Freelancer.com Review — Is It Legit, Scam or Worth It in 2022?
What is it? Freelancer Review
Freelancer is a website that hosts one of the largest gatherings of freelancers and companies from around the world, featuring more than 45 million professionals from more than 247 countries. On the website, employers can find freelancers for projects in the areas of writing, software development, design, data entry, science, engineering, marketing, sales, accounting and even legal services. In addition to the main categories, there are thousands of sub-categories, even ones as obscure as flashmob and feng shui. There have been more than 16 million job posted on Freelancer since its creation.
How Freelancer works?
Whether you are a freelancer or an employer, the first step for getting started on Freelancer.com is registering for an account with your email and password or your Facebook account. You must be at least 18 years old (or 16 with an adult’s permission and oversight).
Next, you complete your profile—for freelancers, listing your skills and adding a photo of yourself are crucial for obtaining jobs. You can also take exams and display the results to demonstrate your competency. Once you have been approved, employers can post projects, and freelancers can begin bidding on projects by sending a tailored and convincing proposal. If the employer accepts a bid, that freelancer receives the job. When the work is finished and accepted, the freelancer will be paid. To withdraw money, you need to have at least $30 in your account, and the most you can withdraw in a month is $10,000. Withdrawals might take up to 15 days.
Payments are collected from employers upfront and transferred to the freelancer when the project is finished and approved.
Freelancer jobs — fixed price vs. hourly
Not only can a freelancer choose the size of the project they would like to bid on (a small short-term project or a large long-term project), but they can decide on hourly vs. fixed-priced jobs.
Fixed-price projects have designated prices, not matter how long it takes a freelancer to finish. The upside is that the employer knows exactly how much the project will cost and the freelancer knows exactly how much money they will make upfront. Typically, the payment will be received at the end of the project, but if a long-term project stretches for weeks or months, a freelancer can request payments at designated milestones throughout the work process.
For hourly jobs, employers can set a certain rate per hour and include it in the description of the job, paying the freelancer for the number of hours worked. For the peace of mind of the employer, Freelancer has a tracking app on the platform to record a freelancer’s hours worked, and it can snap screenshots so that a client can monitor the progress of the project.
Businesses can save a great deal of money by hiring freelancers and not having to pay for benefits, sick time, vacation leave or training.
Freelancers on the site have the freedom to set their own hours.
Freelancer is the largest freelance platform, giving both freelancers access to more work and employers access to more professionals who can complete their projects.
There is a very wide range of services offered on Freelancer, making it easy for employers to complete projects in any field.
Freelancer contests provide employers with a large range of project solutions to choose from, and freelancers can earn money if they win by submitting a rough idea that they can revise later so that it is not unduly time-consuming.
The 10 percent fees are fair and even low compared to many other freelance websites.
When freelancers are new to the platform, they will most likely not be making the amount of money that they are worth—often much less than minimum wage.
The fees are high for hourly projects.
Freelancers have to pay fees even before they are paid.
Freelancers can only apply for 8 jobs a month on a free membership plan.
Your account can be banned with no explanation.
What are the freelancer fees and charges?
Most freelancers are charged 10 percent fees or $5 on each fixed-price job—unless you are a Preferred Freelancer, in which case the fees are higher. On hourly projects, freelancers are charged 10 percent for each payment. Employers can post projects for free, but you must pay a fee of either 3 percent or $3 on fixed-price jobs or 3 percent on every payment for hourly jobs once you accept a bid. Some of the exams freelancers can take and display on their profiles cost $5, $10 or $15.
Is Freelancer legitimate?
Because Freelancer has become well-established since its inception in 2009 and has grown to be the largest freelance marketplace, you can be confident that it is perfectly legitimate and not a scam. One of the telltale signs of a scam is a short history and a low number of social media followers; however, Freelancer has a reputable history of 11 years and a large following on social media, with more than 2 million followers on Facebook, more than 200,000 on Twitter and more than 14,000 on Instagram.
Can you get scammed on Freelancer?
Like any other freelance website, there is the possibility of scams happening within the platform, both from potential employers and freelancers. Unless you have worked with a freelancer for a while and they have proved to be reliable, it is wise not to share login information for your website or any other sensitive information. Employers also should never pay money upfront without receiving any work.
As a freelancer, avoid fake job postings by only bidding on employers that have a verified account and a high number of excellent ratings. Be wary of companies that immediately try to get you to communicate or work off the platform, especially if they ask you to do outside work for them or want to pay you outside of the website. Some scammers will also ask you to create accounts for other people using your personal information, which is something no one should ever do. Do not agree to do test projects because it is likely you will not be paid and will never hear from the employer again—your portfolio samples should be sufficient.
