oDesk Review: Good and Bad

oDesk ReviewThis is my oDesk review. oDesk is a site where you can get a ton of freelancing jobs. It is one of the largest freelancing marketplace on the internet. The total value of contracts at oDesk was $16 million for the month of April 2011, so you can imagine that it is a really huge business. Huge doesn’t always mean good, so here in my oDesk review I’ll discuss both the good and bad aspects of oDesk. If you are an employer, also read my oDesk Review from employer’s perspective.

I have been a freelance writer at oDesk since March 2009, at which time it wasn’t half as big as it is now. I have seen it grow rapidly and have seen the number of jobs being posted steadily increase in almost all areas. Since I am a freelance writer, I follow the jobs in the writing section very closely and have some insights that I wish to share with you on oDesk review with respect to these jobs.

The first thing I would like to mention here before going into the detailed oDesk review is that the site takes a 10% fees for what you are paid. For example, if you are paid $50 for a task, oDesk will get $5. This is similar to the industry standard. oDesk doesn’t have any membership fees and is completely free to join. There are no paid memberships either, which is very good, in my opinion.

Also to those wondering, oDesk is not a scam. If oDesk was scam, it wouldn’t be the place of choice for millions of members. oDesk is just a platform to bring employees and employers together. Some people who talk of the oDesk scam were duped by some employer there – this happens sometimes. However, if you are careful, e.g. by asking for an upfront payment or working with high-feedback employers, you can avoid these oDesk scammers.

After reading this oDesk review, if you decide to join the site, do read my 7 oDesk Tips which will help you land your first job with ease. You may also be interested in how I make money from my blog. These are tough economic times and employers have ridiculous requirements for hiring. Freelancing is one way out of this mess and oDesk is definitely an option to consider.

Looking for work at oDesk?

oDesk Review: Quality and Quantity of Jobs Posted

Good: There are plenty of jobs at oDesk for almost all the categories that you can think of. Personally, I know about writing jobs – they have more than doubled in the last year itself and perhaps will keep increasing. Since there are so many jobs to choose from, you can find the jobs where your skills are in demand and apply for those with your expertise. For example, some writers are better at creative writing while some are good at writing sales copies. Since there are many jobs, you can always find some that are tailored to suit your skills.

Bad: Even though there are many jobs at oDesk, their quality isn’t the best. For example, there are only a few jobs with reputable businesses. In writing, there are almost no jobs posted from magazines or even local newspapers or other famous businesses. I am not sure how bad this is – it is similar in most similar sites like Elance or Guru, but Elance tends to get a few of the better quality jobs just because it is older than oDesk. Hopefully, things will change in the future.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for small to medium jobs with small businesses, oDesk is great! If you are looking to be hired as the next NY Times columnist, you will be disappointed. Take this into consideration when you present your oDesk review to others.

oDesk Review: Getting Paid

Good: In terms of getting paid, oDesk perhaps has the best system in place. There are two kinds of jobs – hourly and fixed price. If you are working on an hourly job, you can post the hours you work at oDesk. You will need to install their special software which allows it to track your activity: keywords and mouse clicks. If the activity is above a certain threshold and the random screenshots taken by this software show that you are working and not browsing the internet unrelated to the job, you are guaranteed to get paid. This is a very good safeguard in place which new freelancers especially like (those who are skeptical about the whole system!) Since freelancers are guaranteed to get paid, it is certainly a positive aspect of oDesk review that no other site can beat.

Bad: The software is too intrusive. Plus, working is not the same as typing and mouse-clicks. For example, the software cannot know that I am thinking when I am not typing. Many clients do understand this but you can never be sure. Another thing that I don’t like is it gives the feel of big-brother watching you at all times. That is not how any work is done – you cannot oversee every aspect. I do like to browse the internet and check my mail while I am working too.

If you do end up choosing the fixed price assignments instead of the hourly ones to avoid this trouble, there is no guarantee you’ll get paid. This happens much less with serious clients but there are a few who post small jobs and will not pay you. In those cases, it is better to demand an upfront payment. oDesk doesn’t have an escrow system, which is really bad.

Bottom Line: Look what suits you – if you are fine with your employer monitoring every minute of your work, you are guaranteed to get paid for every hour of work. If not, just look for fixed price assignments and work with clients who have a good feedback so you are not scammed.

oDesk Review: Feedback System

Good: The feedback system is wonderful at oDesk and is much more revealing about both employees and employers than at similar sites like Elance or Guru. After the assignment is done, oDesk will ask both the parties involved to give a feedback on a scale of 5 for different parameters like quality of work, communication, deadlines, etc. In addition, both parties should leave a comment that appears on the profile page. This is a very good resource for both employees and employers to work with long-term oDesk members only so that there is little or no chance of getting scammed.

Bad: There is nothing very bad about the feedback system that oDesk uses. However, there are times when an employer can give an unjust feedback and it will affect your overall score and profile. A bad feedback, even if given unjustly, is hard to get rid of. Worst case, you can refund the whole amount of the project to the employer and your feedback will not count.

Another aspect of oDesk feedback is that you can make any comment that you get private (but the score will remain). This sometimes makes it hard to really know why the particular employer or employee was not recommended.

Bottom Line: oDesk feedback is excellent but be careful of unjustly given low feedback.

oDesk Review: oDesk Tests

Good: oDesk tests are actually wonderful. They allow workers to give online tests and these scores are displayed on the homepage. This helps employers weed out people who lie in their profile (e.g. people saying they have perfect English skills when they don’t know the basics of grammar). Apart from the actual score, the percentile is also shown which makes a lot of sense. If you are first place, top 10% or top 20%, it shows again with your test scores and is a nice achievement to have. oDesk tests are also extremely useful for people totally new to oDesk who don’t have any prior feedback, to show they are good. If you want to do well on your oDesk tests, read my oDesk test tips post for more details.

Bad: oDesk tests don’t seem to figure in the overall scheme of things, while determining the best employers of the month or calculating an overall score. I would like to see the test scores given more importance. Also, few employers seem to care much about these scores in their job requirements, which is a pity.

Bottom Line: oDesk tests are great to improve your overall profile and show that you know what you are doing.

oDesk Review: Support Provided

Good: No good site is complete without good support. oDesk has a very good help and support system. There is live chat available most of the times and even otherwise you can always send a ticket. Apart from these, there is an active forum where you can get advice, voice your complaints and give feedback and suggestions.

Bad: Compared to the number of people using oDesk, the forum is not that active. I think oDesk should do more to provide a more vibrant community.

Bottom Line: oDesk has a very good support system, from their staff to your peers. oDesk review for support has overall been good.

oDesk Review: Data and Statistics

Good: My oDesk review is going to be incomplete without this point. Data and statistics are very important to know how the site is doing and where the business is coming from. The oConomy, for example, provides a good idea of the value of all the jobs at oDesk. You can get many other estimates as well.

