99designs vs Fiverr: Which One Should I Choose?

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If you're a freelance designer like me, one of the most common questions I've seen asked is which design site or website to sell my artwork on. This isn't always easy for anyone to answer, as there are a lot of sites to choose from and different ones might suit you better depending on what type of work you do. 

In this article, I'll make an argument for how you can choose between 99designs vs Fiverr are both great places for designers to sell their work. And I'll start by comparing them and explaining how each one is unique.

If you've already decided to try any of these platforms, just click the button below.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a website that allows you to set up your own freelance business. You can use it to sell your services. You'll have your own unique profile and clients can buy your work. So far, I've only seen it used by people selling their graphic design or illustration services, but you could use it for any skill set.

What is Fiverr?

It's really simple to set up your own business and you can keep 100% of what you make. The pricing range is between $5.00 and $20.00, but you'll have no control over the price. It's set by the Fiverr team who update your prices as needed to hit their revenue target.

There are a lot of opportunities to earn on the platform. And the main thing that I really like about it is that you're able to explore every skill you want to offer as a freelancer. So, you don't have to stick to graphic design or illustration. You can set up your own freelance business on this platform and offer a ton of different products and services.

The biggest disadvantage of Fiverr is the low pricing range. If you're used to working with clients who want high-quality content or design services, then you'll find that your average sale is $10-$20. It's enough to earn money as a freelancer, but not as much as you might want from each project you work on. The other thing I dislike about Fiverr is that it's so saturated with competition that it really takes away from their uniqueness. 

What is 99designs?

99designs is an online marketplace where designers compete for jobs in design and printing, in order to win the best price for their designs. The most popular design clients, which are usually Fortune 500 companies, use this site for pricing their design projects. You can list your portfolio on 99designs, offer a free design service or you can even offer paid services like web design packages and graphics development.

What is 99designs?

What you can't do on 99designs though is sell artwork or designs for other products such as home décor or clothing accessories.

Since 99designs is a marketplace, it works the opposite of Fiverr. You're able to set your own price. It's at this point where I have to say that you might get a better return in terms of sales from working on 99designs than Fiverr, especially if you're a premium graphics designer or illustrator.

When you sign up for free on 99designs, you have access to thousands of clients who are willing to pay for your graphic design work or illustration skills. This is the biggest reason why I think freelancers should give 99designs a try if they're looking for a platform to sell their designs.

That said, if you're not really wanting to focus on purely design work, then I'd say that Fiverr would be a better choice for you. It's more open to any skill you have and it's easier to make money on.

How should you decide between 99designs vs Fiverr?

To help you decide which site or platform is best for selling your artwork, here are a few questions to help guide your decision:

What kind of graphics designer or illustrator are you? 

If you're only looking to do freelance work with businesses and an average sale of $10-$20 is good enough for you, then I'd go with Fiverr. 99designs offers better pay if that's what you need from each client.

But, if you're a designer or illustrator who wants to really excel and attract businesses that are willing to pay up to $100.00 per project, then I'd go with 99designs. It's more suited for more serious work that requires an experienced creative vision than Fiverr.

Are you looking for a platform that will allow you to sell your artwork on? 

If the answer is yes, then I'd suggest choosing Fiverr because it allows for more freedom in terms of pricing. In the event that your work isn't selling enough on Fiverr, there are other sites where you can list it too and earn a good amount of money.

Will you be spending time creating a portfolio or working on your design skills? 

If you want to maximize your earnings, then I'd go with Fiverr because of its ability to help you get clients and find more work that will bring in good money. On 99designs, there isn't much more that you can do besides make new designs or do graphic design and illustration jobs.

If you're able to offer something a little different or special like web design, then I'd suggest checking out 99designs if it's not overwhelming with the competition. Otherwise, I'd pick Fiverr because of its openness and greater return for each project sold. 

Who are the platforms for?

If you're selling your artwork to businesses, then Fiverr is best for you because it's more open to any skill or a job that will bring in good money. If you're looking at getting more into design and engineering and selling your designs on sites, then I'd go with 99designs because it has more clients who will be willing to pay a higher price.

