Cách phát hiện scam trực tuyến và công cụ phát hiện trang web scam



dot com tech - "Này anh bạn, chú ý này. Nghe và nhớ giữ bí mật nhé. Tôi có một người bạn ở nước ngoài rất muốn về đây chơi. Anh ta rất giàu nhưng lại gặp khó khăn trong việc vượt qua một loạt các bước thủ tục phức tạp. Chính vì vậy, tôi hy vọng rằng bạn có thể đưa trước cho tôi một vài chục đô la để chúng tôi có thể thúc đẩy nhanh quá trình. Bạn không phải lo đâu. Một khi nào bạn tôi về được đây, anh ta sẽ trả bạn gấp 100 lần số tiền bạn đã ứng trước. Bạn nghĩ thế nào?" -những chiêu lừa đảo này thường dành cho dân văn phòng 
 Đối với dân IT   thường  những kiểu như thế này "ptc -ấn link xem quảng cáo và nhận tiền 1-3 $ 1000 click"-có hình thức này nhưng đa số là lừa đảo- tiền trong tài khoản của bạn cứ tăng lên còn việc bạn có rút được hay không đó mới là vấn đề (rất nhiều kẻ cao tay tự làm clip quay thể hiện mình rút được tiền -tuyệt đối đừng nhẹ dạ cả tin bằng cách nào đó hắn đã biến bạn thành cỗ máy kiếm tiền miễn phí )hay capcha hình thức này trước đây từng rất hot bởi vì nó không cần trang bị nhiều kiến thức chỉ cần gõ và gõ chính vì vậy mà giờ đây các hình thức lừa đảo mới tràn lan nếu bạn không tìm đúng trang web để gõ tham khao bài viết4 cách kiếm tiền trên mạng phổ biến, thu nhập cao và uy tín mà bạn có thể tham gia
Nếu một ai đó lạ gặp bạn trên phố và nói với bạn điều gì đó tương tự như vậy, bạn nên lờ đi những gì anh ta nói và đi tiếp. Thậm chí, bạn có thể thông báo điều này với công an khu vực. Ai có thể tin một người chúng ta chưa từng gặp? Tuy vậy, scam trực tuyến cũng gần giống như vậy và đã lừa được hàng ngàn người đưa tiền cho chúng theo các cách khác nhau. Dường như, ở cuộc sống đời thường mọi người rất thông minh, nhưng khi trực tuyến thì họ lại rất dễ bị lừa.
Những scam thông thường hay lấy tên như Nigerian scam hay 419 scam. Ngoài ra, còn rất nhiều dạng khác nữa của scam nhưng mục đích chính của chúng là lừa đảo mọi người đưa cho chúng càng nhiều tiền càng tốt, cùng với các thông tin tài khoản ngân hàng của bạn. Cùng với đó là hàng ngàn các scam trực tuyến khác. Một số thì giống Nigerian scam nhưng một số khác thì lại khác hoàn toàn. Một số thậm chí còn cài đặt chương trình chứa mã độc là malware trên máy tính của bạn và trở thành vấn đề dai dẳng.
Cách tốt nhất để giải quyết scam trực tuyến là tránh xa chúng hoàn toàn. Như vậy, bạn sẽ không phải khôi phục lại những sự cố mà chúng gây ra. Chính vì lý do này, chúng tôi sẽ hướng dẫn bạn các bước để nhận dạng một scam để bạn không trở thành nạn nhân của chúng. Tiếng anh có câu: "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." (nếu điều nào đó nghe quá hay, quá tốt đẹp đến nỗi như không thể thành sự thật, điều đó có thể đúng là không có thật.)
Chiến thuật của Scam Internet
Hầu hết các scam thường bám lấy những đức tính căn bản của con người trong cuộc sống. Rất nhiều điều không phải là thổi phồng. Chúng bao gồm những đặc điểm như nỗi sợ hãy, tính kiêu căng tự phụ và tính tham lam. Nghệ thuật lừa đảo đã tận dụng những đặc điểm này từ hàng trăm năm nay, dựa trên lòng tham của con người và bạn có thể thuyết phục họ vui là buồn và lạnh là nóng.
Điều này cũng có nghĩa là hầu hết những scam trực tuyến có rất ít dấu hiệu. nếu bạn nhận một tin nhắn hoặc lời mời truy cập một trang web cho rằng bạn sẽ rơi vào tình trạng nguy hiểm nếu không tải một số ứng dụng, đây chỉnh là dấu hiệu của một scam. Những thông báo như thế này thường dựa vào nỗi sợ hãi của con người. Tất nhiên, bạn không hề muốn máy tính của mình bị nhiễm virut. Nhưng, những ứng dụng này thường là virut ẩn danh hay một loại nào đó của malware. Hãy cảnh giác cao độ với những thông báo đáng nghi như thế và nhớ tìm hiểu kĩ về bất kì một ứng dụng nào trước khi tải và cài đặt nó.
Hầu hết trong chúng ta không nghĩ rằng mình có tính tự đắc. Tuy nhiên, hãy thử tưởng tượng rằng bạn đang trên mạng xã hội và nhận được một thông báo có chứa đường link, cho rằng “You won't believe how great you look in this video!” (Bạn không thể tưởng tượng rằng bạn trông tuyệt vời thế nào trong video này đâu!). Hầu hết chúng ta sẽ truy cập đường link đó ngay lập tức để xem đoạn video, nhất là khi chúng ta lo rằng nó trông rất hài hước. Có rất nhiều người và tổ chức trên mạng xã hội, bạn không thể biết được ai đó sẽ bị xem.
Những “nghệ nhân” scam nắm bắt được tâm lý mọi người rằng họ rất lo lắn về những tấm hình của mình trên mạng. Đó chính là lý do tại sao chúng sử dụng những thông báo kiểu như thế trên để lừa mọi người truy cập những video giả mạo. Trong nhiều trường hợp, có nhiều video xuất hiện cùng với một cửa sổ pop-up. Cửa sổ này thông báo rằng người dùng không có đúng chương trình chạy video cho đoạn video này và yêu cầu người dùng tải và cài đặt một phần mềm, sau đó video sẽ được hiển thị. Tuy nhiên, chương trình này sẽ hiển thị là malware giả mạo sau đó.
Một số malware có thể gây một số khó khăn nếu bạn cài đặt chúng trên máy tính của mình. Ứng dụng khó phím có thể sao chép mọi thông tin bạn gõ trên bàn phím và gửi ngay thông tin về cho “nghệ nhân” scam. Những người này sẽ lọc bỏ những thông tin bạn gõ trên phím và dễ dàng tìm ra thông tin cá nhân như tên người dùng cũng nwh mật khẩu mà bạn truy cập một trang web nào đó, bao gồm tài khoản ngân hàng hay một trang mua sắm trực tuyến nào đó. Một số khác có thể truy cập trực tiếp vào máy tính của bạn với cracker – một hacker malicious. Cracker này có thể kiểm soát máy tính của bạn mà bạn không để ý tới.
Đâu là một scam?
Không phải tất cả scam lừa mọi người dựa vào lòng tham hoặc tính tự đắc của họ. Một số còn dựa vào lòng vị tha của con người. Scam từ thiện rất phổ biến trên Internet. Vì vậy, bạn nên tìm hiểu kĩ về bất kì lời yêu cầu làm từ thiện nào trước khi quyên góp tiền.
Trong số những chiến thuật scam sử dụng để “săn mồi”, lòng tham thường là chiến thuật hay được sử dụng nhất. Những scam này thường hứa hẹn trả một lượng tiền lớn nếu nạn nhân chịu đầu tư một khoản tiền nhỏ. Điều này có nghĩa là lấy một thứ gì đó mà không mất gì cả. Rất nhiều “nghệ nhân” scam sử dụng email để săn mồi. Chúng sẽ gửi hàng tram, thậm chí hàng triệu email tới những nạn nhân tiềm năng. Nếu như thành công chỉ với một phần nhỏ trong số những email mà chúng gửi đi, số tiền lừa được cũng rất lớn.
Khi nhận được một lời mời trên mạng, hãy dành chút thời gian để phân tích nó. Một chút thời gian để suy nghĩ nhưng lại có thể giữ lại tiền cho bạn. Không nên tin vào những đường dẫn hoặc những chứng nhận được gửi kèm theo lời mời. Ngoài ra, hãy tự tìm kiếm thông tin để xác nhận lời mời này có đáng tin cậy hay không. Một số lời mời rất thành thật, trong khi một số khác lại cố gắng thu hút bạn vào scam pyramid scheme (scam theo hình kim tự tháp) hay scam pump-and-dump (lừa đảo chứng khoán qua email).
Một số dấu hiệu dễ phát hiện của scam lừa đảo:
• Một thông báo yêu cầu bạn phải hành động ngay: "You must act now!"
• Một lời hứa kiếm được lợi nhuận cao trong một khoảng thời gian ngắn
• Sử dụng nhiều thuật ngữ và biệt ngữ
• Khẳng định là thông tin mật hoặc một lời thổ lộ tâm tình
Những “nghệ nhân” scam sẽ cố gắng dùng bất kì điều gì để thuyết phục bạn đưa tiền cho chúng. Gần đây, một số scam thậm chí còn tự xưng là đại diện của chính phủ Mỹ. Chúng gửi tin nhắn tới những nạn nhân tiềm năng với một lời mời đóng góp cho gói kích cầu kinh tế giúp vượt qua giai đoan khủng hoảng kinh tế.
Một số nạn nhân tiềm năng đã quay lại để lừa lại những “nghệ nhân” scam. Một trang web có tên 419 Eater đã thuyết phục mọi người đã bị scam tham gia chống lại scam - scambaiting. Trang web này định nghĩa scambaiting là thu hút những “nghệ nhân”scam khiến chúng mất thời gian và công sức. Một số còn thuyết phục chúng đi một chặng đường dài. Thế mới biết rằng những “nghệ nhân” scam cũng tham lam không kém gì nạn nhân của chúng.
Luôn luôn cẩn thận, không nên tin bất kì thứ gì bạn đọc và hãy nhớ nghĩ thật kĩ trước khi kích vào bất kì thứ gì. Như vậy, bạn mới có thể tránh được mưu mẹo của những kẻ lừa đảo
Công cụ phát hiện hiện chống scam
WholeSecurity là một trong số những hãng phát triển công nghệ báo động lừa đảo phishing dạng này. Sản phẩm Web Caller-ID của họ hiện đang được eBay sử dụng và tích hợp vào thanh công cụ Internet dưới dạng tính năng bảo vệ tài khoản. Tính năng này phát hiện những website lừa đảo, giả mạo eBay hoặc PayPal với độ chính xác lên tới 98%. Với công cụ này, người sử dụng sẽ được cảnh báo mỗi khi truy cập vào những site lừa đảo. 
Sau eBay, hiện WholeSecurity đang có kế hoạch cấp giấy phép sử dụng phần mềm Web Caller-ID sang các doanh nghiệp làm ăn giao dịch qua mạng khác. Mục tiêu nhắm đến chủ yếu của họ lúc này là các ngân hàng, hãng tín dụng, viện tài chính và các hãng bán lẻ qua mạng. 
Các hãng này có thể phát hành phần mềm trực tiếp tới người sử dụng hoặc tích hợp thành một tính năng gián tiếp trên thanh công cụ duyệt Web. Họ cũng có thể lựa chọn đăng ký dịch vụ xử lý email từ WholeSecurity để nhận được những thông tin mới nhất về phishing scam từ thư rác cùng những lời phàn nàn mà người tiêu dùng phản hồi cho WholeSecurity.
Một console (thiết bị đầu - cuối) quản lý dựa vào trình duyệt Web sẽ cho phép nhà quản trị site xem các trang tình nghi là giả mạo cũng như điều chỉnh công nghệ Web Caller-ID để phù hợp hơn với website riêng của hãng
 Nguyên lý hoạt động của Web Caller-ID: Phân tích các địa chỉ Web để dò tìm những đầu mối cho biết site đó có giả mạo hay không. Lấy thí dụ, nếu URL dài và lẩn quẩn, hoặc nếu nó chứa một dãy chữ số dài ngoằng được ngăn cách bởi dấu chấm trong địa chỉ IP, nhiều khả năng đấy chính là site mạo danh. Chương trình này cũng kiểm tra xem có phải tên miền mới được đăng ký hay không, cũng như có phải người điều hành site đó đang sử dụng một dịch vụ hosting miễn phí? Tất cả những dấu hiệu đó đều rung chuông báo động về một trò phishing rành rành.
 Luôn luôn cẩn thận, không nên tin bất kì thứ gì bạn đọc và hãy nhớ nghĩ thật kĩ trước khi kích vào bất kì thứ gì. Như vậy, bạn mới có thể tránh được mưu mẹo của những kẻ lừa đảo
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Sử dụng công cụ ứng dụng để biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" Hãy ngừng hy vọng tất cả đều là scam

