Is freelancer.com legit? A comprehensive Review

Freelancer.com is a legit online platform where freelancers in various fields bid on projects posted by prospective clients. It is an international crowdsourcing or freelance website on which freelancers make money on the internet. Clients can get freelancers on Freelancer.com to do different kinds of jobs.

 

The idea is to facilitate work and payment between freelancers and clients from all over the world. Typically, a prospective client posts a job which freelancers then bid for. The client chooses the freelancer(s) to work on the project, and then pays them once the job is completed.

 

Although there are now several platforms on which freelancers can peddle their trades, Freelancer.com is prominent because it is one of the oldest ones that is still running. It was founded in 2009 by founder and current CEO, Matt Barrie, is headquartered in Sydney, and now has offices all around the world in the US (California), UK (London), Canada (Vancouver), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Indonesia (Jakarta) and the Philippines (Manila).

 

Freelancer.com claims to be the biggest outsourcing marketplace in the world with about 4.5 million projects posted and about 8 million verified users from around the world. Freelancer.com focuses on a wide range of fields including design, website and software development, marketing, writing, data entry and a host of others.

 

PRICING

 

For employers or clients, signing up on Freelancer.com is totally free, and so is posting jobs, but after hiring a freelancer, the charges begin to come in. For fixed-fee projects, a charge of 3% or $3 (whichever is more) goes to Freelancer.com once a freelancer has been hired.

 

If the client winds up paying more than was initially budgeted, this will also reflect in the charge. For clients hiring freelancers by the hour, the charge is 3% of the rate per hour. Project posts may also be upgraded in various ways, which will reflect in the costs.

 

For freelancers, bidding on a project is free, but a sponsored bid is moved to the top of the bid list and will cost 2% of the bid amount, with a minimum cost of $4 and a maximum of $50. In addition, freelancers are charged $1 to highlight their bids so that they stand out to prospective clients.

 

Freelancer.com also offers paid membership to freelancers with the advantage of extra bids every month and added skills on their profiles. They also get some other perks for becoming paid members. Here is a breakdown of the benefits of paid membership for freelancers on Freelancer.com:

 

Membership level Bids per month Number of skills Bonuses Price per month Price per year
Intro 15 30 Custom cover photo $0.99 Not available
Basic 50 50 5 employer followings $4.95 $53.40
Plus 100 80 Free project extensions $9.95 $107.40
Professional 300 100 Free sealed projects $39.95 $395.40
Premier 1,500 400 Free NDA projects $79.95 $791.40

 

 

HIRING ON FREELANCER.COM

 

Clients can post their projects for free on Freelancer.com. They may either invite freelancers to bid for the job or search for relevant freelancers themselves and make an offer. After posting the job, the client can chat in real-time with potential hires, compare the proposals submitted, and choose the best candidate to award the contract to.

 

Subsequent to the hire, the client may use a computer or mobile application to monitor hours, track the progress of the work and keep in touch with the freelancer.

 

Freelancer.com has a feature that allows clients to maximize the projects by making them more visible, receiving quicker responses, getting recruiting experts to find them the best freelancers, marking projects as “urgent,” keeping project details as private or getting freelancers to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), all for added fees.

 

Before the project goes live, the client will have to credit their account with an amount equal or higher than the budget for the job. This may be done through the client’s bank account, PayPal or credit card.

 

BECOMING A FREELANCER ON FREELANCER.COM

 

Like a lot of other conventional online freelancing platforms, Freelancer.com encourages freelancers to create and complete a profile and then browse for projects that fit their skill sets, location or other criteria. All job listings display the allotted budget, due date and number of pending applicants.

 

There are six membership levels for freelancers on Freelancer.com. These are:

  • Free
  • Intro
  • Basic
  • Plus
  • Professional
  • Premier

 

The difference in these levels lies in the number of bids per month, skills that can be listed as well as other frills and elaborate features.

 

Freelancers can only submit at most 8 proposals per month on the free membership plan. This is a major deterrent as a lot of competing sites do not charge freelancers a monthly rate to use their site.

 

Freelancers may choose one of the following fields 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

 

Each freelancer’s public profile will display their:

 

  • Number of projects completed
  • Project completion rate
  • Membership level
  • Country of origin
  • Average rating (from 1-5 stars) based on the quality of their work, expertise, communication and professionalism.

