Freelancer com Review. Scam Or No Scam?

In this article you will see how Freelancer works,  some of the problems for members….and why they get so emotional!

It is strange how the awkward truth can be so funny! Watch the 2 minute video further down to see what I mean.

Freelancing is an exciting concept for those who want to earn from home or from anywhere in the world.

I started out as a true freelancer many years ago, not through an agent, but true – submit- scripts – to – editors – style of freelancing. Freelancing can be lucrative but it’s a long road to success and if you use an agency you may never get anywhere.

Matt Barrie Owner
Matt Barrie Is The Australian Owner Of A Crowdsourcing Platform With 20 Million Members

Name; Freelancer


Owner; Matt Barrie Find out more.            

Cost; Free To Enlist / Fees Apply

Rating; 60/100

What is

Freelancer is an online outsourcing agency that connects writers to jobs. The majority of projects on Freelancer are ‘one offs’. They also list a small amount of manual labor, local jobs.

Why is Freelancing so popular?

Outsourcing is in high demand and very cost effective for employers.

For example, if a business team doesn’t have a specific skill or they need many hands for a short period, outsourcing can quickly gather qualified people.

Outsourcing allows the employer to keep permanent staff numbers to a minimum and reduces costs in a number of other ways.

Freelancers on the other hand, do not get the same workplace entitlements of a traditional employee. So the employer saves on outlays of superannuation, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, insurance, recruitment and training costs. Even the cost of office space is reduced, making outsourcing profitable.

You might get Repeat hires at Freelancer if the hirer and hiree are mutually satisfied. The freelancer goes on to work regular full time hours for one employer. Unfortunately the payments remain under the Freelancer banner, so you still get no entitlements.

An estimated 53 million people in the US are freelance workers.

This figure includes the self employed in traditional service businesses.

Approximately 4 million are Freelance Workers specifically associated with the creative sectors. 

 Why would you do freelance work?

  • The main benefit is working from a home or location independent.
  • You can save a lot of wasted time and cost spent on commuting to an office.
  • Flexibility with your schedule. exceeded 20 million registered users in July 2016.           

This includes freelance workers and employers.

What jobs are offered on

Seriously, you will find project work in  just about any field on the Freelancer site! Freelance Content Writers, Freelance Photography Jobs….. Take a look at this list below or check out the entire list of jobs at Freelancer.

Digital Freelance work is spurred on by the burgeoning numbers of internet users and their need for technical assistance to compete in ever growing online business world. Freelance employment for knowledge workers, technologists, professional writers, IT and media workers has never been greater. has posted

over 9.65 million jobs in total.

Who Can Use Freelancer?

Anyone who has a skill to help someone else complete a job. You don’t have to be the top expert in your field, but that works too. Some of the projects are quite simple, if you know how. But they are difficult for people who don’t know how. An example is formatting this’s kind of easy for me, but anyone who doesn’t know how to operate WordPress would be completely lost.

No matter what language, skill, technical, professional, or creative field you work within or need done, it is represented at Freelancer.  It is a truly open market.

What About Earnings?

You can earn a good income by freelancing depending on your skills and confidence to promote yourself. A confident approach will always have more appeal to your prospect….similar to a traditional job application. is like an auction for skills with freelancers making bids on jobs. You need to decide what you are willing to accept for your work. If you have superior skills in an unsaturated field you can obviously charge premium rates.

Your skills are valuable, charge accordingly.

How Does The System Work? Review What's The Story?
Millions of Small Businesses Use To Turn Their Ideas Into Reality

If you join Freelancer as a worker, you will complete a profile outlining your skills and areas of expertise, qualifications and expected rate of pay. (There are many, many more steps to joining… more on that later).

  • The hirer will invite people to bid on their project . They will browse through the relevant profiles, comparing qualities and searching for a good match to the project, eventually selecting the perfect freelancer for their needs.
  • There is a chat line to help the hirer and the freelancer to clarify exactly what the assignment entails.
  • Meanwhile, you are notified when projects that match your skills are posted.
  • You review all the details of the project, including the time frame, budget, fixed price or hourly rate and exactly what skills and tasks are required. Some hirers require progress reports.
  • Once you are clear on the terms of the assignment you place a bid for the job.
  • The hirer will choose the winning bid. The cheapest bid does not necessarily win the job.

