The Problem I have with Outsourcing

44 replies
Has anybody noticed this or had this problem?

I am trying to get a complicated site built, and I go on Elance and Guru...and the problem is, I keep getting people who don't actually do the work, but only REoutsource it.

Let me rephrase, "That's right, REoutsource."

Basically, I don't need anybody to REoutsource, I just want the main source doing the actual work to do the charge...not some "outsource firm" or "REoutsource 3rd party."

These REoutsourcers keep referring to their REoutsourced designers they hired as "team member."

How do they know even know the work is fabulous?

Not to mentioned the portfolio? Are these fake portfolios, or they are just proud of the work the worker they can find their work?

Even worse, is when the profile is posing as a fake individual; it's almost should be illegal.

So they are charging me way more than if working with the actually outsource individual?

It's really hard to find good individual to outsource who actually do the work on Elance and Guru these days instead of these major outsource firms that REoutsource to make an additional profit.

Not to mention these outsource firms only accept high bids instead of individual who take the project for much reasonable price...and if they no longer have that team member while working on my project, I have to wait longer for the project to complete and don't hear from them for a long time.
#outsourcing #problem
  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Int
    Hey Jason,

    That sounds like a pain.

    I've not had this problem in the past - I've also never used either of those sites. You might actually find you have better luck hiring a fellow Warrior.

    Try looking in the "warriors for hire" section. there are plenty of well qualified individuals right here under your nose! :-)

    Personally, I always want to work with the individual who is actually doing the work.. and I get the impression that's what you want too.

    You can try "ODesk" too, since you can see whether or not the person you're hiring verified their I.D.


    Cheers,
    -Adrian
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason H
      Originally Posted by Adrian Int View Post

      Hey Jason,

      That sounds like a pain.

      I've not had this problem in the past - I've also never used either of those sites. You might actually find you have better luck hiring a fellow Warrior.

      Try looking in the "warriors for hire" section. there are plenty of well qualified individuals right here under your nose! :-)

      Personally, I always want to work with the individual who is actually doing the work.. and I get the impression that's what you want too.

      You can try "ODesk" too, since you can see whether or not the person you're hiring verified their I.D.


      Cheers,
      -Adrian

      True with a capital "T"

      All my best project has been done with individual, not firm.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fadiz
    STOP using elance or any other site like it, go to craigslist manila, post an ad you'll get tons of good designers, if you want PM or skype me and i can refer you to couple of guys I hire often.

    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Yawg Dawg
    Try 99 Designs. You can make a post of what you want and your budget amount and people will compete to get your business. They'll post a copy of the logo design or website design or whatever and you can choose which one you like and pick out who you want to hire. It's great. Go check it out and see.
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    • Profile picture of the author MSpencer
      Originally Posted by Yawg Dawg View Post

      Try 99 Designs. You can make a post of what you want and your budget amount and people will compete to get your business. They'll post a copy of the logo design or website design or whatever and you can choose which one you like and pick out who you want to hire. It's great. Go check it out and see.
      I'd go with this option. 99designs is a great site to let others design a site for you. And if you pick a particular design, you can talk with the designer to negotiate some extra work done for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eleanor
    I feel your pain. Outsourcing is a complete nightmare sometimes. It can take months of projects to find a reliable and competent developer/designer/worker.

    I use Elance and VWorker mainly. Vworker has a reasonable system and you can even post your job as a contest which means you get some of the work done and then you choose a winner - you can then continue the project with that worker.

    However, it's the same wherever you go - I've tried multiple sites to get developers and workers and it's always a struggle. In my mind, unless you have the coder in your office and can keep an eye on them, give them regular feedback etc then it's always going to be tough.

    Just my thoughts

    Eleanor
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    • Profile picture of the author howinfo
      I have had the same problem when I outsourced some article writing. Lot of people don't even tell you that they re outsource the work but you might get the idea after using them for some time. The best thing to do is just look for people with lot of positive feedback and really discuss your project before starting out. I think majority still does the work themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gerald Arno
    Banned
    Well, you will need to find a trusted provider based on reputation and skills.

