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What happens if a freelance site just closes down out of the blue?


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There are a lot of freelance sites out there, and some that are great, and some that aren't so great. There are many news ones popping up, most of which don't last very long. When Fiverr came around, there were so many fiverr copycats out there. Most of them ended up failing, because they tried to copy exactly what Fiverr was doing. 

Anyway, what recourse would you have if a freelance site you worked on, had money on, decided to just close doors out of the blue? Could you get the money you worked for? Or is it gone at this point? This is something I worry about with less known freelance sites, because you don't know if they will be around long, or when they plan to close down. Some will outright tell you they plan to close down, but have you ever encountered one that closed down without any notice? 

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Likely there is very little recourse. If the sites shut down they likely ran out of money and there is no money to collect. 

If the site was owned by a business in a good tier 1 country and that business is still operational you may have some recourse via the court system if the company still refuses to pay. Then you have to ask yourself how much money we are talking about and if it is worth going court over. 

This is something I refer to as platform risk. Anytime you have money on a platform you do not trust you always have so little that it would not matter if it disappeared. These situations can get tricky and if it is not enough money and especially if the company is not based in a tier 1 country there is little that can be done 😞.

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I would say a good preventative measure would be to offer your services through your own site. Make a site that showcases your work, your reviews, and so on. Have this be a back up plan. Save screenshots of all your reviews and everything. If the site shuts down, you will have proof you can be trusted. 

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On 9/16/2021 at 8:21 PM, Stacey said:

I would say a good preventative measure would be to offer your services through your own site. Make a site that showcases your work, your reviews, and so on. Have this be a back up plan. Save screenshots of all your reviews and everything. If the site shuts down, you will have proof you can be trusted. 

I am sure this can work fine for longstanding clients but it can be hard to gain new ones on your own. I see some pretty talented people online every day hardly earning anything because their work doesn't reach enough people. That is why platforms for freelancers are great but also hinder the ability for people to find new clients at the same time. Customers will think to go to these sites first, not yours.

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In most cases, there is not much that can be done. I think this is what is scary about working online for another company in general or using someone else's platform for profits. I have heard several stories of people on YouTube losing it all over night. Same with other websites and platforms. It can be scary!

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On 9/17/2021 at 9:10 PM, Emma said:

I am sure this can work fine for longstanding clients but it can be hard to gain new ones on your own. I see some pretty talented people online every day hardly earning anything because their work doesn't reach enough people. That is why platforms for freelancers are great but also hinder the ability for people to find new clients at the same time. Customers will think to go to these sites first, not yours.

You are right. You would have to work harder to get new clients but that doesn't mean it is not worth putting in the effort and setting up something. You never know, your idea and services could branch out to something bigger especially if someone decides to partner with you and get things growing. 

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On 9/15/2021 at 5:31 PM, James said:

Likely there is very little recourse. If the sites shut down they likely ran out of money and there is no money to collect. 

If the site was owned by a business in a good tier 1 country and that business is still operational you may have some recourse via the court system if the company still refuses to pay. Then you have to ask yourself how much money we are talking about and if it is worth going court over. 

This is something I refer to as platform risk. Anytime you have money on a platform you do not trust you always have so little that it would not matter if it disappeared. These situations can get tricky and if it is not enough money and especially if the company is not based in a tier 1 country there is little that can be done 😞.

Yeah pretty much this here. The idea is that most of the time, these sites won't have any recourse. They may have backup plans for themselves, and to cover their butts, but they will let their userbase deal with the outcome most likely. 

I've seen some freelance sites come and go, and I'm glad I never gave them a chance, because I too probably would have been out of money. 

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