The hirer’s decision is also based on your profile qualifications, reputation, certification and your success rate of completing previous assignments on time and budget.

  • Payment is suspended in trust and distributed when the hirer reports they are satisfied with the work. For larger projects and amounts there is the Milestone Payment System where funds are released to the freelancer as stages of completion are reached. Find out more about Freelancer Payment Methods here.
  • After the project is completed the hirer must give feedback on a worker’s performance.  Feedback is published on your profile. Your profile ends up much like a comprehensive resume.
  • Of course the payment will be minus any fees  associated with using Reductions to the standard fees are available as optional upgrades for a number of different project conditions, as in repeat hiring and full time hour hires.

Why some Freelancers Get More Work than others.

Freelancer Review Phone App
The App Keeps You Connected To Projects And Clients, Wherever You Are. *** Not All Logo Designs Projects Will Be Worth $3,560. USD!
  • Number one reason is they bid frequently. Another way to get more assignments through Freelancer is to take advantage of their Bid Upgrade options and Sponsored Bids. Find out more.
  • Experienced freelancers ensure a full understanding of the tasks before bidding. If you execute a task incorrectly it will effect your feedback, your payment and your profile for future work.
  • Most employers are time poor, so a concise bid and precise terms regarding delivery time and cost is essential for winning a bid.
  • Prompt response to employer communication is vital to freelance success. now has an App for iOS and Android to keep you connected wherever you are. 
  • A well presented portfolio encourages prospects to hire a suitable candidate. The profile builder has a simple portfolio upload section. Be sure to protect your published works with a watermark.
  • Successful freelancers tend to offer very competitive bids and are accurate about their capabilities.
  • Those who have taken the Freelancer Skill Test Exams get a badge on their profile for each subject and level which confirms their ability. Exams are available for a variety of skills eg; SEO and  English. Badges help them earn 50% more according to

What Are the Fees At

My Basic Overview.

You can check the full schedule of fees and conditions here.

Freelancer website will show fees in the currency of your country . Here they are reported in Australian Dollars.

Freelancer is free to sign up but it is not free.

Skill Test Exam Fees; are $5.50 for a one off exam or $5.45 per month. When you opt for monthly payments, you are eligible to sit as many tests as you like. This way you accumulate a badge collection representing your certification in selected fields. Dots below badges indicate your level of achievement. These are added to your public profile.

Are the Freelancer Skill Tests legitimate?

Here is what Chris W reported on…if it wasnt’ so ridiculous it would be funny

“I took their basic numeracy skills test so I could add something else to my profile to show to prospective clients. Their tests – or at least the ones I looked at – cost $5.00 plus a processing fee of around $0.42. Here’s an actual question exactly as it appeared on the test I took: “John eat 2 pieces of apples a day. Now, is Thursday, but he remembered the his apples left after eating apples during Monday are 30 pieces after that, he gave the half of all his apples to her daughter. How many apples left, if today is Friday after eating the two pieces of apples?”

Transaction Fees; for Credit Card, PayPal or Skrill are $0.30 AUD + 2.3%

Sponsored Bid; is 2% of bid amount (minimum $4.00 USD maximum $50.00 USD).

Arbitration Fee; for a Milestone dispute is $5.50 or 5%, whichever is greater.

Maintenance Fee; User accounts that have not logged in for 6 months will incur a maintenance fee of up to $11.00 AUD per month until the account is either terminated or reactivated. Details here.

Taxes; Australian residents are subject to 10% Goods and Services (GST) tax. All prices on this page include GST.

Membership Plans; Please see the dedicated page here.

Fixed Price Projects Fee; is 10% or $5.50 AUD, whichever is greater.

Hourly Project Fee; is 10%.

PLEASE READ THE LIST ABOVE CAREFULLY. ** These costs are unavoidable. **

Freelancer is free to sign up, create a profile, select skills of projects you are interested in, upload a portfolio, receive project notifications, discuss project details with the employer, bid on projects ( free members initially receive 8 bids per month) and enter contests. Optional bid upgrades may be purchased to promote a bid.

