Fiverr vs. Upwork – How to Use Them for Your Small Business

by Katie Sawyer, 10 minutes read
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Fiverr vs. Upwork – How to Use Them for Your Small Business

Outsourcing is an integral part of operating a successful business. Outsourcing enables you to run a more profitable small business because it allows you to focus on tasks that will increase your bottom line. For example, if you own a retail business, you can concentrate on sourcing new and interesting products while you outsource tasks, such as design.

After you have made the decision to outsource work for your small business, you will need to choose the best platform for your needs. The benefits of using an outsourcing platform include:

  • Freelancers are rated and the details are made public. Therefore, you’re able to make an informed decision before you hire a freelancer.

  • Payment is kept in the secure job platform and is only released when your work has been completed to a satisfactory level.

  • Dispute resolution is included, so you are able to contact the platform’s administrators if you have any issues with your freelancer.

Two of the most popular outsourcing platforms are Fiverr and Upwork. Both of these companies are verified and are popular amongst business owners who want to hire remote workers and freelancers. There are differences between Fiverr and Upwork and the best one for your small business depends on your budget and the type of work you need to complete. Although it is best to familiarize yourself with one platform at a time in order to get the best results, there is nothing stopping you from using both Fiverr and Upwork for different types of projects.

A fit for purpose outsourcing platform should include the following features:

  • A large selection of freelancers who are based globally.

  • Tools to test a freelancer’s skills.

  • Secure payment management to protect your funds.

  • Helpful administrators and customer service representatives to provide support.

The following is a description of how Upwork and Fiverr could work for retail business owners for outsourcing projects.


If you are a retailer who has decided that your business needs a new website, you may want to consider finding a freelancer using the Upwork platform.

Fiverr vs. Upwork - How to Use Them for Your Small Business

Upwork is a comprehensive outsourcing platform where freelancers post their skills, capabilities, experience, and rates. You can search through different freelancers within your price range to start your web design project. Upwork has document sharing, messaging and payment features, which enable you to carry out the whole transaction within the platform. To choose the best web developer for your retail business, you should first search by the type of web platform you will be using, for example, Shopify or BigCommerce.

  • Getting started on Upwork

You need to create an Upwork account to start the process of finding a web developer for your retail business website. You are required to provide your full name and your email address to sign up for an account. You must then choose a username and password, while your email address is validated. As you will be hiring a freelancer, you need to select the ‘hire for a project’ option. When you have gained access to the Upwork platform, you can provide details about your retail business in order to help Upwork make the best suggestions for you.

If you have a good idea about the type of web developer you need, you can start by posting a job listing straight away. Upwork helps you to complete your job listing by asking you for information that will attract the best freelancers. You can learn how the whole hiring process works by watching four videos. According to Upwork, these videos will enable you to find the best freelancers, faster.

The four videos cover the following topics:

  • What is online work?

  • Find: writing the perfect job post.

  • Hire: vetting profiles and interviewing freelancers.

  • Work & pay: getting impressive results.

The four videos can be completed in less than an hour and will help you to gain a better understanding of how to find the best web developer (or any other freelancer) for your retail business.

  • How Upwork works

After you have completed your job listing, Upwork utilizes data science to present you with profiles of the best web development freelancers who match your requirements. This saves you the time of doing a manual search through thousands of freelancers. It is not necessary to choose a freelancer that Upwork has suggested. You could opt to have freelancers contact you through Upwork and send you proposals.

An important decision to make when posting your job listing is whether you will pay your web developer by the hour or per project. It is recommended that you pay using a fixed fee for larger projects like web development. Paying by the hour would be suitable for smaller and more discrete tasks. Upwork provides a time tracker which monitors your hourly freelancer’s work. This system works by taking screenshots of the computer monitor at different times to provide evidence that your freelancer was completing your tasks. Another important decision to make regarding your business is to use an employee scheduling platform that makes it quick and easy to make schedules so you and your managers have time to focus on bettering your retail business. If you’re not sure which one to go with, click here for A free trial of the employee scheduling software Nike, Amazon Pop-up and Ace Hardware use.<script src="" charset="utf-8"></script><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ hbspt.cta.load(3040938, '9a550f3d-0dad-4e36-a42a-b1fe660dea70', {}); // ]]></script>

  • How Upwork screens freelancers

Fiverr vs. Upwork - How to Use Them for Your Small Business

Upwork appears to go to great lengths to ensure their freelancers are able to provide the best service possible by:

  • Providing online skills tests. You can search for freelancers who have received a high rating in web related skill tests, for example, UX and HTML. Test results above 90% indicate that the freelancer is competent in the chosen subject.

  • Verifying freelancers’ identities to give you peace of mind.

  • Displaying freelancer success scores and their feedback from completed jobs.

  • Providing a chat and video conferencing feature to interview freelancers.

After you have shortlisted your web developers by assessing their feedback and portfolio, you should arrange an interview to find out more about how they work. Speaking with potential freelancers will also help you to make a judgment about whether you will work well together.