    Many big SEO firms do it exactly as outlined, because the only way they can make decent profits is through reoutsourcing.

    In order to built a complicated size, you usually need to work with a couple people.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eleanor
      Originally Posted by GeraldGigerl View Post

      Well, you will need to find a trusted provider based on reputation and skills.
      Even then there's no guarantee they'll deliver. We've had highly rated, perfectly qualified people end up messing us around.

      It's a risk to hire anyone who you don't know to be honest - but hey, that's just part of the fun
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      • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
        The real question here should be... as long as the people you hire give you quality work for the agreed upon price & within deadline, then who cares whether they do the actual work, or outsource it to someone else?

        They are simply taking advantage of one of the oldest and best business models out there (brokering). Very smart of them, in my opinion (provided they're doing it correctly, of course). I've been the "middleman" in these types of deals myself on countless occasions.

        Honestly, who would you rather hire? ...

        Someone who outsources your work to someone else, yet they give you quality work at the agreed upon price, and they meet their deadline.

        OR...

        Someone who does the work themselves, yet the quality of the work is mediocre, and past deadline.

        Seriously... the only thing you should be concerned about is that you hire someone you can trust, who can do exactly what they say they can do, when they say they can do it.

        How they do it is completely irrelevant.

        Bottom line is... if you don't have someone who you trust to do the job right, then simply move on until you find someone that can.

        Outsourcing can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive UNTIL you find reliable, competent workers who you can trust. After you find them, outsourcing becomes a LOT more enjoyable (and profitable).
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        • Profile picture of the author RylanClayne
          Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

          Bottom line is... if you don't have someone who you trust to do the job right, then simply move on until you find someone that can.

          Outsourcing can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive UNTIL you find reliable, competent workers who you can trust. After you find them, outsourcing becomes a LOT more enjoyable (and profitable).
          I think you hit the nail on the head here Brandon. Although I have to say for some moving on is tough. Although many dont talk about it, outsourcing can be a very emotionally draining task especially in those early stages when you seemingly invest an entire bunch of your time and effort (not to mention money) to ensure a project and worker are happy and working towards a deadline only to find that they either do not produce anything at all or at best have lost interest and dont really work to their full potential.

          Moving on in such circumstances is not only mentally a drain but can seriously damage your finances. This is especially true for those of us who are on tight deadlines and require projects to come in within a reasonable time frame to be able to capitalise on them.

          That being said, outsourcing is by far the best way to find the most suitable people to do your tasks for you. I think the key to effective outsourcing if you have the time is to not rely on one person too heavily in the early stages, outsource to several competing developers/designers etc and then as those chunk jobs turn out well slowly increase the work load on the workers who are providing value while slowly cutting loose those that do not seem to be effective.
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        • Profile picture of the author theemperor
          Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

          The real question here should be... as long as the people you hire give you quality work for the agreed upon price & within deadline, then who cares whether they do the actual work, or outsource it to someone else?

          They are simply taking advantage of one of the oldest and best business models out there (brokering). Very smart of them, in my opinion (provided they're doing it correctly, of course). I've been the "middleman" in these types of deals myself on countless occasions.

          Honestly, who would you rather hire? ...

          Someone who outsources your work to someone else, yet they give you quality work at the agreed upon price, and they meet their deadline.

          OR...

          Someone who does the work themselves, yet the quality of the work is mediocre, and past deadline.

          Seriously... the only thing you should be concerned about is that you hire someone you can trust, who can do exactly what they say they can do, when they say they can do it.

          How they do it is completely irrelevant.

          Bottom line is... if you don't have someone who you trust to do the job right, then simply move on until you find someone that can.