Bad: Some of the statistics are highly outdated. If you look at trends, you can find the data is from March 2008. That’s an eternity in a fast growing business! Who cares about statistics four years old? Worse, it is highly misleading to prospective employers and also freelancers. You can see the average wages are almost always above $15/hour for a writer even in the developing countries. I am sure it is far from the truth now, but oDesk refuses to publish the statistics or make them up to date. I am sure they have the data, so if they have nothing to hide, I don’t see any reason why they don’t want to publish the latest figures.

Bottom Line: Some statistics are good, but others are not updated in ages, and can be very misleading. Make sure the statistics that you see on oDesk make sense in terms of when it was last updated. Figures from half a decade are completely meaningless when the industry and the website are growing at the rate that it did.

So I hope you liked my oDesk review. If you have any thoughts on this subject, don’t forget to share it in the comments. I would also love to know your experience in using oDesk.

You should also read my post on oDesk Cover Letter Tips and 5 Freelancing Ideas to know more about freelancing and working with oDesk so you can have a successful freelancing career. Also, to know more about how oDesk compares with competitors, read my posts on oDesk vs Elance and PeoplePerHour Review.

 

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116 Comments

  1. good post, i think odesk is definitely the place to go if you want to outsource to freelancers.

    • Jeffrey Smith says:

      ODesk is designed to allow rip off artists to scam you – I have used both and ODesk refuses to work out real complaints – ignores your requests and pays the person without your approval with your money – Be aware of this site and their practices – We have been scammed and they refused to even allow us to rate the scammer.

  2. I found some of the stuff every interesting when it came to product launches. I have my own opinion on product launches.These days product launches have become quite common. Most of the products promises huge things but deliver nothing. This is why you need a review.

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for this review. I’m quite intimidated by oDesk and Elance. I want to begin a freelance career and these sites seem like a great place to start. Your good/bad perspectives was helpful. Now I’m going to read your 7 tips article. Looking forward to it.

  4. Mary Ellen Simmons says:

    I’m just in the process of signing up with odesk as a Virtual Administrative Assistant and found your website/comments to be very, very helpful. This entire process…becoming a Virtual Administrative Assistant…is entirely new to me. I’ve been an Admin Assistant for 20+ years…the virtual part is what’s new.

    I’m definitely taking your tips into consideration…thank you! :>)

    • Sid says:

      I am very glad you chanced across my blog, and thanks for the comment. You can reach me anytime if you need any help. The difference between offline and online jobs can be significant, so good luck!

  5. Freelancer says:

    oDesk has a place for crooks employers who receive a product and not pay for labor. I mean working with a fixed price. The site is an intermediary for such adverts and the same time does not guarantee payment and offers no dispute on these ads. From this benefit more unscrupulous “employers” who employ Dr. employees receive the product and then just disappear. In this line of thought the site jointly with these rabotodati robs employees and became an arena of free labor. BE CAREFUL! THIS SITE IS Misleading for low WORK OR MAKE FREE!

    • Sid says:

      oDesk is the only freelancing site that protects the interests of the freelancer as well, through its payment guarantee if you work on hourly assignments. It is a free market system for wages, which does bring prices down but if you are good, you can always find people willing to pay for your skills. The key here is to be good.

  6. Missy Ziemer says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful review. I just learned about oDesk today, and my first step is to google any online company for a review. Glad I came to yours. Thank you!

  7. Nik says:

    Hi,

    I just hired someone to do some technical stuff on my site. I worked with invites only so first read feedback and check out their capability and price. Then invite a bunch of people. I think open project are an open invitation to get scammed. How can someone pretend to live in the UK work below $10 an hour and what quality are you going to get plus poor quality can cost you a lot more then you think.

    From a hiring point of view I like oDesk. Their service department even called me to see if things were working out.

    I do have to say that an escrow function would be an improvement.
    Nik
    Nik recently posted…Theme Park Manager – Is It Really All Thrills and Spills?My Profile

    • Sid says:

      Thanks Nik, those are some insightful thoughts. I agree with you that an escrow would be an improvement. However, my feeling is that oDesk would then need to get involved a lot in the processes and perhaps it doesn’t want to do it. One safe way is to work hourly but then again it is hard sometimes because some projects are very well suited for fixed price assignments.

  8. oDesk is a good choice … for thief employers. In oDesk reversing a fixed-price payment is as easy as requesting it. They pretend that payments for hourly jobs are guaranteed. They are not. After you get your payment at the end of the week it stays for another week under “Pending Transactions”. Pending transactions means that oDesk may or may not give you the money. The employer can contact them and tell them any lie and they will return his money without doing any investigation.
    Bassem Mohsen recently posted…Posting a List of Structured Items to an ASP.NET MVC ActionMy Profile

  9. SSN Raju says:

    I am a freelancer working on oDesk. This is good and balanced review. Yes there are problems with employees as well as employers on oDesk. Those problems also present in real world, where sometimes we don’t have information to decide where as in oDesk case, there is information to consider and decide.

    I think the system will improve with experience. This is the best green cost effective working alternative for employers as well as employees. As trends indicating the world will move fast towards virtual working environment in future.

  10. Dave says:

    Very informative post. The feedback and protections offered via the hourly pay system reduce risk for both parties. I recently hired someone for website dev via oDesk and he has been great so far.

    I pay hourly but must point out that oDesk makes it abundantly clear that the fixed payment method is a “pay only if you are happy” situation; an employee who signs onto to such a project accepts all the risk, including working for a dishonest person.

    I’ve written a blog post that details my own “journey” to oDesk and covers the things an employer might find useful. oDesk, Hiring a Virtual Worker.

  11. Sally says:

    I joined oDesk, as I am a freelancer(and educator) looking for extra income and to build my portfolio. My initial impression: I am incredulous! I currently write blog posts and articles for a medical company and am paid well for my work, which is very well done ($50 for a 250 word post, for example). What do these buyers think they are going to get for $1 per “article?” Wow! I am stunned that educated, professional writers who intend to deliver researched, quality pieces (of any length) would bite on these offered rates. Kinda hurts the real writers out there(just sayin’). I can’t imagine how low the standards must be out there these days for people to be satisfied with this (as buyers or sellers). No wonder our economy is going to the dogs.

    • Sid says:

      Sally, thanks for your honest comments. It is true – there are lots of buyers and sellers at unbelievably low rate. However, I think (hope) both parties understand that you get what you pay for. If someone doesn’t need the best quality articles for whatever reason, he should still be able to find a market. That being said, there are certainly great jobs at oDesk too – it just takes a lot more filtering to do.

