Guru fees and address requested
I often encounter the same problem with finding work on your site - I will find great leads on your site and I bid on them. Then, normally, every other piece of the transaction (setting up the contract, performing the work and proving I provide value, and sometimes billing) is performed outside of Guru. And then I get caught in the dilemma of knowing that I agreed to go through Guru and to pay the service fee but knowing that the only real service you provide me is the lead. I currently am negotiating a contract with a company I found through Guru. Again, literally every piece of this engagement from me performing the work to negotiation to billing is being performed outside of Guru. On one hand I feel like I owe Guru for the service and I agreed to a percentage. On the other hand, I think it's excessive to charge 13% on everything that I make from here on out just by providing me a lead to a successful project.
I have two reasons for emailing you. The first is to provide a suggestion and the second is to ask for information.
My suggestion is for your company to consider changing or adding to your model by simply charging for leads (you could easily create a tiered system like you have with 10 bids vs unlimited bids by doing a certain limit to the bids a person receives, and you can market the full service by showing how many bids a person does not get to see with the lower end system) as opposed to paying a percentage of the take (since I believe this drives a lot of your customers to skirting your rules). You do not have a monetization engine set up like oDesk does with the screen shots to provide value outside of leads. I know there are many contractors and freelances that use Guru, free of charge, to simply find leads and build out relationships. I would argue that there is a great chance you increase your revenues considerably by adding this revenue model, but it's only a suggestion so take it as you will.
My question is I'd like to know a Guru address where I can send a check. My newest contractor is proposing an outside contract and it would make both of our lives much easier. However, I believe I am obligated to pay you my 13% on my initial earnings. I do not feel as obligated to send that percentage on other projects and future work I negotiate on my own (which is another point of interest I'd like to raise - when I negotiate a project based upon a past Guru project I performed well on I feel no commitment to go through Guru because, again, I don't see value outside of the leads).
I hope this helps raise new discussions. I love the service you provide and would gladly pay a premium for your leads. But so long as the leads are the only value driver I believe a great majority of your customers will be deriving their value for free.
Don't forget to send the address. Thanks!
You object to paying the percentage beyond the first project you do with a given employer, and that's fine if you feel that way. I'm not sure that you see the value of what Guru is offering you. Myself, I would rather work within the Guru system because it offers me a number of things that I wouldn't have on my own - my account is maintained so I have available feedback showing, which works for me in the process of bidding on work. I also have an easy way to locate and print off the data that I need for filing my income tax, and tracking the work I've done. Safepay is available to me, and that provides some protection that I won't complete my work only to be unpaid for my efforts. There is a dispute mechanism available to me if I should need it. In short, I am a freelancer but I have a team of people and services there to help me out. Would I have those same resources if I were to work offsite? Nope. For me, it's worth that percentage payment because the value of those services is greater than the fees I am paying.
answered Jul 17 at 12:58 AM
Bradley, Guru is a virtural web site that provides a means to connect freelancers with employers. It does not guarantee jobs, Just as If you go to a staffing agency or a recruitment company and they send out your reseme to companies, and arrange interviews with companies, you are required to pay either a fee or a percentage of your salary to that agency. If you are awarded a job here on Guru you pay a percentage for the same privilage. That fee also includes escrow services, dispute resolutions and profile listings. Profile listing are THE way to get awarded more jobs. The more jobs you get through Guru, the better your chances are of being awarded even more jobs. etc. The percentages that Guru takes out of your earning may be higher then other freelancer sites. I do agree with you that they should be a little less (lower) then what they are now, but that's what Guru charges. Those percentages also are lower for paid memberships.
You stated --- My suggestion is for your company to consider changing or adding to your model by simply charging for leads. --- Guru already does that, it's called bids. On a free membership plan you are only allowed a certain number of bids, (10 ) If you are on a paid membership you receive more bids and also have the opportunity of buying even more bids.
answered Jul 17 at 01:21 AM
Hello, Bradley and thank you for your suggestion. We are aware that some users feel compelled to violate our Terms of Service and work outside of our system. Our fees are reasonable and in line with those charged by our competitors, but we're certainly open criticism and suggestions.
Are you seeing 13% on our site somewhere? If so, please let me know where. That percentage is incorrect. Our fees for the folks that are using our services as free Basic members is 11.95%. The fee for subscribing users (Guru or Guru Vendor) is 7.45%.
You may have missed the announcement, but we recently did add Time Tracker for capturing screen shots. In addition, we recently enhanced our project management tools with the addition of milestones, tasks, and discussions as well as expanded file sharing capacity. These features, combined with our tried and true SafePay and dispute resolution service, provide ample value to the users of our site, Employers and Freelancers alike. And, there's more to come. It’s ok if you choose not to use these services, however they are there for your use at any time at no additional cost.
As indicated by Christine, we use the percentage because the value of each lead is different. Under your model, folks searching for and bidding on lower-value projects would be paying a larger percentage of the project’s value. In addition, our model incentivizes us to work hard for the Freelancers. The harder we work to acquire larger contracts, the greater the benefit to us.
Concerning the transaction fee for the payment that you’ve already received, you can forward it to the address listed below. I appreciate your openness in this particular instance, however if you plan on using our services in the future we must insist that you do so in accordance with our Terms of Service. Like you, we are trying to build a business. I'm sure you would not continue to work with a customer that agrees to your fee structure up-front and then, after the services are rendered, picks and chooses when and how much to pay based on their own preferences. We do hope to revamp the membership and bidding structure, and likely pricing, next year and will certainly take your suggestion into consideration.
Thanks again for your suggestion. Keep 'em coming! Look for additional New Feature updates on the blog.
Our address is,
answered Jul 20 at 03:37 PM
Stacy - Guru.com Team ♦♦
I'm confused why this freelancer sees the need to take the employer away from Guru. I could have sworn that was against Guru's TOS agreement. Quite frankly... I find this absolutely absurd and its simply a person wanting something for free and having the audacity to complain about getting work.
answered Jul 20 at 04:09 PM