Has anyone ever tried Freelancer.com (former GetAFreelancer.com)? Does anyone have any opinions/feedback on the site?
I would like to start some projects as a freelancer but I would really like to get some opinions on the site to get started.
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The site you have mentioned is a good site with lots of projects. The thing that is common to such sites are:
You have to bid cheap to win. Some projects are priced very very low.
You have to be really good.
You must pick a site with arbitration since customers (some time) nag about the product
You have to be very clear and waste good time communicating clearly with the user to make sure you are delivering what they want. This is all unpaid for in most cases.
The customer background may not be in software, so you have to do a complete job helping them all the way.
You need to read the requirements carefully before you bid, again you get nothing for the effort spent during bidding.
In many cases, you are not allowed to buy tools. Most are low budget projects
Your reputation is everything in such sites. So you will have to do double the effort to be considered by a prospect customer. Making up for lost reputation is very hard.
Did I say the competition is sometimes crazy? For one project it is not uncommon to find 10 bidders or more.
It is a lot of fun if you like to code, but it is not easy money.
My personal experience is that the online freelance sites are overly-filled with people with limited abilities flooding request in an attempt to be the lowest bidder. They rank above Monster.com on my list of "places where I should avoid in my job search."
That site, in particular, looks like it is going along with the "we don't want to pay for quality" model. The first two projects I clicked on said that they budgeted $8-15/hour for an iPhone or an Android app? Really? Because you can get more working at Lowes (and exercise to boot). You're much better off just doing open-source work (which is arguably better for a résumé anyway).
If you really need freelance work, find a user group in your area, network with people you know, and get a higher Stackoverflow score (all of these have provided me with good work in the past). If those don't work, help out with an open source project, it will pay off more in the end anyway.