Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.
Freelancer: The Site for Freelancers
Freelancer.com is a freelancing site where writers bid on projects posted by clients. This site is similar to Elance but different in the way it operates and different in the user interface. Freelancer is one of many sites that enables the online freelance worker to make money on the internet. There are thousands of positions posted each day in hundreds of categories. The following is my review of the site based on my personal experience as a member.
I am not an affiliate member of Freelancer.com and in no way am I seeking members for freelancer.com to make money or earn rewards. This article is my honest review of the site, its functions and its ability to make you money.
The User Interface and Look of the Site
The first impression you get from this site is that it's crowded and busy. The homepage, especially your personal home page is jumbled and cluttered with too many items. For me, it's like a junkyard or an untidy storage compartment.
Using the Site
I find the user interface not easy to navigate. The items are not clear. Take for instance when bidding on a project, the instructions for attaching a sample file isn't very visible. It was after a client emailed me to request a sample of my work that I searched and found where to attach the file.
I went back to bid on another project and it was after submitting the original bid that I realized I had to create a message in order to upload a file. It doesn't allow more than one file per message. This is very inconvenient as we sometimes have more than one sample. With the other freelancer site that I use, I can easily attach as many files to my original bid as I like along with any amount of URLs.
I find that the site seems a bit expensive to use. Five dollars is immediately deducted from your account each time you accept an awarded project, then you must pay a dollar to withdraw your funds. You pay another dollar to place your bid at the top and another to Highlight your bid. There are no free exams so if you want to show some credentials you must pay another five dollars.
I do find that clients pay more than the average on other sites and it seems that the minimum a client can place a job for is $30. So here I find that it might be worth joining the site. But I warn you to be careful; before you know it you will have no funds to collect. I have had no problems with payments so far and clients pay promptly.
I also find that you cannot withdraw less than $30 from your account which is ridiculous. If you have to pay to withdraw then you should be allowed to withdraw any amount you choose. So here I was awarded my first job of $30 minus the $5 project fee, ready to withdraw my $25 and was told that I needed to have at least $30 in my account to withdraw. So now I had to wait on another project to be awarded to me to be able to withdraw any money.
Overview and Ratings
If you are new at freelancing and want somewhere to start, and you are patient enough to wait for a bid to come through then you can certainly try it out. It seems that the clients wait until the time expires to award the positions. It also appears that each client is given two weeks for their work to be bid on.
The site is free to join but expensive to maintain. My suggestion is waiting until your money reaches a reasonable amount before withdrawing or you will end up paying more. The site isn't that easy to figure out so spend a few minutes each time navigating so you know where things are.
Place as many bids as possible to increase your chances of being selected. Milestones aren't very popular here with clients even though the site encourages it. Most clients do not fund their account prior to selecting you so it's a chance you have to take.
My other suggestion is not to wait on your client to rate your work. If you want a good review from the client, then give them an excellent review first. I find it works both at Freelancer.com and Elance. Rate the client as soon as you complete your job. Most clients will be so grateful and flattered by the excellent review that they in return will give you an excellent review.
If I was to rate this site, I would rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
Read More From Toughnickel
Using the Site as a Client
Recently, I got very busy and needed help writing a story from another site. The client wasn't paying much and needed the story within a week. I thought that since placing a project on the site was free I would see if I could get a freelancer to assist. I had the plot and outline worked out and even started the story.
Actually placing the bid went smoothly. I needed a quick response so I was encouraged to pay five dollars for immediate posting rather than going through a review process.
What Upset Me
- The funds were automatically taken from my Paypal account without the approval gateway. When shopping online using Paypal a page is supposed to present itself so you the customer can either approve or cancel the transaction. This did not happen.
- The darn people withdrew $5.42 from my account, not the $5 stipulated!
- There was nowhere in the agreement that said I needed to pay additional fees on the $5
- The bidders were mediocre and most of them did not read the instructions. I specifically asked for erotica writers and was sent article samples. Now, if you bid on a short story project you expect to show samples of your short story abilities.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Carolee Samuda
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on April 14, 2016:
Hi Rosaflorence, There are other websites that are better than Freelancer. Have you checked out Guru.com or Upwork.com? These are the websites that I freelance on and I get constant work. I make more than $400 per month. You can make more if you write fast. I write mostly fiction but you can get any job you want there.
R D Hayes from Oklahoma City on April 07, 2016:
I signed up with them a long time ago. I found it somewhat hard to use and complicated to understand. When writing for a site, I want clear cut instructions. I also want to earn enough to make it worth my while. I prefer writing on sites like Hubpages and blogging since I can write what I want to write.