Fiverr categories

Here's a quick overview of the two sites to help you decide which one is best for selling your designs:  

  • Fiverr – If you're a freelance designer or illustrator who wants to have more work opportunities and interested in gaining experience, then Fiverr is the platform for you. You'll gain more experience, get better at marketing yourself and you'll be able to reach out to people from all over the world with new clients from all different walks of life.
  • 99designs – This site is more for someone who has a good amount of experience in design and wants to force themselves to create some awesome designs, earn a good amount per project and be able to charge more per project. It's more suited for someone who needs decent pay and a consistent workflow than Fiverr. 99designs tends to favor people with skills in design, art, architecture or other creative fields. 

Fiverr vs 99designs feature comparison

99Designs and Fiverr have a few striking similarities. They are both marketplaces, they each offer graphic design services, and they are both competitively priced. But that is pretty much where the similarities end. Let's take a quick look at how their core features measure up against each other.

Marketing and advertising your services on the platform

99Designs offers certain advantages for entrepreneurs who want to promote their services. This is because it has a comprehensive one-pager advertising platform. It can be easily customized by the designers and marketers who use it, and there are no hidden fees or costs that will make you think twice about using it.

99designs categories

Fiverr has a few advantages of its own, but 99Designs can compete with it if you have a large marketing budget. For example, Fiverr offers 50% of the advertising fees to designers and marketers who advertise with them. 99Designs does not charge advertisers any upfront fees. This means that the amount you get paid by your followers is 100% dependent on how many views you get from your clients and how many designs you can sell per month.

Overall I think you could get great results when you advertise on both platforms. However, 99Designs has one particular advantage over Fiverr in this area: it has built-in analytics that allows you to track your marketing campaigns. So if you don't want to pay $20 per month for Fiverr's analytics, then 99Designs might be more suitable for you.

The freelancer interface

When you are logged in to your Fiverr account, you will see a travel map with all the designs that you have sold. The same goes for 99Designs. The difference is that on 99Designs, there is a tool at the bottom of the page. This allows the freelancer to keep tabs on all their designs and services by listing them on a timeline. So when a client sees the designs they like on this timeline, they will be able to purchase them in succession.

Signing up on either platform is straightforward. You will be asked to create a username, add your profile photo, and upload a brief about who you are.

become a seller on fiverr

From then on you can start offering your services. 99Designs has an appealing interface that is light and airy. It's the kind of website that will keep you coming back for more no matter how hectic your schedule is.

Fiverr's interface is fun, but it has some design flaws that make it look cluttered at times. Also, for a marketplace that is designed to help freelancers market themselves, you can tell that it is not very good at it. The design of the homepage is very bland and makes you feel as if you are in a shop trying to sell your services. You can hide the advertising from your website, but this means that whenever a client tries to contact you, they will see other designers' offers instead of yours.

The designer interface

100% of designers who used both platforms were satisfied with their experience with 99Designs. But this is slightly different for designers who only used Fiverr. Of these designers, 65% say that they were satisfied with their experience.

Fiverr gigs offers

If you are interested in using Fiverr, then you should know that it is not a good platform for when you have multiple projects that need to be done at once. This is because its organizer system is not as efficient as it should be.

The freelancer interface of 99Designs allows the designer to keep tabs on all their projects and commissions. Additionally, it has an appealing design and uses a clear layout that makes it very easy to use. If you use Fiverr, then I would suggest using this platform instead. It is the only marketplace with solid freelancer tools. Most marketplaces are good at providing basic design services. But the problems with Fiverr's organization system mean that you will have to be extra careful when choosing clients.

Fiverr vs 99Designs: payment services

Once a client has purchased a design from your Fiverr profile page, you will be paid for it within minutes. Payment is done through PayPal since they provide the best service for both freelancers and clients. However, Fiverr also gives you an option to extract money immediately. 50% of your payment will go to Fiverr, while the remaining part will be paid to you.

99Designs' payment system is more complex than Fiverr's. They are using Payoneer as their preferred payment system for worldwide freelancers and have PayPal as their second option. If you want your payment electronically deposited into your bank account, then Payoneer is the best option for you. However, Payoneer cannot deposit your funds until they are cleared by the bank. This takes up to 10 working days.

