People Per Hour Review: Is it really worth it?

My experience with People Per Hour and why I no longer use the freelancer marketplace.

Peopleperhour.com
Peopleperhour.com

Peopleperhour.com is probably the most popular freelance marketplace in the UK; as a business, you get access to a pool of international and home talent, and as a freelancer, you get to sell services and bid for projects of all types.

People Per Hour was founded in 2007, and since then, many other freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr have sprung up, giving the once-dominant company fierce competition.

In this review, I am going to go through Peopleperhour.com pros and cons as well as highlight the positives and the negatives I have experienced using the platform as both a buyer and seller.

My freelance experience

Having seen a Facebook ad that caught my attention back in 2012, I decided to join People Per Hour. Being a freelancer myself, I decided that it would be a good idea to experiment with some side projects in order to earn a little money on the side during slower periods.

The signup process was quick, and so was verification, and I was able to post my first ever Hourlie (now named offers) on the same day.

I started small by offering WordPress theme customisations at a low price to attract buyers and build feedback quicker. My plan worked, and within months my Hourlies were selling like hotcakes.

To date, I have made £26,500 after fees, and I have completed 445 orders (projects) and received 434 5-star reviews. My Hourlie prices ranged from £35 to £60, and on average, I was able to complete these tasks within 1.5/2 hours max.

As my own business became busier and more demanding, I became less active on PPH, and I could no longer offer these services. I rarely take on any extra work these days, but my profile remains active, and I am still a CERT5 user.

PPH commission fees have always been on the high side compared to competitors but not high enough to put me off, and because withdrawals were processed on the same day, I was happy enough with the setup.

Roll on 2021, due to the constant lockdowns I had a quiet period where I could take on some extra work, and I thought, why not go on and look for easy projects I know I can turn around quickly. I bagged a couple of small projects in a matter of days, but it wasn’t as easy as I’ve made it sound. Businesses looking for freelancers are spammed with hundreds of proposals, and unless you sell yourself and stand out with a detailed proposal, your chances of getting work are slim. No cap.

Because I hadn’t used the platform for quite some time, I wasn’t aware PPH had changed and increased their commission fees, something I should have checked before taking on any work.

When it came to invoicing for the first project, I noticed that a huge chunk had been taken off my earnings. I was confused, very confused and after speaking to People Per Hour customer service, I learned that several changes had been made. During my hiatus, the company increased commission fees and introduced a two-week wait to withdraw funds.

The project itself wasn’t a big earner as I don’t look for time-consuming tasks. Instead, I look for micro-projects that I know I can turn around in under a day. For this particular project, I charged £240, and People Per Hour took £48 in commission. That is 20%, an increase of 15%. I used to pay between 5% to 7.5%.

To make things worse, I could not withdraw my earnings on the same day; I was told that I had to wait two weeks. Three weeks later, I was able to withdraw my money.

This, for me, signalled the end of what has been a reasonably good working relationship with the platform; 20% is just way too high.

My experience as a buyer

As a buyer, you do not pay any fees to post jobs on People Per Hour, which is one of the very few positives. All fees are passed on to freelancers.

As a business owner myself, I need an extra pair of hands to help with projects from time to time, so I use to post jobs on People Per Hour in the hope of finding someone suitable.

Most of the time things can get pretty overwhelming by the sheer number of proposals you receive and they can be hard to follow. There have been many times when I have only looked through the first fifty proposals and ignored the rest.

What you will find with People Per Hour is that you get a lot of generic proposals that include absolutely nothing that demonstrates how they can help you and your project. Instead, they mass post proposals with very low bids hoping that their low prices will persuade you to award them the job. Generic and spam proposals are a problem, and it’s something that PPH should clamp down on as it ruins the experience and also ruins the chances for genuine, talented freelancers.

This by no means takes away how hard-working and talented freelancers from are, it’s just a small number of groups and individuals that use shady tactics to try and beat the competition.

What services can freelancers offer on People Per Hour?

As well as being able to bid on projects posted by businesses, freelancers can offer fixed priced ‘Offers’ (formerly known as Hourlies) where you charge a fixed fee in exchange for a service, similar to what Fiverr does with gigs. You can also include add-ons to Offers which is a good way to upsell additional services.

People Per Hour fees for freelancers

There is no registration/signup fee, fees to search for projects, or even to post an offer. Instead, you are charged a lifetime commission fee based on your earnings made from each customer you work with—the lower the earnings per customer, the higher the commission.

  • Over £5000-lifetime billing per buyer: 3.5% (excl. VAT) service fee
  • Between £250 and £5000-lifetime billing per buyer: 7.5% (excl. VAT) service fee
  • Below £250-lifetime billing per buyer: 20% (excl. VAT) service fee

People Per Hour pros & cons for freelancers

Pros Cons
Sell fixed fee services with add-ons Very high fees
New projects added daily Spam proposals
High-budget projects available Oversubscribed proposals
Escrow protection Two-week withdrawal time
On-site projects available No seller protection
Supports three currencies, USD, EUR and GBP Low-quality People Per Hour jobs
Paypal and direct bank withdrawals + others  
Customer reviews and ratings  

Final Words

For Sellers

Pay close attention to fees if you want to use People Per Hour to earn extra cash as a side hustle. Make sure you pass on commission fees to your customers and always keep an eye on the ever-changing fees, as this is something the company has a bad habit of doing.

For Buyers

Do not be fooled or persuaded by low bids or fixed offers. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Research the freelancer, ask for references and examples of previous work and interview them if need be. I have seen so many people having to relist their jobs because the freelancer they initially hired failed to meet simple standards or just wasn’t up to the job.

Conclusion

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to freelancer marketplaces; the advantage that People Per Hour has over other international biggies is that it has a large UK user base, and if you want to work with someone local, then People Per Hour will be one of the best choices for this.

New projects are constantly being added to the platform so there is no shortage of work, but because of the number of proposals, each job receives it could take days or weeks before you hear anything back - if you are lucky. People Per Hour should limit the number of proposals each job can receive and also allow business owners to filter proposals by skill and country.

My love affair with People Per Hour has ended but if you can work with high fees and then People Per Hour is surely worth a shot.

Also read:

People Per Hour alternatives