These days, Fiverr gets a lot of bad press. Reading those negative reviews online could well have you asking “is Fiverr legit?”
I’ve been an active user of Fiverr for over eight years, hiring freelancers for everything from transcribing interviews to fixing bugs on my WordPress sites.
Fiverr has plenty of good sellers offering high-quality services that can transform your digital creator business. But, as with most things online, there are ways to game Fiverr and unscrupulous individuals that do so.
In this article I’ll share what I’ve learned from almost a decade of using Fiverr, to help you get the best experience possible with the platform while avoiding the traps. So, is Fiverr legit? Let’s find out.
Is Fiverr Legit?
In short: Yes. Fiverr is a legit freelance platform for both buyers and sellers, offering a wide range of services at different price points.
But the five dollar days that gave Fiverr its original name are long gone. So don’t go in expecting to find such cheap gigs.
Problems usually arise with Fiverr when people use it 1) with a cheap mindset (which could be a leftover from Fiverr’s early branding days), or 2) when people don’t do enough due diligence on a particular seller before purchasing the gig.
Follow the rules of the platform and add a few ounces of common sense. Then using Fiverr is a great way to find affordable services for your business.
My Fiverr Review: 8 Years of Buying Experience
Is Fiverr legit? Well, first of all, let’s understand what Fiverr actually is.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelance services. It acts as a middleman for buyers and sellers of freelance online services, in return for a cut of the fees.
On Fiverr you can find a huge range of services, from website design and freelance writing, to video editing, transcription and voiceovers.
Fiverr provides tools to manage the interactions between buyer and seller, creating a smooth process that’s meant to keep both sides safe.
You can also sell your own freelance services using Fiverr, although I’ve never done so. I’ve always used it as a buyer.
I remember the good old days when Fiverr gigs actually did cost five dollars.
My first gig was 25 minutes of transcription for a recorded interview, during the days when I worked as a freelance journalist in Istanbul.
I felt pleasantly surprised at the low cost versus the quality of work, plus how much time it saved me.
The Jamaica-based seller spoke great English and sent me an accurate transcription within just a couple of days.
Boom! I’d become a Fiverr convert.
Since then, I’ve booked over 50 gigs with Fiverr.
A few of them have been disappointing, but most have been adequate and many exceeded my expectations. In particular, I’ve hired some great WordPress developers, decent freelance writers, and a video editor
Only one past gig stands out as potentially a rip-off. In this one, I hired a seller to perform speed optimizations on my website.
He did the work suspiciously fast, adding lots of plugins to my site, then presented me with screenshots of various speed tools showing my site getting high scores.
However, the Core Web Vitals scores from Google didn’t improve. Plus, my site was festooned with dubious-looking plugins.
After a while, the speed started to lag again and I eventually got rid of the plugins. I wasn’t happy with this gig and felt that it was a waste of my money.
What are the risks of Fiverr?
The main risks of Fiverr include the following:
- Quality concerns – Since services on Fiverr are typically low cost, there’s a risk of getting poor quality work. Sellers may be inexperienced or complete tasks quickly without much attention to detail. Always check their reviews and portfolios carefully.
- Rushed jobs – The low price points encourage some sellers to complete work as quickly as possible with limited revisions. If you need high-quality, custom work, the cheaper services may disappoint you.
- Scams – As with any freelance platform, Fiverr isn’t immune to scams. Dishonest sellers may accept payment without completing the work, deliver plagiarized or poor-quality work, or use fake reviews and portfolios to appear more legitimate. Doing due diligence on sellers is important.
- Communication issues – Fiverr connects buyers and sellers from all over the world. There can sometimes be language barriers or time zone differences that make communication difficult. This can lead to misunderstandings about project requirements.
- Lack of recourse – Fiverr’s dispute resolution process heavily favors sellers. If you have issues with an order, you may not get your money back. Fiverr support can be slow to respond to complaints.
While the risks are low overall, you should be cautious, especially when ordering complex or expensive services.
Make sure you check reviews thoroughly (especially any negative ones), communicate clearly, and never take your communications with the seller outside the Fiverr platform.
Can you get scammed on Fiverr?
Like any online platform – there’s always the possibility of running into a scammer.
That’s the same whether we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fiverr, or even your very own email account (Nigerian princes, anyone?).
Let’s face it, the Internet is rife with scammers looking to part naive users from their hard-earned money.
