Fiverr’s “Fair” Order Review System Sucks



I was happy when I woke up today because I was going to work on my new project, SiteHatch.io, which provides (not anymore) WordPress setup services and static website development services.

But that changed because a review came in on Fiverr from that special type of client.

I have a couple of quick gigs on Fiverr.

So, now, instead of working, I’m ranting.

Awww, What Happened?

Recently, I started getting more orders from buyers that don’t contact me first, even though it’s the first thing I mention on the gigs’ description, with bold and yellow background!

gig description fiverr

I know, I know… Most people don’t have the patience for anything nowadays, including reading a small gig description which is vital for what they’re about to spend their money and time on.

Buyers that don’t contact me first, immediately raise a red flag for me and freak me out. 90% of the time, they’re trouble.

It most likely means that they went cowboy and didn’t read anything except for the gig’s title.

Once upon a time…

The pattern started a few weeks ago when someone bought my gig without – you guessed – contacting me first.

Fortunately, it was fine, and I delivered the gig quickly. The buyer marked the order as completed, without asking for revisions, and left positive feedback but a 4-star rating!

fiverr positive feedback low rating


How can one be satisfied with someone’s work, say it was a “Great choice” and then slam a 4-star rating on 3 different levels?

We didn’t even communicate! He ordered (directly) > I delivered > he accepted the work without complaints.

So, how can one leave a 4-star rating for Communication With Seller if there was no communication?

How can you rate poorly something that didn’t even happen/exist?

He assumed that if we would’ve communicated, it wouldn’t have been so good?

I can’t wrap my head around it. It makes my nose bleed thinking about it.

I also contacted the buyer to see if it’s a mistake, which has happened before, but nope.

The buyer thought that a “Great choice” deserves a 4-star rating on 3 different levels. πŸ™‚

This was my first non-5-star rating, and it dropped my gig’s rating to 4.9. Thanks!

At least I can block buyers, which I did. It made me feel better.

But wait! It gets much better!

This was the one that triggered me enough to write this rant.

A few days ago, I got another order, without prior contact, of course.

Oh, it was a treat, especially because the buyer wrote in Portuguese!

fiverr gig requirements in Portuguese

I just love people who start writing in their language like you’re supposed to know it. Except for English, which is the universal language.

Anyway, I used Google Translate and I got this (I replaced the link):

I need an icon that represents my site https://example.com/, the blog talks about production engineering student does to have a Home Office job via digital entrepreneurship and affiliate marketing. As the colors can something that matches with the logo.

Obviously, the buyer didn’t read/understand the description and didn’t provide the required files. He only attached a screenshot of his website.

Luckily, the site’s address was provided, and I was able to download the logo file and work with that.

I delivered the work, the buyer marked it as complete without asking for revisions, then left positive feedback but a 3.7 rating!

fiverr positive feedback low rating

The feedback was in Portuguese, of course, and it translates with Google Translate to:

I enjoyed working, delivered the order very quickly.

Another customer who’s happy in the feedback and annoyed in the ratings.

How does that even work?

It’s like a teacher praising a student for doing a great job on their test, then puts a D grade on it.

And again, as the previous buyer I pointed out above, a 4-star rating for Communication With Seller, when there was none!

I don’t think there could have been one either, since I doubt that the buyer knows English at all.

One more damn reason to contact the seller first to see if you can understand each other enough to work together!

And a 3-star rating for Service as Described?

Assuming he did read the description:

  1. He didn’t understand what I’m offering? Wasn’t I specific enough? If so, why did he purchase something he didn’t know what it is exactly? Why didn’t he contact me to make sure?
  2. He thought he understood, but he was wrong and was looking for something else? According to the feedback, he was happy with what he got and how he got it (“quickly”).

It doesn’t make any sense.

