Freelancer sites

I had a little sniff around the freelancer sites again, as I do from time to time…

Previously I have excluded rentacoder as they wanted to install some spyware on my pc so ‘clients’ could check what I was doing.

This time I actually registered on PeoplePerHour a few days ago. I just deactivated, over my short residence I was unable to decide if it was just a giant scam or not.

I realise that as the service provider we are the ‘stock’ of these sites but when the freelancer site has more, and more onerous, terms and conditions than an investment banking employment contract, shits messed up. right? Their T&Cs maybe aren’t quite as long as Apples, but run it close.

On Pph you have to pay to send a proposal to a someone offering a project. You get a few credits initially, but then you have to pay real cash money. The proposal needs firm costs, unless its an hourly rate project. So…

When the full and complete project description is:

“I need android app developing”

How much would you quote? Would you pay money (even toy money) to apply? (I might be doing something wrong here – 30 other people have already applied)

Then pph take 25% of the fee you quote the seller (upto 500 per month, a bit less after – but its hard to see how you could earn more than 500, tbh. Maybe that’s a skillset thing?). Most UK agencies take less than that these days, and they provide a bit more (just) than a contacts website.

Like RAC, Pph are obsessed with keeping all comms on site – of course, it would be so easy for people to connect there and then take the project offsite and keep their 25% cut. But the downside of that is as a supplier its hard to leverage non pph resources to differentiate. For example I can’t point people to codematic to suggest I know a bit about Excel dev. The fragility of this particular point I think, dooms these sites to long term failure. Certainly on a 25% cut.

If it was 5 or 10% and they were offering useful workflow and customer management tools then maybe, but at 25% the benefits of moving offsite will be irresistible for too many I think.

I had been advising people to use these sites to build up experience and a visible portfolio, but now, having done so I don’t think I would again.

Do you have suggestions for better freelancer sites?

Define better? supplier friendly, reasonable rates, sustainable process, significant work opportunities, reasonable T&Cs.

cheers

simon

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