4 Tips to Not Get Screwed on Elance

For those who don’t know, is a site where people can sell their services. Basically like an ebay for services instead of goods.

The way it works is you can post a job for anything from web design, data entry, marketing, ghost writing to virtual assistance and relevant service providers can pitch for your work. You then select the provider who you think best fits your request and they start working away.

For those who don’t know, is a site where people can sell their services. Basically like an ebay for services instead of goods.

The way it works is you can post a job for anything from web design, data entry, marketing, ghost writing to virtual assistance and relevant service providers can pitch for your work. You then select the provider who you think best fits your request and they start working away.

Funds are placed in an escrow holding service and released once you mark the work as satisfactory.

Anything that can be done remotely can be organised over elance.

The key benefit of this system is the ability to take advantage of currency differences. You can pay someone market rates in India or Eastern Europe and have it come to a fraction of the cost in a western country.

But using this service to complete tasks does not come without complications.

I’ve done a few projects on elance now, some better than others.

Here are a few tips from my fails:


Seriously, this is important.

Treat your freelancer like your boss treats you – there is a job to do, no exceptions.

For people with no management experience, this can be tricky. I learned quickly as I saw a project expand from 2 weeks to 2 months! Setting rules is important as discussed below, but enforcing rules is equally if not more important.

Don’t listen to excuses like “the work was harder than we thought” or “you had too many change requests”. They shouldn’t have bid if the work was too hard. If they think your change requests are going to push out milestones, they need to request milestone changes. If they don’t, tough luck. You’re not the expert they are.

2. Make rules

Make rules for everything. How, when and in what format you want the work delivered.

Ask for periodic updates and set deliverable dates. Tell them if things are not up to your expectations you will pull the project or have them restart.

Be specific in your rules. If for example you’re having a website done, tell them if you want the site up and running on your host or if you just want the files sent. Tell them if you want social media integration, testing or support.

These should all be laid out before the job is accepted.

3. Punish rule breakers

Set penalties for rules being broken.

As an example a 5% penalty for every milestone not met.

That means, if they update you in 4 days instead of 3, hit them with a 5% penalty. Make sure you do this the FIRST time they miss a milestone. This will discontinue a pattern of abuse. Again, don’t be a pushover little bitch. Highlight punishments clearly in the rules before the project starts.

4. Don’t give feedback until you are completely happy.

This means that everything is up and running and you have tested everything. Don’t get conned into providing feedback after you see the site working well on their host, or you have a general brand theme without all items complete.

Elance workers like eBay sellers live for feedback. And once you leave feedback, you can’t change it. Many suppliers would prefer a 5 star review and 50% of the money over 100% cash and a 3 star review.

The verdict?

There is no doubt elance can provide quality work for cheap over a secure and reliable platform.

But if you let people screw you, they probably will.

The success of the project still rests on the project manager – you!

58 replies on “4 Tips to Not Get Screwed on Elance”

Good tips. I’ve hired 6 different companies on Elance over the last year and have not had to exercise any of these. So I consider myself lucky. I think a lot of it depends on how detailed a proposal you set up. I make mine very long, detailed and followed up with images that show every step of the way. Time consuming to make, but it gets perfect results in the end. So far…

I’m an elance worker. But I wouldn’t fancy working for someone who behaved too stringently in their job description. Even if I produced excellent results, I’m sure their inflexibility would enable them to find excuse to have a whinge. My suggestion would be to make a detailed spec, but without coming across as so hostile that it would alienate the good workers you are wanting to attract!

I’m an elance provider. If I meet a client like this, I will immediately refund and finish the project at once. Although the client pays me, that doesn’t give him the authority of making me hostile. Work is two sided, client needs my service and i’m serving him my skills. So, both parties have to respect each other.
Very poor article.

You sound exactly like the kind of buyer I am looking for. Someone who is hostile, arrogant and demands “high quality” work for a few pennies, only to leave lousy or no feedback. With this kind of attitude, it’s no wonder you’ve gotten “screwed”.

