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.

For Clients

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.

For Freelancers

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.

If the idea of bidding for work gives you the heebie jeebies, you can check out My Best Work At Home Recommendation, Swagbucks.com and Fusioncash.com.

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.

Invoicing

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.

Payout Options

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)
  • PayPal
  • Freelancer Debit Card (Payoneer card)
  • Skrill

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.

Worldwide presence

There are no geographical restrictions, just ensure the website supports at least one mode of payment that is available in your country.

Award-Winning Company

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.

Freelancer.com complaints

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.

Fraudulent Employers

We came across a good number of users who complained of fraudulent employers who fail to honor invoices once the work is complete. To aggravate the situation, the customer service will leave you hung out to dry after referring you to the Terms of Use you agreed to during sign up.

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.

You neither need experience nor clients to start earning with Swagbucks.com or Fusioncash.com. You can also always check out My Top Work At Home Recommendation.

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.

Fortunately, you don't need to depend on a glamorous profile to earn with Swagbucks.com, Fusioncash.com or My Best Work At Home Recommendation.

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

25 thoughts on “Freelancer Review: Is Freelancer.com A Scam or Legitimate?”

  1. Freelancer has very strange politics against those, who is looking for a freelancer. First, they collected money from me (the whole price for the project), and then they started to complete verification process: 1) to send photocopy of ID 2) make photo with your ID in one hand and their verification code in the other hand 3) Verification of an address: + asked to add copy of energy bill or bank statement.

    Very strange behaviour: collect money for the project and then start asking for enormous amount of documents, copies, statements..

    Actually, I have a problem now: I want to release MY money to freelancer, but I’m afraid of sending such a big amount of documents and photos. Maybe, they will ask for my naked photo tomorrow??

    Reply
  2. I joined freelancer.com back in 2010 under username TRACERSA . I worked day and night to establish that profile and after so much of hard work i managed to get 787 REVIEWS, 100% completion rate, 100% on time, 100% on budget and repeat hire rate 49%

    Due to an UN INTENTIONAL violation they closed my account . They closed it with a very good TRICK, infact they cheated

    Some screenshots of my profile and support email where they said all is good and still they closed it

    let me tell all of you what happened with complete proof

    I have worked with a customer under freelancer assistance, so called a RECRUITER project and once all was done, customer reversed the payment and i asked the support to help and they said, they cannot do anything if reversal is done

    after a week same customer came with new username, i worked he did the same, i didnt knew it before he again reversed the payment and told in chat, STUPID I AM THE SAME GUY, i again informed the support and they did nothing

    3rd time again same guy came under new username and location. just to confirm it he is same person or not, i told him i will not work via freelancer i will work via SKRILL, just to test him and check so if he is the same guy he would have not agreed.

    he was not the same person, and i took the payment via freelancer, so that i dont breake the RULE, , , then after no where a month afterwards he told freelancer support that i asked him for the payment outside, though we made payment onsite, they issued me with a warning stating i should not do this again, i said sorry and they said not repeat it and i said sure and again said sorry

    then after a few days, the recruiter/support agent asked me for a skype call so that they can ask me a few questions, i did that and i was told, now all is good, i am good to work again .. i said sorry again and told them i will not repeat that mistake again and made them feel okay ..

    then he asked me a few questions which REALLY shocked me

    1- It is not possible to have such stats . there must me some thing fishy . These are his exact words … i told that agent, my working technique is, i never accept the project, once i complete it, , customer is happy then i accept and take payment . that is the main reason i am able to have such stats

    2- He asked me, why i am taking offsite payments, i told him, proof me or send me one screenshot where i asked for outside/off site payment except on that only occasion, he had no answer to it

    NOTE: He was just trying to look for any reason to close the profile, i still dont know why

    In short after having lots of chats and tickets etc, i was told that i am all good and can continue to work . but before that i need to finish IN PROGRESS projects with perfection

    i worked days and night to finish them ASAP .. when i did and received the payments, they SIMPLY closed my account

    they claim that i violated TOS many times, just to give them an answer if they are reading, , , there is no where mention in any TOS of preferred freelancer that new task cannot be taken in new project.. i have worked or served this site for 10 years i never knew this, once they informed me i never did it . and they then keep on digging into old projects like 1 year ago… hats off to their team, they clear me or inform me today that i dont repeat this and they checking 1 year or even 2 year old project if i did in old project … Still i paid all the fee for all projects by pointing myself to get rid of it

