Fiverr’s Biggest Gotcha: Time Off
Avoid hurting your reputation when you need time off! Use ONLY “Limit Orders”—other methods have penalties.
Have a strategy depending on your needs—choose where on the limit scale you want to be from “completely unavailable” to “partial limiting” (Fiverr allows you to let some messages or orders come through if you wish).
There are at least six automated ways you can slow down or stop orders from coming:
- Limit Orders (to Zero for total unavailability)
- Slower Delivery Defaults
- Turn on “Request to Order”. Excellent feature, but available only to premium Seller Plus members.
- Ask for due date extensions on open orders
- Raise prices/add extras (may slow, but not stop future orders)
- Set to “Unavailable”—do NOT do this, use “Limit Orders to zero” instead
- Pause Gig—do NOT do this, use “Limit Orders to zero” instead
- Deliver late—do NOT do this, ask for due date extensions instead
1.0 Learn all The Options to Minimize Penalties
Warning! Auto Shut Off
Unavailability mode auto-ends on January 1st each year. Other methods do not automatically return you to availability.
EXAMPLE: You mark yourself as away on Fiverr after the holidays, using 1.6 Unavailability Mode. Since you will automatically be taken off “vacation” on January 1, simply reset it to vacation mode on the 1st and you can keep having time off if that is what you need.
1.1 BEST: Limit Orders to ZERO 🖇
Buyers can still place orders based on previous Custom Offers, or request new Custom Offers, so be ready! Reference here.
Limit to zero removes your gig from search, but “does NOT affect your ranking or ratings”. Your gig will be back in search results in about 15 minutes when you turn off the zero limit. However, there is some indication if you use “limit to ZERO” more than 30 days/year, you may get reduced visibility.
Buyers coming directly to your gig see a message that you are “Overbooked” and reviews remain viewable, while unavailable (below) hides reviews.
1.1.1 Option to Let Repeat Buyers In, Keep New Buyers Out
Watch out! If you choose “Keep direct link active”, returning buyers, people who have favorited your post, and anyone with the link can place an order, over-riding the limit. Turning this option on can be said to be the near equivalent of “Limit New Buyers Only“. To set it, click ON the name of your gig as shown below, and more settings will appear. Set as shown below in desktop computer view (can’t be set on mobile app). Click to enlarge:
1.1.2 Custom Offer Requests
Previous customers can still request custom offers (but not place orders), so it’s a good idea to have a pre-written message (a Fiverr “Quick Response“) or an auto-reply set up to let them know you will be getting back to them but can’t deliver work at the moment. Auto reply is set from the quick response area, and looks like this (click to enlarge):
1.1.3 Avoid Custom Offers Restarting When Limiting Orders.
It is always a good idea to communicate with the buyer and try to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution before canceling or withdrawing a custom offer. This can help maintain a positive reputation and build long-term relationships on Fiverr. But if you have any old offers you don’t want buyers to activate while you are limiting orders:
- From the “Orders” tab in your dashboard select the order.
- Click on the “Cancel Order” or “Withdraw Offer” button next to the custom offer.
- Confirm your action by clicking on the “Cancel Order” or “Withdraw Offer” button in the pop-up window.
The drawback: You cannot reinstate those offers after Withdrawing them (until Fiverr changes this).
1.1.4 Open Order Revisions
You will still have to complete any open orders—or revisions on them, so you may want to limit orders before you absolutely need to.
1.2 Okay if Brief: SET SLOWER DELIVERY DEFAULTS
Useful for short periods if not lengthened too frequently.
Some 2-day deliveries change to 4-day delivery on a Thursday night so the seller can take the weekend off. Remember to set it back to 2-day delivery Sunday night.
The problem is that more buyers prefer shorter delivery times, so your reputation can be harmed if you change to long delivery times as fewer sellers may click on your gig in search results making you less popular, potentially impacting your reputation.
1.3 Request to Order
This is a crucial feature, and should be used by everyone who has access to it!
You must subscribe to the Seller Success program, premium level in order to change this setting. Any time you even think you might be overwhelmed with orders you should turn this on—and turn it back off when things are slow. How to turn it off and on (click to enlarge):
1.4 Ask for Extensions
Did you know you can ask for due date extensions on open orders?
To request an extension from the buyer, on the order activity page click “Extend delivery date” on the right side, under the “Deliver Now” button. Do this before the order is late!
Buyers in the past sometimes extended the order deadline so it doesn’t auto-close before they can review it, by generating a revision request when there is no revision needed. Fiverr has tested an option to let buyers simply extend the deadline—they can request more time to review their order before it automatically completes.
