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Freelancer.com- Getting Started Review Part 1

I’m reviewing Freelancer.com as part of the Create Your Own Challenge.

Quick Background

Freelancer.com “is an online venue to allow Users to offer and buy professional services.” vWorker was purchased by them and any accounts currently at vWorker were merged and ported over to Freelancer.com.

They say they are “the world’s largest outsourcing market place.”

Sign up is easy and since I have had a vWorker account, some of my information is already in their system.

I click a link in the email Freelancer sent to all previous vWorker accounts.

If you’re just signing up with them, you’ll register here by clicking the sign up button..

I click the link in my email and I’m immediately presented with the details I need to change, which are username (if I want to) and I’m required to create a new password.

I change the username to SelfPubResults. Think carefully about what you use because once you hit the submit button it can’t change.

User Agreements, Legalease and Obligations Oh My!

Now I’m presented with the User Agreement. Do you take the time to read the terms of service on websites you use, especially those related to earning, providing or supplying money to you?

I don’t always read them on regular web sites but I do especially at places where money is concerned. I learn the following:

  • Freelancer can make changes to their user agreement and they state they don’t have to notify you. They’ll just post the changes.

    Which means for me, I need to add ‘check Freelancer user agreement” periodically on my quarterly or yearly cheat sheet.

  • Section 3.5

    We are considered Independent Contractor and so is anyone who signs up as a User. Does that mean they’re going to send me tax forms like 1099’s if you’re US based?

    Most places only send them if you earn more than $600 and the plan is to do that for sure. 🙂

  • Section 3.3, 3.6 and 3.7

    We are responsible for vetting what we bid on and Freelancer.com takes no responsibility for and makes no liability based on the content on the site.

    In plain English, there could be shady people asking us to do shady things for which we’ll be paid (hopefully). Any thing that happens if we undertake the work, is totally on us.

    Later on in the user agreement, Section 9.1, Freelancer.com does state they have the right reject, approve or modify User submitted content.

    They have the right to use our company name, logo, public description in their own marketing, unless we explicitly request them not to do so.

    I don’t think I have to worry about that but if I were an Employer I would definitely explicitly request that they didn’t use my information.

  • Section 4

    There are miscellaneous fees that can be charged for certain actions such as featuring a project, hiding your bids, hiding projects from search engines, posting a full-time project and others that they don’t list.

  • Section 5

    Affiliate program details are covered as well. They are a little confusing as they are based on net Project commissions.

    *I’m still going to sign up, though, since I’m doing a review as part of this challenge. Yes those are affiliate links in this post. If you sign up as new user I’ll receive commissions from any of the projects you complete as an Employee or Employer 🙂

  • Section 6.2

    Talks about advanced payments made by Employers. It gives 4 ways the payment, which shows as pending in a Freelancers account, to release payment.

    • a. Both employer and freelancer agree
    • b. Any dispute is concluded
    • c. Employer instructs Freelancer.com to release the funds to the freelancer who performed the service
    • d. Employer acknowledges that the freelancer completed the service fully and satisfactory.
  • Section 7

    Talks about accounts, both opening them and how money in them can and may be used.

    A lot of the information here goes back to the vetting process.

    Only accept projects that are legitimate because if fraud occurs and we benefited from it, even unknowingly, Freelancer.com is going to reverse that payment on us.

    This also covers inactive accounts. Any user who has not been active, it’s not clear on what “inactive” means, is charged $10 per month until the account is terminated or reactivated.

    So what exactly is an inactive account? I’ll have to ask.

    Chargebacks, which are not the same as fraudelent accounts are charged a $20 processing fee. But it’s not clear who pays this fee, the freelancer or the employer as it just says “User”.

    It mentions Taxes but no real detail.

    NOTE: If you’re in Australia, you’ll pay an extra 10% goods and services tax on all fees.

  • Section 8

    If you found the project through the Freelancer.com site, you are required to negotiate the fee through Freelancer.com.

    We also can’t share our email address or other contact information in order to make direct contact with a client.That’s pretty typical across websites like this.

  • Section 9

    Covers content and licensing. If we post a link to our content, Freelancer.com doesn’t have any rights to it.

    However, if we post actual content on their site, we give them exclusive, sublicensable, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free use to copy, modify, display and perform the work.

    Okay wow, that’s enough to almost stop me from wanting to sign up. Mostly from the words perpetual and irrevocable.

    But I’m not going to stress over it.

    I’m eventually going to hit that save changes button, but there is more to read.

  • Section 10

    Covers what we agree to as far as using what is on the site.That means I can’t pull an employers bid off the site, private messages, documents or support tickets and share them with you.

    Employers can’t either.

    It also covers damages and Freelancer.com’s remedies if we are terminated for violation of the agreement. We forfeit any payments and we could be fined up to $3,000 for each violation. Woah.

    It does say, and I’m glad, that any other reason for termination, we’ll still receive any payments we’re due.

  • Section 11

    Covers dispute resolution, talks about how Frelancer.com is not a party in any disputes and details the process and requirements through which disputes are handled.

  • Sections 12 through 20

    Cover the nitty gritty details of the first few sections again. Things like Registration on the site, Trademarks, Copyrights, Warranties, Limitation of Liabilities, Indemnity, Applicable Law (which by the way is governed by the State of New South Wales, Australia.

  • The final thing is the Privacy Policy.

Whew and I haven’t even completed my profile or found my first project to bid on yet.

I’m going to take a little break and come back to do the profile and bidding.

Plus I want to do some quick research on the best profile set up.

Do you use freelance bidding sites to earn income or to hire people for outsourced work? Any tips for us newbies?

2 Responses to Freelancer.com- Getting Started Review Part 1

  1. I have an account at Freelancer.com but I don’t remember setting it up. ROFL

    It may have been during the time I was going to ghostwrite while I was doing my article directory. However the directory became quite popular and I was able to get work directly from that.

    I have been thinking of going back in there again, but not sure if I have time before the new year approaches.

  2. Bonnie, based on the marketing plan you’ve been laying out, I’m not even sure where that would fit. 🙂 You certainly don’t want to do it unless is clearly fits. Do you think it does?