Virtual Assistants

Fiverr VS Upwork |Why We Don’t Recommend Either for Outsourcing

Fiverr VS Upwork (oDesk) which is better for hiring? We compare and contrast the two titans and explain why we don’t recommend either (and which we do instead).

The goal of Outsource School is to answer every single one of your outsourcing questions. One of the most common questions we’ve found is “where do you find good VAs?”

Our answer (which of course comes with our own bias) is FreeeUp. FreeeUp was created by Outsource School founders Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan and was recently taken over by new owners. I’ll explain why we recommend them later on.

But, a common sub question we’ve found over and over involves the two biggest players in the space (based on overall traffic), Upwork VS Fiverr. 

Everyone wants to know which is better. 

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast Fiverr VS Upwork and let you know how they differ from one another. 

Again, we don’t think that either is better than FreeeUp….but you asked, so we’re answering!


If you have a very specific task that needs completed ASAP and you don’t have the time to train someone, Fiverr is worth considering. 

Examples of things I’ve used them for in the past include:

  • YouTube Thumbnails
  • Proofreading Content
  • Creating 3D Book Covers
When you use Fiverr, you aren’t investing in the future of your business. If you hired a VA and trained them to complete these tasks, they’d get to know you and your brand and would produce better and (likely) more affordable work for you longterm.
Fiverr Gigs

Fiverr is not somewhere you’d find a long term solution for virtual tasks. It focuses on “gig” based work and one-off -jobs. It is like hiring someone to mow your lawn once this weekend vs. hiring a full time landscaper. 

It has also deviated from its original, signature “$5 dollar” model. Most gigs cost much more than that now and it’s not the same bargain bin that it once was.


Cons of Fiverr

Pros of Fiverr


Upwork Logo Transparent

I first used Upwork way back when it was oDesk. My experience was very mixed. My budget was small but they did connect me with a couple of Filipino and Indian VAs who did good work.

The problem was they also connected me with a few VAs that were very, very bad. 

One of my VAs was “double dipping,” and working for me and about 3 other clients simultaneously. This was really bad given the nature of the task. She was doing Amazon online arbitrage product research and was sharing the leads she found for me with her other clients. 

One of her other clients then shared the leads with a product sourcing group. I was buying things that I thought no one else was seeing, but in reality, dozens of people saw them as well. This caused the prices to tank since so many other people were also seeing them.

This cost me a lot of time and money. 

Another bad experience was one of my VAs was actually 3 different people (two daughters and their mother) using the one account. I vetted and hired one person who had the experience I needed, yet 2/3rds of the work was coming from people I never even interviewed. 

To Upwork’s (then oDesk’s) credit, they did refund me in both instances and the VA was temporarily removed from the platform. 

Cons of Upwork

Pros of Upwork

Why We Recommend FreeeUp

FreeeUp is a much better place to find VAs and freelancers you can work with and establish lasting relationships. This isn’t something you’d do with Fiverr and it’s a more trustworthy platform than Upwork. 

FreeeUp was built to provide a solution to the shortcomings that business owners were experiencing with sites like, or

Here are the three big benefits of FreeeUp vs. other marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork.


#1 Better Vetting Process and Standards

FreeeUp prides itself on taking only the best people possible. In fact, most people who apply to work on FreeeUp don’t pass the initial vetting process. Many of the freelancers who have worked countless jobs for the big sites like Upwork didn’t make the cut with FreeeUp.

“At FreeeUp, only 1% of applicants were approved. We passed on many ‘good’ candidates and focused only on ‘great’ ones.”

Nathan Hirsch Quote

FreeeUp’s vetting process goes well beyond just verifying an applicants specific skill sets. They vet for things many other services don’t like the VAs quality of internet (which can greatly impact performance and reduce missed days).

You won’t be hit with no-shows and flaky VAs. They are culled out from the applicant lists quickly.

FreeeUp VS Fiverr VS Upwork

FreeeUp also has very strict standards of performance for their freelancers and VAs and they ensure that anyone who falls below the standards is spoken with or removed from the platform.

#2 Better Customer Service

FreeeUp is leaner than their competitors. Although they are much larger today than when they started, they still don’t have the same massive overhead and are able to focus more on provide world class customer support, lightning fast.

You get real people, not bots and you don’t pay extra for “white glove service,” that many other sites charge.

You also won’t be stuck with paying for work that didn’t meet your standards. If something goes wrong (which is uncommon) FreeeUp quickly finds you a replacement and reimburses you for past time if you weren’t satisfied.

#3 Low Fees and Competitive Pricing

FreeeUp isn’t a marketplace that gauges its customers with high fees for things that they believe should come standard. You get people at the going market prices for their work and rarely, if ever, pay more than you would on other platforms.

There are no startup or monthly fees to use the FreeeUp Marketplace. You can pay hourly or fixed rates with no minimums. Estimated pricing ranges for US and international freelancers.

You can learn more about their pricing structure here


Final Word

First, we still recommend FreeeUp over Fiverr or Upwork.

If you insist on using Fiverr or Upwork, we recommend you use Fiverr for very small, one off gigs and Upwork for larger, more skilled tasks that might be ongoing. Just be cautious, hire slow, and fire fast. 

Neither is terrible, but they both have their flaws.

Happy outsourcing!

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