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Best Way To Get a Game/App Done With Limited Issues with freelancers on ODesk?

Active Member
David D Member Since: Dec 1, 2014
1 of 3

Hi everyone,


I am new to Odesk but have had a nightmare at another site like this. Basically I was charged a fixed rate and was told a timeline that the game would be done. The game was done 7 months later from the timeline and It did not work.  The job costed me $5250 and had nothing to show for it.


I am now on odesk to find someone to fix my game and add additions etc.


My question here is this. How do I cover myself legally? I know I need an NDA and contract most likely. Shouldnt these freelancers provide a contract with me? Not the other way around?


Also, I called Odesk to specifically ask what is the best way to pay a freelancer and I was told through Odesk. Which is suppose to ver my butt on disputes etc. Problem is, I am hearing that does not cover my butt. The last place i used had in small print that I could only ask for a refund AFTER 30 days when most of these games/apps do not take less then 30 days to get finished. What is Odesks policy on this?


I am being told by multiple freelancers that going through odesk is WORSE then going through a normal credit card company like chase,visa etc for disputes to get the clients money back.


I am trying to not make this mistake again. I have been hearing nightmares on these type of sites. No communication, freelancers vanishing after payment AND waiting out the time peroid that they need to so they do not have to refund the money. Also, freelancers vanishing when a dispute is requested. Since they have to agree on the dispute what is stopping them from just not answering the request?


This has all happened to me on a different site like this. I am trying to not have this happen again. Any information would be great.

Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
2 of 3

Hi David,


What you can do is find a really good freelancer first and then hire on a fixed rate with specific milestones for the changes and additions you want before releasing any payment.


Personally I would do the following:


STEP 1: Find a great freelancer.

- avoid agencies, make sure to get someone with extensive experience, great reviews and established history. I like hiring individual freelancers because I like communicating with the person doing the job for me, not some middleman.


STEP 2: Make sure to discuss what needs to be done with the freelancer, including budget, deliverables, and timetable including what the milestones of the project will be.


STEP 3: Choose a Fixed Rate Contract and hire the freelancer with milestones (hourly tends to get dragged around by bad freelancers). A fixed rate contract protects you because if things do not work out or if the deliverables do not turn up by the agreed upon time, you can choose not to release payment. Take note that unpaid work means you don't own the work and if you choose not to pay, the freelancer retains the rights to any updates he/she made.


STEP 4: Work with your freelancer and communicate lots. Good feedback and communication from both sides is key.


STEP 5: Test things for each milestone before releasing payment


STEP 6: Test final product.


STEP 7: Pay whatever else needs to be paid and end the contract once things are all tested and are A-okay. Don't forget to share your thoughts with the freelancer, especially if they did a great job.


STEP 8: Don't forget to leave an honest feedback and perhaps a bonus if the freelancer went above and beyond the scope of the project.


STEP 9: Spread the word that some good freelancers exists on oDesk Smiley Happy


If you do the steps above, the chances of you being ripped off by a bad freelancer is next to none. Why? Because if things don't work at whatever step, you simply do not release payment for the milestone in question and don't set up the next milestones. More so, leaving the feedback and the ending of the contract as the last steps means if the freelancer tries to pull some trick and a vanishing act, he/she will get a reputation killer feedback which will be seen by everyone on his/her profile, thus killing his/her oDesk career. Of course all of this will not be a problem if you do step 1 right since a professional freelancer would follow the same steps (I also freelance sometimes).


All the best!

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄

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Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
3 of 3

Oh and as for the NDA, the oDesk TOS covers that. It won't hurt to have the freelancer sign another one from you as well but implenting it when things go bad can be tricky if you choose a freelancer from overseas. With this said, I cannot emphasize it more that finding the right freelancer is really the initial and most important step to avoid any problems. A professional freelancer with a solid track record will know how to act in a legally conforming and professional manner.


Here's details on the NDA and more tips on Working with Freelancers. You may also want to see Getting Started as a Client.


If you need more info specific to finding that freelancer, here is the link to ebook for oDesk Clients and the Client Resource Centre

❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