Freelancer Review: Is Freelancer Worth It for Hiring?

Jason Quey
Updated:
July 8, 2020

Freelancer is the 400-pound gorilla of freelance platforms. (It’s smaller than Upwork, the 800-pound mammoth. But they’re still a beast you can’t ignore).


But bigger doesn’t always mean better service. Or quality over quantity, as my mother might say.


Without quality control, more users mean more spammy applications. Who wants to waste precious time sifting through a mountain of copy-and-paste job applications?


I’ll get straight to the point: 

  1. If you want someone to screen 90% of the candidates for you, I recommend checking out Toptal (read our review on Toptal here).
  2. If you prefer quality freelancers in categories not offered by Toptal, check out Fiverr Pro (here’s our Fiverr review).
  3. If you’d like a low-cost freelancer to outsource work off your plate, check out Fiverr or OnlineJobs (here’s our OnlineJobs review).

Here’s my review of Freelancer.com…

Looking for more information about another hiring website?

  1. For hiring developers, check out Toptal, Lemon.io, and Codementor.
  2. For hiring designers, check out DesignBro, DesignHill, and 99Designs.
  3. For all hiring needs, including overseas outsourcing, check out OnlineJobs, Fiverr, and Upwork.
  4. You can check out a list of website hiring reviews here.


Freelancer praise and pros


Freelancer set the standard for many freelance features. From project contests to ranking systems, Freelancer creates unique features for entrepreneurs.


Because of their large size, you’ll get several applications. Assuming you’ve got time to sift through them all, this makes it easier to find the freelancer you want to work with.


Their support team is available 24/7. They also have an extensive FAQ section you can use to find the answers you need too.


That said...


Freelancer complaints and cons


Brace yourself, this is gonna be a doozy.


First, you’ll discover finding (and keeping) a quality freelancer to be a royal pain.


The moment you post a job, you’ll get a handful of applications (Yay!). But for every one skilled freelancer worth considering, there are 3-5 others who you should simply delete. There are rumors agencies have built automation scripts to spam any semi-relevant job posts.


Even worse, once you hire that freelancer, it’s common for them to go missing or failing to meet their deadline.


Then there’s the problem of plagiarism.


Let’s say you do a freelance contest to get a feel for a freelancer’s work first.


Did you consider that some entries may include stolen work?


Take a look at this design contest:


Freelancer complaints and cons


If you pop over Shutterstock, you’ll find something surprisingly similar...


Freelancer complaints and cons


Then there are all the fees and random charges...


Freelancer pricing - What’s Freelancer’s fee structure?


Let’s start off with a basic project.


For a fixed-price project, you’ll pay 3% (with a $3 minimum) for every freelancer you award the project. For hourly projects, you’ll also pay 3% for each payment you make.


3% is a typical fee for most freelance marketplaces. But Freelancer’s fees simply start at 3%...


Here’s a full list of Freelancer fees for projects:

  1. Want to feature your project to (supposedly) attract more, high-quality bids? That will be $9.
  2. Looking to mark your project as urgent to get a faster response from freelancers? That’s $9.
  3. Need to create a private project from search engines to increase confidentiality? That’s another $19.
  4. Want to hire for a full time or commission-based position? Time to cough up $199.
  5. Would you like Freelancer to assign a recruiter to your project to clarify the work and recommend a bigger? That’s $9.50.
  6. Are you looking for a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to keep your project details on the down-low? You’ll pay $19 for that.
  7. Do you need the freelancer to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement that all the work completed belongs to you? Add another $19 (for something which should be yours anyways).
  8. Would you like to seal all bids so other freelancers cannot see what each other bids on the project? Time to pay another $9.
  9. Want to list your project immediately by skipping the queue for admin to review your project? That’s another $5.
  10. Didn’t get good bids and want to extend the bidding period by 7 days? Oh look, another $9 fee.


What if you prefer to run a contest? Well, there’s a laundry list of contest fees too...

  1. Want to feature your project to (supposedly) attract more, high-quality entries? That will be $30.
  2. If you prefer getting top freelancers, you can mark your project as a top contest and pay $30.
  3. Looking to mark your contest as urgent to get a faster response from freelancers in 1-2 days? That’s $35.
  4. If you want to pay for more visibility, you can highlight your contest to make it visually stand out. You’ll pay $15 for the highlighter fee.
  5. Would you like to seal all entries so other freelancers cannot see what each other sent? Time to pay another $30.
  6. Need to create a private project from search engines to increase confidentiality? That’s another $25.
  7. Are you looking for a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to keep your project details on the down-low? You’ll pay $20 for that.
  8. Didn’t get good bids and want to extend the bidding period? You’ll pay an extra 15-50% of your contest prize, depending on the number of days added.


At this rate, I feel like Freelancer will charge you money to breathe (/sarcasm).


Is Freelancer worth it for hiring?


From one entrepreneur to another, Freelancer is more hassle than worth. Sure, they have several freelancers. Today you can find plenty of freelancers on another site, often paying no extra to get quality talent.


Again, this is why I recommend…

  1. If you want someone to screen 90% of the candidates for you, I recommend checking out Toptal (read our review on Toptal here).
  2. If you prefer quality freelancers in categories not offered by Toptal, check out Fiverr Pro (here’s our Fiverr review).
  3. If you’d like a low-cost freelancer to outsource work off your plate, check out Fiverr or OnlineJobs (here’s our OnlineJobs review).

The Product Marketing Agency Serving Entrepreneurs From Idea to Scale

Jason Quey

I am the CEO and Founder of Growth Ramp. I enjoy helping high-growth startups on their journey from idea to scale.

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