What is Fiverr? A scam, a steal, or a little of both?

What is Fiverr?

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So is it Fiver, Fiverr, or 5’er?  It doesn’t matter what you call it, it has the potential to impress you, disappoint you, and most of all entertain you.  But is Fiverr a legit freelancing site that can help your business?

Well, let’s be honest, Fiverr is like a giant flea market.  You have to sift through a lot of other people’s garbage to find the hidden gems.   If you look closely, you will discover three types of gigs on Fiverr (gig is their word for a $5 task):

  1. Scams (you’ll want your money back)
  2. Time Savers (you get what you pay for – gigs truly worth about $5)
  3. Steals (great values)

Let’s breakdown at each of those categories and talk about what you can expect. I’ll also show you how to evaluate a Fiverr gig for quality.  But first,

What is Fiverr?

On Fiverr.com “micro-entrepreneurs” around the world offer a huge variety of services on Fiverr, all priced as $5 “gigs” or microtasks.  You’ll be shocked at all the random things people are willing to do for just $5 (I’ve shared a few favorites below).  And these people actually only get paid $4 since Fiverr keeps a buck for themselves!

Fiverr Scams to Avoid

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Here are some examples of gigs that should immediately raise an eyebrow and you should avoid:

  • I will give you a PR6 dofollow backlink
  • I will give you 10,000 YouTube views
  • I will give you 5,000 twitter followers or Facebook fans
  • I will tweet your message to my 10,000 followers four times a day for a week
  • I will write a 500 word blog post

You’ll find scams in every category, but the ones above are all from the Online Marketing category.  I suggest staying away from this category in general as most of the backlinks, likes, and tweets are from automated services and/or spam accounts.

Time Savers – Pay $5, Get Exactly $5 of Value

Some gigs are just what they seem.  Not too inventive, but probably worth exactly $5.  Most of these you could do on your own with a couple web searches, but for five bucks you could save yourself the effort.

  • Language Translation
  • Small coding tasks (like CSS help)
  • Basic keyword research
  • Business card design
  • Narration and voice recordings
  • Random and unusual gifts, crafts, and trinkets

Fiverr Great Values

And now here’s the good stuff.  You could easily pay much more for some of the gigs below on alternative freelance sites.  So spend some time bookmarking these gigs as they’ll save you a lot of money later.

Graphics & Design Gigs

  • Ebook covers (this ebook gig provider is my favorite)
  • Video intros (this guy creates a cool Apple style video and I’ve been waiting for a good reason to have one created)
  • PSD into HTML (taking a Photoshop file and converting it to HTML code)
  • Website or application testing
  • Basic logo design
And if you’re looking to be entertained, who can put a price on some of the truly creative random acts and pranks that can be found in the Fun and Bizarre category?

What to Look for When Reviewing Fiverr Gigs

If you’re trying to decide whether a gig is worth the $5 bucks, my first advice is don’t think about it too much.  It’s only $5.  You really don’t have too much to lose by trying out a bunch of fun gigs.  If they don’t all pan out who cares?

That said, here are a couple things to pay attention to when making a decision:

  • # of Ratings (the more the better)
  • Quality of ratings (look for a Gig rating of at least 95% and few, if any negative reviews)
  • Read the reviews and see if the negative ones sound justified or are just from people with too high expectations.
  • Gigs with no recent reviews.  If the gig has not been reviewed in a few months, it may be old and the seller may not be monitoring their account.
  • # of ratings in queue (more gigs is usually a positive sign, but if there is a long waiting list keep in mind you will have to wait)
  • Estimated delivery time (make sure the estimate is within a few days)
  • “Top rated seller” or “Level 1 or 2” seal on their account.  Not a requirement, but when it’s there you can count on a good gig.
  • Avoid anyone that asks for your email address or personal information (that’s also against Fiverr policy).
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