Note to all: Avoid Upwork.com and Freelancer sites

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Davidmott, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Davidmott

    Davidmott UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 1
    I get numerous upon numerous clients come to me from all over the place needing help after getting poor results outsourcing on freelancing websites. It seems that the low prices and aggressive advertising from these platforms pull in a lot of entrepreneurs and startups only to end up with sob stories and a lot of headache for the next developer/designer.

    I am currently fixing an app that a client spent 5K on with an agency abroad after being promised it would be similar to Shpock but instead was given a broken template.

    I figured everyone already knew this about online freelancer sites, but it keeps happening! Please be diligent people.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Davidmott Member since: Apr 19, 2019
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,847 1,886
    So is it those sites or the suppliers of services on those sites to avoid?
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. Davidmott

    Davidmott UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    12 1
    Well, the situation i mentioned in the post was from a perspective of avoiding suppliers of services. However, I would go as far as to say both as a quick google search will also inform you of the experiences suppliers have from using the platforms. So those supplying services and those seeking services should do some research before considering going forward! I hope this helps : )
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Davidmott Member since: Apr 19, 2019
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  4. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Regular Free Member

    467 96
    You can find good and bad on any freelancing site, just as you can by any other means. People who give work to overseas developers based on low cost and big promises deserve to be disappointed.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
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  5. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,265 4,297
    I spend a fair amount of my time fixing nonsense created by others.

    It seems to fall under the age old adage:

    Buy cheap - buy twice.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #5
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,962 9,079
    I found a brilliant developer on a freelancer site. We have now been working together for a number of years.

    There are good people, you just have to do due diligence before committing.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Bronco78th

    Bronco78th UKBF Contributor Free Member

    71 3
    I have used 'people per hour' for a few things. (logo, database, some eminor software work) generally a fine experience with the developers ive worked with going above and beyond. It does help of course if you dangle the carrot and let them know you are actually willing to pay a fair price for good work as opposed to simply going for the cheapest and expect the earth from them.

    As has been said its a 2 way house.

    Only iffy experience was a guy who offered to do a job for a price that I knew was worth more....I went in low as you do...but was willing to raise...we agreed the price and I made the payment etc before I got a message from him asking me to cancel my payment through PPH and do a direct transfer to his Paypal account. I reported him and he was removed from the site quickly and PPH refunded my money swiftly.

    Otherwise happy to continue using the the site....as with everything online...be careful and if you dont take the piss its less likely you will get burned.

    Not tried Upwork or any of the other sites.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Bronco78th Member since: Sep 1, 2017
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  8. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,546 421
    Avoid eBay as well as I once bought something from China which turned out to be the wrong size.
    Avoid Amazon too - the number of sellers on there there's bound to be some who are trying to be cheap.
    Avoid buying property in London as I once knew a guy who got stung on a valuation.

    Avoid everything. Someone has likely had a bad experience at some point.
     
    Posted: Jul 10, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #8
  9. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,514 1,051
    I believe the term is ‘shooting the messenger’

    I use fiverr lots, and have had more good than bad experiences

    However the broad advice would be never, ever buy on price if you don’t fully understand the product ( this goes for well-known price comparison sites too)
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #9
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  10. Andy Harris

    Andy Harris UKBF Contributor Full Member

    96 17
    It's a broad brush to say 'avoid upwork and freelancer sites'.

    We've spent huge sums with people on Upwork and have always been happy.

    The problem lies in the lack of experience specifying the job and managing the resources on those sites.

    Admittedly, if you go for the lowest hourly rate you may get burnt but equally, we've had some brilliant results from people who charge lower rates.

    The trick is: test them with something and then evolve the relationship.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: Andy Harris Member since: Oct 3, 2009
    #10
  11. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    564 100
    Sound advice as always
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
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  12. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,200 299
    Seconded. We have recently done this through PPH - been successful (well, so far... I think...); will probably send more work to that person.

    On a related note, what, if any, PPH rules would prevent same contractor doing additional work for same business outside PPH? Doesn't seem there could be any constraint if the initial work item listed on PPH had been completed and paid for, and subsequent work was not contracted through PPH.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    30,962 9,079
    That’s what I did. Initial job was through PPH then after delivery we discussed a new project over Skype and never used PPH again.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. TheoNe

    TheoNe UKBF Regular Full Member

    135 14
    I have found upwork to be a very reliable source of freelancing talent. The key is to be careful and do your checks before committing. I understand your point of view though.
     
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: TheoNe Member since: Jul 6, 2019
    #14
  15. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Regular Full Member

    404 113
    The main problem with these sites is buyers not being able to communicate - and in many cases not even understanding - what they're trying to buy.

