Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elance is a Boil that Needs to be Lanced

I've been exploring Elance lately. What a time-waster that place is. I spent an hour this morning providing a one-page proofreading sample for somebody writing a novel. Based on the page they took from their novel, they can't write well and are wasting their time. Unfortunately, they wasted my time too. I spent an hour proofing the one page and composing a proposal on Elance only to have them cancel the whole project, most likely because I was quoting a fair price, and they had a Wal-Mart budget. I am sure they wanted me to work for $5 an hour--that is exactly what they had in mind. That teaches me never to do any work until I see the money and to never do any work on spec or in hopes of getting work. You work on spec or in hopes of getting more work, and your hopes are dashed, everytime, because somebody finds a cheaper source or changes their mind or has a brainstorm or whatever the case may be. The next time someone asks for a sample, I am going to ask for $100.

I don't like Elance, because they take a greedy Mafia-esque 9% cut, holding the money for a week or longer before transferring it, and charging for every little thing. Want to make bids on a different category? That will cost you. Just making bids in the first place involves a substantial amount of time examining the job and determining whether it is a good fit or not. Then you have to deal with 10 to 30 other bidders who also want the job. Elance is just another slimy monster stealing work from Americans and farming it over to the third world. I think Elance is a boil that needs to be lanced.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

6 comments:

David Streever said...

I don't know if that is fair to blame Elance: there are terrible clients anywhere.

Elance provides a service to a freelancer, and we can make choices about who we work for, and for how much.

Living in Connecticut, my bills certainly aren't low. While I've found more than my share of lemons on Elance, I've also found that in normal work hunting: at least on Elance, I can see verified information about potential clients quickly!

I've just completed a very simple project (billing 50/hour) and really enjoyed the experience. I typically bill 65/hour for the same work, but am newer to Elance and was trying to get this job without spending too much time prospecting. I also realized that, in a 3 minute pitch, I'd get the job or not: For a normal job of this scale, I'd have put in at least 2 hours of telephone, face-to-face, and e-mail coordination.

For 3 minutes of work, I got the job, and completed it that afternoon and submitted. I have a happy client and spent 0 time managing the client relationship/sale!

igor said...

I can't bill $65/hr for anything that I know of and few people can. You must be a specialized tech--the Holy Grail. Well, hat's off to you. There was a day when I earned $30/hr plus benefits, but that day has passed, along with much else in this economy.

Your note seems sculpted, I must say, as though you composed it in a word processor.Interesting how you have only positive things to say about Elance, and nothing negative. Also interesting how this is the first post on my blog that you chose to comment upon.

8.75% strikes me as a large fee for Elance to take on jobs that pay $12 or less per hour. That's a higher tax than the government will take on the worker.

Let's say there is no Elance; we're rescued from Hell, and companies instead are forced to hire full-timers or independents are forced to hire companies that then hire full-timers. Good! Workers get a better deal with stable full-time employment with benefits than competing against each other for every little task. Elance is depressing wages, shafting workers, and outsourcing U.S. jobs overseas. Elance is thus a boil that needs to be lanced.

By the way, how'd you find my blog? You're a first-time commenter. Is there the remotest possibility that you are employed by Elance to refurbish their webputation?

Sparklements said...

Hi Igor, just had to chime in on your response to the dude above about whether he's employed by Elance...in case you weren't aware, Elance is (or at least once was) owned by EBAY, the slimiest sleaziest company in America. Among the filth I uncovered about this company was that they routinely hire shills through a third party called LIVEWORLD. This is how they avoid the FTC's $11,000 fine per post. Google ebay liveworld (and throw in paypal for even more dirt) and you'll see what's going on.

igor said...

Thanks Sparkles for the information.

Ebay certainly is a company composed of liars. They made me an offer--list and sell something in an auction, and get a $10 bonus. I don't know why they made the offer. I guess I'm a good seller and had been profitable for them in the past, and they wanted me to start going again. Well, I did, and then I called Ebay Customer Service several times over the next 12 months trying to persuade them to pay up. Like pulling teeth. They kept putting me off, endless delays, put on hold, transferred to this one and that one, and they were talking about unexplained technical difficulties on their end, until months later, they finally denied that there had ever been a bonus. Just a big hassle with their lies, a waste of time. So now I routinely delete all messages from Ebay, because Ebay is nothing but a big fat liar. I scrutinize my transactions with them with the greatest care.

I'm coming to the conclusion that most businesses are run like Tony Soprano, with a similar code of ethics, maybe without the violence. Maybe in some ways Tony Soprano is more honest than certain companies that break their word routinely and cheat the customer, their employees, their own shareholders, even.

Sparklements said...

And Microsoft does the same thing, check the comments section of any Win8 review, anyone who hates the OS receives the same childish attacks like "you're just ignorant."

Btw, have you had the pleasure of trying Windows 8? Here's my review... http://sparklements.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-microsoft-windows-8-is-just-like.html

We are doomed...

igor said...

I'm not quite as interested in Windows as I used to be. Bailed out after Windows XP and went with Linux Mint, and now that I have confirmed that Windows 7 Home Premium will not network with Linux, Linux Mint KDE is my favorite operating system. I don't plan to use Windows going forward other than to run Call Clerk to weed out annoying calls.

Linux on the htpc, Linux on the laptop and Linux on the desktop. Windows XP on the answering machine. It's good answering calls, not much else. I can believe just about anything negative about Microsoft marketing strategy, and am not impressed with Windows "Ache". Really I think all these people who have observed defects in Microsoft wisdom should come over to Linux Mint and experience the OS as it was intended to be.

Not only does the Linux user save money on software, but much less in the way of hardware is needed--most Linux distros boot in less than minute with even the slowest 5400 rpm hard drive and two gigs of RAM. So I don't see why anyone should want to pay hundreds of dollars extra merely to please Microsoft.

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