Look Out for Buyers Who "Bundle" Their Orders
This tip describes a situation that can easily happen to a Fiverr Seller who offers voiceovers, but could be applicable to any type of service that is intended to be fulfilled on a one-at-a-time basis. It's a little trick we could call "order bundling."
Before I begin, let me give you an overview of where we're heading on this, by giving you a couple examples.
Let's say you design websites on Fiverr. The actual numbers don't matter for our example, but let's say for a home page and overall site design, you charge $250. For each additional page, you charge $25. Your gig says the extra pages must be ordered along with a full site design. In our example, the buyer purchases your services, but then asks you to do some additional pages for another website at $25 apiece, without paying the "price of admittance" for a different website. What they're asking you to do is to piggyback extra work into the order.
Now, let's say insrtead, that a buyer requests a custom offer to do a voiceover on a 537 word script. You round it up to 600 words and send them a bid of $70, including $60 for the voiceover, and $10 for commercial rights for the script.. Now the order comes, and you realize the document they sent isn't one script. It contains six of them, for six different videos! Before you buckle and just do it for that price, think about this for a moment!
If you had received those scripts each as separate orders, based on the rates my example was based on, they would have been up to $25 each, including rounding each script to the nearest 100 words, and adding commercial rights. That'd put the total at $150, more than twice what the project was bid at! By bundling the scripts into a single order like that, the buyer is making out like a bandit!
I'm bringing this up because I had a buyer do this the other day, and I really felt I had to take a stand. Let me lay out the situation for you. It was very much the same sort of situation. 537 words, my bid for it had been $80, but when the order was placed, it turned out to be a whole batch of scripts that, at my normal rates, with extras, would have totaled $200. I felt ill-used. When requesting an offer, the buyer had said, specifically, that it was a single script,
Before I tell you what I did, let me tell you what I do as a matter of course. Included in my order requirements is a question they must answer with either a Yes or a No. It reads as follows:
For their order to proceed, they have no choice but to answer this, and if they have selected "Yes," they really have no leg to stand on if they don't comply with the requirements mentioned there, especially since that same information is also spelled out elsewhere in my gig.
If someone doesn't comply and request the necessary extras, or tries to include multiple scripts in the same order, my first recourse isn't to throw a screen grab of their having agreed to what I shared just above. I hold that in reserve, to use later if they get fractious about it. Instead, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's always possible the buyer didn't understand, or assumed it was somehow ok to bundle items into an order. So, instead getting all "official" about it at first, I offer them a reasonable message and a compromise. Here's what I wrote in this case:
So, as a partial concession to him, on the assumption he may have done this innocently, I essentially offered to split the difference with him, doing the order for $140 rather than $200...with the proviso that, next time, "we will need to be at my regular rates per script." This shows I'm trying to be reasonable with him, but also won't be "rolled." The buyer responded well, saying...
So,, the $80 order became a $140 order, and if the buyer comes back in the future (which he may, since I get the feeling he thought I was trying to treat him fairly), the orders will be even higher, because he understands his orders will need to be at my regular rates.
Fiverr is already a great place for bargains. Even those who charge more than what is typical on Fiverr are often still selling at below the open market rates. There's no reason why we should compromise further by giving in to grievous demands such as "order bundling." If you're still working at building initial numbers on the platform, you may need to compromise (with a proviso), but resist the temptation to fold like a cheap suit. :-) It's surprising how often people will meet you halfway.
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