Biz3.0 » Blog » Infographics » oDesk vs Elance vs Freelancer and 99designs – Infographic

oDesk vs Elance vs Freelancer and 99designs – Infographic

Online global outsourcing is growing at a rapid pace with a projected growth of over 40% for the industry. The biggest platforms are oDesk, Elance and Freelancer. 99designs is really in a different category as it’s a crowdsourcing site more focused on design, whereas the other platforms encompass any type of online work.

In this infographic we compared the platforms according to funding received, number of freelancers and jobs posted, percentage they charge and cumulative earnings of freelancers. Great information if you are interested in the online outsourcing space!

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Free Bonus!  This infographic comes with a Cheat Sheet that you can download for FREE. Includes additional information like fees and charges for both employers and freelancers. Get it here

UPDATE: We got a comment from Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer. I have posted it here as it points out that some of the figures in the infographic (based only on publicly available information) are inaccurate:

“The graphics are neat but the numbers sourced for the infographic are way off. Freelancer user earnings are much higher. vWorker alone had $140M in user earnings before Freelancer acquired it. Also the commissions are 0-3% for employers and 0-10% for freelancers, not 13%. At 3% for freelancers, this is the cheapest by far for a freelancer doing any volume. The amounts raised by all companies is also incorrect. Elance and Odesk have raised significantly more than reported by Crunchbase and Freelancer hasn’t raised anything near $40m. Freelancer hits 8 million users today.”

Rob Rawson

About Rob Rawson

Rob Rawson is a co-founder of, a global recruitment platform where you can access very talented staff at affordable rates. They also have a technology called Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home. Find Rob on Google+, Twitter

82 thoughts on “oDesk vs Elance vs Freelancer and 99designs – Infographic

  1. Roy Miller

    Hi, I have gone through your post ,there is one more site offering platforms for the design professionals. Its , this site is good to create your own portfolio and freelancers can participate in open contest. Here you can get a chance to directly chat with the client so that you can get feedbacks on your designs. Also, they launch hidden contest so that there is no need to worry about your design being copied.

  2. Ali

    Elance start robbing freelancers now. Elance have very poor customer support and they do not bother to sort issues for freelancers. I am extremely disappointed after struggling for 1 month with their support to withdraw my own hard earned money from my account but they keep saying “Your issue requires further review from our Risk Management Team, and I’ve escalated ticket for their assistance. Please expect a reply within 2 business days.” and these 2 business days never comes till now 46th day.

    1. Emma Colina

      Hey Alice! Omg this is exactly happening to me – they don’t let me withdraw my funds!!! Have they fixed the issue?

  3. dean

    I just wish someone could come up with a platform where the only thing that happens is you have a choice of freelancers to choose from and freelancers have a choice of clients to choose from.

    No leaving feedback, no logging time – you just tell the person how much you want to pay and pay it.
    Freelancing is not easy.
    Those looking to build a business using freelancers do provide work but many freelancers have skills and I feel (im both a hirer and freelancer) that freelancers for the most part are not treated as well as they should.

    Minimum wage – this is bullshit if you ask me.

    Odesk – used to be good but now is sucky like Elance. They were good until they allowed comments on freelancers, introduced min wage, changed what jobs they show employers, now charging to apply for jobs.

    Elance – Same as above.

    Freelancer – What ever you do – NEVER ever use freelancer. Its like walking into a casino! popups for upsells, pop ups for this or for that – They rip you off with fees, their platform sucks big time. I would avoid Freelancer and go with Odesk rather.

    I just think again corporations have jumped on the band wagon of this entire system. IS there not a platform someone can develop where it is neutral ?

    Being a freelancer – hiring a freelancer – you are playing with the corporates again.

    Time for some bright young tech freelancers + marketers to get together and create a simple platform where everyone wins

    1. Victor C.

      Hello Dean,

      My name’s Victor and I’m from We’re sorry to hear that you’ve had such an experience on our site. We’ll be more than happy to clarify all of the concerns you’ve raised on your comment.

      If it won’t be much of an inconvenience on your end, we’ll deeply appreciate it if you can send us an email at, and we’ll address all of your concerns regarding the site.

      We’ll look forward to answering all of your queries. Thanks too for your feedback. Take care.

