Freelancer Review: Is Freelancer.com A Scam or Legitimate?
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I've never been a big fan against competing against other people. I always tried to do my own thing and follow my own path. But some people have no problems with competing and that's probably why sites like Freelancer.com can exist.
If you're here, you have probably read a few Freelancer Reviews online, but you are still wondering if they are actually legit or not. Well, if you can handle the truth, then you'll want to read my freelancer.com review below.
What is Freelancer.com?
Freelancer.com is an international crowdsourcing or freelance website where freelancers bid for jobs posted by potential clients. Freelancer.com was launched in 2009 by founder and current CEO Matt Barrie. Although it is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, it has offices in California, Manila, Jakarta, Vancouver, Buenos Aires and London.
How does Freelancer.com Work?
Basically the website facilitates work and pay between freelancers and clients. Clients post various types of web based jobs and freelancers bid for the jobs. The client will pick the freelancer(s) to do the work. Once the work is completed the freelancer gets paid.
To get a project done, create a freelancer.com client profile, use the ‘post project’ interface to create your project and wait for bids from freelancers. To post a project, you will need to specify the name of the project, describe it in detail and your budget for the project. The website has a ‘’get the most out of your project’’ feature where for additional fees you can choose to
- Make your job more visible
- Receive faster responses
- Get expert help finding the best freelancer
- Mark your project as ‘’urgent’’
- Keep your project details private
- Get freelancers to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement
Before your project goes live you will need to credit your account with an amount equal to or higher than your project’s cost. You can do this either from your bank account, PayPal or credit card. Freelancer keeps 3% of the project’s cost. The rest goes to the freelancer.
To work as a freelancer, you will need to create a profile on the website. To find work, search for relevant projects based on your skillset, place bids, and hopefully get awarded the project and start working. You will get paid based on the mode of payment you chose while bidding for the work. We'll discuss this a bit further later on in this review.
How do I create my Freelancer profile?
Step 1: Create your account. You can use your Facebook profile to speed through the application process, or you can enter your email address, and then confirm it to proceed to the next page.
Step 2: Choose your profile type. To seamlessly create your profile, you will first need to decide whether you want to work as a basic freelancer or a Professional. A basic freelancer profile is free to create and operate. If you choose to create a Professional profile, you will be required to pay a monthly fee of USD29.95; the first month is free. You can pay via PayPal or credit/debit card. With a professional website you
- Can apply for 300 jobs per month
- Are able to make daily withdrawals
- Get to specify up to 100 skills on your profile
- Are eligible for freelancer rewards
- Create an employer following
- Are able to invoice clients externally, amongst other benefits.
Step 3: Choose your area of expertise. As almost every other crowdsourcing platform, any task that can be performed remotely to completion can be done through Freelancer.com. You can choose from the following areas of expertise
- Websites, IT and Software
- Mobile phones and computing
- Writing and content
- Design, media and architecture
- Engineering and science
- Product sourcing and manufacturing
- Sales and marketing
- Translation and language
- Local jobs and services
Once you are through with that you can then proceed and complete the description bit of your profile.
Step 4: This step involves building your public profile. You will have to describe yourself, the services you offer, your hourly rate, language and location.
Your public profile will display the following elements about you
- Number of projects completed
- Project completion rate
- Membership type (basic or professional)
- Country of origin
- Your average rating (between 1-5 stars) based on quality of work, communication, expertise, professionalism and if would hire again.
If your bid goes through you will have a one-on-one session with the client and discuss the project details, including payment.
If this sounds like too much to make money online, you might want to check out My Top Work At Home Recommendation.
How Do I Get Paid with Freelancer.com?
At the time of this review, Freelancer.com uses two payment methods; the Milestone Payment System and Invoicing.
Milestone Payment System
According to the website, it’s the recommended payment method for any type of project as it’s the most secure. Once you agree the terms and work begins, the project’s funds are held by the website.
If you chose partial payments all through the project period, the client or employer releases the funds once you cross every set ‘milestone’. The client cannot cancel any pending milestone payment.
If the employer fails to release the payment you can use the website’s Dispute Resolution Service to settle the dispute.
Once you cross over all project milestones you will have completed the project and this will reflect on the ‘’project completion rate’’ element on your profile.
If you prefer hourly payments, the website recommends invoicing mode of payment. Then, once you are through with a project, the employer will pay you and the balance will reflect on your account.
