If you are a beginner, intermediate or even seasoned voice actor, the online freelancers' world of Gigs may be appealing for part of your income. Fiverr is one such online Gig platform. The appeal is real: no auditions for jobs, no annual membership fees to be a VO actor, loads of wonderful creative contacts made, setting your own fees for services (even upwards of non-union rates), great place to warm up and practice as a newbie, plenty of good additions to your portfolio, runs on a timer so you can keep your clients happy with their deadlines easily. The cons? Well, bear with me, as the list is just as long if not longer. Poor customer service that is untimely (24-48 hr wait) and not thorough at all (robotic responses) until you press them to carefully look at your requests, awfully sensitive algorithm that flags and bans words for violation of Trust and Safety rules such as Pay even if it is a word in a script you are voicing for the financial industry, too controlling and regulation Trust and Safety disallowing one to list outside sites even though they are your portfolios (they do allow Vimeo, but not business websites), they do not allow Buyers and Sellers to connect directly on email or Skype or phone even if you are voicing an IVR system and have to call it in or need to connect to discuss more efficiently how to proceed with the projects, their uploading system for files and Gig videos is glitchy often, they take a 20% commission on all work when it should ideally be 10-15% especially since they offer little support and are not active in finding you jobs, and many Sellers are cheap and try to undercut your worth and when you decline their work they get rude, so you have to report them to Fiverr for bad behavior.
So if you are like me, an 18-year veteran of the VO industry from a major market and now charge non-union (higher) rates on Fiverr for your work in order to not lower the standards in your industry, you book 1200 jobs in two years, get 100% 5-star reviews from 830 clients, are favorited by 970 clients, you are consistently on the first page of searches/recommendations for leading VO talent on the site, you've made an extra $25,000 income from working only 1-2 hrs/day and charging respectable prices (not $5), you have make Fiverr a $5000 commission, and you have followed and respected the Terms of Service in refusing to connect with clients outside of the platform, you can still have your account closed permanently by Trust and Safety for the *3 times* you have listed your professional website for your clients' clients to peruse (likely clients who don't want their clients to know they are hiring a Fiverr talent...). Yes, I did broach their ToS a few times siting my website in messages, but it was merely for my Sellers' clients. Sad, because they should weigh that against the dozens of times in 2 yrs that I have declined Sellers' requests to connect via email or phone or Skype, etc. I have defended them and their idiotic rules more times than I can count. What a foolish company who would cancel an acct of a seasoned and popular talent who brings them a modicum of respect in an otherwise detested site who gets a Better Business Bureau rating of "F"! Not a company with which I want to be associated! Once I get my $700 they are holding for 90 days (??!!), I will start to post my story on their forum for folks to read. I may write an opinion piece for the NY Times or Forbes too. Meantime, I have to make up my income lost not having them as part of my job market opportunities. They are a fraction, but an important one. $13K year one, $17K year two, and growing.
Here's a typical example of a good, talented, experienced, good money-earning Seller on Fiverr who also got removed:
Marie writes, "This is a great post and I loved reading all of the comments. My partner and I just spent a year on Fiverr killing ourselves to build a business that ended up making $4k / month (after the 20% Fiverr commission). Keep in mind it was 2 people working on it roughly part-time. We were feeling so good about it that we even created a Udemy course about how to become a Fiverr PRO, sharing all of our tips and insights etc. However we had started to become disenchanted for all of the reasons that have been stated in this comment string — shitty buyer scammers, too much back & forth, too many cancellations of large orders to avoid negative reviews, too much haggling, crap Customer Suppor from Fiverr… Basically we had started to feel degraded and had started looking into shifting the business into other areas.
And them BOOM! Last week our account became frozen. We suddenly could not access our buyers… An after days of asking Customer Support (it was like pulling teeth), we were told that our account was deactivated because we had suggested to a customer *once* to go on Skype to discuss our $670 order and get it finished, because it had dragged on for 6 weeks. We tried to reason with them and explain that we were not aware that this was such a huge violation, that we are a 5-Star rated seller with rave reviews, and that we have invested a lot of our marketing and resourced into our Fiverr business. But it was like banging on a brick wall — the answer was still: Go Away.
Over the course of the year we dealt with approximately 3,000 buyers and came across some very abusive people — people who have told us ”Go f*ck yourself” and ”You f*cking c*nt” and ”I’m gonna track you down and beat the sh*t out of you”…. I just checked and as of today, these buyers are still active on Fiverr. But hey, I guess they never created such a heinous crime as asking someone to use Skype?" - Marie
It's all good. It served its purpose for two years as an extra income and practice in new genres. But I really have always been embarrassed at working on Fiverr at all, as it's so detested in the VO industry, and, although I was charging my clients non-union rates that are more respectable, and although I made a ton of truly great work of which I am proud, and although I have made great connections with clients in genres I had not experienced prior (like E-Learning, IVR/Telephony, Podcast Intros & Outros), I am done. Fiverr truly is beneath my stature and undeserving of my talent and experience. I really am a big believer in Darwin's survival of the fittest as well as karma, and surely this mediocre company cannot survive long the way they treat their clients, both Sellers and Buyers, at least not as anything else but an "F" rated company.
- Genevieve, Genevieve Hannon Voice Overs