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  7. M Zubair

    I’ve been working with for last 4 years, they seems to be pretty fair in their transactions and they don’t suspend account for no reason like odesk the only problem I found is their fee which is more as compared to the other outsource plateforms.

  8. Antara Man

    As an entrepreneur, I wonder which one of the two is better? So far, I have used and currently hire and work with freelancers only on the Elance platform. Whenever I have entered and searched in Odesk, something repulsed me, I cannot explain why nor what. I would be happy to hear other entrepreneurs’ experiences on both platforms.

    1. michaux

      Hi Antara Man,’

      I’ve just had the most awful experience on odesk and I am hopefull they will rectify it. Without going into all the lurid details, the bottom line is this: Odesk now has over 10 million users. A high level support person told me they are working hard to eliminate users with duplicate profiles but it will take time. Sellers can hide thier ip or change thier ip. This is a very serious problem and has me serioulsy thinking of ONLY having employees come and work in my office.


  9. Lana

    Hey, i have worked with both freelancer and odesk.. both are questionable which is inconvenient considering the only other option is elance which is part of odesk now anyway.. freelancer ends up costing a whole lot more- very fishy with the charges as its not all transparent. Odesk suspended my account when i helped my partner set up his new odesk account (they saw it as multiple accounts) and to get it unsuspended i had to jump through hoops.. as an employer – after thousands paid for work on odesk this was very very frustrating.

  10. Nabil

    Hi Freelancer,

    I posted a lot of projects on Elance and Freelance, and I am always thinking about the most important issue that a freelance/Contractor face when dealing with such a sites to find work?

    Is it the finance issue?
    Is it the site complexity?
    Is it the type of people posting projects?

    Could I have feedback?


  11. Guy

    I’ve hired on contractor on ODesk and had a pretty bad experience – Not with the freelancer but with ODesk.

    Half way through our work contract, the worker informed me that her account was suspended. On the site, there was no indication that that was the case, so I called them and they couldn’t even confirm if the worker was suspended, let alone why. Apparently the workers account was also frozen so that she didn’t have access to the what I had already paid. Long story short, I resumed the work on eLance with the same worker, which so far has been good.

    Several annoyances from ODesk:
    – Wouldn’t confirm suspension of worker
    – Wouldn’t give access to worker of funds already paid (forcing me to make an arrangement with worker outside of ODesk)
    – After worker partially refunded me (since she couldn’t have access to funds) I had to open a ticket to get the funds deposited in my account after contacting them. That should be automatic.

    Overall, my experience has been much better with ELance compared with ODesk (even though elance owns ODesk…) They don’t seem to try to rip their freelancers off. With ODesk, their service is always presented as a “favor”.

    Bottom line: I recommend ELance over ODesk

    1. michaux

      WOW!!!! That is awful and I am so sorry this happened to you :( I hope this situation does not happen to me also. I’m in the middle of the exact same thing. I blew the whistle on a bad guy I hired, odesk told me to let it go to the dispute phase and dispute the charges. The stuff I uncovered and sent odesk about the bad guy will ASSUREDLY get his account deleted. I just hope odesk will refund my money after that happens :(

  12. Michael

    I’ve been with odesk for years as a employer but had my account suspended becuase apparently a worked and I hired are on the same ip address. Which we are, one worker lives in the same suburb and came over and worked from my house. I also have workers who go into the same vpn as me and would have the same effect.

    So anyway its been 3 days now, they havent fixed it and I called up. Got told that they are really busy lol. I dont actually care, thats there job and I actually didnt do anything wrong, now all my customers have to suffer from them.

    I also feel sorry for the coder I hired, he did a great job and ended up getting suspened, its also bad for him as he’s now lost his income.

    Looking at moving my operations to

  13. Leo Rey

    I used to get works from them but, since two weeks ago, they´ve put my account under revision and don´t let me search for new jobs.

