Walking the virtual streets, looking for a good time

Now that I’m back to freelancing full-time, standing on the virtual street-corner waving at people looking for a good time with their web projects … it’s been interesting. The good news is that there’s still plenty of work out there to be done. I’ve been looking for work all over the web, and here’s some of my observations:

Elance

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Elance is the gold standard of freelance project marketplace websites. Sure, there are a lot of jokers out there with “champagne tastes and beer budgets” that you have to filter through, but there’s also lots of legitimate work that people are looking to get done. Competing against foreign currency leverage is difficult, but there are buyers out there who aren’t only shopping by price alone. There’s no coincidence that I’ve made the most money through Elance so far, out of all the various places I’ve tried to source work from.

Freelancer.com

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If Elance is the gold standard, then Freelancer.com is the bargain basement. There’s a constant stream of new projects showing up, most of them not even worth looking at, and the Indian mass-bidders have pretty much automated away the usefulness of the site. Still, I keep an eye on it just in case. I’ve only generated 1/10th the revenue on Freelancer.com as I have on Elance, so far.

Guru.com

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Ah, good old Guru.com, there were great projects being posted to it in the late 1990’s, but the site’s functionality hasn’t improved in 10 years and the quality of the projects being posted have also declined. I’ll still check it every now and then, but I don’t expect it to lead to any real work any more.

Craigslist

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Let’s not forget Craigslist, the proverbial junk drawer of the Internet. Don’t go expecting to find anything of real value there, but you might be able to turn a few tricks, and there’s likely to be less competition by Indian low-ballers.

***

Overall, this week has been encouraging and discouraging in its own way. I’m only making 20% of what I need to be in order to stay doing this full-time, but I am getting some decent work and it’s trending upwards. Just gotta keep hustling and shaking, smiling pretty and getting out there.

If you’re looking for short term help, almost doesn’t matter what as long as it can be done remotely, let me know. We’ll work out a good price and I could definitely use the work.

Comments

  1. Hi, this is Nicole from vWorker (formerly known as Rentacoder). Like Elance, Guru, and Freelancer, vWorker provides access to programming, writing, illustration, even data entry jobs. Success at these types of sites strongly depends on the services they provide, but the services available at Elance, Guru, and Freelancer could limit that success. Consider the following:

    Fees:

    Workers on Elance cannot place more than 3 bids a month unless they pay a subscription fee ($9.95/month for 20, $19.94/month for 40 or $39.95/month for 60). The majority of sites do not charge subscription fees.

    Guru charges 10% in fees (5% if you pay for upgraded membership). In addition, Guru also charges $29.95/quarter – $129.95/quarter in fees. Plus workers on Guru are charged a 2% fee for arbitration. They are also charged 2.5% if the Employer uses Pay Pal, or charged up to 4% if the Employer uses a credit card.

    vWorker does not have any subscription fees or any other types of hidden fees. Our project fees are as low as 6% and we guarantee all types of unlimited work.

    Escrow/Guarantee of Payment:

    With pay-for-time type projects, neither Guru nor Freelancer allows you to verify your time on pay-for-time projects by punching in and out of a real-time system, and conclusively prove to the Employer that you were working. As a result they do not guarantee payment, and if the Employer does not wish to pay you, you may end up with no money.

    Arbitration:

    Elance charges $66.66 or $133.33 for each arbitration, which may make it too expensive to be a legitimate option on your project. In addition, a Employer intent on abusing the system can stall the start of arbitration on Elance for 21 business days and during this period your money is not available to you. You also won’t find any detailed rules on how Elance arbitrators make their decisions.

    Guru’s mandatory pre-arbitration processes allow an abusive Employer to stall the start of arbitration (and prevent you from accessing your money) for weeks. For example, Guru allows buyers up to 20 days in mandatory mediation before the site will force them into arbitration. You also won’t find any detailed rules on how Guru arbitrators make their decisions.

    Freelancer limits arbitration to projects with milestone payments of more than $30. And its mandatory pre-arbitration processes allow an abusive Employer to stall the start of arbitration (and prevent you from accessing your money) for weeks.

    At vWorker, we offer arbitration on all projects free of charge and we test your deliverables to make sure they meet requirements so that you can get paid. We also prevent abusive buyers from stalling the start of arbitration. As a result, 45% of our arbitrations are completed under a day. 75% under a week. We additionally publicize the detailed rules of how our arbitrators make their decisions.

    I want to especially caution against looking for jobs on sites like Craigslist. Our site offers live support via email or chat or phone seven days-a-week. And it has a requirements wizard and a project posting wizard to help you build a project that’s easy for workers to understand. Craigslist certainly doesn’t offer this type of support because it was never designed to. Craigslist is a classified ads site where we’re an international 3rd party online international marketplace for contracted employment. We’re the only service that offers support on this level.

    There are other differences as well. I invite everyone to compare the 7 major services through this link to learn even more: http://www.vWorker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/misc/CompetitorInformation/WhyRentACoder_ForSellers.aspx

    If you have any questions, please let me know. You can also call in to talk to a facilitator 7 days a week, or email us.

  2. Agnes Torped says:

    Nicole certainly makes a good point. I have a bunch of friends, and fellow freelancers, who swear by VWorker. Elance and ODesk sort of seem to pale in comparison to the well-regulated marketplace Vworker offers. If I was going to use any of those sites, I’d go for VWorker in a heartbeat.

  3. vworker.com is the best and i can say it because i am a freelancer there and there is no other freelancing site that can match the standards of vworker.com. Simply the best.

  4. Seriously, how are all of you vWorker.com shills finding my blog and commenting on it? It’s one of the worst freelance job marketplaces out there. I suspect the three of you puppets posting comments here are getting paid to do so – and that’s sad.

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