Is Fiverr Slave Labor?

Fiverr is just about one of the most popular websites around for Internet marketers. In fact, I posted not too long ago about one of my own Fiverr gigs up for offer (it’s a vector graphics conversion gig).

Now that gig of mine doesn’t take me overly long to complete. I can basically complete that gig in under 10 minutes, which works out at quite a nice hourly rate of $40 per hour (remember that you only earn $4 per successfully completed gig, with $1 going ┬áto Fiverr itself). That’s not a huge amount of work on my part, but people buy the gig because they

However, for the vast majority of Fiverr service providers, they’re basically signing up for willing slave labor. So many hard working guys and gals are spending so much of their time slaving away for repeat $4 earnings, but putting in far more than $4 work.

For example, you’ve got people writing 500 word articles for just $4 – even if you’re not a native English speaker that’s pretty crazy (and without wishing to sound uncouth, no self-respecting IM/affiliate marketer working with English websites should be outsourcing content to people with poor English). At the end of the day, it’s gonna take you at least 30 minutes to put together a 500 word article that is of sufficient quality, and that’s not even including the amount of time it takes to actually log into your Fiverr account and submit the finished gig, nor the time it will take you to research everything. Conclusion – it’s going to take you 45 minutes, realistically speaking, to deliver a 500 word article for just $4 pay. That’s a paltry hourly rate of just $5.33 (if my maths is right).

There’s loads of other writing, translation, programming, and audio-type gigs that people are doing on Fiverr that must be paying similar money when conceptualized in terms of an hourly rate.

So if you’re doing that kind of gig on Fiverr, why not just head down to your local Burger King and flip patties for more perks and better pay?

Don’t pull the whole “but they’re building up a business in their own home” card either. When you’re slaving away for $5.33 an hour, without the ability to actually build up any business leads or backend promotion (at least not without really risking your Fiverr account being closed, and having to start all over again) then you aren’t building a business – you’re just working for a very meager pay rate.

Even with the addition of gig extras (where you can charge a little bit more for extra services on the side that are related to your gig, such as preferential delivery over other orders) it’s still very difficult to turn a decent dime. How many people are actually going to order those extras? Even if one in ten did, it’s only going to add an extra buck an hour to your averaged Fiverry pay rate. Furthermore, the extra work you need to do to deliver the gig on time with the extras in tow is just not worth it.

This blog post doesn’t really have a point per se – it’s more about sparking debate on the nature of working on Fiverr, and whether it is actually worth it for the majority of gig providers.

My basic guidelines for successful Fiverr selling are:

  • Ensure you can complete the gig in less than 15 minutes, including actually submitting the finished work and tying up any loose ends. This means that at you could earn $16 per hour doing 4 gigs per hour – at this money, Fiverr makes a bit more sense.
  • Set a maximum number of work revisions, especially if doing graphics work. Some buyers on Fiverr quite legitimately expect almost limitless work for their five dollars. I’ve heard horror stories of guys doing graphic design work, logo creation etc, only to be told again and again to revise the work, or else suffer a negative review. I suggest setting a strict maximum of 1 revision per gig, after which time you are entitled to cancel the gig. Heed this advice, lest you find yourself working for hours for a measly $4.
  • Have multiple Fiverr accounts to spread your risk when it comes to potential negative reviews spoiling your reputation.
  • Write very clear descriptions and provide impeccable gig instructions so your buyers know EXACTLY what they are getting, well before they receive the finished product.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact Fiverr support if a buyer is becoming demanding.
  • Don’t offer free custom samples – if a buyer requests a sample provide something you made in the past. Don’t put together something unique for them, as they may not decide to purchase (this happened to me about 2 months ago, where I put together a high quality vectorized image sample for a guy at a massive resolution, which took my PC almost 30 minutes to process. He messaged me back saying “sorry, not what I was after”, and I was out of pocket.

Is Fiverr slave labor? It’s certainly not the most profitable way to make money online (IMO, that accolade still rests with good old affiliate marketing). Furthermore, if you’re not very shrewd with the way you work on Fiverr, you could wind up doing big hours for little profits. Remember that the buyer is always right, even when they’re wrong – and if you’re making a paltry $4 per sale, then you don’t have much scope to kowtow to often ludicrous requests and still make a profit.

However, if you can sell a gig that takes you under 15 minutes to complete (on average) and isn’t open to abuse from finickity buyers, then you could have a nice extra income stream. An extra $50 – 100 per week is definitely achievable with just 5 or so hours work.

Just remember that the people who claim to make massive money with Fiverr are the ones selling the “how-to” guides!

Make sure you’ve signed up for my free Super Affiliate Secrets report.


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