    In last 8 years i got 2 warning, , , which were not server as they are not clear or mentioned anywhere … Even their preferred test dont have any such question which state NEW TASK from RECRUITER client cannot be taken in new project

    Must add this point in your test so people can be aware of this mysterious hidden rule. I can bet you all, they will never sort this issue as they are a bunch of robbers, playing with others

    Reply
  3. I have done the others like mturk/clickworker and swagbucks for years. Freelancer is crap for an y US worker or practially for anyone not in a third world country.

    I tried this out, in about 2 weeks I had four bid acceptances. Two were clear scams, one was a narcassistic person with unrealistic expectations. The one that accepted my work seemed legit ableit for only 30 dollars for 5 minutes a day of work.

    The promise was do good for ten day and get more treams of work for similar prices and build a long term relationship. After ten days I was offered two more jobs, but what I didn’t know was that those two jobs were part of the individual bid and they did have more demands than my first one.

    Long story short bait and switch, I bailed and cut my losses once I found that out, but freelancer.com is not worth the trouble.

    Reply
    • Freelancer.com are totally CRIMINALS. 99% of the so called jobs posted on their site are fake. 99% of the posted jobs never get awarded not does the site make any attempt to hold job poster accountable to ensure they award projects or get fined.

      I had a similar experience. Some idiot posted a “job”, wasted my time, several hours/days of work later, poster says he changed his mind and did not want to proceed with project and that it was his fault.

      I obviously tell him I expected to be paid for time spent and he even used their “recruiter” but even with a formal demand for payment on their site per “milestone” agreement, freelancer release all funds to the idiot and took several days to credit my account with a partial payment.

      Several months later, to this very day, they have refused to release the funds citing one silly excuse after another.

      I have told them I have no intention to continue using their website and simply want earned funds released but they have refused.

      You are wasting time bidding on fake projects on this site. They apparently devised a scheme to charge you per bids made. You can spend weeks working on a project and poster can change their mind and you get nothing from them regardless of milestone agreement.

      Freelancer.com are CRIMINALS. They will steal your money from you for no reason and refuse to pay you earned funds.

      They are robbers!

  4. In my opinion Freelancer.com is a SCAM. In addition to all the issues noted previously, they send you emails with supposed invitations to accept a job. Sounds good? Not so fast. (1) The “job” is usually not defined. (2) Payment is not confirmed. (3) The site charges the freelancer for accepting a job!!! So, after you accept, they charge you… and then you try to communicate with the supposed employer and get no response, so you try to communicate with Freelancer to get the money back they already charged you for accepting the job… and read all the complaints about getting money from Freelancer. They set up the system to scam as many people as possible, knowing that some will forget about it and they’ll get to keep the money.

    That’s all? Not so. There’s more. They make it impossible (not difficult – impossible) for an experienced person to bid on any job over $1000 until that person has done 5 jobs at penny wages competing with people bidding $5 (really) for a $500 job.

    There’s MORE. I’m just tired of all the negative energy.

    Reply
  5. Clients Beware! Freelancer.com will trap you into being billed multiple times for the single milestone costing you big money. And try to explain to support@freelancer.com you were double billed will have you pulling your hair out with their double talk and playing stupid like they do not understand what you are saying. Even with documented images from your bank statements. As far as I am concerned FREELANCER.COM is a SCAM!

    They scam their freelancers in not paying and will as stated in this article above will not only take your money from the milestone from escrow account but also submit an invoice (the 2nd method) and charge your credit card account.

    After working with credit card company on fraudulent payment dispute, I believe I have them caught now with their own response tot he dispute to prove what they claim is legitimate charge I disputed leaving me the evidence all the other charges I did not claim are fraudulent. Over 3 months and counting and 80 plus pages of evidence accumulated.

    You’ve been warned. BEWARE!
    PS: Go ahead freelancer.com and post your BS response to my post here. That is what you do to all the negative response across the internet. People will get a clue one day..

