Guru.com is by no doubt a huge site. By their own words it is “The world’s largest online marketplace for freelance talent”. I don’t know this it is the truth, but even if it is not, it’s pretty close to the truth.
Guru.com contains more than hundred job categories of all business areas. This is what makes it unique – all the sites I have seen are concentrated mostly on computer related jobs. Guru.com has categories on everything that can be done per freelance contract – from the well known computer stuff, to legal advice, business consulting, engineering, interior design and marketing.
I have never felt too comfortably on Guru.com however, most probably because of it’s a bit strange member’s area, bidding system and messaging. For me it is a bit weird, quite different from the control panels on the other sites and a bit confusing.
The free members on Guru.com have quite limited access, which has its advantages and disadvantages of course. You still can use the site as a free member – just like I have always done. But if you find the service good for you and like to work there a lot, better to upgrade your account.
Guru.com pays your earnings with Check, Bank wire or Paypal. Freelancers from India can also use Remit2India payment method. They charge 10% commissions for free members and 5% on the two paid account types.
- huge site with a lot of projects
- a lot of categories covering every kind of work
- excellent support and help
- limited competition because of the limited bids on free members
- overall good quality of the projects posted
- good protection against dishonest buyers
- a bit confusing and not as easy to use as the other sites.
- high fees (10%) for free members
- not too many payment options
- absolutely no information about other’s bids
One of the things which frustrated me on Guru is that the other’s offers are completely hidden. You won’t understand the bids of the other competitors neither before, neither after the project is done. You won’t even know the number of bidders or the amount of average bid. Absolutely no guideline about the price you should offer.
I know this makes Guru.com closer to the reality. When you approach a client in the real world, usually you can’t ask them for the other offers or even if they have any. So it is a positive thing and forces you to give fair offer, instead of “outsmarting” the market.
On the other hand, especially if you are new in freelancing, you need some ways to learn – and Guru.com is not appropriate for that. Guru is excellent site for the experienced freelancers but a bit raw to the newbies.
If you create a Basic account (free), you will be allowed only 10 bids per 30 days. This option obviously is appropriate only if you just want to try Guru – or you diversify there, but it is not your main freelance site. If you want to use it more, you’ll have to pick a paid account type.
The first paid account type called “Guru” gives you 100 bids per 30 days, only 5% project fee and costs $30 – $100 per quarter depending on your profile category. This is the perfect account type if you want to work seriously on this site. The only advantage of paying more for the next level – “Guru Vendor” (costs $39 – $130 per quarter) is that you’ll have access to “vendor only” projects. And they are not that many.