    They have told me that this could be for four reasons:
    Poor feedback ( I´ve 4.6 stars of 5)
    Take works from their platform ( I´ve given them my passwork so they can check all my conversations with my clients…)
    Low performance ( as I told, 4.6 stars. My lower rate was 3,8 and, the second lower, was 4.9 stars…)
    Disputes ( I don´t even open disputes with people that didn´t pay me, just to avoid to have problems with the wrong people, to keep my profile clean…)
    Complains…but after 5 mails and 6 chats with their help system, they still can´t tell me if somebody have complain about anything…)

    Also, they told me that, in order to start the review, I must close all my contracts…then, in another mail, they told me that they can do it and I don´t need to close long term contracs…in another mail told me that the revision have started….and then, in the next mail, told me that they can´t start my revision before I CLOSE my contracts….and I need to told that to even my newest clients.

    SO unprofessional. You can check my profile: DeLeoRey.
    But belive me. DON¨T USE ELANCE.

  14. Kamal

    I am using Guru along with odesk and elance for more than 5 years as a business generation channel for my small web development work, I love to work with odesk as this is simple to use, free of any membership fee, easy local transfer, and great payment scheduling while we use tracker for hourly jobs, while in elance there are multi step process in hiring, payment, marking a job complete etc. Guru used to do well before they updated there website this February but now its no more worthy.

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  17. Mike

    Do not use, they are a scam site. They closed my account just because I reported their site to ripoffreport. They damaged my business forever. Stay away from them!

    1. Victor C.

      Hello, Mike. My name’s Victor and I’m from I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your account and I apologize for any inconvenience you’ve had with the site’s security protocols.

      I’d be happy to clarify all of your account issues. If it’s not much of an inconvenience, please email me at Kindly indicate your username and use the email address registered to your account when you send your email.

      I’ll wait for your reply. Thanks and take care always.

  18. Cipriux

    My advice is to avoid oDesk. They just closed my account without specifying any reason for that. Had that account for 4 months and already made 7-8 projects with 5 stars feedback. I worked hard to please the clients….4 months down the drain.

  19. Nicola

    I have been in oDesk since 2011 and it has been a good experience but i’d like to underline one fact: a client reported me because i asked him for a feedback before sending him the job, i didn’t trust him because he was behaving strangely for me. Notice that he already saw the job because we used a test server of mine to develop, i just had no reason to keep that site for me, i wanted to deliver my job and receive the payment. My work history in oDesk was stellar, all 5 star feedbacks.
    What happened was this: he refused to give me a positive feedback before receiving the site (but he was happy with the job done), instead he reported me because i asked for a feedback before delivering the job. This in oDesk terms is called something like “feedback pressure” and results in a violation of the terms.
    My account was suspended without even asking me what happened. They received the flag from the client and this was enough for them to immediately suspended my account, no way for me to explain anything.
    My account was reactivated after i signed a document at but now i do not appear in the search results that clients make when they search for freelancers (at least i do not appear in the first results, those give you the possibility of receiving invitations to interview and i used to receive lots of them, after this fact none came into my inbox).
    There are other job boards and lot of ways for a freelancer to market himself, this is what i will do in the future obviously.
    To me their attitude in this circumstance has been extremely superficial but i’ll take the lesson as a stimulus to go elsewhere and surely find something better then their roughness.

    1. Joseph

      I don’t blame oDesk. From the client’s side, it must have felt that you wouldn’t turn over the work they paid for unless they were going to give you a great rating.

  20. Crystal

    Been with odesk since 2010, and I never had a problem except for the clients I have had (hey, it is not odesk’s problem right?) Anyway, I’ve been away to do work outside odesk and now I have decided to go back. Since I’ve been gone for some time, I find it hard to win a project. So I tried applying for other outsourcing site. Thought freelancer was good, but HELL NO, they charges too much. It’s like they are just there to earn but not really to help clients and contractors- BOO.

    It’s still odesk for me. Good thing Odesk and lance, already has a joint venture. It’s uber powerful having both, I must say.

  21. Sumon Ahmed

    As a freelancer I think oDesk is the best. I have work at Elance, Freelancer and Now working at oDesk. oDesk is the best platform for me. Charge and Payment methods is really awesome here.

    However, I also learn some new thing form your post about some online outsourcing job market

  22. Kasim

    Hai Rob, i’m new to both elance and odesk. My profiles are almost 90 and 95 percent on elance and odesk but i’m finding hard to win a job on both the platforms. I’m from India and do you think my location also having impact in getting the job. Pls reply

    1. Ant

      What kind of work do you do? I’m seeking a great PHP coder, and a great designer for some small projects that if all goes well will be large projects. You can email me at ant @ znarly . com

  23. David Henderson

    Insightful article, would be great if it also included a summary of the posters opinions regarding each platform.

