Fiverr versus Elance

As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, I’m looking for low cost, high yield situations. Of course, that applies to any business owner, small or big. So, today, I’m introducing this site called Fiverr to you. It’s called that because you can get a specific service done for 5 dollars.

I dipped my toes in Fiverr as a service provider (I offered to edit pieces of writing), but stopped. I’m going to tell you straight. As a freelancer, I do not recommend you offer your services here. Go to Elance instead (beware they don’t take polymaths though). 5 dollars is not much if you’re doing it as a sole source of income.

That said, it works great as a side income. I’ve seen people offer to do maths assignments, VB.NET programming tasks and writing articles for $5. Here are some of the interesting ones:

I bought a custom signature (it will appear in the next issue of my magazine!). I also bought an ebook cover design for my book. Let me tell you, I’ve spent $30 and $50 (and those were the cheaper services) before on a 125 by 125 pixel square ad design, so $5 for an ebook cover is cheap. I’m a programmer. I don’t do so well with coming up with an ebook cover design, ok?

One thing to note. Do not expect professionalism from Fiverr service providers. I don’t mean they’re not professional. Some of them are professionals doing great work. What I mean is, some of them are putting up a gig for fun. Do not compare them with the service providers from sites such as Elance. Besides, it’s 5 freaking dollars. If you don’t like that person, find another who offers a similar service. Also, consider the hundreds of dollars, possibly thousands of dollars, that you’re saving from not hiring a “real” professional.

Quality is also suspect. Read the feedback for that gig. If there are samples of work, preview it. If nothing else, go with your gut feeling. I will say this again. It’s 5, freaking, dollars. Don’t spend half an hour agonising over your decision. Don’t spend half an hour ranting about your disappointment with the deliverable or result. It’s $5. Let it go. Your time’s worth more than that. Learn, move on, find another service provider.

So if you’re strapped for cash, but you need something done (for your business or personal reasons), check out Fiverr. You can also offer your own services (“I will write an accounting program for you for $5”). If nothing else, you can look at what people are willing to do for $5. Some of them are hilarious.