See Five of the Top Online Marketplaces for Freelance Services

May 10th, 2023 | 5 min read

The internet has completely changed the way we work.

In 2022, there are approximately 1.1 billion freelancers worldwide, with 44% of those having their gig as their primary source of income.

Online marketplaces for freelance services have been a boon to the freelance workforce by providing a platform for freelancers and clients to connect.

The online marketplaces for freelance services have been flourishing recently with the rise of the gig economy, with more and more people opting to work from their homes instead of working from an office.

We’ll cover some of the pros and cons of various freelancer marketplaces.

Fiverr Valued at More Than Five Billion

Established in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, in 2010, Fiverr is a platform that connects freelancers selling gigs to buyers needing digital services for their business or personal use.

As the website’s name implies, buyers can get services starting at five dollars.

In 2021, the company reported $297.7 million in revenue and is currently valued at more than $5 billion.

Fiverr earns mainly by charging commission fees (20%), with additional revenue coming from promoted gigs, Fiverr Workspace, ClearVoice, and Learn from Fiverr.

Fiverr is known for being beginner-friendly.

While other websites require freelancers to create proposals and bid for jobs, a newbie freelancer can easily create an account with Fiverr and create their first gigs within minutes, typically. 

Fiverr offers "extras" - extras are add-ons that buyers can purchase to customize a basic gig or expedite the delivery of one.

For freelancers, though, one disadvantage to using Fiverr is the long turnaround time (14 days) for regular sellers to get their earnings.

Top sellers can transfer their earnings in 7 days.

Upwork Rebrands from Elance-oDesk; Remember Them? 

Upwork is another popular service marketplace - one that many freelancers prefer.

The platform started in December 2013 as Elance-oDesk and rebranded to rename the company Upwork in 2015.

In 2021, Upwork generated $502 million in revenue and is currently valued at $2.33 billion.

It’s free for freelancers to create an account on Upwork.

While free, freelancers have the option to upgrade their membership if they want to get more Connect credits and bid on more jobs.

In terms of fees, Upwork charges both subscription and service fees to its users.

Service fees range from 5% to 20%, depending on a freelancer’s total billing history with clients.

The service fee breakdown is as follows:

$0 - $500 earned from a client: 20% service fee applied to earnings
$500.01-$10,000 earned from a client: 10% service fee
$10,000.01 or more earned from a client: 5% service fee

Clients also have the option to go with the Upwork Plus subscription, which charges $49.99/month on top of the 3% processing and administration fee paid by the businesses.

Unlike the beginner-friendly format of Fiverr, a freelancer needs a detailed profile to compete in Upwork in order to stand out to employers.

The details could include profile pictures, resumes, portfolios, work samples, and case studies.

On top of that, freelancer profiles must be approved by the platform to start working.

Freelancer the Largest Online Marketplace for Freelance Services

Founded in Australia in 2009, Freelancer is the largest online marketplace for freelance services, connecting businesses and freelancers from 247 countries worldwide.

Over 50 million users have signed up for Freelancer, and the website earns an estimated $43.1 million in revenue.

Once freelancers sign up and complete their profiles, they are then free to browse jobs.

Like Upwork, signing up for an account on Freelancer is free, and the website will take a percentage off the workers’ earnings.

Freelancer’s fee structure is as follows:

Fixed-price projects: 10% fee or $5, whichever is higher
Hourly projects: Flat 10% fee
Services: 20% fee

On top of job listings, employers can hold contests on Freelancer for things like logo design.

Freelancers can submit entries for free, but the contest prize is still subjected to fees.  

Toptal Focusses on Top 3% of Freelance Experts

Toptal, which name stems from the words TOP TALENT, was founded in 2010 in California.

As the name implies, Toptal is committed to working with the top 3% of freelance experts in software development, design, finance, product management, and project management worldwide.

The company boasts a 95% Trial-To-Hire Success.

Toptal’s highest selling point is its exclusivity, which is why it’s generally more expensive than other freelance marketplaces.

They only work with highly-skilled freelancers who passed their five-step screening process, which includes language tests, skill reviews, a live screening, and test projects.

Because they only hire experts in the field, freelancers on Toptal charge between $60-$200+ per hour.

The platform has around $753.3 million in annual revenue and is currently valued at over $1 billion.

The company’s revenue model is straightforward: they charge a service fee, which they add on top of the freelancer’s fee, and present this as a unified rate to employers.  

Flexjobs Provides Remote Work From Home Options for Freelancers

On their website, Flexjobs calls themselves “the #1 job site to find vetted remote, work from home, and flexible job opportunities since 2007.

Founded by Sara Sutton, the company came to be as Sara’s solution to the frustrating experience she had in finding career opportunities that also offered flexible work options when she was pregnant.

The platform has now grown to work with more than 50 industries and has been granted an A+ rating from BBB.

On average, they earn around $37.8 million per year.

Flexjobs make money through paid freelancer memberships starting at $9.95 per week.

Freelancers are given access to free skill testing, a personalized portfolio, career advice, webinars, and unlimited job postings.

Jobs posted on the platform are also highly-vetted, which helps members avoid scams,  commission-only jobs, multi-level marketing roles, offers that sound too good to be true, and fake companies!

Explore Creating Your Own Service Marketplace with Yclas

The internet has connected the world like never before, and one of the most critical applications of this connectivity is the gig economy’s growth.

There has been a growing need for freelance platforms that connect businesses with service providers.

If this is something you’ve been considering, Yclas can help you with your marketplace project.

Yclas focuses on a user-friendly experience, is designed for easy use, and is suitable for everyone, even those without prior experience in website building.

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