Internet is great global marketplace for any kind of work which can be done anywhere or in home. However this kind of marketplace produces lot of scammers using your data for dishonest purposes or marketing themselves rather than offering decent project jobs for freelancers.
By answering to craigslist and gumtree ads could be waste of time.
However there are still some sites for decent freelancers and projects somewhere.
I have used Guru and eLance. GetAFreelancer.com looked as another spamming list without any warranty is those projects real or not so I haven’t been active there. I found there that lot of projects was submitted to wrong categories without any decent specifications to decide what actually must be done so this site was not for the real professionals.
I was trying Guru 2004 without any luck so had forgotten it. Then only once somebody contacted me with their interest to work for their company management team as “internet business development manager” but having heard that I do not have PhD or any university diplomas he wasn’t much interested afterwards.
During Soviet regime intelligent persons didn’t had possibilities to graduate universities because they didn’t believe to the totalitarian communistic society.
Now I had tried Guru again. Being paying member as Guru Vendor or Guru I could maybe had access for more projects but I didn’t hade $150 or $200 per year to waste without first earning it. So I decided to stay as simple member and started to bid projects I could execute best way possible. Somehow I could create myself several Guru Profiles in different categories which could be nice as I do have lot of experiences but decided to start from one only in website marketing category.
I have submitted my proposal to over 10 projects without any feedback. Only once I was informed that this project is cancelled so I have no idea what happened to other projects.
There where no information who won the project and I had no idea how many and what kind of proposals this project got so I’m in total darkness.
I assume that those projects where not serious as the project specifications where in some cases “I’m not in the first position of Google when I’m searching myself. I want to be there” or “I want myself a website”. I had answered to more serious projects spending few hours for research before making my proposal and didn’t got any feedback for my efforts.
eLance was something different as the SCAM and SPAM protection was built into their system. As non paying member you will have only 3 points which could be used to bid for three under $500 projects or one around $2K project. When you are willing to pay $10 per month you could bid up to 15 under $500 projects or 5 around $2K projects or one over $10K project. That restricts spamming proposals from freelancers and you can have only one profile in one category which was a good sign
The project descriptions where much more professional even I still found lot of SPAM there seeking freelancers by personal characteristics rather than posting a project specifications. Why those recruiters do not understand that this is not a dating site!!!
Anyway eLance shows me how many other bids have been done to the project and who have done those. For non sealed bids all the details are open so you have the possibility to decide whether you can beat those or not without loosing your valuable points. Even for sealed bids you still have the possibility to look the average price, whose your competitors are and what kind of delivery terms they have offered.
But the project is still not confirmed to be executed. In January I made my three offers with following results: One of those buyers had never signed in after the closing date, one cancelled the project and one had chosen another provider.
So now I’m more careful where to use my bids checking out any details from buyer which are available not bidding anymore to buyers that haven’t filled their profile or haven’t signed to the system after posting their project.
Useful information is how many projects this buyer has been posted and how many awarded. If the buyers had posted tens of projects and haven’t yet awarded none of them, why they should award this project?
Second important issue is usage of Escrow. Even it will be cheaper to get paid directly using PayPal (~3%) compared to eLance escrow (~6%-7%) it means that the buyer has been put the money already to the escrow and you will get paid.
The feedbacks are another matter to check out before spending your bids.
As I haven’t yet won any of projects I have no idea how the communication will continue and how the terms will be followed by the system. But at least so far I have seen decent system where I could use my time and efforts for decent proposals.
eLance even have the skill tests which I would like to use when I will have some money in my account and affiliate program where you could get paid if somebody you have referred will award the project or win the project. As I do not show in search results I assume that non paying member profiles are not searchable.
Check it out: eLance