 Bài viết ngoài đề tài nội dung trang mình mình cung cấp nhưng nó rất hay và bổ ích  dành cho những ai còn đang mơ hồ và cả tin
Có một sự thật trớ trêu là người ta muốn được biết "Ai vừa xem trang cá nhân Facebook của tôi" hơn là "Làm thế nào để quê tôi hết đói nghèo". Chỉ cần tìm kiếm trên Google là bạn có thể phát hiện ra một loạt các bài hướng dẫn, ứng dụng… giúp bạn biết được ai là "fan hâm mộ thầm kín" của mình.
Nhưng, liệu các bài hướng dẫn, các ứng dụng này có đem lại kết quả chính xác hay không? Xét về khía cạnh kỹ thuật, liệu bạn có thể biết được ai đang xem trang Facebook của mình hay không?
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Hãy ngừng hi vọng!
Suy nghĩ rằng bạn có thể biết "Ai quan tâm đến bạn" đã và đang là một trong những suy nghĩ sai lầm phổ biến nhất trên Facebook. Bất kể là có hàng chục hay hàng trăm triệu người dùng đang thèm ước được biết đến những người hâm mộ bí mật của mình, câu trả lời sẽ luôn luôn là "KHÔNG". Bạn sẽ không bao giờ biết được ai là người vào xem trang cá nhân của mình nhiều nhất.
Chắc chắn là Facebook đang theo dõi nhiều thông tin của người dùng nhằm phục vụ cho quá trình phát triển sản phẩm của mình, song điều đó không có nghĩa rằng mạng xã hội này sẽ công bố các thông tin trên tới người dùng. Facebook biết ai là người đang quan tâm đến bạn nhiều nhất, nhưng bạn sẽ không bao giờ  được biết thông tin này. Chính sách của Facebook là như vậy.
Nói tóm lại, từ vị trí một người dùng bình thường, bạn sẽ không bao giờ tiếp cận được với thông tin "Ai quan tâm đến bạn" cả, và sẽ không có ứng dụng hoặc "mẹo" nào giúp bạn có được thông tin này.
Không đáng để thử
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Hàng triệu người dùng vẫn hi vọng sẽ có cách tiếp cận thông tin mà Facebook... không bao giờ công bố
Có rất nhiều ứng dụng tuyên bố có thể giúp bạn biết được ai là người đang theo dõi bạn nhiều nhất. Số lượng "Like" khá đông đảo của các ứng dụng này khiến nhiều người dùng sẵn sàng tặc lưỡi nhấn Like và làm theo với tâm lý "Chắc không bị làm sao đâu". Đây có phải là cách nghĩ đúng đắn hay không?
Hãy thử nghĩ như thế này, nếu như ai đó muốn bán cho bạn một chiếc đồng hồ Seiko với giá 100.000 đồng, bạn sẽ mua chiếc đồng hồ này, hay bạn sẽ ngờ vực rằng đây là một chiếc đồng hồ "rởm"? Khi tham gia sử dụng các ứng dụng đáng ngờ trên Facebook, bạn sẽ không bị mất tiền ngay lập tức, nhưng có lẽ bạn cũng thường bỏ qua, không kiểm tra quyền truy cập của ứng dụng. Bởi vậy, bạn sẽ để lộ nhiều thông tin cá nhân tới các chủ ứng dụng có mục đích xấu, và do đó thể gây tai hại về lâu về dài.
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Sau khi các loại ứng dụng lừa đảo dạng này bị xóa khỏi Facebook, "hacker" chuyển sang hình thức lừa chạy Javascript
Về bản chất, các ứng dụng khẳng định có thể cho bạn biết "Ai đang quan tâm đến bạn:" sẽ chia làm 2 loại:
1. Ứng dụng hoàn toàn lừa đảo, không cung cấp bất kì một thông tin nào, đưa bạn vào các nhóm hoặc trang hâm mộ (fanpage) đáng ngờ để sử dụng cho các mục đích xấu. Một số ứng dụng dạng này cũng sẽ là cánh cửa cho phép mã độc lây lan.
2. Ứng dụng có cung cấp thông tin, nhưng chỉ là thông tin "giả" được xây dựng từ hệ cơ sở dữ liệu bao gồm những người dùng khác – những người cũng nhẹ dạ cả tin như bạn.
Loại ứng dụng thứ 2 không nguy hiểm bằng loại thứ 1 nhưng cũng có thể gây khó chịu cho bạn và các bạn bè trên Facebook của bạn. Dĩ nhiên, cả 2 loại ứng dụng đều không thể cung cấp cho bạn thông tin mà bạn thực sự cần biết. Ngoài ra, nếu sử dụng loại thứ 2, bạn cũng có thể sẽ gặp nhiều rắc rối tế nhị nếu như lọt vào danh sách những người quan tâm đến một người bạn nào đó, đặc biệt là khi các thông tin này là hoàn toàn sai sự thật.
Facebook đã đưa ra tuyên bố hết sức rõ ràng: không ứng dụng nào có thể cho bạn biết ai đã xem trang cá nhân của bạn. Những ứng dụng cho bạn biết các thông tin dạng như "Ai đã ghé thăm tôi" đều là các trò lừa đảo. Bạn được khuyến cáo Báo cáo vi phạm (report) lại các trường hợp này với Facebook.
Nói tóm lại, bạn nên tránh xa tất cả các ứng dụng dạng "Ai quan tâm đến bạn nhất" hoặc "Ai ghé thăm Facebook của bạn nhiều nhất". Chúng không thể cung cấp các thông tin mà bạn cần (do Facebook không hề tiết lộ các thông tin này tới các nhà phát triền ứng dụng hay bất kì đối tượng nào khác). Các ứng dụng này cũng sẽ gây khó chịu cho bạn, những người dùng Facebook khác, đồng thời cũng sẽ mở ra nhiều lỗ hổng bảo mật.
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Số lượng kết quả tìm kiếm khá nhiều trên Google cho thấy kẻ lừa đảo đã đánh trúng tâm lý của người dùng
Phải làm gì khi đã lỡ cài ứng dụng "Ai quan tâm đến bạn nhất"?
Hãy ngay lập tức truy cập vào trang quản lý ứng dụng của bạn và loại bỏ các ứng dụng lừa đảo dạng này. Trong danh sách ứng dụng, chọn dấu "x" ngay bên cạnh ứng dụng độc.
Một số dịch vụ của bên thứ 3 như MyPermissions cũng sẽ cho phép bạn xóa bỏ nhiều ứng dụng cùng lúc.
Bạn chỉ có thể hi vọng rằng ứng dụng mà bạn đã dùng không phải là ứng dụng độc và bạn bè trên Facebook của bạn đã không nhận được một loạt tin nhắn rác. Nếu trường hợp này đã xảy ra, hãy đăng tải lên Facebook của mình một lời xin lỗi và giải thích rõ ràng.
Bạn có thể xem được những thông tin gì từ Facebook của mình?
Thật may mắn cho những người muốn khám phá mức độ nổi tiếng của chính mình: dịch vụ thu thập dữ liệu Wolfram Alpha có một công cụ phân tích Facebook khá hữu hiệu.
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Bạn sẽ phải cung cấp quyền truy cập tới một số dữ liệu cụ thể cho Wolfram Alpha. Đây không phải là một điều quá đáng lo ngại bởi Wolfram Alpha là một dịch vụ khá uy tín, và chắc chắn không một công cụ nào có thể phân tích dữ liệu của bạn nếu như không truy cập được vào thông tin cả. Quan trọng nhất, dịch vụ này cũng sẽ không làm phiền các bạn bè Facebook của bạn bằng các tin nhắn rác, mời sử dụng.
Trên công cụ phân tích Facebook của Wolfram Alpha, bạn có thể xem nhiều thông tin như: ai là người "like" ảnh của bạn nhiều nhất, trong số bạn bè của bạn ai còn độc thân, status nào của bạn được like nhiều nhất v…v… Bạn sẽ không thể biết được các thông tin như "Ai ghé thăm Facebook của bạn nhiều nhất", song lượng dữ liệu khá lớn mà Wolfram Alpha cung cấp sẽ giúp cho bạn hình dung khá rõ ràng về quá trình sử dụng Facebook của bản thân.
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Thực tế, các thông tin mà Wolfram Alpha tổng hợp đều là các thông tin công khai và xác thực. Bạn thậm chí có thể tự tổng hợp các thông tin này, song Wolfram Alpha sẽ giúp tiết kiệm rất nhiều thời gian.
Nếu đang sử dụng fanpage có hơn 30 Like, bạn có thể sử dụng mục Page Insights để xem các thông tin về Trang người hâm mộ mà bạn đang quản lý. Ví dụ, mỗi status của bạn trên fanpage này có bao nhiêu người "like", bao nhiêu người "click", bao nhiêu comment, share v.v…
Ngoài ra, bạn cũng có thể nghiên cứu sử dụng Google Analytics để phân tích trang fanpage của mình, song ở khía cạnh này Wolfram Alpha là lựa chọn tốt nhất.
Kết luận: Bạn sẽ không bao giờ biết ai đã xem trang của mình
Bạn có thể thực sự biết "Ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của bạn" hay không?
Có thể khẳng định chắc chắn rằng tất cả các ứng dụng, trang web, video hướng dẫn… khẳng định có thể cho bạn biết ai đã ghé thăm Facebook của mình đều là lừa đảo. Nếu bạn đã từng nhẹ dạ tin vào các trang này, giờ là lúc để ngừng điều này lại.
                                                                                                       nguồn Lê Hoàng
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new online business – eBay, Amazon, or an online shop