For Fixed Price Projects, if you are awarded a project, and you accept, we charge you a small project fee relative to the value of the selected bid, as an introduction fee. If you are subsequently paid more than the original bid amount, we also charge the project fee on any overage payments.

For hourly Projects, the fee is levied on each payment as it is made by the employer to you.

Any Problems With

It would be unrealistic to expect zero complaints about a company with over 20 million subscribers. Only can say how many complaints are received and resolved.

Having said that, I feel that I should outline the nature of complaints I have easily found on public forums, but cannot substantiate. From my own experience, I agree with some of the complaints listed below.

  • scam alertPersonal Identity Security – prides itself on having a rigorous verification process. It certainly has a lot of hoops to jump through when signing up.   Verification steps include Facebook, LinkedIn, Mobile, email. Then you create an account using your PayPal or other banking details, which they hold and have access to as fees arise. You must provide a copy of your Passport, Driver’s Licence  or a Utility Invoice.

While all of these steps are easy enough to do, such a compilation of sensitive information puts in an enormous position of trust and responsibilty to protect the user’s information.  Some freelance workers, including myself, are uncomfortable enough they decide to freelance in other ways and maintain their own security and privacy.   

In Australia there is legislation ‘The Anti Money Laundering Act’ requiring certain financial bodies to obtain client proof of identity. This may or may not apply to the service provider

  • scam alertThere are complaints about money withdrawn from PayPal accounts without the agreement or knowledge of the freelancer.

           Most of these issues arise because people have overlooked the terms of membership. The fees are very clearly stated if you take the time to find them all. Please see my brief list of fees and charges in the official links.

  • Customer service complaints revolve around difficulty in making contact, delays or failure to respond, unhelpful and unpleasant staff.
  • Confusion prevails for some freelancers where their accounts have been suspended,  whilst holding large amounts of money. Workers say they get no explanation about the suspension and no easy contact to resolve the issue. Perhaps this is where the Arbitration Fee kicks in, if the problem relates to milestone payments.
  • scam alertSome employers are bad at describing their project, slow to respond and in some instances don’t ever award a bid. This wastes a freelancer’s time and bids (8 per month). In some of these instances freelancers have paid extra money  ($1.10 AUD each) to have their bids highlighted for better exposure.
  • Difficulty withdrawing funds from Get help with that below.
  • Difficulty closing a Account. Get help with that below, too.

Help; How to withdraw money from your Freelancer account.

  1. Log in
  2. Hover over YOUR BALANCE (top right )
  4. Choose your withdrawal Method (some methods are not available in some countries.)
  5. Complete the details

Help; How to cancel Your PayPal Billing Agreement In 3 Simple Steps.

  1. Log in to
  2. Go to Your PAYMENT & FINANCIALS page
  3. Go to PAYMENT METHODS section
  4. Click on the X next to your PayPal account.

Best Takeaway Tip? Read The Fine Print! has an comprehensive list of conditions which you must understand. Here are some examples;

  1. A 15 day holding period applies before first moneys are released, for security reasons (quote).
  2. Wire Transfers incur a $15 USD fee (in and out).
  3. Withdrawals are processed twice per week, with lodgement deadlines.

See help with service difficulties and conditions of payment here.

Why do some members get so fired up about Freelancer?

It is just too complicated! Fees are all over everything you do. Every one is making money off the worker. The worker gets the least value from the service…..sound familiar?

Is really A Scam?

No, agency is not a scam.

Everything they do is legal and legit. It is up to you to read the fine print is a technical solution to connect jobs and skills. Users on both sides of the hire pay for the service. Fees are clearly described. 

What do others say?

I have affiliate marketing colleagues who have also worked with My colleagues are mostly expert scam sniffers who don’t hold back when they smell something fishy! The low- down from them is this… is a difficult way to earn because of the high fees and low bids. Affiliate marketers are earning better money elsewhere. See their comments here.

Is freelancing a good way to earn your freedom?

Talented people from poorer countries stand to gain the most from They can charge a much higher rate to  overseas clients than what they can earn in the home country. Western hirers are willing to take advantage of the lower international bids  for what is otherwise very expensive work in their own countries.

The problem with the freelancing method is it keeps you tied to an hourly rate or the fixed price rate. You will only ever earn that much per hour/project.

Freelancing vs affiliate marketing.