  12. Luc says:

    I am a freelance translator happily working full-time, mainly on an major online translation platform since 2001.

    Lately I received an email from a recruiter of devFactory, inviting me to subscribe to oDesk for a chance of getting hired as Account Sales Manager. As tide is now low, I thought I would give it a try. I then passed all the initial internal and external tests + the interview. The recruiter was enthusiastic.

    Later I received a contract offer on Odesk for the promised one week $900 trial, which I immediately accepted. Then, I did not receive any instructions, and nobody ever replied to my requests for instructions and explanations.

    After about 10 days my contract was ended with “Reason: succesfully completed“. The result is that I was kept in stand-by for 10 days, and no payment is apparently scheduled, which I consider absolutely unacceptable, after all the promises in the contract.

    While passing the tests I noticed that dozens of other applicants where being processed for the same position. According to information found on Odesk forum thousands of other users initiated experiences similar to mine. But when I tried to report the above experience as a reply to a request for an opinion about the above recruiters (operating under an LLC named gDev) oDesk forum, my post was repeatedly deleted by moderators.

    My personal impression is that the only objective of the exercise was to get me to register in oDesk. Also I am struck by the conceptual similarity of the names of the two brands involved.

    • Sid says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I will try to dig more into this. I am not aware of any such thing. However, oDesk seems to be run very professionally without getting into stupid marketing gimmicks.

    • Dominique says:

      Thank you to the writer of this article and all the people who shared their experiences. I wish I could be compensated for all the hours I spent looking through job postings and finding so many with abysmal pay rates. How about $.0125 per word for original articles –research, perfect grammar and punctuation — and I give up all rights to them. The writer must be at his beck and call. And this for a company that charges 200 euros per photograph to start. So maybe you get enough from one article to buy a cup of coffee.

      I can’t imagine the worker who would do this. And suppose one does the work and is never paid even that miniscule amount?

      It is dishonorable to take advantage of desperate people.

      And , Luc, I think you are onto something- misleading people to get them to sign up.

      I have some website-related jobs to post but I’ll look for a company with a better reputation.

      • Sid says:

        Thanks Dominique for sharing your experience and thoughts. I totally agree with the misleading part – not cool at all. As for the abysmal rates, yes it is surely a problem. However, as long as there is a market for this stuff, there will be both buyers and sellers. A lot of webmasters don’t understand that low quality content and spam will get them nowhere, hence their demand for low quality, high volume content and hence the rates and demand.

        There are/were certainly a few very good sites and blogs I have written for through oDesk in the past and I really liked working with them. Those are sure hard to find. I haven’t looked around a lot lately, perhaps the quality has deteriorated?

      • Mados says:

        I agree with Dominique. The rates are peanuts (for writing jobs, at least). That is the greatest negative of O’Desk and similar online freelance boards. It is so bad that for most people who live in a Western country, bidding for jobs is a waste of time, except for the fun of it.

        Otherwise a nice balanced review.

    • T. Renae Chatman says:

      So odd that I read this now. This same company contacted me directly via oDesk for a similar position. I passed their tests and they ended my contract for the same reason as you. I am unable to find the time that I logged to take their test (which they promised to pay me for). Very strange all around.

      Overall, my experience with oDesk has been positive. I’m doing some virtual assistant work and data entry. Nothing major. I am encouraged to begin writing again and see where it takes me.

      • Sid says:

        You should definitely report the company to oDesk. At least, hopefully, they won’t cheat others like you.

        Writing jobs are better paid, if not anything else, than VA. Of course you could always learn programming and try those too!
        Interesting to know that your overall experience was positive. Thanks for taking the time out to comment.

      • T. Renae Chatman says:

        I think I will bring this company to the attention of oDesk. I am actually looking into learning some programming and at the very least, WordPress since it seems like a good start.

        Thanks again!

      • Abdul Basit says:

        hi
        anyone can tell me that ho can i join this….

    • Sid says:

      Luc, I did some digging around of my own, and devFactory does sound fishy. They seem to follow the exact same process that you described here and lots of people have complaints about the whole thing. I don’t want to say that devFactory is a scam because honestly I don’t know them or applied to their job postings. I see a lot of people are unhappy with them though.

      That being said, oDesk isn’t directly associated with them (I think). Besides, once you know about them, it is easy to avoid them.

      I don’t like the fact that your post was being deleted by moderators. I haven’t seen it personally but if they do it without a good reason (and good reason doesn’t mean someone is calling an employer a scam) then it is something serious in my eyes. They shouldn’t be doing such a thing.

      One possible explanation could be, from what you mention, that oDesk indeed has some special relationship with gDev (people at other blogs have mentioned that to apply to devFactory, they insist on going through oDesk). I still doubt that oDesk and gDev are related per se. gDev seems to be some company in UAE and oDesk was founded in the US.

  13. Odesk is really a good platform to post your projects and to get new projects. In affordable prices you can easily get best workers to complete your projects within the specified time, and payment is also safe and secure.

  14. bossmahbub says:

    very helpful and useful. i love this

  15. Thanks for your review on ODesk. I actually signed up because of your review a long time ago but I have not had a chance to bid on any jobs yet. I have been pretty busy getting my webpage together and filling it with content. Love the info you are putting up Sid. Keep up the great work.

    • Sid says:

      Glad to know you find this useful. Always feel free to drop by or shoot me a mail. oDesk is a fine place to start off, but do know the pros and cons before you jump into it. Building a website is a smart thing to do in any case and worth spending more time on.

      • I got really caught up on trying to build backlinks to my site via article submissions on EZA. I did so many submissions on EZA that I have more content on there than I do on my site. Working on turning that around though.

        I need to find your email info so that I can contact you. Again, don’t wanna seem spammy with my comments.

        Dale

      • Sid says:

        The effectiveness of article marketing is steadily on the decline. You should never deprive your site of good content, unless you have a strong reason to do so. Sometimes you might want to provide your best work in another blog simply because you want to reach a wider audience (but of course in the process you build a brand). My email information is available in my About me page.

      • Rizzy says:

        Hi I have been with Odesk since 2009 but stopped when I moved to UK. I start doing some projects with Odesk again and luckily most of my clients are very reliable. Although I had previous experience during the start of my Odesk experience that I was not paid by certain clients with my articles and even reported me for violation (which was just fabricated). I was also contacted by a certain company and got my CV and proof of IDs. I trusted the company because I saw the rating and the payment history but after surfing the net about the company I got scared that this might be a case of identity theft. This made me so worried. Hope you can help me.

  16. Annie S. says:

    I looked into oDesk and elance and they are basically sweatshops for writers. Who in their right might would work for .01 cent a word or $1.00 an article? I am a professional writer and my minimum charge is $50.00/hr. If an employer can’t pay that, I’m outta there. What other professionals would allow themselves to be paid pittance for their work – nurses, teachers? I don’t think so. If you can find a job on oDesk that would pay me $50.00/hr, please show me. So far, I haven’t seen anything close.