  24. electroE

    freelancer charged my creditcard an amount I didnt agree to. I registered my credit card and when I got paid for the completed job I saw that freelancer had removed some money from my credit card and deposited it in my wallet (+ 25.88 as deposit and -.88 as fee). I was never told of the deposit. I’m still not sure why was I even charged. True the money is available for withdraw on freelancer wallet but on my card balance it says they charged me a bit more (26.88). Also those stupid account upgrade ads: when I registered my paypal I almost payed for that bullshit because its selected as default. Dirty tactics.

    1. Victor C.

      Hi, electroE! My name’s Victor and I’m from Thanks for taking the time to communicate why our service did not meet your expectations. We have every desire to address your needs and to provide the best solution available to resolve your issue at the soonest time possible.

      Please accept our sincerest apologies for any trouble or inconvenience that you may have experienced with the site. We highly appreciate your feedback as it will assist us in becoming better at what we do. As with any site like ours, the best advertising we can have is word of mouth from a satisfied customer.

      I’d be more than willing to assist you and to clarify all your concerns. Please email me at I look forward to your response. Thanks and take care.

    2. tarr

      the same thing happened to me. I wasnt even aware I was registering my credit card to get money from it I thought I was registering a withdrawal method. I didnt send any message to those ppl I just though why bother. I wont work at freelancer ever again. Scammers. Think about it, how many ppl lost some cents just like us. Also whats with the stupid long time they withhold the money? last time I worked there the withhold time was 15 days!! and I thought odesk was abusive.
      Been working on odesk for years. Ive had no problem so far.

    3. J

      I had bad experience with Freelancer. I won a web design project, the value is about $400 (not remember the exact amount). After waiting for weeks, the employer still not gave me any data for me to start building the web. I contacted the employer but no response. Freelancer charge me a fee which is 10% of the bid. But the employer is a one-time-post-and-gone user, there nothing I can do to finish the project. I contacted Freelancer, and tell told me that is their rule to charge worker the fee if he/she win the bid no matter what will happen next. I close my account instantly after I know they care nothing about workers.

  25. Richard Lindbaum

    These are all very interesting comments.

    We’ve been working almost exclusively for Freelancer but I would suggest to stay away from them. I’m actually coming from the side of a job poster, not a freelancer, so its interesting to see that contractors are also complaining about fees.

    Our biggest gripe so far (and only recently noticed as we failed to pay close attention earlier) is that Freelancer has very odd methods of charging fees.

    Indeed not only do they charge a lot for posting a job and try and upsell you on almost anything (this is absolutely legal), they are also playing tricks on currency fluctuations.

    Their web site lets you add funds in a currency of your choice, however, if they list something for $10, you will find that $11 was debited (maybe as a result of PayPal fees?) our currency is Australian $’s (they too are an Australian company), but if we want to pay in US$’s they will first convert the some to Au$’s and after deducting that from your account (normally a higher amount), they later convert again to US$s – thus making money on the spread which can be a LOT.

    We’ve posted over 120 jobs with them, but now looking at oDesk and Elance. My advice to a freelancer or somebody looking to get a job done, you would be better off staying away from these guys.

    We are in fact, seriously contemplating a class action suit against these guys. And no, I’m not from oDesk or from Elance or have a personal grudge, I just felt compelled to write this post after reading the other entries and thought I’d share our experience.

    1. Victor C.

      Hello, Richard. I’m Victor from, and I’m so sorry for all the trouble you’ve had with the site’s fees and charges.

      I’d be happy to help you on this and to clarify all of your issues with the fees we charge to our users. If it’s not much of an inconvenience, please email me at I’ll wait for your reply. Thanks and take care always.

    2. Petter

      If they do what you indicate, it is really unfortunate. Making money on the currency spread is like the plague that companies think nobody notices.

      The spread when doing a double-currency conversion like what you say they do can be up to 5%, and if they do the same trick on the receiving end, they could charge as much as 23% on the job!

