Recipe for Disaster: Working Without An Escrow Fund.
Most freelancing platforms deduct a hefty 20% service fees from your project earnings. Cruel, isn’t it? The percentage, however, reduces as you keep earning more from a particular contract and client. Plus, it’s an excruciatingly hard and long process to build a free profile on such platforms. With credible feedbacks, reviews, and ratings.
Public Forums Offering Freelancing Jobs – Without Service Fee
Here’s an easy solution. Many public forums including Facebook has similar job markets. You just need to join the right groups. Clients float jobs and writers respond back, via Facebook chats, WhatsApp or Skype. There isn’t an official contract or terms. The business arrangement strives on mutual faith. Work gets delivered via mail and payments are made directly via PayPal. Without any intermediate platform or regulatory authority. You don’t pay any service charges either. All good so far!! Unless you get cheated one day. Since such direct business models come with absolutely no payment guarantee. So the chances of getting cheated are very high. What can you possibly do if a Scandinavian client refuses to pay (or blocks you out) after you deliver the work? Practically nothing.
Escrow – Guarantee Your Payments !!
The concept of Escrow is therefore important. And that’s where freelancing platforms come in handy. They offer you a T&C, Milestone dates, feedback system, and payment guarantee, most importantly. The client deposits a percentage or full contract amount into an Escrow account maintained by the platform.
- Upon successful completion of the job, the client approves the funds from Escrow and you get paid.
- In case the client disappears, after you deliver work, the platform support team approves the funds from Escrow after due investigation. You get paid.
- In case the freelancer delivers sub-standard work and yet charges inappropriately, the support team investigates and mitigates. In case of disputes, the support team either refunds the Escrow amount to the client or pays you in full.
So never settle for offline jobs/ payments arrangements unless you have an established trust with the client.