Steven E. on June 10, 2015:
How can we help you?
lassoart on April 13, 2015:
Mr. Justin can we talk i need help in a query about
Nick on July 17, 2014:
It sucks, i have justin's same problem but with a lot bigger funds, why don't they just notify or red flag that client who has problems with his funds.. WHY THE HELL DON'T THEY TELL US BEFORE!!
FREELANCER IS A TOTAL SCAM!!! you idiots are getting you reputation to the ground with this monkey work. MY COMPANY WILL NEVER WORK WITH FREELANCER AGAIN!
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on May 15, 2014:
Hi Justin. I have no interest in going back to Freelancer.com, so I don't need my concerns addressed. Thanks for the offer but I am happy with the other websites I write for.
Justin C. on May 14, 2014:
Hi. My name is Justin and I'm here to assist your concerns directly. Please send me an email to email@example.com.
I will do my very best to cater all your queries and concerns. Thank you.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on March 15, 2014:
Hi Yasitha, I don't doubt you at all. Freelancer.com does not secure the freelancer's money with escrow funding like Elance or Guru.com. I will never work there again. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)
Yasitha Bogamuwa on March 15, 2014:
Hello All, I bid for a IPSec VPN project for 100 USD and I won it. After I successfully complete the project the employer (He had around 15 positive feedbacks) paid the total with 5 star positive feedback. Later I tried to withdraw the funds which I earned from this project and freelancer rejected the withdrawal saying that "Unfortunately we were unable to process your withdrawal request. Decline reason: Funds originated from an account that is currently under review." Therefore I contacted freelancer through their support ticket system and they asked me to contact the employer and ask him to resolve his account issue. Next I contacted him and begged him to resolve his account issue because I'm burning for nothing I did. What he said is, Now the Project is over and he paid the total. He doesn't want his freelancer account anymore, Simply he left freelancer. Again I contacted freelancer and said what he mentioned. The reply was "For security reasons, the funds on the employer's account has been put on hold until the account issues have been resolved.". I know I will never receive my funds because the employer will never resolve his account issues by submitting the documents which freelancer asked him to submit. Finally he got what he want, freelancer got what they want (Freelancer fees. They refund the fees but I can't withdraw it because minimal withdrawal amount is 30 USD) and I lost my money. This is for you mates, don't use their site. I don't want to see this thing happening to you. If you want proofs, please type your email address, I will forward what I got.
Alexander on February 21, 2014:
Freelancer.com - the biggest scam!
Very serious and responsible I work 120%. On freelancer.com since 2008, but employers were always happy and my ratings is still 5.0.
Since the site passed into the Australian hands, the freelancer.com strongly degraded. A lot of things changed: the number of projects increased, new functions were added, greed of the freelancer.com grew many times, scam scale increased.
The administration isn't capable to control monetary operations. They have no tools for this purpose. It is ok for the site, if after a good review and released payment, freelancer.com reversalt he transaction depriving you earned money. You do not even notified about it. They quietly remove the money from your account. I will say more. Freelancer.com can reversal the transaction after the money is withdrawed and keep your balance in a deep minus , and then they demand from you to put the money back on your frelancer account. As a result the freelancer.com will remove from you 110% (10% fees, which were removed at the beginning of a project + 100% of your earned money that were returned to the employer). Sounds absurd? Today it is quite so on the site. To all claims they answer in the manner „We can do nothing. A chargeback has been filed on the employer‘s payment provider. We only take fees. We would recommend that you contact the employer directly and ask to pay again.“
All of these milestones - complete nonsense! An employer can post a project, create a milestone, get the project done, release the money and after get all money back. Freelancer.com promotes scam. What milestones for? To give the appearance of reliability? After a project is done, you won‘t see the money anyway. In addition, you pay 10% fees. Cool!
Today the freelancer.com is not the guarantor of honest execution of deal. It is just a message board with the job offers, where you take all risks upon yourself. Freelancer.com only can guarantee that you will pay them all fees for the opportunity to be deceived!
It is a pity to lose rating and reviews, but it is even more a pity for the nerves. There are alternatives and it is time to leave freelancer.com. You are sure it is no concern of you? Just type in google „freelancer.com scam reversal“.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on November 02, 2013:
Yes I wrote this long before the review capsule. I should update it. thanks Marisa :)
Kate Swanson from Sydney on November 02, 2013:
Thanks for this warning about Freelancer. Judging by the comments, the site has only got worse since you did your original assessment! Tip - I assume you wrote this before the "Review" capsule was created. It would be well worth adding it now, so your Hub gets marked up as a review on Google search.
Paul S Williams on October 14, 2013:
I am using freelancer.com since years now, it was a good site at first, really fast, php-based. I won't complain on money issues here because, to be honest, I never had an issue with them about this, other than usual withdrawal delays and high fees. Not to mention I don't tend to hold a lot of money on there, not even on paypal; I usually withdraw to my atm card as soon as I can. I don't trust none online service to hold my money.