    Freelancers then reply to every request, saying they can do the job for USD1 and try to unravel the request later.

    I've bought services via freelancers on PPH and it definitely works better when you can present a spec for the freelancer to respond to.

    Seconded.
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2019 By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
    #15
  16. OMGVape

    OMGVape UKBF Regular Free Member

    247 30
    I’ve got a girl in India who does our graphics and illustration work for peanuts.

    Guy in London does our Ltd Co accounts each year for £140.

    Both on PPH and were chosen by looking at feedback, not price.
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2019 By: OMGVape Member since: Jan 21, 2018
    #16
  17. Bob Morgan

    Bob Morgan UKBF Regular Free Member

    210 47
    And, long may it continue! - Much of my work involves 'Fixing' projects after a client has trawled the Bargain Basement, only to leave disappointed!
     
    Posted: Jul 16, 2019 By: Bob Morgan Member since: Apr 15, 2018
    #17
  18. serendipitybusiness

    serendipitybusiness UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    983 174
    I have had bad experiences and good experiences, the good experiences still work for me. I have been on the flip side and also worked as a freelancer in the past before the business grew so I have a little more insight as I know what to do I just need people to replace me or have skills in areas I don't.

    I follow simple rules
    thought out description with details, details that you want them to feedback on in their bid. This way you can get a handle on people who have actually read the description and actually know what to do.
    Test projects to start, here I do waste money however I consider this a cost of recruitment.
    Pay your staff quickly, the good ones are in demand, keep them, pay them well, pay them quickly.
    I very rarely go for the cheapest; it is always guided on quality of submission, not price.

    It is not a perfect system and it does still cost you, in time and money but it is a system. As a freelancer I was ripped off a couple of times so both parties are taking a risk. There are quality people using these websites for many reasons pertaining to their lifestyle now.

    I know some highly qualified and talented people doing freelance work. I myself had 16 years experience when I was doing it for a short while. However, I used it because I could choose my jobs and choose my clients as and when I wanted to pick up a little extra work/cash. I would also, as others have here, pick up the clients that had had bad experiences before. They were the best ones as they value good talent after experiencing the cheap option.
     
    Posted: Jul 26, 2019 By: serendipitybusiness Member since: Jun 27, 2008
    #18
  19. serendipitybusiness

    serendipitybusiness UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    983 174
    However, I think it was upwork that didn't accept new freelancers because they already had enough people with a certain skill set at one point, so I wouldn't use that one. I have done in the past but after learning that the talent pool was controlled I avoided that. I mainly use PPH at the moment but they are getting gready and are a pain, so I am not sure where the talent will go next.
     
    Posted: Jul 26, 2019 By: serendipitybusiness Member since: Jun 27, 2008
    #19
  20. TopSpek

    TopSpek UKBF Contributor Free Member

    44 4
    Very useful discussion for anybody feeling disheartened with the freelancer sites.

    I agree that both buyers and sellers need to provide some detail when addressing the requirements of a project, and that budgets and quotes must be within reasonable margins of a realistic quote or budget. As the saying goes - pay peanuts, get monkeys.

    PPH is terrible for the number of spammers and chancers playing the numbers game - 5 freelancer sites, multiplied by 10 free proposal credits, multiplied by 5 user accounts, equals 250 proposals per month each promising to provide hundreds of hour's worth of top notch software in return for a bag of rice!

    However, I know it sounds incredible, but with some experience and common sense, it is possible to make a decent living from the freelancer jungle sites. Also, they can be used as a valuable resource to help with starting up a proper business.

    Upwork have started to address the quality of sellers. However, they are doing this by charging sellers a fee. But even a small fee can deter sellers from submitting proposals - it's human nature - I mean, just look at the number of people who are reluctant to part with just 5p on a plastic bag at the supermarket!

    Buyers can insure themselves against poor quality sellers by asking questions, looking at portfolios, making telephone calls, inspecting reviews, etc., and, as already mentioned, asking applicants to take a test can be well worth a small fee if an ongoing working relationship is required.

    Sellers can protect themselves by asking for stage payments. Complex projects can be divided up into sets of tasks worth no more than, say, £400. Take a 50% deposit before starting work on a set of tasks, then invoice for the balance on completion. This way you risk only 50% of the price for a set of tasks - i.e. I risk only a maximum of £200. I have found that buyers are quite happy to agree to this arrangement as long as I can satisfy their requirements as listed above.

    David
     
    Posted: Jul 27, 2019 By: TopSpek Member since: Jul 15, 2019
    #20