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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | September 23, 2019

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Why Fiverr Is The New eBay For Creative Freelancers

Why Fiverr Is The New eBay For Creative Freelancers

| On 22, Aug 2014

Welcome to the world of outsourcing. Not just any type of outsourcing but creative outsourcing. Need a logo design in 24 hours? Need a catchy tune for your advertisement? Have to write 500 words for an article within a deadline?

Fiverr can be the solution for your small business problems. There’s only one catch. How much is a creative freelancers time worth? According to Fiverr, it’s $5 dollars.

Founded in 2010 by entrepreneurs Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman, Fiverr has quickly skyrocketed into a worldwide  sensation. Fiverr is an interactive online gigs website that allows freelancers in the fields of design, marketing, website, journalism, writing, graphics, animation, speech and consultation to advertise their skills and knowledge in a competitive and organised online platform.

The starting value of any gig on Fiverr is $5 dollars, however Fiverr lets users set their own prices for ‘Extra Gigs’, such as business tips, higher quality work, more animation, graphics or access to the raw files of images. Prices are higher based on factors including the complexity of the task, time delivered and quality.

The  ‘Extra Gigs’ option makes the job worthwhile for users. So for 5 dollars customers won’t get much more than the basic job description and creative’s will charge more for bonus jobs requiring more skills.

Fiverr is rapidly growing, with more than three million “gigs” live spanning from 196 countries. Obviously if a user charges too much for a gig, then there is an abundance of choice for any small business or anyone for that matter looking to outsource online tasks to experiences sellers, making competition fierce and forcing users to produce better quality gigs.

sucess fiverrSo this begs the question, what effect is this having on the overall rights of creative workers?

Earlier this month the company announced new measures to their online market platform to perhaps deal with issues about the rights of users. Fiverr users have made over 30 million dollars in gigs, despite the company taking 20 percent of every gig purchased.

That’s a lot of $5 dollar gigs.

Releasing its third round of institutional funding to continue supporting the marketplace, it increased the maximum price of a Gig’s listing to $500 dollars which had been previously at $100 dollars, which arguably will make the company 3 times richer.

As users have a higher paid threshold, buyers have more to pay, in the end Fiverr wins out because they are the channel for which the exchange will take place, and the conversation about quality and rights of workers is left in the limbo, perhaps for a little while.

Regardless, most news stories about fiverr such as CNBC, The Sydney Morning Herald, Forbes, Digital Journal etc, all seem to agree about Fiverr’s  role in helping small businesses grow.

In a statement released earlier this month, Bessemer Venture Partners, Partner Adam Fisher says, “one of the many reasons Fiverr is so exciting is that it is the only service-based marketplace modelled on e-commerce platforms.”

In this new face for the platform, Fiverr is being increasingly compared to online marketplaces Amazon and eBay.

“Like eBay and Amazon, customers simply browse, search, and buy, selecting from more than 100 categories and millions of services. It’s as easy as buying a book online,” Fisher said.

“Why hire someone to do something that is done thousands of times a day for a pricey sum and an unknown delivery date when you can order for next day delivery on Fiverr,” he said.

Recent trends in the marketplace to make more efficient the freelance economy has pushed a lot of  creative practitioners down these paths and is helping to ease the increasing economic strain on small businesses.

For example, the rigidity and often stressful nature of full-time work are some of the reasons creatives are turning to websites like Fiverr.

Learning to turn of the noise a busy working lifestyle can create, is a big motivator in choosing to become a gig worker on websites like Fiverr.

You set the rules and therefore the flexibility entices a lot of full-time workers to work from home or go freelance.

Just like Etsy, TaskRabitt, oDesk and many more freelance online selling platforms, Fiverr is too an indicator of the emergence of freelance work, flexible working hours, blurred lines between private and public work spaces, a growing working economy and creative ventures popping up everywhere.

As the company grows and its user pool settles well into Australia, it is questionable how online outsourcing of creative tasks will infringe on the rights of creative freelancers.

But one thing is for sure, as Fiverr can be a good idea for students or struggling creatives it is a great idea for small businesses, but at what cost does shifting the way creative practitioners get paid and valued for their work have on the creative economy as a whole? Or finally, how is this an overall indication of the souring cost of design work that is inevitably forcing small businesses to look elsewhere for their creative needs?

fiverr screen shot