I have been having experience working as both provider and buyer, but looks like someone had really bad experience over time and making judgment and categorizing all as one. So against the tips:

Tip 1.
Listening is really difficult job and actually understanding and then evaluating what other is saying is even more difficult. If one can not listen, means one is DEAF. And if one can’t understand and evaluate, means the one if DUMB.

Tip 2.
Makes sense

Tip 3.
Makes sense

Top 4.
Makes sense

One should see every individual as INDIVIDUAL and do not make assumptions and JUDGMENT, just based on experiences with others, before actually dealing with the one. This is the most common mistake a human being does.

Otherwise, one has to be quite smart to not to hire a provider which will create problems. And if one can’t, its his/her mistake, right?

PS: I agree with Jewelry Secrets, James H and Amila’s comments.

I have worked with Elance now twice, my first project was good and now I am working with a contractor that did excatly what you have talked about. Was super great before i gave a review and practically FORCED me to give him a 5 star rating. Then after COMPLETELY stopped working for me, stating the same “okay we will work on that and get back to you” which they never did. I have been Waiting for weeks just to get my files so I can build it my site with someone esle. It has been a horrible experience and i have learned my lesson. It disgusts me when I read the review I left and cannot take it down. Does anyone know how I can warn others to not use this contractor and get screwed over the way I have????

We have been screwed by Elance and the service provider.

BEWARE; we posted a job for customization of Couponic software and got a bid from a guy named Lenin from Bangladesh with 5 start rating, he wanted work based on the time sheet, we agreed with a deadline of 2 weeks, he put someone else on the job and we found out after 2 weeks and 2 time sheets later that they do not do Couponic and they have developed a similar software( very inferior one) and they went ahead and sumitted another timesheet and Lenin kept putting us off for 5 days and timesheet was charged to our card by Elance, we termionated their work 5 days before the pay day, but Elance charged us anyway…we have nothing from the developer and have paid the netire amount…he went on to say” I will get all the money from Elance and you cannot do a thing”…we have not posted a review yet and have put a fraud charge back on the credit card. Elance dispute just sent us a mail saying the case was closed… ThIS IS NOTHING BUT COMPELTE FRAUD… any ideas?

You sound like you have been bum fucked by Elance! hahahhahah

Yeah if you have that attitude towards others than no wonder you can not find a decent company or individual on Elance.

hahah this article cracked me up!

quit bitching mate

What a disgraceful article.

In today’s age PROVIDERS are the in-dangerous species and many clients takes the maximum advantage of that. This article is written like providers are spoiled and aggressive one’s but in reality, in most of the cases, it’s vice-verse – experiences what me and the wide circle of people I know have confirms that. And even worse – this article advices clients not just to fight for what is right, it learns them how to take advantage over desperate or insecure providers. Pathetic.
Freelancing / outsourcing IS NOT a boss – servant relationship, it’s like somebody said 2-sided relationship of 2 equal sides. It is not “I pay you – I own you”, it is just a simple exchange of goods and services. Both sides takes the part in the job agreement and both sides can cancel the project anytime. And you talking about fines and making rules, are you kidding me??

Jack is right that there are good and bad examples from both sides, but I gotta say that in today’s age, when there are MUCH more providers than clients, when there is a super-cheap competition from India and undeveloped countries (it’s not their fault they are poor and desperate for money, but that is another subject), and when people have forgotten on humanity while hunting for every cent of the profit, PROVIDERS are the ones who should be advised not to be a “pushover little bitches”, because clients DO know all of these I’m saying and they DO push.
Some clients would even like to have a space-shuttle made in 3 days and to pay for it with some peanuts, and even then they are not happy. So what do they do? – they would rather give this little bag of peanuts in 6 months, or maybe never, and in the meantime they tries to get another one, and another one, and another one, until provider decides to draw a line, because it’s nothing more important than dignity… This is how it is nowadays – providers should fight for their dignity.