When you have selected your web developer, you can organize the whole project through Upwork. This provides convenience for you and the freelancer, as there is no need to search through emails to find communication.

To keep control of your web development project, you can assign milestones and configure the system to automatically release payment after you have approved a milestone. In the case of working with a web developer for your retail business website, you can include milestones, such as site architecture and site development.

You can use the Upwork Pro service if you are too busy with the day-to-day operations of your retail business, to go through the freelancer selection process. To use this service, you must provide the details of your project and Upwork will pre-vet and handpick the best freelancers.

  • How to pay your freelancers using Upwork

When your web developer has delivered your specific milestones for your project, you will need to make payment through the Upwork platform. You can pay your freelancer using a variety of methods including PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard. You will normally have to pay a 2.75% processing fee for using most payment options.

The payment of taxes is handled by Upwork. However, you can download invoices for your records. If the freelancer is classified as an independent contractor, you are not accountable for reporting payments on a Form 1099. Your payment is made via an escrow service, which is regarded as a third party payment network. Therefore, tax reporting is the duty of Upwork. However, if you want to classify your web developer as an employee, you will need to use the Upwork Payroll service. This service enables the staffing provider at Upwork to employ the freelancer, withhold relevant taxes and give them a Form W-2 to complete.


Fiverr is based on a different model in comparison to Upwork. On Upwork, you post a job to attract freelancers. Fiverr reverses this process by allowing freelancers to advertise their skills and specify the jobs they want to take on. You then search through the freelancers and decide who you want to hire. This structure makes Fiverr more suitable for small jobs like logo and flyer design.

  • Getting started on Fiverr

Fiverr vs. Upwork - How to Use Them for Your Small Business

Simply enter your email address to get started on Fiverr. You also have the option to create a new account using Facebook or Google. After you have entered your email address, you will be asked to provide a username and password. You will then be taken to the Fiverr platform where you can start searching for freelancers for your project.

If you want to design a logo for your retail business, simply do a search for ‘logo design’ and you will be presented with freelancers who provide this service. You will be able to see the freelancer’s customer ratings as well as the types of projects they have completed in the past.

Freelancers use a tiered pricing system for their services. For example, a designer may charge $5 for a logo design that will take three days to complete and $10 for a one-day turnaround. You can contact different freelancers to ask them questions to determine whether they will be able to design your logo to your satisfaction. When you decide to hire a freelancer, you simply select the type of service you want, provide instructions and make your payment.

Like Upwork, all communication with the freelancer can be done within the platform. Fiverr actively discourages freelancers from communicating with clients outside of the platform.

  • How Fiverr works

Fiverr has undergone many changes since it was founded. It is now getting more difficult to find quality jobs (which are referred to as gigs) for $5. However, new freelancers who need to build their customer ratings normally still provide complete projects for $5. Fiverr has also introduced Fiver Pro, which is described as a service that provides “top quality, hand-picked professionals, trusted by the world’s biggest brands”. Fiverr Pro freelancers’ offer specialist services and their rates normally start in the hundreds of dollars.

Fiverr vs. Upwork - How to Use Them for Your Small Business

However, it is likely you will only require the services of a standard Fiverr freelancer if you’re looking for design work for your retail business. Due to the fact that the services are so cheap, you can try two or three freelancers to see which one delivers the best results.

You can also use Fiverr to provide graphics and animations for social media for your retail business. If you are looking for designs to build an online brand for your retail business, then it is worth considering using Fiverr.

  • How to choose a freelancer on Fiverr

Fiverr has a clean and intuitive layout that makes it easy to find the service you want. You can choose the main category, like design, you will then be presented with sub-categories like web design and logos. You can also refine your search results by sorting through criteria, such as price range, seller level, and language.

  • How does Fiverr screen their freelancers

With the exception of Fiverr Pro freelancers, anyone can sell services on Fiverr. However, Fiverr does provide a means of reviewing their freelancers. After you have completed a gig, you have the option of leaving anonymous feedback for the freelancer. There are also different levels of sellers, which include new sellers, level one sellers, and top sellers. A top seller is a freelancer that has provided a consistent and exceptional service.

Fiverr also has a dispute resolution feature where you can contest a job. The administrators will mediate and provide you with a refund if they believe that your case is valid.

  • Why should you use Fiverr for your retail business?

Buying gigs on Fiverr is quick and easy and will be particularly useful if:

  • Your job is a one-off, like logo design.

  • Your job is small, such as designing a sales promotion flyer.

  • You need a job to be completed as soon as possible.

Fiverr vs. Upwork - How to Use Them for Your Small Business

Choosing between Fiverr vs. Upwork to provide services for your retail business helps you choose the most suitable platform for the type of project you wish to complete.

Upwork is more suited to larger projects and work that requires specialist knowledge. On the other hand, Fiverr is a platform where you can outsource, small, quick and easy jobs on a very low budget. Both platforms are free to join so you can sign-up and browse projects and freelancers to get different ideas about how to use them for your small business.

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