I Should Have Followed My Instincts, I'd Have Saved $250

25 replies
I had my first go at outsourcing recently and posted a project on scriptlance.

I posted a project asking for someone to prepare a basic and advanced course in a specific niche. The idea being that once I had gone through the courses myself I could then sell these on a membership site.

I didn't choose the cheapest bid but checked the guys feedback and he had lots of positive feedback in respect of the topic I needed. The guy asked me to pay him upfront and I suggested escrow. He sent me another email saying his reputation on scriptlance enabled him to request funds upfront.

Oh no I didn't - Oh yes I did I paid him direct to paypal. My instincts told me not to but being a newbie and wanting everything done yesterday I paid.

To cut a long story short the project went wrong I am left with 3 short reports just covering the basics of the topic. He has claimed that this is what we agreed and wants more money to do an advanced version.

I have checked paypal and it seems services is not covered by buyer protection. Now it is not as much the money it is the fact I have just wasted 2 weeks of my time.

Ok I have learned a valuable lesson, this is my first setback and I am sure there will be many more. So it's time to move on but I wanted to post this so no one else makes the same mistake I did.

The funny thing is I purchased my first WSO this week. It was a $5 report on the same subject and there was more relevant content in that than what I paid $250's for

Always use escrow

Jay
#$250 #instincts #saved
  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    I know the feeling. Outsourcing always seems like a great idea but experiences like this one really make you think twice. Sorry to hear it
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    If you used a credit card to pay via paypal, I'd do a chargeback (if he truly did not produce what was agreed to).
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    -Jason

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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      Another lesson to learn is that with unknown providers you
      should always outsource a smaller project first to minimize
      your risk.

      So, instead of getting the whole project done, just outsource
      the creation of say, the first few chapters.

      That way, you can even test out different providers with the
      minimum risk of time, money and effort.

      Then you simply LOOK and see who actually PERFORMS the
      best. (Then give them the rest of the work).

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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      .

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    • Profile picture of the author J Cohen
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      If you used a credit card to pay via paypal, I'd do a chargeback (if he truly did not produce what was agreed to).
      Hi Thanks for that.

      I did not know you could do that. He definately didn't do as I asked. On the project it clearly states that it for 2 courses (Basic and Advanced)

      His last email to me says he as completed the project and do I wish him to do the advanced course. I contacted him to say that is what is required from the original project and he says he only agreed to do the basic course.

      As he sent the work he did in 3 parts he is now trying to claim he has done 3 courses for me. LOL

      Jay
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        Was the project clearly defined in a detailed way and details specifically agreed to by the provider? It sounds as if what you had in mind isn't what he had in mind.

        If I wanted a "basic and advanced" course created, I'd list the topics to be covered in each, the format I wanted the work in and the size of each finished "course" that I was expecting. Every detail would be included - the indexing required, the number of chapters/pages, topics to be covered in each, etc.

        I would also ask the provider to acknowledge those details in writing. You can give feedback on scriptlance and if the job was not completed correctly you might have recourse through scriptlance. Don't know how they operate.

        Use escrow! Use milestones - break the job up into small sections and pay as each is completed. Make certain you are clear about exactly what you expect as a finished product. Of course, that depends on the niche topic and the amount of information available to draw from.

        The concept of providing a total basic and advanced "course" on a specific topic means a lot of research and organization required. I think $250 was pretty cheap unless you provided much of the info needed to do the work.

        It's not the same as a WSO in price comparison. The WSO can sell hundreds of copies from one generated report. The outsourcer could sell this one time to you.

        I'd give feedback at scriptlance and let it go. I would not file a chargeback as that could cause more trouble than it's worth with paypal.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author J Cohen
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

          Was the project clearly defined in a detailed way and details specifically agreed to by the provider? It sounds as if what you had in mind isn't what he had in mind.

          If I wanted a "basic and advanced" course created, I'd list the topics to be covered in each, the format I wanted the work in and the size of each finished "course" that I was expecting. Every detail would be included - the indexing required, the number of chapters/pages, topics to be covered in each, etc.

          The concept of providing a total basic and advanced "course" on a specific topic means a lot of research and organization required. I think $250 was pretty cheap unless you provided much of the info needed to do the work.


          kay
          The topic was clearly defined and I even made a list of chapters (topics) to be covered in each course.

          This wasn't the cheapest bid and the reason he said he could do it for this price was that he already had the course prepared (As he used to teach this in the past) and he just needed 7 days to bring it up to date,

          Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Tough lesson to learn, but most people learn the hard way at least once.
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  • Profile picture of the author david carr
    Leave feedback on scriptlance about what happened with this character.

    Regards
    Dave

    Oh and check scriptlance terms and report him if it is against their terms for direct payments
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  • Profile picture of the author Mahara Adhe
    Oh no I didn't - Oh yes I did..
    Golden quote! But yea, I think we've all been burned at some point. Good luck with whatever course you're working on, and make sure to give him some good ole fashioned "honest feedback" >=]
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  • Profile picture of the author dadamson
    Been there done that! I am sure you will be a little more wise about it next time.