      (3% + 5% on the poster, 10% + 5% on the freelancer).

      Your data is really worth investigating!

    3. Justine

      Hi Richard,

      Yes this has been my experience as well. and I’m also based in Australia. I’ve posted over 30 jobs on Freelancer over the last 12 months. Not only have I found that the fee’s are not adding up but I’m also getting charged fee’s in between hiring contractors.

      I think I’ll be taking my business elsewhere. This is a pretty dodgy service.

      Good luck with the litigation!

    4. Victor C.

      Hi, Justine. My name’s Victor and I’m from We apologize for any inconvenience that you may have had with the site’s fees and charges.

      We value your business and we’ll be more than happy to clarify your concerns regarding your project fees. If it’s okay with you, please email me directly at about the matter.

      I’ll wait for your email. Thanks and take care.

  26. kevin

    We are featured on to raise money for new packaging.

    We are promoting 99designs on the crowd fund but 99designs backed out of a link agreement. You can see it by searching dashcrab.

    We asked them like, tweet, and mention the campaign if we featured them to be used on the campaign. We just learned their PR person left the company and they cannot do anything for us. I’d like to remake my video and website to cite that once our funding is complete, we will use designcrowd to create the new packaging.

    Is there anything in exchange as in mutual support of each other?

    Please visit dashcrabusa

  27. Atiar Rahman

    Nice topic. I have learned many things from this article about outsourcing. I have a dumb question. I have a site named and want to redesign it by freelancers from 99design. The problem why 99design cut 40% of anyone’s earning? Isn’t it too much? I’m sorry because I’m newcomer in outsourcing field :-)

    1. AdminAdmin

      Hi, sorry for the late reply. Regarding your question, it is how 99designs pricing policy is. Not that many designers mind :)

    2. Ahmed

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for the nice infographic. Freelancers will know something better about where he/she working. I thing all freelancers should know details about his/her virtual office :)

  28. Hasib Khan

    Hi..Rob !!

    Thanks for your great post. Now we can understand about current ratio about Biggest marketplace. I love oDesk. About 4 years I work with oDesk. It’s a Better marketplace from any other. Now a days we faced some problem for oDesk new update Bast Matching system. That’s why I’m little upset. Maybe it’s update work properly asap. otherwise I don’t leave from oDesk. Just personally I Suggest for oDesk Please clear properly your new bast matching system. Thanks again Rob for your nice information.

  29. K Goldsworthy

    Having recently registered with both Freelancer and oDesk, I have several issues with Freelancer as well;
    – Fees – you are encouraged as a bidder to upgrade your bid but so far many of the contracts are not finalised at all, or are still not awarded, long after the closing time – seems unethical that they can take money from you for bid upgrades when contracts might never be awarded! Also Freelancer charges you every time to do their online tests, whereas oDesk does not charge for any tests.
    – Job Content – maybe its the searches I am using, but the site seems completely infested with jobs for SEO writing at pitiful rates – a few cents per page or less, and also with requests for people to write term papers and assignments, even a thesis paper or two! Unfortunately these types of listings completely overwhelm other offerings for writing at present.
    – Fake Reviews – these are hundreds of jobs asking people to write and register hundreds, even thousands of fake “Likes” and reviews of social networking sites. Disappointing that there is no policing of standards for so many entries.

    If this is the way of online contracting its pretty disappointing when the bar has been set so low.

  30. Hosam Nabil

    From this figure, i see that oDesk is the best one which freelancers can earn with.

    I am thinking to start a freelancer job in grant and proposal writing , if any one can help me or have information about this field i wish help me and give advice about how can i start, what is the hourly rate that this job need & any other useful information.

    I’m looking forward for your answers :) :)

  31. John

    I previously used as well. I just registered today for elance to give it a try. My main concern is with privacy. I get the feeling that everything I enter into the freelancer website is available for public viewing. I asked once to remove something from the website and they refused to! I later wanted to delete my account, all projects, etc hoping that I could manually remove the information myself. I THEN discovered that it costs $5/project to have them deleted from the website. In my opinion this should be illegal (although I am not a lawyer and don’t know what the laws are regarding privacy).

