About Freelancer.com

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Sep 30, 2013

Based in Pyrmont, NSW, Australia, Freelancer.com is an online marketplace specifically designed for freelancers looking for work, and for outsourcers and crowdsourcers looking to have work completed.

In business since 2004, the company claims to be the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace, with 4.5 million projects posted, and nearly 8 million verified users.

Freelancer.com focuses on a wide variety of fields, including web and software development, design, writing, marketing, data entry, and according to the company, “anything else you could think of, all for the fraction of the cost.”

Freelancer.com Features

If you’re using Freelancer.com as an employer or small business, you simply sign up and post a project to begin. You’ll need to enter the project title, project details, skills you require for all applicants, in addition to pricing options (e.g. fixed budget or hourly). You will also be able to attach files relevant to your project at this time.

Once you’re ready to post your project, you’ll be given the option to further promote your listing by attaching additional classifications, such as Featured Project, Urgent Project, Private Project, NDA Required, and more. Keep in mind that these additional classifications will entail fees ranging anywhere from $9-$200, which Freelancer.com claims can increase your project’s visibility and attract up to 80% more bids.

Employers on the site can also be proactive and browse through freelancers, which can be filtered by hourly rate, location, skills, and work categories, after which they can be contacted directly and invited to place a bid.

After your project has been submitted, you’ll begin receiving bids from freelancers who would like to work on your project. At this point you can review their qualifications by analyzing their portfolio and work history, overall rating, skill sets, and test scores. The hiring process is very personalized and is completely based on your judgment and discretion.

Once your chosen freelancer has been hired, work will begin. If your project is based on a fixed price, you will generally pay the freelancer only after work has been completed. If your project will be billed on an hourly basis, Freelancer.com now offers a “Freelancer Time Track,” which ensures that every hour logged by the contractor is actually worked, by tracking their time via a software program that captures frequent screenshots.

Once the project has been completed to your satisfaction, you’ll be able to provide feedback to the contractor, as well as to rate their performance.

If you are looking for work as a freelancer, you can browse projects based on type (e.g. featured projects, projects with low bids, projects that are ending soon, etc.), and/or based on category (e.g. graphic design, web development, 3D animation, online marketing, etc.). You’ll then only place bids on projects that are relevant to your skillset.

Freelancer.com Membership Plans and Pricing

For those looking for work, Freelancer.com offers four different membership options, which range from no cost to $49.95 per month:

  • Free
  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Premium

The primary differences between these packages are the number of bids you’re allowed, the percentage of the associated freelancer fee, as well as the number of portfolio items and skill sets you’re able to display to prospective employers. This means that if you’re just starting out, you may be able to get by just fine with a lower package.

However, once your portfolio and skill sets grow, you’ll likely need to move up to a more robust package. It’s also important to note that these packages are tailored more toward freelancers since employers will rarely need to showcase work or place bids on projects. For an informative chart displaying all Membership options and pricing, please click here.

Once your account is set up, you can easily switch between the packages and make payment via MasterCard, AMEX, Visa, Paypal, and Skrill Moneybookers.

Is Freelancer.com a Scam?

Freelancer.com is a globally acclaimed company that is backed by substantially large investors and is staffed by legitimate management and leadership teams. As such, there are no indications that the company is a scam.

Having said this, since Freelancer.com has been in business for several years and has accumulated a wide variety of user reviews, the most common complaint is that many freelancers (as well as some employers) have claimed that they’ve experienced payment delays after a transaction has been completed, or that payments have not been processed altogether. They state their accounts are frequently frozen and undergo some sort of “investigation,” at which point Freelancer.com’s customer service is of little to no assistance.

As can be imagined, when freelancers have worked for days or weeks on a project, completed them to their employers’ satisfaction, but then find that they’re unable to withdraw their funds, they become angry and immediately begin throwing around the “scam” word. To the company’s credit, when responding to these complaints, they have acknowledged that this is an ongoing problem and that they are actively attempting an internal restructuring to address the issue.

Should You Avoid Freelancer.com?

Overall, Freelancer.com seems to have a great vision for the freelancing community and is not necessarily a site that you should avoid. However, as a suggestion, if you do decide to sign up, be sure to contact the company directly and undergo one of their “investigations” before you begin hiring freelancers or bidding on any projects.

By addressing the issue upfront, you can proactively provide them with any additional information they may need, which will help to substantially reduce the risk of running into any future problems.

