Outsourcing with Elance, Guru & GetAFreelancer.com

February 3, 2008

Different freelancer networks have different strengths (duh!). Use them in combination.

I have been using Elance in the past to invite other people to help me on projects. Now I had a very urgent fulfillment request from one of my clients and needed some business research done in less than 3 days from posting the project to final delivery. For all web development-related projects I posted on Elance in the past, I had received bids within minutes of making the project description public, but no-one responded to this research request within a few hours. So I decided to give two other places I knew about a first chance: Guru & GetAFreelancer.com.

I got bids on both within the first hour or so and ended up with 5 or more bids on each. Both providers in the U.S. and abroad had similar prices, with the top-rated ones all bidding essentially the same amount (at the upper end of the limit I had set for the project). I found both sites more cumbersome to use than Elance, but GetAFreelancer seems to have a lot more provider diversity and Guru is more established and mature. GetAFreelancer also makes the buyer pay for transaction fees, which I find inappropriate. But maybe the margins for providers are better there and therefore the providers more motivated? The future will tell.

The real proof is going to be in the pudding, which will be delivered by the end of tomorrow. Lets see whether the project winner can meet expectations. My success with Elance providers has been “mixed.”

Update: The provider I picked with Guru delivered decent work. Not quite what I expected for the money I paid, but the client was happy (which is really all that counts). I read recently (I wish I’d remember where) that in order to successfully delegate, I will have to accept that the job is only going to be done 80% as good as if I had done it myself and account for that gap. In this case it was close. I got maybe 60% to 65% of what I asked for (partially because of the tight deadline), so I had to fudge it a little to make it work.

This experience also teaches me that I need to “train” the client better to not to ask me for stuff “last minute”.

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3 Responses to “Outsourcing with Elance, Guru & GetAFreelancer.com”

  1. razibmiah Says:

    I had some bad and ok experiences with GetAFreelancer.com

  2. krzysiek Says:

    not exactly about elance, but similar – odesk. I’ve just started there posted my first job, even contacted few individuals myself, two days and no response.
    I expect person at least to politely respond – not interested or something..
    I wonder – do they have their own computers there, or they go to net cafe to check email every few days 🙂
    Although, not giving up – thanx for post – inspired mo to keep trying 🙂


  3. Glad that it worked out for you and cool that you understand the importance of leveraging talent but allowing for time to fix any errors. I personally have never used Guru or Getafreelancer and tend to stick with Elance providers because I simply like Elance’s website, payment/escrow system and tools like invoicing, milestones and status reports. And, i’m of the belief that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.


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