RentACoder Review: A serious site for serious freelancers

Hello first time visitor!

URL: Rentacoder.com

Overall impressions

A very professional and business-looking freelance website. Don’t get fooled by the site’s look, it is not “for the big fish” or something like that. It is just a good site available for everyone. The registration is free and this site also lists hundreds of new projects every day.

Rentacoder.com charges the highest commission fees among the sites I have used. You will have to pay 15% of your earnings. Well, in some occasions you will pay “only” 12.5% (this happens on one-to-one private projects). But the service and fraud protection that you get for this price are very good. Rentacoder.com sends your money via Check, Western Union or Paypal.

Positives

– very good protection against fraudiend buyers. Their escrow system makes you 100% secured
– excellent support, they will always listen to your needs
– excellent rating system
– cool top-coders competition giving you more exposure – once you become a “top coder” of course
– malicious rating protection – you can ask for arbitration if you are not happy with the rating you have received
– ability to publicly rebut a bad rating

Negatives

– very high commission fees – 15%
– the arbitrations are usually awarded to the buyers
– very strict on the timings – you can lose the payment if you don’t meet the deadline
– you have to submit annoying weekly reports on projects which are over $150

Additional information

The bidding on Rentacoder.com is hidden. This means that you can’t view the other coder’s bids and adjust yours accordingly. This can be good or bad, depending on how you see it.

Fortunately once the project is awarded to someone, the other’s bids are available to see. You can learn a lot by reading them and estimating why someone’s bid won and other’s bid lost. It’s not always the price which matters the most (in fact in less than 50% of the projects the lowest bid is chosen).

In RentACoder.com you don’t request a withdrawal from your account when you want. They send it on 1st or 15th each month only if it exceeds a limit, set by you. Make sure to set this limit high enough, so lower % of your money goes to bank or Western Union fees. If you use Paypal you don’t have to worry about this.

Try to get into the “top coders” list. It is not that hard – you need 3 projects completed, $500 or more earned, average rating 9 or more, and no failed projects. Being a “top coder” you get a “medal” attached to your profile and earn a lot more credibility.

Never ever allow to lose a project and receive a rating 3 or lower. This will throw you off the top coders ranking forever. If some job goes nowhere, try to arrange mutual agreement with the buyer so he gets his money back, but you don’t receive a bad rating.

Rentacoder.com has quite picky system and is good for self disciplined freelancers. If you are not in this category, better choose some of the other sites.


4 Responses to “RentACoder Review: A serious site for serious freelancers”

  1. http://www.Icanfreelance.com rentacoder.com and getafreelancer.com are other sites to try.

  2. rentacoder and getacoder are the big programming sites. elance is the site for writers webdesigners and those doing video and audio work.

    This review was very positive however there is also a dark side that users should know about. Some coders are simply dishonest. They will claim to be experienced when they are not. The resulting code is filled with bugs and you may not know until you have paid them. There are ways to check into a coders background other than the resume page they post so I suggest you do that. There are also a bunch of ways you can identify bad coders. I found a list at http://rent-a-coder.y3s.net which also has a great manual explaining how to use rentacoder and similar sites. I would not recommend anyone use these sites without finding out how they really work first.

  3. From my personal experience RAC is a very risky place to work in. I bid an extremely low price for a big project hoping to get a good rating and more subsequent projects. However, the way that it turned out was that the buyer kept on expanding the scope of the project and it would never end. Frustrated I put the project into arbitration, but lost because of some feature that I tried to do but was not able to do completely. Overall, I lost about a months effort to nothing and most probably the buyer got a lot more than the initial project work for free.

    On RAC, you need to be very careful about clueless buyers who will make completing projects a pain.

    I would advise coders to stick with an hourly payment cycle on something like odesk.com and stay away from RAC.

  4. Rentacoder buyers will benefit from learning *how* to outsource through the site before making mistakes via trial and error: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/outsourcing-through-rentacoder/7564711

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