    • Sid says:

      As I said in my review, you need to sort through these listings. You can form personal relationships through oDesk or Elance. Your rate means nothing – it is your skill set that counts. If you are a legal writer and know the state laws someone is interested in, sure. If you are a copywriter with some proven experience, sure. Your skills drive the rate that you can demand.

  17. juvy says:

    Hi Sid,

    I work for gDev and I am being paid by the hour. Our recruitment process may be tedious and taxing but it is a legitimate company, in fact it is if im not mistaken the biggest employer in oDesk.

    Just to keep balance on this issue.

    Thanks,

    Juvy

  18. Beeje says:

    Thanks for this helpful review; I especially appreciate the “good/bad/bottom line” format as I am skeptical by nature and your review seems balanced and honest. I’m exploring ways to transition out of a traditional “go to the office” career and into a virtual career so that my family can make a substantial lifestyle change. It’s been really challenging to search for virtual jobs because there are so many potential job titles and keywords to filter through. I’ve been wary of many of the online services I’ve researched so far, but when I came across oDesk this week I really wanted to believe it was legitimate. However I stopped short of taking the test and started looking for reviews. I think I’m ready to try it now, thanks to your review. Again, really appreciate the time and effort you put into this as well as the ongoing feedback you’ve provided to all those who commented.

    • Sid says:

      Beejee, thanks for your kind words, I really appreciate it. I have personally realized that good reviews are a bit hard to come by, and I only want to project all sides of the equation. This helps people make the right decisions. Of course nothing is for everybody, so you need to make your own decision whether the pros outweigh the cons or not.

      Good luck in your journey away from the “office career”. It is hard but highly rewarding. Feel free to reach out anytime you might want anything and I’ll do the best I can to help. Also, do enjoy the other posts :)

  19. Hi Sid, I never knew you worked at Odesk too! I have been working there steadily for a year now and all I can say is that it is one of the best freelancing sites around.

    • Sid says:

      Grace
      Yea I had worked at odesk for a while and started off my freelancing career over there. It was a good learning experience but now am no longer active there. Glad to know your thoughts and that you liked the site. Have you also been on other freelance sites?

  20. Ed says:

    The rates for some, honestly most, of the article writing jobs are atrocious. If you want to learn your craft perhaps I can see someone going this route. However,
    there’s something about the lack of integrity of employers who would pay such
    low rates. I’m approaching oDesk very cautiously. As someone said, you get paid about the going rate for a cup of coffee for a significant amount of work. Honestly,
    if you take out the learning your craft factor, the pay rates for article writing are similar to sweat shop pay scales.

    • Sid says:

      Ed, I agree with you, which is one of the reasons why I don’t use oDesk anymore. That being said, I have definitely formed some good relationships over time and have had some very good writing assignments in the past. Of late, it is getting harder to find quality jobs though.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Moi says:

        I was never lucky with odesk but I found a great job with staff.com! You might want to check it out.

  21. Jerry says:

    I have used freelancer websites sense 2004, first I started with elance, then freelancer, and not I recently signed up with Odesk under the assumption that im probably going to get higher quality of work done by paying hourly instead of flat rate fee’s, and in general the way odesk is setup it looks like the programmers are actually going to be able to build custom applications for my sites instead of chopping up free online scripts and paste them together in the hope that im ignorant enough to accept the spotty workmanship.

    Anyway before I start I can see im going to have to pay at least 2 to 3 times more for any projects I get involved in (if im lucky) by paying hourly rates to 0desk workers but on the positive side of that im hopefull I will get higher quality scripts built that work better, are more efficient and most of all get them done in a more timely manner rather than continuing to deal with a low skill level programmer that bid on an entire project from freelancer.com. This is especially useful if you already have a proven business model and enough funds, I like freelancer because you can truly save money over what you would pay an odesk programmer, but if you got the money, and know with reasonable certainly I think your going to get the product up an running faster and it will be a superior product because I believe that in general your going to have the choice of higher caliber programmers working on your sites.

    I guess the main reason I am commenting on this blog is because I can see (just like I saw back in 2004) and will probably continue to see is that the Writers commenting on here are ignorant or blindly hoping and overall just complaining because the life the know is changing, the fee’s they could charge pre-2000 is going down and will continue to go down. I don’t know how many times I have gotten quotes from (us, uk based) programmers and they told me if you deal with freelancers, or you if you deal with people from India, Turkey or some other country where labor is cheaper that your going to get shotty work, and your going to never get what you want done, just last year I had a flash program written for one of my websites and got a couple quotes from (non freelance site workers) and the range was 5x to 10x what I ended up getting it done at freelancer.com for and saved myself $9000 on the highest quote for the project and got a great program built exactly to my specs.

    I think a lot of skilled workers, Programmers, designers, Writers from richer countries basically hold on to pipe dreams of “I would never work for that amount of money” Or I hear “I cant pay my bills on that wage” or whatever but the reality is your wages will continue to shrink as time goes by, and those workers in India and other 3rd world countries will keep rising untell some point it levels off (witch is a long way off still). The way the internet works, in most cases the writer who demands $50 an hour, or an absurd pipe dream of getting $50 for 250 word post’s is simply not a realistic person, and that makes up a vast minority of hours you will get work consistently from. The future for all these skills (witch has partially arrived) and the constant complaints I see is just an unrealistic vision of the value of their trades are currently worth, they are not adjusting to the current real world situation we have going on. The fact is nobody cares if you can’t feed your family, nobody cares if you WONT work for less than XX per hour, the real world market forces you see at sites like Odesk, Elance and Freelancer.com are your worst nightmare at times because the business model is going to constantly pressure you to charge lower rates to compete because this is now a world economy and maybe 10 years ago if I lived in the UK I would have to shell out $50 or $60 an hour for a top notch PHP programmer but now I don’t have to, and now I really don’t care if you won’t work for $15 or $20 an hour because I’ll find somebody with equal skills and it saves me money..

    So despite the complaints of people living in the richer countries the fee’s I pay go down year after year, and believe me im one of the better paying employers. Back in 2004 I might pay 12 to 15$ to a native writer for a 600 word article, but today I can get the same article done by a native for around 6$ and this scares the hell out of people that say “I work for $50 an hour and I wont budge on my price” because buyers don’t care, they will simply replace you with those that are willing to do it..

    If you truly feel your skill is not being rewarded or compensated in these marketplaces complaining on this post will not help you, because nobody cares, or at least buyers don’t. Market demands will set this prices not your unrealistic expectations.