Another suggestion is to be careful who you hire to work on your projects—use your discretion to judge a freelancer’s character and work experience as best you can.

Freelancer.com provides employers with some of the necessary tools to help discern the difference between low and high-quality work, though they do not have the resources to guarantee that all work completed will match your needs. Caveat emptor.

Pros:

  • Large online marketplace for freelancers looking for work, as well as employers looking for work to be completed.
  • In business since 2004, and backed by substantial investors and legitimate management and leadership teams.
  • Wide variety of project types in fields such as web and software development, design, writing, marketing, data entry, and more.
  • Easy to set up an account and bid on/post a job.
  • A good selection of payment options.

Cons:

  • Numerous users have complained of lengthy payment delays as their accounts undergo “investigation.”
  • Customer service has a reputation for being slow to offer assistance.
  • If you're a Freelancer, you are required to pay monthly payments for membership packages just to be able to place more bids on projects and increase your skill-sets

Read 266 Freelancer.com Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 20 4 star: 1 3 star: 3 2 star: 9 1 star:  233
Bottom Line: 11% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 266
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible experience costing me over $600 USD

    • By Diana H.,
    • Lexington, KY,
    • Jan 6, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wish I could rate them zero stars! Long story short, I performed over $600 USD in work for employers on Freelancer.com. When I tried to withdraw funds, Freelancer.com presented me with multiple requirements for identify verification. Although I did express myself in strong terms, I did comply with all of their requirements, sending ID, utility bill, photographs of myself holding ID and secured codes, and cell phone verification. They denied me at least 7 times, each time saying I had failed to provide the photograph. I took a second photograph and also expressed on my open ticket that although I could not remove the association with my PayPal account (else I could not receive the funds), I did withdraw any permission for them to continue to take funds from my account for their fees. They responded by "unregistering" my account. (I kept screenshots showing my account, including transaction history and PayPal verification - I had read that others had their accounts deleted during "Freelancer verification".)

    My research turned up numerous reviews with stories just like mine - I should have gone with my gut, but I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope this review will help prevent others from a similarly costly experience. Thankfully, I believe in justice in the end - those who steal from others will receive their due.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Complete fraud

    • By Kyle D.,
    • California,
    • Jan 4, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer

    Hi. Freelancer says you get a free month but immediately takes a deposit from your credit card of $26ish. Then fraudulent individuals offer you projects and if you accept, Freelancer takes a fee from those projects even if they were fraudulent and they never contacted you with a scope of work.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    They stole my $750 of winnings.

    • By Andrew K.,
    • Poland,
    • Dec 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've won a $750 design contest among 150 freelancers. I signed the agreement, transferred my design to the contest holder and got the payment. I had to wait a few days to withdraw it. But it never happened. Freelancer.com decided to block the contest holder and after that, they charged my winnings back - the money I already had on my account. Support confirmed it had been done due to security reasons.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Rain of hidden fees

    • By Mitch A.,
    • Florida,
    • Nov 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Please note, Freelancer.com is very shady, everything goes well until later, when you check your card, and you have several small fees charged. I hired one graphic designer for 1 project at $75 and was charged several "processing fees" summing for more than 10% of the project...I email them, has been days and no one answers me...ultimately I will wait another week for an answer and will dispute with my card...DECEIVING COMPANY!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Illegal employers who are employees

    • By Justice W.,
    • Online,
    • Sep 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Any portal is neither good/bad. Freelancer must change the payment policy to pay first and then steal the time or work of freelancers. Freelancers are running the world and employees are not skilled and throwing the experts out of the company with politics. So many employees cheat by trying to hire a freelancer to do their job and have the guts to not pay even if the freelancers gave the results. Stupid employees get credit for the work done by other experts. Highly evil platform encourages evil to rule by not letting the freelancers be paid first. Are the employees not paid first even if they do not show results? The rates are too cheap.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Dispute resolution is a joke

    • By Jamie E.,
    • New York,
    • Sep 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I contracted a freelancer at the beginning of 2019 to help me build my current website on a different platform. We agreed on a 2-step process with payment after step one and the remaining payment upon full completion.

