GetaFreelancer.com: Big Momma’s review…

pic by: xddorox

(p.s.: GetaFreelancer.com is now called Freelancer.com)

There are quite a few bidding sites out there for freelancers looking for work (eLance.com, Guru.com, to name a few). I haven’t checked them all out and I doubt I will. Not my cup of chai.

However, I did check out one bidding site – GetaFreelancer. I joined up out of curiosity. I’d heard a couple of people recommending it, so I thought I’d dip my big crusty toe in there to see what they’re about.

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MY NAME IS GETAFREELANCER, BUT YOU CAN CALL ME ‘GAF’, YOU PRETTY LIL THING…

Joining up was cool – no hiccups there.

Projects you can bid on range from writing to web design to project management and a lot of things in-between like programming and data processing. Below’s a sneek peek at current GAF gigs:

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HOW DOES GETAFREELANCER PAY? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE PAYMENT?

Forms of payment?: Paypal, Moneybookers, E-Gold, wire transfer, GetaFreelancer debit card.

How long?: When you make your very first request for payment, it’s delayed for 15 days ‘for security reasons’ (hmm…). E-Gold is delayed for 45 days.

After that, any subsequent payment requests received during the week up til Sunday are sent the following Monday or Tuesday.


OH GEE, GAF IS THE BEE’S KNEES… APPARENTLY..

An open testimonial on the site goes like this:

GAF is neat and tidy. Everything is easy to understand. There are dozens of freelancer sites but GAF is the only one that WORKS! – elgyn.

Erm. Ok.

This is my personal opinion based on the two sections I frequented – ‘Copywriting’ and ‘Proofreading’. Other people might, of course, have had a totally different experience (and opinion):

It ispossible to make money on GetaFreelancer, but ‘possibility’ comes in different shades, doesn’t it?

[1] would you write a 500-word article for $2? Actually, make it a dollar for some. I saw many of those on the site. You do get a few that offer better but it didn’t appear to be the norm from where I was standing.

[2] It’s a bidding site. If a lot of people on there are looking for how-low-can-you-go writers in terms of pricing (rather than quality), then how low would someone be willing to go to win a bid?

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SO, HOW DID IT GO FOR ME ON GAF?

I secured a writing gig for $30 from someone who was looking for a UK/US writer. I can’t actually remember how many other bidders I was up against, but I put in my bid and got it.

When I won the bid, an escrow payment was set up (i.e., GAF holds the money and releases it once the job is done).

The gig turned out to be proofreading and a bit of re-writing rather than solid writing. I went through about 7 documents which were no more than 3 pages each.

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AND HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR THE PROJECT TO WRAP UP?

All in all, it took about 2.5 weeks from the time I put in the initial bid to completing the project and receiving payment. This was because the documents weren’t sent to me in one go. As I’ve only done one gig to date, I don’t know if this is typical. My guess is that it varies from client to client.

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WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW (‘cos I didn’t comb thru the FAQ)…

– a commission is charged for every project (10% or $5, whichever one is greater). I was charged $5. Exception: sign up as a gold member (paying $10 a month), and you don’t get charged. (Jul ’09 – Fees have since changed – consult GAF for details).

– you can only withdraw money made if there is a minimum of $30 in your account (after the commission fee is subtracted, that is).

– there also seems to be a $1 fee to withdraw to a Paypal account. I don’t know if this is a variable fee. Other withdrawal methods seem to charge too (not sure if there’s a charge for wire transfer).

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DOCTOR, DOCTOR – I HAVE $25 STUCK IN MY GAF ACCOUNT…

And it’s been there for the past couple months – I just couldn’t get myself to do the lower paid gigs even if it was just so I could exceed the minimum and withdraw.

…until I had an A-ha moment!

Why don’t I deposit some money from my Paypal account to reach the minimum, then withdraw the whole amount? (Now, why didn’t I think of that before?!!)

Because of the 15-day first-payment delay ‘for security reasons’, the estimated processing time GAF has given is 12th-13th May. I can live with that.

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CONCLUSION…

Through my experience, GAF isn’t one of the first places I’d recommend to most people interested in writing. I just think there are sites out there that list gigs that appear to pay better, like:

Freelance Writing.com
Women on Writing (ezine)
Absolute Write (Paying Markets section):
– Paying Writer Jobs (yahoo group)
– the Digital Point Content Creation forum
– the Problogger Job board
Craigslist

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If you still wanna join GAF ‘cos you’re simply curious and wanna check it out yourself, that’s perfectly ok. I mean, my review is my personal experience after all – you might have a totally different experience. So good luck if you do join – let me know how you find it.

