22 Days On Fiverr + Income Report

Fiverr.com

An eCommerce platform centered around providing services at a rate of $5.00 per gig. Having came across Fiverr in the past I never really thought anything of it. The design community seems to strongly feel it disrespects the true value of design. Having recently seen Fiverr mentioned numerous times in a negative light by many in the design community, I decided to do some research on this cost versus quality market place.

Fiverr Marketing Backlash

Browsing the services offered by sellers in the various categories listed on Fiverr I quickly noticed some of top sellers who have completed hundreds if not thousands of successful orders.

Over 4,000 Fiver Sales

Example 1

$5.00 x 1000 orders = $5,000.00

Simple math. Seems easy enough. If you can turn it into passive income with little effort, why not let some extra cash find its way into your PayPal account right ?

Well a few Google searches later and I quickly came across various forum posts which stated that sellers actually only make a profit of about $3.96 per order. Doing a little bit note research it this turned out to be true.

Example 2

$5.00 order — $1.04 in fees = $3.96

Fiverr keeps approximately $1.00 while PayPal collects its small fee of a few cents for being the payment processor.

Now lets use Example 1 from above once again. If 1,000 orders were completed at $5.00 minus $1.04 in fees we are left with $3,960.00 in profit.

$5,000.00 — $1040.00 fees = $3,960.00 profit

You would be left with $3,960.00 in profit after Fiverr and Paypal take their respective fees. Which leaves a combined total loss of $1040.00 in fees. That $5.00 per order seems less attractive now, but if you could turn it into passive income its still extra income right ? I thought lets find out.

The Experiment

Being the curious mind that I am and having an entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to try an experiment. What if I offered a simple design service on Fiverr ? I decided that I would do zero marketing of these services. Strictly an experiment to see if any profit could be generated from Fiverr.

For transparency purposes I want to make it clear that I literally wanted to put the least amount of effort into gaining sales and completing orders during this experiment. I would still maintain a respectable level of quality in order to respect the customers purchase of service.

Zero marketing.
Zero link sharing.
Zero telling anyone about the gigs.

I would literally create an account, post up a gig, leave the account alone, and see if orders would come in all by themselves (which surprisingly they did).


**I deeply care about the quality of my design work and my clients (customers). This experiment does not reflect the quality of work nor amount of time I would dedicate to each project under normal circumstances.**


The Goal

The goal was to see if a passive income could be generated.

After I created an account and posted a gig I left the account alone. Well besides adding a few example images and a header banner, I did nothing else. As I mentioned before I did not share the gig in any way shape or form with anyone. After about a week of zero activity a few order notifications started to pop into my inbox. I assume this was due to Fiverr featuring a newly posted gigs section on their website and mobile app and my gig making its way into the rotation.

Fiverr Gig I Posted

I can also only assume that the quality of the samples that I posted had an influence on the initial orders.


Results

The Experiment Fiverr URL :

http://www.fiverr.com/joseph013/design-a-professional-agency-quality-cd-cover?funnel=201408110209294874494100

Please note that these are results for the first 22 days below. The live URL above reflects past 22 days. As of writing this I have completed over 70 orders that have yet to be reviewed and rated. I've included the Fiverr experiment URL for transparency purposes.

Fiverr Analytics Dashboard

99% Positive Rating

Meaning all customers were satisfied and left no negative ratings. Quite a surprise to me. I would have expected a 70–85% rating or even 90%.

55 Out of 55 Orders Completed

Successfully completed all orders with little issue and few revisions. Again quite a surprise to me as I figured I would get a few customers whose vision wouldn’t completely match up with what I designed for them. There were revisions yes but nothing that made a customer cancel an order.

55 Out of 55 Five Star Ratings

All customers left the maximum 5 star rating after their designs were delivered. I must say once again quite a surprise given the fact I was assuming there would be some difficult customers to deal with. I really found it hard to believe everyone was happy. We’re customers truly happy ? It seemed so. I mean I could only assume so based of the ratings.

