Guru - Project Quality
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Project Value Restrictions
Guru has a project minimum of $25, which is actually lower than the minimum used by some of its competitors. For example, Elance uses $50 (though this can be undercut by hourly work), and ironically, Freelancer.com’s minimum is $30 (despite that site having far lower quality work). Clearly, Guru’s projects are not kept at a high standard solely on the basis of this restriction, though it is better than nothing.
This appears to be an area of weakness for Guru, which again seems to contradict its status as a higher-end marketplace. The company does not charge any sort of project listing fee—not even a refundable one—nor does it require clients to pay anything up front to open an account. It seems to be relatively simple for a new client to “walk in off the street”, register an account, and post a project immediately. This is a great benefit to the majority of new clients who are legitimate, but also opens up the potential for abuse by unscrupulous hirers.
I’ll readily concede that the company may have internal verification procedures that it applies to new clients, which I don’t know about. But if these exist, the company doesn’t mention them (at least, not anywhere I have looked.) It’s pretty easy to find projects that have been posted in the morning of the same day that a client registered for the site, which suggests either that there is no client verification before projects are posted, or that such verifications are conducted extraordinarily quickly. I also note that the statistics shown for clients do not mention whether or not payment verification has been done, as is the case with Elance, for example.
Guru does mandate the use of its SafePay system, which in theory provides a layer of protection against fraud that might be committed by new clients. Unfortunately, this name doesn’t always live up to its billing.
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