          Outsourcing can be frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive UNTIL you find reliable, competent workers who you can trust. After you find them, outsourcing becomes a LOT more enjoyable (and profitable).
          That sounds like a statement from someone with no direct experience of outsourcing.

          Have you heard of Chinese whispers? Do you think that emailing someone in India who then emails someone in the Philippines who then has to respond and the message then relayed back to you is an efficient way of working?

          I have dealt with these middle-man outfits and they are usually cowboys out to make a quick buck. One woman who was doing this couldn't give a s*** about the quality of the work being done and just begged for money because she had promised her 'team' they would get paid. But it was my fault for being stupid enough to deal with them.

          I would never outsource software development to these outfits.

          Hire the programmer directly no "companies". Give them technical tests. Put a weird question in the ad and if they don't answer it in their reply then dismiss the bid. These are good filters to get rid of the idiots.

          Also never pay them anything until you have got code and tested it. If they disagree or get funny about "cash on delivery" then that's good - you know they are a scam and can refuse to hire them. And if it is buggy as hell just sack them, pay them $0, find another freelancer. I learned this the hard way, and I don't believe my experience is unique.
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          • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
            Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

            That sounds like a statement from someone with no direct experience of outsourcing.
            LOL. In my 7 year internet marketing career, I've outsourced literally hundreds of jobs across just about every popular freelance site out there (Guru.com, Elance, Odesk, Fiverr, etc).

            In fact, I even wrote an extensive guide on outsourcing back in 2007, which sold very well for a few years.

            Not saying any of this to brag... just wanted you to know that I have a TON of experience outsourcing.

            The fact of the matter is that MOST people that broker outsourcing jobs ("RE-outsourcers", as the OP calls it), don't do it correctly, and that's why you run into problems with people like that. Their (the "re-outsourcer's") biggest problem is they don't invest the initial time, effort, and money required to develop good relationships with competent, reliable workers that they trust. And that almost always leads to a poor experience for everyone involved.

            On the flip side of that coin, there are professional freelancing companies that do a great job overall, even though many of them "re-outsource" 100% of the work that they get. They accomplish this because they invested the initial time & money required to set up their business the right way from the start. Sadly, these types of companies are few and far between, but they most certainly exist. You just have to find them (not any easy task these days, I'll admit, due to all of the sub-par freelancing "companies" out there).

            But again... the only thing that should matter is not how the person/team/company that you hire operates their business, but that they consistently deliver quality work, on time. Period. If they don't, then drop them like a bad habit, and keep looking until you find a quality provider.

            As is the case with most any type of service... you (usually) get what you pay for. If you pay peanuts, then don't be surprised if you only attract "monkeys".
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    The biggest problem I have using elance, is that once you hire someone, you seem to be stuck with them. Regardless of whether or not youre happy with the work.

    In the past Ive just paid a person simply to get rid of them. Is there a better way?

    Can you actually just fire them and cancel the job????

    Oh, and in addition to that, people that submit outstanding samples of their work, then present you with a dog turd.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
      I would suggest that this problem will continue and increase in number of occurrences. It is a sweet IM business model - place an ad on a site like TwentyVille or elance and then go to fiverr. Make ten bucks for clicking the mouse a few times. Do that 20 times/day and you have a nice livable income. In all reality, your only solution is to stop looking for the cheapest outsourcing source and visit the webpages of designers/writers that charge real world rates for real world services.

      I wouldn't imagine the top service providers on elance make more than $30,000-40,000/year, which is not much. And those people are probably in the upper 1%-2% of earners, with the other 98% not making enough money to survive from elance alone and the majority of that 98% making a few hundred to a couple grand, if that. The whole premise under which the site operates guarantees that you are going to be dealing with C to maybe B- talent. Maybe the rare A quality who is desperate for a gig and portfolio.

      I did a gig on one of those type sites and, well, I felt like a hooker when it was all said and done. Not a high class Heidi Fleiss type hooker, but a cheap, nasty hooker turning $5 tricks behind a dumpster in a dark, dingy alley next to a hobo taking a crap and a pile of spent needles.

