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I have seen lots of ads for outsource.com on facebook. I signed up, input my skillset (php, wordpress, front end technologies), and now I am getting lots of emails about new job offerings that fit my skillset. Seems fantastic.

Well, every job requires a certain amount of "credits" that you must spend to make a bid, and presumably the lowest bidder gets the job. To get credits, you must purchase them, and then I think you might also earn them from being active on the site.

Has anyone used this site (or a site like it) with any success? I am very new to freelance; I have a 9-5 job but I am looking to pick up side work during my off hours. However, I don't want to end up buying a bunch of credits, and not getting any jobs.

I have Googled the site, and looked it up on Quora, but have not found any information. There is a generic "this site is great" review, and then a very negative review claiming its a scam, however, the long-winded negative review just seems to say "they asked me to buy credits, it must be a scam" so it was not very informative.

I hope this doesn't end up sounding open ended or opinion based, but have you used this site to get a job? Or is this site (and others like it) just a scam to get you to buy credits? All of the offers that show up in my inbox (hundreds since I registered a few months ago) just seem too good to be true.

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    I haven't used it nor I heard of it before. You can always try it but be sure you check their rules on fees and withdrawing money, if they have escort or hourly payment. After that, you can simply try it. You may be successful there and be top developer. Always remember of the saying "better be the first in the village, then last in the town" meaning all you need 10 good clients to earn like top 10 on odesk/elance/freelancer – Peter MV Mar 13 '15 at 13:41
  • If it's not a large, highly-known company advertising it's a scam, especially when it uses phrases that promise you things when they might not be true. – Lisa Ramos May 15 '15 at 1:10
  • Not necessarily true. Any company had to start as new and unknown. you should never excluded a company because it's new or you never heard of it. – Peter MV May 18 '15 at 12:06
  • It seems like a scam to me.. Buying credits to make money.. That's my opinion only. It just seems fishy to me.. Wishing you luck in finding work. – user7875 May 20 '15 at 19:53
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I have joined Outsource since posting my previous answer, and I would say it's about as "scammy" as eLance - there are things I really don't like about Outsource

  • you can't see anyone else's bids
  • buyers/clients don't have profiles like service providers, so you can't see how many jobs they've posted vs how many they've actually closed on - and this is a SERIOUS sticking point because it costs you money to bid on jobs (even though they call it credits), so you can't tell if people are just fishing for pricing or not.
  • freelancers can't rate buyers, so we don't know if they are habitual non-payers, or just difficult to work with.
  • Project descriptions are habitually under-described, so you would have to spend credits to find out what the heck these people actually want via messaging.

The one good thing about Outsource is that once you finally get agreement with the client about compensation, and they initiate a job, the money you are owed is held in escrow until the job is complete and the buyer releases the funds.

That said, I bought a 6-month subscription, burned through my first month's worth of credits in a couple of days with little-to-no responses from potential clients; bought another swath of credits, and got 2 jobs that will more than cover my expenses there once they really get going and I get paid. I'm out of credits for the month again, and I see things I could bid on, but I'm going to wait until I get my next month's credits to look at more possible work. The work seems really low-end on the pay scale (similar to eLance in that regard). I am a graphic designer, which has recently become a "commodity market"

In any event, Outsource seems much more legit than Thumbtack. Thumbtack has a very similar set up - people post jobs they want done and service providers spend credits to bid on them. The difference there is that payment is handled outside the platform, and after a few weeks there, it really seems that many of the "jobs" are posted by bots or people who have not been vetted in any way. I have bid on dozens of jobs on Thumbtack and only had responses from two - neither of them turned into any actual work. I have to revise this statement: I was "hired" by one person to do some UI design, but after a dozen emails, he told me I was too expensive and when I responded with "well, how much are you looking to pay?" he never got back to me.

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I've been a freelancer on Outsource.com for a few months and have actually had some success. I've been hired twice so far. It's a different setup from other sites... you pay a subscription fee to get quotes and message clients, but there aren't any service fees so it's up to you to do a good job marketing yourself. Since they are new, there aren't swarms of freelancers to compete with and because of the subscription fee, you don't see people quoting unreasonably low.

Not sure what the site will be like once they get a lot more freelancers on, but right now I'm going to keep at it.