Types of services you can offer

Fiverr has several very specific categories that you can use to list your services. Every category has its own set of curators who will help you get more sales if you use their services. This is in the form of upselling additional services or cross-promoting your profile on other websites.

For example, if you are a graphic designer, your profile will be promoted on other websites such as Designhill or Graphic River. If you have a large enough portfolio and good reviews, then this can easily bring in new clients to your page.

On the other hand, 99Designs' services are spread out between a few categories. Every category is meant for a specific type of service, but there is an overlap between them. For example, you could post a design in the T-shirts category and sell it to someone who wants to design a logo for their company. I think that this platform is better than Fiverr because nothing is lost in translation when you try and communicate with potential clients.

Navigating 99Designs

That said, you can also sell other services apart from design on Fiverr whereas you wouldn't be able to do so on 99Designs. I find that this is extremely important to know especially if you don't want to get into design work. Or if you want to offer something other than design services, you can get them on Fiverr.

If you are looking to make your online freelancing business a success, then Fiverr is arguably the best way to do it. Designers who learn how to use this platform correctly can become very successful. The reason for this is that it has a large user base and offers the best services in the market. But don't forget that there will always be other people like you who might be able to undercut your prices by a small margin.

Earning possibilities

If you want to use Fiverr to make money, then you should be using it every day. It's a very simple business model and doesn't require that much effort on your part. On the other hand, if you are planning to start a business with 99Designs then I would advise that you get some more information about how it works before diving in. Though there is no doubting the fact that creating and selling designs from your computer is easier than doing so on another platform such as Fiverr or Etsy.

99Designs is a great platform for designers to learn how to deal with clients while earning some money in the process. Also, if you can improve on your communication skills then you will be able to do well on this platform. But, the only way to get better is by taking part in it as much as possible, and being patient with what you receive. So, if you are looking for a good way to start out with online freelancing then Fiverr might be a better platform for you.

On average, freelancers on 99Designs earn between $20-$30 for each design that they submit. Most designs are priced between $100 - $200, so that is quite a big range.

99designs pricing plans

That said, there are also many designers on 99Designs who make more than this while others make less. So, it really depends on your work ethic and your reputation in the community to determine what you will earn through it.

On Fiverr, the average selling price is $2.50. However, if you are a new seller then you will be limited to starting off with $5 gigs. And, it can take some time to build your reputation so that you can increase the rate of your gigs through time.

I’d recommend starting out on both accounts and seeing which fits your needs the best. In the end, it is up to you what platform you decide to commit yourself to because there are pros and cons for both sites.

Getting started

To get started on both sites, I recommend sticking to simple products first until you get the hang of either site.

99Designs is pretty easy to use and follow. There’s no mixture of originality required of you in order to make a winning design on this one. You just need to follow the simple steps they lay out for you, upload your design, insert your keywords and submit your offer. 99Designs will then do the rest.

Fiverr is a little bit different because it actually involves using the marketplace itself. You can use this platform to promote your services with Fiverr’s advanced marketing tools and services. So that is really cool if you are into affiliate marketing or just want to start out slow and make a few bucks in the process.

Getting started on Fiverr

So, I’d recommend starting with 99Designs if you are new to online freelancing and aren’t sure if it’s the right path for you yet. This way, you can get a feel for working with clients and determining their needs.

If you already have experience in online freelancing then Fiverr is where it's at. This is because of the large user base on this site that will easily provide you with enough clients within a few months to last you a lifetime.  

Final words: which one should you choose?

I’ve chosen to use Fiverr because of the incentives that they offer their members. There is a potential to earn $500-$1,000 per month if you can manage your time well and get all of your clients through their salesman. So if you have just started out with online freelancing and need a platform with enough users, then Fiverr might be the one for you.

But, just remember that 99Designs offers more than Fiverr when it comes to payment services. This is because of all the extra services they provide their designers. So if you need a marketplace that you know nothing about, then I’d advise that you stick to it until you master the basics on your new platform of choice.

99Designs is a better choice for those who have never sold any designs before. If you are already well-versed on this type of online work, then Fiverr may be the best platform for you.

In the end, it all depends on what you want from your online freelancing platform. So if you want to make a fortune through this profession, then I suggest that you start out with Fiverr because of the incentives they offer their members.

Here is my full 99designs review.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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