The gig economy is taking the world by storm. Whether you are looking to earn some extra cash or hire talent, there are many freelancing sites to choose from today. If you’ve done any kind of research, you’ve probably come across Fiverr, one of the most popular freelancing platforms today.
If you’re a skilled professional, you may be interested in the opportunity to have flexible work hours and to pick and choose your projects. If you’re a client or employer, you might want to simplify or expand the reach of your hiring efforts or employ talent on a more flexible basis.
Whether you’re in the tech, business, lifestyle, design, digital marketing, writing, or even search engine optimization field, chances are, you’ll be able to find professional freelancers that can deliver.
However, like with any digital platform where your money is involved, you want some assurance that it’s safe and legal to use. Right off the bat, we can assure you that there are no legal issues using Fiverr and that it is a legit service.
Still, you shouldn’t just take our word for it. Below, we’ll break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of using Fiverr. Knowing what to keep a look out for will help ensure that you have the best experience possible and avoid potential problems or scams.
So, whether you plan to use it as a buyer or seller, this Fiverr review will help you answer the question “Is Fiverr worth it?”
Introduction to Fiverr
Before we get into the details, let’s do a quick overview of the Fiverr platform:
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr launched in 2010 as an online marketplace where freelancers, called “sellers,” can sell their services to clients, called “buyers.” It was created by Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman and is still headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Today, it’s easily one of the most popular and recognizable freelancing platforms with over nearly 5 million buyers and over 800,000 sellers. Fiverr also claims to have facilitated over 50 million orders to date.
Originally, it was a platform where buyers could purchase gigs from sellers for a mere $5. However, Fiverr gigs can now range in peace anywhere from $5 to $10,000 per order. Gigs can be listed across over 500 niches organized under 8 main categories.
Fiverr offers a slightly different experience for sellers than for buyers. However, you can seamlessly swap between your seller and buyer account.
Like any other similar platform, there have been concerns regarding the legitimacy and trustworthiness of the Fiverr marketplace.
Concerns like fake traffic and Fiverr reviews, the skill level of sellers, and its payment policies pop up every now and then.
Still, there must be a reason why so many trusts Fiverr for their livelihoods or hiring needs. In this Fiverr review, we’ll look at the issue from all angles to determine what makes Fiverr legit and whether you should trust it.
How Does Fiverr Work? A Quick Guide
Fiverr is based largely on the concept of a “Gig marketplace.” A Fiverr Gig is a service offered by a freelancer that can be ordered as a package deal by buyers. In this way, Fiverr is truly an online marketplace for freelancers and employers.
Step-by-step, this is how Fiverr works:
- A seller registers an account and creates a Gig for each of the services they offer, such as technical SEO services, for example. They list it with a description, packages, extras, and the going rate.
- A buyer signs up to Fiverr and browses through all the categories of services (gigs). They can select a gig to read more about it and decide if they want to order it based on their own demand. Buyers can also favourite sellers to save them for later.
- If they are happy with a gig, they “buy” it by immediately making a payment for the entire gig (or first milestone) to Fiverr. Fiverr provides multiple payment methods, such as credit card and PayPall as well as using your Fiverr Credits or balance.
- The seller receives the order from Fiverr and can choose to accept or deny it.
- If the seller accepts the order, they can communicate with the buyer.
- The seller has until the due date to deliver the work. If they don’t, the seller can cancel the order and get a refund.
- If the seller delivered the order and the buyer accepts it and marks it as “complete,” Fiverr will start the countdown to release the payment to the seller. The money is held in Escrow for 7-14 days to ensure there are no further disputes.
- Fiverr takes their cut and pays the rest of the earnings to the seller.
- Both the buyer and seller now has a window of opportunity to submit reviews of each other.
During this time, Fiverr acts as the middleman between a buyer and seller. If the buyer and seller lands in an argument they cannot resolve, they can contact the resolution center to mediate issues.
Fiverr also handles all payments to protect both freelancers and clients from unfair practices.
What’s more, Fiverr strongly discourages taking any part of your working relationship of the Fiverr platform and it’s even a bannable offense.
If an investigation is triggered, Fiverr can check the buyer or seller’s messages and interactions to help resolve issues. That’s how they help to ensure everyone on Fiverr complies to their policies.
Pricing and Plans – Costly for Freelancers
The good news is that both freelancers and customers can use the Fiverr platform completely free of charge. However, there are Fiverr fees that you should be aware of.
Fiverr does clearly and transparently communicate its fees. However, there are still some sellers (and, to a lesser extent, buyers) that are unaware of them.