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Have a luv-er-ly weekend, y’all!

12 comments

  1. Petula Wright

    Very good review! I signed up for this too, but didn’t even bother to bid. I’m glad I read your review because I probably would have missed that in the FAQ too! Hmmm… interesting though. It may be something to consider (on a very small scale) in between other things/when things are slow just to keep the change flowing.

    I’ve checked out most of the other sites you’ve listed as better, but it’s been awhile so I’ll tap in soon and see what’s up! Thanks again…

    I always feel good after I leave your blog – great info, interesting to read and something to do! 🙂

  2. 2ThePoint

    You’re welcome!

    Something to consider on a VERY MINUTE scale. So small that you can’t find it. I hope things don’t slow down to the point where you consider writing a ‘$1 for 500-word article’. You deserve better, hun. We all do.

    Thanks for passing through / have a great week 🙂

  3. fracas

    I was googling for bad reviews of the GAF site, and found you. Thank you for being so honest about your experiences. The more I look into, the more I see that it’s better to just rely on one’s own self and ideas and not lose faith in them.

    Now… I’m off to read more at your blog. Your intro caught me. I think I like you! LOL.

  4. 2ThePoint

    Hi fracas 🙂

    Glad you found the review useful. I tend to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but candy. Well, my truth, anyway.

    I say HURRAH to self-made ideas. Long live each and every one of them!

    take care now and thanks for passing thru…

  5. Melanie Bremner

    I joined GAF about a year ago. I did a few underpaid gigs because i wanted to get some experience and testimonials under my belt before I could move on to my own site, and finding my own clients(which luckily is much better now).
    I was ripped off by one client because i didn’t use escrow and thought i could trust him since i had done a job before he paid for. Anyways, when he didn’t pay me for almost $100 worth of work, I contacted GAF support. They said “so sad, too bad, that is why we have escrow.”
    Well, I said so sad, too bad to me owing them their cut as well. Closed up my account and walked away.
    odesk.com is a place I ended up going to after with much better results, better paying jobs and tons more job offers.

    now I have my own website, clients, and steady income at a wage I feel is fair.

    I am enjoying your blog. keep it up.

  6. ebele

    Hello Melanie,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It’s great to see how you steadily built yourself up to where you are now. Well done, you!

    I had a similar experience (not on GAF) with a non-paying client. I’d worked with him before. I didn’t lose as much as you unfortunately did, but it’s still a bummer when it happens with a client you’ve previously worked with.

    Anyway, I’m really glad you’ve found your own groove in the freelance writing world. 🙂

    Take care and have a great weekend.

  7. ihatethetv

    Thanks for the review. I’m a coder casually looking into freelancing via the web.

    Though your review was a bit negative (seems fair… GAF seems better reviewed than elance and some of the other sites…

    Maybe think a lot of what we’re running into is competition from low cost areas of the world (russia, eastern europe, india, etc.)…

    Of course, writing is somewhat less easy to offshore to those areas…but for coding, that’s what I’m seeing.

    Anyway, after looking at these sites, I think I’ll consider them from the buyer side, maybe not as a provider…

  8. ebele

    Hi ihatetv,

    Thanks for dropping by.

    You never know, you might have better luck on there securing better-paying programming gigs compared with what a lot of the writing gigs on there offer.

    I read somewhere that low-cost providers aren’t necessarily the problem – they’re not the competition – and that if you market yourself well, you’ll find the clients that have no problem paying the rates one commands (and deserves).

    take care – have a great week.

  9. zombi3

    hi,

    i hope am not too late to ask this from you as its july 2010 now 😛

    anyways nice blog you get there. i was just passing by and stopped to ask you one thing that is, when you order a GAF debit card and its your fisrt withdarawal. apart from the 15 days required for so called security reasons how many days do they actually take to hand you that stinking debit card?

    and once great blog specially the name. really loved it.

    thanks 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. ebele

    Hi zombi3,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    As I’ve never requested a GAF debit card before, I’m afraid I can’t answer that question.

    You take care…

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