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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fiverr: We Will Rip You Off for $5!

At first, Fiverr seemed like a pretty good idea. For a mere $5, you can take advantage of someone's desperate need to make $5 and/or get some publicity, and they will do whatever it is they say they'll do for it. I kinda liked the idea... like a five dollar bargain basement.

So far, I've got a cartoon drawing underway and got some fashion tips... cost? $5 each. Cool.

Then I threw my hat in the ring and offered some info for $5. And wow! A week later, someone ordered! Cool, I was gonna make FIVE DOLLARS!! I was really liking fiverr...


until, just after completing my first sale, replied with,

"Minimum withdraw sum: $40 of Cleared funds

You need additional $40 to withdraw"

I'll tell you this, Fiverr might slip that news into an obvious place NOW, but until now, it was nowhere easily found. So, the fact is, they stand to make a LOT of money from people who make less than 8 sales... and with a ton of incompetent jamokes out there trying to sell everything but the kitchen sink for $5, it's gonna be virtually impossible for every person who makes 1 sale to make 7 more.


That means the odds are they'll get to keep $5-$35 belonging to YOU!

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Steven Hotels said...

So much just for $5! Sounds like a good deal! I can hardly imagine what is offered for $35?!

Sam Freedom said...

There's no offers for $35. Everything is $5 on Fiverr. And they stand to make money from everyone who doesn't make 8 sales.

ChrisP said...

@Sam - Although you are correct that most people won't make 8 sales or $40 on, I don't see it as immoral at all. Yes benefits from those people that can't market their ideas to 8 people but it's not's fault that those people can't reach the established minimum. AND you really can't say that's stealing anything from you; the money's there, you just can't withdraw it until you reach the minimum. If over the next year you make 7 sales, your original $5 will be there waiting for you along with the other $35.

Sam Freedom said...

@ChrisP - While I appreciate your sincerity and your sharing a valid argument, I must honestly say I believe it is terribly flawed.

For starters, with's current model, we are looking at a fine example of the evils of "Omission Marketing". If is going to have a minimal withdrawal requirement then, like many other establishments, they should make that clear at the moment of sign-up, for then a potential seller can make an INFORMED decision as to whether to spend their valuable time and energy in the effort to make 8 sales.

Just think about it!

Here are some "due diligence" type questions that we should be doing when discussing these things:

1. How long will Fiverr hold on to a seller's $5-$35 until s/he makes the $40 minimum? Case in point... I've made 1 sale and once I saw the minimum, I refuse to continue. I'm done... on principle alone.

How long will my $5 remain there?

2. Are they earning interest on my money which they didn't tell me they'd be holding until AFTER I started earning? I believe there are laws against that sort of thing.

3. How can anyone reasonably expect all sellers to make 7 sales? If, for example, 10,000 people sign up as sellers, and even 1000 of them earn $5, and new people are signing up every day (pushing older seller offers to the bottom), do you honestly believe those 1000 sellers have a real shot at making 7 more sales each?

That's 7,000 more sales. And, while they would be waiting to make those sales, there'd be 1000s more signing up as sellers, some of whom would make an initial salea and ALSO require 7 more sales each in order to cash out.

Chris, come on now... can you not see that it is, at BEST, a super poorly crafted pay-out plan? At worst, it is (in my opinion), an egregious form of thievery by omission.

What do you say now?

Internet Marketing Coaching said...

Thanks for your extra comments Sam. Stangely enough I was discussing this with my son this evening as he was quite excited at the idea of being able to earn $5 relatively easily. I'll go back and look a bit more closely at the small print now.

Have you been pleased with the services you've received? I've been considering getting some .edu links from there.

Thanks for the info.

Sam Freedom said...

Hi IMCoach,

I can't say I'm pleased, as in "overjoyed", with the services I've received so far.

1. A teen who draws cartoons. I paid for a Sam Freedom character in his style of cartooning. Heard back from him once, and never again. I'm glad to donate to his college fund, whatever... ;)

2. Fashionista tips from some girl in England who just graduated from fashion school. She was doing it for more exposure, obviously, but I'll just say that, while I was polite, the price was right.

3. I paid to have some flash movie made where I was supposed to be some kind of hero. It was one of those things that you could probably find for free, just upload your picture, and presto, you get a movie. I would have been better off getting my services from a bum but I was still polite and thanked the guy.

