Is Guru.com A Scam? – Legit Freelance Site Or Scam?
When it comes to making money, being able to make money from home is one of the best ways to live.
This is why you see so many people performing freelance jobs. It can provide you the flexibility one dreams of when it comes to earning income.
But where does one find these freelance jobs. Of course you have sites like Upwork and Freelancer providing a place for people to look for work.
But are there any others that offer this opportunity?
Well one site in particular is Guru.com. Which is a marketplace for freelancers who are looking to connect with employers about getting work.
But is it legit, or just another scam site looking to take advantage of those looking for work?
In this review I plan on sharing my opinion on whether you can trust them or not.
Guru.com Review Summary
Product Name: Guru.com
Product Type: Marketplace for Freelancers
Price to join: Free to join or Monthly Subscription
Best For: Freelancers with Experience
Summary: Guru.com is a marketplace for freelancers that helps connect them to potential employers. Although it’s a great concept, because of competition, bidding for projects can be difficult. This is due to high competition in the marketplace where freelancers undercut each other for jobs. So the amount of money to be made is pretty low. Also, even if you produce a low bid, there is no guarantee that you get the job. Thus, building relationships with employers is key.
What Is Guru.com?
Guru.com is a marketplace that connects employers who are looking for freelancers to complete jobs for them.
This site is similar to other sites you’ve probably heard of like Upwork and Freelancer.
But unfortunately doesn’t match up when it comes to trustability. This is based on many reviews of actual freelancers who have used this site to search for jobs.
I plan on going more into detail about that, but first let me speak more about who is Guru.com.
Located in Pittsburgh PA, Guru.com was originally founded in 1998 by eMoonlighter.
The goal of Guru.com is to provide a place where freelancers can search for work. But over the years, they have faced stiff competition in this space.
An Inside Look At Guru.com
As long as you’re 18 years old, you can participate in their marketplace.
Therefore you will need to set up a profile so that employers can learn more about you as they search.
As you go through the setup process, you will then be asked to choose which type of membership you want.
You can either choose the freelancer option, or employer. Of course our focus will be on the freelancer option.
When choosing bids, there are two options to choose from. You can choose either the free option, or the paid membership option.
Just know that as a paid member, there will be more bids available to you. Free members get 10bids per month, with the option to purchase more.
- 20 bids - $10
- 40 bids - $20
- 60 bids - $30
- 125 bids - $50
- 250 bids - $100
Another difference between purchased bids and paid memberships is, monthly membership bids don’t roll over into the following month.
Also, monthly memberships will expire, as where purchased bids do not expire.
For those trying to decide what are the benefits of having a paid membership compared to the free one.
Know that paid members are charged lower fees (the percentage the Guru takes when you get paid for a job).
Below is a complete list of the cost of membership:
- Basic (free) – 120 bids/year and 8.95% job fee.
- Basic + ($11.95/month or $8.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 8.95% job fee.
- Professional ($21.95/month or $15.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 6.95% job fee.
- Business ($33.95/month or $24.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 5.95% job fee.
- Executive ($49.95/month or $39.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 4.95% job fee.
If you’re wondering if they are any additional bids, they are available for all membership levels.
Once you’ve signed up, you're pretty much good to go. But before you go, you first have to set up your profile.
This is pretty much standard for any site like this.
The information you put in your profile will be crucial when it comes to employers choosing you for a particular job.
So you want to make sure you put details that make your profile standout.
- The type of service you provide
- Your credentials
- Your going rates for type of jobs
- Strengths & weaknesses
The more personal you can make your profile, the better chance you have of being hired. It’s all about trust, and employers want to know they can count on you to do good work.
I know you hate to hear it, but yea there are additional costs you will have to pay when using this service.
One being a handlers fee of 2.5% that is added to the employers invoice.
Also, if you’re looking to separate yourself from the rest, Guru offers optional skills test at an extra cost.
But higher tiered members get these tests for free, plus more.
- Basic members - $4.95/skill test
- Basic + members - $2.95/skill test
- All other members – Free
Guru also has this optional service where you can pay to have negative feedback removed from your profile.
I find this to be very controversial as this can lead to inaccuracies in the rating system.
From one perspective, you could see how this would be good for freelancers. But on the other hand, could hurt the actual high quality freelancers.
Not only that, but this hurts employers who are in need of good freelancers.
How Is Your Pay Calculated?
When it comes to getting paid on the Guru.com marketplace, there are no set rates.
Your pay is pretty much based on your bid, the competition, and the amount your employer is willing to pay you for each job.
There are four ways in which you can calculate your pay, and its dependent on the size and type of project.
Milestones - This is best used for projects that will take a while to complete. Being able to break it down into smaller segments that have specific descriptions and dates, allows for a cleaner process. You can set rates for each segment that gets completed, and you can make adjustments if necessary.
Tasks - For much smaller projects, you can negotiate the rate for each task completed. This is ideal for short-term projects that need to be invoiced one at a time.
Hourly - As a freelancer, an hourly pay would be great for those who have experience, and have a great relationship with an employer. But for those who are new and have zero history, this may be tough to negotiate. For those that are able to negotiate such an agreement, this could provide a relatively stable income. Also, agreements are invoiced weekly.
Recurring Payments - For projects that are long-term, recurring payments can be a great option. Think of it as a payroll system where you get paid a fixed amount weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Of course this is dependent on the arrangement you have with the employer.
Payment Transfer Methods
Probably the most important step to making this work is how payments are transferred for each project.
Guru uses a Safe Pay system, which ensures employers fund projects before you begin.
The goal is to give freelancers the confidence that you will get paid for your work.
However, keep in mind that employers still have to verify the payments before they complete the transfer over to your account.
When it comes to receiving your funds, Guru.com uses four different methods:
- Direct Deposit (US banks only)
- Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard
- Wire Transfer (To non-US banks)
What I Like About Guru.com
#1. It’s Free To Join
This is important because Guru.com gives you the option to try before you buy. You are given a certain amount of bids based on your membership choice. This allows you to see if it’s right for you.
#2. A Way To Connect Employers With People Of Multiple Trades and Skills Levels
We all know how difficult it can be for freelancers to find work. But the great thing about technology is that it allows people to connect from anywhere in the world. So when it comes to Guru.com, the fact that people can complete jobs from over the internet is a good thing.
What I Don’t LIke About Guru.com
#1. Complaints About Freelancers Not Getting Paid
Making sure you get paid is the most important thing for freelancers. But making sure the work is completed the way you want is equally as important to employers.
Unfortunately, there have been quite a few complaints on the side of freelancers for not receiving pay.
Escrow systems like Safe Pay was created to ensure that both parties are happy, and that doesn’t seem to be the case.
#2.Reduced Income Potential Due To Bidding System
As with anything in life, more competition creates lower prices. This seems to be the case when it comes to freelancers competing for jobs.
In order for you to secure a project, you have to lower your rates. Even if you lower your rates, that doesn’t guarantee that you get the job. So building relationships will be key in getting quality work.
#3. Negative Feedback System
When a job is completed, employers are able to rate freelancers based on the quality. Therefore the higher your ratings, the better chance you will have of other employers offering jobs.
However, where Guru.com fails in their system, is that it allows for freelancers to pay to have reviews removed.
Now this helps if a freelancer was unfairly rated by a certain employer. But this also allows for bad quality freelancers to hide the type of worker they are.
This makes it difficult for good quality freelancers to compete.
Is Guru.com A Scam?
Guru.com is definitely not a scam, but it would be hard for me to recommend this to anyone interested in the freelancing life.
Making money through this site could prove to be difficult for a number of reasons. Some of those reasons are, too much competition, fees, and fear of not getting paid by employer.
It also depends on what you’re looking for. Are you looking for full-time or part-time work. If it’s full-time, then know that there are better options out there.
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