By Jay

Is Guru.com a Scam Review Banner

Whether you’re an experienced freelancer or just getting started, eventually you’ll run into Guru.com. Is it legit though, or is it a scam

You probably know how hard it is working from home and trying to find clients online. What's worse is that you don't know who you can trust, and when it comes to exchanging time and money with someone online that lack of trust is frustrating. It even prevents a lot of people from trying. In this review I'll share my opinion of Guru.com, whether you can trust them, and discuss in detail the following topics...

Disclaimer:
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Guru.com. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. 
See full disclaimer for more info


What is Guru.com?


Guru.com is a marketplace that brings freelancers together with employers and helps to manage the back-office business responsibilities such as the safe transfer of funds.

Similar to sites like Upwork and Freelancer, marketplaces like Guru.com are critical to the gig economy… but it's an economy going through growing pains and lot of platforms are still trying to get it right.

How does Guru.com rank among them?

If you read the reviews, not so great... but freelancers need more than one marketplace so I wouldn’t discount them just yet.

Located in Pittsburgh PA, Guru.com was originally founded as eMoonlighter.com in 1998 and over the years has faced tough competition… but they’re still holding their own.

If you're looking at Guru.com to make money, there is no question that freelancing is a great way to make money online (or from home in general) and it's one of the ways I've been able to replace my job.

But a diverse strategy is what you want. You can also make money doing surveys on sites like surveyjunkie.com  for example, or searching the web, watching videos and visiting websites with inboxdollars.com

Of course you're not going to get rich doing online surveys, but if your goal is a full-time income from home, they can provide a little boost to help get you there. 

Your best approach though, would be starting an online business but that's not for everyone. 

Still, if you need to make money from home because of health challenges, little ones to look after or a soft job market, starting sooner rather than later is what you want, and a place to begin is what you need in order to get what you want.

Now, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.


Is Guru.com a Scam?


The unfortunate side-effect of negative reviews is that people start using the word scam. And Guru.com has a lot of negative reviews.

Their current BBB rating of F tells a similar story… a rating that’s based on their failure to respond to several complaints.  

But, despite the poor ratings and complaints… Guru.com is not a scam. They’ve been around for many years and they’re a legit company run by well-known CEO Inderpal Guglani.

Having said that… a big challenge with all marketplaces are the scammers who abuse them.

There’s no shortage of creativity when it comes to scams and some might argue Guru.com doesn’t do the best job of keeping them out.

With complaints about the accuracy of their rating system opening the door to getting ripped off, they may have a point. I’ll explain that in further detail below, but as far as Guru.com themselves being a scam? No… they are not.


How Does Guru.com Work?


Open to freelancers who are 18 years or older, your first step is to set up your username and password. From there you can choose between two memberships, freelancer or employer, and each of those have multiple options.


Bids


You can choose a free or paid membership, with the big difference being the number of “bids” provided which determine how many jobs you can apply for.

Free members receive 10 bids per month with an option of purchasing more.

  • 20 bids - $10
  • 40 bids - $20
  • 60 bids - $30
  • 125 bids - $50
  • 250 bids - $100

Unlike your monthly bids that don’t rollover into the next month, your purchased bids have no expiry.
  

Memberships


Paid members have other benefits as well, which include lower fees (the percentage Guru.com takes per job), bid rollovers, higher visibility when employers search, and Q & A options among others

The different memberships are...

  • Basic (free) – 120 bids/year and 8.95% job fee.
  • Basic + ($11.95/month or $8.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 8.95% job fee.
  • Professional ($21.95/month or $15.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 6.95% job fee.
  • Business ($33.95/month or $24.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 5.95% job fee.
  • Executive ($49.95/month or $39.95/month paid annually) – 600 bids/year and 4.95% job fee.

Additional bids are available for all membership levels.


Your Profile (Getting Jobs)


Once you're signed up and ready to go, your most important task is setting up your profile. If you've done this before it shouldn't be too difficult, but if you're new to platforms like these... take your time.