    I paid my freelancer $500 for step one and he went dark on me. He would pop in and give me excuses why he hadn't completed step two (holiday, his dad died, sick, etc). He would say he would show me the finished product and then immediately go dark on me. This has gone on for months. I finally simply asked him for the admin login to the site so I could assess what needed to be completed and do it myself or hire someone else to do it. He has not responded to several of my requests to do so. So, I've paid $500 for a site that I have zero access to and a freelancer who is refusing to either finish it or provide me logins so I can do so myself.

    After months of this, I finally contacted Freelancer to help resolve the issue so I can get what I paid for. My freelancer reached out to me after the company contacted him and told me he would show me my site "when I reach home". That was almost a week ago and that was the last I heard from him.

    Freelancer, the company, has basically told me there isn't anything they can do except reach out to him when they can see from my extensive chat logs that this freelancer ran, and is continuing to run, a scam on me. Yet this freelancer is still on the platform available for hire. The company is complicit in the scam and since everyone got their money, they are absolving themselves of not only their own culpability in the issue, but allowing others to be set up by the same scam by this freelancer. It's evident they don't care about resolving the issue to my satisfaction and they certainly have no plans on refunding me. I've spent thousands of dollars on Freelancer.com the last couple of years with 100% positive feedback and this is my first dispute. My record should speak for itself but retaining a scammer as a freelancer seems to take priority over retaining a good and consistent client.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Fraud. They just want your money and would block you.

    • By Prakhar T.,
    • USA,
    • Sep 24, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This is a totally fraud website. They do not return your own money back. They blocked my account and would not return my money. They say they need identity documents to return the money to the card on which it was charged. I want to take them to court.

    This was simply mental harassment. Never use that website again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Stay away

    • By Paula A.,
    • Charlotte, NC,
    • Sep 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I know the project fee needs to be taken out but after I have complained that the employers were just scammers, it took them so long to give my project fee money back. They won't care about you because they already have their money regardless if the people who hired you were legitimate or not. This is the second time they have done this. The first time was a charge for a canceled membership, a membership fee I canceled a month before said charge. Never again will I return to this freelancing company!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Scam site! Stay away!

    I was scammed by Freelancer and I would urge everyone to not allow themselves to be scammed by this site! There are so many better sites and better ways to get work or hire people. The only objective of Freelancer.com is to close accounts without notice and confiscate all the money. On being emailed, a robot would reply back repeating a standard TOS violation email. This is by far the worst scam I have experienced in my lifetime and trust me, I am old enough to have seen quite a bit of life!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Maybe scams, maybe carelessness and lack of experience

    • By Javier V.,
    • Buenos Aires, Argentina,
    • Aug 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I'm new to Freelancer.com so I can't tell much about the site yet. After a long validation process almost to enter Fort Knox, I received 2 very suspicious work proposals and rejected it immediately. I have not run for work yet, I have only participated in some competition without luck so far. I believe that in this platform the responsibility for defects is shared, it is true that given so many requirements to be able to validate an account it should not be possible for the platform not to be responsible for the fraud carried out by those who do not pay for a job. I can also see so far that, many people fall for the idea that something cheap is good, big mistake, nobody will do a good job for 10% of the market price, you just need to see their portfolios and you will see that you cannot do what they promise. Personally I do 3D renderings, I think I'm pretty good at it, and I think that only 5% of those who do this work there really have an idea of ​​what it is to make a good render. Freelancer is not only a platform with many flaws, it is also a nest of violators of rules and copyright. I have grown tired of seeing profiles with stolen works, and they are not ashamed to steal from unknown people, they use works by famous 3D artists or digital artists claiming they are theirs. Now I only see participating in some interesting competition if it is a company that I can verify that it really exists, has a website or a physical address.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    No customer service

    • By Liluy T.,
    • London, England,
    • Aug 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I chose a freelancer and now wanted some advice on them, the payment security, etc. from the website customer services, as offered by them. An agent, with her name, appeared in the chat and asked me how she could help me. I wrote down the questions and she never replied, yet saw it. It was shocking. I had never experienced a company this unprofessional.

    A few days later, I tried again - another person asked how she could help me. I wrote the questions, she never replied. A week on, it has been impossible to validate anything or engage in conversation with a Freelancer agent/customer worker.

    Freelancers pay a lot of money to them each month yet many clients will not engage with them with larger sums of money if there is no Freelancer validation and customer services. It is disgusting behavior.

    Crooks flourish because Freelancer is not doing its job properly, otherwise, it would be a great website. It is a shame that genuine freelancers are affected by this as employers will not take huge risks if there is no validation by the website.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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