Are E-bay or Fiverr marketing outlets to offer your voice-over services? It might sound outlandish, but some people do use this network. As voice over artists we are always looking for new ways to market ourselves. Most of us will have websites and probably promote our work through pay 2 play sites, social media, YouTube etc. We may even take out a traditional advert in an appropriate printed publication occasionally just to test the water. So the big question is: how many of us would advertise our services on eBay and is it wise to do so?
If you check out eBay you will see that there are quite a few VO artists on there plying their trade in this manner. They are offering a variety of services from 60 second commercials to PowerPoint narrations, video voice overs and telephone on –hold messages to name just a few. And believe it or not, these items are being watched and being sold!
The prices for a VO job seem to range from as little as $11 to over $100. Needless to say, it appears to be the $11 voice overs that are being watched and sold! This ultra-low price is even improved by some voices at Fiverr.com. So what does this say about the current state of our industry? We have checked and even bought some of these VO services and the result is you get what you pay. We found people who advertise themselves as voice talents, but they are not. You can tell by the way the perform or read that it’s not professional, routine intonations, no engagement with the text, just a you would expect from your neighbour to read a text. Needless to say that the technical quality is low standard, recordings done with a simple mic plugged into the computer, no proper soundproofed studio, so too much resonance.
But let’s not be dismissive about the eBay or Fiverr option, because from the point of view of some customers, who don’t have real budgets, they understand that they can’t ask for quality, they are just happy with the lines correctly read and charged a few dollars. This is unstoppable.
I guess it’s easy to be a bit haughty about voice overs on eBay or Fiverr but some voices offer themselves on these sites, because they do a lot of volume and they get paid some decent money if they sell many, many gigs. If you are seasoned voice over talent, this cheap selling is certainly not for you and at the same time you shouldn’t be afraid of the competition. This low-cost option is mostly for newcomers to the industry who are looking for clients. For them eBay or Fiverr might be a good way to get started…..or is it?
With the Uber-isation of many branches, you have to admit that competition is tough so the best strategy consists of being ready to sell your services on the online platforms that offers you the best deal. Uber cuts off the middlemen and therefore the costs, they take a commission from each transaction. This is happening in the industry of voice talents for a while, but with remarkable differences, Voices123. voices.com, Bodalgo, they get something when you get a deal, with DirectVoices you don’t pay a commission, you get the money from the customer once you deliver your audio. If you choose the Prime or Pro plans, you just pay just for a profile where you can upload samples and all information about your career and studio. But if you don’t want to pay these profiles, you can also be advertise through DirectVoices.
As Voice Over artists we are always trying to fight our corner and get paid a fair rate for our services, but this low-cost trend raises many questions…
- Doesn’t eBay or Fiver just lower standards across the board and give people the impression that anyone can do it?
- No doubt there are people on ebay masquerading as professional VO artists and they are happy to work for low rates but what does that do for the rest of us?
- And is there any way back? If you are new to the industry and have advertised your services on eBay can you realistically set the bar higher in the future or will you always be working the low value jobs?
- Conversely, eBay might be a good option for picking up those ‘easy to do’ filler jobs in between the more lucrative work?
Lots of questions and not many answers! This is where we turn to you. What do you think of advertising your VO services on eBay? Do you already do so? Let us know what you think; it would be great to hear your thoughts.