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Elance was started by Beerud Sheth in 1999. It was originally created as a technology for supporting virtual work but after two-years it morphed in to a vendor management system (VMS). In 2006 Elance sold its enterprise software division and developed its current based platform for online, contingent work.Elance is one of the largest freelance platforms on the web and serves over 500,000 businesses with over 2 million registered freelancers. oDesk and Elance reached a deal in December of 2013 to merge the two companies which will consist of 8 million freelancers and 2 million businesses.

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The Good

  • Several businesses and freelancers

Potential businesses and freelancers are in good company with over 500,000 business and 2 million freelancers. In addition, Elance has one of the lowest fees in the market only taking 8.75% of bill rates. In 2012 Elance expanded with 345,000 new businesses who posted over 80,000 jobs each month. In addition, over 780,000 new Elancers joined to find work, with annual Elancer earnings surpassing $200 million for the first time. In other words Elance has continued to explode with success during the last two-years.

The Bad

  • Navigation

Elance can be pretty difficult to navigate and use. The user dashboards are robust; however, finding specific jobs and people can be pretty tedious. In addition, users should be prepared to spend some time setting up an account, verifying information, and linking bank accounts. Like other platforms, Elance does not have effective hedges in place to reduce low ball offers. A quick search on the web surfaces hundreds of unhappy freelancers complaining about having to compete with other freelancers at $1 to $2 an hour. Approving legal contracts and other proposals can also be a tedious process through the Elance system.

The Bottom Line

Elance is a great choice for both freelancers and businesses. The 8.75% fee is relatively low to competitors and ELance offers a host of tools and resources to help provide the best experience for its members. It's important to note that 67% of Elancers found 10% or more of income from Elance with over $169M of total income last year. When selecting Elance you're in good company.

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UnCetateanScarbit DeTot

September 13th, 2016

They canceled my account for an employer has felt been offended because I warned him that the I did not pay me the performed service for him. Can you believe this??? Lack of respect for workers from Elance! Take extra care with them, better avoid them because they are thieves!




March 11th, 2016

Well it WAS the best freelancing site, but not existing now, swallowed by Upwork, which is total garbage, almost as bad as Freelancer



Rob Thueller

August 22nd, 2014 Santa Cruz, CA

Definitely benefited from my Elance experience - they are great to work with and provide all of the assistance that one needs -- rate them with a A+



Mary Graybeal

August 21st, 2014

I've been very pleased with Elance.




August 19th, 2014 Las Vegas, NV

A lot of unscrupulous traders pretebding ti be customers who lowball and make profits to third parties.




August 6th, 2014 Pleasant Grove, UT

I like Elance but I have been frustrated with ever completing anything. Anybody wanting or offering a job plays lots of games wanting to get somebody who works for free. I have better luck through word of mouth. Not the best place for accomplished professionals.