    So far with Elance they make it VERY clear what information I enter will be public and what information I enter will be private. So far it’s looking VERY promising. It feels like Elance is there to help me succeed and be comfortable. Whereas, it feels like Freelancer exists solely for profit.

    I also get a “bad taste in my mouth” every time I use I feel like I get charged for clicking on anything on the page. They upsell everything that they can think of. There are so many “hidden” fees it’s not funny (I say hidden because you don’t discover them until you’ve already been charged, at which point Freelancer will just refer you to some page online burried deep in their website to explain their fees).

    Also, do not use on your cell phone (for convenience). You’ll accidentally click something and be charged for it.

    1. shiv

      THEN discovered that it costs $5/project to have them deleted from the website

      this is lot of people do Junk posting that is reason also you will cancel the project if you do not want it..

  32. apollyon

    oDesk have big problem for developers.
    I was developer on oDesk,too.
    I have worked hard for oDesk,but oDesk have suspended my account and didn’t allow to withdraw my funds on oDesk.
    For withdrawing my funds, first, they asked that I complete successfully my all contracts.
    When I have completed successfully, they need to confirm my work from clients and they told that they allow me only if clients allow .
    so in order to confirm,they have wanted that I ask clients opening ticket between client and oDesk.
    If I am client and client finished contract, I’ll think uncomfortably contractor who waste their time.
    oDesk torment developer with developer’s funds.
    In fact, It seem that oDesk want my funds(14000$).
    oDesk is trifling site.

    1. Rob RawsonRob Rawson Post author

      I am approving this comment but honestly I don’t believe this. I think there is more to this story and it’s very unlikely that oDesk would confiscate $14k of developers funds. There is likely a legitimate reason why oDesk did this.

    2. Jalle

      Hi apollyon

      I am in very much same situation as you are with oDesk. They are suspending my account asking to finish all contracts first.
      I would raeally love to hear from you on this issue. it would be great if you add me on skype (jaskotr1) .


  33. Kristine

    I have bad experience with They charges and up selling to much! hate that.

    Even if I want to delete my project, they will charge $5.. it doesn’t make any sense for me.

    I stick with elance for now. Good infographic btw

    1. shiv


      You also option to cancel the Job .. delete project is not only one option and even freelancer charge only when you hire someone..

      not only hire process. as you know elance or other portal also charge
      no one free


  34. Liam Kyle


    This was an interesting comparison. I’ll need to do some more digging. However, as a direct result of Matt Barrie’s (CEO of Freelancer) post, my firm will never use Freelancer.

    He accused you of having erroneous information, but provided no data/sources to validate the information he provided.

    And he failed to mention the membership fee requirements that Freelancer imposes.

    I will be sure to reblog this.


    1. Rob RawsonRob Rawson Post author

      Hi Liam,

      To be fair, the information that we provided is based on publicly available sources. As there is not a lot of information available for I would think that it is fair for him to challenge the figures and I think that he is correct in saying that the figures we provided are not accurate. However he can’t totally challenge the figures without revealing all his numbers which he doesn’t want to do.

      We could revise our graph based on adding in the information of $140 million, however instead of doing this we just added his comments to give extra perspective to the figures.

      Not that total revenue through the platforms:
      oDesk reached $1 billion.
      I would estimate that including is likely over $400million at this point.

      Also regarding this comment “Elance and Odesk have raised significantly more than reported by Crunchbase and Freelancer hasn’t raised anything near $40m”, I have no information to the contrary and I would say that there is no reason to not believe what he has said, so I would assume that this is also true.

      So overall we added in his comments because we do believe that are numbers are inaccurate, but we did the best we could with publicly available information, and anyone interested in the numbers will have to do their own analysis and come to their own conclusion.

      Regarding the membership fee, I think you have to come to your own conclusions about this. Personally I don’t agree with a membership fee for freelancers, however it’s not a big deal for freelancers that are making a lot of money through the platform.

      Also it’s true that with the membership fee, has the lowest percentage take from any of the platforms.

  35. Paul Dang

    We meet and talk with many people who use Elance for their freelancing works. Btw, most of them hate Elance because this website doesn’t protect freelancers as other websites do. Also, they will block your account whenever they “think” you’re not professional freelancer. And most of cases, they keep your money that you worked hard to receive that money. In our case, we lost totally $20k when they blocked our account. We hope they sleep well in the night time after doing such things with us.

