What: Find work doing a wide variety of projects, from designing logos and websites to providing writing or marketing help.

Expected pay: Varies by the job

Husl$core: $

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: Be over the age of 16 and/or able to form legally-binding contracts; have a valid email address and be able to verify your identity. Not be a person barred from receiving and rendering services under the laws of Australia or other applicable jurisdiction.


Theoretically, you can sign up for Freelancer.com for free and find work in a wide variety of industries, from accounting to tech. However, the site badgers you to sign up for a “plus” membership at a cost of $9.95 per month when you register and restricts your ability to bid on contracts if you don’t.

That’s not the only way that the site makes money, however. It also charges up to 20% of the revenue you make on any given contract and apparently also charges for skills tests. Because contracts are put out to bid, and some freelancers are willing to work for peanuts, it’s likely that you’ll have to discount your normal rate to win on this site — particularly if you work in a crowded field. If you have a fairly unique skill set, however, the competition is lighter and the worker reviews are better. More than 10,000 freelancers are registered with the site.

The majority of complaints involve Freelancer’s fee structure, which is fed even the worker is not. In several cases workers say they were the winning “bidder” for a job; got charged the site’s substantial fee; but then the employer and job disappeared — or failed to pay. 

There are several similar sites that offer jobs in a wide array of categories that don’t charge you for membership. Other platforms you may want to consider: Fiverr and Upwork.

What their users say (from Indeed.com)

When I was just starting out as a writer, I didn’t know how to get clients. Thankfully, I discovered Freelancer.com. It allowed me to secure a part-time job within days of applying. I gained valuable experience and improved my writing skills during my stint. However, the low pay forced me to look for work somewhere else. But I’m still thankful to Freelancer because it’s where I started my writing career.

Freelancer has an introduction fee of $62 dollars regardless if you get the project or if something goes wrong with the client or if you end up as a scam victim. They do not care. I had 2 terrible issues while trying to freelance for them. Their system is set up without proper verification so you can get scam very easily. Don’t work here if you are a freelancer. The quality of their clients are from all over the world. Most of them want work done at a very low rate. You won’t know who you are dealing with. The majority are individuals with small business and no budget. So if you think you will be producing work for an established company think again.


I can do multiple jobs at the same time. Great work-life balance. But Freelancer is not a stable job. I need to have a very good management skills to manage and get the jobs done efficiently and continuously.

From Hiya:

I’ve been on the service for YEARS and my entire time with the service has taught me a valuable lesson. For starters, job posters are usually scammers, the people applying are also scammers, and Freelancer makes no attempt to deal with any of the issues. The next being that it constantly nickel and dimes you for even the smallest $5 charges, and when a mistake arises, which happens very often, the support is never helpful, and they are not responsible for any of their own actions. Make sure to review the terms here; you may be equally horrified:

Freelancer.com is a site more for entry-level freelancers and employers seeking bargains, than for experienced freelancers. I say that for 2 reasons: First, this is because an experienced person is barred from bidding on anything over $1000; and bids for many jobs are priced absurdly low. 

Freelancer.com is a slave trade. There is no standard for pricing. They never stand up for their writers. I got a 2-star review from an idiot client. They restricted my account for two weeks because of this. While my account is being restricted they withdrew from my account for my membership. Why the heck would you do that? While an account is restricted, you cannot bid. So what’s the purpose of stealing my money? I was in a dispute with a client who milestoned for 100 articles (just $100) because he said “and” and “with” were plagiarised (the level of illiteracy and stupidity writers have to deal with on this site). After submitting 100 articles. Do you know Freelancer awarded the client the dispute? I think they are dying for another lawsuit because apparently, they love being sued. I will be contacting this complaints authority (https://www.oaic.gov.au). I suggest you do the same.

After two weeks of slugging it out with other designers for a chance to win some work through bids, I’ve come to realize it’s near impossible to win a job if I want to be paid a fair wage. I have heaps of experience and a good portfolio, but since I’m not willing to design a logo for 20 bucks or lay out a brochure for $80, there’s no chance of getting work through Freelancer.com. 

I am beginning to think that maybe someone or some people at Freelancer may be in cahoots with these scammers. The reason I say this, is that Freelancer charges the freelancer a 10% fee as soon as they accept the awarded job. How and why are they allowed to continue posting the same job although it is clear that this is a scammer? I cannot answer, but I have decided I am not paying Freelancer anything and will delete my account. You also have to pay for their “tests.” Every test (some of which you cannot even submit a bid without) costs $5.00. Why would I want to pay for an English test, and I passed with a 77% while someone with no English skills at all, gets a 90%?

