Monday, 3 August 2015

Fiverr Review: Buy and Sell Marketplace

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Fiverr. That's why I wanted to provide a review. 

For those that aren’t familiar with the site, Fiverr is a marketplace that links buyers looking for specific services with those willing to provide those same services. Graphics and design, online marketing, video and animation, business services and so on are all part of the mix. And all of these services are provided for $5.

Strictly speaking, you are charged a bit more than $5 (something like $5.50, I think), but the very essence of it is that if you are a buyer you can get something very cheap.

From a money-making perspective, anyone can look to sell their services on the site. If you have a talent of some sort you might have found your marketplace. You could offer to write blog comments, create a logo, do a voice over and so on.

So what do I love?
Well, as someone that has their own business interests there are a lot of things I either don’t want to do or simply can’t do. So if I want to outsource something really basic (like the design of my business cards) it’s actually pretty cheap to use someone like Fiverr.

From an income-generating perspective, you can stick some “gigs” on the site and earn money when a client wants your services. It’s that simple. You can also offer supplementary services and increase your revenue. For example, you could offer to review someone’s resume and your supplementary service could be to review their cover letter as well. You get a rating from the buyer based on the quality of your offering and speed of response. A good rating can enhance your reputation and allow you to sell more products.  

So what do I not like so much?
As you can imagine, if you’ve got a great service to offer, you may end up really underpricing yourself. Some of the services on there really don’t make sense to me. Offering to write 500-word articles for $5, for example, really does seem cheap – and particularly as you actually get closer to $4 once Fiverr takes its cut.

Admittedly, some sellers use it as a way to attract clients to other higher-price services. A "bait and switch" approach, if you will. But a lot of people on there don’t. Some are willing to work really hard for not a lot of money.

You’ve got to remember that you’re only earning (less than) $5. So if you’re putting a lot of time and energy in to complete a job, you've got to justify it to yourself somehow. If you are in a low-cost economy maybe it makes sense. For a lot of people it doesn't. In many ways the pricing structure is a race to the bottom. 

Those that do best on this site either manage to get buyers to buy plenty of supplementary gigs or have gigs that don’t require much additional work at all (e.g. I have a “white paper” on there which I simply sell to people for five bucks without doing any extra work).

Another problem as a buyer of the services is that the quality isn’t always the best. The business cards that I mentioned earlier weren’t great. The seller took ages to respond and kept on delaying. I guess he was doing dozens of others at that low price so probably wasn’t that bothered.

How have I done?
It took me a few months to see any traction at all on my two gigs. One service is related to career guidance, the other to do with personal finance coaching. To date I've made about $30. It's not a great sum but this income generator sits in the background as far as I'm concerned, particularly if I can sell more of my white paper for no extra effort. 

Admittedly, I haven’t been as active as I should in marketing the services on social media either. Still, in recent months I have seen some take up on the offerings and I look forward to this idea being a sleeper for me.

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