My advice for BOTH SIDES is simple – stick only to people with good will and understanding and DO NOT ALLOW that you depend only on one client / provider. Not happy with client? – deliver not more than 1-2 unplanned changes (if they makes sense and they are not too much work) and don’t work with him again. Not happy with provider? – this is more delicate question because some clients are never happy, on the other hand they can have fixed deadlines etc, but in most of the cases it is – pay and don’t hire again. Simple as that.
Both sides can be screwed in process by “somebody from hell” – do not allow that to happen ofc. But even if it does, it is not the end of the world – you do not depend on one client / provider and you should keep your dignity.

Few times, I was about to draw a line for extending deadline and making ridiculous (free) changes but luckily I haven’t had anyone from hell yet. Some of these clients would maybe become the ones form hell if I accepted their “repeat projects”, but I declined because pushing over my good will is a “good enough” sign for me…


OK let me respond.

Firstly, you have some contradictions in your argument:

“In today’s age PROVIDERS are the in-dangerous species and many clients takes the maximum advantage of that.”


“I gotta say that in today’s age, when there are MUCH more providers than clients”

Contradict each other.

Besides that, all I got from your comment is this:

“don’t be a winging client, instead give the provider your money (because its not like money is important when you are trying to run a business) and if it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat the wasted time or money you spent, just move on and find someone new…”

Not sure if you read the article but the whole point was to make sure people don’t end up in above situation you described (which favours the provider)

The simple fact of the matter is you CANNOT trust ANYONE until you have experience working with them. The whole system can be gamed. All feedback can be gamed, as can work history. These days lots of “account managers” will manage the initial relationship and palm the work off to developers on the back, causing further lost in translation moments. It is a shady market place where people try to pull the wool over each others eyes on a daily basis. You can either be the wolf of the sheep, your choice.

The above is for initial projects with new providers. Obviously if you have a healthy, symbiotic, long-term relationship with your freelancer then many of the fail safes I mention above don’t need to be, nor would want to be used.

I still don’t understand why people are getting so angry. All I am stating is that people should approach the situation with the mindset of protecting their money, time and assets.

>>> Firstly, you have some contradictions in your argument:

“In today’s age PROVIDERS are the in-dangerous species and many clients takes the maximum advantage of that.”


“I gotta say that in today’s age, when there are MUCH more providers than clients”

Contradict each other. <<> demand… I even touched subject about global market and economy to underline that fact, but you tried to be selective and to spin your answer…

>>> Besides that, all I got from your comment is this:

“don’t be a winging client, instead give the provider your money (because its not like money is important when you are trying to run a business) and if it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat the wasted time or money you spent, just move on and find someone new…” <<<

Maybe it sounds like that, but then I also said "Don't be a whining provider, if somebody is a dick just draw a line and move on…" We agree that we can't trust people we don't know, but that doesn't give us the license to "preventively" treat them as suspects… This is destined to be "trial and error" for both sides). I don't like to spend much time and money too (working for nothing takes away time and money too – effort, food, electricity, missing other job opportunities etc.), but this is just how it is if you step on the mine. And this is actually just 1 part of the story – this article is more than just "protect your time and money".
Making rules? Fines? – I don't think so, this kind of business includes 2 equal sides and this kind of business is tricky for both sides. Your article looks like "we have money – we make rules, we are nice but we need to show to these spoiled providers and put them on their place, somewhere down bellow". People who are in position to pay for other people's services usually are not so naive when it comes to exploiting other people's weaknesses. But if there is still somebody who is, he has this article as a nice little guide and if he get a naive or insecure provider, he will be so proud that your tips works…
There are some very nice clients, but most are exploiters who doesn't give a damn how much of the effort stands behind what they get. I claim that there are much more spoiled clients than a spoiled providers – many providers actually likes their work, they want to build portfolios and references, and they even have some degree, for which they worked very hard…

I don't care about irrelevant details – I'm just concentrating on the main point, which has been described up there ^.
In short: if any client tries to implement this tips it automatically makes him a dick. With these tips he cannot use services of the quality freelancers, he will even banish many newbies. + they simply cannot get the same quality even from a desperate provider, who is maybe desperate but still unhappy and disrespected.
Happier provider = better result.
disrespected providers = angry posts :p

Here is the whole 1st part of reply, idk what happened with text. sry for 2x post…

Contradicts?? not at all:

more providers = more competition among them = less earnings and job for a single provider, because clients can easier find someone new and cheap than provider can new and good client. We know what happens when supply >> demand… I even touched subject about global market and economy to underline that fact, but you tried to be selective and to spin your answer…

Maybe its my wording.

