Freelancer.com - Payment Methods and Mechanisms
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Freelancer.com’s payment methods and mechanisms are all about simplicity. The site’s policy require indirect payments for all normal projects (with the client paying the contractor via the site itself). There are no hourly projects, payment is made upon project completion or via a milestone system, and you won’t find a lot of confusing bells and whistles here.
Freelancer.com is designed around fixed price projects only; there is no support for hourly work. That’s not to say that you cannot work on an hourly basis, but you will have to estimate the number of hours, multiply the time required by your hourly rate, and put in a bid for the overall value of the project. Freelancer.com actually threatens to take action against bidders who try to bid on an hourly basis (though it’s unlikely that they ever follow through.)
The one exception to this rule is that hourly compensation is allowed for so-called “full-time projects.” This is somewhat of an oxymoron, since these aren’t really projects at all—they are advertisements for full-time positions. A listing of this type costs the client about $100 to post, and they represent a very tiny percentage of overall site project volume.
All regular jobs are required to have a budget range; this helps freelancers get an approximate idea of how big the client feels the project is, and how much he/she is willing to pay for it. The ranges are as follows:
Unlike sites such as Elance, these categories are not used as a basis for determining the number of bids required to place a proposal: it costs one bid per proposal regardless of the size of the project. These ranges can be used when searching for projects.
Note that if the client pays extra for a featured project, he/she can select a “custom” budget; otherwise, it must be in one of the categories above.
The majority of projects fall into the $30 to $250 range.
Freelancer.com is entirely based on indirect payments using the site. In fact, clients and contractors are not allowed to exchange direct contact information, and the site regularly reminds users of this policy.
I do not believe there is an “opt out” feature on Freelancer.com to allow clients and contractors to work off-site.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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