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.

Rank Chart
Fees
Registered Freelancers
Our Score
#1
20%
9 million
8.3
#2
8.75%
978,700
7.5
#3
3%
15.5 million
7.4

The Good

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

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.

Fees

Elance adds an 8.75% fee to your freelancer’s bid.

Jobs Posted

There were 114,784 jobs posted in May of 2015.

Registered Freelancers

There are a total of 978,700 freelancers on Elance:

  • 304,000 Programmers
  • 41,600 Mobile Developers
  • 221,800 Designers
  • 342,100 Writers
  • 69,200 Marketers

Guarantee / Protection

Elance has a Payment Protection program that protects both the freelancer and the client.

Funds are released from Escrow.

Payroll Options

All payments go through Elance Payroll Services. You can pay freelancers via credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), PayPal, or an Elance Account.

Involvement

There may be jobs that require dispute assistance. Elance has processes in place for hourly and fixed price disputed jobs.

You can call Elance at +1.650.316.7500. You can also email them (they have several emails on their website).

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6 Elance Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    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!

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    1

  2. User Score

    8

    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

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    3

  3. User Score

    10

    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+

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  4. User Score

    9

    August 21st, 2014

    I’ve been very pleased with Elance.

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  5. User Score

    2

    August 19th, 2014 Las Vegas, NV

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

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    1

  6. User Score

    3

    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.

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