      I felt dirty. This dirty boy is on a shoestring, however, so I might go back if I am desperate. But my utmost attention and quality will not be there. Bang it out quick and dirty like. Try to make some duckets to go pay a designer not found on an outsourcing site to hook me up with a quality site to display my wares.

      I am trying to get a complicated site built, and I go on Elance and Guru...and the problem is, I keep getting people who don't actually do the work, but only REoutsource it.
      And you expect the lowest bidder to accomplish this? Versus a real design business that has clients, website and portfolio instead of gigs? What does the low bidder have to lose? $200,000,000+ (as of 2009) passed through elance. You piss off one person with poor outsourced quality, who cares? There is a line of people looking for the low bidder right behind them.

      I get it if you are low on funds and am not being heartless about this potential fact as the entrance barriers are still pretty low, financially, for an online business - which is sweet, but how long do/did you expect it to stay that way?

      Get used to the REoutsourcing. When people look to pay writers/designers in the Western World $5.00/hour and demand quality, well, they shoot themselves in the foot, eventually. And, as you read here time and time again, you pay bananas, you get monkeys.

      Or you get cats saying, "Screw that, I can't live on $5/hour. But some other cat in SE Asia can live on $5/day. I'll just go put in the low bid on elance and outsource to SE Asia or some 15 y.o. looking for funds for his World of Warcraft account 'cause mom and dad won't pay it anymore and make $20/hour."

      Can you really blame them? Really? Enough to start another thread complaining about a bad experience with outsourcing to elance/iwriter/fiverr/etc?

      When Google finds a way to deal with micro sites and article spamming, say goodbye to sites like elance, or at least say goodbye to the amount of work being bought and sold on them.

      And, of course, merely my opinion. Not always correct and very rarely humble. Your mileage may vary ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Sparrow
    For big projects its better not to go with Elancer or Guru. Instead you should search for a real company who does the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author robie
    Yup. 99designs is the best place to find talented designers.
    You will directly discuss your project with the designer.

    Try crowdspring, too
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Banned
    Switching to a different outsourcing service or model (individual vs firm) isn't going to stop the re-sourcing. The only thing that can help prevent your work from being farmed out to others is an appropriate contract stipulation and the use of a desktop monitoring system. Elance, oDesk, and vWorker offer such a system that captures screenshots of the work performed through the account of the hired person.

    You should also note that fake profiles are not allowed at the more popular outsourcing services, so if you see one, and can demonstrate that it's fake, report it so it can be removed.
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    • Profile picture of the author raymol
      Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

      Switching to a different outsourcing service or model (individual vs firm) isn't going to stop the re-sourcing.
      well, thats quite true
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

      Switching to a different outsourcing service or model (individual vs firm) isn't going to stop the re-sourcing. The only thing that can help prevent your work from being farmed out to others is an appropriate contract stipulation and the use of a desktop monitoring system. Elance, oDesk, and vWorker offer such a system that captures screenshots of the work performed through the account of the hired person.

      You should also note that fake profiles are not allowed at the more popular outsourcing services, so if you see one, and can demonstrate that it's fake, report it so it can be removed.
      Yeah that is why I am convinced to interview them like it's a real job. Give them a technical test then follow up on Skype to probe their answers and why they gave them