You have never heard of rules being defined in a contact before two parties engage in some type of service agreement?

You have never heard of a consulting company receiving a late penalty before? That is a fine.

Its not like these things dont exist already in business all around the world and are being implemented by large corporations who have good systems and processes.

Most small business owners dont know about these types of systems and I am simply enlightening them.

On the flip side I appreciate your point.

Its true that the above tips may cost you the opportunity to work with some quality freelancers. That being said, the above tips might also save you from wasting precious time and money on a freelancer that doesnt work out. If you are in a position where you can afford to throw money around testing many free lancers until you find the perfect one, where you can afford to have projects delayed for months because of bad work for whatever reason, then sure there are better approaches for hiring quality staff.

Big companies like Google and Apple operate this way.

Unfortunately for most of us, we are not Google or Apple and as a small business owner your money and time is more precious. Thus you need to look out for yourself.

Again, I appreciate your position, if you are a high quality freelancer who has the skills to work for a big company and get paid the big bucks, you probably wouldn’t go for a job like this. But most small business owners probably cant afford you either…

There are some kind of projects which requires penalties, and that is regulated by contracts (when BOTH sides agrees on terms and put signatures, which isn’t a boss – servant relation). There are also some contracts which includes rewards and bonuses but you don’t mention that?
When we talk about Elance, one thing is that you describe your terms in advance, in job description or in pms, and whole another thing is to act like a boss, which you describing in this article. You did said “make rules for delivery format and other stuff”, but not this part “punish rule-breakers” – it HAS TO be included in terms description. Of course, if you be fair and let bidders know your way of work in advance, it can potentially banish most of them, probably all of good ones. But since you don’t want that, you would rather try to trick them by not mentioning these terms but still trying to apply them? No communication, not anything, just – BOOM – penalty for 1 day? If strictness makes you feel more comfortable, just be fair and describe ALL of your terms BEFORE awarding projects – if provider agrees in advance to terms then everything is fine, other thing is that provider will probably be a newbie one.

There are superstar companies and studios which hires and which also provides services – all of them are special story and none of them operates on Elance… Elance is for us, mortals…

If you still gonna talk about money, I will still gonna talk about time, effort, resources etc. You can spend less money because of India and Eastern Europe, but these providers still needs to work hard – they don’t save anything. You think that working your ass off for free for many months is enjoyable? But let’s be real here – it is not very probable that you have several bad clients / providers in a row unless if you are rly unlucky. It’s not probable especially for clients, because, I repeat, there are a lot of providers which worked hard for their degrees and they want to build portfolio and references – so they work for more than just for money. On the other hand, clients are the ones who wants to save every cent…
So if you afraid of 1:1000000 possibility that you have several bad clients in a row, then sacrifice the quality of the service and be strict, but be fair and describe every term in advance. Provider will go into this job with his own will and he will know what to expect, and client then should follow in advance known terms, which will eliminate the need for bossy behavior and surprises.
And when you write the article for newbie and afraid clients, you will not help them with “how to be a dick” tips and with ignoring some facts and the big picture, which is definitely not that providers are spoiled and they need to be put down below on “their” place… “Treat your freelancer like your boss treats you” o_o You just make newbie clients more scared with this and you disrespect providers.

I appreciate the feedbacks on this subject I posted 4 months ago.
I want to let everyone know, what has taken place since the last post:
We did not get a helpful response from Elance, so, we posted a negative review, well right after that provider contacted us and wanted to do the job, but we had to remove the post first, we told him, we will if he delivers what he had been paid for already, sure enough this guy Lenin had the balls to ask for more money to do the job(they must be gathering around the PC and laughing their asses off, as they ask for more money) we did not agree to remove the posting…. BEAR IN MIND… We have never received any work from these guys after paying them $1,300.

