Are You Cheap Enough to Use Fiverr?

5-bux Like most folks in the personal finance world, I make a point of being careful with my money.  But over the years I’ve also learned the bottom of the barrel price isn’t always the best deal.  For example, if I got estimates from several companies to replace my flooring or paint my house, I wouldn’t go with the lowest bid – I’ve learned in my nearly five decades that most of the time the cheapest option is not your wisest choice.

Something else that has impacted my decision making process has been the fact that my husband and I are entrepreneurs.  When you are in business for yourself, you see things from the other side of the fence.  At least that happened for me.  In particular what I’m talking about is the process of hiring a local business or acquaintance, rather than to find the rock bottom most penny pinching deal.

I’ve been hearing about this site called Fiverr lately where you can buy many services for just five bucks.  I’m all for pinching my pennies, but from the first time I heard about Fiverr I’ve felt uncomfortable.

You Get What You Pay For

My first thought was quality.  Would you feel comfortable hiring someone to proofread your 200 page book when the description says, “I will proofread you entire book for $5″?  If you didn’t see the glaring error in that sentence then maybe you will be happy hiring this person.  Or maybe you want a website built, you can get a 5 page website built for five bucks.  Really?  I used to build websites and if everything is in place sure it might be possible to build a site in an hour.  Or maybe if I’m really lucky  half an hour?  But what kind of quality do you get for five bucks?

Slave Labor

I don’t know anyone who agrees with slave labor, whether in the past or present.  But doesn’t it feel like you’re paying slave wages to pay only $5, when you know that other people charge much more?

Or do you think the person charging more is just ripping people off?  Should everyone perform services dirt cheap?

People doing “gigs” for Fiverr pay 20% off the top to Fiverr – that’s $1.  If you’re a law abiding citizen you’ll be setting aside 30% of your earnings for Uncle Sam, and possibly more for the state and/or city in which you live.

So a person working on Fiverr in actuality earns about $2.80 for that gig.

That’s horrible.  I don’t think I could bring myself to hire someone at that rate.  It just seems wrong.

Undercutting Everyone Else

Or maybe you’re saying, more power to that person earning $2.80 net.  It’s their choice to provide services cheaply.  That’s right, it is their choice. Maybe they’ve found a way to perform the task electronically and they can process ten tasks simultaneously.  But many of the services I’ve seen offered at Fiverr take longer than five minutes, and to my knowledge cannot be automated.  Maybe they are hiring people who live in third world countries to do the work where the value of the dollar is much lower.

You know… there’s a point when you change from being a penny pincher into a complete miser.

Supporting Small and/or Local Business

If you had the chance to hire a friend in your networking group or someone on Fiverr, what would you do?

Let me share what happened to me.

I’m involved in a small networking group.  I provide a service for which I charge $15.  This is a reasonable amount, in fact “professionals” in the field charge about double.  Our group members are aware that I provide this service and one of our members has been in touch with me twice stating she would be ordering from me.

A few days ago she went to Fiverr and purchased this exact service and reported back to our group.  Several members asked her for the name of the person she hired at Fiverr.  I have no idea how to respond to this situation.  I have a very hard time believing my friend did this.  All I can say is it has placed me in a very awkward and uncomfortable position.  What would you do?

Have you used Fiverr?

 

 

 

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20 comments to Are You Cheap Enough to Use Fiverr?

  • I would use Fiverr if budget is tight. Their service may not be the best, but they give you something that’s decent.
    Caesar F recently posted..Tax Refund TimeMy Profile

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Thanks for your honest response, Caesar.

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  • I have used Fiverr several times. Once was for a knit cap for a teddy bear ($8 total with shipping). And I use a guy named Nisha for headers (like my Vday one now at BFS…I also ordered 5 others for other holidays), for my eBook cover, and for the header at How I Make Money Blogging. He also has a listing that is just for tips, so if you really like his work, you can send him more than $5 each.

