I applied for a job through Guru three months ago and then had a detailed conversation regarding the project. The client was happy with the rough solution presented by me but disappered after some discussion.

Recently he tried reaching me again and this time he agreed to give the project to me accepting all my charges/service terms and conditions. But this time, most of the communication happened through whatsapp chat. Shall I directly deal with client and payment through PayPal or should send an agreement through Guru website?

The reason I want to directly deal with client is higher charges levied by websites on contract amount.

5 Answers 5


I have never used any online freelancing platform for any client. All communications are direct, including contract negotiations and payments. I dislike "chat" overall, it's too easy to allow incessant interruptions. So, I do not use any messengers. I handle communications vie email and telephone (and sometimes texts). There shouldn't ever be a need for anything more in my opinion - none of what I do is "life and death" requiring instant communication beyond a phone call.

If you don't need a third party taking a percentage of your revenue, why would you ever instigate that.

Have I been ripped off? Yes, but only a couple times. Does using a freelance platform ensure you won't be ripped off? Absolutely not. But, the freelance platforms, in my opinion, make it much easier for bad clients to hide or manipulate the system to get more than they are paying for. Just read the answer from @PeterMV here: Why anybody would work without a contract? It's always possible to "game the system" once a bad client knows how it works. It's pretty difficult to "game the system" if I am the system.

With direct communication I get a much clearer indication of the type of client someone is and am able to spot bad clients much more rapidly.


I regularly communicate with my clients on WhatsApp, there's nothing wrong with that. WhatsApp is a very common communication tool.

You will need to make a decision on whether you want to take a risk working outside the platform. Only you have the answer.

  • Do you trust your client?
  • Will a deposit be paid? Never work for anything like paid-after-delivery.
  • Do you want to take risks for higher profit margin?

I personally take the risks and work with my clients without any platform. If you want to take the risk, make sure you don't start working without any payment guarantee.

  • 1
    I start trusting after one project done. Had some bad experiene with paid-after-delivery as well. I think I would go for website option for this first time work.
    – PD Pro
    Jul 26, 2017 at 7:41
  • @PDPro Good. I think you have the answer.
    – SmallChess
    Jul 26, 2017 at 7:42

Your post may be off-topic but if not, paying outside the Guru platform may be interpreted as you taking full responsibility of your action (including the risk of being duped) as that will be at the blind sight of the Guru platform , where they may have absolutely no power to control anything.

Be warned; you cannot (likely supported by their terms and conditions you would have already agreed to in order to use their platform and thereby binding you) ask the Guru platform for any support should a problem arise as you may be breaking your contractual agreement with them through that action.

Other sanctions may apply as well.


Two options:

  • follow the normal Guru workflow (fully);

  • work on an advance-payment basis only (possibly splitting the workload into phases, but each time paid in advance).

In the latter case, the customer can claim that they are disadvantaged. Tell him that the work done cannot be given back, while money can :)

  • Yes, working through websites has its benefits as well. There is no replacement for hard work put in the realising the project goals.
    – PD Pro
    Jul 26, 2017 at 7:36
  • @PDPro: there is some "bad manner" in bypassing the freelancing site but some of them exaggerate. UpW**k takes 20% on the first $500, which I find too much.
    – user4521
    Jul 26, 2017 at 7:45
  • Yes, this is the main issue.
    – PD Pro
    Jul 26, 2017 at 7:47

Depends on your plans. Do you plan to get new clients via freelancing sites or by direct recommendation?

If you believe that you will get decent amount of new clients via recommendations, then do the work directly and not pay fees to those sites. Many guys here are working by this system.

On the other hand, if you suspect that you will find clients via freelancing sites, then do the work via them. You will build your profile and get new clients.

One thing thou, I was once spammed by Upwork informing me that if I bring my own client to their platform, they will charge me 0%. This is even smaller than Paypal. And you can always take those clients off Upwork without breaching their regulations. You may think about this option as well.


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