Freelancer.com customer service
The customer service team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there are payment disputes, the Freelancer customer service team can intervene and settle the case. However, there is a fee of $5 or 5 percent on every dispute, and only the winner will receive a refund of the fee.
Whom to hire on Freelancer.com
A good freelancer will meet deadlines, consistently produce high-quality work and receive criticism and instructions well. Make sure to hire freelancers who read your job description carefully and took the time to write a targeted proposal that clearly demonstrates how they will meet your need, as this is strong evidence that they will be meticulous in their work and deliver a high-quality project on time. Ask for portfolio samples to see if the freelancer’s writing style and tone matches your project. Finding a freelancer who responds to messages promptly is also important.
What is a Preferred Freelancer?
For freelancers whose profile meets the requirements, there is a Preferred Freelancer program that includes several benefits. If a freelancer has a qualifying profile, they can contact the support team and apply for the program. Once you are approved, you will receive a badge on your profile that alerts employers that you are a preferred member and a particularly skilled freelancer, which sets you apart from the competition.
You will also begin receiving job opportunities from the Freelancer recruitment team each day—these invitations will only be high-paying jobs from top employers. Preferred Freelancers receive 50 percent of the projects on Freelancer.com worth $2,000 or more. A Preferred Freelancer can also bid on as many as 100 jobs each day. The downside is that there are higher fees for Preferred Freelancers—15 percent instead of the usual 10 percent.
The Preferred Freelancer program is not available for freelancers with a free membership. Freelancers must pay a least $4.95 a month for the basic membership plan, which also includes 50 bids instead of only 8, and you can list up to 50 skills on your profile with a custom cover photo.
Freelancer.com quality control
Freelancer verifies the identity of users with information such as a driver’s license and/or passport number. However, there is no screening process of a freelancer’s level of ability, as there is on most freelance websites—anyone can join Freelancer, making it difficult to ascertain the quality and experience level of freelancers.
What people don't like about Freelancer
Many people mentioned having trouble with scam projects from clients. Other people reported problems with the verification process, either because the website did not accept their documents or shut down their projects in the middle of their work without paying them. Furthermore, many people were uncomfortable with the large amount of sensitive information required to verify their identity. Employers mentioned freelancers that have frequently scammed other users and still have not been removed from the platform. Both employers and freelancers reported instances where neither of them were paid or refunded and Freelancer kept their money while closing their accounts.
What people like about Freelancer
One of the primary consensuses was that Freelancer values both freelancers and employers, something that is often rare on freelance platforms that are usually more geared toward one or the other. People also liked the flexibility of working on Freelancer. Many people mentioned the custom service team is excellent and highly responsive.
Main differences between Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour
Fiverr is one of the best low-cost freelance platforms, as the services offered start at only $5. It features a very extensive range of services, from singing telegrams to programming, and it is ideal for short projects or recurring projects. The client fee is 5 percent, but if you purchase $20 of work or less, the fee is only $1. Fiverr consistently has some of the highest online reviews of any freelance platform.
Upwork is best for longer projects or projects that need a specialized skillset. If a business has a large budget, it is even possible to use a $500 search function that narrows the options to carefully screened professional freelancers with more than 10 years of experience and excellent reviews. Upwork has approximately 10 million freelancers, giving companies access to a large hiring pool. Upwork charges businesses a 2.75 percent fee on every invoice, which is lower than many freelance sites.
One feature that separates PeoplePerHour from the other freelance websites is that it is more location specific, enabling clients to hire freelancers from their local area, which helps with targeted projects and could lead to long-term working relationships. PeoplePerHour is a bit smaller than other freelance platforms, with approximately 1.5 million freelancers on the website.
Freelancer is the largest freelance website by number of users—both freelancers and employers. One of the unique features of Freelancer is that companies can post jobs in a contest format, which gives businesses the opportunity to list the work they need completed and then freelancers submit their best efforts, with only the winning freelancer being paid. Freelancer also has a wide range of membership options from free or 99 cents, all the way up to a $69.95 monthly membership that comes with 700 bids each month.
Is Freelancer.com worth it?
As a freelancer, the more specialized your set of skills is, the more likely it will be for you to obtain a highly paid project with a lower level of competition. However, the wider your range of skills is, the more projects you will qualify for. An ideal freelancer has an extensive amount of specific skills.
While certain aspects are concerning, such as the slightly intrusive verification process and the lack of screening for freelancers, Freelancer is still a highly viable option for a freelance website on which to work, and it charges lower fees than most freelance platforms while offering the largest selection of freelancers and employers.