Guru.com is a site for outsourcing work to freelance contractors. The site has more than 1 million members, and a large userbase of freelancers looking for projects to complete. Employers post projects on the site for freelancers to bid on. The employer can then consider the bid proposals based on the freelancer's rating on the Guru site, their experience level, and their bid amount. The employer then chooses a bidder to complete the project. At this point the employer can use Guru's SafePay escrow to deposit funds into an escrow account, to be paid to the freelancer upon completion of the project. If the freelancer fails to complete the project, the escrow funds will be refunded to the employer.
Guru.com is the world's largest online marketplace for freelance work. Users can join the site as employers or freelancers. The site is free for employers to use. Freelancers can have a free basic account, but in order to bid on most jobs must purchase a Guru or Guru Vendor account, which is paid quarterly. In addition, freelancers pay a percentage of the project to the site upon completion of the project. The projects posted on the site are divided into categories, including Websites and Ecommerce, Graphics Design and Multimedia, Illustration, Marketing, Engineering, Networking, Legal, Programming and Software, and others.
Pittsburgh, PA-based Guru.com was founded in 1998 by Inder Guglani as eMoonlighter.com. The site was launched as Guru.com in 2002. Inder Guglani is CEO of the site.
Competition to Guru.com comes from sites such as Rentacoder.com and Elance.com. Both of these sites offer a similar service to Guru.com, but neither site charges freelancers a quarterly fee. Both sites do charge the freelancer a percentage for each completed project. All three sites offer some form of escrow payment system, which benefits both employer and freelancer. Guru.com is the largest of the three sites.
Navigation is intuitive, but the site is quite large and there is a learning curve associated with using the site as an employer or as a freelancer. The search and browse functions work well for both employer and freelancer, and project flow from creation to completion is a fairly seamless process. There is no advertising displayed on the Guru.com site.
Registration to the Guru.com site is free for employers and freelancers. The registration process asks for different information depending on whether the user is registering as an employer or as a freelancer. Employers have access to all employment features of the site with a free account. Freelancers on Guru.com who have a free account have what is known as a Basic account, and can only bid on jobs where employers allow Basic members to bid.
Freelancers wishing the ability to bid on a wider range of projects must purchase a quarterly Guru or Guru Vendor membership. The main difference between these membership levels is that employers may choose to accept bids from Guru members or Guru Vendors only. So in order to be able to bid on the broadest possible range of jobs, a freelancer must join as a Guru Vendor. Pricing, which varies depending on job category, ranges from $29.95 to $99.95 per quarter for Guru members, and from $38.94 to $128.94 for Guru vendors. In addition, Guru and Guru Vendors pay a 5% fee to the site upon completion and payment of the project.
Guru.com is recommended to employers looking for freelancers as well as to freelancers looking for projects to complete. The site is a very active marketplace for freelance outsourcing, and many employers use the site exclusively for all of their freelance outsourcing. Also, many freelancers earn their living on the site.