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Fiverr vs Freelancer: What is the Better Freelance Site?

Are you planning to quit your 9-to-5 job? Are you aware of various freelancing sites that can help you earn a side hustle income? Here’s a Fiverr vs Freelancer review to help you select a better option.

The freelancing industry is growing exponentially, and with increased growth comes tougher competition. People who want to make a consistent income through freelancing or digital marketing understand how the platform impacts their earnings.

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Many freelancing sites, including WriterAccessFlexJobs, and Toptal, are a hub of freelancer employment opportunities. However, even the cumulative influence of these sites doesn’t come close to the two major freelancing platforms: Freelancer and Fiverr.

Since you can’t have two contenders in the first place, I took it upon myself to do a comprehensive Fiverr vs. Freelancer review. In this review, you’ll find the merits and demerits of both sites. You’ll also learn about their frameworks and which freelancing platforms could better suit your skill or niche.

Aspect Fiverr Freelancer.com
Pricing Model Gig-based, set prices Open bidding, hourly or fixed-price
Service Fee 20% of earnings 10% or $5, whichever is greater
Project Types Short-term, specific tasks Variety of project lengths and types
User Ratings 4.3/5 stars 3.8/5 stars
Client Interaction Minimal, predefined services More direct, customizable projects
Payment Protection Milestone-based Escrow system

See Related: Tips to Prepare for your Toptal Freelance Interview

What is Fiverr

Freelance Services Fiverr

Unless you’re living in a world of freelancing oblivion, you’d know about Fiverr. Fiverr was founded in 2010, and its headquarters are based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Even though Fiverr only supports the English language, it has a global presence. It enables online freelancers to sign up on their website and supply any abilities they have at the price they choose.

According to Fiverr, which calls itself “the world’s largest marketplace for digital freelance services,” users can browse numerous freelancers registered and purchase their required services. A freelancer’s service is called “Gig” on Fiverr.

Even during its early years, Fiverr made a good impression in the marketplace. By 2012, it had around three million gigs.

However, back in the day, Fiverr only allowed $5 gigs – hence the name. With time, they realized the limitations of the price point and allowed users to price their gigs higher.

Overall, Fiverr works pretty much like another freelancing site. But once you scratch the surface, you see the underlying framework of Fiverr’s working model.

How Does Fiverr Work?

Fiverr Website

Knowing how Fiverr works and how it differs from Freelancer is crucial to get a Fiverr vs. Freelancer overview. First, you have to set up your account. You can calculate the hourly rate and form your gig depending on your skill.

Since Fiverr has Gig Packages, you can sub-categorize your skill and price the gigs differently. Users can make three packages or tiers for each gig. For instance, if you’re a writer, you can name your Gig Packages Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Then, you can set different prices, deadlines, and offerings for each package. You can also offer extra digital services at an additional fee. Also, you may upsell services already as part of your package.

For example, if you offer two free revisions, you can charge $10 for the third. Once your gig is up, you wait for clients to find you. Until this happens, take Fiverr’s courses to increase your credibility and earn service fees.

Make sure you’ve completed most of your profile, if not all. If a client is interested in what you’re offering, they may contact you or directly place an order.

You can also discuss the project with the client after they’ve placed the order. As soon as the order is placed, the clock starts ticking. If your submission is still pending, Fiverr will notify you 12 hours before the deadline.

Next, you submit the work to the client through Fiverr. This virtual currency, called connects, allows you to send proposals to the client.

The client has three days to accept your submission. If they don’t do so in the given time frame, your order is marked complete automatically.

Alternatively, clients can ask for revisions. Or, they may accept the order and leave a review. Recently, Fiverr also introduced the tip feature. Now clients can tip you an extra amount if your work is uber-impressive.

The Cost Of Joining Fiverr

Become A Seller In Fiverr

Both buyers and freelancers can sign up on the Fiverr platform for free. If you spend between $2 and $40, you receive a service fee. Any investment made above that is subject to a 5% percentage fee.

Even if they sign up for free, the best freelancers only get paid for 80% of the tasks they accomplish. Fiverr receives a fee of 20%. It implies that those with freelancer profiles may raise their rates to offset some of the service fee losses they suffer.

Additionally, it implies that anyone can register at first and proceed to do a job search.