Whatever method you choose, once the funds reflect on your account, you can withdraw them by filing a withdrawal request with the website.
The first payment takes two weeks to process ‘’for security reasons’’. You can place a withdrawal request every second week from then on, just make sure you have access to either of the following payment options.
- Bank (available in Australia, USA, Canada, the Philippines, Poland, India, New Zealand and Vietnam)
- Wire transfer (for countries where Express withdrawal is not available through banks, minimum $500)
- Freelancer Debit Card (Payoneer card)
How much you can make at Freelancer.com is all up to you, as is the case in any freelance platform. However, you don't need to bid to get paid at Swagbucks.com, Fusioncash.com or My Top Work At Home Recommendation.
Freelancer hacks, tips and tricks
I get it. You realize that competing against other freelancers is tough. So you're looking for any competitive edge you can get. Well, we got you! We've listed some tips for you below.
Your native language matters. Your profile might win you bids or give you away, regardless of your rating. That said, most employers prefer working with freelancers who speak their native language. If you are a software engineer, for example, with perfect mastery of the English language, but happen to live in a country where English is not a native language, your profile might be the reason why you are not winning bids. Just changing your location to a country where English is the native language could make all the difference.
Know when to bid. Most clients will be active in the morning and at night. Knowing when your target audience is mostly active improves your chances of winning bids. Freelancer.com is global, so the time zone factor comes to play.
Know how much to charge. Depending on your profession, you could be charging too high or too low without even realizing so. For instance, too cheap a bid might turn away clients who prefer to pay more for quality. You might also have to justify an expensive bid with your profile. The best way to do this is setting a price you can get away with, without pushing your luck. At freelancer.com you can see what everyone else bidding on a particular project. You can have a look at what everyone else is bidding, and set your price based on that.
Newbie? Don’t choose Milestone mode of payment. It could be the recommended mode of payment, but it could also work against you if you are a newbie. Here’s the thing. Clients prefer employing freelancers with a proven track record. It would be hard to convince a client to trust you with a portion of his money, while you have never completed a single project.
What we like about Freelancer.com
Free sign up
It’s not a must you pay the $24.95 to earn through Freelancer.com. All you need is an active email account, your A-1 freelancer skills and of course where to withdraw your legal tender to.
There are no geographical restrictions, just ensure the website supports at least one mode of payment that is available in your country.
The website has enjoyed its fair share of time under the spotlight. Apart from being featured in the news it has 13 awards up to date, including the 2016 Grand Stevie Award at the International Business Awards.
Obviously there is plenty to write home about when it comes to Freelancer.com. However, the sad thing is Freelancer.com’s ratings are on a record low. Here’s why.
Spam and Fake Job Invites
Once you give them your email, you can expect what some refer to as spam from Freelancer.com. If you are amongst the chosen few, you might receive an email from someone purporting to be an employer requiring your services. Once you follow up on the request, you will realize you were not the only one riding that wave. The purpose of such emails is just to keep you active; nobody is offering you any work.
No BBB Reference
If you follow up on a company’s BBB status before lifting a finger to engage it, you might as well look away right now. The company is not listed under the BBB.
Not ideal for newbies
The website is designed to favor people with a myriad of reviews to their names. All in all, if you are just starting out, you’d better sign up for the paid profile plan. You will part ways with $29.95 on the second month, but at least you will bid as a professional. Is that worth 30 bucks a month? You decide.
Poor paying clients
Some clients are hell-bent on hiring cheap labor. Once they hire you, they will squeeze every ounce of effort and dedication out of you before releasing your payment.
So Is Freelancer.com A Scam or Not?
Freelancer.com is definitely not a scam. Most people will get paid if you win bids and complete projects. However, you might want to tread carefully while dealing with certain clients. The dispute resolution center is there for a reason, because apparently there are a lot disputes to resolve.
Furthermore, you might also have to fight tooth and nail before getting paid gigs if you're new. Another huge drawback is the fact that unless you pay the $29.95, your ability to secure gigs will always be severely limited.
All in all, it’s up to you to find something that works for you. Freelancer.com is just like any other crowdsourcing or freelance website. To stand out, you have to possess skills that are desirable and be willing to compete against people all across the world that may have better experience or willing to work for less. So it's something you need to consider if you decided to work on Freelancer.com
In any event, I've yapped enough. Feel free to share your experiences or chime in below with any comments. Thanks for reading.
Eddy with a Y
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