Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Bidder

New service buyers may find the process of choosing a freelancer for a project a bit overwhelming. The number of bids alone may be enough to make an employer wonder where to start. Since each project is different, there is no single right or wrong method, but the list of questions and answers below may help narrow the field of choices and make the selection process easier.

1. Is price a major consideration? Obviously, you don’t want to pay more than necessary, but is there a definite limit to your budget on this project? If so, hopefully you’ve set the budget limit accordingly in your project post. Freelancers aren’t required to stay within the range of your budget with their bids, so if you have a ceiling in the budget, start by eliminating all those bids that are above the range you set. If your budget is a little more flexible, you may want to take a close look at those freelancers who bid higher before you decide. Some may be worth paying a bit more to hire, if you end up with a better product. As a general rule, though, you should consider this question when posting your project and set your budget limit accurately.

2. Can you risk hiring a provider with no feedback? Don’t take this question too lightly. New freelancers arrive on the scene daily and many of these new arrivals are extremely talented people. Many will be pricing their work a bit lower than the average, in order to establish themselves. If a bidder has no feedback, read that person’s bid and any private messages carefully and be sure to check out any samples. You may be able to help yourself by hiring promising new talent at a good price and gain an appreciative new resource. If your project is extremely sensitive in any way, you may want to consider only those bidders with a good track record.

3. Is time a factor? Time-sensitivity on a project should be stated in the description, and if you made it clear what your deadline is, you can quickly eliminate any bids that fall outside that range. If your project description states that the work needs to be completed in 3 days and a bidder offers to complete it in 10 days, there’s a problem. In most cases, the bidder probably didn’t take the time to read the description thoroughly and that’s not a good sign. On the other hand, if you find that most experienced freelancers have set a time frame higher than yours, you may want to consider whether your deadline is realistic. In cases like this, look carefully at the feedback of bidders that claim to be able to deliver on time. Awarding the project only to have the deadline missed isn’t good for you or the freelancer.

4. Did the bidder provide all the information requested? This single question can often eliminate a surprising number of bids. Asking for specific information in your project description is a terrific way to determine whether a bidder took the time to read your project description. This one should be a no-brainer; if the information isn’t there, don’t consider the bid.

Hopefully by the time you reach the end of this list, you’ve narrowed the number of bids to be considered. Now it’s a matter of searching through the qualified candidates and perhaps opening discussions until you find just the right freelancer for the job.

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