I’ve seen the future, and it’s cheap

Some readers will know of this site already, but Fiverr.com is one of the most useful intermediaries out there for anyone who has a job to outsource which can be done remotely. Basically, it offers you people around the world who will do just about anything for five dollars. And some of them are very talented.

What I find Fiverr.com useful for is to do things which I wouldn’t normally get done at all, because of the expense involved. For example, maybe I’m making up a web page, or a presentation, and think that it might be impressive to have some illustrations or icons. Nice thought, but I couldn’t possibly justify getting a designer to do them for me. Enter Fiverr.com. You name it, there’s somebody out there who’ll do it for you. And at US$5, who cares if it doesn’t end up being what you want? Put it down to experience. The alternative was living with not doing it at all, remember?

Here are some of the useful things I can see people offering on Fiverr.com at the moment:
“I will professionally Photoshop any photo for $5”
“I will design a professional Flyer or Brochure or Poster for $5”
“I will design a full colour logo in stunning quality for $5”
“I will explore and critique your business or personal website as a consumer for $5”
“I will translate Mandarin Chinese into English or English into Mandarin Chinese per 300 words for $5”
“I will professionally and accurately transcribe 10 mins audio or video for $5”
“I will make an Android app of your website for $5”

…and the list goes on. You can see which country the person offering the service is in, which is reassuring if you want someone close to home, or if you want a genuine Japanese native to do your Japanese translation. There are also customer ratings and information on how long the order is likely to take. If you’re thinking that some of these offers sound too good to be true, well, maybe some of them are. Maybe you really will only “get what you pay for”. But at US$5, can you afford not to give it a try?

Here’s a good article about the site. Let me know in the comments if you’ve used Fiverr.com and how successful it was.

2 thoughts on “I’ve seen the future, and it’s cheap”

  1. Hi, Chris.
    There are two sides to every coin.

    Try working as a freelancer in Europe offering similar services and competing with that.

    Like you say, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ need not directly apply – $5 to someone in the Far East is £50 to someone in London and their talent may be no less great.

    …who cares if it doesn’t end up being what you want?

    Quite frankly, all freelancers worth their salt are concerned with the integrity of their trade, irrespective or cost or source.

    Just look at Timeshare – there are some genuinely good Timeshare complexes, but because of the underhand tactics of a few, the whole industry is sullied.

    Same with freelancing. Someone has a bad experience with one, they’re unlikely to risk outsourcing again.

    And I talk from experience having worked with many webmasters, whereby only desperation has brought them to my recommendation having had dire results with outsourcing on some of the larger freelance sites.

    Sorry, dude. Got a real bee in my bonnet on this subject.

    At least through freelance sites like PPH, they set a minimum rate commensurate with our minimum wage – everyone’s on something like a level playing field, there.

    Sites like oDesk, Freelancer.com & Fiverr – great if you want to undercut your own countrymen, hence the economy. The nasty bit if you’re holding the other end of the stick.

  2. Great points, Jason. As someone who’s freelanced all his career, I can sympathise too. I’d never use sites like Fiverr for any major project (not that it’d even be possible at that price); that’s why I said it was best for jobs which you simply wouldn’t have had done otherwise like a quick illustration. You do usually get what you pay for, it’s true. With Fiverr, you can pay $5 and get something as an alternative to paying nothing and getting nothing, if you see what I mean.

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