The Face of Cheap Labor on the Internet

by 50 comments
#internet marketing #cheap #face #internet #labor
  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    That's one of the things I appreciate most about the internet, it brings a lot of the world closer together. Helping spread the wealth around is one of the best things we can do.
  • Profile picture of the author butters
    It is going to be interesting the reaction will be on a thread like this People will say that we will be take advantage of someone who is in a poor country. The counter argument to that would be the one which you raised about giving them a raise and a better living in their country. I am sure one or two will also claim slave labour and the saying "you get what you pay for" will also be said .
    • Profile picture of the author madstan
      Originally Posted by butters View Post

      It is going to be interesting the reaction will be on a thread like this People will say that we will be take advantage of someone who is in a poor country. The counter argument to that would be the one which you raised about giving them a raise and a better living in their country. I am sure one or two will also claim slave labour and the saying "you get what you pay for" will also be said .
      You just gave me an excellent business idea! Thank you!
  • Profile picture of the author Gmount
    I'm only just getting started with IM (after a long break) but when I do get to the stage where I know enough to be able to out-source any work in the direction of these people, I won't let someone shame me into not helping them out of the rat race that they find themselves in! (and we think we have it bad!!!)

    When we see how they have to live/survive we should appreciate what we have and if someone does make you feel guilty by playing the "slave labour" card..... if you're happy with the work that you get back, then give them a bonus!!! at least you will be sure that they recieve your donation and it's not been intercepted by some local gangster!
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Greene
    Using cheap labor is a very good idea. It creates wide range of opportunities for people around the world.
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    The large corporations moved in first. They established a structure that involved ownership of the equipment for manufacturing and control of job flow. Even small companies have trouble working with people like us in manufacturing because they don't own their own equipment. There is a stranglehold over the cheap labor.

    But when people like us can train these people and get other people doing business with them too, a large transformation is going to take place and some of the big guys will go down. There is so much opportunity for us and these people. I plan to repost about this in a couple of years. Change is coming!
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    The large corporations moved in first. They established a structure that involved ownership of the equipment for manufacturing and control of job flow. Even small companies have trouble working with people like us in manufacturing because they don't own their own equipment. There is a stranglehold over the cheap labor.

    But when people like us can train these people and get other people doing business with them too, a large transformation is going to take place and some of the big guys will go down. There is so much opportunity for us and these people. I plan to repost about this in a couple of years. Change is coming!
  • Profile picture of the author Matt011
    Great video, thanks for sharing! I definitely endorse hiring people like that because it creates a win-win situation. You get cheap labor, and at the same time you can provide someone with a job. If they're only charging you a dollar per hour or less, you could easily double their salary and make their life a lot easier, or pay them what they ask but give them a "huge" bonus at the end of a project. The only thing I worry about is finding someone who does quality work, but that's no different from anywhere else in the world. Once you've tested a few different workers with various projects and have found someone who does good work, it truly is a win-win relationship.
  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

    Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.
    • Profile picture of the author LSAT Tutor
      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them.

      *Agreed*

      Hire people in the US! They will eventually become your customers.
    • Profile picture of the author onSubie
      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

      Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.

      I don't think the point of the video is that you can get people to work for you for 50 cents an hour.

      I think the point is that 50 cents an hour is a raise over what these people receive working in factories supporting large corporations.

      You, as an employer, can reward your employees any way you want. Start at a higher rate, offer productivity bonuses, offer monthly incentives and bonuses, etc.

      Also, remember the cost and standard of living is much different in many of these countries. While 50 cents an hour may be extreme, a few dollars an hour may be considered a high wage.

      In the U.S., the minimum wage is only $7.25 and hour. That isn't enough to live on but I don't hear a big clamour to raise it...

      And US states that, historically, have been favourable to workers rights are now enacting "right to work" legislation. Which is more "right to exploit" for the corporations than an effort to increase sustainable jobs for the community.
    • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
      Originally Posted by donhx View Post

      I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

      Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.
      *Agreed*

      Don's hit the nail on the head.