ebay-vs-amazon-vs-ecommerceOne of the most common questions I receive from people just starting out in the online selling world is “where do I start!?”… and it’s a very good question. Which is the best platform to launch your new online business – eBay, Amazon, or an online shop? I’ll try to answer this question in today’s blog post by covering the advantages and disadvantages of each platform plus I’ll show you a proven, step by step system that will get you started in no time!
First though, we need to evaluate your own personal situation as there is no one single answer as the best way to launch a business will depend a lot on yourself and your specific circumstances.
Level of Experience
experienceThis is by far the most important thing you have to consider. If you’re totally new to online business, haven’t sold a thing in the past and in general, have very little knowledge on the topic, I highly recommend you start with eBay first. Why? Because eBay is still the number 1 and easiest selling platform to use when starting your first online business.
If we take eCommerce shops on the other hand; you really need to know what you’re doing to achieve any decent results. With your own eCommerce site, it’s not enough to put together a simple shop and wait for the money to roll in, not at all. As I explain in my eCommerce Magnates course, you have to know exactly how to build your shop and exactly how to promote it – otherwise it’ll be a failure – no two ways about it, there’s no shortcuts to be taken at all.
Sure, there are still plenty of things you need to learn to start selling on eBay but in general; it’s far easier compared to online shops. On eBay, you can start with one listing, selling a used item you already own, and learn along the way. And you’ll make that sale if you follow some basic principles.
I would put Amazon in 2nd place, right after eBay IF we base this decision purely on your level of experience. In some ways Amazon is even easier to get started with as there are not that many rules to follow, no templates to use etc. The problem with Amazon however is that it will be much harder to get those first sales in compared to eBay, especially if you just want to gain some experience with second hand goods.
To sum it up – if you’re totally new to the online selling world, start an eBay business. Begin with used goods and then once you’ve gained some experience, you can start looking at Amazon and maybe even your own online shop.
Budget
budgetBy budget I mean the amount of money you can invest in setting-up your business and buying stock. Basically the same rules apply here – if you’re on a very low budget, start with eBay! As I said, on eBay you can put together a listing for just one product and be up and running, selling in 10 minutes’ time. No other platform comes close to this.
Even more – on eBay you can actually start selling with no money at all! Just start selling unwanted items from around your house, use free eBay listing templates, take some product pictures with your current camera and you’re good to go!
With Amazon you’ll need to purchase brand new products in real bulk to make it work. This of course means a higher level of investment compared to eBay. You can still start with just one product on Amazon too but you’ll need to source it in bulk. Besides that, to list your own unique products in separate listings you’ll need to subscribe to Amazon’s Pro account, which costs £25 a month.
An eCommerce Shop is another step further into your pocket. Not only do you have to invest at least a few hundred pounds designing and setting up your shop, you’ll need to buy a range of products to sell as well. There’s no point in starting an online shop with just one product, unless it’s a very popular product that is a niche in itself (like a piece of fitness equipment or a specific business tool/machine).
So, if you have very little money to work with, start with eBay. If you have a more serious budget, you can start an Amazon business. If you have at least a few thousand pounds PLUS existing eBay selling experience, you can start looking into setting up your own eCommerce Shop.
Long Term Plans
long-term-planWhat’s your plan here? Do you want to start a full-time business OR simply generate some extra income each month to help pay your bills? This is a very important question to ask because for people who just want to make a few hundred pounds extra per month, the best path will be different compared to people who want to build a serious, long term business.
For those who are looking to create a side income, working just a few hours a day, eBay is once again the perfect platform. You don’t even have to ever look into other selling channels as eBay alone can provide you with the income level you’re looking for.
On the other hand, people with serious long term plans should use all 3 platforms to maximise their business’ potential. This usually means starting with eBay and then expanding to Amazon and an eCommerce shop. Not only does this allow you to reach more customers and therefore make more money, it also diversifies your risk! You won’t lose your entire business if something goes wrong with just one platform (like if eBay decides to ban you for example).
Time
If you hatimeve a full time job, you have to start with a platform that is less time consuming. Many people start building eCommerce shops not realising how much time they have to put into them before they’ll even get that first sale. This is definitely NOT for people who can only spend a maximum of 1-2 hours a day on their online business.
You can of course outsource many tasks if your budget allows it but still, I recommend starting with eBay alone if you can only dedicate a small amount of time to your business.
Amazon would fall into the same category as it’s relatively easy to maintain, especially if you use Fulfilment by Amazon – a service which takes care of your stock storage, order processing and dispatch.
An eCommerce shop is the one that requires the most time and energy on your part. Everything takes time when we talk about creating a successful eCommerce shop – starting from setting it up, creating product pages, adding descriptions and ending with the actual promotional part – which is a science in itself. It’s definitely not suitable for people who can spend just 1-2 hours a day on the project.
Okay, I am exaggerating a bit here of course – you can do it, even with just 1-2 hours a day, but then expect to spend many long months on it before you even see your first sale. So yes, it can be done but it will just take a longer period of time before you see any results.
Compare it to eBay where you can list a product in the morning and dispatch your first three orders that very afternoon and it’s a BIG difference.
So these are the 4 main considerations for which platform would be best for you to start on:
  • Level of experience
  • Budget
  • Long term plans
  • Time
In almost all cases, you’ll end up selling on all 3 platforms sooner or later, apart from people who just want to make a little side income and therefore will only use eBay.
And as you can see – the pattern in most situations is quite clear: eBay > Amazon > eCommerce Shop
This is the approach I almost always recommend people take when starting a new online business. To me it’s a logical plan to get started and grow your business as your level of experience increases. I have met very few people who have started out with an eCommerce shop and then expanded to eBay and Amazon as that’s not the logical or natural path of progression.
Now, with this information to hand, you can take a look at how eBay, Amazon and an online shop compare to each other and what my thoughts are on each. This is just my opinion of course, so completely subjective, but this is how I see the three platforms:
ebay-logoeBay is eBay… the world’s largest online marketplace. Their position only strengthens each year as they grow and make more profit. I really believe that eBay is that one opportunity where anyone can start a successful business online.
What I like most about eBay is that you can start selling so quickly and see results almost instantly. No other marketplace offers such ease-of-entry to people who are new to the online selling world.
There are downsides too of course…
Rules
Even though it’s easy to start selling on eBay, there are so many rules you have to follow to stay above everything and just keep your account active. Even though eBay has recently improved their Help center, for new sellers it may all sound too complicated. So I highly recommend you get some basic education first, before you even start selling. If you want a step by step guide on how to start a successful eBay business, check out my Easy Auction Business video course which will walk you through the whole process.
Competition
eBay is a very competitive marketplace and only the strongest and smartest sellers survive. But don’t be put off by this. In reality most of the competition you see on eBay are not that smart at all and can easily be out-competed IF you’re willing to take the extra steps needed to take your business to the next level and really make it something special.
Limited expansion
eBay itself is huge of course but still, if you sell a product on eBay, there’s a set market size for it and in most cases you can only take a small percentage of that. It’s hard to advertise an eBay business outside of eBay and even then; eBay’s tools for customer retention and for building long-lasting relationships with your customers are very limited.
Risk
eBay comes up with new rules all the time and if you’re not careful, one day you can instantly lose your business merely because you breached some rules you weren’t even aware of! Genuine ignorance won’t be accepted as a valid excuse and as eBay has complete control over us sellers, once an account is banned, there’s almost nothing you can do to get it back.