1.5 RAISE PRICES / ADD EXTRAS
Maybe your gig was awarded “Fiverr’s Choice”, and now you’re swamped with orders. Maybe you just need to reprioritize your time and stress. Use the above choices first, but plan ahead to raise your prices during your next edit window. Raising them every time you get busy isn’t as effective as option 1.1-1.3
1.6 Set to “Unavailable” for a Time Period
Adds a banner to your Profile and Gig pages showing your unavailable dates. Fiverr’s biggest “Gotcha”.
You will likely incur some degree of penalty if you EVER use this feature, and will absolutely incurr a stronger penalty if you are unavailable more than 14 days in any 365-day rolling time period. In short: use this feature only if Limit Orders isn’t working!
Set availability to “Unavailable” for a time period (image below). Sometimes called “vacation mode”. This leaves your gig visible, but can impact your reputation in the Fiverr Ranking Algorithm. What Fiverr says about this.
1.6.1 How it Works
Buyers will see a banner on your Profile and Gig pages stating when you’re unavailable, and a badge next to your Profile image. Your Inbox will also have a notification, with a note that you are unavailable and that it may take time until you are able to respond. Also adds an “unavailable badge” to your Profile image. Your reviews become hidden when you are unavailable, unlike Limit Orders.
The most important things to determine, in order, are:
- Decide if you want to respond to new buyers. This prevents them from placing orders, (they can only message you). While Fiverr suggests sellers can say in their FAQ “Buyers must message me before placing an order”, Fiverr also says this is not enforceable/not a “Fiverr policy”. Other than a “Request to Order” feature being rolled out in late 2022 (invitation only for now), this is the only way to force buyers to message without placing an order—but it’s not great marketing for that purpose, since you are unavailable.
- Choose a message. This is very important! It’s the only marketing touchpoint available to you. Suggest they bookmark your gig to come back to—more bookmarks can improve a gig’s ranking.
- Pick your time off. Little know fact: This will automatically end at Midnight on December 31—set you back to “available”, so be prepared to reset it on January 1 if you need more time!
- Optional: Choose from a list of reasons you’re unavailable. This is part of what the algorithm considers in ranking you, but is a very, very minor data point. We suggest choosing “I’m Overbooked”. Click the image below to enlarge:
1.6.2 Jan 1 “Gotcha”: Vacation Mode Automatically Shut Off
Regardless of when you start a “vacation” on Fiverr, it ends on January first1st.
If you mark yourself as away on Fiverr after the holidays, realize that you will automatically be taken off “vacation” on January 1. Simply reset it to vacation mode on the 1st and you can keep having time off if that is what you need.
Also, you will be penalized IF you take off more than 30 days/year by giving your gig(s) less visibility in search results.
2.1 OOPS! FORGOT?
If you forget to set time off and your response rate drops due to missed messages, ask some friends or other Fiverr sellers on a forum (it’s a common request) to start messaging you so you can respond and bring your Response Rate back up. If your response rate drops too much, it becomes a penalty to your reputation.
2.2 LET REGULARS KNOW YOU ARE BACK
Message anyone you need to—put it on your calendar as an event or “to do” item!
3. IMPROVE POPULARITY: FIVERR’S ADVICE
Promoting your gigs on social media, websites, or blogs is a great way to bring more traffic to your gig. The more traffic, the more exposure you will receive in our marketplace. Completing your orders on time and providing exceptional service can also affect your ranking. As long as you are doing well in these areas, your ranking will improve. Factors affecting your popularity include Order cancellations • Delivery rate • Responsiveness
4. STAY ON YOUR EDIT SCHEDULE
Edit each gig once/month on the first of the month (or pick a date). Prepare changes for this “Edit Window” in advance.
Be consistent! Fiverr rewards monthly small changes, and penalizes more frequent changes, to the point that editing your gig twice in 24 hours can remove it from search for awhile.
If you’re going to be on vacation during your edit window, it’s still a good idea to log in and make whatever changes you have planned.
Edits are how you make money on Fiverr—careful changes over time help you do three things:
- Increase your true hourly rate by raising prices/extras
- Get more customers (Impressions>Clicks>Orders) such as by adding currently popular keywords.
- Prevent and manage reputation problems, such as by having detailed FAQs to prevent / get customer service on your side for common “bad buyer” problems.
Monthly changes let you push forward faster (and fall back when needed), rather than changing too slowly, or changing too many things at once.
If you wait until you are off vacation to edit, whatever date you edit must becomes your new “always edit on this date” date going forwards. Alternatively, if you miss an edit window, you can wait until the next one.
Very small changes (e.g. making delivery time one day longer), may not directly impact your reputation due to the change itself, but due to buyers reactions—more buyers prefer shorter delivery times. But Fiverr does not reveal what “size” changes have what effects, other than too many or too frequently will hurt your ranking in the algorithm.