Elance Review

Elance Logo

Elance is one of the many internet virtual marketplaces that allows freelancers and outsourcing companies to come together to work on projects. It is based in California and has been on the web since 1999. Elance allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors.

What does Elance offer?

  • A talent pool of over 100,000 freelance contractors, some of whom are the best in the world at what they do
  • Enables providers to create profiles which showcase their talents
  • Various plans, including a free membership
  • Easy access to thousands of jobs, no more sifting through the classifieds
  • Job opportunities for various skill sets including programmers and writers
  • If you successfully complete a contract you will not be messed around. Elance ensures that all contractors and employers are treated fairly
  • Posting or applying for a job is quick and easy
  • You can link it to your bank account and transfer money as you see fit
  • Elance allows companies and providers to communicate quickly and effectively

Elance Pros

  • An incredible amount of choice for employers and providers
  • The ability to choose between paying for a membership or taking a free one with slightly less privileges
  • Guaranteed payment once an assignment is completed
  • Having a good profile entices clients to you
  • The jobs pay pretty well

Elance Cons

Although it offers a great service, the level of competition means that you have to be persistent if you want to get constant work. Really there is little else to complain about. The employer has to pay a $10 start up fee but that’s a drop in the ocean and ‘free’ sites make this money up by taking a much higher percentage than Elance does.

Generally speaking, Elance tends to attract employers with a higher budget than the free sites. This is good news for those who are tired of having to compete with workers from nations with a lower cost of living. Someone living in the United States for example is not going to be able to work for $3 an hour. While there are one or two projects of this nature knocking around on the site, it is generally a site where employers with big budgets are looking for quality freelancers.

Should You Use Elance?

Once you have paid the $10, employers can post as many jobs as they choose meaning that their potential income is limited only by their business savvy. While there are options to pay for membership, there is also a free option which gives you less marketplace connects than the paid versions but still gives you a chance to make money. We freelancers live on the edge financially sometimes and the last thing we need to do is pay money and not receive jobs. Thankfully, Elance is one of the best virtual marketplaces online. If you take the time to craft a top notch profile, Elance will repay anything you invest many times over.

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  1. Pierre says

    Can anybody here help me? I really need to know this fund escrow thing. I want to try eLance but I don’t want to make the same mistake as Sarah. Please give me advice. Thanks.

    • Josh says

      It’s pretty self explanatory Pierre when you use it. There should be a big fund escrow button that’s pretty obvious after you have hired a person for your job.

  2. Mac says

    Sarah, you just learned an important life lesson. There is no such thing as not getting what you paid for. In your case, you learned by your time and labor never to trust anyone where money is concerned. Never give up the goods without first securing payment; and never expect anyone to come to your rescue because everyone else is working out their own problems. So while most of the world is trying to get a steal on what they can get, develop a system of protection – like E-lance. In the animal kingdom, it’s survival of the fittest – more so, in business. I hope this helps to sharpen your perspective on life. Don’t quit.

  3. Jack says

    Sarah you should avoid using the word scam loosely. Yes you got ripped of and taken advantage of for not doing your due diligence but the fact that you did the work alone proves that the site is not a scam. It’d be more of a scam if the person paid to get their site worked on and you took off with their money without doing a thing or giving them some basic unfinished template. Good luck to you in the future. It sucks when people can’t be trusted and that kind of thing happens.

  4. sara says

    This company is a total SCAM. Elance promotes FREE LABOR!

    Even though Elance guarantees the payment for jobs to its providers, it actually does nothing to protect its providers.
    We had a client whom we designed a website and at the end he canceled the job on us, refused to pay us, and Elance has done nothing to protect us. We haven’t even been paid for the hours we spent on this project. I want a justice and I ‘ll do everything to get my money back!

    I have every proof to show and prove everything I said here. I have no idea why no one tries to sue this company.

    • Josh says

      Hi Sara,

      It’s good practice to have your clients fund escrow before starting any work. In that way, you avoid the situation you just described.

    • says

      Hey Sara,

      Josh is exactly right. I work through Elance daily and their terms clearly state that clients must fund projects before providers begin working. This protects both parties and avoids the client getting any free work.

      When the work is finished, the funds are released from the account. If the client never does (happened to me), you simply file a dispute and they are usually released provided that you uploaded the completed work to the workroom and the arbitrator can clearly see you satisfied the project.

      So make sure all communication stays in the Elance workroom and you don’t start projects until they are funded.

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