Shortly after that contact I received a call from Elance, guy tells me, he is going to delist them from the Elance and will not give them monies on their account , but he can call them and try to resolve this by getting them to refund HALF the monies but not the whole thing, but he will try to get the whole thing…he said I see that no work was done and no screen shots were ever delivered..I TOLD HIM, IF HE CAN SEE THAT WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY $650? His response was THE DEVELOPER IS NOT GOING TO DO THAT AND ELANCE HAS NO POWER IN THIS MATTER, he then proceeded to tell me if I disputed the charges on the credit card, Elance will ban us from the site… top it all off.. IF WE TOLD ANYONE ABOUT THE PHONE CALL, HE WOULD DENY EVER SPEAKING TO ME, because no one knows that he is calling me and he is just trying to help.
My response was, I am going to decline charges, well we have been fighting for 4months now, and Lenin is back up with a full rating PLUS, he has posted that he has finished our job.
I HAVE MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO, than chase a LOW class hustler like Lenin and his PIMP ELANCE…I have gone out of my way to tell everyone that Elance is a total Fraud and it’s owners have been convicted on fraud charges.
I ended up hiring a firm out of Canada, which cost me $3,000 to do the job, and since have used another $2.000 worth of work, at least I am not getting screwed by some Jackass from Bangladesh, hope he gets screwed by everyone in his life…He deserves it.

Elance has a flaw in their developer contract language that allows customers to get screwed, and I will be more than happy to point it out to a class action attorney.

I will never work for a buyer who tries to get work done by threatening that they will rate bad. As workers we are helpless sometimes cannot refuse anything that we dont want to do this will effect the rating this can be extra work but refusing will simply mess up the feedback. So listen my friend.

“Elance workers like eBay sellers live for feedback. And once you leave feedback, you can’t change it. Many suppliers would prefer a 5 star review and 50% of the money over 100% cash and a 3 star review.”

You a loser man. We dont live for feedback we dont want profiles screwed up just because of extra work. You an asshole for posting this poor fucking article go sniff mamas thongs

Elance is a company who tries to control freelancers all over the world, they do not have live phone support for most issues. We had a project which we have completed and Elance put a hold on to our account to withdraw money until we completed another project while we are on holidays. Isn’t this Elance’s hands on our business? How come they ask us to employ people while we are on holidays, and holding the money for a completed project?
Elance is is place where you can go to kill your whole reputation within hours. They have policies only to protect their commission but not the interest of the Freelancers. They do not think that their survival is completely dependent on freelancers work. If there are no freelancers, they won’t be there to control our businesses.

lol, I’m a contractor, I worked for a client who didn’t have any knowledge about computers. He thought I was trying to sell him broken website, but at the same time he had a computer virus that inserted links to all sites he visited.

So sometimes you should think before you start punishing people.

Hi there. As an Elance provider, I must say that you’re both right AND wrong. Wrong because there are tons of providers who are hard working individuals. All my 5 ratings are result of delivering the product on time and doing my job as best as I can. You are right that there are tons of crooks there but I see a pattern here. It’s kinda your own fault this happened to you guys. Why? Read on.

If any client read the terms and conditions he or she would know that it’s strictly forbidden for providers to request 5 star rating (or any rating at all) and that such action should be immediately reported to Elance. It is forbidden that a provider sends any contact information before a client initiates the contact. It’s in the rules and if you don’t want to get screwed, please direct yourself to the terms and conditions section and stop whining.

I don’t justify the idiots who do this to clients, but if you do business you must know all the tricks of the trade. If you see a provider who asks for feedback in their proposal, offers you to work offsite,etc… run the hell away.

Plus, it’s quite silly to hear you or anybody was FORCED to do something. They didn’t hold a gun against your head, right? Who on earth would work with anybody who threatens??? Whether it’s a provider or a client.

You, my sirs, need to put yourselves together and use a bit of your common sense. Else, you’d remain plonkers who just got outsmarted by scammers.