Include the obvious details such as services you provide, your credentials and rates... But don't forget to highlight your strengths, share your story and include testimonials. 

The more personal you can make your profile, the better chance you have of being hired. Employers want to work with people they can trust and get to know on a deeper level than simple bullet-points.

Additional Costs


In addition to job fees for freelancers (which range from 8.95% to 4.95%), Guru.com adds another 2.5% handling fee to the employers invoice.

Optional costs include skill tests which are added to your profile and can help you land better jobs.

  • Basic members - $4.95/skill test
  • Basic + members - $2.95/skill test
  • All other members – Free

Guru.com also has a controversial fee where freelancers can pay to have negative feedback removed from their profiles. This is a double-edged sword and is related to the inaccurate rating system I mentioned earlier.

On the surface it sounds good for freelancers… but in reality, it’s not good for high-quality freelancers going the extra mile so they can stand out from the crowd.

What’s your advantage when mediocre freelancers (and even scammers) can pay to make themselves look better?

The other obvious problem of course, is that it’s bad for employers who need good freelancers.


How Does Guru.com Calculate Pay?


Since Guru.com is an open marketplace, there are no set rates. Your pay is determined by your bid, the competition, and the amount your employer is willing to pay.

Depending on the size and type of project though, you can negotiate one of four ways to calculate payments.

Guru.com Ways To Get Paid
  • Milestones – For long projects it’s a good idea to break them down into smaller segments with descriptions and dates. Set a specific pay rate for each segment and make adjustments if the project changes along the way.
  • Tasks – Smaller projects or multiple projects that are unrelated can be invoiced one at a time.
  • Hourly – As a freelancer it’s tough to negotiate hourly contracts with new clients who have no history with you or your work. However, for established clients, hourly gigs can provide a relatively stable income. Hourly agreements are invoiced weekly.   
  • Recurring Payments – A mix between hourly payments and milestones, you can negotiate a set amount per week, month, etc.

If all you're looking for is a little extra spending money and this sounds like too much, you can also make money doing things like online surveys with sites like surveyjunkie.com, or watching videos, searching the web, and visiting websites with inboxdollars.com

If a bigger income is what you're after, you can also start an online business

Making money from home might be something you need because of health issues, children to look after, or a job you hate--and while I don't have an instant solution, you do have to start somewhere. A starting point is what you need in order to get what you want.

Now, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.


Payment Transfer Methods


Guru.com uses their Safe Pay system which ensures employers fund projects before you begin. In theory this is supposed to give you confidence that you’ll be paid… but employers still need to verify those payments, which has been the topic of many complaints.

To be fair, there are two sides to every dispute. I’m not saying freelancers complaining about not getting paid are wrong… but I also can’t say employers in those situations are wrong either.

Some employers might be out to rip people off, but others may have legitimate issues with the quality of work. 

As far as receiving your funds, Guru.com uses four transfer methods.

  • Direct Deposit (US banks only)
  • PayPal
  • Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard
  • Wire Transfer (To non-US banks)


Guru.com Reviews and Complaints


If you only look at Guru.com’s features… it would seem like they’re a well-oiled machine with everything you’d expect from a freelance marketplace.

Unfortunately though… the majority of reviews are overwhelmingly negative. So what’s going on here?

To be clear… these are not my complaints, but they are from people who have experience with Guru.com.

The most common issues are…

  • Low pay with freelancers under-bidding each other and too many employers just looking for the cheapest they can find.
  • Multiple issues with people not able to withdraw their funds… which is a pretty significant problem.
  • Slow responding customer service. 
  • Inaccurate rating system as mentioned earlier, with some scammers even getting 5 star ratings.

There are a few points to mention here though…

People are more likely to report the bad than they are the good, so it’s fair to assume there are many Guru.com members who are happy and just not writing reviews. 

And… not every review is bad. There are some positive ones as well with people saying they like,

  • Being able to view other’s who have applied for the same jobs, as well as who got the job.
  • The ability to communicate with employers directly before applying.
  • The Safe Pay system to make sure projects are funded.


