Guru

Information - Guru

Located in the United States, Guru is a freelancing website designed to bring employers and virtual workers together. It operates on a subscription and end of job fee model. Memberships range from free to $32.44 monthly, while the end of job fees range from 7.95% - 11.95%. They do not offer protection for the employer or worker unless the project is a pre-funded hourly job (Safe Pay), in which the worker uses their time tracking system. Such protection is only for assuring time worked, not the quality of deliveries, and requires a minimum of a $25 balance on the project to cover their $25 mediation processing fee.

Members with a higher subscription plan are listed above those with the basic or mid-range subscription plan, and skillsets are limited depending on the purchased membership. Bidding is also limited depending on the user's membership plan, though workers are permitted to purchase additional bids if they reach the ceiling before the month's membership resets. Additional bids can be purchased at the cost of $25 for 100, $45 for 250 and $75 for 100. Standard jobs use one bid whereas premium jobs use six bids. This practice hinders the workers and prevents them from bidding on all jobs of interest, as their bids add additional expense. Basic members, utilizing the free account, are not permitted to post questions to the employer for clarification, they can only reply to messages sent to them. For this reason many users are leery to place bids and/or are likely to have problems on the project because the specifications are unclear.

 

 
Basic - Free
Guru
Guru Vendor
Membership Fee:
Free

$24.95

$32.44
 

Why does this matter?    Freelance workers generally provide their services and work for lower rates than large corporations, as they are individuals working out of a home office or a small group of vWorkers working within an office. They are able to offer lower pricing because their overhead is lower. Adding the burden of a membership fee, in addition to an end of job project fee brings their costs up, which in turn costs the employer more money. Membership fees are also a deterrent to many freelancers, who will take their talents to sites that do not impose membership fees.
 
End of Job Fees:
11.95%
7.95%
7.95%
   
Bids allowed per month:
10

100;
with option to purchase more

100;
with option to purchase more
 
Why does this matter?    The number of bids allowed per month is significant because freelancing websites designed for companies to hire outsourced labor generally have thousands of workers on them, and because of this, each worker that is actively looking for work must place a lot of bids before their bids are accepted. Limiting a worker's bids means that they cannot bid on all the projects that they are qualified for, which in turn deprives employers from seeing all qualified freelancers.
 
Skillsets and Keywords Allowed:
5

5

5
 
Why does this matter?    Limiting a worker's skillsets in his resume, or an employers needed talent areas and/or keywords while posting a job, causes an undue hinderance on the job for both parties. Employers may need several skillsets or keywords to properly describe their project so they get qualified bidders, limiting these areas can pose difficulty for the employer while describing what is needed. Additionally, many employers post a part of their project, knowing further work will follow, in hope to establish a relationship with a worker for the future work. Limiting the skillsets and keywords that a worker is allowed can detour an employer from selecting that particular bidder, thinking he isn't qualified. Many vWorkers have talents in many areas, but with limitations in place they cannot accurately portray their skills.
 
Money Back Guarantee for Employers & Payment Guarantee for Workers:

Guru does not offer mandatory escrow or a money back guarantee unless the payment is made via Safe Pay, which is essentially Guru's method of escrow, as the employer posts payment in advance. When an employer uses Safe Pay, arbitration can be opened, provided that the employer owes the worker $25 or more. A minimum of $25 must be available as this is the FEE for arbitration. If an employer has a dispute or needs mediation he has the option to not pay the worker or request a refund of his payment posted into Safe Pay.

 

Why does this matter?    Giving an employer the option of posting escrow is convenient for the employer but a risk to the worker, and sites that do not enforce mandatory escrow have fewer qualified workers actively using the site. This is because each side wants to be protected, so if a site fails to offer the necessary protection they will go to a site that does. Also, imposing a fee for arbitration further complicates matters and adds undue cost to the project.
 
Other Notations: Basic Members have restricted bidding
 

Guru & Guru Vendor members do not have restricted bidding and can include attachments with their bids

  Basic Members are listed beneath those with higher paid memberships, such as Guru & Guru Vendor

Listed above Basic Members (free accounts)

  Can only respond to project messages

Is permitted to ask questions on projects

 


Why does this matter?   A guarantee or money placed into an unbiased escrow account is an absolute must for people trading services online. You are working with people that you have never and will likely never meet face to face. In fact, at times you might work with someone that is on the other side of the world. Employers do not want to lose their money by paying up front and not getting their project delivered, getting unacceptable deliveries or receiving their deliveries past their deadline. Just the same, workers do not want to invest in a project and deliver it without getting paid.

The only way in which an online venue can ensure that each party is protected is by instituting an escrow that is held until the project is complete. This way the employer knows that he will get his money back if the worker doesn't deliver, and likewise, the worker knows he will get his payment when he does deliver. And should something go wrong, both parties know that a third party will step in and help mediate and/or settle the dispute.

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