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99 Designs Review – Hire A Freelance Designer

99 Designs Review – Hire A Freelance Designer

The 99 Designs website allows you to find a designer by setting up competitions and paying the winner. Our review does come across a little negative, but that is mostly due to my personal bias because I really dislike all forms of freelance website. I understand that freelance websites/marketplaces are needed and useful, and I have tried to balance my negative bias by encouraging people to try the website/service at least once.

What Does 99 Designs Do?

99 Designs is a website where you are able to make contact and hire designers online. As a client, your job is to set up a competition/contest and then have freelance designers submit their work where one is then paid for his or her efforts.

You start by building a design brief where you tell the participants about your business and what you want designing. You then pick a design where you decide how much your winner will be paid and how many submissions you are able to receive. After you have uploaded all the required details, you launch your contest and people will start submitting designs for your consideration.

You are able to give suggestions for changes to your designers before you pick the one that suits you. There is also a ratings system so you may see if the person you are picking is popular and/or good at his or her job.

99design - Examples of logos

These are examples of the sort of entries/designs that designers will submit when you create a competition/contest.

The Problem With The Word “Contest”

If you are having a contest, then why would the best freelance designers ever want to participate? We see cookery shows where the “Best” chefs battle it out on TV, but why would a good and professional designer want to enter a contest and risk not getting paid? It is not as if the designer will gain more fame or exposure by entering, so where is the upside for a designer?

The only people who are willing to enter a competition are people who are unable to find work elsewhere, or people who are willing to enter a great many competitions very quickly in and then play a numbers game in order increase his or her odds of being paid.

If designers were instead encouraged to submit samples and bids for work, then professionals would be more willing to give it a go, but the professional is not able to submit a price bid, and submitted work is not considered to be a sample, so there is little incentive for a professional designer to enter a competition.

The Problem With Hiring Freelancers From Online Marketplaces And Websites Such As This

There are numerous problems that come with hiring people from a website such as this. The problems are pretty common when hiring any freelancer in most circumstances.

  • Freelancers have an online reputation, but it is small, easy to hide, and easy to change. Freelancers have no incentive to protect their online reputation.
  • If you are sold a design that doesn’t belong to the freelancer, then there is very little you can do about it because the freelancer is often hard to find and taking him or her to court often costs more than what you get if you win.
  • Freelance websites of any sort are often filled with lower-quality workers and high quality workers are hard to find. Lower-quality workers will frequent such websites regularly because they are fired more often and need to keep soliciting for work.
  • Freelancers on 99 Designs have an incentive to give you quick, low quality or stolen work because most times when they submit a piece of work they are not going to be paid. Only 1/30, or 1/60 or 1/90 will be chosen as a winner for each competition.
  • You have to slowly build trust with your freelancers if you want the same type of work doing over and over again, but 99 Designs is best suited for one-off projects because trust-building and repeat business with the same freelancers is not encouraged.
  • Freelance and competition/contest websites such as this one are always full of spammers who come up with the same pitch/designs and then keep spreading them around until some poor sap buys them.

The Upside Of The 99 Designs Pricing Structrure

Instead of having freelancers submit their own prices to clients within the 99 Designs system, the pricing structure determines how much each prize is worth. The client has to agree to pay a certain amount as a prize.

One the one hand, clients are still paying far less than what they would to professional designers, which is good for the clients and bad for other designers. On the other hand, it stops Middle-Eastern and Eastern people from submitting very low bids and pricing western designers out of the market.

Is 99 Designs Right For Me?

Yes it is, I am coming right out and saying “Yes!” because I feel that my review has been far too negative and has concentrated too much on the downside of this type of website rather than explaining its positive points. There are many online reviews of 99 Designs that come up with the “Shi…Poopiest” reasons why you shouldn’t use this site, and they are all commissioned by designers themselves because websites such as this are taking food out of their mouths. I am not saying it is fair on the designers because websites such as this are exposing clients to people who charge far less than they do, but you get what you pay for.

Having clients pay just a couple of hundred for a design may sound like a good deal for the client, but these sorts of things only attract people who are willing to work without getting paid because most of the people who submit designs will not be paid. The website does attract poor quality designers, but so do all marketplace/freelance websites of this nature. If you really don’t like what you get from the website…then stop using it.

I know that the first time you create a competition on this website you are going to have to fork out a few hundred dollars, but it is only a one-time loss if you do not get what you want. I can recommend that you at least try this company because of its reasonably good service, its positive online reputation, and the fact that they do not charge you a subscription.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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