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Cost Comparison for the Big Five Online Freelance Marketplace Sites
(Page 2 of 5)
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
- 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.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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