If you don’t have any kind of Internet business, you’ve probably never heard of the outsourcing website, fiverr.com. It’s not the only one – there are guru and odesk, as well – but Fiverr became popular a few years ago because online business owners (or even brick-and-mortar business owners who needed online work done, such as help with a website) could pay only $5 to a freelancer to get the basic level of a particular job done. Of course, for more advanced work the sellers would charge more. But you could always hire out a simple task for only five dollars.
That’s no longer true, but that’s beside the point here.
Before I go on, I need to go on record as saying that I’ve used Fiverr in the past and found reliable freelancers who did a good job. But soon, I will be deleting my account with Fiverr with no plans of ever going back. And it’s all because I wanted to give a new seller a chance.
My gut feeling said no.
Why am I fifty-one years old, and still don’t know not to ignore my gut feeling (otherwise known as the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit)? I suppose it’s because it’s what we’re all tempted to do when we’re desperate. Or impatient, which was my case.
The Holy Spirit was trying to tell me that this seller was too good to be true. She couldn’t possibly be able to create illustrations for my children’s book that were that good, for the price she was asking.
Turns out, He was right. What d’ya know about that?
And then, there were more obvious signs.
In her profile, the seller claimed to be in the UK. As soon as I began communicating with her, it was obvious that she was not a native English speaker. But, there are immigrants in the UK, right?
Except, a couple of days after exchanging a bunch of messages with her, I saw that Fiverr displays the real time of the place of residence of the seller you’re messaging. It was eleven hours later than mine.
The UK is only seven hours later than where I live.
She lives in the Kazakhstan-Pakistan time zone.
I should have cancelled the order then and there. Not because of where she lived, or what her religion might be. I’d wanted to hire someone in that part of the world in the first place so I wouldn’t have to pay as much for my book illustrations.
No, I should have cut off our working relationship then and there because she was lying.
At first, I justified it. But there are plenty of other sellers from that area of the world who are truthful about where they are from. And I have never appreciated being lied to. I know that, as a believer, I’m supposed to love everyone, but I struggle to love anyone who lies to or deceives me.
Speaking of deceit, when she sent me her custom offer it included an extra sixty dollars to format the pictures for an e-book. That extra is not mentioned anywhere on her gig page. Besides, she was going to send me the illustration in JPEG. Hello? How is that not a format for an e-book?
I did have the brains at least to decline that part of the offer. But it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
But not as bad as…
The biggest lie of all.
The other day, this young lady sent me a sketch of the first illustration. I’d asked her to use the style of one of her samples on her gig home page. It’s cute and whimsical.
Her sketch looked like a badly done coloring book page, like most of it was clip art pasted together in a scene that, in my artistic husband’s words, looked dead. It was not at all rendered like the picture on her gig page.
I could be wrong, but I think she stole the three sample illustrations on her gig’s home page from somewhere else, and is claiming to be able to digitally create similar illustrations so that she can get sales.
And here’s the clincher: I was going to shell out over $750 for sixteen total such unprofessional illustrations.
I messaged her that I was going to cancel the order, and did so. She had the gall to come back and tell me to wait until it was colored, that it would look much more realistic. And then if I didn’t like it she would refund me (that’s how she wrote it: “I will refund you”). As though she were in charge of my money.
Which, happily, is not the case. After you pay for a gig at Fiverr, it keeps the money in their account. The seller doesn’t get paid unless and until the buyer accepts the delivery of the work.
If a seller refuses to accept the order cancellation, Fiverr automatically cancels the order two days after the buyer requests the cancellation. It was a big relief to me to find that out.
Am I being melodramatic?
So, why delete my Fiverr account? Isn’t that a bit over the top?
The reason is so this seller can’t harass me, in case she decides to do so. This happened to me several years ago with an unscrupulous odesk freelancer. I don’t plan to use Fiverr ever again, and if I do, I can simply open another account with another e-mail address.
Which leads me to a conundrum…
Who’s going to illustrate my children’s books?
I am. I’m going to learn how to draw, or I won’t self-publish children’s books. Simple as that.
I got the idea from this video:
I’ve actually been feeling an internal nudge to learn to draw for some time, but kept setting it aside. However, I’ve been getting more and more bored in the evenings, and wasting a lot of time watching meaningless YouTube videos and playing worthless word games on my Kindle.
It’s far past time to be a better steward of my time.
And, I’ve learned over the years that the old saying is true: if you want something done right, do it yourself.
I’m not saying Fiverr is evil. A lot of people use it, and probably most of the sellers on the platform are on the up-and-up. But if you do ever decide to use it, better to hire someone who already has some experience. Even if you have to wait for their expertise, or pay a little more than you’d planned.