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Why Fiverr Sucks (Upwork, Too)

Why Fiverr Sucks - Carolyn Daughters

Marketing “experts,” copywriters, and designers from Fiverr and Upwork are often paid below the minimum wage. That’s just one reason why Fiverr sucks (Upwork, too).

Why Fiverr Sucks in a Nutshell

Fiverr is an online marketplace that allows businesses and individuals to buy digital services from low-cost freelancers around the world. It gets its name from the $5 starting price of the services offered. Upwork is essentially Fiverr for larger projects and more involved tasks.

The question I get most often from prospective clients is this: “Did you know that you charge more than a lot of other people in the industry?” Yep. The second question I get: “Did you know I can get someone off Fiverr or Upwork for a fraction of what I would pay you?” Sure do.

Some small percentage of service providers on Fiverr are the real deal. They’re killing the industry by offering their services at below-market rates — or even at below minimum wage. The vast majority of service providers on Fiverr are varying degrees of terrible at what they say they do.

Today, everyone who has an iPhone is a photographer, everyone who has a Mac is a designer, and everyone who has been writing since age five is a copywriter or content developer. Fiverr is for business box-checking. If you need a website and a bunch of blogs and don’t care about how the website looks or whether the blogs are comprehensible, Fiverr’s your best bet.

Those are just a few reasons why Fiverr sucks.

Fiverr Q&A

Well, hold on now, you may be thinking. Fiverr’s not all bad! Right?

Q: Isn’t Fiverr giving people the chance to make money? Nothing wrong with that!

A: Fiverr is giving people a chance to earn below minimum wage doing work they’re often not qualified to do. Fiverr takes a 20% cut of all work, including the tips some people pay. (The minimum tip is $5, so if you hire someone for $5 you have the opportunity to give them a 100% tip — or higher. Crazytown.)

If you ever find me hiring myself out on Fiverr, please remind me that my local Starbucks pays more than minimum wage and offers healthcare and educational reimbursement. And free coffee. I’d rather be a coffee-making robot than slave away on Fiverr.

Q: If I can’t tell the difference between work from a Fiverr and work from a higher paid industry professional, why should I pay more for the professional?

A: I’ve seen hundreds (yes, hundreds) of prospects’ sites built by people from Fiverr and Upwork, and in most cases I wonder: Can the business owner or support team not see how appallingly awful this site is? Time and again, it looks as if it was built by their cousin Timmy in exchange for a case of beer. Same goes for content and design and all other Fiverr services offered. Color me confused.

Q: But I’m in the startup (or growth) phase of my small business, and I can’t afford to pay any more than a few bucks for marketing, content, and design services.

A: On some level, I get it. I’m an entrepreneur, too. However, a fair wage is a fair wage, and there’s honor in paying one. Beyond that, though, you get what you pay for. Cheap work almost always looks cheap. This is your brand we’re talking about.

Q: You’re just annoyed because some potential clients chose someone at Fiverr instead of you.

A: If someone’s budget was $5 (or $50 or what have you) for marketing support or copywriting support, that someone was never a potential client of mine.

Q: It seems like you’re trying to shut down the competition by acting all holier than thou.

A: Direct, honest insight can often come across as a lecture on high, and for that I apologize. To be fair, though, I’m one person, and I’m not shutting down anything. The $6.15B Fiverr organization doesn’t know or care that I exist. To that end, I own hundreds of shares of Fiverr stock that I bought at a ridiculously low price. If you want to keep using Fiverr, by all means don’t stop on my account.

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