36 Positive Comment Reviews

36 customers left positive reviews about the designs they received and the quality of service provided to them. They were appreciative of the fast turn around and quality of the designs they received. Regardless if they understood cost versus quality.

Fiverr Comments & Reviews

19 No Comments Left

19 customers did not leave any feedback but did leave the maximum 5 star rating which signifies they were satisfied.

My Thoughts On My Statistics :

A 99% positive rating is kind of funny. It’s just to perfect for a sellers marketplace. At one point I began to view Fiverr as a design game of lets see how fast I could complete an order and still receive a 5 star positive rating.

Gamification ? Pretty much that’s how I viewed it at one point.

Playing a game of how fast can I get it done was not necessarily in the best interest of the customers, but I always made sure to at deliver something respectable. After all they did make a purchase.


Orders By Location

30 USA

10 UK

5 Liberia

4 Germany

2 Australia

2 Canada

2 Netherlands

No surprises here. I figured the majority of orders would come from the USA as well as a couple of international locations being that Fiverr is a world wide market place.


Sales Profits

55 Orders x $5.00 = $275.00

Total after Fiverr and Paypal Fees :

55 Orders x $3.96 = $217.80

Total Profit

$217.80

Payments clear individually two weeks after their completion date which is quite a long time and makes it difficult to ever be paid a lump sum at once. Meaning $4.00 can clear Monday, then $16.00 Tuesday, $0 Wednesday, $4.00 Thursday and so forth.

The payment system is definitely something I was not happy with. Once the payments cleared I simply withdrew them into my PayPal account in seconds. No issues there. Gladly used $4.00 on a burger and fries, $16.00 on gas, and so forth. You get the picture. It trickles in slowly in small amounts most of the time.


Final Thoughts

After the first few orders came in, it was a snowball effect from there on out. I began to receive at least an order a day if not a few orders a day. The orders have still continued to roll in after the first 22 days. I have to strongly assume this is because I delivered what I guess would be considered “good” quality design given the low cost low quality marketplace.

On average I spent about 10–15 minutes per order. The maximum limit being 20 minutes. These orders were completed in my spare time at random times of the morning, afternoon, and night. Quality wise I always tried to deliver something respectable given the time restraints of the experiment. About half the orders requested slight revisions or typo fixes but nothing complex or overly time consuming. Obviously not completely passive income at all as I came to find out.

On another note, the design communities negative reactions towards Fiverr are understandable. The argument seems to be affordable design versus degrading the true value and worth of designers. I agree with the statements made by most about degrading the value and true worth of designers. But on the other hand there are many sellers using Fiverr who aren’t concerned about the true worth of designers or the value of their work. There will always be people who will happily work for less.

Will I continue to be a seller on Fiverr ?

Yes and no. I’ll probably keep the gig up a bit longer just to see what happens. I’ve unlocked level one gig extras which allows me to make more than $5.00 per gig now so I’ll let it run a little longer before shutting it down just to see if profits double at all. If I let the gig stay I am sure it would hit the 100 order mark quickly. However, I still prefer to do quality work with quality clients as a professional under my own terms and professional rates.

Fiverr skips the real discussions, problem solving, phone conversations, emails, and etc. You’re not allowed to contact a customer outside of Fiverr. How would we ever be passionate about these design projects with no real human connection ?

In The End

The customers browsing Fiverr are just honestly not the kind of customers I am passionate about working for. They are not bad customers, they are just seeking something different from design. They are solving a cost problem for themselves. Not a design problem. Not a user problem. Not a world problem. They are not interested in how you can deliver value to them through design. They don’t necessarily want to be educated either.

Fiverr is not a viable source of income unless you are pumping out orders like a machine.

Interestingly enough, Sasha Grief explains his side from the perspective as a Fiverr Buyer. So there you have it. Both sides of the fence.

Cost versus Quality.

If you like this post, I’d love it if you hit “recommend” below You can view my portfolio, writing, and artwork over at www.JosephFeliciano.com