    Reply
  6. As someone from the hiring side on freelancer.com, I can tell you that I am completely dissatisfied with the website. I started a project I wanted to hire someone to do for ~$100 and have already had over $60 in various fees, most of which do not show up on their “fees and charges” page. Additionally, I have attempted to contact their “live support” no less than 40 times in the last week and have never managed to get in touch with anyone.

    Reply
  7. Freelancer may be legit in name, but they have taken over $150 from me in fees in 6 weeks and keep inventing reasons to refuse paying me the $1000+ dollars I’ve earned. No storefront business could operate this way, or a lawyer would soon show up at the door. If you have any other option, do not use Freelancer. They make up new rules to suit themselves, then call it legitimate business.

    Reply
    • I have a website hosted on bluehost.com that I can’t launch because the freelancer web developer sent the unfinished site as completed. I signed on to get my site done with freelancer.com because I’m NOT tech savvy and am a senior. All I wanted was to be straight ahead and honest and receive that in kind. Now, I’m afraid I’ll have to learn how to finish the site myself. I’ve paid over $700. and I’m on social security. The developer and recruiter are not communicating with me because I paid the developer before I noticed all the finish work that needed to be done. So, what I was hoping to be my passive and side income has become a deep loss I must recover from…not to mention the steep learning curve I’m looking at to get to launch. SMH.

    • Sorry you didn’t find this article. You didn’t need to pay these shady freelancer to create a website. You could have done it yourself quickly and without this headache.

  8. This company is a scam! Someone used my stolen credit card on their site and they refused to help me. Absolutely worthless. They’d rather protect a criminal. Don’t give them your information. I would never use them for any reason.

    Reply
  9. I’ve used sites like these before in the past. I rather enjoyed them but you do have to be careful. There are many sites that offer similar services but then take your money or the platform itself facilitates scamming workers.

    I have used one in the past that upon completion of my job the employer got out of paying and thus I did 2 days work for free.

    It seems like freelancer has some good methods for ensuring security for both the employer and employee.

    thanks for the recomendation. Ill keep it in mind the next time im between jobs.

    Reply
  10. This is so cool! To be able to have up to 100 skills on your profile sounds like a challenge that needs to be accepted. This program sounds like it’s setup for you to win because it naturally motivates you based on your specific skills. I like the fact that your results are based directly off how hard you work.

    Reply
    • I don’t know if it’s designed for freelancers to win. You’re competing with a lot of talent. And most people will only hire folks that have a proven record. So it’s not an easy way to make money when you’re first starting out.  

  11. I am happy to hear that freelancer. com is a legit, even though it doesn’t sound perfect…

    A few months ago I started to outsource the content writing for my website. I had thought of doing it for a long time but without making much money yet with my website I thought it was too expensive. Then I found fiverr. There are many writers who write 500-1000 word articles for $5-$10. That is so cheap that I can afford it.

    However, the quality is not that great, so I have started to look other places where to buy articles. Have you any idea how much does one article, let’s say 1000 words, cost at freelancer. com?
    Thank you!
    Cheers,
    Maria

    Reply
    • Yeah I would never buy articles for my site on fiverr. You get what you pay for. With freelance sites you dictate what you’re willing to spend. So you set the price for your articles.  

  12. Hi Eddy,
    Very informative read, I was thinking about becoming a freelance writer and joining something like this before I found Wealth Affiliate, but to be honest I’m glad I didn’t, especially now I have read this.
    It all seems like a lot of hard and stressful work for what is probably little money.
    Thanks for your other recommendations instead which seem like they offer much more job satisfaction.

    Reply
  13. Hey Eddy,

    Very thorough overview of freelancer I’d heard of it before, but never had anyone go into such detail. I might even consider using it (after I try Swagbucks or Fusioncash). Good to know that it isn’t a scam, but it sucks that there would be false emails and fraudulent employers. There’s always somebody trying to ruin something.

    Thanks again for helping me to avoid something that probably wouldn’t have panned out anyway!

    -Chadimus

    Reply
  14. What a really thorough review and has giving me a insight on how the experience is for a freelancer. I have no experience using Freelancer but I do hire writers to help write content for my websites using Upwork.

    Upwork allows you to see how much the freelancers have earned and after seeing the amounts some are making, I can confirm its most definitively a legit way of making money from home. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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