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Comments about Elance.com:
I know there are many of you out there who would love to find legitimate work you can do from home. I have been very fortunate in that area. I don't even have kids, but I really prefer working from home, as I am very independent, plus I got tired of all the drama that goes on in an office. I'm also a full-time student, so I save a lot of time by not having to drive someplace, in addition to saving on gas, parking, professional clothing, and lunches out.
About a year ago, I discovered Elance.com. It's a website that allows you to bid on jobs if you are seeking work, or, if you are an employer, offer work. I signed up on the site, then forgot about it for about a year. It looked kind of complicated at first. Once I had about an hour to spare, I spent time reading about how it all works.
They have quite a few categories of work to choose from: Administrative Support, Sales & Marketing, Web & Programming, Design & Multimedia, Writing & Translations, Finance & Management, Legal, and Engineering & Manufacturing.
I signed up for their basic membership, which is free. That allowed me to choose one category in which to work. I chose Sales & Marketing. Two weeks ago, I bid on a job for the first time. I beat out 10 others for the opportunity. It's a part-time, temporary sales job that I work from home. I started on a Thursday and got paid the following Monday. You keep track of your time with their time tracker that you download onto your computer. Your hours and status report are submitted before Sunday, so that your hours can be approved, then you are paid right away. Elance does charge a small fee in order to make a profit. Your fee will be based on the type of membership you have chosen, and the amount of money you have made in the past on Elance. I had 8% taken from the gross amount.
You should also have a payment account set up, so that when a job is completed, the funds will be transferred into your account. I have a PayPal account for this purpose. There is no fee to transfer the money from PayPal into your bank account.
Elance will not withhold taxes from your pay. You can complete a W-9, so that you will have the 1099 information for your tax return.
Another great feature is getting paid for referrals. You can send an email from their site to someone you think might be interested. If that person signs up, once they earn $1,000, you get $50 for referring them.
I am so thankful for this service, especially since there are no jobs in my area right now. It is so convenient and allows you the freedom to do other things at the same time.