Guru.com review – Is it any good?
Guru.com is one of the oldest freelancing, outsourcing and crowd sourcing websites available today.
This article, like all similar articles, covers multiple sections, showing the most important topics to enable you to decide on whether this site will be worth your time.
You will also find that my guru.com review get straight to the point, why should you need to read a 20 page review, when you can find out what you need to know in the least amount of pages. Time is a scares commodity these days, so who has time to still read long dragged out reviews. Just tell me if the site or product is any good, and get on with it, that’s how I feel. How about you?
This Guru.com Review, just like with all my reviews, is summarized from various sources: information obtained from the Guru website, feedback obtained from Guru users of the site, my own thorough research, and my own personal experiences with the site.
Please give your feed back below if there is something on your mind, if you disagree with my opinion, or if you have something to say about this freelancing company.
5001 Baum Blvd.,
Suite 760, Pittsburgh,
Email: Contact form available.
Founder: Inder Guglani
Guru make it easy for global enterprises, small businesses, and start ups to be able to connect with the world’s most talented developers, designers, writers, marketers, support reps, accounting, admin staff, and more.
Guru was started in 1998 and has since that time been self-funded. It is a freelancing site that is certainly profitable and also growing fast. They strive to constantly improve their products and services to make the environment for both freelancers and employers enjoyable.
Guru serves an estimated 2000000 freelancers and over 1 million projects the world over each year. On Guru.com you can earn a good income by working on projects that you want to work on and that you love.
Guru is one of the best freelancing sites to work on, because they randomly screen projects which are posted by employers. They ensure that only the best projects are posted on their site and avoid the posting of junk projects. You can therefore be assured that when you bid on a project, you have a reputable employer on the other side.
To further prove their desire for quality Guru also has a comprehensive list of projects which are not allowed to be posted on Guru.com. Examples of what will make a project get rejected could be the following; clients requesting a free mockup or sample of work, school projects, sales pitches, illegal work, contest entries, volunteer work, projects with unreasonable expectations, and many other.
It can therefore be very justifiable for Guru to claim to have the best overall project quality of any of the major sites, instead of trying to claim to be the biggest as most sites tend to do.
Employers/clients on the other hand, are happy to post projects on Guru because it attracts some of the best freelancers of all the sites. Guru can rightfully claim to be one of the world leaders in freelancing, outsourcing and crowd sourcing, because they make our online workplace better.
As more and more people turn to online freelance work as a form of income, companies with the capabilities of offering legitimate online work like Guru.com will continue to thrive.
Website design and functionality
When doing my guru.com review, I also consider their website functionality. Guru has a well constructed website, which adds to the pleasant working experience. It is professional in appearance and highly functional, and with no complaints from me about their site speed and stability
They make it easy for you by displaying everything you need to know on your ‘Dashboard’ when you sign in. From here you can edit your profile, have access to marketing tools, create invoices, view available bids, view job matches and apply for jobs, and view all your messages.
When applying for projects you have the option to click on the employer’s name and you get taken to another window, which gives you a proper history breakdown of all the projects that employer has posted. It is really great to know this detail before you apply for a job and Guru makes it very easy, because you don’t want to apply for a scam project.
You can become a member of Guru if you are a legal entity and over the age of 18 years. You can also add unlimited team members to your one portfolio, which is actually unique in the online freelancing world.
Guru.com offers all members, regardless of what membership level they choose, an unlimited profile. This means you are able to bid and work in all categories and not be restricted to choose which categories you wish to work under, like on some other sites.
This means that if you are multi-skilled and are able to work in many categories because of previous work experiences, you will be able to list all these categories as part of your skills under your profile. You can also create them as services that you provide, and list them under your profile.
You have to build your profile and add services that you provide to your profile. It is also important to compile a portfolio, as many clients consider a portfolio a measuring stick of freelancer quality.
Online work is in many ways exactly like a normal brick and mortar job; your profile is like your resume and personal record and has to be up to date to stand the best chance to catch the eye of an employer. You also grow your reputation with every job you do, and a high recommendation rating from past performances, will ensure that you receive more job offers, because you will achieve a higher trust level.
Guru, as with all other sites, has skill tests that you can take which can enhance your profile and give you an advantage over other freelancers. There are costs involved with taking these test for members on the basic membership, but many clients regard these as important, you should therefore consider taking at least those that most reflect your skills.
Guru offers various membership programs to subscribe to which represent different levels of participation on the Website. Membership programs are as follows:
The Basic Membership: (Free) The beginning plan and includes 120 bids per year or 10 bids per month, 8.95% job fee, unlimited team members, and $4.95 per skill test.
The Basic + Membership: ($8.95 per month) Includes 600 bids per year or 50 bids per month, 8.95% job fee, unlimited team members, free job Q&A, and $2.95 per skill test.
The Professional Membership: ($15.95 per month) Includes 600 bids per year or 50 bids per month, 6.95% job fee, unlimited team members, free job Q&A, 100 rollover bids per year, premium proposals, sales messages, and free skill tests.
The Business Membership: ($24.95 per month) Includes 600 bids per year or 50 bids per month, 5.95% job fee, unlimited team members, free job Q&A, 200 rollover bids per year, premium proposals, sales messages, free skill tests, and can link personal site.
The Executive Membership: ($39.95 per month) Includes 600 bids per year or 50 bids per month, 4.95% job fee, unlimited team members, free job Q&A, 300 rollover bids per year, premium proposals, sales messages, free skill tests, and can link personal site.
All the paid membership plans are billed and have to be paid once per year and not monthly as is usually the case. You should also note that there are costs involved to upgrade from one membership to another.