 

Once the bid goes through, the freelancer will have a one-on-one session with the client to discuss the details of the project and payment.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

 

After a decade of running, Freelancer.com has become very robust in terms of features tailored to satisfy the needs of both its clients and registered freelancers alike. Some of these include:

 

  • Contests: Rather than the conventional monetary pay, clients may choose to create a contest with a prize for the job to be done. The freelancer with the best entry then gets the reward.
  • Recruiter: Clients may choose to select the new Recruiter option to link up with a recruiter who will contact the best freelancers for the job and then walk the client through the hiring process.
  • Community Experts: Freelancers and clients can both ask questions that would be treated by expert freelancers on the platform.
  • Skills Tests: Freelancers get to take tests that allow them prove to potential clients that they are as good at what they do as they claim to be.
  • Freelancer Service: Clients can set up projects with fixed prices that freelancers can agree to and begin working on immediately.

 

PROS

 

Freelancer.com has recorded steady growth over the years and aims to constantly improve on the features. There are so many perks of using Freelancer.com for clients and freelancers alike. Here are a few:

 

Signing up is free.

 

You don’t have to pay to get started as a freelancer on Freelancer.com. All you need is an active email address, your skills and a suitable pay-out option. It’s also free for clients to post their projects.

 

It is a global platform.

 

There are no geographical restrictions with Freelancer.com. All you have to ensure is that there is at least one pay-out mode that is available in your country.

 

It is a renowned platform.

 

Freelancer.com is an award-winning freelancing company that has enjoyed its fair share of time in the spotlight. Aside from being featured in news reports worldwide, the company has received 13 awards to date, including the prestigious Grand Stevie Award in 2016 at the International Business Awards.

 

CONS

 

While Freelancer.com still has a lot to offer, its ratings have hit a record low in recent times, and there are a number of traceable reasons. Some of these include:

 

There are fraudulent employers.

 

A good number of users have recorded complaints regarding fraudulent employers who fail to hold up their end of the bargain after the job is done. What worsens the situation is that when this happens and the Freelancer.com customer service is contacted, they hang the freelancers out to dry referring them to the Terms of Use they agreed to while signing up.

 

Spam and fake job invites are a put-off.

 

After submitting your email to Freelancer.com, you can expect your fair share of spam from the platform. A few people have even reported receiving emails from people claiming to be prospective employers in need of their services. On following up with the request, the freelancer realizes that they are not the only one riding on that wave, and there is no actual job. Such fake job offer emails are sent to keep members active.

 

It is not great for newbies.

 

Freelancer.com is designed to favor those with a ton of great reviews already. For those just starting out, the best bet is signing up for a paid membership so as to bid as a professional, with no guarantee of getting the job. Starting with a free membership is a dead end.

 

It favors clients more.

 

A lot of the clients on Freelancer.com are there with the sole aim of hiring cheap labor. They take advantage of how highly competitive the platform is for freelancers and set low-budget prices for their projects. After hiring a freelancer, they will squeeze out every last drop of skill and commitment out of them before paying. The market is over-saturated and so freelancers are mostly on the losing end.

 

There’s a cumbersome verification process before payment.

 

Freelancers must verify their membership with a photo ID, utility bills or bank statements before they can receive payment, which is a turnoff for a lot of people. Most people are now wary of disclosing so much information online.

 

The best freelancing memberships are expensive.

 

Paying $791.40 per year just in order to be in a better position in terms of bidding, with no guarantee of getting the jobs is not an exciting prospect for most freelancers.

 

FINAL VERDICT

 

Freelancer.com is a legit freelancing platform where clients can post projects and freelancers can bid to do them. It is important for freelancers to tread carefully when dealing with clients to avoid being taken advantage of. The platform is difficult for newbies. It is actually great for customers as they get to evaluate various freelancers and choose the best hands to work on their projects.

2 comments

  1. I was looking for an online business then I saw your reviews and articles. Needed to read more of works to attest to your reviews…my husband uses freelancer alot and your reviews are accurate. I will sure go with your recommendations on WA and online business. Looking forward to connecting with you. Thank you

    1. Hi Faith,
      Wealthy Affiliate is a good place to start especially if you are new. You can start with the free program and as you gain confidence, you can upgrade to the premium program. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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