ODesk is crap. It is the worst of the worst as far as project sites go for freelancers.
On the other hand, if you are a contractor with a project, it’s sort of great, because the third or fourth freelancer person you hire for the same job will turn out to be decent and they will ask a ridiculously low hourly rate or project fee. Which is exactly what you can expect to make as a freelancer.
In addition to making next to no money, Odesk will skim 10 percent of BOTH sides, meaning if you charge 40 bucks an hour, Odesk displays your fee as 44.00, the extra 4 bucks going to them. When you get a payout, Odesk will then rape you for another 10 percent. So your rate is really 36 an hour.
Your competition, no matter what line of service you are offering, will be offering rates of $5.55 an hour. (They will suck at whatever it is they do, but contracting companies haven’t realized that yet for the most part). So when they start to compare the average hourly or 11 dollars an hour against yours, you will either be
b) low-balled, or
c) otherwise swindled into a fixed rate project that will then take 22x the estimated amount of time to finish or it will actually never end.
Elance is only slightly better in terms of quality clients, projects and minimal ouch factor when it comes to taking your wage. The rest of them, especially the pay to access project sites, are total bullshit.
My advice: Stay away.
– bitter employee