There is also another added advantage for anyone registered on either the professional, business, or executive membership plans, and that is that they can advertise their personal or company website on the front of their profile.
Each membership plan above has a certain amount of bids available, which awards each member the respective number of job proposals per year; which are then calculated per month. In other words; total bids is the total amount of job ‘auctions’ or application that each member of a membership program can put in per month and per year.
Another plus for Guru is the fact that they charge only one bid per standard project/job proposal, irrespective of the value of the project. Some sites, such as Elance for example, charges many connects for a single project/job bid, because of the higher value they place on it.
Guru does however require more bids if you want to submit a premium proposal (currently 6). This causes your proposal to appear at the top of the list of project bids and improves your possibilities to get selected. This service is only available on higher membership levels; professional and above.
On Guru you can easily view your bids usage per day per month and more, to keep track of how much you have used and how long you still have before the bids expire. Unused bids do not carry over to the next month, except when you are on a higher membership plan and where roll over bids therefore do apply.
Guru also allows you to buy additional bids, if you run out, at a price. The prices and quantity of bids that you can buy additionally are as follows:
- 20 bids = $10
- 40 bids = $20
- 60 bids = $30
- 125 bids = $50
- 250 bids = $100
Services Fees and Costs
It is also to show in my guru.com review that there are some fees applicable for using Guru Services, and is quite standard in the online freelancing industry. The applicable fees are briefly explained below, a more in depth explanation of all the relevant service fees can be found on the Guru.com website.
Project Fee: Charged to freelancers based on membership type and also calculated on the total amount paid by an Employer for a Project completed.
Freelancer Transfer Method Fee: If a freelancer requests to receive payment by check or wire transfer, instead of the usual PayPal or Payoneer, the freelancer will pay a processing fee for this service. Direct deposits to US bank accounts have no transaction fee. Wire transfers to non-US banks accounts are charged at $9.00 per transaction.
Dispute Resolution Service Fee: If any dispute is raised to Guru to resolve, a service fee is charged of a minimum of $25.00 or 5% of the total project total.
Payment Processing Fee: Payment to a freelancer by an employer by credit card or PayPal account, will incur a service fee of 2.45%.
This Guru.com Review will not be complete without also mentioning the negative issue with the site. I feel a negative aspect about Guru is the fact that all the fees and costs for hosting projects on their site are recovered from freelancers, while employers/clients pay no such fees.
On most, if not all, other freelancing sites clients are charged a percentage for posting a project. I would think that it would just be fair that clients should also share in the cost of administering a project on a site.
Payment is made to the Guru website by the client, from where the freelancer can easily view their balances, and have full control over their finances. You have to set up payment means before you can get paid, and it is advisable to set up two forms of payments which you can then choose from.
Guru makes use of its SafePay system, which provides protection against fraud committed by employers/clients.
Guru offers several different payment methods that clients can use:
- Check: You can request payment by paper check, which can be sent in the US and even internationally. Can take between 1 and 3 weeks to be received.
- Direct Deposit (ACH): For US freelancers with a US bank account; funds can be deposited directly in to you account. Can take up to 2 days to be processed.
- Wire Transfer: Can be requested by international freelancers. Can take up to 4 days to be processed.
- PayPal: A well known option used by many freelancers the world over, where PayPal is accepted. Money normally immediately available.
- Guru Prepaid MasterCard: Implemented through Payoneer and available in most countries.
I have been consistent with my comments and recommendation under this section with all freelancing sites that I have reviewed. It is important that you always keep records of all work you do on this site as well as all other sites.
This is similar records you would keep for a permanent full time career, which the tax man would need. You don’t want him knocking on your door, asking for records of work done, which you don’t have.
On this note, you need to research and investigate the tax requirements in your own country, and if you are required to pay tax for part time freelance work, and at what income and tax level.
Guru has a good customer support system, which can answer any question you may need in clear English. It can however be difficult to find the support menu in the beginning if you are a new user of the site. You can find the support menu at the bottom of the Guru page under ‘Resources’ or to make it easier for you, you can click this Guru Contact Us link.
They usually respond to a question or request very quickly and aim to resolve problems fast. The turnaround time for customer support issues are usually one day, which is pretty good. Their support agents are usually courteous and professional, and like I said, are knowledgeable in their field.
The help section is excellent, because of the thoroughness of its content. They divided it in two menus, one for employers and one for freelancers. All site functions are explained in detail in these two menus under sub-menus, which can answer almost any question you may have.
Guru places a greater importance on quality rather than quantity, and places a priority on screening selected posted projects to ensure only the best projects appears on their site. This practice of screening projects is unfortunately not perfect and it can happen that some ‘wrong’ projects do slip through, although these instances seem to be the exceptions.
Guru also has a very reasonable membership fee structure, which makes them a very attractive site to be working on. The fact that they work on a yearly payment structure, makes perfect sense if you consider their desire to discourage casual freelancers from joining their site, and thereby only attracting and therefore favoring the serious long term workers.
Their site interface is well setup and maintained, with regular feedback being sent to members about changes on the site.
I do have a problem with their policy of charging their fees only from freelancers, and charging nothing from clients/employers. Perhaps they are trying to attract more employers with this policy, and at the same time discourage casual freelancers from joining. Either way, a more balanced fee structure would be a fairer approach.
In my opinion, Guru.com is one of the better freelancing sites available today, just a little behind oDesk and Elance, and if you are looking into working freelance, you won’t go wrong signing up with them. I hope you found what you needed in this guru.com review, please leave your comments below should you have something to add.
I hope you found this Guru.com Review helpful, and that you found the information you were looking for. It will be appreciated if you can also rate this survey site on the above rating system, to assist other users.