Author Topic: Working Freelance from Odesk  (Read 2401 times)


  • Stubble
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Working Freelance from Odesk
« on: March 21, 2015, 08:55:29 AM »
I have recently been intrigued by the idea of doing free lance sales on the side.
Its appealing since it is all work from home and there are performance based bonuses.

Has any one taken a job on Odesk before? What has your experience been like?
Feel free to chime in if you have hired people on the service as well.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Working Freelance from Odesk
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 09:45:05 AM »
I've considered it.

I'm more or less an expert at VBA programming and there are tons of grunt work jobs out there for that. Not really enough to sustain me long term but totally enough for short term side work.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Working Freelance from Odesk
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 10:11:54 AM »
I like Elance.

I found Odesk kind of cumbersome to use. Odesk also seemed to have more emphasis on Skype and invasive software like keyloggers. I didn't feel comfortable with that.

In my area of expertise, the jobs on Odesk were also fewer and less lucrative than Elance. After getting a profile set up on Odesk, I could never pull the trigger on bidding on jobs, due the my concerns.

It can be hard to get started - but once you get a couple of reviews under your belt, people have more confidence with hiring you.

My biggest issue has been with people not adequately disclosing the scope of their projects. Then once you've committed, they spring a bunch of extras on you. Given the importance of maintaining a 5-star rating from your clients, you can get into a sticky situation where you don't want to jeopardize your rating by angering that client.

The vast majority of clients have been good clients, though. I have had no trouble getting paid, either. Overall, the rate of pay is less than from local clients, but the client base is much broader.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Working Freelance from Odesk
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 10:24:43 AM »
Wow, clients actually expect you to install keyloggers and other arbitrary code onto your computer? That blows me away.

I looked at these freelance sites before, and I concluded the pay was far too low for it to make sense for anything software development related. The clients want the cheapest work possible in the fastest time, and don't care much about quality. You're bidding against people who think $3 per hour is a lot of money. Outside the context of these websites, you can get $100-120 per hour for the same work, if your clients are real businesses rather than Joe Blow who wants you to install a keylogger.

Apparently it's different for CPA work, but I wouldn't recommend these websites for software development.

It's Odesk's proprietary software. Like I said, I never pulled the trigger on Odesk, because it made me uncomfortable and the pricing didn't encourage me to look closer. I don't know exactly how much access the clients had, but I wasn't interested. I was also totally disinterested in Skyping with everyone.

A lot of people from foreign countries also bid on accounting jobs for $3/hour.. I ignore those people and submit the bid according to my pricing standards. If the client wants to hire someone at $3/hour, then they're not in my target market. I frequently get hired despite not being the lowest bid.

But my pricing ends up normally paying 50% of what I can find elsewhere. But Elance fills the gaps. If I don't have a $100/hr client, then the $50/hr Elance client isn't costing me anything.

I have had a few clients on Elance pay me MORE than my going rate. That's because there's a system on Elance where people can invite you jobs and it costs nothing to submit a bid. If I sense that the job might be a lot trouble or I'm not super interested, I'll sometimes still submit a bid with a higher price. Surprisingly, some people are willing to hire me at that price. Oddly, those clients have been some of the easiest to work with - go figure.


  • Bristles
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Re: Working Freelance from Odesk
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 11:33:20 PM »
Regarding the Odesk software, I've hired some workers, and basically all I can see is a screengrab taken at random intervals approximately once every 5 minutes.  It's also fairly low res, so you can't really read every word on their page.  Its basically just so that the client can see if you're on Facebook or the MMM forum instead of working on their hourly project.