    To those complaining about the ridiculously low fee’s I suggest you go start your own company because that is the only way you will ever be paid (and maybe not even then) the money you really want on a consistent bases. Starting your own business is what gives guys like me a big advantage because I never went to high school, don’t know how to program or write well, but I learned how to utilize the skills of all of these freelancers to get my visions built.

    Final thought about writers. Sometimes on important projects I will pay much more than market demands.. For example I might pay $25 bucks for a properly researched medical article that really needs to be factually accurate, but those are not the norm. For the most part the money funneling threw the internet will reward website that produce the most content, sure its nice to have great info on my sites but the loss in traffic is just to much. So in almost all cases when I see some of the high priced writers I think to myself would I rather have 1 good page, or 5 to 10 so so pages of content on my website, almost always I choose the latter because I get 10x more search engine exposure and traffic to my sites by choosing somebody that can write good enough, but maybe not the best. This is obviously not 100% of the time but its enough to say it’s a rule of thumb for myself and many other buyers on these freelance sites and mostly that is because the search engines done reward the higher caliber content enough to justify the expense.
    Anyway I think most of these crybabies are the same guys that complain about their jobs day in and day out but are still happy to take their employers money at the end of every work week because they have no choice, and really don’t have the balls to be true entrepreneurs or determination to actually succeed in their own business so effectively these are the bottom of the barrel of the work force regardless of their skill, they are just squeaky wheels living a pipe dream because they have no control and can never stop the consistent decline in their earnings each year, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. Comments on message boards complaining, or trying to get others on board to maybe get a boycott of these types of fee’s will fail miserably..

    Even though I don’t like the complaining I do still feel sorry for some of these skilled workers in the richer countries but the way the world is going its pretty simple that we have to learn to live off less money, or at least those that wish to provide those types of services to other businesses will. All I can say is im glad im not a programmer, or writer because it must be awful to watch your earning power decline so rabidly..

    • Sid says:

      Jerry,
      Thanks for such a detailed comment and your honest thoughts – they are highly appreciated. It would be really nice if you can share your experiences with us on how you felt the quality of providers are, in countries like India and Turkey that you mention. I assume you have worked with freelancers from across the globe. Is there any difference in the quality of work (on an average) or other things that you find different among freelancers from different parts? If there is, then it makes sense for businesses to reduce their risk, e.g. when on a deadline, by hiring freelancers at higher rates who might be (statistically) more reliable.

      As the world of internet expands, there is bound to be a downward pressure on wages that can be outsourced. That is a hard fact of life that all freelancers must accept, and I agree with you. However, that being said, there are always ways to avoid this work and graduate to more ‘value added’ work. You are right when it comes to writing content for search engines, but say you want a sales page. In that case, a good sales page can make all the difference to improve your conversions. Or if you want to build a highly valued tutorial on your site to give away for free (to capture leads, for example) or money, you have an incentive to choose better quality writers even if they cost more.

      Even though sites of a certain kind will not pay writers as well, there will be avenues available that do. Writers should look for those.

      I would like to know more about your experience using oDesk over Elance and freelancer.com

  22. Great review! Well-written and covers all the bases. Thanks for your insight.

    Cheers!

    Christopher

  23. Cabonia says:

    I just began to use http://www.odesk.com last week. I found an employer who wants to begin working with me. Then, suddenly, my network can no longer connect to the site.

    I checked with a friend in Canada who can connect.

    Has anyone ever experienced such technical difficulty with odesk? Has anyone lost any jobs because of technical problems with odesk?

    • Sid says:

      Cabonia, I have never experienced this. You should talk to oDesk regarding this if you can. Contact their support, or if you are unable to, I could do it for you. Where are you located? Perhaps any other readers might know about this?

  24. Karen says:

    Though I’ve been working online for 2 years now, I’ve only recently started working in oDesk. It’s true that I find their software a bit intrusive and it’s easy to inflate the hours, but I like that none of my time is wasted. If I’m logged in on their time tracking software, I don’t get tempted to open non-work related sites. I focus on work, thus I have become more productive.

    • Sid says:

      That’s good to know. I know some people absolutely hate the intrusiveness and need more flexibility while working.

  25. Marie says:

    I have had 1 good contractor with ODesk who actually finished a project for me. The others disappear in the middle of working on my projects and take off with any money I’ve given them. Then I’m always told by the next contractor that the work the last person did was crap and it needs to be redone and fixed, of course costing more money. ODesk has horrible customer service, they don’t care about employees at all and totally disregard any agreements that have been made between the contractor and the employer. I personally, will never be using ODesk ever again. The contractors are terrible, especially if you are a woman and are outsourcing work.

    • Sid says:

      Marie, thanks for sharing your experience here, and sorry to hear that you had a terrible experience with the contractors. One way to solve the problem you mentioned is to invite good providers to your project yourself instead of just relying in bids that you get. This way, you have more control over the quality of bids. Of course, the better providers will also need a better payment. I don’t see, however, how being a woman has to do with anything.

  26. ursula17 says:

    I am a personal user of oDesk myself, as a freelancer and a client. I find your review unbiased and thorough. The freelancing world definitely needs your insights because there are just too many blogs that you can’t actually trust. btw I hope you don’t mind me inviting you to our freelancing and online job workers forum. We definitely need opinions and insights from experts like you. Thanks :)

  27. ss says:

    The contractor profile stealing is really a serious issue on odesk, and odesk doesn’t have any intention to guard against it.

    Look at this threads
    https://www.odesk.com/community/node/22341
    https://www.odesk.com/community/node/13361

    Odesk has keep the shut, they dont want good developers to make their profile private, so that cheap devs can copy it, and get some work.

    • Sid says:

      Sudhir,
      Thanks for bringing this up. It is definitely an issue and I wasn’t aware that profile stealing happens on oDesk. In hindsight, it is probably bound to. You are right, they should provide better privacy and allow contractors to choose what level of privacy they want.
      Thankfully, the feedback cannot be copied. I’ll try to contact oDesk and see what they have to say about this. Thanks for dropping by and bringing this issue up.

  28. marilyn cada says:

    hi. i just place your link on my site to allow my readers to surf on your content related to odesk. but i did not use any of your content so don’t worry :)

  29. I have used oDesk for quite a few years. I never heard about profile stealing, until now. It will make for a good post for my readers.

    I do find that interesting that the forum isn’t that active. Any logical reasons for that?

  30. Avis says:

    Have you checked out http://www.Staff.com this is another site for work from home jobs, it’s similar to oDesk but for full time work only.

    • Sid says:

      I did, actually, but it is weird because I chose an option at random as to what I want to do, and now it doesn’t allow me to change it. I think I told the site I am a small business and it tells me the site isn’t for me. Perhaps you should make the site a little more user-friendly in that regard. I am guessing I could remove a cookie or use another browser but it is too much hassle in general. I think I can still check out the site though … It does seem like an interesting concept, would love to see where it goes.

