Are you planning to quit your 9 to 5 job? Do you want to take up a side hustle to increase your earnings? Here’s a Fiverr vs Freelancer review to help you select a better option.
The freelancing industry is growing at an exponential rate and with increased growth comes tougher competition. People who want to make a consistent income through freelancing are aware of the impact a platform makes on their earnings.
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 different frameworks and which site could be a better pick for your skill or niche.
See Related: Tips to Prepare for your Toptal Freelance Interview
Table of Contents
What is Fiverr
Unless you’re living in a world of freelancing oblivion, you’d know about Fiverr. Founded in 2010, Fiverr’s headquarters are based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Even during its early years, Fiverr managed to make 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?
To get a Fiverr vs Freelancer overview, it’s important to know how Fiverr works and how it differs from Freelancer.
Firstly, you have to set up your account. Depending on your skill, you can calculate the hourly rate and form your gig.
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 services at an additional price. Also, you may upsell services that are already a 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.
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. Fiverr will notify you 12 hours before the deadline if your submission is still pending.
Next, you submit the work to the client through Fiverr. 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.
Pros of Fiverr
As per Fiverr, 2.4 million users were present on the platform in 2019, coming from 160 countries. These users were spread across 300+ categories and eight verticals, including digital marketing, writing, graphic design, etc.
Knowing this, it’s inevitable to assume that Fiverr must be doing something that other platforms aren’t.
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 pretty simple to navigate and work through. Even if it’s your first time on the site, you’ll know where everything is.
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.
With these matters out of the way, you can focus on delivering awesome-quality work.
See Related: Client Interfacing Skills to Know
While some may consider it a con, I’ll have to place it with the pros. On most other platforms, such as Freelancer, you have to bid on projects. 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 are a representation of you and your abilities. Then, you simply 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:
Anyone who has ever worked on Fiverr would know that the platform is overly buyer-centric. In many cases, it seems as if Fiverr is favoring 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 out skiing. Due to this, time management can often be a problem. Plus, if you fail to meet the deadline, your rating is affected.
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 the mode is activated.
However, this doesn’t exactly solve the problem for two reasons. One, most budding freelancers are reluctant to activate this feature for fear of driving clients away.
Second, the time constraint isn’t always the reason 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.
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.
Surely, Fiverr is providing a workspace for freelancers to grow and find clients. However, 20% is way too much to charge in return for this.
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No External Communication
Fiverr is quite 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 pertaining to 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 was established before Fiverr, in 2009, and has its headquarters in Australia. As per the platform’s personal records, there are a whopping thirty one million users on the site.
Like Fiverr, Freelancer also has a host of jobs, ranging from designing to translation.
How Does Freelancer Work?
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 fresh jobs for that niche and skill every day.
You can filter the jobs according to local or international projects, fixed or hourly rates, small or large jobs, etc.
Once you spot a job you’re interested in it, be prepared to write a pitch. You have to convince the client that 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 you’ll start receiving bids in no time.
You can also browse through Freelancer’s list of available talent for your requirements and place a direct offer to a seller.
See Related: 20 Best Freelance Graphic Design Websites
Pros of Freelancer
Now that you know how Freelancer works, it’s time to discuss the good and bad of the platform.
Since Freelancer has a wide variety of job opportunities, there’s space for everyone. Here are the merits of Freelancer:
Most people feel in control if they know which jobs are available for them.
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 that are 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.
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 for them, according to their specifications. Freelancer does that, increasing convenience for sellers.
However, the website has some shortcomings too.
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: 10 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 quality score can act as a measure of the freelancer’s abilities for the clients. However, it’s rather 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 marketplace 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 is Fiverr and what is Freelancer. 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.