Now, this is the problem we have now and this one is *serious*. Since 10 days ago freelancer changed something that's ruinning our businness and they care shit fixing it. I am talking about the private messaging system which is *now disabled* when you bid. This means you can't send samples to your employeer, nor private messages anymore. Unless customer starts a private message.
And this is not even the worst! Line break is not respected in your bid text!! So, now that you are not allowed to send private messages (unless customer starts a private message with you), you have to place links in your bid text in order to actually have a *chance* to get the job! Read below the conversation we had with customer support:
Freelancer staff: "Keep in mind that our site does not support line breaks on the bid page. "
Me: And do you think this is something to be proud of ? Is it like a "feature" ?
So are you telling your whole 9 million users that not having the ability to
properly space paragraphs out, making the whole text a whole unreadable mess is
a feature or something to be proud of!?!
Imagine you have to write in your bid something bulleted such as:
- line 1
- line 2
- line 3
- line 4
- link 1
- link 2
Your buyer will read it like: Paragraph 1Details:- line 1 - line 2 - line 3 - line 4Paragraph 2- link 1- link 2
*** And are you saying this is a feature and not a bug of freelancer.com that
should be addressed? ***
This is totally unbelievable, all they have to do is replacing the line break by a br html tag upon displaying the bid text and they are not doing it. It's a whole line of code what they have to add. This is getting us *no job* since days, damaging our business while in the past we had a strong customer messaging based on the samples we showed
My experience as a business man tells that you can convince a customer better with a good sample rather than with a small paragraph of text telling him that you are an expert in the field. Both thigns are killer, but if one of them is missing you don't make it
If their approach was avoiding spam and/or copy/paste messages with this measure, this is not the way to handle it
I strongly suggest everybody post a ticket into their support system in order to let them know as a community that we need the private messaging system back OR AT LEAST the line break respected in bid's text
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 26, 2013:
ChaimK, did he really do that? If he did, that is really wrong. I hope you get some resolution to your problem. I'll definitely check out your blog.
ChaimK on August 26, 2013:
Are you the same Alaister Low who insulted me? Hey, I am the person who launched a blog criticizing Freelancer.com (blog's name is Get a Hindu at Blogspot). After that this guy had been claiming my blog is... racist. What's more, he felt free to spill my private data. What kind of farce is it? A corporation publishing user private record when it feels like it? Maybe explain that, huh?
alaisterlow on August 14, 2013:
No worries Cardisa. I look forward to receiving your email and addressing issues that you experience.
With anyone else experiencing issues please email me directly and I'll ensure the issues get resolved.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on August 14, 2013:
Hello Mr. Low, thank you for such a concerned comment. I will be sure to give you feedback as to how you can improve the Freelancer's experience.
I hope my review was not too harsh but I wrote it from an honest point of view. Thanks again and I hope others will email you as well.
alaisterlow on August 13, 2013:
This is Alaister Low, Director of Customer Experience at Freelancer.com. Thank you for trying out our site and we appreciate you writing an honest review and your feedback. Obviously you have experienced some issues and I want to work to ensure we are able to improve our site so others don't experience the same.
At this stage if anyone is still experiencing issues with their account please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ensure your issue gets resolved.
Thank you again Cardisa for your feedback as your post and all the comments has really given me a lot of insight into what we can improve on.
Feel free to email me directly Cardisa as I would love to hear more about your thoughts on pain points you experienced and how we can improve our product to better support you and other users.
jean pozo on March 01, 2013:
Hello. I am looking for a blogger to write about freelancing. If you are interested, could you please email me at email@example.com?
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on February 28, 2013:
Freelancer is too expensive to maintain. I closed my account there as I find that the better sites were less expensive. I use Elance which does not charge for exams, they do not charge for highlighting your profile, their project fees are pain only when you get paid and withdrawal to paypal is free.
I use Guru.com which is a little more expensive than lance but the only fee I pay there is the project fee. Withdrawal is free. I haven't taken any exams there so am not sure about the.
I also use oDesk. Free exams, low project fees and free low processing fee to your card or Paypal
Freelancer isn't worth the trouble for me. That place is suited for people who work in India or Africa where one US dollar is worth a lot so they can work cheap jobs.
kaylan on February 27, 2013:
Hi Cardisa. Thanks for writing. I happened to have dropped by and I just started using the site as a freelancer this month. I've been awarded two jobs and so far it was from a trustworthy employer. I just didn't like how the site takes exactly $5.00 from each milestone payment given to me. That, and I'm still not sure about the withdrawal process to PayPal if they're going to take from it too.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 24, 2013:
Hi Peter, I see you have quoted a part of their payment policy. I don't plan on using them much and I know some people will never go there again. I assume you too have had a bad experience over there.
peter gregg on January 23, 2013:
January 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm
Freelancer.com, in its sole discretion, may place a hold on any or all of the payments you receive when Freelancer.com believes there may be a high level of risk associated with you, your Account, or any or all of your transactions. If Freelancer.com places a hold on any or all of the payments you receive, you will be provided with notice of our actions and the way in which to resolve the issue. If you are involved in a dispute, in certain circumstances Freelancer.com may place a temporary hold on the funds in your account to cover the amount of any potential liability. If the dispute is resolved in your favour, Freelancer. com will lift the temporary hold. If you lose the dispute, Freelancer.com may remove the funds from your Account.
