Elance is often termed as the market leader for freelancers searching for good quality jobs but there are certain issues and limitations that put a freelancer under undue stress. some of the constraints are easily identifiable where as others become evident after a considerable period of time.
The biggest issue identified is that elance has no system of its own to establish the credentials of a freelance writer or job seeker. if the discussion is limited to writing and translation jobs no freelancer is asked before registration to provide a sample of his or her work nor he is asked to go through any process of scrutiny. further more while submitting proposals you are restricted by the website not to provide any website links or blogs that display your writings or contact information. Where as prohibition of contact information makes some sense but not allowing to display your content does not. The hirer has no way of knowing the difference between all the proposals unless he takes a risk or requests a sample of his own choice. An assesment process by elance and ratings based on it can facilitate the hirer but there is none in place.
second issue worth mentioning is the fact that all freelancers registered by virtue of a free account cannot submit more than 40 proposals and that also in only one specific category. the category change request can take upto 30 days as well. Should you wish to submit more proposals elance requires you to upgrade your account by making payments. The free element goes away.
Third factor is that elance is charging a commission of almost 9 percent on all jobs and also restricts the freelancers to not to submit rates below a certain amount. Majority of free lancers are willing to work for less and can also provide good quality work but elance does not wish to see its own commissions reduced.
Elance has been tried several times by different people known to me and majority of them find it very difficult to get hired. only the premium account holders are more successful but this cannot be verified through an independent source. elance must adapt to the changing times and facilitate freelancers more. An assessment process must be put in place in order for the hirers to ascertain the credentials of freelancers.