4. Just feeling charitable, I gave 1 guy $5 for doing absolutely nothing, just out of kindness so he could brag to his friends that it was working for him. Call me silly but that was both charitable and entertaining for me.

As for stuff related to internet marketing, well, let me put it to you like this...

If you have some throwaway type sites, you might wish to avail yourself of some TEST purchases as there are all kinds of people selling backlinks, tweets to large followings, etc.

If you have a site you cherish, it is my opinion that it is not worth the risk to actually pay someone $5 and have your kingdom destroyed by spammy links or erroneous tweeting. Just my opinion. ;)

Here's my unsolicited advice to you regarding your child...

Since you are an internet marketing coach, sit your kid down next to you and surf over to scriptlance where you can buy FIVERR clones for like $500 (you have to spend money to make money, right?).

Once you have your fiverr clone, set it up as something like ONESIES, or TENNER, and correct the problem by offering payout every 2-3 sales. You'll have a lot more happy customers before your system collapses. ;)

It collapses because its not like an affiliate arrangement. It's more like a Ponzi where everyone has to get 3 sales in order to make money and its just impossible, but no one seems to be stopping it so it'd be better to own a clone than work for one. ;)

Best wishes to you both.

Alan said...

lol. it's rather like Google's $100 payout for adsense. the Vast majority of publishers will Never see a penny

Heather in BC said...

Thanks Sam. You're so right - most people won't make 8 sales, so fiverr wins.

I wish I'd thought of this when the Globe and Mail interviewed me about fiverr.

Perhaps I'll send the reporter a link to your post if it's okay???

Sam Freedom said...


Almost, but not quite. With Google's payout minimum, you're still going to have all kinds of people surfing in to one, or more, blogs and clicking on PPC ads to further their inquiry. And, in the meanwhile, you're out playing with the kids, golfing, or whatever.

But, on, you have to dance with each partner - in other words, provide a service - and you have to dance with EIGHT partners. In the meanwhile, you aren't free to do whatever you want, and your ad is slowly sinking to the bottom of a long list of new Fiverr merchants that is growing by leaps and bounds every day.

And they have no choice but to go through the exact same process while other merchants are arriving to crowd them out. And none of this is made clear until AFTER a merchant's first sale.

Google's "does no harm"; Fiverr's does. Google's is passive advertising; Fiverr requires you to perform services.

See the difference now?

Sam Freedom said...


Sure, I'd be grateful for the mention. It'll be interesting to see if they contact me at

samfreedom (AT) gmail (DOT) com

After all, it's got to be a tad bit embarrassing for so many, otherwise, intelligent people, to have raved about how clever, or amazing, Fiverr is, yet not catching this most glaring of errors.

For, the most expedient way to catch that error, one has to actually interact with the site and that is one of the big differences between...

Bloggers who market; and
Marketers who blog

I hope anyone who has reported favorably on has the same courage, and humility, as you, to admit the oversight because, frankly, Fiverr is getting rich off the work that is done by many merchants, most of whom have nearly impossible chances of cashing out.

Thanks for your honesty and, again, I would appreciate the mention to Globe and Mail.


Sam Freedom said...

TO ALL - Stay tuned, in the interest of goodwill, I'll be posting 1-2 possible solutions for Fiverr in my next post going out either tonight, or tomorrow morning.

and open in a new tab, and please subscribe if you haven't already...


Steve @ Mothers Day 2009 said...

I tried to purchase a rap song and 3 weeks later no word from the provider of from Fiverr. POS in my opinion.

Heather in BC said...

Sam, I sent a link to your post to Wency Leung of the Globe and Mail - sorry I didn't see your email address until afterward - but she's a smart girl and will find you if she does a follow up article!

Funny thing is, I got an order through fiverr this evening. I accepted just to see if I ever get to the payout figure ;)

With people like you calling businesses on their practices - and warning the public, perhaps you will make a change to the system.

I'll be interested to read your follow-up post with possible solutions.


Sam Freedom said...

@Steve - lol, do you think the guy saw the notice that said he couldn't cash out until he made $40 and figured, "To heck with it!"?

@Heather - That's a noble ideal, to make a change in the system. If it happens, it'll be a by-product of my passion but I don't presume to be able to achieve such a goal so large. ;) But, hope springs eternal, huh?

The latest article is up, now, Enjoy!

Using Fiverr Can Make You a Loserr - Solution Enclosed

Larcenyy said...