Anyway, this dropped my rating further, to 4.5, which, of course, led to the downgrade of my Level One status.

fiverr level downgrade email
Fiverr email
level one seller goals fiverr
These are just a part of the goals needed

Could you imagine how devastated I would be if my income would depend on those Fiverr gigs, as most sellers depend on?

Two clients who don’t know ‘how to human’ on a buyer-biased platform! That’s all it takes to ruin your hard work, income, and well-being!

Obviously, I blocked the buyer and also reported him for being a menace. Nothing will happen, but it made me feel twice as good.

What Does This Have to Do with Fiverr’s Sucky Order Review System?

Well, after some time, Fiverr thought that it was fair not to let sellers see the buyers’ review until after they leave a review themselves.

It might sound good in theory, but in practice, it sucks! And it affects sellers most, of course.

Sellers leave good reviews because they have to

Unless something went horribly wrong, most sellers won’t leave a bad review, especially when they don’t know the buyer’s review.

That’s because they don’t want to look like jerks if the seller left a maximum rating and they didn’t, and, more importantly, they don’t want to drive away their clients.

  • A lot of sellers work on Fiverr full-time!
  • They can’t afford the luxury of losing clients.
  • Having recurring customers is better than chasing new ones. So, they need the clients to come back, even if some or most are difficult. Their income depends on them!

Do you think a client will return if you leave them a 3-star rating and feedback like:

The client didn’t contact me first! He can’t read or something. Thank you! Come again!”.

Hell, no.

So, sellers are forced indirectly to leave positive reviews if they want clients to come back and make money.

Hell, even I left positive feedback and ratings to those two, and I make peanuts on Fiverr. It’s not my full-time job there, I don’t really care.

I left positive feedback because:

  1. I’m nice like that;
  2. Since the buyers didn’t complain nor ask for revisions, I thought everything went well in the end, despite the fact that they didn’t contact me first and all that. So, I was expecting a good review. Thus, I decided not to be a dick about it and give them a poor review, even if deserved.

But now, I feel like a jackass!

fiverr order review

Look at me, thanking and leaving a 5-star rating to someone who messes up sellers’ ratings because they can’t think rationally.

More fair would have been for me to see the buyer’s rating, as it was back in the day. That way, I can leave a review for someone like that based on the whole picture.

As in, the buyer didn’t even bother to read the description, asked for stuff in Portuguese, and also left me a bad rating that doesn’t even reflect the feedback? Not to mention reality…

Ok. Then, I won’t be Mr. Nice Guy, and I’ll tell my side of the story as it happened, so other sellers can be aware.

But that’s if I can afford to lose a client, because they won’t come back after a bad review, of course. Most sellers can’t afford that.

Now, because I expected them to leave a review that reflects reality, I didn’t want to be a dick, so I left a good one for both of them.

So, now they got away with “murder”! They’re going to kill other sellers’ ratings.

Sellers can’t ask buyers to change their reviews anymore

In the past, you could contact the buyer to find out why they left a bad review, especially in irrational cases like the ones I mentioned above: no complaints, positive feedback with a low rating.

You could also provide them with further revisions to improve the end product until they were happy enough to change the review.

Basically, you could’ve worked things out so everyone can be happy.

But now, it’s against Fiverr’s rules to contact buyers about the reviews. They have to ask you first, like that’s going to happen.

They also made it difficult for buyers to change the review. They have to contact support.

fiverr feedback

So, even if they somehow feel some kind of remorse and want to change the unfair review, they’ll probably change their mind once they find out that they have to contact support and write the details about the situation.

If a buyer doesn’t have the patience to read a small gig description, you can rest assured that they won’t contact support to do you a favor.

This sucks even more when someone leaves you a bad rating by mistake, which has happened to me in the past.

I asked the buyer if the rating was a mistake, since she was very happy with the result and also left positive feedback.

She said that it was, she apologized and changed the review.

But back then it was easy. Buyers could change reviews themselves, or you could send them a request to change it, if I remember correctly.

Will I start leaving “fair” reviews from now on?

