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How does Elance work, and how much does it cost?

posted this on June 22, 2011 08:45 AM

Elance is an online community of over 4 million businesses and Freelancers working together differently.

As a Client hiring on Elance,  you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re in control, working safely and only paying for what you expect. Plus, we’re here with you every step of the way!

As a  Freelancer providing services on Elance,  you’ll have the opportunity to work with Clients in more than 170 countries – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses to individual entrepreneurs. By using Elance, you will have confidence and assurance you will get paid for the work you deliver!

How does Elance work?

Clients register then create and post a job on Elance. In the post, the job type is selected, and scope and details of the project are outlined.

Freelancers find jobs by searching our marketplace, opting to receive personalized job recommendation emails or by Client invitation. Clients can use a variety of Elance search tools to locate and invite the most promising of Freelancers to submit a job proposal. Elance will also suggest Freelancers whose qualifications match those in  the job post.

Freelancers submit their job proposals, explaining how they will tackle the project. Clients review job proposals to choose the best candidate and award the job. To help make decisions, Clients can view Freelancer’s profile pages (which include work history, portfolios, ratings and reviews and other information).

Once a Freelancer is chosen, a shared Workroom is created where the Client and Freelancer communicate,  collaborate on the job, upload work deliverables and manage payment.

Clients and Freelancers can begin work on Elance with peace of mind knowing they are protected by our unique Payment Protection programs.

For Clients

  • Learn more about getting started as a Client on Elance with our Client User Guide.

  • Access our Help materials for Clients here.

For Freelancers

  • Learn more about getting started as a Freelancer on Elance with our Freelancer User Guide.

  • Access our Help materials for Freelancers here.

How much does Elance cost?

Elance is free to join and there are no charges to post jobs, submit proposals or to work!

So, how does Elance make money?

We deduct an 8.75% service fee from all invoices submitted by Freelancers on the site. To help Freelancers determine the final payment amount they will receive on their invoices, the service fee will show to Freelancers as they calculate their bid. For example, a Client will receive a bid of $547.95 ($500 + 8.75% fee of 47.95) if the Freelancer is aiming to receive $500 for their work. When work is completed and approved by the Client, Elance collects the $547.95 payment from the Client and passes $500 on to the Freelancer.

This is the only required cost of using Elance. There are optional costs for Clients and Freelancers looking to enhance their success on the platform, but these are voluntary fees.

Freelancers may also choose to subscribe to one of Elance's premium membership plans. For a monthly fee, these membership plans allow for further access to submitting proposals for open jobs and other benefits. Read more about these membership plans here

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