Hi, this is Nicole from Rent a Coder. Rentacoder provides access to programming, writing, illustration, even data entry jobs. (You can get a sense of the broad scope of work available here: http://www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/SoftwareCoders/BrowseWork.asp).
I'd like to point out a few differences between our service and services like Elance since those differences could influence your satisfaction and earnings.
The more a site charges you, the less you have to put in your own pocket at paycheck time. Unlike Elance, Rent A Coder does not charge you a monthly subscription fee for any bidding or certification privileges.
1) Free and unlimited bidding and certification privileges
Workers on Elance cannot place more than 3 bids a month unless they pay a subscription fee ($9.95/month for 20, $19.94/month for 40 or $39.95/month for 60). The majority of sites do not charge subscription fees.
Working with a new buyer on Pay-for-Deliverables projects:
The cheapest and easiest way to work with a buyer is to bill by the hour (called pay-for-time). However, a new buyer doesn't know yet that you're productive, and won't run up a huge bill with fluff hours. To help you establish that trust, both Elance and Rent A Coder let you work with them safely by bidding a fixed price for the final deliverables (called pay-for-deliverables). However, Elance's extra charges for arbitration may make it prohibitively expensive to exercise your rights.
2) Payment Guarantee
If a buyer doesn't pay you for work you've properly delivered (fully completed by the deadline and up to industry-expected standards), then both sites will step in and pay you via arbitration. However Elance charges you $66-$133 to do this. This may also make it impractical to get paid on smaller projects. Rent A Coder, on the other hand, does this for free, so you never have to think twice about exercising this guarantee.
On Elance a buyer can challenge you with an arbitration at any time. If they do, you must either choose to pay the non-refundable arbitration fee ($66-$133) or forfeit your money-back guarantee. Rent A Coder, on the other hand, never charges you to exercise your guarantee.
In addition, on Rent A Coder you can start arbitration immediately. A buyer intent on abusing the system can stall the start of arbitration on Elance for 21 business days and during this period your money is not available to you. During the first phase (dispute assistance), the buyer has up to 3 business days to respond, and can make this phase last up to 12 additional business days (15 business days total). After this, the arbitration phase 'begins', but does actually start because the buyer is given 3 business days to acknowledge the notice of arbitration, and the another 3 business days if they did not acknowledge the first notice. Only at this point is arbitration actually started. See the Elance contract for more information.
Working with a buyer you know on Pay-for-Time projects:
Once a buyer trusts that you won't bill them for unproductive hours, you can bill them by the hour (called pay-for-time). This has many advantages over pay-for-deliverables including cheaper fees, flexibility (you don't have to define all the requirements in advance to start working) and less risk (under-estimates are no longer your responsibility to bear). However Rent A Coder guarantees all hours worked, while Elance does not.
4) Guraranteed Payment
Elance does not guarantee any hours until you've worked at least 80 hours. During this time you may find yourself working for free. Elance only guarantees to pay you for the first 40 hours you work in a week. If you are working longer hours to help a client, you may find yourself working for free. Rent a Coder guarantees payment for all hours worked.
For more details on the above see:
To learn about additional differences (as well as compare the other 5 major sites), you can click here:
If you have any questions, please let me know. You can also call in to talk to a facilitator 7 days a week, or email us (see http://www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/misc/Feedback.asp).