Fiverr Review – Unfulfilled expectations of a buyer – A personal review

Fiverr Review. The marketplace for service gigs. I liked Fiverr the first time I saw it. It seemed so great, no matter if you need a proofreader, blogger, celebrity voice over, or a new business card design. Almost everything is a few fingertips away for the low price of $5. At the same time, Fiverr’s whole concept seemed to be too good to be true, and asked myself how MyHelpster should keep up with this rising Internet giant.


I mean, there’s no doubt that what Fiverr achieved in the last few years is impressive. In less than 5 years, the company became one of the top 150 globally searched websites. Fiverr raises one round of financing after another (the last was its Series C with $30m in 2014) while attracting millions of freelancers and customers at the same pace which is something most marketplaces, like Google Hangouts, could not keep up with.


It seemed all too perfect and I was left wondering where that journey would go and if MyHelpster would find its niche next to this fast growing Internet giant. I mean, don’t get me wrong, other marketplaces (oDesk) experienced similar successes, but what made me so worried about Fiverr was the fact that these guys focused on small tasks called “Gigs”. Such Gigs are the root of Fiverr`s success. Each Gig is a clearly defined service for a pre-defined price. This simplicity causes a service shopping convenience other marketplaces cannot offer. At other marketplaces you have to find the right expert,  compare candidates, negotiate prices, and clarify their skill set. All this is something worth doing,  if you have a decent sized project ahead of you and are willing to dedicate some time for research. However, this is not an option if you have only a small task such as adjusting the design of your business card. In this case Fiverr is by far the best option.
Anyways, seeing this prospective competitor arising, it was time for me to dig deeper and to experience not just the engaging interface but the core of their business: the service(s) itself.


That’s what I did. I started to order a bunch of Gigs. Concretely, I ordered six Gigs to “write 1000-word articles” for our third party blog and I ordered a back-link for our website to be placed on a so-called Tier 1 website, a website with large traffic, which should supposedly increase our SEO ranking and draw external traffic.


To make it short, each single Gig was a disappointment.


Four of the written blog posts were of no use at all. In three cases, the quality of English and the whole text composition was so poor that it was impossible to even understand what they were writing about, even though I had given these freelancers clear instructions about content and structure (a waste of time). Anyways, I came to the conclusion that all three articles were not composed by native speaking Americans, as stated in the Gig description, but instead by article writing robots.


At first, the last blog post seemed very promising. Very good English, great structure, and only the content was slightly different from what I instructed. Well, the reason for that was given quickly. I checked some phrases of the text in Google. Surprise! Surprise! This article had been published before on another blog from a reputational Telegraph journalist. Hence, this guy had simply copied the text, changed a few sentences, and that was it. A major hazard considering that Google penalizes any form of content copying, and that the original writer of the article had probably not liked it either.


Lastly, the link placement of this allegedly “high traffic website”. There was a blog post on the indicated website and, as promised, it contained two do-follow backlinks to our website. However, when I searched for it on Google, I could not find the post and also my Analytics report indicated neither incoming links, let alone any traffic from the website. I don’t really know how they were able to trick me in this case, as Alexa and other tools showed high traffic for this blog. But the bottom line is the result was as disappointing as the other ones (this Gig had cost me $65, contrasting the other six $10 per article Gigs).


I started wondering how all the Gigs I ordered were able to get such good reviews—one of them had 1,500+ positive reviews—even though the quality I got was more than disappointing. The answer? I don’t really know, but I simply guess that lots of people don’t even check the content they are getting and just upload it to their website—a major potential threat for their reputation and digital footprint.


Anyways, the bottom line is that there is both good and bad news. Bad news is I wasted $105 on Gigs of no use. Good news is that there is a clear niche for MyHelpster, and Fiverr doesn’t seem as perfect as I first thought. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I might expect too much. I say this because I talked to a friend who ordered a Sean Connery voice over and whom was very satisfied with the result he got. However, my first great impression about Fiverr is gone. All services had been a waste of time and money, as well as a potential threat for my online reputation. Seriously, who wants to publish copied articles from Telegraph journalists?


In the future, I will probably keep browsing through the website as I love to discover the variety of different services. I might also buy a personal song for my girlfriend. But for my professional life, I will never use Fiverr again.

On the other side, if you decide it is not time to give up Fiverr yet, follow these tips so you can get yourself better service and read about the dangers of hiring a virtual assistant. We also found a new way to train new experts and gain massive benefit. See how.


Written by Bjoern Wind

Bjoern Wind is Co-founder and CEO of MyHelpster. He has a MSc Management from the Nova Business School and worked three years in the energy industry.