Freelancers who would like to offer services can sign up and start offering services immediately.
Microlancer is designed to speed up the process of outsourcing design projects and currently features more than 80 categories in which you can buy and sell services, with more categories to be added on an on-demand basis. Each service is offered at a fixed up-front price, includes clear parameters and an anticipated timeframe.
How Microlancer works
To buy a service through Microlancer, just look up the service you need — it might be logo design, photo retouching, or 3D modelling — then browse through the providers who offer that service; once you've picked one you're interested in send them a full brief. Once the job is accepted and underway you'll have a set number of revisions before receiving the final files.
It's the simplest way to outsource design jobs because you know exactly what you're buying, how much you have to pay and how long it will take, all up-front.
If you're selling a service through Microlancer, first you need to register, then post the service (or services) you'd like to offer. The Microlancer team will review the service. When someone buys your offering you'll receive the specifics of their brief and have the option to accept, or decline the job. Once you proceed you'll deliver inside the timeframe that you specified for the service, they'll have the option to make the number of revisions that you specified, then you'll complete the job and get paid.
It's a great solution for providers because you're in control; you set a price for your service and that's what the buyer pays, no negotiation, no scope creep; simple supply and demand.
How Microlancer delivers on quality
There are hundreds of job boards, freelance listings and outsource companies online; so many in fact that it's hard to pick who to work with, let alone guarantee quality. Microlancer handles this problem by reviewing every service posted to the site before it's available to buy. This way, buyers know that the service they're paying for is a professional standard.
Once you've purchased a service and the job is complete you'll be asked to give the designer feedback; a thumbs up, or down and a brief description of your experience. Use feedback from other users to ensure you choose the best provider for the job.
Microlancer reviews all services that you offer for sale, once your service is on the site buyers know that it's been quality checked by Microlancer professionals and received their seal of approval.
As you complete jobs you'll receive feedback from buyers, letting everyone know that you made good on your promises. As your reputation grows and positive feedback continues to come in you'll become more and more attractive to buyers, ensuring that the more you put into Microlancer, the more you'll get out of it.
How Microlancer safeguards your money
When a buyer decides to go ahead and purchase a service, they pay the full cost of the service they've selected up-front. Never fear though, it doesn't go straight into the seller's pocket; the money is held in an escrow account. It will sit there until the job is completed, when it will be released to the seller.
Buyers no longer have to worry about unscrupulous designers taking a large deposit and vanishing.
Microlancer's escrow system works both ways: with full payment up front, provided you deliver the service you promise, the money will be yours at the end of the job.
Never having to chase up clients, pursue unpaid invoices, or wade through tonnes of administrative paperwork means you'll be free to do what you do best: design.
How Microlancer handles disputes
It would be naïve to think that nothing ever goes wrong. Sometimes, despite the very best feedback by other buyers, despite the project progressing satisfactorily, despite the seller's reassurances, things go wrong.
Most of the time you'll be able to resolve problems with a quick message to the seller, but for times that you do need assistance, rest assured that Microlancer has a team of fully trained dispute staff who'll impartially judge what has been delivered and determine whether the seller should be paid.
If things go awry, you'll get your money back.
Of course, it's not just buyers who can rely on the Microlancer dispute team. If you deliver what you promised, but the buyer doesn't want to pay, Microlancer's dispute specialists will investigate and then release the funds to you. All you have to do, to guarantee being paid, is meet your promises.
Most sellers, and most buyers will never need the dispute team, but it's reassuring to know that they're there if ever you do need them.
Microlancer is all about honest professionals doing business together in a simple and transparent manner.
What can I find on Microlancer?
With over 80 categories and plans to add more, there's plenty to be found on Microlancer. Checkout some of the services that are already available on the site, would you like to purchase any of these? Perhaps you could do better?
Help Microlancer grow
Microlancer is already fully functional, but it is currently in beta. The team are working hard to improve every aspect of it, but they need your help. How would you like to see the site grow?
Ultimately, Microlancer is for your community so now is a great time to sign up and send the team some feedback. Is there a category that needs to be added? Could the process be sped up? What would make buying and selling on the site easier? Now is the best time to help shape the site into a service that you'll use for years to come.
Have you bought or sold services through Microlancer? How did you find the experience? Let us know in the comments.
[Disclaimer] This is a sponsored review for Microlancer. The opinions expressed here are the author's only.
Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.