Guys and girls!
You have partially right.
But the first thing to read about, when you make some "affiliate contract" is "how can I be payed?"
Clickbank, Comission Junktion etc. have all the withdraw limit.
Personally I'm a seller on fiverr In a 3 week I made 150$ (50$ are withdrawed already). Have a 2-3 sell per day. In my opinion is a pretty good place, if you know what you are doing :)


Sam Freedom said...


I'm completely right, not partially. I have been marketing online for quite some time now and I saw nothing available about payout minimums or merchant agreement. That's why I joined, in order to see how the process works.

The majority of people using Fiverr, I would virtually guarantee, are not at all used to such ventures and don't know to read an affiliate agreement, especially if it's not prominent, or even available.

And, while I'm glad you made $150 and fashion yourself as someone who knows what they're doing, you've totally missed the point of this post which doesn't deny that SOME people will make the minimum.

I mean, after all, $150 in 3 weeks is $50/wk, which is 10 sales per week. That's not 2-3 sales per day. Imagine how hard it must be for the unfamiliar masses if someone like you, who "knows what he is doing", can only make 10 sales per week?

I think you've unintentionally confirmed my point.

Best wishes on your continued success.

Larcenyy said...

your point is in my opinion, to give a fault a fiverr because some people think to earn some easy buck online is simple. Always and everywhere are the term of services that must be read.
It's true all the rules can be made always better. I hope that in the future, fiverr will improve their system (maybe will consider your solution).

My math is approximative. Sometime more sometime less orders per day... The point is not to make public my balance but to encourage people. To show if you are determined to work on your gig consistently, you can reach your minimal withdraw limit.

I dont know if I'm the guy that "knows what he is doing" or you are ... in any case the simplicity of the idea of rocks!

If you will make your better, awesome! I will partecipate.


@Kuj4k said...

I have made 8 sales and i do use fiverr alot. The only problem i have with them is there lack of QA. I withdrew the $40 and all they needed was my paypal email address i put it in and yet to have seen my $40. And now that i have withdrawn my $40 i need to make another $40 witch i think is really stupid. Once i make 8 sales i should become a recommended seller or something and be able to just take out my $5 whenever. They need to hire more people so they can track sales and really upgrade the site so there isnt so many people getting screwed over and the people making money get promoted and can make more money and they should be able to but it right into a bank account every 5 they make.

Sam Freedom said...


Like I said, I'm glad *you* know what to do but if a company has a nearly impossible payout plan, than it's really a matter of ethics to make sure that each person is informed of the TOS before posting their first offer.

It's like getting on a bus and finding out 5 minutes later that you must pay in order to get OFF the bus. What if you don't have the money? You either stay on the bus forever or hope to beg a newcomer for money so you can leave the bus.

But, what if they have no money to get off the bus? And the next one doesn't either? Until the bus is jammed full of people who have no money to exit the bus. Then no one else can even fit on the bus.

It's something like that.

The masses do not even know to look for such things. You say they "should", I say it just doesnt even occur to them. Most have never even seen such a thing and dont even know a TOS exists. Site owners, and veteran users, like you, can take it for granted.


I *almost* like your idea of "proven seller" but it still wont work because EVERYONE who makes ONE sale, has to make EIGHT sales in total to get there. Many are STILL going to leave money behind at FIVERR.

That is just so wrong! It is not like ADSENSE which is passive. On Fiverr, you have to wait for people to show up who want your services and then you have to do the work for them.

Fiverr is going to make money even off the interest of the money they are holding. If they make interest on it, they should pay the interest to merchant if they reach payout, or, I believe, it is breaking a business law called, "Unjust Enrichment"

It's all just very, very bad... even if you are fortunate and made 8 sales, it is still very bad. Many are going to give a service for $5, 1-7 times and never see a dime of it.

I will bet that there is a legal problem there that people should be WORKING for free for FIVERR.

I'll bet you if there was a legal challenge, they would lose. I'm going to look into it -- AND, start a new article.

jaimin said...

I really like the concept of fiverr.
I have made around 17 orders.
so i have 85$ in my fund.but it is not cleared fund,so i have to wait for some days to withdraw it.
I got these orders in just 5 days only.

Sam Freedom said...

Congratulations, Jaimin. I'm glad to see you're doing well. I'm also glad Fiverr changed their policy so that people can now withdraw less than $40 if they don't hit it after 60 days.

If you come back, tell us what you do... you might have made another $85 if you told us. ;)

artgallery42review said...