  • There are service fees. Outsource takes 10% on top of the bidding credits fees. That was a bit of a shock when I discovered that the hard way. – Voxwoman May 16 '15 at 1:32
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I have not used Outsource.com, either, but I don't care for their blanket statement regarding IP rights assignments. I prefer to negotiate these rights separately myself. For graphic design/illustration/visual design work, standard industry practice is that the freelance artist retains the rights and grants a license of some kind to the client, depending on what the work is. Sometimes it's exclusive, sometimes it's not. And sometimes there is a time limit. (emphasis on the following passage mine)

Proprietary Rights in Work Product shall be owned by Freelancer until payment has been made by Client, at which time Freelancer will be deemed to have assigned all Proprietary Rights in the Work Product to Client. For Hourly-Rate Contracts, Client must pay for all hours. For Fixed-Price Contracts, Client has complete and sole discretion whether and how much to pay; however, if Client does not pay in full, Freelancer may terminate the Service Contract by refunding any partial payment, and Freelancer will retain Proprietary Rights in Work Product. To the extent that under applicable law, Proprietary Rights cannot be assigned, Freelancer hereby irrevocably agrees to grant, and hereby grants, to Client an exclusive (excluding also Freelancer), perpetual, irrevocable, unlimited, worldwide, fully paid, and unconditional license to use and commercialize Work Product in any manner now known or in the future discovered. To the extent such license grant is not fully valid, effective or enforceable under applicable law, Freelancer hereby irrevocably agrees to grant, and hereby grants, to Client, such rights as Client reasonably requests in order to acquire, as close as possible, all rights equivalent to full legal ownership. In order to ensure that Client will be able to acquire, perfect and use such Proprietary Rights, Freelancer will: (i) transfer possession, ownership, and title to media, models, and other tangible objects containing Work Product to Client, including delivery of a complete copy of the source code for any software, documented in sufficient detail to enable a reasonably skilled programmer to correct, integrate and modify it; (ii) sign any documents at Client's request to assist Client in the documentation, perfection and enforcement of its rights; and (iii) provide Client with support and reasonable access to information for recording, perfecting, securing, defending, and enforcing such Proprietary Rights in any and all countries. In the case that under applicable law, Freelancer retains any rights of paternity, integrity, disclosure and withdrawal and any other rights that may be known as or referred to as "moral rights" (collectively "Moral Rights") or other inalienable rights to Work Product or Confidential Information under this Agreement, Freelancer irrevocably agrees to waive, and hereby waives, all such rights, or, to the extent Freelancer cannot waive such rights, Freelancer agrees not to exercise such rights, until Freelancer has provided prior written notice to Client and then only in accordance with any reasonable instructions that Client issues in the interest of protecting its rights. Freelancer's obligations under this Section 6.3 will continue even after Freelancer deregisters from or ceases use of the Outsource.com Platform. Freelancer appoints Client as Freelancer's attorney-in-fact to execute documents on Freelancer's behalf for the purposes set forth in this Section 6.3.

  • As far as I remember, odesk has this policy too. – user152 Mar 13 '15 at 20:31
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    I wrote to them about it, and said that's not SOP for freelance graphic designers, and someone actually replied. They implied that we can "ignore" that for our own negotiated terms, but I don't think so. – Voxwoman Mar 14 '15 at 2:07
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I was bamboozled by Outsource.com — bought credits, bid on jobs and was actually "hired" by a client who still has not paid. She said she loved my design but was expecting me to provide copywriting when I am clearly a graphic designer. Total waste of time and money.

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I bought six months credits on Outsource.com but wanted to cancel my subscription after the first month. When I emailed them, they told me that I paid for six months and they would not refund me the rest of the money. Being unemployed, $130 something is a LOT for me right now. They told me if I don't get any jobs in the first 6 months, they will give me another 6 months free. It's a complete waste and I felt totally scammed, because the prices were listed by the month, it seemed that I could pay for just one month at a time. Suddenly after it's purchased, it shows as the cost for 6 months instead of one. I felt cheated. I've tried to make the most of it, but being new to freelance, I don't have a portfolio to show off. So, of course, I haven't gotten any jobs yet.

protected by Community May 20 '15 at 20:41

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