    1. Rob RawsonRob Rawson Post author

      Approving this comment but really would say that I would need a response from Elance to trust this information. I find it highly unlikely that they took your $20k. If they did you can go to the better business bureau and I’m sure that Elance would return the money. I am pretty sure that Elance would never keep $20k of a freelancer’s money.

  36. Husaini

    I love Odesk as I’ve been working for 4 years there.
    I hate frelancer because you need to pay for upgrade ALMOST everything, as for free member you’ll just get limitation everywhere. That means you need to deposit some money first before getting jobs (of course if you’ll have it).

  37. Red Man

    Thanks for all the tips, a basic google search will also show you many unhappy freelancers and employers of one of your suggested companies above and I mean many complaints, I am glad I found your page, that with the many bad feedback comments I read, I am off to join eLance.

  38. Alleli Aspili

    I have experienced getting jobs from oDesk and to be honest, I actually liked their first website design and layout. The current one seems to have been inspired by the trend with web designs right now, but it did make me more confused before. I never tried ELance or Freelancer. I probably won’t get to do that anymore since I have a stable job right now. Guess where? In an outsourcing company – cool!

    1. Rob RawsonRob Rawson Post author

      In my experience for high quality article writing you are best to look at getting guest posts from experienced bloggers. Someone who has their own blog and is looking to do some guest posts. If you are looking for someone to re-write existing content or for easier tasks it’s possible to find someone on any of these sites (Freelancer, oDesk etc)

  39. Jay

    Matt Barrie should have also noted that Freelancer additionally makes money from its freelancers by charging them monthly memberships, while oDesk has free membership.

  40. Erwin Castro

    I’m a blogger and web developer, nice infographic neat and smooth, I’m on freelance and done already some freelance jobs with those sites- oDesk, Elance and Freelancer, of the three oDesk is far more advance and better, well-established, nice navigation.

  41. Matt

    Hi Rob

    The graphics are neat but the numbers sourced for the infographic are way off.

    Freelancer user earnings are much higher. vWorker alone had $140 in user earnings before Freelancer acquired it. Also the commissions are 0-3% for employers and 0-10% for freelancers, not 13%. At 3% for freelancers, this is the cheapest by far for a freelancer doing any volume. The amounts raised by all companies is also incorrect. Elance and Odesk have raised significantly more than reported by Crunchbase and Freelancer hasn’t raised anything near $40m. Freelancer hits 8 million users today.


    1. Rob RawsonRob Rawson Post author

      I apologize for the errors this is based on the publicly available information that we could find. I will add a comment in the article also

    2. Nham Nguyen

      Hi Rob,

      I think you don’t have acknowledge about If you want your project fee is 3%, you need become gold member. You have to pay $50 to become GOLD MEMBER.

    3. Hans C

      The post is so awesome it even attracted Matt Barrie in it!

      @Nham Nguyen should he apply water to the burnt area? haha.. That was so hilarious.

      But it is no secret that Freelancer took a huge hit with their poor performance these past few years… though checking the site now, it seems that they have finally worked on the changes to make the site better.

    4. Abed Ibrahim

      Dear Matt is very comfortable to use and to make money but me as a graphic designer with some friends are rarely do because either the:
      – most of winning logos are stock logos found on a lot of sites and the contest holder don’t know.
      – the chosen logo is the opposite of what CH requested in the brief.
      – the winner is the CH him or herself, so they get a free logo with a trick.

  42. Web Eminence

    Great info. I was actually looking for some of this info a few days ago and had to go to the different sites just to compare the different stats. It’s nice to have them in one convenient place on a slick infographic.

    I’m a big fan of elance. I just started with them a long time ago and never really had a reason to switch. For those wanting to post projects on elance, I did a video walkthrough of the process of posting a project. It’s pretty easy.

  43. Alice

    As a copywriter, I’m not familiar with 99designs, but I was curious to know which of the other three rules:) Freelancer has the bigger freelancer to job ratio and the lowest freelancer earnings – it did seem more competitive to me than oDesk or Elance. Clever of me to be present only on these two :D Thanks for the statistics, Rob, very useful!


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