      I'm one of many people who have lost their full time, skilled job, because it was outsourced to India. The same thing is happening to people all over the country. That changes lives too.
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Considering the World Bank and IMF peg the global poverty line at $2 a day, someone making $1 per hour is not doing too bad (in this context) especially if they work 8 hours a day. Global competition is good. I know it's good for me because it pushes me to keep my quality and productivity up. It also motivates me to continue learning. Remember: if you're not moving forward, you're dying. It's that simple.
  • Profile picture of the author daniellawseo
    Cheap labor on the internet has become a standard reality because of the rise of the internet. It's a good solution for many industries, and it's a win-win situation for both sides. In saying this though, it is important that us as employers treat our third-world country employees with the same standards as we would our own.
    • Profile picture of the author writeaway
      Originally Posted by daniellawseo View Post

      Cheap labor on the internet has become a standard reality because of the rise of the internet. It's a good solution for many industries, and it's a win-win situation for both sides. In saying this though, it is important that us as employers treat our third-world country employees with the same standards as we would our own.
      I can't agree with you more. It's all about arriving at a mutually beneficial and mutually profitable situation. As you said, standards are important and American/European/Canadian/Australian clients help boost emerging countries' English writing standards and competencies by providing important quality guidelines and strictly sticking to those guidelines.
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Cheap labor online shows. You can pretend all you want that your 'VA' has great language skills, but they don't.

    'Cheap labor' is a another common IM fantasy...like using Fiverr.com. You will purchase enough crap that your cost savings won't be worth it.
    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Cheap labor online shows. You can pretend all you want that your 'VA' has great language skills, but they don't.

      'Cheap labor' is a another common IM fantasy...like using Fiverr.com. You will purchase enough crap that your cost savings won't be worth it.
      I tend to agree with this. If a VA was trained up and ready to go, I'd pay full rates.

      All I have found are people / corps which promise that a VA can do all said marketing tasks, yet none have the initiative to self start. All need training etc.

      Other problem is that many a unemployed and looking for some cash, so long term they are not really committed.

      I know prefer a rolodex of specialist skill sets.
    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post

      Cheap labor online shows. You can pretend all you want that your 'VA' has great language skills, but they don't.

      'Cheap labor' is a another common IM fantasy...like using Fiverr.com. You will purchase enough crap that your cost savings won't be worth it.
      It certainly matters what you're hiring them to do. I have a VA that does great graphics design and another that is an expert web developer. It doesn't show. They create the content that I hire them to make.
  • Profile picture of the author cferfland247
    I have very good experience of using oDesk and some contractor from Bangladesh. They were cheap but the quality of work was great.

    One of my contractor told me, there are many skilled and qualified worker in Bangladesh but they are facing massive unemployment problem and that's why they are outsourcing their skills in oDesk.
    • Profile picture of the author theaccountant
      Originally Posted by cferfland247 View Post

      I have very good experience of using oDesk and some contractor from Bangladesh. They were cheap but the quality of work was great.

      One of my contractor told me, there are many skilled and qualified worker in Bangladesh but they are facing massive unemployment problem and that's why they are outsourcing their skills in oDesk.
      Is English your first language... Just checking
  • Profile picture of the author eperkins153
    Odesk is one of the best ways to grow a business because of the low cost of hiring VA'S
  • Profile picture of the author ratracegrad
    Taking advantages of differences in economic opportunity the world over is a real life example of the economics terminology known commonly as "guns for butter." If you can create butter very cheaply then you can trade your excess for commodities produced in other countries that are produced cheaper than they are in your country. When this happens both countries are able to improve their standards because they have access to a wider range of commodities.

    Hiring in areas where labor is cheaper due to economic standards is not slave labor. Slave labor is hiring people and paying them either nothing or below the standard pay.

    When these people are hired the both parties in the agreement win. The seller gets a product or service at a much lower cost. The person producing the product or service is able to earn more than they can in their local economy assuming they are able to even get a job. It is a classic WIN-WIN scenario.

