Freelancer helps you find a wide array of gigs, from tech support to writing, but pay is poor
Expected pay: Varies by gig
Commissions & fees: 3% to 20%, plus membership fees
Where: Nationwide/worldwide (remote)
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, to get jobs, you need to “bid.” And to bid, you need bidding credits. You get 6 bidding credits for free each month. If you want more, you need to buy a membership.
Memberships range from the basic ($5) monthly membership, which gives you the ability to bid on 50 jobs and list 50 skills on your profile; to the “premier” plan ($99), which gives you 1,500 bids per month and the ability to list 400 skills on your profile.
If you win a bid, you will pay a project fee ranging from 3% – 20%.
The cost of bidding and memberships is not oppressive. But the projects you get access to are not necessarily worth paying for. When we checked the site in January, listed projects ranged from creating an ebook from a video presentation to solving website issues.
The ebook had already received 27 bids. Average bid value: $82.
Another job asked for well-written content that could explain the benefit of architecture and engineering professionals. The job asked that the winner post on 10 sites. The 25 bids already submitted expected just $25 in pay for this job.
Several other potentially higher-paying jobs involved troubleshooting specific software. But it was hard to estimate how many hours would be required for these jobs.
Indeed, the way freelancing works on this site is that freelancers are essentially pit against another to get jobs. This system tends to give work to the lowest bidder, which isn’t a good way to make a living.
Naturally, if you’re good, you can build up a stable of regular clients, who may not require you to cut your rates to get work. But we think the bidding formula is a bad one for freelancers. And the structure of other freelance platforms doesn’t create this sort of feeding frenzy.
But freelancers who have worked with the program say that the cheap projects are just the start of the site’s problems. They add that it’s tough to get paid, even after providing multiple forms of identification and bank account information.
Consumers have complained about this site all over the web. I’ll leave it to you to read “What their users say” below. Needless to say, we don’t recommend signing up here.
There are a lot of sites where you can find good and legitimate freelance work. And you won’t have to drop your prices to practically nothing.
For instance, you can offer virtually any online service on Fiverr. The site charges you nothing to sign up. You set your own rates. But you pay a 20% commission to the site when you get work.
If you want to do projects in person — shopping, cleaning, hanging pictures or assembling furniture — TaskRabbit is a great place to sign up. You pay nothing other than a $25 registration fee. All other site expenses are paid by clients.
Want to write for a living? Provide marketing services? Tech support? We review hundreds of online platforms where you can do that and earn a good living in the process. Search our “work” section for the type of job that suits you. Or take our Quiz to be matched to online platforms that suit your interests and skills.
What their users say from Quora
Signed up with freelancer.com. They made a good show, but once they got some money they required copy of drivers license, passport, bank accounts and other accounts. Once given, they refuse to process money or return it. Held a dialog with some of the freelancers. They sounded good, but they did not deliver anything useful. As for now, months late, they have hundreds of my dollars, I wasted a lot of time and they have enough ID on me to generate a whole fraudulent person.
Is it a scam?
It is not meant to be a scam but it is. It is a site where beggars look for worse beggars. Lemme explain. You post a job say..I want someone to manually fill up forms in 3000 sites and I will pay 25$ dollars for it. That Job will have 10 bots and 2 real people bidding for it. Let’s say someone does that job because they are superhuman and their families live on air and water. The project guy..vanishes…Now, The superman can file a dispute..which will have freelancer give 14 days to the absconder to respond…Or…you can pay..3$ or some shit to freelancer to “mediate”, not to mention, Freelancer would get like 3$ out of your 25 dollars anyways. So, It’s an overhead….That’s the wonderful world of freelancing.
It’s not a scam, but . . . It is kind of scam-adjacent, if you will.
I’ve worked in both fiverr and freelancer, and trust me freelancer is not worth the time. You’ll waste effort, money and peace of mind for contests or projects you won’t get paid for, or you’ll get half the price that if you get paid at all!! The customer support sucks. They’ll close your account and get the money with no further explanations. Also there are many fake contests
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.
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 dime you for even the smallest $5 charges. And when a mistake arises, which happens often, the support is never helpful. 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 was in a dispute with a client who mile stoned for 100 articles (just $100) because he said “and” and “with” were plagiarized (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). You should do the same.
Slugging it out
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.
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 said 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.
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 at a hacker’s hands. Just. Freaking. No.
I had $3600 in my account, which Freelancer refused to allow me to withdraw. 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. This can’t be since I have no authority over when clients close projects. They can take forever with edits and improvements and new features, or just leave.
From Consumer Complaints:
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.
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.
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.
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.