Freelancing Simplified

You sign up with an agency like and pay the associated costs (listed above). You bid for a job. You do the job. If the buyer likes it you get paid, minus agent fees or you rewrite and then get paid. Then you find another job to bid on.

Affiliate Marketing Simplified

You get your own website. You write stories and product reviews. You add affiliate links. When someone buys a product through your link, you get paid a percentage. Your article stays online getting viewed by more and more visitors. Every time they buy, you get paid

Jonathon the Freelancer example;

jobs online for teensThink about Jonathan for example. He is a freelance SEO dude. He sets his rate at $20 dollars per hour. He will only ever earn as much as he can bear to work…40 hours per week, 50 hours per week, 60? 70? 

So, in the end, Jonathon is  still tied to a desk and a tight schedule. He gets pressed to bid lower to compete and is forever searching for more projects to bid on and hopefully win. 

My affiliate marketing example;

The Cashed Up Nomad
Janelle, The Cashed Up Nomad, always sniffing out safe ways to make money online.

Two years ago I wrote a 2000 word review about a great product. I became an affiliate of that company and put my affiliate link into the article. Every day approximately 30 people read my review and some of the readers buy the product at $499. I get paid 33% = $165.

Yes it took me a few hours of writing, maybe 6 including research.  That one particular article, written once,  earns for me over and over again. perhaps for years. Like all affiliates, I have dozens of articles working for me.

Clever affiliates are reinvesting their earnings to outsource articles through agencies like Freelancer. has its own Affiliate Program Open to All Members. Find out more. Referrals are earned by placing Banners with embedded ID links onto your websites and social media. Commission is 100% of the associated project for 100 days. Note; This is only for B2B advertising, not to freelancers.    

 P.S. I am not affiliated with      



Owner; Matt Barrie.           

Cost; Free To Enlist / Fees Applythumbs down

Rating; 60/100

My Final Opinion is not a scam. It is a Legit Business. The main risks with is;

  • you may end up being undervalued for your good work.
  • it is one of those ‘Big Brother’ accounts.
  • you must read the fine print.

My experience with so far is this… I am not comfortable with giving so many of my personal identity details to an online entity. I draw the line at my Passport and other Photo ID being stored by a third party. Identity theft is a complication I am not willing to risk. Therefore, I can never be a member.

I am not suggesting will misuse my personal details. It’s the ‘crooks’ I worry about. Storage of these details is open to abuse.

Want a better way to use your skills online?   Find out more here.

(without having to surrender every last detail!)

best way to make money online

See what is my number one recommended way to earn your freedom online.

I hope you have a clearer idea of through this review. I am very interested in your feedback. Please drop your comment below and share this article with the people who need to know.

Go far, go well, from Janelle.

Founder of The Cashed Up     Earn Your Freedom Online.

Related Articles;



















  1. Andrew said:

    Thank you for a very detailed review of Freelancer. com. I think you have just about covered everything there is.

    I looked at both outsourcing some of my projects, and offering my skills to Freelancer. com, but the one thing that turned me away was some of the negative feedback that was around. Plus there was a lot of competition in my area of expertise, so it was not going to be worth it for me.

    Thanks again!

    July 31, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Thanks Andrew. Glad it could help a little. I’ll be doing more reviews about the freelance agencies , Upwork is next. Meanwhile if you really want to learn how to create an enduring income online see my #Top Recommendation in the top menu. Go well from Janelle.

      August 2, 2016
  2. Marcus said:

    I’ve never actually hired anyone from Freelancer, but I have been on the other end of it trying to find work. I found it quite difficult, actually. It was really competitive, with many other workers offering their services for very low prices. For example, some people were offering to write articles for $1 or $2. They must have been Indian or using some kind of article spinning tool. What do you think?

    But I do like the concept of people working online like this. One site I have worked for is Text Broker. They pay quite well. I have also used them to get articles written for my own websites and it has worked out well.

    August 5, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Thank you for this great input. I have not heard of Text Broker, so I will definitely investigate that one.

      I did notice on Freelancer that some of the freelancers advertise that they work in teams, around the clock….which sounds a lot like a sweat factory or, Yes, an article spinning tool. Surely, that is not a sustainable practice, because the quality of work will never get them rehired. It could also explain why there is so much rubbish content online.

