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Payment Methods and Mechanisms
iFreelance is designed around the idea of fixed rate projects, and clients are asked to provide a budget range when a project is posted. However, the lack of transaction fees opens up the possibility of alternative forms of compensation being arranged between client and contractor. Similarly, this is the only freelancing site I’m aware of that leaves it up to the two parties to figure out how best to arrange payment, again because of the lack of project value fees. In fact, there isn’t a way to pay indirectly through the site itself. This also means there are no withdrawal mechanisms to deal with, since the site doesn’t act as a middleman on project payments at all.
I can’t write a great deal about this since I haven’t use the site myself. But upon looking through the site, the system for posting projects, entering bids and awarding jobs seems surprisingly well thought out for a site of this size. Clients posts projects in a particular category and are able to receive bids from providers who have paid the monthly fee to maintain a profile in that category. Projects can be customized at the time they are entered, including specifying an estimated budget and determining whether bids will be open or closed.
The project search engine is fairly crude. I don’t like how the default view is to list projects in ascending order of time remaining for bidding—this means the listings at the top are mostly older projects that are only still open because the client isn’t following up on them. The display order can be changed using controls on the site, but it’s annoying. Project detail pages are easy to read, though, and comprehensive in the information they include.
As mentioned above, iFreelance is completely relaxed about off-site contact, since they don’t need to worry about being cheated out of transaction fees. You can communicate with clients any way that works well for both of you.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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