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How to Spot a "Problem" Fiverr Seller Before Your Start Working With Them

My approach of opening up a line of communication with a seller before moving forward with them has been weeding out a lot of bad apples.

Here was my recent request to get TSSB's email opt-in forms connected to TPM's email marketing service:

Here is his response:

The "I want to do this" was already a bit off to me, it shouldn't be a question first of if you want to do the job but if you can (and can do it well).

Then, one can position themself as the best person for the job by giving proof of ability.

But, the "I want to do this" came across as a self-interested/self-serving attitude (and maybe a little entitled) to me.

Then, the poor negotiation skills:

Him: But i want $50 for that

No reason provided and a poor format.

He didn't say that "$50 is closer to what he had in mind for a project of this size", or that the thinks "$50 would be more fair for the time and effort this project would demand (and then ask if I'm cool with that number)".

He just wants $50 and that's that.

Already decided not to work with him, but continued the conversation for fun and learning.

So, after asking for reasoning, here's what he says:

His first sentence just repeats what he wants (and it's starting to feel more and more like an entitled attitude).

Then, he gives a breakdown that he's charging $10 for each opt-in form (which is $60 for 6) and then giving a discount of $10 (bringing us back down to $50).

And then, without asking for my thoughts or if I agree that it's fair, he goes straight into a custom offer request with double question marks.

So, I counter:

This guy charges $5 to build a whole website. However, it'll only be 1 page with 1 plugin.

His pricing then jumps to $70 for a five-page website with three plugins.

That's already weird, given that if one does the math, he's essentially charging $25 for a five-page website and then $15 per plugin—which would bring you to $40 at most. And yet, he somehow made it to $70.

And, BTW, for those of you who don't know, you can easily install plugins yourself for free through WordPress.

So, it definitely felt like he didn't understand pricing and he was possibly overcharging people.

And, in this case, we're not even talking about a website, we're talking about an opt-in form, which requires far less work.

And yet, he's pushing his price up to the same range as his website pricing?

Luckily, I miscommunicated what I needed in the beginning. I don't need him to build the forms (I'd already done that on TSSB), I only needed him to link them to TPM's email marketing service.

He annoyingly seeks clarification with all of those unneeded extra question marks and I clarify:

He responds:

This guy just found out that 80-90% of the work is already done for him, he only needs to connect the forms now.

And, he only takes off ten bucks?

Of course, it was never really about the money, it was about seeing where his head was at in terms of what he believes is fair.

He's going off of the budget I put in my custom order to avoid breaking rapport with a number outside of that now, but:

  1. I put $40 to test his character: knowing it was close to what he charges to build a full website
  2. $40 is my budget, not a quote: so, seeing someone's budget and then charging at the very top of their budget even though the work involved doesn't demand so much is unethical to me

I respond:

I don't respond and, instead, walk away.

My personal feeling was that he saw the high budget (it was high for him/this project based on what he charges), saw the website (now he knows he's talking to a bestselling author), and saw a quick way to get more money, fast.

I didn't like that and knew from the beginning I didn't want to work with him (based off of his personality and attitude alone).

So, I leave and he starts chasing hard:

And, notice that last line, "What's the update?" as if he's entitled to an update from me.

To wrap up this story, I learned how to do it myself, for free, and it took all of 2-5 minutes.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Great analysis, Ali.

Poor social / negotiation skills from the start with:

But I want $50

As if you were asking to do it for free :).

And loved the ending with "I learned how to do it myself, for free, and it took all of 2-5 minutes".
Talking about an independent self-learning power move 😀

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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