Buyer Beware Always Applies

April 06, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

If you have been keeping up with me and the site then you know I recently changed the logo for my "business" (I used that term really loosely).  I used an online service called "Fiverr.com". I did a lot of research on a potential graphical designer to help me with a new logo. I want to be really clear that I am beyond happy with what he produced and my experience with him. He was an absolute pleasure to work with and what he ended up providing was exactly what I wanted. I think as a graphical designer you have to do a little mind reading based on what you hear so I can only imagine how difficult a job it can be. I'm not sure I'll ever change the logo or design elements I have at this point. I'm that happy with them and it's something I want to "stick" as part of my brand when it comes to Dragonfly Photos.

So, what is Fiverr.com? Essentially it is an on line marketplace for graphic designers to get freelance work over the internet. The business model is pretty sound as many people would have a need for a graphic designer but they don't need one full time on their staff. They just have a particular task they need accomplished. That's where Fiverr comes in. Interestingly, I cannot find on their site what their mission is, but you can read more about the site here (on Wikipedia). I think, overall, they are doing a really positive thing for graphic designers and other talents in this digital era. There are many talented people in the world but landing a good job in the creative arena can be difficult and there is likely a huge market for small jobs that can provide a decent income to folks if they are good at what they do.


That said, I do have some advice to offer if you ever find yourself looking to work with a graphic designer. First and foremost, "buyer beware" is mandatory on this site. You will have to do research on any potential designer/talent you think you may be interested in hiring. I spent a couple of weeks looking at different designers and their work. I ended up searching for the businesses they were claiming they did work for and in several cases did "reverse" image searches to see if I could track down whether the work in their portfolio was actually being used. What I found, generally, was that I couldn't determine whether the work they had in their gallery was actually being used or if it was just conceptual (nothing wrong with that). Unfortunately, what I did find was people blatantly purporting other designers work as their own. I zeroed in on two profiles that I knew to be, without a doubt, stealing someone else's work. The designs they had also definitely stood out from the rest of their "portfolio". I ended up reaching out to Fiverr.com to report that these profiles were appropriating someone else's work. To Fiverr.com's credit both of those profiles were suspended immediately but within a few days those same two profiles were back on and there was no change. A couple of days later, one of the profiles dropped the lifted work. The other one is still purporting work in their profile that I know to be someone else's. Yes, I gave Fiverr.com a link to the original artist's work. 

If you don't believe me, you can check it all out below. If you are a start up or small business I would recommend using Fiverr.com BUT you have to do your research. Do reverse image searches. If you can tie the work back to the Fiverr.com profile then you've probably found a legit artist. Read the comments in their profile. Another thing that tipped me off after I found the possibility these two profiles were trying to pass off other people's work was that the comments were all glowing reviews (not necessarily a bad thing) but as I kept reading I started noticing patterns in the language, grammar, phrasing, etc. It was likely that they had enlisted a few friends to pump up their profile to get their rating higher. I'll give Fiverr.com credit, they have (as far as I can see) tried to create an equitable marketplace that's not too draconian on buyer or seller; on the other hand, they need to do more quality checking on potential artists. It was not at all difficult for me to spot frauds, it just took me investing the time. I get that if they are dealing with thousands of sellers it's not realistic to manually check everything submitted to a portfolio but it is most certainly something that can be automated to flag for human attention. Additionally, there are always going to be "those people" that try to game the system for a quick buck. In the end, there are ways that Fiverr.com could do a better job of ensuring they weed out the frauds.

End of story:
1) Fiverr.com can offer what you need
2) You have to do your research 
3) Read the reviews of each artist
4) It's disappointing that Fiverr.com ultimately puts the burden on you (I mean, this should be a core value for them)
5) If you're on a budget but have time to research it's worth it
6) I highly recommend Jago if you are looking for someone

I will share my evidence:

Exhibit A:
http://bit.ly/2uNGsot
Look through their gallery until you find the line drawing of a male deer's head. It should be the first example in their gallery.

The real artist of exhibit A:
http://bit.ly/2YQkmiJ

Exhibit B:
http://bit.ly/2K5dLOc
Look through their gallery until you see the "Elvire Sport" example

The real artist of exhibit B:
http://bit.ly/2UlmUa4
I did consider that this could be same person on two different sites; however, the Elvire Sport is the only work in common between the two profiles. 

Exhibit C:
http://bit.ly/2HZ3Isd
Look for the Wineforest logo in their gallery. May be the very first one.

The real artist of exhibit C:
http://www.logogallery.net/wine-forest

And lastly this profile is one that I reported after I found that they completely ripped off this guy who had an ingenious logo design and had won at least one award. By the way, that Fiverr profile is a total fraud. I noticed that they have updated their profile photo and it's now of a completely different woman.


Spotting a fraudThings to look for when shopping for a freelancer on Fiverr.com

 


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