Many times when people are looking for something to do, for a place to find work, they’ll turn to this thing called freelancing. And one of the popular places to freelance your skills is at a site called Freelancer.com.
In this review we’ll take a look at Freelancer and see whether it is a good place to get find work, or if it’s a place to dump. We’ll also take a look at some of our own personal experiences with the site, and how it wasn’t quite what we expected.
So come along as we check out whether or not Freelancer is a scam, and whether we would recommend them!
What Exactly Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is where you have a certain skill set, and instead of working for someone (like a typical job), you’ll contract yourself out to do jobs for individuals, companies, or enterprises.
One of the definitions of freelance is: a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.
Why would someone choose freelancing?
Well, for one thing, freelancing does give you a little more leeway as to where you work, and how much. Many times, freelancing can also be done from home, which means you can pretty much work from where-ever you want.
Another reason is that, depending on what you’re freelancing, you have the ability to get out and see more, and have the experience of working for multiple people, instead of just one person.
Of course, freelancing does have it’s drawbacks. With a typical job, a salaried one, you know exactly how much you’re going to make, and how much work you’ll have to do.
With a freelancing job, it’s not that easy.
As the freelancer, you usually have to go and find jobs to do – putting your name out there, contacting people, placing bids on what you want to work on, etc. And oftentimes, even if you put in all that work, you may not be able to get enough jobs that you wanted.
That being said, freelancing is definitely a great choice if you are proficient in a certain skill, enjoy working from home (or on the road/traveling), and don’t mind putting yourself out there to grab any and every opportunity.
Freelancer.com – Freelancing Made Easy?
Now that you have (hopefully) a better understanding of what freelancing is, let’s talk about what Freelancer.com is.
Freelancer.com is a site that tries to make freelancing easier for the freelancer, and the one looking for freelancing work. Freelancer does this by hosing what you could call a marketplace where people are able to post jobs they need done.
Upon coming to Freelancer, you’ll be given two choices – signing up to hire someone or to work. More than likely, you’ll want to sign up because you want to work.
You’ll be asked about the skills that you have, and which ones you want to freelance with.
These skills can be anywhere from programming and machine learning, to copy writing and SEO. Freelancer has a large variety of different skills you can choose, and plenty of work to find with each skill.
The reason you choose the skill you want to freelance is because once you choose it, Freelancer can then send you jobs for you to bid on.
You see, many people will come to Freelancer because they need something done. Maybe they’ve got a virus on their site they need taken off. Maybe it’s PHP error code they don’t understand. Maybe it’s just writing a simple essay.
Whatever the case, these people come to Freelancer to find people to do their work for them. When they create their job that they want done, they tag it with specific skills they (think they) need to get the job done.
If they tag it with a specific skill that you have, you then get a notice about it, and have the ability to bid on that job.
How Does The Bidding Work?
When you see a job, you’re not going to be the only one that will see it – there are thousands of others who have the same skills as you do who may also want the job.
Because of this, you get the chance to tell the person who posted the job as to why you think you’re the best qualified for the job, and how much you are willing to be paid to do the job.
If you’re the one who the person who posted the job likes, then they’ll contact you, and you’ll be able to discuss with them in more details as to what they want.
Are There Downsides To Freelancer.com?
There are actually two downsides to Freelancer that should be addressed. One will be address shortly – during our review of our experience. But the one to specifically be addressed here is the cheapness of many of the jobs.
Like we said before, there are many, many others who are working through Freelancer.com. There are many other freelancers waiting to post their bid on a certain job, and there are many who are willing to do it for a low amount.
Some, if not many, of the freelancers come from countries where they’re used to working for about $10 dollars a day – sometimes even less.
So if you’re coming from a country where that isn’t the typical daily wage (like the USA, Canada, or UK), then it may be a lot harder to get jobs on freelancer.
That isn’t to say that it’s impossible.
There are plenty of people who live in the countries where the average wage is higher than $10 bucks, and they’re making a living through it.
As you’ll notice in the screenshot above, one of the jobs is doing academic writing, but the person who is posting the job is asking for people who are working for around $1-$6 dollar per hour.