There are no budgetary constraints or expertise requirements in the way. As a result, you can find numerous workers on this platform of varying quality. Therefore, for those hiring freelancers paying for a gig, always look at their star rating.

Fiverr Affiliate Program

Fiverr Affiliate Program

One of the best affiliate systems available is the one offered by Fiverr. Compared to other platforms, Fiverr offers rather large commissions, allowing you to increase your earnings by two or even three times.

For example, you might receive $150 CPA for each new customer or up to $1,000 per transaction using their hybrid model (10% CPA/10% revenue split).

Pros of Fiverr

As per Fiverr, 2.4 million users were present on the platform in 2019, coming from 160 countries. These users are spread across 300+ categories and eight verticals, including digital marketing, writing, graphic design, etc.

It’s inevitable to assume that Fiverr must be doing something other platforms aren’t performing.

The merits of Fiverr are as follows.

Ease of Use

One of the first things that users notice and point out about Fiverr is its ease of use. Besides the friendly user interface, the platform’s layout is simple to navigate and work through. Even if it’s your first time on the site, you’ll know where everything is.

Client Evaluation

Another favor Fiverr does to the users is that it vets the clients, freeing freelancers of the hassle of analyzing shady users. Sure enough, some people pass through the checks. But in most cases, the clients are trustworthy.

Since the payments are kept in escrow, you’ll most definitely get paid if you’ve submitted the work you were assigned to do.

You can focus on delivering awesome-quality work with these matters out of the way.

See Related: Client Interfacing Skills to Know

No Bidding

While some may consider it a con, I’ll have to place it with the pros. You have to bid on projects on other platforms, such as Freelancer. That takes up a lot of time. So much so that some people hire freelancers, aspiring freelancers, and those who want to know how to be a freelance illustrator solely for writing and submitting bids for projects.

On the other hand, Fiverr allows you to create gigs that represent you and your abilities. Then, you sit and wait for clients to come to you. If your gig has been well-written and optimized, you’ll get a message or order soon enough.

See Related: Best Fiverr Graphic Design Gigs

Cons of Fiverr

Despite topping the freelancing world, Fiverr has some shortcomings. Here are some limitations of Fiverr:

Buyer-Centric

Anyone who has ever worked on Fiverr would know that the platform is overly buyer-centric. In many cases, it seems Fiverr favors the buyer over the seller – that’s probably the reason for the platform’s higher sales and audience.

For instance, buyers can place an order whenever they want, and the seller cannot refuse. Suppose you’re out on vacation with friends. A seller places an order with a two-day deadline.

Now, you have two choices: cancel the order and let the cancellation affect your ratings, or work on the task sitting by the beach while your friends are skiing. Due to this, time management can often be a problem. Plus, your rating is affected if you fail to meet the deadline.

Now, Fiverr has an ‘Out of Office’ mode. With this feature activated, buyers won’t be able to place an order for as long as it’s activated.

However, this doesn’t exactly solve the problem for two reasons. First, most budding freelancers are reluctant to activate this feature for fear of driving clients away.

Second, the time constraint isn’t always why a freelancer doesn’t want to accept an order. Sometimes, the client might not be clear enough, or you may not consider yourself fit to fulfill their requirements.

20% Commissions

Fiverr’s 20% commission policy is the bane of many freelancers’ existence. The platform charges a flat 20% commission on all projects. Whether you’re making $10 or $1000, Fiverr will take a significant sum out of it.

Fiverr provides a workspace for freelancers to grow and find clients. However, 20% is way too much to charge in return for this.

See Related: Easy Freelance Jobs for Beginners

No External Communication

Fiverr is strict about how you communicate with clients and what you talk about. Under no circumstances are freelancers allowed to establish contacts with sellers outside Fiverr. The Fiverr chatbox picks up words that hint at anything about external contacts between the buyer and seller.

Also, you cannot ask a buyer to give you a good review – even after doing a marvelous job. Such violations can result in your account being suspended or banned, barring you from the ability to work on the platform for life.

See Related: Fiverr Reviews

What is Freelancer

Freelancer Main Webpage

Freelancer was established in 2009 before Fiverr and has its headquarters in Australia. According to the platform’s personal records, there are a whopping thirty-one million users on the site.

Like Fiverr, Freelancer has numerous jobs, ranging from designing to translation.