  31. jithin says:

    do we regularly need to work on it?? Can some one advice. Its quite impressive!

    • Sid says:

      Well no. It is freelancing, which means you work from one project to another. Of course regular depends on how big your project is – you should complete each project there, but you can bid on the ones that interest you.

  32. Black Ize says:

    oDesk is the ultimate site for low ball, low quality workers. The bids on the site are more often than not lower than the minimum wage for US workers. Which means that you are getting people that will work on your skilled task for less than they would work for at McDonalds. Does that seem like you are getting true skill or just a body?

    I joined oDesk 4 years ago but have not gotten much work or accepted much work because most of the employers want the moon but only want to pay for a moon pie.

    I check the site often and have over a decade of experience in a lot of the jobs they are posting but I very rarely find anything worth applying for or bidding on.

    I only look to oDesk to fill my down time when I am not doing SEM/SMM jobs or IT support jobs.

    So unless you are living in a country that provides a great life for $5 per hour oDesk will be mostly a waste of time.

    • Sid says:

      That’s partly true. I see the quality of job postings has been on the decline steadily. However, you can definitely find projects that can pay your bills in the US (if it can help pay bills in New York, it can do that anywhere in the US!) if you are willing to look for the right jobs, network, learn and grow. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though.

  33. Patrick says:

    Gotta say no to Odesk. Talk about being overcharged. Taking on an hourly contract means paying blindly. When the contractor is allowed to say how many hours he/she worked without checking in or employer even knowing what is going on is just an open sieve. I feel for those that the employers have taken advantage and I can understand the frustration. That doesn’tmean you bump hours and rip off other employers. Odesk does nothing but deny and try to disengage from the problem between. So be it. Odesk will not get my business and the Contractor just missed on his “loooooooooong term” employment.

    • Sid says:

      What do you think of fixed rate assignments though? As an employer, you are protected well and, after all, what you should care about is a job well done in the end, which is perfect for fixed price assignments. Why would you care how long it takes the person to work anyway. They can bid according to their own abilities and speed.

  34. Pam says:

    Thanks so much for this informative site. I too had my second offer from Gdev or Devfactory. The first one came a few months ago for customer service type work which didn’t pay that great, I did some research and declined. This time, they say they want to utilize my major listed on my college degree and the rate looks really nice, so again I am researching more thoroughly. I guess I have nothing to lose. I mean really, it’s my spare time they are asking for. It’s a risk. I dunno why people complain about not getting paid for a job interview or testing. In the non virtual world I never got paid for a job interview or testing, at least gdev or dev factory pays a whole buck! An they will pay you for a week of trial work. That seems fair. I tend to agree with Jerry, however sad it is, it is true, but your comment is 100% right as well, value added service could make a difference, but again, only those who see the value in value added services will buy if it helps their ROI. Cheers!

  35. Jay says:

    Hi. I am looking for part time work. I already work from home as an internal auditor for a Health Insurance company. The only concern or question i have about O’Desk is: How do you know the job posting or employer(client) is not doing anything illegal? Does Odesk monitor these posting for things of this nature? Someone can blindly do a job that may be illegal without even knowing it. Does Odesk verify the employer and their job postings to make sure Joe Blow off the streets who is running a payment processing illegal scam ring cant post on Odesk? I guess the contractor can use their best or own judgement but there is room for these types of things to happen if anyone can “freely” post jobs.

    • Sid says:

      I know oDesk will tell you different, but I don’t think there is any good process that will screen something like this. That being said, it would be paranoid to think many jobs there are in the illegal category because of the nature of jobs that are on the site. Or if they are, the red flags should be very apparent. I would say what you said – use your best judgement. Again, you won’t have to deal with a ton of illegal jobs; why would someone try to advertise their illegal activities by posting on such a public forum anyway? I don’t know of a good way to be 1000% sure of that though. Not sure if this helps you. Good luck!

      • oDesker says:

        Hi Sid,

        There are scammers in oDesk. I can say that because I’ve applied to a few ones already. They will verify their account which makes them look like a trusted client. Then they will post jobs. And IF the job is under a fixed price contract, the client had the option not to pay you even though you did well with the task.

  36. oDesker says:

    Hi everyone,

    Be careful in using oDesk. I just had my financial account suspended because I received and worked for a lot of hourly contracts. Some of my contracts are for an on-call basis and so they are a bit inactive. They just send me a message when they need me to perform a certain task. oDesk recently suspended my financial account telling me that someone from my clients gave them a negative feedback. I found this weird and unbelievable because I get along well with all my clients. I know this because I ask for their feedback after finishing a certain task. So if they say I did good or did well, does that pertain to a negative feedback? Well, I don’t know with the persons behind this oDesk — their support and supervisors who handled and suspended my account. I have been working in oDesk for 3 years and it is only now that I encountered this. I really found it very unfair because they can’t even tell me who exactly that client is who they said gave me negative feedback. If they are hiding the identity of the client, perhaps I can understand that. But suspending my account first before informing me is very unprofessional and unfair! They took hold of all my earnings and want all my contracts to be ended first before they review my account and decide whether to reinstate it or not. So, even if the contracts are all ended successfully, they can still decide not to reinstate my account. I’m very very disappointed with their service now which gave me a reason to start looking for other jobs outside oDesk. I know it’s a risk but at least I’m working DIRECTLY with a client and not with a third party like oDesk. I leave the comments to you whether you’ll believe me or not. But i can prove it with screenshots.

    • Sid says:

      That is very unfortunate. I do know that most of these sites like oDesk are biased towards the employers, but this crosses the line. Did you try to discuss with their help desk? What did they say? Did you try to show them the proof of your work/feedback, etc.?
      Also, one way to prevent such an abuse would be to work only on the hourly assignments, so oDesk does indeed guarantee payment in those situations. But I agree – they shouldn’t be able to suspend an account, especially the financial part, without informing you ahead of time and without a proper resolution of an underlying issue. In fact, if what you say is true, I am pretty sure it isn’t legal, although I am not the authority on that subject.
      Sid recently posted…Is Contently the Next Revolution in Freelance Writing?My Profile

      • oDesker says:

        Hi Sid,

        Well I guess you’re right that they are biased towards employers. I really feel sad and angry with what they did to my account. After all, they are also earning from the money I’m earning. I did contacted their support but it’s no use. They still want all my contracts to be ended and after which, that’s the only time that my account will be reinstated BUT AFTER they have reviewed my account again. For me this is BS. I also contacted them via live chat and they said that a different department is handling cases like this and what they can only do is to ask for a follow up because it’s the supervisor of that certain department who is able to decide (as per the support). And yes, I did showed them that I really worked for those money and showed them one communication from my clients that shows we’re in good relationship and that I’m performing well. But they ignored me. I asked via live chat why they are ignoring my messages and what they answered was “that is because your account is suspended. Once all your contracts are ended, please contact us again.” So what their goal is for me to be unemployed because they want all my contracts to be ended. Yes my employers can still rehire me BUT this will give them more work to do which I know would be inconvenient for them. I love my clients and take care of them but I still feel ashamed that I let them do things like posting new job ads and rehiring me again.

