What is Fiverr and how does it work?

What Is Fiverr & How Does It Work? A Primer for Buying and Selling on the Platform…

Fiverr is one of the largest online markets in the world for buying and selling freelance services. As the brainchild of Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger from Tel Aviv, the site started as a place where part timers looking for extra cash could list jobs they were prepared to undertake for just for $5 each, hence the name.

Since those humble beginnings in 2010, the site has grown massively, and is now ranked as one of the most popular websites in the world.

Services offered by freelancers on Fiverr have ballooned in recent years, and now include graphic design, video editing, blog and article writing, programming, digital marketing and everything in between.

Despite sticking with the Fiverr moniker, the site now hosts a growing number of freelance professionals charging top prices, and many make very lucrative, full-time careers on the platform.

How Fiverr Works in a Nutshell:

Fiverr acts as a go-between of sorts. The site hosts a giant job board where users advertise their creative services. Buyers browse these jobs (“gigs” in Fiverr parlance) using the site’s own search engine, and when they’re ready to hire their freelancer of choice, they simply add the gig to a shopping cart and pay at the checkout.

At this point, Fiverr also acts as a kind of Escrow service, holding on to the buyer’s money until the freelancer completes the job to a satisfactory standard.

When the deal is done, Fiverr deducts a 20% fee from the Freelancer’s earnings.

A More Detailed Look at How Fiverr Works:

Buyer & Seller:

Just for clarity, a “Seller” on Fiverr is the freelancer offering their services, whilst a “Buyer” is the client that purchases them.

Once you’ve set up a profile on Fiverr you aren’t limited to one role or the other. It’s perfectly possible, for instance, to be a full time seller on Fiverr that occasionally uses their profile to purchase services as a buyer.


Gigs are the bread-and-butter of the Fiverr digital work platform:
Freelancers first create a profile with a photo and a short bio. After that, they then create

multiple “gigs”, each offering a single specific service that they will undertake.

What sort of gigs are on offer?

In short anything: A freelancer might post a gig offering to build a WordPress website, or write a 1,000 word blog article. If you can think of it, then someone has more than likely tried selling it on Fiverr!

The gig system on Fiverr has evolved in sophistication over the years, and now offers the ability to add premium extras in various price tiers, and charge more money for faster delivery.

Buyers: Placing an Order

As a buyer, once you’ve browsed through the gig listings and found one that seems to be a good fit for your project, it’s time to place an order.

As we mentioned before, there’s really no need to worry at this point: Fiverr holds the money until you’ve approved the finished job, so there’s no chance of being scammed.

After payment is processed, the seller will ask you to complete a brief questionnaire. This is the time to explain in detail what you need doing, and to give the seller all the relevant details about your project.

Once the order has begun, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with the seller via Fiverr’s messaging system, and you’re both able to upload files in order to make sure you’re both on the same wavelength.

The better you’re able to bond with your seller the better. It’s always a good idea to check in often and upload as much information as possible. Your project will live and die on the strength of your communication skills.

Once the job is done, the seller will hit the deliver button, and it will be time to review the work. Most jobs on Fiverr allow a certain number of revisions to the finished project, and you’ll have ample chance to make changes.

A buyer only marks an order as complete when they’re completely happy with the results. At that point, the order is finished, and your payment leaves Fiverr’s system and gets deposited into the seller’s account.

Sellers: Getting the Job Done

On the receiving end, it’s a seller’s job to professionally manage all the orders they receive and deliver them on time.

Fiverr makes this reasonably easy: There’s a queue system that allows sellers to handle multiple projects at once, and the also the ability to limit sales when workloads become unmanageable.

Each gig allows a seller to set a time on how long the project will take to complete, and Fiverr gives a very clear countdown timer to remind them to deliver on time.

Once the buyer has marked the order as complete, the seller simply transfers funds from the Fiverr website to a bank account of their choice.

Levels & Feedback:

Successful selling on Fiverr is dependent on gaining social proof: It’s difficult to get sales when buyers don’t trust your newly published gig.

That’s where ratings and levels come in:

Fiverr buyers leave feedback on a seller’s profile each time a successful project is completed. Much like selling on eBay, this goes a long way to establishing trust with potential buyers.

In addition, the platform employs a sophisticated level system, consisting of four different performance measured tiers: “New Seller”, “Level 1 Seller”, “Level 2 Seller” and finally, “Top Rated Seller”.

Each level requires a seller to pass certain performance based metrics, such as completing orders, avoiding terms of service violations and delivering on time.

In addition, to attain a higher level on the platform, a seller needs to have been active for a certain number of days, completed a certain amount of orders, and earned a set amount of money.

Evaluation happens monthly, and if standards drop, so does a seller’s level.


Fiverr’s platform and range of features continues to expand, and shows no sign of slowing. Freelancers and business owners alike can benefit from the massive user base and broad range of creative services that the digital work platform now boasts.