Would it work to get a second account and buy 40 bucks worth of stuff from your first account and keep a float of 40 bucks in it?

Then, whenever you make a real sale, you'll be able to withdraw the funds?

Tom said...

What are you talking about, Sam?

I have made over $300 the past month on Fiverr. Take away their fees and it's still a good amount for a few minutes of work.

If you're offering some crap that only one in a million visitors might consider paying for, then perhaps you won't make 8 sales.

But if you look around Fiverr for a bit, instead of condemning it because you couldn't put together a marketable gig, you will see that there are tons of people who are making hundreds a week offering very useful services.

I have gotten link wheels, original articles, rewrites, video testimonials, custom logos and cartoon characters for websites, caricatures...and a bunch of other things.

Do you seriously think these people have not made their 8 sales yet?

They have made well over 80 sales.

If you can't think of anything to offer besides some type of "info" that most people don't need or want, then Fiverr won't be the best business model for you.

But don't call it a ripoff. You're the one that did yourself in...NOT Fiverr.

Put up more than ON gig. You know you can do that right?

That multiplies your chances to earn and get the minimum neededfor payout.

It's about being creative here on Fiverr.

Yes there are idiots who put up the stupidest useless things that will only attract one customer a year. Then they complain?

To hell with them man.

Fiverr is a GREAT site and a very innovative business model. It's a great place to outsource all sorts of services. And if you can do something useful that you think is worth your time to do for $4, then you WILL make money.

This is my set of gigs:

Show me where collectively I haven't made well over the payout range. And I have already withdrawn money several times.

Everything is instantly deposited into your PayPal.

mrtenbux said...

if you dont like it, try

it seems new tho

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Terry H Hill said...

Some had predicted that taxpayers would never see a dime of the money that was loaned to the struggling automaker.

palatofino said...

Fiverr got my private information but I did not get any service. For some reason "the account is not active". It's a month now and I asked 3 times for my personal information to be cleared out from the system. They simply refused! Now, they have my personal info and I got nothing in return. Terrible Customer Service. No Privacy Policy on their site. No info on them or their company. This lack of transparency irritates me immensely and I feel that I was ripped off.

Malathy said...

There is a provision to withdraw your earnings even if you don't reach the minim $40.

Fiverr is not a scam and it will stay.

I know of three more sites like Fiverr but Fiverr is the best.

I already made three sales in Fiverr.

Jongoro said...

You get $4 for each order. Fiverr keeps $1 for themselves. So you need to complete 10 orders to get that 40$

Anonymous said...

You should check out Everything everyone is complaining about is fixed in their (fiverr clone) Plus, they have a referral program where you get paid for referring your friends.

Anonymous said...

I think i have found an even better site
like fiverr but better gigs there range from $2 to Yes $256
get paid for what your really worth!

Anonymous said...

That and Fiverr keeps your hard earned $4 for 2 weeks before paying you!

dave said...

Now theres an Adult fiverr whatever next lol

torrent said...

Would it work to get a second account and buy 40 bucks worth of stuff from your first account and keep a float of 40 bucks in it?

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Anonymous said...

gigbucks is a web site that offers gigs from $5 to $25. There is no minimal withdraw fee. There are tens of thousands gigs in the web site. Give it a shot.

Jaz said...

Hotels also usually charge per room where hostels charge per person.

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fiverr clones said...

Really its impossible for everbody who makes one sale to make seven sale.after a hard working i found this blog.because i want to collect data on has a lot of information about fiverr.

company naming said...

This will be so embarrassing for all of us, otherwise, intelligent people, to have raved about how clever, or amazing, Fiverr is, yet not catching this most glaring of errors.

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John said...

Yeah, I've been scammed a couple of times on fiverr. But I've also had a few good ones. Definitely a few little sharkies there, you gotta be careful.

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Preeti P said...

I think fiverr is a great portal for getting your work done for a small amount but i think it seo backlinks services on fiverr are all blackhat and we should not take those service it could give negative effect on the website.

effect of fiverr backlinks

Affordable SEO said...

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crowdfunding script said...

@Sam - Although you are correct that most people won't make 8 sales or $40 on, I don't see it as immoral at all. Yes benefits from those people that can't market their ideas to 8 people but it's not's fault that those people can't reach the established minimum. AND you really can't say that's stealing anything from you; the money's there, you just can't withdraw it until you reach the minimum. If over the next year you make 7 sales, your original $5 will be there waiting for you along with the other $35.

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