Elance is well known as a site where service providers can bid on your project. Services there run a broad range providing anything from legal writing to web design and just about everything in between.
Sites like Elance are terrific resources for the home-based business. We often have projects that we just don’t have time to do or simply don’t have the expertise for. In that respect, Elance is inexpensive outsourcing! But if you post projects there, you will get bids from service providers all over the world as well as many new providers with no proven track record. Many providers will ask for 1/2 of the project up front and unfortunately there are a few ‘unscrupulous’ service providers who will take advantage of this.
Escrow is a way to secure your payment and make sure you get what you pay for. There are few things worse than paying for something and getting nothing. Using Elance’s built in escrow system, you can require service providers to stick to milestones and make deliveries of the project in part or in whole before they will be paid. You, the buyer, stay in control of releasing the funds from Elance’s escrow.
So if you need some work done, but might be a little nervous about using Elance’s provider base, try securing the project with their escrow system. It’s easy to use and may save you from getting burned.