Low prices
eBay is seen as a bargain hunter’s paradise. That, added to the high level of competition, means eBay is a cutthroat marketplace where price is the no.1 driving factor in the buying decision. That being said, I have proved over and over that you DON’T have to be the cheapest to make your eBay business a success – you just have to be smarter! That means using clever branding strategies, marketing strategies, and listing strategies to ensure you make sales even if you’re not the lowest price on eBay.
Fees
I wouldn’t really call this a downside, more a cost for opportunity. On average you’ll pay eBay and PayPal 15% of each sale you make. For some people this may seem like too much, and that’s ok, but you have to understand that nothing comes free in this life and that you’re being provided a lot in return for that 15%… you’ll understand exactly what I mean later on when I cover eCommerce, which most people consider to be ‘fee-less’.
Even after listing all these negatives, I still consider eBay to be the number one opportunity for people who are just starting out selling online. It’s easy and cheap to get started and you’ll learn valuable real life experience that you can apply to other platforms – this is so much more worthwhile than anything you’ll ever learn in a book!
amazon-logoOr to be more precise – Amazon’s Marketplace. Anyone can open up a free seller’s account and start listing some used or brand new items on Amazon. In some ways it’s even easier than on eBay as there are not that many rules and systems in place BUT it’s also not as effective as eBay.
Unlike on eBay, where you list your products in individual, unique listings which will show up in search results, on Amazon; your offer will simply be shown under one listing for that particular product. And all the offers will be sorted by lowest price first. In my opinion this means you can only really achieve success on Amazon’s Marketplace if you sell a popular item and you can offer the LOWEST price for that item.
But the real gem lies in Amazon’s PRO seller account which comes at a cost of £25 per month. With this account you can list your own products in your own listings, meaning you’re selling your own brand products. This is where the real power of Amazon’s marketplace lies! You can take advantage of Amazon’s massive traffic and make a killing with your own products! The product itself doesn’t even have to be 100% unique – you can use my branding strategies and turn an unbranded product that everyone sells into a uniquely branded item that only you sell! I truly believe that this is the way to go on Amazon.
While there are less rules to follow on Amazon, don’t think it will be an easy ride. There are some downsides too…
Customer service
To keep your Amazon seller’s account in good standing, you have to provide super customer support, sell high quality products and do whatever it takes to resolve any issues of conflict. Amazon is actually even stricter than eBay and will ban accounts very quickly if your customers start leaving bad feedback.
Time
Amazon is not as fast as eBay, in terms of business growth or even getting those first sales in. Amazon’s search results depend heavily on product ratings and reviews. With a brand new product, with no purchases, it’s not easy to get a high level of traffic. That is unless competition for that product is very small. In general, expect to wait weeks and even months on Amazon for a product to really start ranking well and make the first page of search results.
Limited product selection
Amazon is naturally a more suitable marketplace for all kinds of electronics and household items etc. but may not be as good as eBay for clothing or say craft supplies. This means that not all niches and products will sell as well on Amazon as they do on eBay. You’ll never know this for sure without trying of course so I still recommend giving Amazon a chance, no matter what niche or products you work with.
To sum it up, Amazon is a natural 2nd step to take after your eBay business is up and running. It will work better for some products but everyone should give it a go and list their inventory on Amazon to reach more potential customers.
bigcommerce-logoLastly, eCommerce, your own online shop and the road to making millions online… as cliché as that may sound, it’s true. As only with your own online shop can you build a multi-million pound company. Technically you can do so on eBay or Amazon as well but that is so much rarer and much more difficult to achieve in comparison. eCommerce really is the way to go for anyone who wants to build a long-term, sustainable business that doesn’t rely completely on 3rd party marketplaces.
Here’s why I like online shops…
100% control
No more eBay or Amazon rules! You’re the boss and you control every aspect of your business, be it shipping, payment or dispatch rules – no one will tell you what you can and can’t do and this is obviously a great advantage to have! Not talking about account bans – no one can ban your eCommerce shop unless you’re doing something really stupid like selling counterfeit goods or other illegal products.
No direct competition
While you’ll still competing with other sellers in your niche, it won’t be direct competition as once a person lands on your shop, you’ve ‘got them’ – all they can see are your offers and products – there won’t be competitor’s listings taking their attention away! This also means that it’s more difficult for people to compare your offers with other sellers, so you stand a higher chance of making a sale.
Higher prices
People go to eBay to get bargain deals. Not so with online shops. While it is still important, with your own shop you don’t have to compete on price alone and can put more emphasis on the products’ features and quality.
Unlimited growth potential
The sky REALLY is the limit when we talk about eCommerce shops! You can become as big as you want within the means of your niche. Work on paid advertising, free promotions, build your own customer email database, do joint venture deals and so much more! If you’re willing to work hard, your own online shop is the perfect platform to make your dreams come true.
There are many more positives I could list but this just illustrates the fundamental difference between selling on your own shop vs. a third party marketplace like eBay / Amazon.
It all comes with some downsides though…
Investment
Unlike on eBay, where you can start selling with no money at all, you’ll need to invest money in setting up your shop, filling it with products and advertising it. In most cases we’re talking about a few thousand pounds but obviously it will depend highly on the niche you’re working in.
Time
eCommerce is not a fast track to success, unless of course you have tons of money to spend on aggressive advertising. It will take time to build a great looking shop, it will take time to get ranked on Google, it will take time to build your customer base and so on. It all takes time. So if you’re not ready to work at least 6-9 months on your shop BEFORE you see any real results, don’t even bother starting. Seriously, this is not the quick route to riches by any means!
Knowledge
I mentioned how eBay is rather complicated with all the rules in place etc. but eCommerce takes it one step further. It’s not about the rules in this case but about all the various topics you have to master to make your shop a success. I’m talking about skills like:
  • marketing
  • design (if you can’t outsource it all)
  • email marketing
  • blogging
  • SEO
  • advertising
  • tracking
  • and many more!
There’s a HUGE amount of things you need to master to get it all right. That doesn’t mean you have to learn through trial and error of course as that would be a very costly education! There are tons of books written on these topics, there are blogs and forums you can learn from. And you will need to learn at least the basics before you waste money on things that are proven not to work!
If you want to learn from the best, check out my eCommerce Magnates course! It’s a massive video course that shows you step by step how to build, manage and promote a highly successful eCommerce Shop. It’s not a theory filled, boring book. No, these are real time video lessons in which I create a brand new online shop in front of your eyes, managing every aspect of it all the way to the first sales. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is new to eCommerce or anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and increase their chances of success.
Conclusions
So that’s it – that’s my answer to anyone who wants to know what platform it’s best to start on – eBay, Amazon or your own eCommerce Shop!
I hope I gave you some valuable insight into all 3 platforms and that this information will help you make a more educated decision. There’s no ONE formula that fits all, which is why it’s so important to evaluate your own personal situation when deciding which platform to launch on.
In most cases, you will want to sell on all 3 platforms eventually. After all, each one opens up further selling possibilities and allows you to reach more buyers so why not take advantage of them all?
Start with eBay, then expand to Amazon and lastly – an eCommerce shop. You really can’t go wrong with this approach. If one platform doesn’t work well for your business, just drop it and concentrate all your energy on those that bring in more money for you. It’s not like you’re required to sell on all three!
If you want my advice on your specific situation or you’d like me to clarify anything mentioned in this blog post, then feel free to post your questions below and I’ll personally answer you.
Good Luck!
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10 Best Freelance Websites To Find Web Design and Graphic Design Jobs