    In my opinion (and differing opinions are fine) I think instead of telling outsourcers to build your entire product, you should split your tasks among a few people and give them specific instructions.

    Your writer, should know a lot about the topic (and so should you). You should firstly create dot points in a document for each chapter of your book and the points you want to raise in each chapter. Specify to the writer the length you want each chapter to be. Really manage the entire process.

    You can then hire a proofreader to proof it, and possibly an experienced ebook creator to add graphics, cover art, and publish to a pdf.

    Generally I involve myself in everything other than the writing.

    Just telling an outsourcer to "create an ebook in this niche" will generally give you poor and unfocused results.

    He will scrape general free info from the internet and rewrite it, this may or may not flow well within your ebook.

    Manage more, work less.

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author Mildred Williams
    Thanks for sharing your experience. You are not the only one who had bad results while outsourcing.Something similar happened to me and I ended up redoing the whole project myself. I learned my lesson.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary M.
    Sorry that happened to you. I too have been disappointed in myself for not trusting my instincts and later getting screwed over.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Cohen
    hi Guys

    I would just like to update you. I opened a dsipute on scriptlance and the staff have found in my favour and asked the guy to complete the work.

    As most of his business seems to come from scriptlance I am hoping he will now do so rather than risk getting banned.

    Hope you all have a great weekend

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
    Hi Jay,

    I am glad you followed up. I threw away $50 on an outsource project but the lessons I learnt were priceless.

    Di
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  • Profile picture of the author MrLinkBuilder
    I did this once but I was able to get my money back by just disputing it through paypal. I believe if you file a dispute and it went over 45 days you automatically get your money back. Even if the person you're dealing with is not refunding your money back. Paypal usually hold the money from their paypal account until the dispute has been resolved.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrLinkBuilder
    From experience always choose Goods even if it's Service you are paying for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dapper Fellow
    It would hurt me to lose $250 on an outsourced project! However, it is just as possible it could have gone the other way. I agree with the idea that it is wise to just spend a little (say $10, $20) with a new provider to find out if he/she will produce the goods. Obviously, you will not get everything you want for a ten spot or double sawbuck, but at least you can acquire some notion of how dependable the provider is should you decide to move forward and spend more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author nelsonbiglar
    My experience with outsourcing is mixed. I recently setup a website and had the shopping cart/tie up to the client bank and incorporate canadapost shipping. I created the website but since I was a newbie I didn't know the steps to take to setup the shipping side of it. I outsourced the shopping cart which went well, but when I was told we needed to use Canadapost that threw me off. I contacted my outsource guy and he said that he couldn't do the shipping side of this. Now, I will say that it wasn't apart of the original plan but he just plainly didn't want to do anymore work! I paid him for the shopping cart work but then had to look for someone to complete the shipping side.

    In short... get ALL the details of what is really needed to complete the work. If you can outsource the whole job then that's good. If you need to break things up, make sure you have available people to cover each step. Since I was new I didn't know all the steps needed to make this happen. I do now though! I was lucky to find someone from Canada who really pulled of the work I needed and now he's on my list of outsource programmers.

    Anyways...know what you need to get done and have fun.

    Thanks

    Mitch
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    On the other side:
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  • Profile picture of the author chall vandenbergh
    couldnt you get your payment back hasnt paypal an option like that ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon Huang
    As for now, I am doing all my writing myself. It is cheap and you have everything your way but the con is it takes you time. The only people I will outsource with is someone I know in real life but never online. Take time and do it yourself, as it is original and you know the best in whatever niche you are doing since you are the guru not other people!
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  • Profile picture of the author Yudhistira Mauris
    Btw, escrow is only suitable for high pice transaction. It has high transaction fee. Minimum is $25, I just checked it on escrow website...

    If we wanted to make a low amount transaction such as $25 or $50, I think escrow is not the best choice. Any alternative?
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  • Profile picture of the author Diane S
    Ouch! But it looks like things are going your way now. Do keep us posted.
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  • Profile picture of the author Manny Derek
    It seems like you had a bad experienced with outsourcing. I understand your concerns guys. But i just want to let you know that not all outsourcing are very frustrating. You weren't just lucky to have them. Lucky i am because i have a better one.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Curtis
    J Cohen,

    Sorry that you had a bad experience with outsourcing, but as you admitted... you went outside of the recommended guidelines and paid outside of the service.

    I WILL say this, however:
    1) Outsource a couple of projects and work with the developer(s) until you feel that you can trust them.
    2) Then... bring the relationship "in house" so that you are not "penalizing" them by paying them through one of the outsource providers. (Really, you may be penalizing yourself.)

    Test that ("in house") relationship for a while, too in order to see if they will deliver any less honorably than they did when the $$ was escrowed or their reputation was at stake.

    One of my best friends and now a full business partner was first introduced to me through a service like scriptlance. So there are some happy endings.

    Also, I have been burnt a time or two through outsourcing... but because I "tested" them and because of escrows... I am okay.

    Wishing you the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author apolwar
    That is unfortunate. Maybe next time, you could give a more detailed if not very specific instructions/conditions for the person you are hiring.

    And also do a haggle with the payments, like pay the half price as advance payment or something.
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