RentACoder is a subsidiary of Exhedra Solutions Inc. located at Florida, connecting custom software buyers with freelancers. There are of course many more such companies (extensive list is available here), but RentACoder is my personal favourite amongst them. No matter whether you are coder or buyer, I highly recommend using RentACoder.

Here is why (in my humble opinion) RentACoder is better than its competitors:

  • solution carefully thought
    RentACoder is not just a virtual billboard with job postings. Each request is treated as a process served from the beginning to the end, from posting through choosing coder, supervising the work, payment issues up to closing the request. The coder as well as the buyer can count on RentACoder staff help and support on each stage. This is most valuable feature in my opinion, because it maximizes the probability of positive closing of request - I mean when buyer gets the product needed and coder gets paid.
  • secure payment system (Safe Escrow)
    When two people decide to do business with each other over the Internet, and they are geographically located on two opposites sides of the Earth, assuring they both will keep agreement conditions is most difficult. The solution is to set up third, trusted side of agreement. This is how safe escrow on RentACoder works. Buyer places the agreed amount on his escrow account. The money is blocked there until coder finishes his work, and released only when buyer approves it.
  • dispute arbitration
    After reading the above you might ask "what if the buyer and coder can't go to agreement regarding job completion?" I know from my own experience such a situation is not common, but if it happens, trained RentACoder staff member, called Facilitator stands as a judge. Thouroughly analyzing the content of the request, messages sent between coder and buyer and delivered goods he works out fair solution, which is final and which both sides agree to obey (according to site rules).
  • payment processing
    All payments are held directly by RentACoder. Both buyer and coder receive their own personal accounts while registering. Buyer can transfer (via credit card) funds which can then be used for escrowing. Coder account is credited each time his work has been accepted. Twice a month (on 15th and at the end of month) the amount accumulated is paid (the advantage is that if you get smaller jobs, you don't have to pay each time for money transfer). There are three available payment methods: snail-mail check (cheap, but takes longer to get money), Western Union transfer (really quick, but expensive) and PayPal (not available in Poland, so I have nothing to say about it).
  • rating and comments system
    This system enables to verify the reliability of both parties, although it is much more important for coders than for buyers. What's it all about? It resembles rating system known from on-line auctions, such as eBay. The rule is simple: after finishing and accepting the work buyer and coder rate each other from 1 (worst) to 10 (best); apart from this numerical rating one can (and even should) provide a short comment. Ratings and comments are of course publicly available. A set of high ratings increases trust level for coder, and - in consequence - allows him to get more jobs.
  • buyer verification
    This feature has been introduced lately, and its need is explained by large number of credit card frauds. There are two verification steps: contacting buyer via phone and requiring credit card facsimile. More information about this verification can be found here
  • clear interface, clear rules
    This point actually doesn't require commenting; both interface and site navigation are straightforward and logical. If you have any problems or doubts, just look at help pages (very extensive and precise); there are separate ones for coders and buyers. As a last resort you can send your question to facilitator; they generally answer within a few hours.

RentACoder is an auction site. Buyers submit bid requests containing (more or less) detailed specification of what they want. These bids are made available for coders. If they are interested, they place bids with price and solution propositions. Buyer can then select the bid that fits most (viewing coder's profile and comments). There is no obligation for buyer to select any bid - he can cancel the request at any time, even without notice to the bidders (until he selects and accepts the bid of course).

Such professional service is not for free, that's obvious. So who pays for it and how? The first good news is for buyers: this service is totally free for them; they do not pay for registration, placing a request or accepting bid. Second good news for coders: registering and bidding is also free (there is no annual or monthly fee like in Elance e.g.). Coders pay a commission from finished and accepted work. The commision is automatically charged from the amount credited to coder account; depending on the type of the work it can be from 10 to 15%.

If you want to know more, see yourself. Go directly to RentACoder.

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© 2003 by jmper. Last updated: March 26th, 2009 1:06pm