marketplace big banner
Which job search website is the right one for you? Find out now!

You can’t run a freelance business without creating a system to get more clients. Job search websites are a popular tool in that system, but if you’ve used one, you’ve probably had a bad experience.
Before we started building our freelance job site, AwesomeWeb, we researched the big players. Their pros. Their cons. What people loved. What people hated.
We created accounts, combed forums, and read reviews all so we could bring you the last client-getting tool you’ll ever need.

What’s Important to Web Professionals?

  1. No percentage of project fees.
    When the marketplace charges a percentage of the project, the freelancer pulls clients away. Plus, when you charge $3K-20K per project, there’s no way you’re going to give up 10-40%.
  2. Not competing with millions.
    The big marketplaces offer free starter accounts which compromises quality and leads to bidding wars. No way to win unless you slash your rate.
  3. Personal support.
    The most common complaint was a lack of support, especially when a freelancer’s money was tied up or stolen from their accounts. When your livelihood is involved, support is important.
  4. No barriers between you and clients.
    Most marketplaces require clients to register before they can look through freelancers. This makes it hard for clients to find and hire you.
  5. Open communication with your clients.
    Once you have a client, every other marketplace requires you to communicate solely on their platform. Do you think talking with your client would help? Not so fast unless you violate their terms.
  6. Focus on projects, not tasks.
    Professionals don’t do design and development errands. They prefer working on projects from beginning to end. No work is worse than earning pennies for performing trivial tasks.

Major Takeaways from Our Research

After researching Freelancer, Elance, oDesk, PeoplePerHour, 99designs and others, there were several big takeaways:
  • They are great for beginners who want to build their portfolios. But not so great for professionals who want to make a healthy living. Clients are tempted to accept lower bids from India, Pakistan, Philippines, instead of picking a more expensive and higher quality designer. Quality control is poor, so people end up faking their accounts, making their profiles and portfolios appear to be as good as yours, but asking for much lower rates.
  • They focus on quick Fiverr-type jobs. This is good if you’re looking to make part-time extra income, but it also means you will need to work for quantity not quality.
  • They are the middle-man for your payment, which can be good or bad. Everything is great until your client decides to disappear, not pay, or ask for extra work. If you don’t deliver, they can threaten to leave a bad review and mess up your rating. When you’re competing with millions, a pristine rating is the only thing that keeps you in business. When that’s the case, you’ll do anything to get a good rating. There are many stories from freelancers and clients about their accounts being deactivated and losing the money they had on their account. Anytime there’s a middle-man, you run a greater risk of not getting paid.
  • They struggle with support. When you have an issue – you want to talk to a real person and resolve the issue, right? But when they offer free accounts, it’s impossible to keep up with support. When you email them, you’ll get automated replies and a low-level support person will reach out to you. But it may take weeks to get anywhere. It’s frustrating when your account is suddenly deactivated (with money inside) or you have an issue with your client. Freelancers always run into issues working with clients, but it’s so much more challenging and slower to resolve these issues when you need to deal with the third person (marketplace).

How To Succeed With Biggest and Best Freelance Websites?

While doing research I found a few success stories from freelance web designers and freelance developers. What did they do differently when most people tend to have a bad experience?:
  • They read the terms of freelance site carefully to ensure they know EXACTLY what to expect. They learn the rules of the game, they spend time to do the research before they get started. For example, if you find out there is a big chance your account can be deactivated without explanation, never keep money on that account. Always withdraw it as soon as you receive it. Big freelancing site support is unreliable. Make sure you do everything you can on your end to prevent bad things from happening. Many bad experiences were caused because people didn’t know the terms!
  • They treat these marketplaces as an extra income source. They don’t focus on it, which means they don’t need to accept every job. They can be picky with clients. They can pick projects they are excited about. They can pick clients who want quality results, not just a cheap fix.
  • They make sure they get referrals from existing clients and slowly build up a client base outside these marketplaces. When you provide an exceptional service for a client, they start working with the client directly. Marketplaces are greedy and take 10-15% from each project you complete. It’s in yours and your clients best interest to work directly.
  • They build their online presence away from marketplace. They have their own portfolio website, making it easy for clients to find them. Having quality portfolio website helps to build trust and shows you are professional.

Using these top job websites to earn extra income is good…

But how can you support yourself full-time?
I have always been big believer in quality not quantity. If you are working with 10 clients at the same time, you will not do your best work. You’ll be in a rush to finish jobs quickly. You want to earn more money after all. But by always rushing your work, you won’t be able to create something you’re proud of.
What Is The Alternative?
Find 2-3 high-paying clients you work with regularly. You need to build trust, provide exceptional service, and by doing so you’ll be able to charge more. Finding high-paying clients will give you peace of mind financially and you will be able to focus on the work you enjoy.
alternative-rush-web-designer
I have always been big believer in quality not quantity
Did you know the biggest challenge for business owners (clients) is finding reliable people who do what they promise? If you can deliver and build trust, you will always be in demand! It is as simple as that!
Here is the proof from Quora where somebody asked: “How does a business person hire a good developer/programmer/engineer on Elance or Odesk?”
Many answers were similar, but here is the best response from Yishan Wong, CEO of Reddit:
“You shouldn’t do this; it will probably result in failure.
I have a friend who is a designer (so, closer to technology and implementation than a business guy; about as close as you can be without being outright technical yourself), and he was hiring developers via eLance. Even with consultation from friends of his (e.g. me) who were real engineers, it was extremely difficult to find decent engineers who could do the things he needed, deliver reliably, and iterate according to ongoing testing/customer feedback. The end product was merely “okay” – kind of slow, with little glitches here and there.
If you have total technical ignorance and no local (friend) resources to help you, hiring from eLance or oDesk is almost impossible to do correctly. I would recommend trying another route.”

You Just Need to Get Out There

Never lower your standards and after a while clients will start looking for you themselves! There is no magic bullet, it takes time. But as an expert of your craft, big marketplaces are not a reliable place to make your living and enjoy your work. You will always be burdened by lower bidders and clients who don’t appreciate your expertise.
Professionals are smart enough to work with clients directly.
Professionals are smart enough to work with clients directly. They know they need to ask for 30-50% payment upfront. They know which client proposals sound too good to be true. Pros don’t want to work on quantity – hourly projects, they want to create websites they are proud of. But they still need to look new clients sometimes. But where?
Big freelancing sites are a bad choice for professionals. The biggest freelance websites are also bad for clients who are are looking for high quality results. We saw this as a problem, we can solve. That’s why we created AwesomeWeb, a quality job search website where only professionals can get listed.
People, who go to oDesk and Elance generally aren’t looking to pay for quality work. They are looking for bargain deals, forcing you to undersell yourself. Don’t get me wrong, top freelancing sites are great places to get started and build a portfolio. But professionals get lost in the ocean of freelancers, who are looking for programming jobs from home, graphic design jobs.