    If you find someone or multiple people that you hire that can produce product for you at a lower cost then it is our obligation to not take advantage of this. I have a stable of 5 writers on eLance that I use each and every month and they will bust their ass to complete work for me because I leave great reviews and will pay within 30 minutes of reading an email notice from eLance they have completed the work. Because I provide consistent work I have had some of them even offer to lower their rates say from $6 to $4.5 because they are afraid that I will find someone cheaper and that steady income from me is invaluable to them. In every case I have refused to lower my rates. These 5 are my go to guys and unless they take it upon themselves to start producing very low quality work I will continue to use them.

    Another suggestion is that if the worker(s) are very loyal to you and work very hard for you then consider paying them a bonus. Almost all Americans are use to receiving a raise or bonus each year so why not do the same for your works. Starting this year I am taking 10% of my commissions I earn as a result of the products these people create each month and paying that back to them as a bonus.
  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    It comes down to economies of scale.

    My VA in the Phillipines was able to buy a house thanks to his employment with me = not bad
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    While this is a complex issue, one of the points I was trying to make with the video is large corporations have been doing this for years, and we are entering a time where people can work directly with each other. IT is one area, but there will be more opportunities as well.

    Definitely lack of labor standards is why many jobs are sent overseas. While it is a slow process, I believe these standards will improve. There will be an equalization over time. We can help bring about this time sooner. We can benefit by being aware of the dynamic, not pretending it doesn't exist.
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      it is important that us as employers treat our third-world country employees with the same standards as we would our own.
      That sounds humanitarian and fair but I have to wonder....

      Would you hire that same cheap worker if he weren't as cheap? Is the work and language such that you would pay for it if he charged $5-10 per hour?

      Probably not. If you can find good work with cheap labor - that's fine. Hire them and pay them a bit more than they expect. If you justify the outsourcing by thinking it's "good enough"...it's probably not.
  • Profile picture of the author tjaysen70
    thank eth of the lord eth...for the cheap labor. Folks in the US usually want to charge too much for IM services you can get for a fraction from india or other countries like that. Those guys overseas are grateful to make money doing services online..many of the people in those countries make like $2 a day.
    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by tjaysen70 View Post

      thank eth of the lord eth...for the cheap labor. Folks in the US usually want to charge too much for IM services you can get for a fraction from india or other countries like that. Those guys overseas are grateful to make money doing services online..many of the people in those countries make like $2 a day.

      You say that:
      Folks in the US usually want to charge too much for IM services you can get for a fraction from india or other countries like that.
      Then I ask you why is it then that folks from those other countries hire US folks to edit, rewrite and/or write content for them and pay US prices?

      Just a point to ponder...

      Terra
    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
      Originally Posted by tjaysen70 View Post

      thank eth of the lord eth...for the cheap labor. Folks in the US usually want to charge too much for IM services you can get for a fraction from india or other countries like that. Those guys overseas are grateful to make money doing services online..many of the people in those countries make like $2 a day.
      And that is PRECISELY the problem (the bolded part).

      I love dvduval's OP and the video, and I love that he gets it about the multinational corporaations that are so exploitative, AND that we can band together and help break their grip on the poor in third-world countries, I truly do.

      BUT the problem is that it's not that the contractors in the U.S. "charge too much," it's that the impoverished, exploited workers in third world countries charge too little. No, they don't charge too little for THEIR local situation (their economy and cost of living), but we workers in the U.S. can't compete because our cost of living is so very much, much higher. BUT, because having NO job is worse than having a poorly paying job, wages here in the U.S. are plummeting in the face of all this wonderful "outsourcing" and globalization. That brings our standard of living down quite a bit, but makes employers really, really happy. They get more profits.

      Now, while you may say "more profits = good! They can create more jobs."

      But what kind of jobs -- more exploitative jobs that leave their employees impoverished?

      To continue picking on Wal-Mart, did you know:
      6 Members of Wal-Mart Family Have More Money than Poorest 90 Million Americans

      Combine that fact with the fact that each Walmart store requires $420,000 in food stamps for its workers ($2.66 BILLION annually) and other taxpayer assistance. You, the taxpayer, are subsidizing Walmart and/or all the people who shop there and "benefit" from low prices. Is that what you intend?? (Hmmm, that's a far better business model than most of ours: let the government to help compensate your employees for you.)