      Thanks for your insights. janelle

      August 5, 2016
  3. Anke said:

    Hi Janelle, thanks so much for your thorough article about freelancer. I must say the sound of high fees and high competition and therefore low payment doesn’t sound appealing to me. I am looking forward to your review about upwork. I have heard quite good things about it.
    Keep up the great work!

    August 7, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Sneak preview…Upwork has high fees too. The trick is to not bid for work that is not worth your time. If you want $100 per hour you have to write very well, know your subject, be a native speaker of the language, give great value to the client. If you can do all that, you will have clients coming back for more.

      I believe you should ignore the competition and play your own game. Any one who pays under $70 for 3000 word article is not expecting 5 or even 4 star quality.

      I was earning $70 for a 800 word article back in the 90’s. …for magazines who gave me author credit for the article too. That was before internet, of course. I think the value is still there, maybe better quality articles because research is now so much easier.

      Thanks for your feedback Anke. Go far and go well from Janelle

      August 8, 2016
  4. Gary said:

    You make some great points about Freelancer and I think your concerns are well founded.

    You mentioned how they demand too much personal information. I agree. My goodness, it not like you’re applying to guard the emperor’s gold!

    I usually tell writers to avoid Freelancer because of the low payout, but it’s a place to get experience if that’s what you want. Although, it’s not worth compromising your personal information.

    For writers and people knowledgeable of WordPress, they can earn far more as an affiliate marketer.

    November 29, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      aint that the truth! Affiliate marketing allows you to get paid for the same article over and over. Freelancing, regardless of the agent, pays once.

      November 29, 2016
  5. Jenny said:

    After reading this very thorough review I think I’ll be sticking to affiliate marketing for myself for the time being unless I can find somewhere that I feel comfortable using. It doesn’t sound like Freelancercom is for me.
    Thanks for the info.
    Is there another similar service that you would recommend?

    December 3, 2016
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      of all the freelance agencies I have looked at, I believe Upwork offers the only way to grow your income beyond the basic rate.

      Just remember it is always going to be piece work.

      I recommend affiliate marketing for long term success, but only if you are prepared to do the groundwork.

      Go well from Janelle

      December 4, 2016
  6. Lauren Kinghorn said:

    Hi Janelle, phew! What a thorough article. Am so glad I read the whole post because I can see it would be a complete waste of time to join.
    I just joined flexyskills which is still very new. Definitely see what you mean about reading the fine print. Flexyskills takes 45 days to pay their feelancers.
    I’m really enjoying fiverr.
    What interested me most about your post was how you’ve been making affiliate sales daily for a 2000 word review.
    Would love to learn how you write reviews like that.

    March 29, 2017
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Hi Lauren. I haven’t heard of flexyskills, maybe I should review it . I hope it goes well for you. Are you enjoying fiver as a hirer or as a worker.?

      Personally, every time I have outsourced through fiver I have been disappointed with the quality and price….they often charge more than five.

      I learned everything I know about affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate including how to write reviews tgat convert a visitor to a buyer. One key is to review awesome products that you know your readers will love and buy.


      March 29, 2017
  7. Eric Chen said:

    Hello Whitsunday,

    Thanks for the informative review on Freelancer. My friend was sourcing for jobs online, but couldn’t find anything.

    Freelancer seems like a decent place to start if you have the skills to offer. However, it seems the pay is very low and the competition is high, so I don’t know if my friend will be interested.

    Kind Regards,

    November 1, 2017
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Eric, tell him not to bother. A better way to make money is to have websites that sell stuff….other peoples stuff….in a tight niche with high demand products. Eg; a website about batteries for solar power, a website about shaving equipment for men, a website about flat shoes for women. See my article here about Human Proof Designs, that is where you will get some great niche ideas.

      December 23, 2017
  8. Rab said:

    This is a very interesting article! I have tried looking for freelancer jobs on the Internet before I got to know about affiliate marketing. It was tough and it wasn’t easy for me to easily be assigned a task and then get paid. Since it was too competitive for me I just gave up and found affiliate marketing.

    December 20, 2017
    • Janelle B.M. said:

      Yes it is a complex system as is affiliate marketing. You need a good guide or school to get by. J

      December 23, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *