A clairvoyant for $5? Fiverr.com: bargain ‘services’ of any sort

Student Life

Internet shopping: a procrastination technique favoured by students far and wide. By 7th week however, most people will be drawing in the purse strings as any remaining funds start to dwindle and the prospect of two weeks spent living on only Supernoodles and Tesco Value tinned tuna looms ever larger. What better solution to this upsetting state of affairs, then, than Fiverr, a website offering users the chance to buy or sell any service for $5? Set up in 2010, Fiverr has grown massively in popularity, and offers a range of ‘services’ that are sure to keep you entertained long enough to put off even the most inviting of essays. The sign-up process is easy, and no payment is needed until you actually buy something. Having created an account, you’re then free to browse the thousands of available offers, which are divided into categories encompassing the obvious: ‘Gifts’, ‘Travel’, or ‘Business’, and the slightly more ominous ‘Fun and Bizarre’, or ‘Other’. The variety of offers on the site is, of course, enormous, which, whilst making for entertaining browsing, means you’re more likely to discover a sudden desire for, say, a personalised postcard sent from Hawaii or a song of your choice sung by a Leprechaun impersonator than to come away with anything useful (in the traditional sense of the term of course).

After a few entertaining (I won’t go as far as productive) hours spent browsing the various options, I decided that given Oxford’s woeful lack of clairvoyance services, my $5 would be best spent on the wisdom of an internet psychic who would answer any question I chose to ask by reading her ‘magic crystal stones’. After deciding that the extra $20 required for a one-to-one Skype consultation were probably better spent elsewhere (on 4 personalised Hawaiian postcards, for example), I began the agonising process of deciding on a question for my new personal clairvoyant- a shot at supernatural wisdom isn’t something to be entered into lightly after all. I decided to stay general, and ask her what I needed to change if I wanted to be successful in future. Despite a late reply (I should probably have guessed that an internet psychic might interpret the term “express service” more loosely than the rest of us), I eventually received a message telling me that I should be guided by my reason, not my emotion, that I should use my gift for thinking on my feet, and that to truly ensure success I should wait patiently to see the rewards of present endeavours. Life-changing prophecy? Probably as much as could be expected for $5, but I won’t rule out fiverr in future- you never know when you might want a 30 minute Swahili lesson, someone to make that awkward break-up phone call for you, or a 5 minute chainsaw juggling demonstration to alleviate the misery of the fact that the $5 fee has doomed you to yet another portion of Supernoodles.

Polly Clayton-Hatfield

PHOTO/Miran Rijavec

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