        Most of my clients understood what I’m going through and they felt bad about what happened to my account. One of my clients was even angry about what oDesk did to my account because he knows that what he is paying should be mine for the services/work that I did for him. All my contracts are also hourly, so all have proof with the use of their oDesk tracker. Two of my clients even offered work outside oDesk so that my account won’t be suspended again and that I will be able to get what they paid. I also know it’s not legal but their support doesn’t care. They are moving on with an issue without proper notification and believable/truthful reasons.

  37. Keven Mehaffy says:

    I have been ripped off twice in 7 days by odesk contractors, and the site admin refuses to do anything about it. Once by a contractor WHO DID NO WORK, used his timelog to check his emails, shop online, and browse the web. Odesks response?

    “oDesk has reviewed the work diary for this contract and determined that all time was logged in accordance with the oDesk Payment Guarantee.”

    and once by one who just took the money and ran. BEWARE ODESK – there are a few good programmers there I am sure, but alot more thieves.

    • Sid says:

      That’s not a good experience. However, in most cases, employers who fish at the bottom of the wage pool have encountered such issues. Also, the work diary cannot be full of checking his emails or shopping online, because if it is so, oDesk has a policy to remove that 10 minute time-frame for the work diary before you are paid. In any case, for you as an employer, you can try fixed rate assignments which don’t guarantee payment to the employee but you pay them based on terms both of you agree upon. If time is logged according to oDesk’s payment policy, then it is only fair that the person be paid for his time.

      • Keven Mehaffy says:

        It’s absolutely true. Odesk removed NOTHING when I disputed his shoddy work. As using fixed price is no gem either. All I needed was a Chrome script modified to work in Firefox. The first person I used a fixed price with, and negotiated for a percentage upfront (I thought this was a reasonable trust issue) . they ran off with my money, never to be heard of again .. Odesk response? Too bad so sad.

        The second was a more experienced thief, but his timelog showed NO WORK AT ALL on hte actual rewriting of the script …. same reply from odesk. But I fixed it, both charges are now contested under Paypal, and it is a very likely win for me. There are no circumstances under which I would ever use Odesk again ..

      • Sid says:

        It is good you’re taking it up with PayPal then. If what you’re saying is true, there is no real utility to employers at oDesk to go to the extent of taking screenshots, etc. of the employees. Did the screenshots show that he was checking his mail or not doing things related to your work that oDesk refused to remove? My understanding was they would certainly remove those parts of the work diary that have a screenshot showing something that isn’t related directly to the assignment at hand.

  38. Roy says:

    I worked 2 contracts when it was time to withdraw the money, The withdrawal button doesnt work! Can you believe that?! So I contacted support and told them. Their response? Did you PAY someone using paypal? Um yes, what does that have to do with withdrawing my earnings? Well we disabled your withdrawal ability because of that. Give us 24-48 hours to resolve it. 3 days later, the withdrawal button still doesnt work! Do not depend on Odesk to pay you for your hard earned work!

    • Sid says:

      Roy, were you trying to work outside the oDesk system for a job you found at oDesk? If not, I see no reason why this should be the case. Did they get back to you with a resolution?
      Sid recently posted…Is Contently the Next Revolution in Freelance Writing?My Profile

      • Roy says:

        No, the contracts were from odesk and worked on odesk. This is the case and I’m not happy about it at all. It has been 5 days now and I still have been unable to withdraw my earnings (The withdrawal button doesnt work). If you hire someone and pay via paypal, they will disable your withdrawal function. They have escalated it and given many replies, however I still have not been paid.

  39. Suki says:

    I’ve used ODesk for approximately one and a half years. During that time, I’ve worked for some wonderful people on a wide variety of small jobs. Unfortunately, I’ve also had two very negative experiences.

    The first was for gDev. They contacted me to apply for a technical writing job. I took (and passed) all of their tests, had several interviews, and did a “test” project for them. The project was completed successfully in spite of receiving instructions written in very poor English. At the end of my “test” week, I had an interview with a lady from India who said she didn’t feel like working with me and they’d get back to me. Needless to say, I never heard from her again. A month later my job was closed by gDev and I was never paid for the weeks work! I also wasn’t allowed to leave any feedback for them. It felt like a total scam.

    The second was for an insurance company here in the United States. I submitted a $6 and hour rate for the job and was hired. I worked for this company for about a month when I got a phone call from the man who ran the company saying that he was happy with my work, but had reposted my job and had hired someone who was willing the job for $4. He wanted me to keep working for him, but I’d have to lower my rate so it would be fair to the other worker. Needless to say, I sent him a polite and professional resignation letter (I didn’t tell him what I really wanted to say!) The result was that he left me bad feedback which implied I missed deadlines and was hard to get ahold of (completely untrue).

    I still use oDesk as it can be a good way to earn a little bit of extra cash, but I would advise anyone who uses the site to use caution. Only bid on jobs from employers with a proven track record and be realistic in your expectations. It’s hard to make a living from oDesk since you have to compete with people from all over the world, some who are willing to work for extremely low rates.

    • Sid says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. I see most people have a mixed bag of good and bad at oDesk.
      gDev sounds fishy from the first time I heard about them – I haven’t worked for them, but there is a good deal of discussion about it in the comments above. I am surprised oDesk doesn’t bother taking some sort of action against it. From a freelancer’s point of view, any employer asking for free work or even free samples is a red flag.
      For the second case, did you try to take it up with oDesk? You can contest their feedback and have it removed from the website if you can prove your case, for instance, by showing your average reply time to your employer’s messages. I don’t know how sympathetic oDesk will be to your case though.
      Sid recently posted…Is Contently the Next Revolution in Freelance Writing?My Profile

  40. Faisal says:

    Such a great article, I’m using oDesk from a year or so and I think all of your points are pretty valid.
    Faisal recently posted…Missile Command Record Beaten After 31 YearsMy Profile

  41. Shane says:

    In spite of my many years of being alive, and seeing scams all around me in every facet of life, I trusted ODesk too much. I was hired fairly soon after joining, by a person who was listed as “verified”. I don’t know if he’s real or not. Odesk ignored all my requests for his information to pursue him for payment for any of the work I did.
    I spent a whole week on a job of writing a series of things, submitting work every day for his approval. He approved everything in very brief answers like “”yes, good. continue”. After a total of 36 hours, I finished the last job and submitted it, but never heard from him again, and didn’t get paid a penny. I was stunned and disappointed that Odesk would withhold all of his information, and not allow me to pursue payment, especially since they had all the documentation of my work done, as well as his, albeit terse, confirmations that I was doing the job well and as requested. HUGE waste of time. The guy was obviously a fraud, and, so, imo, is Odesk for letting him get away with it.