This can lead to you feeling cheated. In fact, almost all freelancing platforms charge service fees in order to run the platform, provide customer service, make money themselves, and make Fiverr safe for its users. So, it’s completely understandable.
In fact, you should be more worried if a platform claims to not have any charges or fees.
Fiverr charges a 20% commission on all earnings from sellers. They will take the 20% cut when the order is completed and pay out the remaining 80% to the seller.
The fees for buyers are much lower. Fiverr charges a $2 + 5.5% for orders under $50 and a flat 5.5% fee for orders above.
A lot of Fiverr reviews do complain about the high fees for sellers. So, as a freelancer, you need to take this percentage into account when selling services on Fiverr and ensure that you still get fairly compensated.
Fiverr Security Features and Protections
One of the things that make Fiverr legit is that they’ve clearly put a lot of effort into trying to provide a platform where both buyers and sellers can feel safe and fairly treated.
Some of these features are built directly into the Fiverr website while others are services offered by the Fiverr customer team. Below, we’ll discuss the most important safeguards and protections for both buyers and sellers.
Terms of Service
Before you commit to Fiverr as either a buyer or seller, you should familiarize yourself with their Terms of Service. They spell out many important aspects of how their platform works and protects the interests of both buyers and sellers.
It’s important that you understand the terms of service because, if you don’t, you could get reported by other users.
If you violate any of Fiverr’s rules or guidelines, it could also result in you losing your income/payment for an order. You may even need to take down Gigs or lose your entire account.
For example, the terms of service lists certain “non-permitted” uses of its platform, which includes:
- Adult Services & Pornography
- Phishing & Spam
- Inappropriate Behavior
- Abuse & Spam
- Intellectual Property Abuse, and more.
Also, all your personal details and professional information must be correct and truthful. If you’re found lying regarding any detail, it might affect your seller level and may even lead to Fiverr banning your account.
- Any information you provide the site, such as when registering an account, filling in forms, creating gigs/orders, etc.
- Data automatically collected, such as site traffic and analytics.
- Sometimes they receive or share personal data and information with third parties.
Fiverr claims that all the information they collect is stored on servers in the U.S. and Israel. And, that they mostly collect information in order to provide their service and meet their obligation to users.
Where applicable, Fiverr handles the data of its users according to specific data protection regulations, such as the GDPR and CCPA.
Another service that makes Fiverr safe for both buyers and sellers is that its customer support team will help resolve disputes regarding orders and payments.
Typically, Fiverr encourages buyers and sellers to first try and solve issues among themselves, using the available communication tools.
However, if all else fails, Fiverr’s customer satisfaction team will step up to help ensure a fair outcome for everyone involved.
For example, a buyer might have already accepted a work order and released a payment only to later discover a copyright infringement in the work the seller delivered. In this case, you won’t be able to cancel your payment but you can contact customer support to investigate the matter.
In fact, even if you do accept an order and release a payment, Fiverr will hold the funds for another 7-14 days in case further issues arise.
Among the many services already in place to protect buyers and sellers, you can also report any and all violations of Fiverr’s Terms of Service, rules, or community guidelines.
Fiverr generally takes investigating these reports more seriously than most other freelancing platforms. And, generally is more active in pursuing cases to protect the community.
For example, you should report someone if they try to convince you to take any part of your relationship outside Fiverr.
How Does Fiverr Protect Buyers?
As a buyer, you’ll be spending your hard-earned money to buy services or products from freelancers. Just because you are hiring individuals from a freelance platform, doesn’t mean you don’t want any assurances that your money is being well-spent.
The good news is that there are many Fiverr services to help protect buyers as is evidenced below:
Fiverr Order Cancellation
Sure, you have to pay upfront when ordering a Gig on Fiverr. However, the good news is that you can submit a cancellation at any time.
Of course, Fiverr also needs to take care of its sellers, so cancellation isn’t simply an automatic process. Instead, Fiverr will give the freelancer two days (48 hours) to respond to your cancellation request. If they fail to respond, the order will automatically be canceled.
Of course, you need to have legitimate grounds for canceling an order, for example:
- The order is late.
- You are unsatisfied with the service quality.
- The seller is unresponsive or behaving suspiciously.
- There is a violation of the terms of service.
If the order has already been marked as completed, then your options are more limited. You’ll need to directly contact the Fiverr customer support team from the resolution center. Luckily, there is a 7-14 days holding period before the seller can withdraw their earnings.
Freelance Vetting and Fiverr Reviews
It can be stressful to hire freelancers for your online business because you usually don’t have the same assurances that they are the same person they claim to be and whether they are really capable of what they say.
The good news is that Fiverr vets new freelancers more thoroughly than most other platforms. For example, someone offering a writing services Gig will need to complete a 40-minute language assessment.
Someone offering digital marketing freelance services, for example, will have to complete a completely different test of their skills.
Other sites, like Upwork, have little to no such requirements.
If a freelancer wishes to become a Professional seller, they will also need to undergo an intensive vetting and verification process by the Fiverr team.
What’s more the seller ranking system gives you some assurance that a seller indeed has a certain amount of experience and a reliable track record. A Top-Rated Seller, for example, represents the top 1% of talent on Fiverr.
Seller reviews are one of the most important features of the Fiverr platform. Positive reviews can be a good indicator that a freelancer provides a high-quality service. At the same time, bad reviews can be a warning that a seller provides poor quality work or a crappy service.
On Fiverr, each review needs to be associated with a specific Gig/order to help ensure the veracity of reviews. Thus, it’s more difficult for a freelancer to use fake reviews or fake traffic to influence their rating. Buyers also have a limited amount of time after the seller completed the order to provide a review.
Reviews are only taken down in very exceptional circumstances where a freelancer can prove that it’s not fair/honest.
How Does Fiverr Protect Freelancers?
On many freelancing websites, protections and safeguards are usually skewed in the favor of buyers/employers. However, Fiverr puts both the buyer and seller on more equal footing to ensure a safe, professional, and pleasant experience for both.
Whenever a buyer orders a Gig from a seller, they will immediately pay the full amount to Fiverr. Fiverr will then hold on to the money while the seller completes the order.
Without this level of protection, a buyer could just cancel the order for no reason. Depending on the status of the order, the buyer would have either wasted the seller’s time working on the service or even stolen the end product.
However, through Fiverr’s payment protection service, a buyer has to first submit a cancellation request. The seller then needs to approve the cancellation request within 48 hours before the customer is refunded.
If both can’t agree on cancelling the order, they should refer it to the resolution team.
Seller Levels and Pro Sellers
In many other freelancing sites, it’s often a problem that all freelancers end up in a “race to the bottom” with low-wage, third-world country freelancers.
However, Fiverr introduced the concept of seller levels to help combat this. Each freelancer starts off at the same seller level. As they complete projects, build a reputation, gain high ratings, and meet their objectives, their rank can increase to a higher seller level.
This helps to prove their reliability and that they deliver quality services. High-level freelancers can then charge more, knowing that their reputation speaks for itself compared with now or lower-ranking sellers.
Commercial Use License
Fiverr also allows sellers to control how buyers can use their products or the work that they delivered. Sellers on Fiverr can specify a CUL (Commercial Use License) as a Gig Extra.
Without a CUL, a seller can only use the work produced for its intended purpose.
However, if a seller does select the CUL option, it grants them a “perpetual, exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide license to use the purchased delivery for Permitted Commercial Purposes.”
For example, you might only want to permit a buyer to use a piece of content writing as a once-off blog post. However, if a buyer plans to use it in other, future profit-generating projects, you might rightly want to be compensated extra.
The permitted commercial purposes are basically any purpose not listed under “Non-permitted usages” in the Terms of Service.
How to tell fake reviews from real ones?
On any freelance website, it can be difficult to tell real reviews from fake ones. However, it’s more difficult for freelancers on Fiverr to hide low-quality services with dishonest reviews because there can only be one review for each order.
There are a few tell-tale signs that a review might not be real. For example, it might be too generic and not refer at all to the services provided. Or, it might completely contradict what’s said in other reviews.
How to find legitimate honest sellers on Fiverr?
Obviously, one of the main concerns is that a seller can deliver the same service that they claim to in their gig. The first thing you should look at is whether the gig makes promises or is priced at a rate that’s too good to be true.
You should also not look at the gig alone, but also analyze the seller’s profile to see if their information looks credible.
Reviews are another great source of information and to see what other buyers thought of the service delivered.
Can you get scammed on Fiverr?
Yes. Unfortunately, like any other digital platform where your money is involved, there are scammers trying to take advantage. The good news is that most freelancers on Fiverr are reputable sellers who just want to make some extra money, whether it’s with logo design, as SEO clerks, or anything in between.
If you have a buyer’s account, you should always do your due diligence on a seller to ensure that you get the best work possible. At the same time, if you’re a seller on Fiverr, be honest and realistic on your profile and you should avoid most issues.
How safe is Fiverr?
Overall, fiverr is a trustworthy freelancing platform. While it’s not 100% safe, they do more than most other freelance platforms to protect both freelancers and clients.
