A Critique of the Philippine's Newest Online Marketplace - 199Jobs : For Buyers
On Being a Seller.
Let me start by giving you a little history of my membership at 199Jobs.
I’ve been an active member of 199Jobs for almost a year now (Evane), selling various online services like writing and editing website content, blogs, and eBooks. This is the first digital marketplace I joined since I became an online freelancer in 2014.
I started with having one regular client, requesting me to write two 500-word articles about food catering for private, public and corporate events every week. I was charging 199 Pesos for 2 500-word blog posts at that time (I now offer 199 pesos for one 400-500 word articles).
And then, another client contacted me to write for his real estate blog in a weekly basis too. Days passed, more and more buyers contacted me that I was able to hit my monthly goal in an instant. I even wrote an article about The Best Freelancers’ Website for Filipinos as I was so amazed by the achievement.
I then increased my service fee, and offered an eBook writing job, which became a hit. I am proud to say that I have already written around 20 eBooks of 10,000 to 30,000 words. And when I think of it, I almost can’t believe.
How did I manage to write those lengthy books? Maybe, I can write an article about this next time. I can give tips but not reveal my secret to fast and quality writing. Hahaha. Alright, so back to the main topic.
Well, yes, I’ve been writing eBooks for different clients now. But to be honest, this is such a laborious, tedious task. It requires so much brain power, research, editing, creativity, and of course, patience.
I tell you, if you are not so passionate about writing, you’ll think of giving up and just give an excuse to your client. I am not an exception to this, actually. Hahaha. I have considered this so many times.
But when I think of the money that I can earn for our family, I suddenly become motivated. And, I thought, it will be detrimental to my freelancing career if I will get a thumbs down from a client. I was then hoping to maintain a 100 percent rating. So I always try hard to give the best possible service to all my clients.
I try to go beyond their expectations and impress them like no freelancer has ever done. And, you know, it feels good when someone appreciates your effort and give you the highest customer satisfaction rating plus a tip.
On Being a Buyer
How did I became a buyer at 199Jobs? Discover who was my hero.
One day, I had a client who asked me about a transcription job. Since I didn’t have anything to do that day, I accepted his offer and became his freelance transcriber. I actually do not have any formal experience in transcribing when I said yes to him. I just researched and applied what I learned.
At first, I thought it was easy because you just have to input or type what’s being said in the recording, but as hours passed, I felt exhausted and thought of giving up. Hahaha. Transcribing a recorded interview with Australian accent was just so hard. There were a lot of words and phrases I couldn’t understand and catch up.
Hey! English is not my native tongue and Australian English was never part of my academic orientation. The moment came when I was convinced that I will give up the task and just give an alibi, when I heard the speakers talking about Fiverr.com.
Saying that it’s the best online marketplace in the world where you can earn dollars and establish your freelancing career internationally. This has caught my attention and so I stopped for a while and Google Fiverr.com.
I discovered how powerful and effective Fiverr is to online freelancers like me. So I became interested in signing up for the site. Hurriedly, I finished the transcription. My client was very demanding that I had to do a few revisions of my work before he marked the order complete on his end. When it was over, I immediately signed up for Fiverr.
It is in Fiverr.com that I gained a lot of clients and the pay was higher -- 5 dollars per gig, which is 200 plus pesos in Philippine money. Usually, 1 USD is 44 PHP in our country. I had countless of clients daily so I decided to contact other freelancers who can help me. That was the start of my being an online entrepreneur. I sell and buy services.
Because I have been selling my services at 199Jobs, I was confident that I could find competent freelancers to help me out. But what I experienced later on gave me so much disappointment that I do not recommend 199Jobs to other buyers.
A Big Thumbs Down to 199Jobs - 10 Important Matters You Should Know
Based on my experience, these are the reasons why it is best that you go to other digital marketplace for buying services than checking out 199Jobs.
Limited Sellers and Filters.
There are only around 30 to 50 active sellers at a time.
Late Seller Response or None at All
It is because most sellers are unresponsive,
Does not notify if the seller is already late in delivering or not.
No Guarantee on Seller's’ Expertise
Most sellers are students and newbies.
Slow Order Cancellation System or Slow Refund Procedure
You have to send an email to the admin before your order gets cancelled or receive a refund.
Slow Messaging System
Loading messages always.
Not Good for Express Orders
Because some sellers are unresponsive.
Non-Convertible Store Credit
Once you buy, it will be a store credit forever,meaning, if time comes you will not be using your credits anymore, you can’t get it back as cash unlike Fiverr.com where the worth of a cancelled order is returned to your account shopping balance, which you can get back or withdraw via PayPal.
No Notification Whether the Seller is Already Late in Delivery
As a buyer, no notification is given if your seller is already late in delivering or not; you will only know it if the word "cancel' shows in the upper right corner of the order and of course, when you check your orders section as a whole.
I’ve already had a few sellers saying they can do the task, but then few days after, they become unresponsive so I end up cancelling the order; most of them are just better on words but worst in action.
No penalty For Sellers Who Deliver's Late or Who Violates the Agreement or Contract
I once almost lost a client because of one seller. She said she will deliver in a week but the moment came and she was unresponsive. She was not replying to me. I was really frustrated that I want to sue the girl. I hope that the site can give 10% penalty for those who fail to comply large, urgent orders so they will not just accept any offers without really thinking if they can do it or not.
The Sellers Could Not Respond to Harsh Comment
Yes, when a buyer like me airs out my side regarding the sellers' work through the feedback section, which makes up their performance rating, they could not defend their side. Only the buyers feedback are shown.
No Delivery Date on Their Dashboard
Well, I really hate it because when I look at my dashboard, I could not see when the delivery date or deadline is. Instead, what they put in there is the order date and the amount of order. What is the use of putting a dashboard when you are not making it convenient on our part to see the important details of our orders? My gosh. I wonder who is the designer and planner of this site.