Great Post…I’m Both a Provider and A Client Hiring people on Elance…Love the System….

You need to add
We dealt with to many programmers/program companies on this site and other to fund escrow right up front and this is why we have this policy. It makes the programmers stay focus on your project and helps with them taking too many projects at once and not giving you the client the best performance to the project. Funding escrow upfront causes the opposite, they get lax, programming gets sub-par, and they become hard to get a hold of.
I’m sorry that the few bad apples have caused this policy to go into effect.
Fact is you have to be on the programmer 24/7 to make sure things get done, done right, and fixed before it is claimed finished and money is given.
If you fund milestone then the programmer does a shoddy job and you dispute…the programmer will still get most of the money..
Better to use the carrot and stick method then get bent over.

#7 Block anyone, report them, and/or decline their bid if the try to contact you via skype while bidding is still going on…Last 2 projects I posted I got at least 10 skype requests to add them as friends right away on both projects.

#8 Watch out from up selling…Bidders putting in a bid then requoating at doulble triple, 10x’s your budget and thier bid price.

You forgot to add “What do to do if I’m a complete idiot and I can’t turn ON my PC: – should I punish more my freelancer? Should I beat my wife and kid? WHAT SHOULD I DOOOO??? UuuuUUU! HIRE a freelancer who could do IT for YOU! Turning ON the PC is such a tricky task…hire an indian and abuse him!”

It’s a load of crap your dumb article! My comm is the same but at least I didn’t invested any effort in it :))

Awful article. That attitude will ensure the job is not a pleasant experience for both parties. If you really have this little trust in providers, and you’re such an awesome business man you might consider INVESTING a lot more money into using a larger agency to do your projects?

First of all, many of the points made here are valid, but they do go both ways. Often times a client sets or changes an agreement with the mindset that a freelance is just waiting around to jump at the next order. YOU ARE NOT A BOSS, YOU’RE A CLIENT. What’s the difference? A freelancer can a few or many clients, but can usually only have one or two bosses. When you agree to pay me a steady, livable salary then sure, I’ll be at your beckon call for rough business hours and sometimes more, but don’t expect that out of someone who is doing, usually last minute, discounted work for you. Too often I cut breaks and do they go appreciated? Nope! The client ends up taking that all too familiar high and mighty position of “I own you!” I can’t say this for all clients, because most really don’t act this way. There have been a select few. Honestly, the more reasonable you are, and the more ethically you behave, the more apt I’ll be at delivering better work and cutting you better deals in the future. If you’re a jerk, well that door can swing both ways. At a certain point, I don’t care if I’m paid, I don’t want to work with someone who already has the mindset that they’re going to be “screwed over”. It builds a terrible working environment. As for not providing feedback, good luck getting ANTYHING DONE. How the fuck is anyone supposed to continue work without knowing if the first draft was fine or you’re looking for something different? If I don’t get a response out of you, your project is on hold and I’m extending the end date. Your lack of response is not going to be MY problem. My job is to complete your project to your liking, not to sit guess, and twiddle thumbs while you contemplate your malevolent,long distance micromanagement strategy.
Do you want to know WHY clients sometimes get screwed on Elance? They put up a project, looking to pay something ridiculously low and still get it on rush delivery. The freelance who they pick aren’t really suitable for the job and have 30 other things going at once(which they also rush at pennies on the dollar) If you want quality work, then set a reasonable time-line and don’t expect to get something for almost nothing. “I run a business, I want a logo for $25! Der der der!!!” How dumb do you sound? By the time elance gets their cut, the poor freelancer is getting about $20 for what was likely at least 3-4 hours of work. They aren’t house cleaners; they aren’t meant to be paid $5 an hour. The point is, professionalism goes both ways. You treat people as you would like to be treated and if you don’t want to get “screwed over”, make wise decisions and actually communicate with your freelancer. Bad communication is the #1 reason people think they’re getting “screwed over”.

LOL…. This has to be a joke.

No feedback until completely satisfied??? What fantasy world is this?

The designer/provider needs feedback to assure he is going in the direction the client needs.

