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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Freelancer.com (Formerly GetAFreelancer.com) - Analysis and Review

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Freelancer.com - Project Discipline Focus
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Freelancer.com - Payment Methods and Mechanisms
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Freelancer.com - Fees
(Page 2 of 2)

Bidding Fees and Premium Placement Fees

Freelancer.com does not charge for placing bids. However, the company limits the number of proposals that a user can place each month.

Basic members are allowed 30 bids per month, plus an extra bid per month for every month of consecutive membership. Thus, a new basic member gets 30 bids, but a member who has just completed his 10th month on the site would get 40 bids per month.

Gold members are allowed a lot more: they start with a base of 150 bids per month, and get the same extra bid per month for every consecutive month of membership (of either type). They also get an extra bid per month for every past project that has been reviewed by a client.

Overall, this is a pretty smart system. It’s designed to discourage “drive by bidding”, because it gives extra bids to those who have established their longevity and credentials. For many freelancers, 30 bids per month is sufficient, and for those who do a lot of volume, the gold membership increases the limit to a very high number. And all of this is done without extracting extra money from users the way Elance does.

Note that there is no “rollover” of bids on Freelancer.com; unused bids are lost at the end of the month when the total resets.

Transaction Fees

Freelancer.com makes up for its free regular membership by imposing rather high trans­action fees for basic members. It also charges both clients and contractors, depending on their membership level.

Contractors who are basic members are charged a transaction fee of 10% of the value of the project, with a minimum of $5. Basic member clients are simultaneously charged 3% of the project value, with a minimum of $3. This means that in the worst case situation of a $30 project with both client and contractor being basic members, Freelancer.com would collect a whopping 26.7% of the project value in fees. This may sound excessive, but there has to be something to make up for the lack of monthly membership fees. (One could also argue that it helps to act as a disincentive against tiny projects.)

Gold members have their contractor transaction fee reduced from 10% to 3% and client transaction fee reduced from 3% to 0%. This is applied independently to each party to the transaction depending on their membership level. So if the client is a gold member but the contractor is a basic member, the client would pay 0%, but the contractor would still pay 10%.

Based on these percentages and the current monthly fee of $24.95 for gold membership, the breakeven point for clients is $830 in projects transacted per month; for contractors, it is just around $350 per month. This ignores the minimum values for small projects, but even adding them in, gold membership pays for itself quite quickly if you are active on the site. Plus, as a contractor, you get the other benefits mentioned above (more bids, more work categories, etc.)

Withdrawal Fees

The only withdrawal fee is a $1 charge if using Paypal.

Other Fees

Freelancer.com has a fair number of other fees, but they are mostly charged to clients, not contractors. These include a refundable project listing fee, and extra costs for special features like setting up a featured project or hiding a project from search engines.

If a project goes into dispute resolution and ends up in arbitration, there is an arbitration fee of 2% of the project value (minimum $10) that is split between the client and contractor.

The Freelancer.com terms of service also specify a few extra charges in oddball situations that don’t apply generally (like leaving an account dormant for over a year).


Previous Topic/Section
Freelancer.com - Project Discipline Focus
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Freelancer.com - Payment Methods and Mechanisms
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Last Site Update: December 13, 2011

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