Every freelancer lost money when Odesk started this.
ODesk wants freelancers to pay 10% of their earnings, pay for a membership, and the current system encourages the client to get the freelancer to earn less, with the deceptive way in which the bidding is done now
(used to be the freelancer would put in what they wanted to make, then the 10% was tacked on to the client, now it is reversed)
It used to be I'd bid $40 an hour and the 10% was added on to the clients account. Now I'm being encouraged to pay the 10%. Change it back and many freelancers would be able to earn more and use some of that money to purchase extra connects as needed.
Now clients pay nothing for using Odesk services. All the financial burden is now on the freelancer.
With the latest changes, freelancers paying the 10% fee need to take that into account when bidding in order to make the same net earnings (if that is their intent) as in the past when the client paid the 10% fee. Also, now freelancers can take the write-off as a business expense for US income tax purposes; albeit it would normally be the client that would have taken the write-off.
Professionally, I could care less whether it is the client or the freelancer that pays the 10% fee, as long as oDesk establishes and documents policies and provides meaningful, accurate reports that will be accepted as adequate by the US IRS for purposes of audits or similar instances.
As far as Connects are concerned, that is the way oDesk chooses to conduct their business. Freelancers can use Connects allocated with their free account or pay for additional Connects offered by a paid account. Either way, it's up to the freelancer to decide what is best for them as individuals; either way it is the cost of doing business.
One thing for certain, flipping back and forth from one position and another will likely make any questions asked of freelenaces (and clients) by the US IRS more difficult to contend with.
I'm fine with the connects. Didn't really say anything abou that as it's been discussed to death on here.
But with the client no longer paying the 10% fee and that plus the membership being shifted to the freelancer just doesn't seem fair. Sure I'll adjust, and adjust my business model but it just seems a bit much.
Hi Jean! I just noticed the disclaimer in your post. I am not trying to say you need to make any changes. That' none of my business.
I believe I was among the first to add a disclaimer to my Community posts, and I wrote a few times about the lack of transparency here in the Community. It is not readily apparent whether Community roles (leaders, gurus, etc.) work directly or indirectly for oDesk or not at all. Some members requested multiple times that an icon be placed next to Community participants that work directly or indirectly for oDesk.
Eventually, other members using disclaimers including myself were asked by managers to remove such disclaimers, which most if not all had done.
What do you mean, Ron? " I am not trying to say you need to make any changes."
When connects were the issue, you were all "Adapt and overcome". Adapting is making changes.
Why the "change" of heart when it comes to your advice?
Hi Bob again "....not trying to say you need to make any changes" was in reference to suggesting that anyone make changes to their signature, dislaimers, or other information.
I still advocate adapting as needed with regard to oDesk changes. Adapting to changes can involve oDesk, off- oDesk, or both (ADDED: Or none of the above).
Hi PH! I agree, oDesk is not going to tell anyone how to file their taxes. Nonetheless, they must maintain adeqaute policies, reports, etc., in order that members can determine how US Tax Codes might affect their reporting to the IRS.