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PeoplePerHour seems to unfortunately use a fee model similar to Elance: lots of fees in lots of places.
There are three memberships: Standard, Gold and Platinum. A Standard membership has no monthly fee, but incurs a 10% transaction fee on all projects completed. In addition, it comes with only 10 bids per month, and extra bids cost a hefty 5.95 for 10, which works out to around $1 each. Gold members see their transaction fee drop to just 5.5%, and they get 40 bids per month, but they must pay 7.95 per month. Platinum members pay 14.95 to drop the transaction fee to just 4.5%; they also get 80 bids per month.
PeoplePerHour appears to not include transaction fees associated with accepting deposits from clients in the transaction fees above. These add a further 1.9% for credit/debit cards or Paypal on top of the 10%, 5.5% or 4.5% above.
PeoplePerHour also has category fees. Standard members can bid in up to two categories; extras cost 5.95 each per month. Gold members get three categories with additional ones 3.95 each. Platinum members can bid in all categories at no extra charge.
PPH does not charge clients membership fees, nor does it impose costs to post standard projects. However, there appear to be special services, such as marking projects as “urgent” or “featured”, which involve additional costs. I haven’t been able to determine what these are, though.
PeoplePerHour allows three types of projects: fixed rate, hourly (or daily) rate, or base plus result fee. The first two are self-explanatory and the same as the payment methods found on other sites. The third is unique: it allows a client to list a project with a proposal to pay contractors a fixed amount for their time, plus an incentive or bonus payment contingent on achieving targets such as acquiring leads or making sales calls. Since the client is specifying the pay rate, proposals become more like job applications than bids, though I guess a proposal could specify a willingness to do work for less than the stated rate.
A base-plus-commission compensation model is certainly common enough in the business world, but I’m pretty skeptical about implementing this payment model in a freelancing site. PeoplePerHour adds together the base and results payments from these listings to come up with something called “On Target Earnings” or “OTE”, which is what is shown to contractors. Clients who are either unscrupulous or simply too optimistic can make a project sound very lucrative using the “results” portion, which might never materialize. PeoplePerHour does warn clients to be “realistic” in setting up these projects, but in the end, contractors are the ones who will have to carefully assess if the promises of results-based compensation are likely to be worth pursuing.
Note that despite the name of the site, about 55% of the listings on PeoplePerHour are fixed rate projects, not hourly. Those account for around 30%, while the remaining 15% or so are base plus results.
Like most sites, PeoplePerHour requires payment be done through their system, both for security purposes and to ensure that they can collect their transaction fees. The company allows withdrawals of funds paid via PayPal or wire transfer; the latter incurs additional fees, likely depending on the country where the contractor resides.
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