      Similarly, when outsourcing to third-world countries at ridiculously low wages, our own economy is still in the doldrums,there are still millions of good, hardworking people who need jobs -- and despite the rhetoric, jobs DON'T come from tax breaks, they come from consumer demand and consumers don't got much demands when they don't got no money.

      Here's what US Corporations have been doing job-wise over the last two + decades:

      Source: Forbes

      And many if not all of these corporations have been getting tax breaks to do that! Really.

      Every single person who outsources is supporting the further erosion of our own economy because you are supporting the further erosion of our own wages. I'm not saying don't do it because, as dvduval points out, maybe we can help loosen the exploitative grip by corporations, though I believe probably a better idea, or let's say another idea we ought to simultaneously pursue is the idea of global unions. (And before anyone jumps on any anti-union tirade or rant, anyone who has ever worked for a paycheck in the U.S. has benefitted from unions, whether they were members or not -- 5 day work week, 8 hour days, paid holidays and vacations and sick leave -- all of which are being eroded because unions have lost so much ground.)

      But just understand what you're doing, what impact you're having, the downsides with the upsides and do it consciously.
  • Profile picture of the author sarlat
    I am told that if you earn over $200 per month in Bangladesh then you can live a fairly ok life.
  • Profile picture of the author sunray
    If you hire people overseas even for $0.5, you are doing great service to them (and in longer term disservice to your own country). Western countries--that is not only the US, but Europe also--should have learnt their lesson already with cheap Chinese factory labour taking away jobs from these countries. For a while it was so good to buy cheap products, but with no local jobs soon there is (was..) no money even to meet the cheap prices. The Chinese are now gradually developing their own consumer market, and step by step are the Western consumers turned off of the chain. China is not that cheap workforce any more: 1/5 of world's luxury products are sold there. They have now over one million people who own million dollars or more! It all started with offering cheap labour.
  • Profile picture of the author multimastery
    I believe that all people should be hired based on their skills, not pity.

    I'm live in America and there are people right here in the U.S. who are hungry, hurting and willing to work too. Many people need help all across the Globe. But driving markets down with lowball rates are robbing qualified people who have honed their skills for years out of a chance to compete. How is that fair? How can US and other modern countries compete with someone in a third world country who is willing to work for .50 per hour? They can't.

    So I see that the major problem lies in all these "bidding" sites. And to be fair to all people being that the Internet is a Global marketplace, I think these freelance sites should require all workers to at least get a set minimum rate that is a fair, relative and customary average of the nature of the work that is to be done. This will cut out favoring one group of people over another, because now all jobs will be won based on true skill & qualifications rather than pity or lowball rates. If this is done I'll bet money that it will upgrade the quality of the ENTIRE Internet because now everyone will be forced to step up their game!

Next Topics on Trending Feed

  • 7 {{ upvoteCount | shortNum }} 5

    Hello, I've been around a bit looking for ways to make money online and I've been sucked into the MLM business which you join and then you have to get others to join by telling them how much money you make. After looking at that its not for me. So what can I do to make money?

  • 4 {{ upvoteCount | shortNum }} 5

    For some reason I'm not able to rank for the target keyword. Its going on two weeks since the site launched. My on page seo is good, I bought 20 local citations, and 1 high tf/cf PBN link and have my profiles with my link on facebook and twitter. My highest competitor ranked #1 has 0tf/19cf and my site according to Majestic is 0tf/13cf and my link from a pbn hasn't even indexed yet. according to that , I should be on at least the first page right? Surely I'd be ranking somewhere in the top 50 I'd think. When I do site:mywebsite on google it shows that all my pages are indexed. Another thing I'm confused about is, I'm ranked 31 for a terrible version of the keyword I was targeting. My niche is carpet cleaning in a small city in texas. the keyword I'm ranking for is carpet cleaning companies "city name" in "city name".. nobody is strait up searching for that... I want to be ranked carpet cleaning "city name" so I can start making money. Anyone have any ideas of what might be going on?

  • 1 {{ upvoteCount | shortNum }} 5

    Hello, I have just started my new viral content site but i am struggling with web traffic although i am going to try many free traffic sources like forum posts, guest posting, blog comments etc but i want to confirm if its bad idea to purchase traffic ?