardless of whether you decide to try Fiverr or not, it’s nice to know there’s a way to make your first order 10% cheaper, right?

…Note that the keyword here is “first” – to emphasize, the coupon code below only works on new buyer accounts:

  1. Click the big red button below to visit Fiverr; the website will open in a new window for your convenience:

    Get 10% Off Your First Fiverr Order

  2. Navigate to the offer you wish to purchase, choose your desired package and click on the green order button (if you read our tips above, you’ve already contacted the seller 🤓).
  3. On the next page, choose the extras you need and click on the “Order Now” button on the right (yes, the button does sound a bit confusing – don’t worry, you won’t be charged yet).

    Fiverr coupon

  4. In the order summary on the right side of the screen you will notice a promo code section: click on it, and then copy and paste the following code into the field:

    GIVINGA10
  5. Click the grey “Apply” button and watch your order total decrease by 10%. You can now finalize the order at the new discounted price.

In the previous parts of our guide we learned how to get the most out of Fiverr – now you also know the trick to reduce your costs!

***

What about the other side of the marketplace? Does Fiverr still look lucrative for freelancers? Let’s find out:

How to SELL on Fiverr

(Again, if you are a buyer of freelance services, this part might not be that relevant for you – feel free to skip to the final summary!)

As with anything else, approaching the world of freelance work with carelessness is unlikely to reap you huge benefits;

– this might be especially true in case of Fiverr, “thanks” to the fierce competition and strict rules governing this platform.

Still, Fiverr is arguably one of the best places to get started with earning real money online as a freelancer: its focus micro-services allows you to experiment quickly and perfect your offers every single day, while the seller tier system ensures that your life becomes much easier once you hit a certain level of proficiency and accumulate trust on the platform 📈

To reiterate – this will not be a joy ride, and you will have to work extra hard at the beginning; however, a $1,000-$2,000 monthly part-time income might well be worth it.

Based on personal experience of numerous successful Fiverr sellers, we’ve collected the following tips to help you on your journey to the top of Fiverr’s seller hierarchy:

🔎 Find a narrow niche to start: there are thousands of freelancers on Fiverr offering “logo design” or “article writing” services – so try to avoid being generic, at least before you become a top seller!

💼 Create a portfolio of offers: instead of putting all your eggs into a single basket, set up as many offers as possible. Use Fiverr’s fast pace to your advantage – regularly replace the least popular ones with new ideas to maximize your deal flow.

🎯 Nail your offer’s title, image, and description: include relevant keywords (but avoid over-stuffing) and be sure to use beautiful images that stand out from the rest in terms of quality and eye-catchiness.

💰 Compete on price to build a portfolio: 5-star ratings and positive reviews are essential to your visibility on Fiverr – in order to obtain some as quickly as possible, you can try lowering your prices for a while, effectively investing into your future profile.

💌 Show every buyer that you care: even a single bad review or rating can reset your race towards higher seller tiers. Treat each buyer with respect and do your best to deliver high-quality work on time (yes, this sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many Fiverr sellers fail to follow this advice).

🚀 Strategically over-deliver: sometimes it’s just a matter of setting expectations correctly – in other words, your customers will be happier if you make a moderate promise and exceed it, rather than make lofty claims and under-perform.

📊 Watch your seller metrics! It is difficult to overstate the importance of response rate and on-time delivery – Level 1 and Level 2 seller tiers are assigned automatically by Fiverr algorithms, based specifically on such metrics.

🕗 Keep the stress at bay by taking breaks. However, if you’re planning a vacation or simply a time-out, don’t forget to activate the out-of-office mode in your Fiverr account to avoid frustrated buyers queuing up in your inbox.

📚 Take courses to earn trust and increase visibility of your profile. Did you know that there is an entire library of professional lessons on Fiverr that allow you to earn badges and showcase them on your seller profile? Well, now you do.

To sum up – thinking long-term, being original, delivering on time, and exceeding customer expectations can help even a novice freelancer reach the highest seller levels on Fiverr.

And once you make to Level 2 (or better still – become a Top Rated seller or Fiverr Pro), the platform can easily become your number one source of income.

Our Verdict: Getting the Most Out of Fiverr

Fiverr has come a long way from its origins as a random collection of weird services folks were willing to provide for $5. In 2020 it’s one of the largest online freelance marketplaces in the world!

– So, what’s the main advantage of Fiverr over other platforms?

Its mind-boggling array of choices for any budget! As a buyer, you can find every conceivable service on Fiverr, with prices ranging from the cheapest bargains to premium offers.

– Who should use this marketplace to buy services?

Fiverr can be especially useful for you if you need one of the following when it comes to freelance services: flexibility, variety, transparency, and of course convenience.

– What’s the best way to approach Fiverr as a buyer?

Make full use of the filters, be careful when comparing offers, contact sellers before placing orders, treat the other side with respect, and build positive long-term relationships with the best freelancers.

(If you decide to give Fiverr a try, don’t forget about the 10% discount code for your first purchase – step-by-step instructions available in this part of the guide)

– How do you excel as a Fiverr seller, on the other hand?

Your goal should be to get to higher seller tiers as quickly as possible: create a portfolio of niche offers and make sure your service is consistently outstanding, while your metrics stay healthy.

***

Still unsure whether Fiverr is the right platform for your needs? Have something to add to our analysis? Just want to share your experience with Fiverr? Head to the comment section below!

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3 comments

Hello! Interesting article. I’ve been using Fiverr for over 5 years now (no pun intended) and so far got mostly good quality for my money, especially considering the price levels compared to other freelance sites. Some tips were interesting.

5/5

+somuch+solittle

thnx 4 the promocode :)

wouldn’t call Fiverr the best freelance platform ever, but it also doesn’t make sense to say they’re crap, it boild down to how you use the tool

4/5