Is Guru.Com A Scam?
If you are looking for earning opportunities online, you may have heard of this company, Guru.com. It is one of the largest freelance marketplaces in the world and it seems like it’s only getting bigger. Its biggest competitors, Upwork and Freelancer, are also experiencing steady growth in the industry. You may be wondering how the biggest freelance marketplace websites are all experiencing growth. The answer is demand. There is a consistent surge in the demand for freelance workers. On the other side of the coin, there’s an even bigger supply of freelance workers on the world as more and more people are moving into working on their own time.
Having said all that, we’re going to answer several questions about this company – is this company for you? What separates this company from other similar websites? Are there any complaints about this company? Read further to get your answers.
What Exactly Is Guru.com?
Guru.com is a marketplace for freelancers that connects clients and employers for work. It is a third-party handler for companies looking for employers all over the world. It supplies its clients with thousands of potential employees, categorizing them depending on the qualifications they are looking for. Basically, Guru.com like a middleman for companies and freelancers. Obviously, it’s not the only company in this industry. In fact, there are literally thousands upon thousands of job marketplace websites on the internet. There are big players in the industry, of course, and it seems like this company is on that list, belonging to the top 5, at least.
Guru.com was founded in 2001 as a passion project where it grew to unprecedented levels in the mid-2000s. It faced great competition during those times but eventually, it emerged as one of the top 5 freelance websites in the world. It is still facing great competition today but the freelance market has shown unstoppable growth in the past few years and Guru.com is banking in on the hopes to get those new freelance workers on their side. We’re going to look into the structure of this website to help you determine if this website is for you or not.
How Does Guru.com Work?
The only real requirement you need is you need to be at least 18 years old and above. You need to fill out their forms using your name, username, password, and that’s basically it. You can register either as a freelance or an employer, and due to the nature of this article, we are only going to focus on reviewing this platform through the eyes of a freelancer.
Bidding on jobs
Freelancers (free membership) will have 10 bids per month but if they want the ability to bid more, they would have to pay. I will put the pricing below.
- 20 bids – $10
- 40 bids – $20
- 60 bids – $30
- 125 bids – $50
- 250 bids – $100
Obviously, the more you can bid, the higher your chances are at getting selected for a job. But to be perfectly honest, I can’t see how any freelancer would have much use to having more than 40 bids. Granted, the competition is extra tough today. If your resume is not popping out for employers, chances are, it would get ignored and you will lose a good chunk of your bids on nothing.
One key thing that you need to remember when bidding for a job is the 10 bids/month for free members would not roll over to next month. Paid bids, however, do not have an expiration which makes them somewhat useful if you are having tough luck finding job prospects.
Fees When Using Guru.com
You can choose to use Guru.com for free but there are a lot of fees that you need to pay once you get hired on their platform. Their biggest fee would probably be the 8.95% job fee. Everything you earn on their platform would be subjected to that 8.95% but it would be less if you have a paid membership. I will put their rates below.
- Basic (free) – 120 bids/year and 8.95% job fee.
- Basic + ($11.95/month or $8.95/month) – 600 bids/year, 8.95% job fee.
- Professional ($21.95/month or $15.95/month) – 600 bids/year, 6.95% job fee.
- Business ($33.95/month or $24.95/month) – 600 bids/year, 5.95% job fee.
- Executive ($49.95/month or $39.95/month) – 600 bids/year, 4.95% job fee.
If you think about it, this is where Guru.com get most of their revenue from. And while at first glance, it sure looks like it does have a lot of fees for its users, it’s mostly comparable to other similar websites of its caliber. You are basically paying for the security and stability of the platform.
If you think that I am done listing their fees, you are mistaken. They have other fees as well that you need to be prepared for. When your employer gives you an invoice, you will be charged an additional 2.5% handling fee, which would be added to your employer’s bill. It would not actually show up on your end but it’s another 2.5% on top of the 8.95% job fee, which is a substantial amount if you think about it.
Another Guru.com strategy for squeezing additional fees from you is to give you paid skill tests. Having passed several skilled tests would help you land a better paying job. These are optional though so bear that in mind. For paid membership though, these tests are given for free.
Negative Feedback Removal
Here’s one controversial Guru.com quirk that allows you to delete negative feedback from your profile, but for a fee. Yes, you can delete negative feedback for a fee! This would eventually lead to a skewed rating system but that’s a discussion for another time.
How Much Does Guru.com Pay?
Since Guru.com is a freelance marketplace, the rates would vary from one client to another. Because their system works on a bidding system, the pay depends on the agreed price of both the employer and the employee.
There are basically 4 major ways in which you can get paid. I will post a screenshot of these payment structures to help you understand. Their different payment structure is pretty self-explanatory.
Guru.com uses a secure payment system which makes it considerably better than other similar websites. You can select how to get paid based on your preference. You can use the following transfer methods below:
- Direct deposit (US only)
- Wire Transfer (non-US users)
Issues Of Guru.com
- Employees not getting paid
Like any other freelance marketplace website, Guru.com suffers from the same issues as employees not getting paid by their employers. To be fair, Guru.com can’t exactly be blamed directly from that. Sometimes, employers just con people and that’s the sad reality of this industry. Luckily, those problems are being addressed by this company by introducing a reliable reporting method. Companies which have several active reports will have their profile banned from the website.
- Inaccurate Rating system
As I’ve said above, you can pay a special fee to have negative feedback removed from your profile. This creates a skewed rating system that blurs the line between good and bad employees. This is not an ideal way to tackle the rating system.
- Bidding is not an ideal structure to maximize payment
The bidding system basically makes you compete with the other employees’ bids. Because of this fact, you need to be conservative on your bids which would limit your earning potential. If you bid too high, you would get outbid by another person. If you bid too low, you will end up earning less than what you should. It’s a tricky business wherein you need to find the right balance to land a job.
Conclusion – Is Guru.com A Scam?
No. The answer is obviously NO.
It is not a scam. In fact, it’s one of the best freelance marketplaces on the planet. It provides security and stability for all its users and clients alike. There’s a reason why it’s one of the top 5 freelance websites on the market. It works flawlessly but there’s one caveat. There are a lot of fees associated with working on their platform. If you are just starting out and finding it hard to land a job, you might get tempted to buy into their extra bids program but that doesn’t always guarantee success.
If you want to land a job on this platform, you are better off improving your resume and building your profile as you go.