If I met an arrogant client that provides no feed back, like you (if this isn’t a joke lol), I would quit the job.

Read the post. No feedback as in using the elance feedback system. I have had contractors ask for 5 star feedback before the job was complete then disappear not finishing the job once they received their 5 star feedback.

I am an Elance provider. Before you award someone a job, You should have read Elance policies and make sure you have understood all features that Elance provide to prevent this kind of fraud.

If you decide that you do not want to pay for a timesheet, you should dispute the timesheet first. That’s why Ealnce give you 5 days time to review the timesheet and raise disputes if any. Elance won’t automatically charge your credit card for a timesheet in dispute.

Well said Jane, I thought exactly that while reading this article. Clients have all the power and the freelancers are out there, working hard to make a living and should garner more respect for the skill and service they offer.

Clients need to understand they are working with a freelancer, not bossing them around – its a partnership.

What a motherfucker asshole i just encountered 😀 lol….. this man must be a kicked out looser fom any elancer and now telling people what to do from next 😀 its happens in your imagination, not in reality because clients runs behind us like mad dog 😀

They booked me for job and wating for 2 months and will wait more 1 months atleast, if they can afford it , ok… otherwise get lost 😀 I dont have time to work for him because i have more then enough work pending right now. SO Dont think in marketplace, clients are the boss 😀 its the true skillfull freelancers who actually run the marketplace and the boss here….. because if you want the job done in 1000$ instead of 5000$ then beg in front of us 🙂 its because, the 4000$ you are saving is going on your pocket , so from one point of view actually you are getting your livelihood from the money you get from me loosers 🙂

Hey, hope you are doing well !!!! I am new to elance. Altough we are a 7 year old organisation. I am here to make new friends, if not new clients, so that I can get a chance to consider myself lucky. Feel free to add me on skype att siddharth.hestabit for any web development and mobile apps development job. We have the best programmers in India and punctuality is my strength.

well !!! I am a programmer and work my ass out to provide the best solution for my client but it hurts when, after such hard work, every new client treats me as a suspect !!! Well!!! Nobody is paying money until fully satisfied. If you are not satisfied, you can cancel your escrow. But you should realize that programmers are far more qualified than you are. Just because you are paying money does not give you authority to ill-treat us. You are not providing us money for no reason- we are providing you services. I don’t wanna sound rude. But thats what I feel and am sorry if m sounding rude 🙂 Have a great day,readers !!!!

I can tell you this…be wary of structural engineer named Gary Miller. We agreed to terms, then on that Sunday the due date he changed the terms to Weds and had a single line note. “I need more time”. So I hesitantly agreed. Weds rolled around and nothing….no communication no design…so Thurs morning I emailed asking where it is…nothing….so Friday again, he sends “have it today”…by 5pm nothing, so I emailed telling him I will cancel the job and go a different direction…..30 minutes later I get a “BS, here is your DESIGN!!!!!!!” Followed by several inappropriate emails….I can’t use the plans, already pulled trigger on a different deal because he was incapable of delivering on-time. Sent in Dispute, told him I would pay him $50 to go away…he said no..he’d rather spend $133 to an arbitrator himself….for what purpose…to try and get something…he’s a loser.

Very well said, this guy thinks that contractors are slaves and doing some kind of bonded labor for clients. The lifespan of such ruthless clients on any freelancing site is significantly trivial. No person would ever work with such dictators. It must be give and take relationship and not a one-sided authoritarian one.

I tend to agree that one needs to be careful. I hired a freelancer who just could not deliver what I asked for. I submitted a quite detailed brief of what I was after, preferred colours etc. and a couple of images for ideas, and stated I was also open to any new suggestions by the freelancer. After a week I received 5 design proposals that were very amateurish and obviously done with someone with no creative talent whatsoever. What I received in no way reflected what was displayed in their portfolio. Why the huge difference and where did their portfolio come from? I communicated my feelings to the freelancer who promised to produce something better. 5 days later I am still waiting. In the end I had no choice but to contact support. Hopefully they are expedient in resolving it.

