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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Fiverr.Com Breaking a Law?

Ok, as per the screenshot on the left, never mind the fact that Fiverr has allowed some pretty racy offers to appear in their listings. Isn't sending some a picture of your hoo-hah considered "adult" in nature? There's kids on Fiverr, chrissake...

But, putting that aside for the moment, my big issue with Fiverr, as of late, has been the fact that they don't make it unavoidably clear to potential merchants that their payout requirements are nearly impossible for the bulk of merchants to achieve. And, gauging by the countless articles from people extolling the great, clever virtues of Fiverr, it seems as if I'm the only one who's spotted this so far.

In my 2nd Fiverr article, "Using Fiverr Can Make You A Loserr - Solution Enclosed", I presented a possible solution for what I discovered was Fiverr's virtually IMPOSSIBLE payout requirement ($40 = 8 Sales). The reason it's virtually impossible is because everyone has to make 8 sales to get paid. And while they are trying to make those 8 sales, their offer sinks to the bottom of the list as countless other new arrivals throw their hat in the ring as a Fiverr merchant.

Now, if a merchant doesn't make even one sale, that's one thing. However, the moment they make their first sale, THEIR $5 from the service that THEY performed, is retained by Fiverr until the merchant reaches the payout minimum of $40. It doesn't matter that most newcomers to this marketing phenomenon won't even know anything about a Terms of Service, prompting "realists" to say, "Hey, it's caveat emptor, you know, buyer beware." What matters is that along with nearly impossible payout requirements and an ever-growing number of new merchants, Fiverr is going to end up "unjustly enriched" by the WORK OF OTHERS.

In other words, in a very passive, and quiet, way, Fiverr makes it VERY easy, and VERY likely, that many, if not most, merchants, will leave some of THEIR earnings behind. In fact, it's SO easy, and SO likely, that many, if not MOST, Fiverr merchants will end up leaving THEIR rightfully earned money in the hands of Fiverr, that it would seem to fall under the legal heading of "Unjust Enrichment." Here is a section about it from Wikipedia:

At common law, a claim based on unjust enrichment can be submitted to five stages of analysis. These can be summarized in the form of the following questions:

  1. Was the defendant enriched?
  2. Was the enrichment at the expense of the claimant?
  3. Was the enrichment unjust?
  4. Does the defendant have a defense?
  5. What remedies are available to the claimant?
QUESTION 1: Do you think whoever is behind Fiverr actually anticipated this? Or, do you think they meant well but only realized it afterwards and aren't yet willing to change it?

QUESTION 2: As per the Wikipedia article, *wrong-doing* does not need to be proven in order for there to be a case for being unjustly enriched (by their merchants good faith efforts). Do you think, therefore, that Fiverr would be found guilty of unjust enrichment?

In your opinion, professional or not, what do YOU think the solution to all this should be? Should Fiverr be penalized? And will you link to this article (or tweet it), as a service to help protect others, just like yourself, avoid such a problem?

If so, thank you. So, your thoughts?

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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22 comments:

ads said...

Give http://tenbux.com a try :)

Anonymous said...

They have changed their payout policy now and let you cash in any amount. BUT... I did so this morning and they said the bucks would appear in my Paypal account within minutes, but so far (12 hours) NOTHING!

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adam said...

I see where your argument is going, but don't know if Fiverr or any other sites like http://www.justafive.com or Tenbux.com would be at risk because of users postings. If that argument would hold in court, you could also take Facebook and Craigslist with you. I know administrators of these sites have solid terms & conditions as well as there needs to be time for disapproving posts. I expect they would remove the post listed in your image.

Anonymous said...

I will have to agree with Adam... http://justafive.com is the best site that I have found so far...

Anonymous said...

I think social media is the best part of internet marketing.

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Charleen Larson said...

Fiverr modified their stance on payouts -- after all, the site is still in Beta. But breaking a law? Really? Are you aware they're located in Israel? Just what U.S. law do you think applies?

Robot Nine said...

Well, looks like now they take a buck off the top and you get four, so they do it different now.

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Five Sexy Bucks said...

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James said...

I agree with you Fiverr requirements for withdraw are too hard. I made few sales there but I couldn't make it to threshold yet.

I prefer using www.fiversworld.com they having a realistic threshold of $10 and fee of 10%

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Anonymous said...

Fiverr are currently breaking numorouse laws. They have been reported to the BBB. The more complaints the more likely hood they will be prosecuted. http://www.bbb.org/us/

It looks like bluegig.com are going one step further than the rest. I contacted several fiverr alternatives and they gave the best response and seemed to be the only ones using a solicitor to check their terms of service.

Anyway, you can find them on facebook.com/bluegigmarker if theyr site hasnt launched yet.

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