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The Fiverr Experience

pln24-fiverrFiverr is a private website that functions as a global online lowend market place. Users of the site offer an array of tasks and services–everything from copyediting, to photography, to singing a personalized happy birthday song from the top of a coconut tree! The site currently has over 3 million different services.

Freelancers who want to sell there services are known on the site as “sellers”. People looking to purchase those services are known as “buyers”. The process for buying and selling gigs is fairly straightforward–buyers contact a given seller with information about the gig they’d like completed. Sellers can, in some cases, negotiate with the buyer. The seller then completes the gig and sends it to the buyer for approval.

Experiences as a Buyer

As a buyer, your first time on Fiverr can be a little overwhelming. For any given service there are hundreds of sellers to choose from. You’ll want to take your time and do a little bit of homework before deciding on a particular buyer. Generally, sellers are rated according to the amount of gigs they’ve completed and money they’ve earned. While a sellers visibility can be a good way to measure they’re competence, it’s certainly not the only way.

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You’ll also want to see how the seller operates her business. For example, is the seller focused on volume or quality? If you have a very simple gig that you need done very quickly, you’ll want to go to a seller that specializes in turning out a high quantity of gigs in a short period of time. If you have something a little more complex, or something that you’d like to turn out well, you should search out sellers who specialize in detail-oriented work.

While Fiverr is an awesome and affordable alternative to traditional classified adds and craigslist, the old adage of you get what you pay for still applies. You can’t expect someone to produce a professional quality advertisement, or write 20 pages of content in a single day for only $5. While some sellers will offer this, the product you receive may not be of the utmost quality or may be dishonestly obtained.

The buyer experience is excellent on Fiverr because you have so many options and so much flexibility in how you use those services. The warnings mentioned above are the same that apply to any person looking for a freelancer. Be sensible and do your homework and you will easily find the right professional to help you!

Seller Experience

Fiverr is a great venue for freelancers because it gives the seller a low-pressure environment to build a successful independent business. As a seller myself, I enjoyed the fact that I had complete freedom to describe my gigs the way that I wanted and determine the costs myself. Fiverr is also great because you have some control over how busy you want to be. If, for instance, you’re a seller who only wants a few gigs at a time, you can forgo a lot of marketing and advertising and rely on the buyers who trickle in organically.

If, on the other hand, you want to build a bigger operation, you can create more gigs and reach out to other members of the community. Just like a physical marketplace that you may find in a city, Fiverr works as a community. Sellers can hop on the site forums and ask more experienced members for advice and guidance. In most cases members are eager to help out newcomers to the site. There’s more than enough work to go around on Fiverr and, as a result, the sellers aren’t cutthroat in their competition.

Fiverr also makes it very easy to get paid. When a gig is completed, the money is deposited in your Fiverr account, which can then either be transferred to a Pay Pal account or directly into your bank account. Something to keep in mind is that Fiverr takes about a 20% fee for each gig you complete. So if you charge five dollars for a basic gig, you will net $4. This is definitely something to keep in mind when pricing your services. It’s also something to keep in mind if you want your Fiverr business to be a central source of income because you will not only pay that fee, but also taxes, which are higher for freelancers.

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While it’s true that Fiverr has many great attributes and is well designed, it nevertheless has it frustrating moments, as does any marketplace or service. Sometimes a buyer (or seller) has unrealistic expectations. Sometimes people don’t do a good job of communicating with one another. Occasionally, the sites notification system is annoying. As a seller, it’s easier to monitor your gigs from Gmail than it is to use Fiverr itself. Sometimes gigs or notifications are harder to see once you’ve already opened them up and this can lead to confusion at time. These are all pretty minor inconveniences however, and they’re part of the very natural progression of any website or online community.

Overall, Fiverr has offered me excellent experiences both as a buyer and seller. I think the reason the site works so well is that it’s laid out simply yet openly. By that I mean, you can create an account and start creating gigs without spending a lot of time learning about the site’s features. At the same time, the site is constructed with a lot of freedom so that you can develop your business in any way you choose. As a buyer, you’re free to negotiate with sellers to receive a custom product or service that meets your specific needs. Maybe the best part of Fiverr is that it offers you as much or as little as you need. It’s as easy to buy or offer a fairly simple service like proofreading as it is to buy or offer a more complex service like co-writing a book or conducting long-term research. Really, all you have to do is be patient, open-minded and willing to communicate.