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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites

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vWorker - Freelancer Community Characteristics
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Report Card for the Big Five Online Freelance Marketplace Sites
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Cost Comparison for the Big Five Online Freelance Marketplace Sites
(Page 2 of 5)

General Assumptions

Because of the large number of potential variables, I had to start out with a few general assumptions that would narrow down choices and make the calculation possible.

In this model, I assume the following:

  • The freelancer is a professional with an emphasis on high quality work. This is the over-arching assumption upon which many others are based.

  • All work is based on flat rate projects, not hourly work. Now, that’s not to say that good freelancers don’t sometimes work hourly, but I wanted to specifically avoid modeling use of the hourly “outsourced worker” model employed by some sites, which involves the use of tracking software that serious freelancers would never agree to use. Also, hourly work is not subject to escrow or dispute resolution on certain sites, which would make proper comparisons more difficult.

  • For those sites that have both free and paid memberships, that the free membership is used for only the lowest volume “Beginner” scenario. Paid memberships generally are necessary for full functionality for those doing a reasonable amount of business, and usually are also cheaper in the long run because of their lower transaction fees.

  • For Guru, membership fees are based on annual rates, which are 50% cheaper than the normal. I started with a monthly fee which was an average of the nominal $24.95 and $34.95 monthly fees for each category, and then took half the total.

  • All work is done with 100% of funds escrowed, for sites where escrow is possible but optional.

  • The contractor makes withdrawals using Paypal.

  • Bid acceptance rates, average project size and repeat work percentages all increase as contractors gain experience and do more work on a site.

  • Lower volume freelancers will probably use premium bids more than established ones, except for those on very low volume trial plans where bids are limited and there may be no premium bid option.

  • There will be problems with clients paying for work completed on about 5% of projects. If a site doesn’t have a proper arbitration service, this becomes a loss, as described below.

Previous Topic/Section
vWorker - Freelancer Community Characteristics
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345
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Report Card for the Big Five Online Freelance Marketplace Sites
Next Topic/Section

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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011

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