Paid recruiter fees. Paid fees to highlight my bids. Picked up a couple of jobs worth $300-500 and when I attempted to withdraw $240, they raised Identity Verification and that funds would take upwards of two weeks to process. Yet funds were quickly drawn upon the very same business PayPal account for over two years. It was a total waste of time talking to “support” as they refused to acknowledge the blatant refusal to return money back into the PayPal account. Add to the fact that they are complicit in allowing bidding bots, 40+ bids within seconds of posting a job. Post subsequent job, same 40+ INSTANT bids with no reference to the actual job description. Plus how does someone (majority being non-native English speakers) read, comprehend and answer 40 questions in 41 seconds and attain a 100% score on certifications? The certification leaderboards are rampant with such cheats.

My “verification” of address wasn’t good enough as our utilities are listed under my husband’s name (this despite my sending in my driver’s license, plus a picture of me HOLDING my driver’s license, plus a picture of me holding the identification number they asked me to write on a piece of paper, plus a picture of two recent bills in my name to my address). I had sent in, as another verification piece, the TOP of my most recent bank statement, in my and my husband’s names, including my address. Not good enough. They required a PDF of my entire bank statement. Yes, with the routing number, our every single expense, including monthly subscription expenses to utilities and the like, along with those code numbers, you know, all the information that could sink anyone and have his/her credit flushed down the toilet in half a second of a hacker’s hands. Just. Freaking. No. I asked the rep whether a swab of the inside of my cheek plus a retinal scan would be required next. In his very broken English he robotically repeated the same canned non-sequiturs. Sorry, guys, nope. I’ll stay with Upwork.

I’ve been a member in this platform for over 5 years, I’m in the top 0.5% of contractors, I have 57 reviews, and 56 of them are perfect 5 stars. I only mentioned all of this to show you that if they’re treating me this way, then imagine how they would treat other users. I had an issue with the website a while back, which I’ll spare you the details of, that lead me to escalate the matter to get it solved, which I did. Prior to that issue, the website was placing a two-month limitation on my account, which stopped me from being paid or getting work, and after I resolved that I issue, I must have stepped on a few toes, because the day after, my account was placed under limitation once again.I contacted the website asking for an explanation, and the support agent rudely told me to stop asking questions and do my work, and they’ll remove it when they feel like it. They didn’t use these words, but it was the gest of it. I’m a proud person, and would never beg nor plead, but I was put in a corner. A few months back my father passed away, and just a couple weeks later, I was in a bad car accident which left me in a bad shape and I had to use all my savings to pay my medical bills. Right after that, the account was limited for two months, as I mentioned earlier, and I was barely getting by. But once the issue was resolved and the new “open limitation” was placed, I was desperate and strapped for cash. I had $3600 in my account, which Freelancer refused to allow me to withdraw, and at the same time I had bills piling up, so I contacted them again…[they gave various reasons for the limitation but eventually] told me that the limitation will be lifted on the 4th of November — a month after it was placed on my account. But a few days after this, the support agent said she will only remove my limitation once I finish all my open projects. I tried to explain to her that this can’t be and that as a contractor I have no authority over clients to close projects, they can take forever with edits and improvements and new features, or just leave, or any other scenario which I have no control over.  I woke up and indeed the limitation is still here. I heard of many cases where users had their accounts suspended after complaining about this platform. I realize the risk, and I’m taking it for you good people, so you know who you’re dealing. And if my account does get suspended, I’ll update my review and let you know.

FromConsumer Complaints:

I signed up on Freelancer a week ago. I was able to submit about 5 bids after completing my profile. I did not take their skill certification exams because that would mean using my credit card on an untested site even before knowing whether the site would work for me. I have a strong CV (28 years experience in top organisations) and I wanted to check how employers would respond to a strong profile and solid proposal. While the projects I bid on have yet to be awarded, I started looking for other projects. Every project I tried to bid on kept saying: ‘Before placing your bid, you must complete one of the following steps’. One was to ‘like’ them on Facebook. I did. But I could not go back and bid on the project. Likewise, I followed them on Twitter, invited 2 friends. Nothing I did would let me bid. Now they offer other ‘steps’ like Enter a Contest or Take the Freelancer Orientation Exam. (And before some helpful soul points it out to me, I have checked and I DO have 3 bids left to utilize.) Ultimately, they want to force me to take their certification exam AND verify my payment method.They should say so instead of giving me other options saying ‘…complete one of the following steps’. It would be better if they had included an upfront fee for registration instead of camouflaging it after I register. Because ultimately, clients who need a certification of any kind specify that in their job post and freelancers without that certification are any way barred from those jobs. Freelancers should be free to take their chances with the other clients. In any case, the website has a terrific revenue model. So arm-twisting of freelancers even before they bid or before work is awarded to them is unnecessary and unwarranted and sneaky and clandestine.