Let’s Dive In and Take a Look

At the best freelance websites pros and cons!
Table of contents (jump to interesting review for you):
  • Freelancer Review 
  •  Elance Review 
  • oDesk Review 
  • PeoplePerHour Review 
  • 99Designs Review
  •   Studio.Envato.com Review 
  • Codeable.io Review
  •   AwesomeWeb Review
These are the marketplaces reviewed in this article
Note: Codeable.io and Studio.Envato are new players, who we admire because of their focus on quality. They are not big (by choice), but we still included them here. We must give you alternative solutions after all, not just show how dire the situation is out there, right?
Many angry people in reviews were throwing words like
“odesk is scam!! elance is scam!!”
So let me set it straight.
None of these companies are scams. They are well-known and credible companies. And yes, they have their challenges and downsides that people don’t like. It’s a tough and important business helping people worldwide to earn their living online.
As with politics, when your well-being is involved, people get emotional and throw bad reviews all over the Internet when something doesn’t work as they expected. I tried to look past anger and notice real issues. Most bad experiences could’ve been avoided if job seekers would be more careful and would learn how to play the game before they start playing.

Freelancer.com Review

freelancer-freelance-marketplace-profesionals
Freelancer has really made their financial model work for them.
Freelancer is one of the biggest job search websites in the market. If you compare oDesk vs freelancer, you will find they are very similar in size and functionality.
You can register and submit 8 bids per month for free.
As with all big freelancing sites, their biggest trouble is with support and high fees. Freelancer has the lowest ratings of all marketplaces, at SiteJabber review site they have got 374 1-star ratings and 26 5-star ratings.
This review about Freelancer from client’s perspective illustrate very well how Freelancer is different from oDesk and Elance:
“Freelancer: Horrible, Punishing Up-sells
The reason why Freelancer has been able to acquire many competitors is because of their profitability. And that profit comes from fleecing their users as hard as possible. The moment you register on the site they try to make you pay for everything and anything. From paying so that your project is available straight away without a review (even though they go live in a few minutes anyway) to prompting you at every step to become a paying member to get crappy ‘perks’. At the moment, they’re even trying to flog Freelancer baseball caps.
If you want to delete a project that you’ve posted, PAY for it. If you want to hide it from search engines, PAY for it! The list in endless, exhausting and overwhelmingly frustrating.”
While almost every marketplace has upsells, Freelancer has really made their financial model work for them. Freelancer is built around membership model and they are asking money for everything. Freelancer pricing strategy is really complicated and gets expensive. Read all about Freelancer fees and charges here.
freelancer-fees-membership-freelance-marketplace
Very tough place for freelancers and clients to be in.
Usually as freelancer you will pay 10% service fee + $0.30 USD + 2.3% (withdrawal fee). Fee on earning 4k/month is $400 + $83 + $0.30 (if you withdraw just once) = $483.30. Freelancer is the most expensive job search website comparing to oDesk, Elance and PeoplePerHour.
Want to have:
  • express withdrawal? – pay.
  • want to be listed higher, highlighted? – pay.
  • want to bid more than 8 bids per month? – pay.
If you don’t close your account and leave it active, after 6 months you will be automatically paying a $10/month maintenance fee.
The same is happening on the business owner’s (client) side. You can buy so many little things here. It is a great financial model for Freelancer, but very tough place for freelancers and clients to be in.
Pros:
  • Huge job seeker and business owner user base with fourteen million users and almost seven million projects posted.
  • Very usable, easy to use and modern website design.
  • Free to get started.
  • Escrow protection for payments.
Cons:
  • Lots of upsells, you need to pay for features, that should have been part of the service.
  • Bad support, in case of disputes you cannot rely on quick and fair resolve.
  • High fees: 10% fee + $0.30 + 2.3% (withdrawal fee).
Here you can read more Freelancer reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:
  • SiteJabber reviews (454 reviews) – overall rating 1.4 of 5.
  • Highway reviews (77 reviews) – overall rating 1.5 of 5.
  • Reviewopedia (113 reviews) – overall rating 1 of 5.

Elance.com Review

elance-freelance-marketplace-professionals
Registration is free and you receive 40 connect points/month.
On Elance listings you will find a good mix of hourly and fixed price work. Registration is free and you receive 40 connect points/month. You use these points to send proposals, promote them, but it all costs points. For example it costs 2 points to send proposal, 4 points to get your proposal to appear on top of the list.
While Elance registration is free, if you want to use Elance actively, you should get $10/month plan, otherwise you are using a limited version of Elance. It’s sad you can pay to appear higher in search. You need to pay to view competitor pricing or feature samples in proposals.
elance-pricing
There is Escrow Security and your hourly rate is guaranteed.

Keep in mind Elance charges 8.75% service fee for every project you complete. There is Escrow Security and your hourly rate is guaranteed because of Tracker with Work view, which takes screenshots of your screen as you work.
Elance has helpful applications for an enhanced experience of communication for both job seekers and clients such as live chat, video conferencing and file sharing with version control.
How can you increase likelihood of being hired?
First of all, you need to become a paying member to appear higher in the search results (or ignore that and just be active in client proposals). Then you need to build up your profile by featuring your best work, earning good reviews and ratings from clients. Here is a helpful guide by Elance outlining how to setup profile for best results.
Trouble starts when clients who submitted projects sees many low price bids from seemingly great people usually from Pakistan, India, or Philippines (Elance India sub-site is very popular). Seeing how everybody charges so little, they think that professionals who charge 3-4x times more are simply overcharging. It’s hard to be appreciated for your skill when there are so many temptations for clients (often inexperienced) for paying less.
This is bad for everybody, because freelancers need to bid lower and then they rush to complete more work to earn living. Clients get just “good enough” result and are not satisfied with results.
elance-profile-setup-ratings
Clients who go there in general expect to pay little for your services.
Pros:
  • Free registration, send 20 proposals for free per month (2 points per proposal). You should view buyers history before submitting your proposal. If a client always chooses cheaper options, you shouldn’t reach out to him. Save your precious time and points.
  • Anybody can find work on Elance because of it’s broad variety. You can apply for work on programming, WordPress theme development, product design, branding, writing, marketing, administrative, consulting, legal and engineering jobs.
  • More secure as Elance takes part in money exchange, by asking client to put money on Escrow before project has started.
Cons:
  • Site takes 8.75% fee for every project you complete. Elance fees have been raised last year from 6.75%. Fee’s on earning $4k/month = $350. Plus $10/month if you want to use Elance actively and appear higher in search results.
  • Elance support is quite corporate and oftentimes can be unreasonable and unreliable. Not a good thing, when they are the middle-man for money process.
  • Not totally free – if you don’t join paid membership, you will keep feeling like you are using limited version of Elance.
  • Tough place for creative jobs seekers – it is a very competitive place and since important factor for many clients is pricing, you’ll always find people underbidding you. Clients who go there in general expect to pay little for your services. It’s great for beginners and amateurs living in cheaper countries, but much tougher for experts from USA for example.
You can read more Elance reviews from design job and coding job seekers, if you want to dig deeper yourself:
Oh, before I start oDesk review, keep in mind oDesk, Elance is owned by the same company. They are more similar than you might think.

oDesk.com Review

odesk-freelance-marketplace-professionals
oDesk registers both freelancer and client profiles.
On oDesk listings you will find hourly and fixed priced projects. Be careful when accepting fixed priced projects however, because there contracts aren’t covered by oDesk Guarantee and payment is at client’s discretion. Clients can abuse this.
oDesk registers both job seeker and client profiles, registration is free and it is very easy for you to get started immediately. To increase likelihood of getting hired, check oDesk contractor manual about how to setup great profile.
oDesk fee is 10% from any money you make on their website. Unfortunately when reading reviews about oDesk, I found people are most upset about how hard it is to earn decent wages there. They even encourage you to bid lower.
Every client tries to find the best option, where he can pay smallest amount and get highest quality. This leads to only “good enough” or “bad” results.
Good difference between oDesk and Elance is that oDesk doesnt have a paid membership option. But oDesk fees are 10% compared to Elance 8.75% fee. When you register you can submit 2 job applications at a time.
But you can increase this number by taking oDesk tests and receiving positive feedback ratings from clients after project has been completed. You can read more about job application quota here.
I found it tough to compare Elance vs oDesk, because they are owned by the same company and in overall oDesk or Elance – there is no big difference. The biggest oDesk competitor basically is Freelancer with PeoplePerHour being new disruptor in market.
Pros:
  • Free registration, no paid membership ensuring you don’t have to use limited version of website.
  • Anybody can find work on Elance because of big user base.
  • Secure place to get paid as Odesk takes part in money exchange, by asking client to put money on Escrow before project is started.
Cons:
  • oDesk charges is 10% for every completed project. Fee on 4k/per month = $400 + 1.5% fee for withdrawal.
  • Unreliable corporate support – reviews indicate people had very bad experience with support. People were suggesting not to waste time with support and that you will be better off by trying to solve issue on your own.
  • Tough place for creative professionals, web developers and WordPress experts – usually lower bidders get the project and quality is not being appreciated. (Ok, quality is always appreciated, but price doesnt indicate that).
Here you can read more oDesk reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:
  • SiteJabber reviews (84 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • TrustPilot reviews (21 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • Yelp reviews (24 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.

