Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Adventure awaits along the yellow brick road
Ah Fiverr, I hardly know ye. A few months ago I decided "to take my talents to Fiverr," a growing website most known for PewDiePie using the service to pay people to say and do inappropriate things. My first time using Fiverr was actually to get some portraits of myself done as well as some logos in-order to get acclimated with how things go.
A few comically racist missteps involving skin tone and facial features later and I finally received my finish product after a couple of days.
As far as being a buyer, things went somewhat smoothly. One issue I ran into was a seller who was obviously multiple people "decided to switch to a new art-style that wasn't shown on their gig profile." The seller being active on the site 24/7, responding instantly to my messages while also changing their chat personality several times throughout our communications while also being able to deliver on the dozens of commissions they had going simultaneously was clear indication I was dealing with multiple people posing as an sweet innocent Indian girl. It became clear whoever from this group took on my project just wasn't versed in the product the lead person was advertising. Another layer to the facade and perhaps the most disappointing one was that these artists weren't actually drawing each commissioned piece. They were simply running whatever running whatever picture you send them through a rendering program which renders the picture in whatever art style they choose automatically. From there, it's just a matter of touch up in Photoshop.
This would also explain how they are able to turn things around so quickly as well as why they seemed completely unable to just "use their imagination" and draw a picture from scratch instead of me having to send over photos of myself doing exactly how I wanted the picture to turn out. A few comically racist missteps involving skin tone and facial features later and I finally received my finish product after a couple of days. 2/3 sellers went this route (they seem to really have trouble drawing black people as well for some reason) with the only seller actually delivering an exquisite product with a smooth process throughout being located in Canada.
The process seemed pretty straightforward so after getting a feel for Fiverr I decided to try my hand as a seller. Setting up the "gigs" or jobs services you're offering on Fiverr was simple and easy (give it a title, description, pricing, pictures and you're good to go.) The wait then began. Slowly the views started trickling in, eventually people started clicking, but I still got no bites. In the meantime, Fiverr has "buyer requests" which is pretty much classified ads that people post looking for services. Most of the buyer requests are junk as far as IT goes, with the most complex things being setting up some rarely used linux server instance for someone. You have to be fast and submit an offer to a buyer as there are usually a few people that are ever vigilant and just send offers without even looking. Finally, after a few weeks I started getting inquiries and with inquiries came the weird requests...
After asking him to clarify what he was looking for, freelancer1, immediately turns irate and berrates me "I never said anything about free!" (then proceeding to be condescending and an all around prick.)
You see one thing I noticed with the buyer requests is that there are A LOT of people that are just looking to cheat on their homework or a project. This would be similar to the developer who hired 3 Chinese developers to do his job for him unbeknownst to his employer except these are just college kids looking to get an easy A then move on to that sweet IT salary. Unethical? Yes. Illegal? No, but these requests are still weird nonetheless especially since they're looking to pay you $5 to do a college project that would take 3 people a week to do.
Then you have people like freelancer1, an operator of what I assume to be a small, unknown forum/blog focused on talking about all things IT related. He contacted me in regards to freelance writing for his blog. As usual with random inquiries on Fiverr people usually come off as shady and wanting someone to work for free, these are the people I've come to immediately disregard and end communication with. After asking him to clarify what he was looking for, freelancer1, immediately turns irate and berrates me "I never said anything about free!" (then proceeding to be condescending and an all around prick.) In an attempt to be customer friendly I continue the conversation again my better judgement. He proceeds to offer me $6 per article all while never giving me his website and referencing that my articles should be at least the standard of other websites that weren't his.
From here on things get even weirder. I send him over the rate I think I should get (which is much much higher as it's a standard fare for freelance journalists), and point him towards the good ol' blog here so that he has an idea of my work. He then immediately proceeds to tell me my website is bad purely based on load times from a website page load time checker (hint: if you're not Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. you're going to have bad scores on these types of "site checkers.") Let's keep in mind he used gtmetrix, a site which only checks sites from a server in Vancouver which if you're outside of Vancouver will increase load times tremendously in itself. I've worked for billion dollar international corporations that operate in Canada so I know first hand that Canada's infrastructure is pretty bad as they do all they can to not allow big U.S. corporations to come in and build out. So in Canada you're stuck with the local, relatively unknown Canadian ISPs that make you feel like you're in the middle-ages every-time they say "we only offer DSL." Outside of this website, my website loads in under 2 seconds (confirmed on sites like pingdom) and ranks higher than the sites he was trying to steal ideas from.
Freelancer1 just couldn't see how he was being a "dick." I ended up just telling him off and reporting him to Fiverr for his shady business practices and just being an ass. He pretty much broke every rule you have to watch out for when doing freelance work (shady website, wanting written articles before paying, etc.) then on top of that he insults & berates the very person he's trying to hire while being completely oblivious to it.
"Oh Fiverr your shenanigans never cease to amaze me."
The few legitimate requests come through every once in awhile like setting up a server or building a data center in France. Those take a bit of salesmanship as it takes a while to talk people into doing the work due to the nature of IT. Overall though, I get the feeling that people using Fiverr think that those on it are destitute and pretty much will do anything for pennies which is definitely not the case, but it doesn't stop people from thinking that way. Although I don't blame that train of thought, Fiverr is known for the PewDiePie scandal upon which PewDiePie did indeed contract the people who "will do anything for $5" to participate in his tomfoolery. PR like that just wasn't good for the site and it shows.
As usual with new startups Fiverr's support could really use some work. A few months in they got around to checking my gigs and took them down since I needed to edit them (I included a link in the descriptions to my site.) After making the changes it took them almost a week to approve them, which for a business can be certain death since customers have no visibility of you until they get approved meaning you have zero income being generated. After making said changes I noticed a huge bump in views. It looks like Fiverr is using some algorithm to "bury" gigs that might violate it's terms of service or are not up to par. This would've been nice to know back when I first created the gigs, not 3 months in.
You can find my Fiverr profile at: