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

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One of the benefits of is its very reasonable—and simple—fee structure. The company offers two membership types, to appeal to both low-volume and high-volume contractors; the high-volume plan is especially generous to providers who do a lot of business on the site. Its relatively low fees are likely one reason for the company’s industry-leading number of contractors.

Fee Responsibility

Like most sites, the majority of the fees associated with the use of are paid by contractors. However, the site is somewhat different in that in certain cases it charges both clients and contractors a separate transaction fee on the total value of the project. I explore this further below.

Membership Types and Fees

Like all sites, you must become a member of to participate in the market­place. does not have separate memberships for clients and contractors; when you sign up for one, you are able to act as either, or even both simultaneously.

All new users start out as basic members. Being a regular member is free, and provides full access to the site; this contrasts with the free memberships on sites like Elance or Guru, which are really just free trials with major restrictions.

Any member can upgrade to become a gold member, at a cost of $24.95 per month. Being a gold member provides the following key benefits:

  • Proposals and projects are marked with a special label to indicate gold membership (which some may view as suggesting that the member is more reliable).

  • The transaction fee when acting as a contractor (bidding on projects) is reduced from 10% to 3%.

  • The transaction fee when acting as a client (posting projects) is reduced from 3% to 0%.

  • You are able to add a portfolio to your profile.

  • You can choose up to 50 skill areas for bidding, instead of 25.

  • The number of bids you can place per month is dramatically higher.

As you can see, gold membership is a combination of perqs for those willing to commit to the site, and a “volume discount plan”: a trade-off of a flat monthly fee and lower transaction fees versus no monthly fee and higher project costs. See the discussion of transaction fees below for more analysis.

Category Fees

There are no category fees on, but you are restricted to 25 skill areas where you can bid. You are allowed to change these without cost, but only a certain number of changes can be made per month. Gold members have this amount doubled to 50.

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Last Site Update: December 13, 2011

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