The reason I wrote such a detailed brief was the result of watching my son’s experience with his freelancer for a business logo. He paid for the job but was left unhappy with the end result. He had to rely on the printing company to make changes to the logo design so that it was usable.
I realise that not all freelancers are this bad. But I do agree with Vinay that in business, one has to protect oneself from being ripped off. Really, if you looked through some of those portfolios. Some of them are a real joke. And I am not attacking creative people in general. I appreciate art for what it is.

I have also heard on the grapevine and on many forums that freelancers are able to dummy up their credentials and feedback. So how does one sort the riff from the raff so that we know we are getting a quality design? After all, isn’t that what we are paying for? If a designer comes from a place of integrity, then they would not mind that we set certain criteria when posting a job. Isn’t that the idea behind submitting a contract between the client and freelancer? Elance has templates available for these contracts which protect both the client and the designer.

A business has to earn goodwill in order to survive. The freelancer is no different. They rely on the positive feedback from a client in order to develop goodwill towards their reputation and for attracting new and repeat clients.

Elance is now overcrowded with horrible slave masters like you see on the comments. This is modern day slavery and this article is their guidebook.

See these guys from europe and USA hire freelances with salaries lower than the minimum wage than their country, and if they don’t get expected results, they start calling for attorneys and all, which is really bullshit, petty and childish.

Look, even if he/she didn’t not get the results you hoped for, the contractor probably worked his or her ass off to get the finish product. Some compensation is required.

Another example is, you hire someone to do so sales and marketing for your site which looks absolutley horrible and the products/services don’t sell. What do you expect?

There are only 5% good clients left in this site, the rest are just clueless slave masters with struggling businesses/start-ups running on a low budget. avoid these assholes if you can. They are usually abusive and treat you like a dog.

My advice to these complaining clients, if you want cheap work go to leave us professionals to work with sane clients.

I have gotten screwed on Elance because I was too NICE. Not the other around, ok?

Be careful with the writers. Don’t just use Copyscape to check their work. Some of these writers will screw you by simply taking their articles from a webpage and changing a few words around. Copyscape cannot detect this.

It means you need to spend a lot of time checking their work. Sheesh…

I know very well by now how many of these writers perform their work. Many of the writers should go to Fiverr if that is the kind of work they produce.

I had a very bad experience with a freelancer giving source code which was basically free source code download from the internet and claiming it was his work. His guy is from China.

This bad experience came about because the guy demanded advance payments and good feedback before he released the source code to me. It was my first time paying for a job on Elance and i will be wiser next time.

Elance dispute resolution process does not help at all even though i produce Skype conversations of me explaining the requirements and the guy agreeing to it.

I am also a freelancer and i have noticed that there are people who try to get me as a Freelancer to do work at unreasonable prices and pace. Being a client and a freelancer allows me to see how true the following quote is:

“Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don’t expect it from cheap people.”

― Warren Buffett

Worst article ever! This is exactly how you shouldn’t behave on Elance. Elance workers are not your slaves, bad boy. I would never in my life work for someone like you, and I did many times unfortunately (we all did).
This article is all about what the worker should do, and how you should punish your worker, and how to give him bad reviews etc…. Well, what about what you should do? What about responding fast if the worker has a question, giving him bonuses if he does a good job, treating him like a human being? You should learn it better. No one will want to work with you if you behave like a big bad boss, treat people like shit, and don’t care about the other party. And that’s not even productive. Cheers.

You sound like a former client who cancelled on me a day later because of work that he had specified was for one week. So inhuman.

You sound like you have some unresolved issues in how to work with people in partnership. That is sad and ignorant. And you are exactly the type of client I try very hard to avoid. Your attitude will get you close to nowhere in terms of best outcomes. Freelances are NOT your employee. Vett and review portfolios and examples. But your comments show that you do not have that skill-set. The BEST work and BEST working relationships happen with mutual respect. A top provider will do just that — work in partnership with you. THEN you will get value and “plus” work. But if you treat a freelancer as you suggest — you have set the entire relationship up for failure before the first deliverable.

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