Update: Fiverr has since removed this person’s account from their network.
Recently I decided to hire someone from Fiverr to do some work for me. The gig I ordered was for development work, specifically to integrate the JV Zoo payment API into a PHP script. In the past I’ve always sold downloadable software on JV Zoo which doesn’t require the API. I did have a little experience with the API and another plugin called Member Jet. But this was a done for your solution and didn’t require any coding. Anyway back to the fiverr gig…
The Gig I ordered had a special instruction to contact the seller with requirements before ordering. This is typical with development type work because every project is different. However, I’ve noticed that Fiverr now offers higher priced “custom gigs” that sellers (including the one I hired) offer. Still I decided to contact them per their instructions and see if they could help me with my project. They quoted me $100 to do the work and wanted half up front.
I was a little hesitant to pay them off of the platform, especially since I knew about the new custom gigs. The seller had really good feedback on all of their other projects though so I decided to do what they instructed me to. I wired $50 via xoom.com to their bank account because their country “Pakistan” doesn’t accept PayPal (according to them I didn’t verify this but I didn’t care really).
This is where things started to go down hill…
When the seller initially asked me of my requirements I told him I wanted the project done in 5 days. This was based on the launch which I already had scheduled (and ended up delaying multiple times).
3 weeks passed and the only thing I got from the seller was a bunch of excuses. He couldn’t access his computer, he was staying at a friends, etc. Finally I asked if he could finish before the weekend which again he told me he could do. 2 days passed and again no communication. I told the seller if they didn’t finish in 48 hours I would have to hire someone else. Still no communication.
Now, I’m not writing this to vent. Okay I kind of am… But I wanted to warn people of what happened to me in hopes maybe it will save someone from making the same mistake. I’ve worked with plenty of developers throughout my career and my time as an entrepreneur. I did feel uncomfortable about this off site transaction on Fiverr at first and I should have trusted my gut… It would have saved me $50.
The only reason I went to Fiverr was because oDesk was going bad too. My reliable developer on oDesk eventually told me he wouldn’t do any more projects unless we were 50 / 50 partners. This is someone I was paying for all of their hours out of my own pocket for every project we ever did from the beginning. And now they were refusing to work anymore unless they owned 50% of my business.
The lesson learned from all of this is to stick to the rules of the network. While I have since reported this person to Fiverr they still remain active and their gigs are all active at the time of this writing. Which means that Fiverr hasn’t taken any type of negative action towards them that I can see. I’ll give them time and update this post if I see anything change. But keep in mind this means that a seller with a seemingly good reputation on Fiverr could still be ripping people off that can’t leave feedback.
Because you can only leave feedback for gigs ordered on Fiverr.
My advice is to only buy custom gigs from reputable sellers and never pay anyone for anything outside of the site. If someone asks you to pay them off of the site because they don’t want to lose a percentage of the sale to the network or for whatever reason just don’t do it. These networks are set up to protect you from fraud in the best way possible and if someone is trying to circumvent them for any reason, regardless of how trustworthy they may seem, you should avoid it at all costs. To this day I don’t know if the seller intended to defraud me but that doesn’t matter. Part of your responsibility as someone who provides a service for value is to do that service within a reasonable amount of time.
Because this project took so long I lost more than just the $50 I gave him. I invested over $150 into the script itself and now I have no way to sell it. The delays also cost me my launch which could have made me several thousand dollars along with all this time and momentum. I hired this guy because I wanted to free up my time to work on the sales page, jv page etc instead of investing so much of my time into programming. Unfortunately it cost me the whole project and a large part of my income.
In the end I feel bad for my customers who have to wait longer for this great product!