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as the specter of eviction and starvation pay a friendly visit to my tiny world, i turn my fancy to elance.com and wonder if anyone here has ever done this or any of the similar bid for job sites? it seems like a large portion of the bids are from 4th world economies overseas that excel at minimal bids.
it's an elegant model but is it at all practicable?
I ried it once, nothing came out of it.
May I suggest craigslist? I got a contract with a famous action sports network though it. (and tons of design my kids napking sort of crap)
a: thanks for the suggestions to alternates. if there's a pecking order or any echelon amongst them i'd be interested in hearing.
b: how do you do the craigslist thing without escrow? just treat it like a normal contract job and have them paypal you in advance or some such?
both good suggestions though. thanks.
From my experience, for _any_ contracting jobs I suggest you get at least 25% and probably 50% up front. If a client balks at that they probably suck and you don't want to work for them.
Create them a pro looking estimate, when they accept then invoice em for your deposit....work and bill every 2 weeks, applying that deposit to your invoices and billing for the rest.
Shameless plug: my software http://cashboardapp.com can manage that whole process for you.
PS: Speaking from experience here. Craigslist I found some cool jobs when I was freelancing, but also found a lot of shit people who wanted work for cheap or didn't know enough about these types of projects to be any good as a client.
On CL you'll probably have to do some education about pricing, terms, etc. Ensure you go into those discussions knowing exactly how you want your project structured.
I'd imagine on the higher class boards dedicated to our type of work that the clients mostly know how the process goes.
More time spent speccing and not getting work via elance. Not to mention offers for jobs you can't do, or just straight up spam.
I'd like to extend my concern and sympathy for your situation - most of us have been there, life doesn't look so grand when there's that cold twisting feeling in the pit of your stomach. It'll resolve and you'll pull through, but until then take mine, and many others' here good wishes and hope. Sleep well, work hard, life'll turn round soon enough. All the best, sir.
Fucking elance is just the most depressing shit ever.
Daily blasts of jobs that you probably could do, but that are so specific in their requests, and at such a low rate, you know they're going to be ultra persnickity and everything will require just one-more-change-can-we-change-it... what-about-blue-not-that-blue. on and on.
And being undercut to do medium and advanced programming by people doing it for $10 an hour - what the fuck. ?
Fuck the lot of it.
i chased that for a few solid months. got really really good and quick about writing "compelling" rfps about why they shouldn't just hire the cheapest bid. at least my writing skills didn't atrophy. but i never got any design work out of the deal.
you can use the 3rd world stuff to your advantage.
most of the ppl hiring are sick of dealing with shit work quality, ppl who don't understand english and who don't 'get' what the client wants.
if you can put your ego to the side, and think 'business'.... when you post your bids, you can really clean house doing pretty solid work....
I've outsourced a lot of work on elance odesk etc. mostly programmers, software developers....
I did Elance back in 2000 when it was still free and no companies from overseas. Guess what? It was still bad. Even locals low bid on the projects. I got 2 projects and one person took 4 months to pay me.
On the other hand, I had much more luck on craigslist.