Today I was hired for a $190 project which required me to purchase and set up a $100 theme in order to complete the project. The only way to purchase the theme was by using Bitcoin. This is important because my purchase would be nonrefundable. I finished the project up in about an hour and a half, and payment was promptly released by the employer.Four hours later the $190 is gone from my account and without any notification Freelancer has reversed the project after I’ve done everything on my end. I didn’t get an email or a notification explaining why this had happened. I opened a live chat and attempted to explain the situation. The Freelancer chat member explained that I completed a project that violated their terms of service. When I tried to explain further that I spent money in order to complete the project and asked for a further explanation, the chat session was closed saying that I had violated the terms of Freelancer. The chat agent literally ran away from the problem. The chat agent clearly didn’t want to take the time to understand the situation and the moment he could he threw out “not part of our terms, and not our problem.”As a result, I lost $100 for purchasing a theme, $190 for the project and Freelancer still took a $19 project fee which was never returned to me. I have done 50+ jobs on Freelancer and spent thousands of dollars in project fees, dues, and more at Freelancer.com. This experience completely turned me off of their platform. I can’t believe the way I was treated and the way the freelancer community is completely exploited. I would recommend using any other platform after the experience I had today.


People come here to find an income, but it is common thing to pay more that you are hoping to get. I am a freelancer with several months experience, and using this site brought me a bit of grey hair. Most of “employers” are really speculators. They pick a project for, say, $300 and search for a starving programmer who can complete it for $30 or even 300 INR [Indian rupees, worth roughly $4.50 USD]. The worst thing is that they find such people successfully. One disappointing trait of them is awful communication. They treat your as a slave (as “talking instrument”) and command to you in impudent tone, ignore your questions and sometimes don’t bother making payments. Such people/companies hunt for higher-price project on this site too, and shamelessly put their project with the same description once awarded. Another kind of employer is an obvious crook. They lure you into bidding and promise you a lot, but you should complete their job first (or even a “testing task”). No need to say a scammer disappears as soon as he gets what he needs. I have to say, there are bright stars of real, first-hand, promptly-paying and well-communicating customers too. Consider yourself lucky if you find one. In any case, the site takes its 10% fee as soon as you accept a project, no matter if you get paid or not. If the project owner is one of such crooks, you are on your own. Their support treats you as a human garbage. Don’t expect even a response to your ticket after your account has been messed up by them! Generally, they turn their face to scammers and the opposite body part to honest workers.

I am amazed to see a zillion of positive reviews. But most of them are equally short, dumb and full of uncertain buzzwords. Seems their support is working hard to make a false positive image of this cesspool. I’ve ever seen the same profile images for people pretending to be different. Their attitude takes so much of your nerves that terrible technical problems appear not so important. The site is painfully slow. Your stats become calculated wrong (as in 10 + 20 = 5). Your 5-star rating may just disappear, as do a part of your profile/reviews. The system may take a piece of your already received money just because there’s a full moon.And you are at your own, because no matter what you do the site takes profit of it. And because everyone else is your competitor.

Freelancer is a breeding ground for scammers and criminals. They have absolutely no system in place to protect freelancers / sellers from doing work and not getting paid. What’s worse, their care factor for this is also a huge ZERO. Other freelance type sites insist on the buyer paying a deposit so at least you know you will get some of the money. I followed their terms and conditions to the letter, checked the client was fully verified, including payment verified and even used their timing app, which was supposed to be completely secured. What they failed to mention is that the client can remove the project and vanish without paying you. 

A Breeding ground frenzy of scammers! Almost set up to facilitate them or make it super easy to get scammed and ripped off and no way to get money back! STAY AWAY FROM FREELANCER.COM. I lost $1500 and was able to get back all but $500 but cost me $5000 in time and trouble! Just go to Upwork.com. much better, logs, timesheet, screenshots of work AND i’m making progress leaps and bounds over Freelancer.com.

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