PeoplePerHour Review

people-per-hour-freelance-marketplace-professionals
PPH don’t ask to pay anything upfront to start bidding.
PeoplePerHour was founded in 2003 and quickly became one of the best places right now to find web designer jobs, web developer jobs, WordPress jobs, graphic designer jobs. PPH is pretty good place to get started, get part-time gigs with it’s pros and cons.
They are more focused on hourlies (term used there for quick jobs that take less than hour) and smaller projects. As with all big job websites they have challenges with clients expecting to pay minimal wages and having many low qualified freelancers.
A friend of mine succeeded here a year ago by getting well-paying creative jobs within the UK, but lately it is getting more and more competitive, where low bidders start to take over.
From reviews I read PPH seems to be very good place to get started. PPH don’t ask to pay anything upfront to start bidding for jobs. You can bid on 15 projects per month for free.
If you need more, you can buy 5 credits for $6.50, 10 credits for $9.50 and more. As for the fees, here is the breakdown of what you will be paying to PPH when you start working:
For buyers there are basically no fees unless promoted posting, freelancers are billed % on every project.
  • 15% (excl. VAT) on the first £175 (or €210 or $280 USD) billed and paid by the Buyer in the month
  • 3.5% (excl. VAT) on all work billed and paid for after that in the month.
  • Fee’s on earning $1k/month: 42$ for first 280$, 25$ for the 720$ = $67 (excl VAT) + 1.9% fee to withdraw money to Paypal (takes 3-5 days to receive and 3 days to release money on PPH)
  • Fee’s on earning $4k/month – 42$ + 130$ = 172$ (excl VAT) + 1.9% withdrawal (72$).
Here is complete breakdown on PayPerPeople fees in case you want to explore yourself.
If you are a professional however, you will struggle with low quality clients, PPH getting in your way to ensure you cannot work with the client directly.
There’s no way to get on the phone with your client. Once they get you in the system, they intend to keep you there to ensure they take a piece from all exchanges that happen on their website.
From all job search websites, this could be the best place for pros to earn extra income with hourlies.
people-per-hour-hourlies-freelance-marketplace
PPH does everything to lock you in the system.
Pros:
  • Free to start using both for buyers and sellers.
  • Easy registration – you can sign up very quickly with Facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Great way to build up your portfolio as beginner as there are loads of “Hourly” part time jobs. You won’t earn much, but you’ll get your experience.
  • Has hundreds of thousands of members.
  • Site is middle-man taking part in payment process using an Escrow system so that you only start working when the client places a “deposit” normally around 30% of the project. The deposit is then kept in PeoplePerHour’s Escrow account.
  • Has iPhone app where you can keep in touch with your clients, bid on projects making process easy while you are on the road
Cons:
  • High service fees – If you are not making more than $280 per month, PPH will keep 15% of your earnings + VAT + 1.9% withdrawal fee.
  • Poor customer support – the most complaints about this website is about their support. If something goes wrong, you can expect to receive generic replies, call support is unreachable and it will take long time to resolve disputes. Several clients and freelancers complained about PPH just shutting their accounts down without warning, while they had money on PPH wallet. They received very little support to resolve this issue and were asked to submit many documents before doing anything – passport, driving license, national identification card (photographic), citizenship certificate, tax bill, copy of bank statement, credit or debit card bank statement.
  • Once PPH get your email, expect to receive many emails – while PPH don’t charge for signing up, their main marketing happens in email. Even before you can search for anything, you need to give your email address. People complain how once they give their email address they find it impossible to completely unsubscribe from them.
  • More sellers than work, making it very competitive place and ensuring that often clients pick lower paying offers.
  • Not good option for finding full-time work – this website focuses more on hourlies and low-paid quick projects, making it very hard for professional to take it as reliable place to constantly find work. One successful guy actually uses PPH to get first clients, then ask for referrals and gets these referrals outside PPH.
  • PPH does everything to lock you in the system and never let out.
Here you can read more PeoplePerHour.com reviews, if you want to dig deeper yourself:
  • Reviewopedia reviews (38 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.
  • TrustPilot reviews (119 reviews) – overall rating 3 of 5.
  • ReviewCentre reviews (72 reviews) – overall rating 2 of 5.

99designs Review

99designs-crowdsourcing-professional-freelance-marketplace
It’s a great place for beginners to build up their portfolio
99designs is the most popular so called crowd-sourcing platform. It is based on contests, which means that you get paid only if your design is picked as a winner. Still it’s a great place for beginners to start their web design career, gain experience and some professionals have found ways to constantly win the contests.  You will find lots of creative jobs like graphic design, logo design, product design jobs and web design jobs on 99Designs. But there are no guarantees.
There have been lots of negative emotions in the designer community about this kind of work, where clients expect to receive many different design variations, but only pay for one. However there are ways to make money here.
Now 99Designs offers you a chance to keep working with your client using 1-to-1 projects with much more reasonable fees. For 1-to-1 projects 99designs charges 5% support fee + 2.5% payment processing fee = 7.5%.
Designers are the most disappointed about 30-50% fee, 99designs keeps when they win a contest. This isn’t clearly translated in their fees, in fact I couldn’t even find in their terms specific percentage they are taking.
I was only able to find something in their forums, where 1,600 votes have been gathered and 82 comments to lower the fees. 99designs reply was – “If you believe that our fees are not aligned with the value we provide, then we certainly encourage you to find an alternative that is more in line with your perceived value.” Fair enough I guess, if you don’t like something, nobody can force you to use it.
But in terms of fees this means that if you complete $4,000 project you would only keep $2000-3000. Good news is that 99Designs doesn’t charge for withdrawals, except Western Union transfer which is $25.
If you are really good, you will find ways to make money here. Your whole focus should be on winning the contest and getting to work with the client 1-on-1. Costly 99designs fees and no guarantee’s to be paid really discourage participating on this site though.
99designs-crowdsourcing-contests-freelance-marketplace
99Designs doesn’t charge for withdrawals.
Pros:
  • Great place to build portfolio and test your skills.
  • Lots of activity, clients, creative jobs contents to join.
  • After you win the first contest, you can work with client on next project 1-on-1 for reasonable rates.
Cons:
  • Super high charges. You only earn 50-60% from the project, in case you win.
  • Based on contests, meaning if you don’t win – you do work for free.

Microlancer, Studio.Envato Review

envato-studio-microlancer-marketplace
They focus on one-time, short-term projects.
MicroLancer, which is now renamed as Envato studio, is the newest marketplace to find freelance jobs online specifically focusing on artists, but they are a closed community. They handpick designers who can post their jobs there. This allows Envato to maintain quality and a good supply/demand ratio. If you want to apply, read more about it here.
They focus on one-time, short-term projects, which can be done in few hours or up to 7 days. Pricing is fixed ranging between $50-500. Envato Studios keep 30% of your income.
What they promise in exchange:
  • Marketing – they have a trusted platform.
  • Protection – they take payment upfront from buyers and ensure both parties are satisfied.
  • Less admin work – they promise to help with invoicing, customer service and looking after disputes.
Since Envato Studio is still small and new I couldn’t find many reviews or feedback about them. I know Envato is a trusted company and their intention to stay small is a good way to ensure quality.
themeforest-envato-trusted-resource
Envato Studios keep 30% of your income.
Overall, it seems like a good place to get creative jobs and freelance projects, and earn some extra part-time income. However right now they have more service providers than clients, so you might have a tough time getting in.
Pros:
  • Quality and experience is highly valued
  • Earn extra income with quick graphic and web design projects.
  • Established, trusted company. Envato is highly recognized brand in design community.
Cons:
  • 30% fee for each project you complete
  • You cannot rely on Envato Studio for full-time, reliable income source.
  • Hard to get in and get accepted.

Codeable Review

codeable-wordpres-expert-freelance-marketplace
Codeable maintains quality by hand-picking experts.
This is a small community, where clients can get their small WordPress tasks done quickly. You will find quick front end developer jobs, php developer jobs around WordPress. This is not a place to look for full-time work.
Codeable maintains quality by hand-picking WordPress experts they accept on their website. They take a 15% fee from every freelance project you complete. In exchange they do marketing and hold money on Escrow to protect both contractor and client.
Codeable takes care of their community, but they also protect themselves preventing contractors from communicating directly with clients to lure them away from Codeable.
If you are WordPress expert you should apply there. I didn’t find any bad feedback, seems like they are doing the right thing by staying small and staying agile. You can learn more about their mindset in 2013-2014 recap article by founder of Codeable.
codeable-wordpres-expert-how-marketplace
Codeable takes care of their community.
Pros:
  • Quality service, great support.
  • Earn extra income and be valued as professional.
  • No corporate setup – Codeable is small and agile company. Every interaction is personal and human.
Cons:
  • 15% fee for each project you complete.
  • Harder to find bigger freelance projects, site is more for quick fixes.
  • Hard to get in.