Freelancer.com may remove the funds from your account? to where their account? this company will try and find any reason for banning your account and conviently putting money into their coffers, they are criminals, DO NOT RISK putting money into their website.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 20, 2013:
Hi Sherry, many people find it quite confusing at first. The site is pretty expensive to use so I don't use it much. I find a lot of people are having problems over there and have problems getting their money as well.
Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 20, 2013:
I actually completed a job on Freelancer. It was confusing to use and somewhat expensive. However, I did get a pretty good paying job from it, so it was worth the price. My employer was also new to the site, and he had trouble understanding how to release the payment once it was done, but eventually it all worked out.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 19, 2013:
Hi Mark. Now that you have mentioned Textbroker, I have been trying to join the UK site but am now a little skeptical. Freelancer.com is not a site I would readily encourage anyone to join.
Curiad on January 19, 2013:
I have never heard of them, but considering your review and the many negative comments, I will avoid them. I had similar problems with Textbroker and have $6.00 on account there I can not withdraw.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 05, 2013:
Thank you for stopping by. I would love to check out your site when it goes live and also write a review about it. We are always looking for freelancing jobs so I am sure some of my readers would love to sign up and earn. Looking forward to visiting.
Michal on January 04, 2013:
Hi Cardisa, that's quite a comprehensive review of Freelancer. It seems like we have all been having issue after issue with Freelancer's policies and fees.
Being both a buyer and seller of services when Scriptlance (The markeplace I used) was bought out by Freelancer I was more than a little upset about their fees and the loss of some business relationships I had developed over my time at Scriptlance.
I'm pretty upset and sick of the state of things in the industry, I loved Scriptlance and once I was *forced* over to Freelancer during their buyout I quickly got sick of it.
I enjoyed your review and I'm currently developing a competing website to Freelancer, www.kwikode.com. I'm bringing in all the old features of Scriptlance with less fees and looser restrictions on paying fees. We've built the bulk of the functionality and are now trying to get the community involved with suggestions on functionality. I'd love for you to give it a review when we go live in March. Maybe even get your readers involved to sign up for our BETA waiting list.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 03, 2013:
Hi Adrian, I have heard similar stories. It took me months before I could actually withdraw my fund. I recently posted a project which require $5 for immediate submission and lo and behold they withdrew $5.42. I cannot understand the concept. There was no mention of fee of any kind. Why the hell did they charge the extra?
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on January 03, 2013:
Hi Tony, you could blog a about it. Try Bloogspot blogs, they are free of charge, to create your own blog.
adrian higgs on January 02, 2013:
Man i never though getting money out of an account could be so difficult, a month and a half and now they want his res pics of me holding my passport, WTF, and the fees, they take 10% of your earnings and 5% of the employer, not to mention the exchange rate, if you exchange 500 aud into US dollars and back again to AUD you are left with $450. And making things complicated is freelancers speciality, slow buggy site, charging you without your knowledge, you get a free upgrade for a month then they start billing your pay pal account from there on, i could go on and on.......
Avoid at all costs for your own sanity,
Tony on December 28, 2012:
Freelancer.com and foreign freelancer work together to scam my $500. I pay one third of the total project amount through Milestone but I did not get a little bit of my project. Then I reported the scam issue and showing the proof to Freelancer.com. But they did not care as long as the scammer had paid the commission to them. This is the worst irresponsible website. Please show me how to post my worst experience about this website on the internet.
amy2006 on December 18, 2012:
I have given my project to hire a freelancer on freelancer.com.au, the short video project (less than 3 minutes) takes 2 months and still not complete, plus the bid winner stops communication 6 days ago!!
I sent 2 emails asking for help to customer support from freelancer 10 days ago but they just ignore me completely and still no reply! very very bad customer service they have! They're only fast at taking people's fees (for everything).
Max, try to look at your customer service employees' attitude, word of mouth for bad reputation going fast too! Don't wait till people have problem and come to you, you should help them solve their problem in the first place.
Carolee Samuda (author) from Jamaica on October 03, 2012:
Hi Max, it's nice for you to leave a comment. As you see a lot of people are having issues with your site, including myself. Your administrators need to change some things in order to make your contractors happy.
Have a nice day.