If we tried to find a job around where we lived for that low of an amount, we wouldn’t be able to find it anywhere. That is because where we live, minimum wage is a lot higher than that.
And that isn’t to say that every job is that low in price. But it is pretty stiff competition that you’ll be against. Many of the jobs that you’ll be trying to get can be technical as well, so make sure you know exactly what your skill set is and how proficient you are before you start out.
Our Personal Experience Of Freelancer.com
It was a little over a day ago that we decided to create a Freelancer account and see whether we could get a job or two, and grab some pocket money (aside from checking out Freelancer.com).
So we quickly jumped into all the fun stuff of signing up and verifying who we were. We set up our account and were ready to get to work!
Because we were on a ‘basic’ account, we were allowed only 8 bids that we could do within a span of 3 days. We were fine with this of course. It just meant that we had to make sure to bid on ones that we thought we could win, and not every single job that we saw.
we also tried to find jobs that would pay us $15 dollars or more an hour. While this may seem easy, it really isn’t.
You see, when you bid on a job, you bid on how much you’ll do it for. But, to cover costs, Freelancer will take a percentage of what you bid.
What this means is that what you list as the bid isn’t really going to be what you actually make.
If you bid $15 dollar an hour, you’re probably going to be making around $12.50 an hour. So, if we’re trying to actually make 15, then we usually need to bid higher than that (like 17ish) to actually make what we want to.
Did We Win Any Bids?
Sadly, as of right now, we didn’t win any bids, even though we did bid multiple times on things we could have done.
We did however have several people come and talk to us, which is where our experience gets a little interesting.
You’ll know of course, from our site, that we deal with a lot of scams and scammers. So we have a pretty good idea of how a scammer operates.
And, believe or not, we found dozens of scammers on Freelancer.com
One of the bids that we placed was about doing WordPress updates. The person who posted the job contacted us about 8 hours after we placed the bid and said that he wanted to work with us.
However, he never really said that he accepted our bid (which is the standard thing to do). He also wanted to move our conversation to Skype (which is a big no-no from the terms of service agreements on Freelancer.com).
We politely told him that we weren’t interested, and moved on. Even though we were willing to do work, and would have done it for him if he were legit, people who use Freelancer need to follow the rules to actually get our bid.
We Were Contacted By 6+ Scammers!
We guess we’re just a magnet for scammers. But one of the features that Freelancer.com allows is for people to see if freelancers want to work directly for them.
This cuts out all the bidding and searching, which is great. However, when each person who contacts you wants to move the discussion to another chatting platform, and is asking for us to do the same exact scam for them, then it can be very disturbing.
Nearly all of those people who contacted us directly were ones who wanted us to create an account on Upwork (another popular freelancing site), so that they could use it themselves.
This is a typical scam that has been around for a long time.
All the above to say, there seemed to be a lot of scammers on Freelancer.com, something that we weren’t too happy with.
There didn’t seem to be anything done to try to stop these scammers from doing what they were doing. We actually saw one scammer post a job (or similar jobs) nearly 100 times over the course of the day (no, we aren’t exaggerating).
Our Final Experiences
While writing this article, we had another person contact us because they ‘had a job for us’. And then they wanted to chat somewhere else.
We personally don’t like scammers and sites that help scam thrive. Sadly, we saw quite a bit of that going on at Freelancer, and weren’t too happy with it.
If there was a way that they could better police how people sign up and what new members can do, then we would probably be more enthusiastic about promoting Freelancer. But it’s definitely not a site that we would really recommend to anyone looking for freelance work.
Is Freelancer A Scam?
Freelancer.com, and freelancing, are definitely not scams. They are both legit and have potential in certain circumstances.
However, Freelancer.com does have a lot of scammers on it, and so if you are going to use it, then we would recommend that you be very careful who you do work for, and how it is done.
If you plan on working through Freelancer.com, make sure to get acquainted with their Terms of Service. And if anyone doesn’t follow those terms, then make sure to not do any business with them.
Now, while we don’t overly recommend Freelancer.com, we do have an alternative that you can check out.
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