Probably not πŸ™‚ , because most clients won’t read the description, won’t contact you first, and so on. That’s just how it is and will be. Working with people is not easy.

But, most of the time, everything works out fine in the end.

So, if everything works out fine in the end and the client is nice, I’m willing to overlook their mistakes and leave a good review.

Just so I can wake up with an “Amazing job!” feedback with a 3-star rating attached to it for no rational reason!

So, that’s why the current order review system is broken. Because, unlike buyers, one way or another, most sellers will always tend to leave good reviews if they can’t see the whole picture.

End of Rant

Feels good, man! πŸ™‚

If you want to rant, too, please do so in the comments section.

About Radu

I've been working online, from home, for over 8 years. I've learned a lot of stuff, such as SEO, web development, and so on, but my main expertise is WordPress.


  1. really sad man! fiverr doesn’t care about sellers! this happens with me so many times! πŸ™

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, for the time being, sellers just have to put up with it if starting over somewhere else is not an option.

      This month, I got downgraded from Level One again. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m curious is there a way around it? Like can you check your profile from another computer/IP address to see what feedback the buyer left first? Does thier feedback show up to other buyers even though you haven’t left them feedback? I have noticed that if they leave anything less than 5.0 you can reply but at this point if the seller leaves good feedback first they look kind stupid with a reply. The system is unfair and broken and in the long run it’s taking money out of fiverrs pockets because fed up sellers that have good gigs move on to other outlets or create thier own website(s) where they have more control over how the transaction goes. I was making a lot of capitol on fiverr when I first started but then they started becoming more unfair with sellers with thier stupid rating system which half the time was the buyers fault for not properly communicating or reading the description. Fiverr also punishes you if you try to cancel an order you know isn’t going to work out, Pretty shitty business model to be one sided!

    1. Like can you check your profile from another computer/IP address to see what feedback the buyer left first?

      Never thought of this. Sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try.

      Does thier feedback show up to other buyers even though you haven’t left them feedback?

      Don’t know this either.

      fed up sellers that have good gigs move on to other outlets or create thier own website(s)

      I think it’s the opposite. Fiverr is one-sided because they know that the sellers are pretty much bound to their platform because:

      • Fiverr is unique because you wait for customers to hire you. You don’t have to hunt for gigs all day, apply to them, write cover letters and stuff. It’s more convenient and not so time-consuming.
      • The vast majority of sellers already have deep roots there. They already have ratings, recurring customers, orders, levels, etc. They’re reluctant to give all that up and start from 0 somewhere else. It’s very risky. Starting and succeeding from 0 on another marketplace where there are tens of thousands of well-established freelancers and gigs can become mission impossible.
      • Creating your own website is easy, but getting customers isn’t, trust me. I know that firsthand. If you don’t have marketing in your blood to efficiently promote your services, you’re doomed. Even buying ads won’t work. I tried that too.
      • Fiverr has a ton of traffic, traffic that sellers don’t have to get themselves, as they would if running their own website. They don’t have to blog to bring traffic, buy ads, etc. Even if the traffic gets split among the high amount of gigs on Fiverr, they still have a better chance of getting orders.

      So, almost no seller will leave Fiverr unless they don’t have much to lose or they’re sure that they can make money quickly in another way.

  3. I feel your pain! Not only that, but I just found out that the 20% fee that Fiverr takes might not be tax-deductible #ShootMe

  4. Feels like everything you write here is for me :'( I provide SEO service and seller leave 1.7 star review after placing direct order because my grammar has mistakes and images I submit was not cropper in a way the buyer want.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. It doesn’t surprise me, though. As you can see from my post, I got a crappy rating even if the buyer was satisfied with the service, so… πŸ™‚ All you can do is get used to it and try to improve your service as much as possible to prevent as many bad reviews as you can.

