Movin’ on up, to the Upwork

I’ve been working as a part-time freelancer on Elance for about one year. This year has been a lot of firsts for me — got my first part-time job on that platform, received first payment from there, got cheated by a scam client. Anyway, the experience I’ve got through this year is a lot. A life without dealing with cheater is not a real life.

Several months ago, Elance started to notify me that they’re going to shutdown before next year, and encouraging me to move to the new platform Upwork (formerly Odesk). Not just me, many other Elance users received this message too, there were many posts in Water Cooler (forum) discussing this. I was considered for a long time before I duplicated my account to Upwork — not only Upwork is charging higher fee (10%) than Elance (8.75%) but also the mandatory minimal price for Fixed Price job — on Elance the lowest price for a Fixed Price job is 20USD, but on Upwork is only 0.01USD! (Right, it is possible if you want to charge only one cent for a job) Hourly job have the same 3USD/hour minimal price.

There seems more jobs on Upwork than Elance, the Alexa ranking also tells me Upwork is having more viewers than Elance. But, on Upwork there are many jobs with low price (like: 5USD budget for translation of several pages), that means you’ll spend more time before you can find a desirable job from bunch of craps.

Here are the major differences I have noticed:

   Elance  Upwork
 Fee  8.75%  10%
 Minimal Price (Fixed price job)  20USD  0.01USD
 Minimal Price (Hourly job)  3USD/hr  3USD/hr
 Withdraw to Paypal  Free  1USD per transaction
 Withdraw to China  25USD per transaction 30USD per transaction

Yep, the wire transfer fee is higher than Elance, only 5USD behind Paypal which is 35USD per transaction. But the most significant is the fee increment.

Another weird thing is, I finished a job in July, and my client released money in the last week of July, but on Upwork it shows I need wait to August 1st before I can have the money.


I Googled, found there is a so-called “security hold period” ( ), it says “funds become available after a 6 days security hold period”. Seems this is the reason why I have wait before get the money released by client.

On Elance, they don’t have such period, and this process looks no-sense to me — if a client was not satisfied with my work, he/she could just simply decline my release request, why there a waiting period after a client has released the money, which means he/she accepted the work I provided.

Final thoughts

Good or bad doesn’t make any difference now, couldn’t change the fact that Elance will phase out in the near future. But “fortunately” there are other outsourcing platforms out there, may be I will try some of them out soon.

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