Can You Trust Craigslist.com for Freelance Jobs?

What initially started as a simple email listing service for friends of Craig Newmark in the San Francisco Bay Area has grown into a formidable Internet presence in the last sixteen years in what we all know as Craigslist.

Freelance JobsWikipedia defines Craigslist as a “centralized network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements – with sections devoted to jobs, housing, and personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums.”

In the last couple of years, craigslist has helped a lot of freelancers find steady work online, especially those freelancers who are into writing and website designing.

However, we know that craigslist is a free online classified advertisement forum; therefore, there is a chance for one encountering bogus freelance jobs posted by fraudulent companies with the purpose of scamming hard working freelancers out of their money.

Finding Freelance Jobs on Craigslist

Let’s see first the positive factors that make craigslist a safe forum to find freelance jobs, and then we’ll move on to the negative factors.

Positive Factors:

[1] There is anonymity. Both the service providers and service seekers are given the option to remain anonymous with their advertisement postings.

This is necessary as it prevents scammers from knowing your email address and other personal details. A freelancer can post an advertisement online without worrying about displaying contact details; the same works for service seekers. People who apply to job / service listings have to apply through the generic reply address given with each advertisement listing.

[2] There is time limitation. Both the service providers and service seekers can decide the amount of time they want the advertisement live. After the stipulated number of days, the advertisement is taken offline until you log in to your account and re-activate it.

[3] Advertisements are geographically defined. Both the service providers and service seekers are given the option to make their advertisement either relevant for a global audience or restricted to any particular geographical area.

For instance, if you are freelancer looking for web designing jobs in the New York area only, you can apply. Similarly, service seekers too can mention the area from where they are seeking applicants.

It has one positive advantage: power of verification. A company in New York looking for web designing applicants from New York can verify the claims of the applicant’s contact addresses and professional experience more easily than verifying authenticity of applicants in some other continents.

Moreover, people who use craigslist for selling products find it better to deal with local customers/buyers than international ones because of payment troubles.

Negative Factors:

[1] There is possible exposure to money scams. Though craigslist warns people against sending any money if you don’t know the person, newcomers to craigslist can often get duped.

Therefore, the advertisers create ads in such a convincing way that by the time you realize it, you are scammed.

For instance, if you reply to an advertisement which is about massage services at home, the advertiser can ask you to pay the service amount in advance. In all instances, never do that.

[2] Craigslist does not verify advertiser’s authenticity. There can be unscrupulous people out there who will post advertisements on Craigslist under a fake company name to attract freelance applicants.

Since you cannot see their email id and some of them do not even disclose their names, it is impossible to verify their credentials online. There are freelancers who have unsuspectingly applied to such advertisements only to come out scammed in the end.

Solution:

You will get both quality/high paying and sub-standard freelance jobs on craigslist. As a freelancer, your best shot at succeeding with craigslist is to rely on advertisement information. An advertisement having a 2-line job description should be avoided in favor of detailed advertisements.

When applying to craigslist advertisements, do not disclose all your professional and personal information. If the advertisement asks for resumes, cover letters, and samples, never mention more than your email addresses anywhere.

If the service buyer wants you to give a specially written sample, ask for payment for that article. Craigslist ads receive a huge response and if a service buyer asks every applicant for a specially written sample and not pay for it, you can imagine the amount of free content that person will have or any other freelance products.

Freelancer.com or Elance.com? You Choose…

Are you a freelancer and would like to take your skill online to make some money?

If you want to work online or you want to get some jobs done from other people, you will find several opportunities on these websites.

freelancer or elanceThere are workers who are ready to take up any of the jobs that you have to give them and there are individuals who are ready to make work available for those who want to work online.

All you need to do is to get yourself registered on any of the sites and you are good to go. Before long, you will make money online.

The truth still remains anyway that there are several differences among the various freelance sites online.

While some of them are able to offer you excellent services, there are some other ones that may not be able to live up to their claims.

In this article, a comparison will be made between two of the prominent freelance sites that are used today.

In case you have been working on them, you will be aware of some of the facts that are mentioned about them here.

In case you have not been involved with any of them, you will do well to make use of the facts revealed here to finally make up your mind about the two of them.

Freelancer vs Elance

The below info may be the master info that you need to choose the one you would choose to work with.

The two freelance sites that will be reviewed here are freelancer.com and elance.com.

This article is not intended to tell you the specific one to choose between the two. It will only lay out the facts and we expect you to make your choice on the one you will choose to use in your bid to make money online.