      Good questions I like to ask are around security, SQL Injection, XSS attacks - but to prevent them Googling I just say "comment on this code" and see if they notice the holes in it. You might find you can reject 90% of the bids this way and you are left with those who have a clue.
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    Your situation might kill your business, I suggest you switch for something reliable service. It is just so sad to say that some people do not treasure commitment and fond of declining agreement.
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  • Profile picture of the author gasman
    Go to the "warriors for hire" section here on the forum. There are several people who do website design among other things. The great thing about doing it this way is your not taking a chance on someone when you don't know how good they are because there are usually plenty of warriors who will give their review of someone services. You can read these and decide if that warrior is right for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author UniRS
    All you really have to do is observe ratings and reviews and if they look good and the prices are reasonable... there really isn't much to complain about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    Definitely check out the warrior for hire forum, I've heard great things. If you must hire from elance or guru I think it's pretty easy to figure out who is going to do this (completely unethical) practice and who is a regular person. I would make it very clear when you post the gig that you want only an individual and at the first mention of "team member" or something similar cut them loose.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Originally Posted by Tadresources View Post

      If you must hire from elance or guru I think it's pretty easy to figure out who is going to do this (completely unethical) practice and who is a regular person.
      What exactly is unethical about being the "middleman" in a business deal? :confused:

      A HUGE percentage of all commerce is (and always has been) based upon this exact business model ("buying low and selling high").

      Think about all of the real estate brokers, stock brokers, insurance brokers, JV brokers, etc etc, out there. Are they all unethical too? :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author mattshort
        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        What exactly is unethical about being the "middleman" in a business deal? :confused:

        A HUGE percentage of all commerce is (and always has been) based upon this exact business model ("buying low and selling high").

        Think about all of the real estate brokers, stock brokers, insurance brokers, JV brokers, etc etc, out there. Are they all unethical too? :rolleyes:
        YES! Drives me crazy when people don't understand this basic concept.

        Sorry about the frustration the original poster had with Re-Outsourcing. If the deal is fair and the work is good, does it matter though in the end? Right now I'm having floors redone in one of my rentals where the guy I hired has "his" crew out actually do the work which is actually a group of sub-contractors.

        My $.02
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      • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        What exactly is unethical about being the "middleman" in a business deal? :confused:

        A HUGE percentage of all commerce is (and always has been) based upon this exact business model ("buying low and selling high").

        Think about all of the real estate brokers, stock brokers, insurance brokers, JV brokers, etc etc, out there. Are they all unethical too? :rolleyes:
        I think you answered your own question in a previous post, where you stated,

        Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

        The fact of the matter is that MOST people that broker outsourcing jobs ("RE-outsourcers", as the OP calls it), don't do it correctly, and that's why you run into problems with people like that. Their (the "re-outsourcer's") biggest problem is they don't invest the initial time, effort, and money required to develop good relationships with competent, reliable workers that they trust. And that almost always leads to a poor experience for everyone involved.
        It's called labor arbitrage, and there are several things wrong with it. Consider the following example, which I just stole from my own blog:

        You outsource a simple software project to “XYZ Outsourcing Inc.” who outsources it to “Jim’s Online Vending” without escrow protection. “Jim’s Online Vending” then outsources it to “SourceTo Us 2Day” without free arbitration services. “SourceTo Us 2Day” ultimately outsources it to a Chinese developer who works through an outsourcing service that doesn’t require status reports.

        The Chinese developer turns around and outsources the project to an Indian programmer who (you guessed it), outsources it to a Philippian coder at yet-another-outsourcing-service. The outsourcing service that the Philippian coder works through unfortunately doesn’t guarantee its coders’ work.

        In a perfect world, your software product arrives on time without any flaws. In reality, the probability of getting a timely and flawless product decreases each time it passes through services that don’t enforce:

        escrow protection
        free arbitration
        status reports
        money-back guarantees
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        • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
          Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

          I think you answered your own question in a previous post
          Huh?? My rhetorical question you quoted (which is about ethics) has nothing to do with my other statement you quoted (which is about business skills, or rather, a lack thereof). Those are 2 entirely different subjects.

          The fact that most middlemen in these types of deals don't know how to run their business efficiently doesn't make them unethical. Dumb? Perhaps. But unethical? I don't think so. I think many of them are honestly trying to make it work, but they simply don't have the skills/connections/finances to run that type of business the right way.
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          • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

            Huh?? My rhetorical question you quoted (which is about ethics) has nothing to do with my other statement you quoted (which is about business skills, or rather, a lack thereof). Those are 2 entirely different subjects.

