oDesk is now known as Upwork, and this article is therefor outdated. See Upwork reviews for the updated article and everything you need to know about this great company.
oDesk has on 18 December 2013 even become bigger than they were when they announced their merger with Elance and have joined forces to be a world leader in freelancing, outsourcing and crowd sourcing to make our online workplaces better than ever.
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 oDesk.com review get straight to the point, so you can find out what you need to know.
This oDesk.com Review, just like with all my reviews, is summarized from various sources: information obtained from the oDesk website, feedback obtained from oDesk 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.
Address: Global Headquarters San Francisco Office
441 Logue Avenue 475 Brannan Street, Suite 400
Mountain View, CA 94043 San Francisco, CA 94107
United States United States
Martin Linges vei 25
1364 Fornebu (Oslo)
Email: Various addresses per regions
Owner: Elance, INC
oDesk large size means more jobs and opportunities to choose from, and if you are an employer there are even more freelancers to choose from. After the merger it is estimated that over 2,000,000 businesses and 8 million freelancers use oDesk and Elance in over 180 countries.
More and more people are turning to online freelance work as a form of income, and with a company like oDesk around it is becoming increasingly easier to make extra money online doing legitimate online work. On oDesk you can earn a good income by working on projects that you want to work on and that you love. Whether you are looking for skilled or unskilled work, on oDesk you can find work to suit any type of experience and skill level.
oDesk 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. As they say on their joined website with Elance: “If your job can be done online, you can hire the best person to do it. Period.”
Anybody who wishes to register on oDesk.com must be legally allowed, including being over the age of 18 years. You are also allowed to register as a company and/or add team members to your profile.
You have to build your profile, which on oDesk also includes tax information, payment verification, security questions and your contact information. oDesk also has a readiness test that you should do to be able to work on the site.
I found oDesk the easiest site to build to a 100% profile, and in a relative short period of time. They also improved the profile view that only shows the most important information that employers will need.
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 a 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.
oDesk has free skill tests that you can take which can enhance your profile and give you an advantage over other freelancers. There are hundreds of tests to choose from and the tests are usually 40 minutes long. You are able to retake a test you fail and are also allowed to hide scores of tests you are not very proud of and do not want employers to see. I would strongly advise that you take all the tests relevant to your profile and experiences, and especially relevant to the skills you specified on your profile. Plus, they are fun to take.
Freelancer Basic Membership: (Free) Open for individuals, is the most basic plan and includes 60 connects per month, work diary protection, escrow protection, 10 job categories.
Freelancer Plus Membership: ($10 per month) Open for individuals, includes 70 connects per month, 70 rollover connects per month, ability to buy additional connects, work diary protection, escrow protection, ability to see competing proposal offers, 15 job categories.
Agencies have their own membership packages as follows:
Agency Basic Membership: (Free) Open for 1 member only, is the most basic plan and includes 60 connects per month, work diary protection, escrow protection, 10 job categories.
Agency Plus Membership: ($20 per month) Open for unlimited members, includes 80 connects per month (shared by team), 80 rollover connects per month, ability to buy additional connects, work diary protection, escrow protection, ability to see competing proposal offers, 15 job categories.
In the case of the paid membership program, the automatic renewal occurs on the first day after the expiration date.
You are allowed to upgrade or even downgrade your membership program at any time and the terms could be consulted on the site if needed or the customer support could be contacted.
Each membership type above have a certain amount of connects available which awards each member the respective number of job proposals per month, in other words; total connects is the total amount of job ‘auctions’ or application that each member of a membership program can put in per month.
Every application you make will require between 1 and 5 connects, which depends on the size of the project. Most projects will however require 2 connects. If you are however invited by a client to apply or are rehired for a project, no connects will be deducted.
You will also get ‘refunded’ if a project is cancelled.
The above therefore means that on the Basic membership you will now be able to apply for about 30 projects per month.
If you are on the Freelancer Plus or Agency Plus plans you will be able to buy additional connects during the month, at $1 per connect. You are however not allowed to have more than 350 connects for freelancers and 400 for agencies in your balance at any time.
This means that if you receive your 70 connects on the freelancer plus level, and want to buy more connects, you can only buy an additional 280 connects to reach your maximum of 350 connects.
Freelancer Plus members should however also note that only 70 unused connects may be carried over to the next month, no matter what your balance may be, and 80 for agency plus members.
Tools and Accessories
oDesk.com has many good tools to download which will assist in working and hiring on the site, such as apps to monitor a project’s progress. The oDesk team app track the hours you work on a project and can therefore guarantee your payment.
This oDesk.com Review will not be complete without talking about getting paid.
All your earnings from work done with employers will be made directly to the oDesk website, from where freelancers can easily view their balances, and have full control over their finances. oDesk will guarantee payments to freelancers working on hourly rate projects, if the client has a verified payment method on file.
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. Each payment method also has its own fees related to it, and you would have to research all your options before you decide what payment means to use. If you require more detail about related fees, I will gladly provide it to you.
Withdrawals can be made and requested through ACH (US only), local fund transfer, US Dollar wire transfer, PayPal, Skrill, and Payoneer.
The following is taken from the oDesk terms for your information:
“When your earnings become available depends on the type of payment:
• Your earnings for hours and set weekly payments become available based on the work week schedule.
• Your earnings for bonuses, fixed-price, manual, milestone, and final payments become available after your client’s payment has been successfully processed and the six-day security period has passed.”
As part of oDesk’s terms it is prescribed that freelancers and clients have to keep records of all work done on oDesk, these records need to be for a year. This is the same terms as also set out on the Elance website as well.
This is similar records you would keep for a permanent full time career, which the tax man would need. 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 level.
oDesk has a excellent customer support system, which I have also used in the past to great success. It consists of a live chat, contact form, email contact per region, support desk, help center and a frequently asked questions section. They usually respond to a question or request very quickly and aim to resolve problems fast. oDesk is now part of Elance and you can also expect the same excellent customer service as you get from Elance.
Their merger with Elance might have been a great decision and have basically pulled together, in my opinion, the two best freelance sites. The thing is though, as a registered freelancer on both sites, I don’t really see a difference because both sites still operate separate from each other, which I actually prefer.
oDesk is in many aspects the better of the two, especially when it comes to applying for projects. I like the fact that when you apply for a position they show you the average amount that is quoted, thereby allowing you to adjust your quote. You are also able to quote on several industries, and you receive more application quotas per month.
There are many work from home sites that scams you into basically paying to get work. If you have to pay to get paid, then that site is definitely not legit. oDesk is completely free, from the registration, to memberships, to skills tests and everything in between, and there is no up sells.
In my opinion, oDesk is one of the best freelancing sites available today, and if you are looking into working freelance, you won’t go wrong signing up with them.
I hope you found this oDesk.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.