Background about freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is a freelance site that has been around for sometime now. It was formerly called getafreelaner.com before it finally changed its name to the present freelancer.com.

It offers several freelance services ranging from article writing to website designing and all sorts of programming services.

You can even get graphic design jobs and data entry jobs on it. It is a site that links those who are looking for jobs with those who are willing to give them the job online.

Background on elance.com

Elance.com too has been around for quite a while now. In fact, it had been around since 1999. It is a site that many individuals have found to be very reliable. It does almost exactly the same thing as mentioned above about freelancer.com.

You can come by several online jobs and several buyers are also available to give jobs to online professionals who are seeking work. All you need to have is the necessary qualifications and you will be able to acquire work on either of these sites.

Registration on either site

The registration procedure on either freelancer.com or elance.com is actually not to difficult. You are asked to supply simple info to open your account.

Neither of the sites gives you any restraints when you want to set up account. You will also be able to set up your account free of charges.

While freelancer gives you complete freedom to set up an account, elance, offers the option of either setting up a standard account or a premium account.

The standard account is completely free to set up while the premium account may cost you some money.

This has really reduced the number of people seeking jobs on elance. Because of this, people would rather flock to freelancer to get a free account.

Effect of free or paid account on elance

There have been several rumors that those who make use of the free account on elance do not usually get any work at all.

However, those who set up a premium account have been able to land several mouth watering jobs on elance.

This may not be true everywhere. It is possible for some other guys to be able to get jobs with a free account on elance and be able to make money online from there.

It is however advisable for such people to get premium accounts as soon as they are able to gather the money together.

Limit of job bids

Both freelancer and elance have a limited number of jobs that an individual is permitted to bid for.

On freelancer, you are given the grace to bid for up to sixty different jobs per month. Once your 60 bid count had been used up, you won’t be able to bid for any other job until the following month.

On elance, a free account gives you access to only 10 points. This does not mean you will be able to bid for ten jobs. Each of the types of jobs on elance have different points attached to it. You may end up bidding for only four jobs with your 10 points in case each job carries about 3 points.

Strictness of getting job

It is stricter to get jobs on elance than on freelancer.

Elance rarely welcomes anyone that is a new writer. You need to have real experience to show along with your bid.

The case is different with freelancer. Freelancer employers always give equal opportunity to new writers. There are some employers on freelancer that do not even require you to submit samples before they give you a job.

How much per job?

On freelancer.com, the jobs done are almost always cheap. You can have an employer who is only willing to pay a meager $1 for 500 words article on freelancer. This is not the case with elance. A 500 word article can cost as high as $8-$10, depending on the writer’s merit, of course.

Some people may criticize freelancer.com for providing cheap jobs to freelancers and thus lowering the job’s merit, but this should not be reason enough to avoid freelancer.com. Employers pay as per their budget allows, whether freelancers take it or not depends on them.

How to get paid?

Several workers will bid for a particular job. The employer will choose any one of them that he thinks will be able to do the job for him. The two of them will agree on price and the outsourcing site will charge them for the job awarded. The employer will give the employee a period of time to get the job done and he will put the money in escrow.

Both freelancer.com and elance.com make use of escrow.

Escrow helps to keep the payment for the job on hold until the job is finished. Once the worker finishes the job, the money in escrow is released into the account of the worker.

Escrow works in such a way that the worker and the employer will not be able to get the money out of it. The only access the employer has is to release the money into the account of the worker. It is only the site management that can take any other action with money in escrow.

This makes it hassle free to get paid for any work done on either site as long as the money is in escrow.

The worker can then decide to withdraw his money through any means he deems fit. Each of the sites have different means through which money can be paid from the worker’s online account to his personal account where he can withdraw it in cash. The choice used is completely dependent on the worker.

Charges on work done

Freelancer.com only charges each worker 5% of the total value of the winning bid and elance.com places a predetermined amount as their fees before the deal is finalized.

However, there is a difference: while freelancer.com takes fees from your winning bid, elance.com doesn’t take such a share. Elance.com charges above the price quoted by the freelancer.

Each of these sites makes sure that the charges are removed from your balance immediately after you win a bid. They will remove the charges and release the balance to you. This means that you do not need to spend a dime before you can make money on either site.

Conclusion

Read through the info above and consider all the points so as to know the one that will work well for you in your bid to make money online.

The info here may not contain everything that you need to know about both the freelance sites. You can then check other sources or user feed backs to get more info.