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Is Price "Backloading" a Good Idea on Fiverr?

When someone notices your gig on Fiverr, and they follow up with you, do they wind up paying more, or less, than they’re expecting?

Alright, a scenario. You’re a Fiverr buyer, and you search for someone who can do a good job of whatever it is you need done. Writing an article, or doing a voiceover, or creating a cartoon sketch, or something else. When the results come up, we see a gig image that catches our interest. The price seems super great, and their work seems great too. When we visit the gig, the demo looks or sounds terrific. What we’ll be talking about can apply just as well to pretty much any offering on Fiverr., but let’s make it voiceovers, since that’s the one I’m most conversant in.

Alright, so the buyer notices a voiceover gig. They were attracted by the gig image, impressed by the demo, and excited by the value, based on the price, which is only $5 for the first 100 words. They have a 500 word script, so the price will be 5 times 5. 25 bucks. Still more than reasonable! And after all, this person really does have the voice I need, and I was impressed with their demo.

They begin filling in the order details, and plug in their information, including the word count of 500. Suddenly, something strange happens. The amount to be charged jumps to $135. After some reflection, they realize that, while the first 100 words is $5, each additional 50 words is $10. In reading the description in the gig, they see that it’s required that commercial rights be added. They scroll down to the extras and discover Commercial Rights is $60. So their five dollar voiceover is going to actually cost $195. Then they happen to glance at the delivery time, and it’s four days. But if they want it faster, they can spend another $100 and get that.

The Impact

How is this making the buyer feel? Probably angry. Even if they have the $195 (or $295) to spend, they are likely to have lost a lot of respect for the seller, who was clearly playing the game of seriously back-loading their pricing. Dangle the low starting price, and then “get ‘em” afterwards.

Personally, I don’t like to see this. Maybe some buyers put up with it. Maybe some of the sellers who do it are even getting some sales. But I think, for every buyer who is willing to tolerate it, there’s more than one who will be turned off by it. And let me tell you why that is.

Why it's a Problem

An expression that used to be more popular than it is now, is “the large, economy size.” If an ounce of peanut butter in a small jar costs a certain number of cents, an ounce of peanut butter in a large jar costs less.” It’s the classic incentive to buy more. Now imagine if that was reversed. Suppose that the peanut butter actually cost more per ounce in the bigger jar. What are people going to do? Buy the small jars, of course. Or more likely, buy another brand that doesn’t do something that ridiculous with their pricing.

I think it’s not only fair, but expected, that a Fiverr buyer who orders more of something should see their price per unit either drop, or at least hold stable, if they get more. So I’m not an advocate of the backloading price technique. I’d rather have a starting price a little higher for, say, the first hundred words or whatever your commodity is, and then lower after that for each additional hundred words. To do the reverse shows a certain contempt of the buyer that, if I were the them, would really put me on my guard. And that’s not what we want. We want to genuinely have our buyer’s interests at heart in everything we do, including the structuring of our pricing.

Commercial Rights

For Fiverr gigs where a Commercial Rights extra is applicable, I have no problem with asking for that extra. But I think it looks weird if the Commercial Rights extra is higher than the starting price of the gig. If all they need is 100 words, and we’re charging $15 for that, it’s going to feel insulting to be stuck with twice or three times that for the right to use it.

None of this is to discourage you from charging whatever you think your services are worth, and what you think you can reasonably ask. Figure out what that number needs to be, and charge it! All I’m saying is, consider the psychology of the buyer when you’re structuring your pricing. Being up-front with buyers is better than playing “gotcha” on the back end.

There's so much you and I can do together to improve your gig's performance. Schedule your Gig Doctor appointment by hitting the Gig Checkup link at the top of this page for an inexpensive personalized checkup and consultation!

For those of you who do voiceovers, or who are interested in entering that fun profession, I can help there too. Check out my voiceover coaching services.

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