    As for your friend, that’s cold. I would totally use a friend’s service even if it cost a little more (like $15 vs $5). I just like Nisha’s work and didn’t know anybody that would make a knit cap for a Care Bear, lol.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Crystal, that’s funny about the Care Bear knit cap. LOL. I’m glad you’ve found someone at Fiverr that does work you are happy with. I hope you tip him often. :-) Thanks for your support in my situation.

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  • I signed up for fiverr about a month ago. Offering handmade items. I’ve yet to sell anything. I’d love to do actual work, but like you stated, it just isn’t worth my time for $4 or less. A lot of what is offered is silly too. I’m not sure how I’d handle the friend situation, that’s rude, but perhaps they needed to save a few bucks? I’d be hurt though. I’ve found several sites like Fiverr where you can sell your services or bid to provide your service. I can’t compete with the people in Asia that are willing to do things for $0.50/hour or less!!
    Angella recently posted..‘The Queen of Versailles’ – GASP!My Profile

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Angella, yes I’m sure the problem was saving money. I guess personally if I were in that same situation I would have done things differently. Like I would probably have emailed me and said hey I’m sorry I know I told you I was going to hire you but money is just so tight I had to go with this other guy. The really frustrating thing is I probably would have done the work for her free, had she bothered to contact me. I have a hard time charging people as it is so when I get smacked down like this it makes me feel even less worthy. And I would not have made an announcement to a very tight close knit group. And I can’t believe she did it on purpose. I think she is just stressed out and frazzled and forgot. That’s what I want to think because it makes me feel less hurt. Because if she had some diabolical reason to do it, like maybe this is payback for something I did or didn’t do (which I can’t think of anything I’ve done to warrant needing to be taught a lesson). Well, I don’t want to go there. I know that some people are just plain mean like that, but this just doesn’t match her personality at all. I still haven’t decided how to deal with it. I guess I will probably just let it slide and never say anything. Like one of my friends said, “Business is business.” Thanks for your comment. Have you tried selling on etsy?

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    Angella Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability, for some people it’s hard to let friends/family know when money it tight. Perhaps she didn’t want to insult you by requesting a lower price. It could go so many ways. As for etsy, funny you mention that, I just reopened my etsy store a month ago after a year hiatus. I started there in 2005 and did really well. Apparently during the year break a lot changed, they now allow wholesalers/distributors – IE Chinese factories – to sell there, so again, flooded market and hard to compete with the pricing. Why would someone buy my item for $8 + $2.50 shipping when they can get it from China for $2.25 shipped!? It’s a bit depressing. I can’t even ship for $2.25 in the US, never mind internationally ($7 and up!) It is getting harder and harder to earn extra money these days.
    Angella recently posted..‘The Queen of Versailles’ – GASP!My Profile

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Angella, thank for your perspective. I’m sorry to hear how things are going with Etsy. That would make it hard for a small business owner to make any money. Is there any way to know if the Etsy shop is a big company rather than a single person?

  • I have used fiverr and I can tell you from first hand experience you are spot on. The work I received was sub par and I couldn’t even argue because I paid $5, had I just sucked it up and paid $15-$20 I could have gotten exactly what I asked for.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    That’s what is really frustrating when you end up having to pay twice just because you were trying to save a few dollars. I have definitely been there and done that. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Marvin! :-)

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  • That’s horrible! I’ve checked out Fiverr, just because I was intrigued by the concept, but some of the things they have up there I would never hire people to do, just because I wouldn’t trust anyone doing it for $5 to do it right. And it doesn’t do me any good to go the cheap route if I’m going to have to get it done again or do it myself. Quicker in the long run to pay someone I know in a networking group $15 – at least I’d have some sense of trust in his/her abilities and know that the $15 was well spent for a good job.