How Does Freelancer Work?

Browse Jobs At Freelancer

The major difference between Fiverr and Freelancer is the business model. While you have to wait for clients on Fiverr, Freelancer allows you to bid on projects like SolidGigs. When you set up your profile, you specify the set of skills you have.

Freelancer will then show you unique jobs for that niche and skill daily. You can filter the jobs according to local or international projects, fixed or hourly rates, small or large job opportunities, etc.

Once you spot a job you’re interested in, be prepared to write a pitch. You must convince the client you’re the right person for the task.

If a client hires you, work begins. You can also set milestones and get paid along the way. As a client, you merely have to post a project and start receiving bids in no time.

You can also browse Freelancer’s list of available talent for your requirements and place a direct offer to a seller.

See Related: Best Freelance Graphic Design Websites

The Cost of Joining Freelancer

Freelancer Membership

The good news is that Freelancer is free for prospective employers offering a job! However, there are a number of monthly paid-for programs with a 30-day trial period available for freelancers:

  • Introductory: at $0.99 a month 
  • Basic: at £4.99 a month 
  • Plus: at $8.95 a month 
  • Professional: from $49.00 a month 
  • Premier: $99.00 a month

The bottom of the homepage has more details about their fees. It appears that prices and charges are less transparent than those on Fiverr.

Different fees, transaction charges, and percentages of fees are allocated to various groups. However, a first-time user may find it difficult to establish those categories. Additionally, it’s not often clear which costs belong to purchasers vs. freelancers. 

When you post a project on their freelancing platforms, you have the option of asking for freelancer bids and having a discussion about the job. Checking over the freelancer’s portfolio is also a great idea. The Freelancer will charge a minor project fee based on the amount of the chosen bid if a buyer proceeds with the plan they have listed.

A buyer’s price varies depending on the project’s difficulty. The fee for a fixed-price project is $3 or 3%, whichever is higher, according to Freelancer. If you’re paying the freelancer hourly, there is an additional 3% fee.

It’s important for freelancers to understand that a buyer has a week only after a project has been accepted, and they terminate it at any moment. The buyer receives their chargeback if they decide to do that.

Pros of Freelancer

Now that you know how the Freelancer platform works, it’s time to discuss the good and bad of this website. Since Freelancer has a wide variety of job opportunities, there’s space for everyone. Here are the merits of the Freelancer platform:

Bidding System

Most people feel in control if they know which jobs are available.

On Freelancer, you can bid on projects you like. Unlike Fiverr, you won’t be forced to do a project. Therefore, you can manage your time accordingly and choose jobs well-fitted for your skillset.

Milestone Payment Method

As a freelancer, you can set milestones for the project depending on its length and complexity. The client would have to pay at each milestone, ensuring that the seller gets paid for their hard work. Freelancers can cancel milestones, but clients can’t do it themselves.

However, clients can open a dispute on a milestone. Then, Freelancer support becomes the third party. If the client can prove their point, the money is returned to them.

Contests

Employers on Freelancer.com can post contests that sellers then participate in. The client chooses the best submission, and the freelancer gets the money.

On the one hand, it’s tough to win these contests. But on the other, they allow newcomers an opportunity to make their mark in the niche.

If you win a contest, your credentials will go up, increasing your chances of scoring a project in the future.

Cons of Freelancer

For most people, it’s preferable for the platform to find jobs according to their specifications. Freelancer does that, increasing convenience for sellers. However, the website has some shortcomings too.

Expensive Plans

Choosing an appropriate Freelancer Membership Plan is a task in itself. In the free plan, you can bid on eight projects every month. For more bids, you’ll have to buy membership plans ranging from $0.99 to $59.99.

These plans include different skills, number of bids, commission rates, withdrawal limitations, etc. Besides being expensive, the plans are also very complicated to choose from.

See Related: Ways to Sell Your Skills Online

Not for Small Jobs

Freelancers’ commission system is just as complex as their membership plans. Typically, the website charges $5 or 10% commissions, whichever is greater. But for Premium and Standard plans, the policy differs.

If you have a Premium plan, the platform will charge you 3% or $3, whichever is greater. In contrast, the commissions for Standard Plans are 5% or $4, whichever is greater. Therefore, it’s obvious that Freelancer isn’t suitable for smaller jobs.

