When Emory asked me to review ScriptLance for the fine audience at Clickfire.com, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the site. On the superficial level, the site resembles the uCoz of freelancing sites: it looks like its design hasn’t been changed since 2001 and the project boards have all the style and panache of a default vBulletin script. Not that there’s anything wrong with vBulletin, of course.
As someone who prefers freelance sites with plenty of emphasis on writing, ScriptLance was a bit foreign to me. Yeah, I know that it does boast a medium upon which people can post their writing projects, too, but I never really put ScriptLance ahead of the Gurus, oDesks, and Freelancers of the world.
Was I wrong? Well, that’s the exact question this ScriptLance review wants to address, and if I’m going to do it effectively, I’m going to have to act like a typical ScriptLancer myself and ask the same questions a new ScriptLance user would ask. Since those questions shouldn’t be too difficult for this ScriptLance neophyte to discern, what do you say we get started right away?
First Impressions: They Matter
The aforementioned first impressions of the site aren’t a trivial thing. I take a look at Elance’s home page and feel warm, welcome, and invited to a treasure trove of freelance projects from all across the world. I log on to ScriptLance and I feel like I’m beta-testing a site even I could have created.
If you’re a business professional yourself, aren’t you looking to hire freelancers from a site with the following characteristics:
- It looks like someone professional works there
- A site that looks like it’s employed quality ScriptLancers itself
Okay, so looks aren’t everything. I’ll grant you that. So what about the first impressions of the basic functions of ScriptLance – say, browsing through projects and placing bids on them?
Actually, I’ve got some good things to say. The tag system in which you can narrow down projects by specific categories – say, writing, or to be more specific, article writing – is accurate and quick. ScriptLance automatically sorts the projects by start dates for you, but there are other ways of sorting through the projects. Even if ScriptLance doesn’t look all shiny and fancy, it at least delivers the goods in the way we freelancers have become accustomed to.
Of course, there’s more to the story than simply browsing through projects. If ScriptLance is free and bidding on projects is free, it’s suddenly gone from ugly stepsister to Cinderella in my mind. And, hey, wouldn’t you know it? ScriptLance’s prices actually look pretty dang appealing.
Price Isn’t Everything, But…Okay, Price is Everything
If you’re a freelancer – no matter if you code, write, draw, what have you – and you came across this ScriptLance review because you wanted to know if it’s a good addition to your arsenal, here’s the information you’ve been waiting for. ScriptLance’s prices are very reasonable and low enough to be considered a major selling point.
First, consider that there are not monthly fees. No signup fees, no monthly fees. If you aren’t signed up to ScriptLance, you won’t be out five bucks simply by registering. That’s a good start. But what about the always-important transactional fees?
Those are quality selling points, too, but it’s a little difficult to figure out at first. So I’ll just let ScriptLance do the splainin':
Buyers can post projects and receive bids/quotes for free. Once the buyer selects a winning bid their account will be charged a flat fee of $5, which must be paid within 30 days. Fees are refunded if the project is cancelled.
Programmers are charged a $5 or 5% fee (whichever is greater) when their bid is selected as the winner for a project. Programmers also have 30 days time to pay this fee, and it is refunded if the project is cancelled.
Why the different prices for programmers? Who knows – but the site is called ScriptLance, after all, not WriteLance or DesignLance.
Even so, look at those prices! That’s about as small as you’ll get considering you don’t have to pay any monthly membership fees. Sure, Freelancer.com only asks for a 3% commission, but it also asks you to pay a monthly fee to get that low rate. If you’re just starting out in the world of freelancing and need a quick way to earn money without spending it, signing up with ScriptLance is like Sam Adams – always a good decision.
Getting Paid And Other Important Items
Getting paid at ScriptLance is as easy as it is at other freelance sites – give them the account to wire the money to and you’re set. You can download money to PayPal, but it’s cheaper just to have it sent directly to your bank account. If you’re worried about security, well, then you’re worried about security. Nothing ScriptLance can really do for you there.
If you’re not a programmer on ScriptLance, there’s a chance you’ll feel a bit like a second-class citizen. This is a site fro programmers, after all, and ScriptLance doesn’t make any bones about it. So what do you do if you’re not a programmer? Well, you can still use the site to find some nice projects and enjoy the low fees, but there’s a good chance you simply won’t be able to find as much work as the scripters will.
Should You Use ScriptLance?
Using ScriptLance isn’t going to be a very bad experience. Heck, you’re looking for work and ScriptLance has work – what else could you ask for? But there are other palces to go if you’re not a programmer and need to find a lot of jobs so you can narrow the projects down to those that suit your skills and needs. ScriptLance’s volume of jobs is in question, and the answer isn’t always exciting.
Of course, that’s no reason to feel deterred. If jobs are out there and can be had for small fees, then those are jobs you’ll want to take a look at. Of course, if you’re a programmer who’s looking for work, ScriptLance should definitely be considered a must-visit. Whether you decide to sign up is up to you, but considering how low the price is (uh, free), you should probably give it some thought.