AwesomeWeb Review

AwesomeWeb Professional Designer Marketplace
AwesomeWeb is focused on attracting professional.
After conducting our research, we noticed all of these problems with existing marketplaces. Freelance designers and developers aren’t treated well because they all seem to cater to clients.
So we spent a year building our job search website before we opened the doors in September 2014.
AwesomeWeb is focused on attracting professional graphic designers, web designers, and programers. We manually review each freelancer before allowing them to be shown in the search listing.
By collaborating with Michael Dunlop from IncomeDiary, a site which is read by business owners and entrepreneurs, we attract high level clients who need quality help. They’re not looking for cheap outsourcers, they are looking for experts who do what they promise.
Turns out, not only are freelancers frustrated, entrepreneurs are too. It’s hard to find reliable help in the ocean of low-level freelancers.
We want to fix this issue. I feel like Envato studio and Codeable are doing a good job of solving this problem for quick tasks. We want to expand upon that and let freelancers find regular clients, who want to work with you full-time, part-time, or on a retainer basis.
Huge marketplaces like Freelancer, Elance, oDesk, PeoplePerHour, have challenges with maintaining quality, because they let everybody in. Their support cannot handle issues, they try to create good search algorithms, but it’s not working, because there are too many people.
There is too much competition, too many people offer to work for low wages resulting in bad quality results. Nobody is happy – neither job seekers, nor business owners.
awesomeweb-profile-designer-marketplace
We hand review each application ourselves.
AwesomeWeb has stayed small and expanded slowly. We aren’t greedy. We only ask for a $17 per month subscription and let you work with clients directly. No hidden costs, pure quality – that’s it.
Pros:
  • Fees. We ask only for fixed monthly payment, $17. It’s not 30% like 99designs or Envato Studio, it’s not 15% or even 10% like in most places. You keep what you earn.
  • Customer support. We are personal. We are a small company consisting of 4 people, but we are all around the world, ensuring we can reply to you at any time.
  • No scripts. We’ve never written a support script. When you submit a support ticket, we help you personally and don’t give you canned email replies.
  • Quality control. We maintain quality by hand-reviewing accounts. We want competitors to do all the crappy websites and you do projects you are proud of. We don’t want you to undersell yourself.
  • No barriers. We don’t get in the way with the clients. You deal with clients directly. You get paid by clients directly. As professional you know how to handle yourself working with clients, you don’t need protection.
  • Good clients. We connect you with clients who want to work with professionals.
  • For Web Designers and Developers. AwesomeWeb focuses on providing expert jobs starting from graphic design jobs to web designer jobs and web developer jobs. Quality is our priority.
Cons:
  • We are small. We listen to how we can improve, but we don’t have a big development team that can make quick improvements. Every dollar we’ve made so far has gone back into development.
  • We don’t protect you from clients. We don’t place money on Escrow to be the middle-man. You deal with the client directly.
  • You pay upfront. We considered offering free accounts and free trials but ultimately decided on $17 per month with a 90-day money back guarantee. This ensures high quality freelancers. Once you’re in, we support you. It’s impossible to support free users.
  • You can’t reach out to clients yet. Clients contact you. They don’t submit job proposals that you can bid on. In a way it’s nice that clients choose to work with you, but you can feel helpless if you’re not constantly reaching out to clients. We’re building this feature now.
Read more ...

When Should You Quit Your Job? (and Begin Freelancing)



One of the very sensitive questions a designer asks at least once in his life is: “Should I begin freelancing now?”
Unlike other fields of employment, web design is a common goldmine when we are talking about freelancers. Many designers want to branch out of their daily cubicle jobs and start freelancing because they realized the many benefits that hide behind it.
Some of them are the following:
  • Independence
  • Flexibility in schedule
  • Open opportunities to learn more

begin freeelancing
When you start your freelancing career, you will discover that your chosen path leads to a more creative and productive endeavor. You will also find liberty with your time. Of course, some articles teach you how to perform well with your freelancing career but not many of them talk about when you should  start freelancing.

In this article, we will be answering the question When should I quit my job and start freelancing?
After reading this article, we hope that you would learn how to time your resignation so that you’ll be in a safe spot to kick start your freelancing career.
resignation

Why is it important to time your resignation?

  • Because you have to make sure that you have enough resources to start your new career
  • Because you need to have a set of sure clients before starting
  • Because you need to preserve the good relations to your previous employment
Let’s talk about the answers:

When you have acquired enough experience

exp
Going freelance isn’t easy, especially when you have nothing to show. Clients want freelancers with experience. I assure you, they will not hire people who have no proof of how good they are. You need to have some experience first before going into the magical world of freelancing.

If you happen to have quit your first job and has no acceptable experience, you may try on the following:

  • Create an online portfolio. Include the projects that you do ‘out of boredom’.
  • Collaborate with experienced designers.
  • Try to work for small pay until you build a solid portfolio.
If you have no experience, then, create an experience. That is what successful freelancers do. Clients don’t appear magically out of nowhere; they are earned. Better start earning them now, buddy.

When you have enough budget

piggy-bank
When you quit your job, you probably would get a considerable amount of severance pay. Consider this as your starting budget. It is a mistake to start with zero cash on hand.
As a freelancer, you have to understand that you won’t get regular clients in an instant. It will probably take months before you have a regular number of clientele, and that is not even assured.

So, before you start your freelancing career, better make sure to prepare your pockets for the following:

  • Food expenses for a couple of months
  • Enough money to pay the bills
  • Expenses for freelance needs (e.g. your portfolio website payments, business cards, etc.)
Of course, this will be a painful experience. You will surely live on a tight budget, but this is a pain you have to endure. Freelancing is pretty rough, especially to those who have just started, but you’ll get through it. Believe me.

Just don’t forget to tend to these needs when you start earning:

  • Taxes
  • Retirement Savings

When you are ready to work alone (most of the time)

forever-alone

When you think about it, freelancing is one of the loneliest professions. Yes, you are free from the hassle of dealing with douchebag co-workers and crappy bosses but you’re isolated from the society. You will realize that you have no one to talk to but your client and yourself. As a previous corporate employee, you will find this very difficult to deal with.

So that is why you need to prepare your mind and your emotions for this:

  • Sign up for co-working groups.
  • Set some socialization time at least twice a week.
  • Avoid being glued to social media.
  • Work in different places.
Yeah, sure, freelancing sure is lonely per se. But it’s still up to you to choose between being alone or working with a smile. Remember,  sometimes, alienation is self-infected.

When you know you can account for yourself

responsible-kid
Freelancing entails a lot of responsibility. You deal with your own clients. This is nowhere near your situation in your cubicle job where your bosses deal with the clients and you simply perform and deliver.
Unlike when you were stuck in your cubicle job where someone from the higher-ups deal with the clients, as a freelancer, you deal with your own clients.
Saving money is the main reason behind this. As a freelancer, you would want to compartmentalize everything and reduce manpower to save money. That means, you are your own boss and by that, I mean, great responsibility.

Here are the responsibilities you will be facing:

When you feel like you’re ready for these responsibilities, then you can start freelancing.

When your day job feels like hell

boss

This is one of the major reasons why people quit and start freelancing. You are supposed to enjoy your job to become productive. If you think you’re not able to work well because you’re not having fun anymore, then it might be the time to shift to freelancing. Of course, this is not easy.
You basically spent some time with the company and you feel that quitting won’t do any good, so you just have to stay.
My friend, that is wrong thinking. You should quit your job the moment you feel the signs that you are no longer enjoying it.

Forbes made a list of the tell-tale signs:

  • You lack passion.
  • You feel miserable each time you wake up.
  • Your company is projected to be bankrupt.
  • You don’t work well with your co-workers.
  • You’re stressed and physically unwell.
  • You don’t believe in the company’s missions anymore.
  • Your performance is becoming dismal.
  • You feel like your talents are not utilized.
  • You are not paid well.
  • Your bosses don’t hear you out.
  • You’re bored.
  • You experience abuse.

leaving-work

If you happen to feel these signs, then it’s time to quit. But I suggest that you leave in a peaceful manner. You don’t want to burn bridges there. Just remember to keep calm.

Here are a few articles that can help you with quitting:

Conclusion

When to quit your job? When these things meet your current status. If you want to start freelancing, you have to prepare heavily because it might become your career for years.
Success is waiting for you at freelancing; that is sure. But you have to walk or run to get there. These things are checklists for your long and fruitful journey. Now, have you considered starting freelancing? What are the things you already prepared for? Let us know.  Good luck!
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