Bid Score

The bid quality score measures the freelancer’s abilities for the clients. However, it’s bothersome for the sellers. The bid score analyzes your bids’ quality. Simply put, your bid quality score must be over 76 – out of 100 – or you’ll be penalized.

Fiverr vs Freelancer: What is Better Between Fiverr or Freelancer?

While Fiverr is a suitable option for smaller jobs, Freelancer focuses on bigger projects. Also, as a newcomer, it’s easier to penetrate Fiverr’s competitive freelance platform than Freelancer’s.

On the flip side, Fiverr tends to be more buyer-centric, making it difficult for newbies to get a good start if they make mistakes. Needless to say, both platforms are remarkable, but their suitability depends on your skills and expectations as a freelancer.

See Related: Freelancer.com Reviews

Verdict: Which is Better?

Now you know what Fiverr and Freelancer are. Plus, you’re aware of the operational framework of both platforms, along with their pros and cons.

Use this Fiverr vs. Freelancer review as a guide to choose the best platform for yourself and kickstart your freelancing career now. There is no good or bad option – it all depends on your personal preferences.

FAQs

Which of Fiverr and Freelancer is better?

A far better option for the two freelance platforms is Fiverr. It provides independent contractors a platform to market their abilities, specify their gigs and set fixed fees. Furthermore, Fiverr only has a fixed commission cost, unlike Freelancer, which does not offer any upcharges or additional expenses.

How Can Someone Without Skills Earn Money on Fiverr?

You may create gigs and make money on Fiverr since they have flexible jobs even without talents. You can provide services such as branding, digital presentation design, backdrop removal, YouTube introduction, transcribing, travel booking, or advice without special abilities.

Is Fiverr Free?

Certainly, Fiverr is free. The platform is free for buyers and sellers; customers only pay for the services they utilize. However, Fiverr deducts 20% of vendors’ earnings from the marketplace as a commission fee.

Is Fiverr Safe?

Yes, Fiverr is among the safest and most secure marketplaces for freelancers. Normally, all payments are held in a trust account and are only released when the buyer is happy and satisfied with the service delivered. Additionally, all contact only occurs through the platform, guaranteeing the safety and security of buyers, sellers, and their money.

Is Fiverr Legitimate?

Yes! Fiverr is an entirely legal marketplace. The countless favorable Fiverr reviews are sufficient evidence of the legitimacy of this platform. Buyers are advised to conduct extensive research and choose sellers with many completed earnings and positive ratings because Fiverr does not require sellers to validate their identities.

Is Freelancer Free?

One can sign up for Freelancer for free, post tasks, request quotes, review different freelancers’ portfolios, and discuss job specifications. On the other hand, freelancers get paid depending on the total amount of the chosen bid when clients assign them assignments.

Is Fiverr a Good Site for Newbies?

Fiverr is a good freelancing website for novices. Compared to the majority of other platforms, it offers low entrance hurdles. All that is required is to set up gigs and provide a few abilities others will pay for.

Is Freelancer Safe?

All payments are guaranteed to be secure and safe at Freelancer.com. Scammers have, however, been involved in a number of instances on the website. As a result, you should use the website with extreme caution and keep an eye out for any potential scammers’ warning indications.

Is Freelancer Legit?

Freelancer is a legitimate and reliable platform. It has received excellent feedback from clients and independent contractors who have enjoyed using the website. The fact that this website is free and lets you select freelancers is another plus.

Which of the two freelancing platforms is cheaper?

On Fiverr, you’re more likely to find lesser prices. It is the less expensive alternative because ordinary orders are exempt from commission and service costs. However, just because it is more affordable doesn’t mean it is of poorer quality. It is ranked highly on top freelance websites for 2023 for a reason.

Which platform has better buyer security?

Fiverr and Freelancer offer strong buyer protection by keeping all contact within their platforms and holding payments in deposit to safeguard customers and their transactions. However, Fiverr is also more dedicated to developing trustworthy working relationships and providing top-notch work, which makes it a better option for customers.

Which is easier to use?

Fiverr is more user-friendly than Freelancer. Instead of looking for a freelancer who might be able to provide what you need, it features a visually appealing interface that enables you to search for the precise type of job you desire. Additionally, the workflow is more efficient, making Fiverr the better option.

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