            The fact that most middlemen in these types of deals don't know how to run their business efficiently doesn't make them unethical. Dumb? Perhaps. But unethical? I don't think so. I think many of them are honestly trying to make it work, but they simply don't have the skills/connections/finances to run that type of business the right way.
            When you extract the requirement of skill or education from ethics, know what you're left with?

            Excuses.

            Unfortunately for those who think they may save face, neither excuses nor lack of skill or education save butt.

            I.E. "I didn't know" isn't an adequate ethics violation defense.
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            • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
              Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

              When you extract the requirement of skill or education from ethics, know what you're left with?

              Excuses.

              Unfortunately for those who think they may save face, neither excuses nor lack of skill or education save butt.

              I.E. "I didn't know" isn't an adequate ethics violation defense.
              Sorry, but I'm not following your logic there. If you don't think that there is a vast difference between "ethics" and "skill/eduction", then we'll just have to "agree to disagree".
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  • Profile picture of the author NoviIM
    I've actually had pretty good experience with outsourcing on Odesk. For article writing and design, the site has very solid candidates that provide you with quality work
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  • Profile picture of the author Griffin Smith
    Originally Posted by Jason H View Post

    Has anybody noticed this or had this problem?

    I am trying to get a complicated site built, and I go on Elance and Guru...and the problem is, I keep getting people who don't actually do the work, but only REoutsource it.

    Let me rephrase, "That's right, REoutsource."

    Basically, I don't need anybody to REoutsource, I just want the main source doing the actual work to do the charge...not some "outsource firm" or "REoutsource 3rd party."

    These REoutsourcers keep referring to their REoutsourced designers they hired as "team member."

    How do they know even know the work is fabulous?

    Not to mentioned the portfolio? Are these fake portfolios, or they are just proud of the work the worker they can find their work?

    Even worse, is when the profile is posing as a fake individual; it's almost should be illegal.

    So they are charging me way more than if working with the actually outsource individual?

    It's really hard to find good individual to outsource who actually do the work on Elance and Guru these days instead of these major outsource firms that REoutsource to make an additional profit.

    Not to mention these outsource firms only accept high bids instead of individual who take the project for much reasonable price...and if they no longer have that team member while working on my project, I have to wait longer for the project to complete and don't hear from them for a long time.
    Yup.

    This is something I noticed when I first began writing online. I was getting my feet wet and advertising on the cheap-o write for peanuts sites (Huge Mistake, but live and learn I guess)

    The Client that I dealt with was Indian or Non-English (No offense to anyone reading this)

    And basically he would have a US-UK client and then outsource the work to me or another sucker for breadcrumbs and then provide the completed work to his client as his own.

    I only figured it out when I was forwarded an e-mail (By accident) which praised the Project manager or VA for his great writing.

    Man that was a crappy day, when I figured that one out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alcon
    Have you checked out hyperhour? I use it to monitor my employee and it does WONDERS. Its light weight so none of them ever have a problem installling it. It records their producitivity levels and takes frequent screenshots. I've found it to be much much better than odesk's work diary
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Project brokers have their space under the sun, I would not discard them so fast.

      Most of the places where people can afford to work cheap, are places you probably have no cultural and/or language elements in common. If that is the case, it can be a bumpy ride.

      I once contracted a guy to do some SEO, and fired him because he was terribly rude. He couldnĀ“t believe I thought so when I told him, he thought it was perfectly normal to talk to me like that.

      I even had problems putting together a team for translation with people from my own country once I got used to live in US and its cultural values.

      So here are your choices:

      if you are going to contract someone from a different country, you most likely will need the middle man/woman.

      If you want to contract someone from US/UK/ Australia, you can actually talk to the end guy, but you will have to pay his price. Usually a freelance programmer/designer with some self esteem will have rates of $30-$50 the hour.