    • Sid says:

      Shane, sounds like a terrible experience. I don’t think any company like oDesk can give more details, but I hope at least the account was disabled. That being said, I am guessing this wasn’t an hourly assignment? Because if it was, oDesk would have guaranteed payment for your work.

      • Shane says:

        nope. it WAS hourly, but Odesk did not guarantee my payment. They just kept telling me “sorry, but nothing we can do”. I can’t even leave feedback for the guy to warn others. I don’t know if his account was disabled or not, but I’m not going back to Odesk to keep up with it. It’s been almost a year now.

  42. Amit says:

    I want to write a lot about this DevFactory / gDev FZ LLC, Dubai (www.devfactory.com), but due to time constraint, I m trying to tell maximum in few lines….

    Their intention is to save US government taxes, by routing their income from US to Dubai (a tax free zone!) And as IRS (Internal revenue services) wants a detail of every penny flows outside US by US firm, they have to legitimately show that they have hired people and paid them and that is how their Dubai firm had made a lot of profit!!! And this is why they hire people on oDesk and eLance. i.e. Just to show US authority (IRS), and Not to get any genuine work done!!!!

    And while achieving this(enforced payment to show IRS), they have done a mutual benefit contract with oDesk or eLance that while achieving their goal of saving tax, they will promote this freelancing culture and their sites.

    So for that, they will send invites to mostly all oDesk or eLance users, luring them with an extra ordinary payment offer (starting from 15$ per hour, 40hr/week), and lure them to apply for interview and test.

    Then they will try to engage you maximum in the process using a highly un-predictable course of actions (in other words, you will never inform in advance about what will happen when (exact in time)), mostly when u give online test and a brief skype interview, you will never know from when your contract will start. **So they will try maximum to detach you from your ongoing work!!!!**

    Once offered a contract, their immediate goal is to annoy/irritate/frustrate you to terminate your contract (there are thousands way to do this, you will get to know once you get a contract). If you wont get annoyed enough to terminate your contract by yourself, they will kick you out siting a performance reason!!!

    **So, once they offered you a contract, their immediate goal will be to kick you out as soon as possible.** So that they can cover maximum number of freelancers in their budget! (of Course they don’t have a money plant to pay you 10$ to 30$ per hour, 40hr/week!!!).They need to pay in proportion of book amount/profit they want to transfer from US to Dubai!

    So please don’t get trapped!!! Don’t leave your full time job looking at their luring offer! **They don’t want to pay you for a long time, in fact they will try to get rid of you as early as possible!**

    And Finally, don’t ever think that they have some serious/genuine work for you to get it done!!! It is worst time pass in IT ever!!!

    Disclaimer: This is a personal views of a writer and do not constitutes any legal claims.

  43. Datta says:

    I have been working on oDesk and it has been a mixed bag so far. Today I got an email from their Customer Support saying that I have violated their policy by not writing unique cover letters. They even penalized me for it by removing all my applications. Now my question is how can you write unique cover letters when you will have to show your prior experience, pricing, schedule and availability. I am applying for the same kind of jobs, so I can’t think of how I can keep applying and keep these applications unique. Any ideas?

    • Sid says:

      I’ve honestly never heard that, but as a general rule, it is better to customize your cover letters to the job. Of course you’ll end up borrowing some parts of your portfolio, scores, feedback, etc. but you should really try to write this in a way that is tailored for the job you’re applying. This will greatly increase your chances of landing an assignment as well. Tie in your experience to what is being asked – if you are applying for a blogging position, highlight your previous blogging experience more than eBook writing.
      Sid recently posted…Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin: Entrepreneurs and Enthusiasts EditionMy Profile

  44. Jenny says:

    I am not all that impressed with odesk. The biggest problem is you have people from all over the world bidding for the posted jobs and most jobs pay less then a dollar an hour in the end. It is basically a race to who can bid the lowest and work for basically free. I have bid jobs as low as four or five dollars but below that isn’t really worth my time. I see especially on the graphics side people bidding as low as 1.33. Sorry but any self respecting person doesn’t bid that low. I have an autistic child and have to work from home. Odesk isn’t really worth the time, and energy to set up the profile. As they said I scored high on over five tests and still have trouble getting jobs.

    • Sid says:

      I hear you. oDesk is definitely not the best place to start off. Here’s the thing though – if you can build a nice portfolio, your prices progressively increase with each positive feedback. If you’re starting out, the prices paid are abysmal. I had the same problem and that’s one of my points in the article. It’s a very tough choice to make. If you can get clients outside from your own contacts, pay-wise at least, I think it’s usually the best. Good luck with finding better jobs elsewhere, online or offline.

  45. James Long says:

    Customer service at Odesk is non-existent. I’m in my third week of trying to get a repair. Horrible site response.

  46. Jennifer
    Twitter:
    says:

    Ha!

    I read this blog the other day on Odesk from top to bottom and felt led to visit this website again. I am glad you found beauty in Odesk, but so far it has been ugly for me from beginning of 4 years ago until now. I just can’t be hired. My rates cannot go down to $2 per hour, because in my country the minimum wage exceeds that.

    I do logo designing and very well. Each time I encourage the clients to look at the samples on my website and still no hires. Am I doing something wrong here? Should I be attaching a doc instead?

    Jennifer
    SuperGraphicPear Ltd
    Logo Design at her best

  47. Rachelle says:

    Post trop plaisant !
    Rachelle recently posted…RachelleMy Profile

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  53. Dor says:

    Same here. Horrible customers service – people who would rather talk back than actually work out a solution. I’ve been literally lied to on a number of occasions – and caught them. To make things worse, even showing them did not help. In one case a manager promised to take care of an issue personally – and quickly. Didn’t hear from them for 2 weeks and only when I called back and screamed – turns out he was on a holiday and he emailed me and asked me to tell him the story all over again. In another case, I got scammed by a client and a supervisor told me I shouldn’t complain because it gives her more work, and then said I was the only one complaining about the client – even though his feedback showed freelancers hired later on complaining about the same issues. The same supervisor admitted that oDesk won’t take action because the client was paying some of the money.

    They follow their own rules when they want to and don’t follow when they don’t want. When you ask questions, their answer is usually “we’re a private company, we don’t have to provide answers”.

    A company with a mentality of a shady taxi driver.

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