But with a little common sense and wisdom, you can easily avoid scammers on Fiverr. In the next section, I’ll give you some tips on exactly how to do that.
How to get the best results with Fiverr
Using Fiverr as a buyer
#1. Always keep your interactions on-platform
One of the key benefits of using Fiverr is the protections it offers for both the buyer and the seller.
If you take your interactions of the platform then you lose the benefit of its protection. So the best guideline is to always keep your interactions within the Fiverr platform.
#2. Review your orders promptly
Fiverr gives you a window of three days to review a completed order after the seller sends it to you. If the work isn’t satisfactory, you can ask the seller to fix it for no extra charge.
Make sure you stay on top of your messages and review your orders promptly. After three days have passed, the platform will automatically mark your order is complete and release payment to the seller.
This can provide a window of opportunity for scammers to send you incomplete or poor quality work, in the hope you won’t review it in time.
#3. Do your due diligence on all sellers
I follow a simple process when looking for a new gig on Fiverr:
- Check the reviews carefully. I look for 5 star sellers (but I don’t mind if they have a few negative reviews if there seems to be good reason for it, e.g. a misunderstanding between the parties). Again, use your common sense and judgement here.
- Always read the seller’s gig description and make sure you understand what is (and what’s not) included. That way, you manage your own expectations and avoid misunderstandings later down the line. If you want a custom order, make sure your requirements are stated as clear as possible.
- Message the seller before ordering. My first step after reading the reviews is to reach out to the seller and start a conversation about my project. This gives me a good feel for their communication style and I can understand if we’d be the right fit to work together.
#4. Use common sense
Part of using a platform like Fiverr successfully is just being smart about it. Don’t expect to get the world for a few dollars. If a gig feels too good to be true, proceed with caution. If you don’t like how the seller communicates, try someone else.
#5. Leave honest and transparent reviews
Leaving detailed and honest reviews is helpful for other buyers, and plays an important role in making Fiverr better for everyone. It’s also good for the seller. If your seller did a great job, don’t hesitate to leave them a good review.
Using Fiverr as a seller
#1. Vet buyers carefully
Check a buyer’s profile, reviews, and order history before accepting an order. Be wary of brand new accounts with no reviews.
#2. Never work off-platform
Be skeptical of requests to take transactions offline or communicate outside of Fiverr. This bypasses buyer/seller protections.
#3. Watch out for sketchy requests
Use caution if a buyer asks you to send money or provide personal/sensitive info. Legitimate buyers will never do this.
#4. Record all communications
Keep records of all exchanges within Fiverr’s platform. This provides proof if any disputes arise.
#5. Be clear on requirements
Leave no room for ambiguity on project details by making sure that you document everything in writing, especially if the buyer asked for a custom order.
Avoid these 3 Fiverr services like the plague
Fiverr offers a great range of quality freelance services. But several types of gig just aren’t worth your trouble (whether on Fiverr or any other freelance platform).
Here are three that I’d recommend skipping altogether.
#1. Link building services
Fiverr is littered with gigs offering thousands of backlinks for just a few dollars. The sellers promise to increase your domain authority and boost your site in the rankings with magical do-follow, white-hat links.
DO NOT USE THESE SERVICES.
Not only are they ineffective (so you’ll likely waste your money), they also risk damaging your site (if Google finds out). Plus, cheap and low-quality link building is prime territory for scammers.
For starters, let’s look at the gig in the top left corner for “100 .edu .gov backlinks” starting at just $30.
Backlinks from university and government websites are exceptionally powerful.
Just a handful of them can really help your site climb the rankings and gain authority fast. But genuine .edu and .gov (and ac.uk) backlinks aren’t easy to get.
For example, I’m currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at a university in the UK. Through that genuine connection, I set up a backlink from my university profile to this site, as its my personal blog.
In this Fiverr gig, the seller would likely obtain the links by spamming comments onto meaningless pages on some university website, or creating junk blog posts on a subdomain of a university site.
Check out the one below. Yes, it’s technically from UCLA, a reputable US university.
No, it’s of no value whatsoever, as it’s just a spam comment on some junk subdomain (Note: This link is spam, I didn’t build it myself).
“Link farms” are another link building scam service to avoid.
If the seller is offering you “7800+ contextual backlinks”, like another of the gigs above, they will 100% be link farm sites. What do I mean by “link farm”?
Websites covering a broad range of general topics, with no specific focus, set up specifically to sell, or “farm” links. Some of the sites look legitimate. They’ve fooled me in a couple of times in the past.
For example, the one below. Sites that don’t have a main focus won’t help you rank better. At best, you’ll just throw your money away on Fiverr gigs like these.
There might be a handful of decent link building services on fibre. But, unless you’re highly experienced with SEO, you won’t be able to identify them.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Avoid Fiverr for link building services.
In general, you should only seek backlinks from relevant sites in your niche (e.g. through guest posting), or from large reputable news websites like CNN or BBC (e..g through HARO or digital PR).
#2. SEO audit services
Lots of sellers on Fiverr sell “SEO audit services” gigs, typically for a couple of hundred dollars.
This may seem like a legitimate service. But I’d still recommend avoiding these audit gigs (or at least being extremely judicious with your selection).
As an SEO consultant who sells my own custom audits, I know that a couple of hundred dollars is far too cheap for a comprehensive audit that digs in and covers all aspects of your site, including competitor keyword analysis, technical SEO analysis, and an analysis of your existing content’s performance.
You’ll get a long list of technical fixes, which you won’t necessarily know what to do with. What’s more, these fixes likely won’t do much to move the needle on your site’s technical SEO issues.
That’s why I recommend avoiding SEO audit services on Fiverr, and instead hiring a reputable SEO consultant to perform a proper audit, either through your personal network or through a platform such as LinkedIn.
Expect to pay at least 1,000 USD for a quality audit, and more if it includes things like competitor analysis and building out a complete SEO strategy for your business.
#3. Social media engagement services
You know those gigs that guarantee you thousands of new followers on your Instagram or YouTube?
Like this one?
I highly recommend that you avoid gigs like these on Fiverr. Why?
First, because the seller will likely use a range of artificial methods to inflate your follower count. In time, these fake followers will drop off.
Second, because these followers were grown through artificial means, they’ll be next to useless when it comes to generating quality engagement.
They don’t care about your content. They won’t become your customers or advocates. They’re simply padding out your follower numbers.
Third, because true success on social media comes from creating content that showcases your authentic personality and message. Shortcuts like these don’t work.
FAQs: Is Fiverr legit?
Is Fiverr only $5 dollars?
Fiverr gigs used to be priced at five dollars, but that’s no longer the case for most. Don’t expect to get top quality services if you go in with a mindset of find me the cheapest possible gig.
Can you get scammed on Fiverr?
It’s possible, but unlikely, that you’ll get scammed on Fiverr. The platform provides a range of protections for both buyers and sellers, provided you follow its rules. What’s more, if you follow the additional tips in this article, you’ll be in a better position to avoid scams and get a great experience from the platform.
Can I trust Fiverr sellers?
Many Fiverr sellers are simply trying to make a living as freelancers. So yes, on the whole you can trust them. Nevertheless, every situation has its scammers, so I always recommend that you do your due diligence, check the reviews for your chosen seller, and don’t hesitate to use another seller if you see any red flags.
Are all Fiverr reviews genuine?
Most Fiverr reviews are genuine, because only registered buyers and sellers can leave reviews for one another.
But be aware that some unscrupulous sellers get people to create Fiverr accounts purely for the purpose of leaving five star reviews.
So tread a little carefully when you see a brand new Fiverr account with several five star reviews. Examine the people who wrote them. Do they have a history of giving/receiving reviews that look genuine? Or are they brand new accounts too?
Personally, I only buy from sellers with hundreds of five star reviews, and I examine the content of the reviews closely before deciding to buy.
The Bottom Line: Is Fiverr Legit?
Fiverr is a legitimate online freelance marketplace, where you can find many high quality sellers offering a wide range of services. Nevertheless, the platform has received some criticism for its handling of scammers in the past.
Although Fiverr is legit, it’s always wise to follow certain guidelines to lower your risk of running into a scammer on there.
Don’t forget that Fiverr itself is only the middleman, in the same way as Ebay, Etsy or Booking.com provide a one-stop shop for secondhand goods, handmade crafts or hotel accommodation.
If you take the advice in this article, use common sense, and stick to the Fiverr rules, then you’re likely to have a great experience with Fiverr freelancers – who can help you take your online business to the next level.