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What Should I Charge on Fiverr?

This is the third in my blog series, "Why Isn't My Fiverr Gig Selling Better?" Last time, I spoke about what getting your gig found. This time, we'll concentrate on what we charge. My focus will be on setting pricing among sellers who are either new to the platform, or who haven't experienced much movement since they created their account and their initial gigs.

Let me preface this by saying that pricing is a very flexible thing on this platform, and there are as many opinions as there are approaches. I'll wade into this topic armed with what Fiverr says about itself, what the most common wisdom is in the "Fiversphere," and what my own experiences have been as both a seller and as a buyer.


What Lens Do We Look Through?


I think we as sellers tend to be "self-centric" as we think about pricing, which has its good and bad points. By considering "how much can I get," we naturally have to take into consideration certain realities, including the value of what we are offering, who is likely to want it, and how much they're likely willing to pay. So already, through motivated self interest, we're at least taking the buyer into consideration to some degree. But now let's expand our thinking and become even more buyer-centric..


Looking at it as the Buyer


Let me take the role of the buyer for a moment, and step you through a process I've been through myself when I've gone in search of services on Fiverr. Let's say I have a project in mind, and am hoping that by using Fiverr, I'll find someone who can do a great job without it costing me too much. I put in some search criteria, and up pops a first page of hits. As I suspect, some of the best folks, or at least those with a higher number of sales and with good ratings, are among those who show up at the top on the first page of hits. Visiting their pages, I see that they tend to have higher prices, and so, being on a somewhat more limited budget, or driven by the desire to get the best I can for the least amount of money, I press on. I find some folks with only a few sales, but good reviews, and prices that are more to my liking. I visit several of their gigs, and find their work to be very good. One in particular excites me, because their starting price is especially good, so I start to place an order with them, and discover at the last minute that they've buried their actual rate in an exaggerated commercial rights fee that, compared to the starting price, is astronomical. I call that, "upside down pricing."


Bait and Switch


Let me state plainly that when I encounter upside down pricing as a buyer, it really makes me see red. It seems sneaky and disingenuous., and somewhat akin in its emotional impact to the old "bait and switch" trick played by stores (who advertise a great deal on something, but when you get to the store, they say they're out of that, and direct you to something more expensive).


I move on, and find someone with a reasonable price who, if they do charge commercial rights, keeps it reasonable. Their starting price really is their starting price. Now we're cooking. I place the order. The rest of the experience is important too, but at this point, it strays from the pricing part of the narrative, so we'll stop there.


The thing I'm trying to point out with the scenario above, is that any buyer that isn't absolutely strapped for cash is willing to do price comparisons and shop around, and isn't going to be averse to hiring someone newer on Fiverr if their demo (and presumably the quality of their work) is good, turnaround time isn't excessive, and the pricing is straightforward and within reach. These are the buyers (and to a certain degree, even the lowest-budget, so-called "bottom feeder" buyers) that new Fiverr sellers should be targeting. Working to super-satisfy each of those initial buyers who order from you, keeping your pricing very accessible, and not luring buyers to your gig under false pretenses, will all help you build that crucial initial buyer base that will make or break your experience on Fiverr.


Fine., But How About Some Specifics?


So, what specifically should your prices be? I can't know your circumstances, so it's impossible to give you a blanket recommendation, but if you're just starting out, let's just say, "cheap." Really inexpensive. The focus at this stage of the game is on orders and reviews, not income. Orders, not income. Yes, you'll get some income, but don't despair in those first months if it falls short of your expectations. Stay "right side up" on pricing, with commercial rights at or below your starting gig rate. Or eliminate commercial rights for now. Keep your other extras affordable too. If you can swallow your pride sufficiently, start things out at that measly $5 price, grin, and bear it.