  5. A buyer reluctantly placed the order after I had done half of the work (I know that it is not the right way, but I was happy to ger some work and thought it was a normal gig). And I agreed to do it for a reduced rate. But the buyer never checked the updates properly (as to whether I got it right or not) and kept on giving mulitple modifications and revisions in parts. During the order duration, there was no proper clearance on whether the update was what the buyer wanted or not. And, a couple of days after the order was automatically marked as complete, the buyer told me that the file doesn’t work and the work done is crap, whilst justifying his/her own actions (not revealing the gender) and blaming the bad work on me. Had the buyer told me the mistakes all at once, right at the start, the order would have gone smoothly.

    1. I feel you. Unfortunately, that’s just business as usual when working with clients in general, not just on Fiverr.

  6. Just a suggestion…
    A good way to get your ratings up is to exchange ratings with other fiverr sellers.
    Send each other a custom order for $5, submit anything just to complete the order then give each other a 5* rating.
    And repeat till it gets yr rating up.

    1. Thanks! I’m aware of this. I’ve seen a lot of sellers doing it. Luckily, I don’t depend on Fiverr. I mainly use it to make some quick money to cover some small expenses, such as my Photoshop subscription. If it were my main source of income, I would be on medication by now because it can drive you crazy. πŸ™‚ Even today I got an order without contact first, which pissed me off. πŸ™‚

  7. I’ve been feeling bad all morning because I received a ‘bad’ review yesterday. It wasn’t really that bad, 4.3 stars, but on fiverr it’s bad especially since I’m a new seller with few reviews. Luckily I’ve received 5 star reviews from other sellers so I’m at 4.7 stars clinging for life. I hope it doesn’t discourage other buyers from using my services. He also commented on grammatical errors which surprised me because he never complained about that, he did require revisions to add some extra details he wanted in the article. I’m guessing the grammatical errors are in the first draft I sent him for him to review the tone of the article but I corrected everything before delivery.

    1. I’m sorry. I know how you feel. Stuff like that piss me off and ruin my day as well. Something like that also happened to me once, where the buyer didn’t complain to me, didn’t ask for a revision, but complained in the review. πŸ™‚ A lot just lack common sense and don’t know “how to human”. Nothing will change, unfortunately, no matter how good your service is.

      If you write articles, I strongly recommend using Grammarly, if you don’t use it already. At least the free version. It’s a lifesaver. No matter how many times I read an article, it still founds some basic mistakes.

    1. Sorry! πŸ™ Eventually, you’ll improve the overall rating from your future orders.

      I got demoted from Level 1 again last month because of one cancellation, because no one reads the gig description. πŸ™‚

  8. Ugh, I feel all of this! I recently finished an order, was given a GREAT review (5 stars) AND a tip! A few days later, the client decided she didn’t like something and went to FIVERR to complain. Without asking me a thing, FIVERR froze my earnings (couldn’t deposit them into Paypal), on ALL, not just hers, orders. I of course had a direct mortgage coming out of my bank and absolutely at the very least needed all other earnings, if not hers. Instead of working, I was wasting time contacting Fiverr trying to get my money. Eventually they unfroze my account, but took away all of her payment ($300). When I questioned them, wondering how they could do this, when she marked the order complete, left me a 5-star review and a tip they gave me the runaround until the eventually gave me half of my earnings from her order.

    Basically, Fiverr has the seller trapped.

    1. Wow! You were almost treated like a scammer. I don’t even understand how that’s possible, especially when the client gave you a 5-star rating and a tip. Fiverr should have told the client to ask for a revision. Even so, that would have been a courtesy from you, since the order was marked as completed and well-reviewed. Thus, you wouldn’t have been obligated to offer a revision.

      I recommend that you slowly try out other alternatives as a safety net or to get rid of Fiverr completely, even though the situation is more or less the same on other freelancing platforms. Seller bias is pretty much everywhere because, as you mentioned, they trap you there. They know it’s not easy to just pack your bags and start over somewhere else. And even if you do, there are other sellers who will take your place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *