Rentacoder – not just for programmers anymore

Over at Online Freebies, there’s a post about finding freelance work via Rentacoder. In spite of the name, Rentacoder offers work for more than just coders (programmers). It’s possible to bid on work for all aspects of software development — even business and communication projects.

I’ve never used Rentacoder, eLance or similar services. I’ve generally found that the people competing for those jobs charge very low consulting fees, perhaps because they come from countries where the cost of living is much less than where I live. I still do work for companies outside my own country, but only where I can command the sort of fees to which I’ve become accustomed. That means I have to offer more specialized skills and knowledge, which can’t be as easily shipped overseas. However, depending on where you live, some of these online freelance bid sites might make sense for you.

10 thoughts on “Rentacoder – not just for programmers anymore”

  1. Andrea,

    You’re perfectly correct: sites like RAC, GetAFreelancer, guru, etc. are designed to let cheap clients find really really cheap freelancers to maybe (and oftentimes not) complete a project.

    Clients who use this type of service are usually not looking to do something strategic to the success of their company… or they really don’t have the budget to do something better. Either way, as a freelancer, that’s not the type of customer I want. I want the strategic jobs that have a long-term impact on the client’s business AND I want a client who has money.

    Freelancers — especially those in “developed” countries (I’m using that term loosely) — need to focus on finding local clients and getting market rates for their services. Competing with people on the other side of the world who can live on 10% of what you consider a “bad year” … well that’s just a dumb way to run a business.

    Instead, successful freelancers focus on advertising and networking locally: pay-per-click with your city name as part of the keywords, directories like which are organized by service AND location, yellow pages, service-oriented forum sites, whatever… wherever your potential clients might look for you. And remember: more marketing is better than being invisible. Do “all of the above” if you can afford it.

  2. I agree with Andrea on this site. I bid on a project that was about 2 weeks worth of work and very involved. My bid = $13,000 USD. The winning bid was $100. Crazy…absolutely insane.

    Networking and using your sphere of influence is a much better route.

  3. Hi,
    I agree with your analysis on the low prices on Rentacoder. I have used the site already a number of times and have jobs done between 85 and 210$, all of them a few days work (in my estimation).

    I did need a week to come to terms with it. I was not sure if it was ethical to have these kind of jobs done that would cost us 1000$ or more if it was done in our country.

    In the end I decided that these people did it out of free will. The best option for us was to work professionally, meaning:
    – specify the project as good as you can
    – agree on extensions if you ask more than what was put in the original scope
    – if a job cannot be finished, agree to pay a fair amount

    At the end of a job, coders rate you as a well. I’m happy that I still have a 10/10 score.

    On the other hand, if you are not taking on these possibilities, your competitor will.

    That’s my two cents worth.

  4. Market Analysis of top-selling Internet Marketing products

    This was the title of the project, which is now private to only the winning bidder.

  5. As a seasoned “rentacoder’ user (the site is now named “vWorker”), I can vouch that the price range for available jobs is as wide as the Grand Canyon. Some jobs are priced very low while others are priced at $50,000 and more. The trick to finding the higher paying jobs is to search for them via vWorker’s filter system. I.E. Simply filter projects that are below your price preference so you won’t see them. Easy Cheeze!

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