      I am terrible outsourcing, I usually end up working for the people I outsource to and not the other way around.

      So what I do at this stage when I need work done is to look for someone who has shown he has a clue. Use an active system instead of passive.

      Here is how: I usually design my sites in Joomla. I need some custom work done? I just go to joomla.org and look for the plugins. Find one that has similar features and contact the guy who did them offering to do the gig. People who come from the open source community are usually thrilled to work in jobs like this; it is not only for money, but for recognition.

      They do an amazing job for a reasonable price and you already know they can do it and are good people.

      If your base cms is wordpress... you can still do the same.

      Sandra
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  • Profile picture of the author tgpros
    I spend thousands on Elance every single month (I tried other sites like Guru, oDesk etc but found Elance to be the best all round).

    Anyway, it came to my attention about 6 months ago that some providers were only acting as middlemen - at first this was pretty annoying, I felt like I was getting ripped off, but I actually use a few "middlemen" long term now. One of them is a guy who takes care of SEO copy for me, another a coder/site tech.

    What you have to remember is that you hired these people at a price you were willing to pay - as long as the job gets done to the standard you hoped (or better!), what's the problem?

    Like I say, I was in the same position as you for a while, but after hiring loads of people in the past and finding them largely unreliable (especially writers), dealing with these middlemen is really easy - they're the ones who have to do the chasing, not me. And if there are any problems when the work is done, they have to make sure the problems are fixed before they get paid.

    On occasion I still hire true "freelancers", but most of the time I just go with these tried and trusted middlemen now - they always do the work I need at a good price.
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  • Profile picture of the author zaco
    I use Odesk, put what you are looking for, put a fixed price and tell them the payment will be after the work is done, as simply as that, never pay before u get what you want.. if the don't like it then they don't have to apply, if they apply then they won't get a penny until I get what I want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Des Lau
    It's even funnier when you are trying to outsource an offline job for a clients customer, and then it is re-outsourced. So;

    Client's client -> Client -> me -> outsource -> re-outsourced

    The world is changing LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author James B
    I skip this entirely sometimes. I`m starting to learn more on just going in person in my local area plus filtering and verifying work that they are capable of doing by addressing questions. You can find people at meetup.com or simply asking people and filter from there.

    This can be a bit tedious, but its sure worth it later for on-going stuff you want to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    Problem is that most freelancers don't treat it like a business... instead it's just another income source for them.

    Hmmm... that sounds familiar.

    Perhaps freelancers are just the Karma God's answer for IM'rs??
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Curtis
      I can't tell from this post if you are hiring a designer or programmers or both.

      I hired a programming company from the Ukraine on Guru, and they do an excellent job. The owner has a PhD in computer science. He says they are world class programmers and I think they probably are.

      As far as the cost, I wanted a site copied. The American company that did the original site wanted $50,000 just to get started (and they already have the code.)

      The Ukranian programmers did the work for less than 10% of that.

      By the way, some people feel that it is somehow unfair to someone to offer too little for their work. That is a ridiculous argument. The free market functions when two willing parties come to an agreement.

      If it's not enough money, then don't agree.

      It's like the "do-gooders" who crusade against child workers in "sweat shops." Take a look after the do-gooders are gone and what do you find? The kids, now without any job, have turned to drugs and prostitution. Moral: beware of anyone who is threatening your job.
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  • Profile picture of the author AnnaMolly
    You just need to keep looking. You will get a lot of those consulatants but will find good developers who can do it very easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author Theduke2011
    My advice is to not use those sources to find a reputable outsourced company. They are filled with what you describe "reoutsourced" companies. People do this to maximize clients and create basically passive income.

    Do your research, I wouldn't even outsource a difficult or complicating website because most of the time, outsourced workers will not be able to complete it to your standards. But if you have to outsource it due to lack in funds, then go to the source instead of using elance or freelancer.
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