The majority of their users have positive experiences and there are many long-time users that make a significant income on the marketplace.
Is your data safe on Fiverr?
Can I cancel my order?
Yes, you can submit a cancel order request at any time. Unless the freelancer has missed the deadline, you will need to provide a good reason for canceling the order. For example, a violation of the T&Cs, unsatisfactory service, etc.
You can also cancel an order after it has been completed. However, in either case, if the freelancer does not agree to the cancellation, you will need to contact the resolution center to resolve the matter.
How to make sure I get paid?
When a buyer purchases your gig, they immediately pay Fiverr. Fiverr will safely hold on to your earnings and pay it out to you when the order is completed and accepted by the buyer. If a buyer wants a refund, they need to provide proof to Fiverr as to why you should not get paid.
If you keep a record of all your work and deliver the service according to the gig description, your earnings should be safe.
Does Fiverr offer customer support?
Yes! The platform offers 24/7 customer support and their team can be contacted via email and live chat (not always available). Fiverr’s support team will help you with most issues as well as resolve disputes.
The Help Center also has a ton of useful documentation, guides, and information on the Fiverr platform and how it works.
Fiverr Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed
As part of our Fiverr review, we discovered some important tips to help you use the platform safely:
Don’t blindly trust reviews
Just a few good reviews do not guarantee that a seller’s service will be satisfactory. While it’s difficult, it’s not impossible for sellers to use fake reviews to boost their ratings.
One or two negative reviews are expected for any popular seller and should not necessarily be a deal-breaker, depending on what they say.
You should also try to make sure that the service provided matches what you need and expect. Miscommunication or a mismatch of expectations is one of the most common causes of disputes or negative interactions on freelancing sites like Fiverr.
Do Your Research
Building on the previous tip, you should look deeper than simply the reviews a seller has. Fiverr provides a number of other ways you can assess the capabilities of a seller, such as:
- Seller rank
- Links to previous work/portfolio
- Is the seller listed as a Professional seller?
- Track record, completion rate, and on-time delivery rate, etc.
You should also compare the freelancer’s services with what other freelancers have to offer, including how the rate compares.
Use anti-virus software
Sellers often need to send files to a client as part of their deliverables. Unfortunately, cybercriminals or hackers can exploit this aspect of the freelancing relationship to send files with malware to unsuspecting buyers.
Fiverr themselves state in their Terms of Service that they do not scan or check documents for malware. So, you should protect yourself by ensuring that you have an anti-virus installed on your computer that can check new files that you download.
Be safe when meeting in person
A seller on Fiverr can create a gig that requires the buyer and seller to meet in person. Of course, Fiverr cannot protect you when engaging in an offline meeting. So, it’s important that you do your own research into the background of the seller to ensure that they are who they say they are and that it’s safe to meet them.
Even if you meet offline, remember to keep any important communications, payments, and work orders on Fiverr so that you do not violate the terms of service and can benefit from Fiverr’s protections.
Carefully read the Gig description and freelancer Fiverr account
Fiverr makes it possible for freelancers to create extremely detailed Gigs. They can write descriptions, break down a Gig into packages, list Gig extras, and even provide various attachments.
To ensure that you don’t waste your time, or that of the freelancer, you should always carefully study what’s offered and avoid worthless gigs that don’t match your requirements.
Sellers can open themselves up to custom jobs which may be a better option if the gig doesn’t exactly match your needs or expectations.
Avoid gigs that are too good to be true
In life, and in business, you usually get exactly what you pay for. If the only thing you are concerned about is to save money, you might be disappointed in the service you get.
Verdict – Is Fiverr a Legit Digital Service for Online Business and Freelancers?
However, one important thing to remember is that the Fiverr community itself plays a huge roll in the safety and legitimacy of the Fiverr service.
As a buyer, you should generally try and keep an eye out for all of the following and try to avoid them:
- Gigs that are too good to be true
- Sellers with too many negative reviews
- Gigs that look generic/unauthentic
- Requests to make additional payments, especially outside Fiverr
- Sellers that behave suspiciously, are unresponsive, or seem to violate Fiverr’s Terms of Service
There are always risks whenever you use digital services. No platform can be completely bulletproof against scam artists or social engineering attempts.
In my final thoughts, Fiverr is a completely legitimate platform for professional freelancers to offer their services in a fair online marketplace. And, where buyers and sellers can collaborate fairly on various projects.
However, regardless of whether you are a buyer or seller, it’s also up to you to protect yourself by being informed and keeping your eyes open for any suspicious behavior.