    Personally, this is one of those situations where I probably wouldn’t say anything, but I’d really want to say something passive aggressive like “wow, Sue, I wish I’d known you were in such financial difficulties. I could have given you a discount since we’re friends.” lol She probably didn’t even think about how awkward this would make you feel since she had already told you she would be ordering from you. Either way, I’d be calling her bad names in my head.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    HI Marguerite, you know the funny thing is now that I had been at Fiverr almost every single Google Adsense ad everywhere I go taunts me with the face of a woman telling me she’ll write me a blog post for $5 or write content for $5. I asked my husband if he noticed all the ads for Fiverr on the browser lately. Sheesh! I can’t imagine what kind of a blog post I’d get for five bucks! I thought about several things I could say but in the end I said nothing. It was upsetting but I am sure it wasn’t intentional. I am being a little more guarded with my interaction with the group as it really stung. Thanks for your perspective!

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  • I have a friend that used it for a Youtube intro theme song for their vlogs. I think if it is something fun, it’s something I’d do. I wouldn’t take the risk of using it for anything important.
    Jules recently posted..Carnival of Personal Finance 02.18.13: Springtime Running EditionMy Profile

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Some of the things offered could be worth $5. I think I remember seeing one where the person would write your name in the sand. If you lived close to a beach, or heck if you had a pile of sand in your back yard that would be simple enough to do and maybe worth $5. Speaking of music for YouTube videos, there’s a guy that gives his audio away for free as long as you give him credit and I’ve used several of his songs free and bought two of them to use without crediting him. His site is danosongs.com. If you want to use a song without giving credit it’s $10. Now that’s a little different because he created those songs and now he’s getting promoted and/or donations for each song. I think that’s a fair trade. At least he’s not having to give 20% off the top to another company. Thanks for your comment, Jules!

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  • LOL! Marguerite’s hypothetical answer to your “friend” is perfect! Wish I could think of with come-backs like that. :-D

    After you mentioned Fiverr, I went to the site and explored around. And…well, I don’t think I’d hire someone to do a $200 or $300 job for five bucks. First, let’s imagine a graphic artist offering her services here is indeed living in, say, Bangladesh, where maybe $5 buys a week’s worth of food. First, to my mind it’s exploiting her — I can afford to pay the going rate in my country, and underpaying her by 99.9% is simply ripping her off. And second, given that I resent the offshoring of American jobs by US corporations, it’s pretty hypocritical for me as an individual to turn around and do the same darned thing.

    Philosophical issues aside, with the exception of certain Mexican immigrant workers, my experience has consistently been that whether you’re buying products or services, you get what you pay for. As a practicing cheapskate, I certainly have grabbed the “bargain” now and again — only to regret it the minute I had to pay more when the product crapped out or the service was a disaster. Too many times, I’ve lost money because I’ve had to go back and pay a fair rate for the commodities or services that I should’ve bought in the first place!

    Nine times out of ten, you really do get what you pay for.
    Funny about Money recently posted..Physical Therapy and Ginger OilMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Funny, you and me both. I can never think of the right thing to say. I agree with you on all these points, thanks for weighing in. And yes, I have also spent money on a bargain and then had to pay more for a better one. I’ll tell you though one thing I’ve been frustrated about – there have been times when I paid the higher price for the supposedly better value product and it turned out to be just as big a piece of crap! It’s sometimes hard to find quality products nowadays, very frustrating. Some of the big name brands that used to scream QUALITY are now junky as the rest. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  • I use Fiverr all the time, I’ve actually built lots of business relationships on it. A lot of people selling are from Thailand etc where $2.80 is actually a lot of money when they exchange it so it is worthwhile for them to do it!
    Fred recently posted..Are you thinking about your retirement?My Profile

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  • Fiverr is an awesome tool! I use it all the time. It’s all about finding the right people and give them repeat business time and time again!
    Will Van Hartog recently posted..Detroit Investment Properties Expecting a RiseMy Profile

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  • [...] Are You Cheap Enough to Use Fiverr? – What sort of work would you do for five dollars?  There’s quite a few people who will do various tasks for that amount on the online network Fiverr, giving you a chance to get work done for just a fiver.  Although as Out of Debt Again notes, you do get what you pay for, and you might not want to get five dollars worth of quality. [...]

  • [...] Accountability at Out of Debt Again brings up the risks you may be taking using the services from [...]

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