What I Like


  • Free membership option so you can try before you buy.
  • Good for freelancers of multiple trades, skill levels, and backgrounds.
  • Ability to build long-term relationships with clients.


What I Don’t Like


  • There are a few red flags… and complaints about not getting paid is a is really big one. 
  • A lot of competition and a race to see who’s cheapest.
  • Paying to remove negative feedback from your profile (It’s nice if you’ve been unfairly reviewed… but it also means you’re competing with freelancers who don’t care about quality or negative feedback)


Final Thoughts


As a work-at-home freelancer, you’re not limited to a single platform. Guru.com may not be the best one out there… but it’s also free to join so you can form your own opinion.

Their rates are on par with other freelance sites and at the end of the day, it’s more about the client than it is the platform… as long as you’re getting paid.

This is an issue with Guru.com that can’t be overlooked. The last thing you want is to spend hours on a project and come up empty handed. It can’t be happening to everyone though or Guru.com wouldn’t even exist.

The best thing to do is hedge your bets... have a diverse strategy with multiple sources of income. The simplest way to make money online is with surveys. Sites like surveyjunkie.com are easy (and free) to join as are others like inboxdollars.com who pays members for doing tasks online that you do anyway like surfing the web, visiting websites and watching videos. 

For a significant income and possibly that laptop lifestyle everyone is looking for, an online business is what you want

Whether you're looking for a home income because of health challenges, children at home or you just don't want to work a regular job, getting started for free is what you need to get what you want

To learn how I did it, I'm going to give you a free step by step beginner's guide to making money online and you can get it by clicking HERE.

At the end of the day, a freelance marketplace is only as good as the people who use it, which is why I always recommend joining more than one. 

I hope my Guru.com review was helpful and if you have any comments or questions, please share them below. Thanks.

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  1. Hello Jay
    My name is Denish. I am a freelancer. Having been in the field for three years now; writing for a website called writerbay.com, I started thinking about getting my own clients to work for them directly. But getting clients is one real challenge for me. Could you advise me how to?

  2. I was using Upwork for the last 4-5 year and between 4 companies we spend more than $300K a year on freelancers. I tried switching one of the IT departments I manage to Guru – WHAT A MISTAKE. The support from the site was non-existent and filled with attitude every time I contacted them for support.

    During a larger transaction with a freelancer they required that we get verified – I had to send in tons of personal information including my drivers license and credit card bills (However, I was only using paypal to pay for the freelancers). Finally after a ridiculous process they closed our account because or mission was the support of the LGBTQ+ community. Would never work with them again!

  3. Buried in the contract somewhere is a clause if you take too long to rate a vendor Guru basically falsifies a “good” rating from you. I was trying to nurse a terrible vendor through getting me some value and silently passed the deadline which eliminated all leverage to motivate him, and a sorely misleading review for future customers. He seemed quite aware of how to game this system, so I suspect many vendors with good ratings are terrible. I lost $5,000.

  4. Thank for the reply, i would like to clarify what i mean by facilitate scams, i will use my recent example.

    I was scammed by Top Guru Solutions (on guru.com) or YesIT Labs (They have a website), so, in America when you enter into a contract with another for services rendered, and you do not receive those services, you have a right to file a suit in small claims court, the first step is a certified letter sent to said company.

    All the information for this company offering freelance services on guru.com is falsified, you cannot contact the company for any disputes, you cannot begin any court proceedings because they do not exist.

    In my opinion that is the total definition of a scam, so the next step is to contact guru.com and make them aware of it, and ask for help in sending a certified letter, right ?

    At this point guru.com begins to ignore me, so hence, they are assisting Top Guru Solutions to scam others.

    Here is the information about this freelancer

    YES IT Labs dba Top Guru Assistants is Top rated on Guru.com with 99.3% Success rate, 120+ client testimonials, over 100 projects in last 1 year and continuing to ‘Deliver with Commitment’

    If at any time in the past this company i am about to enter into a contract with has been known for keeping the money but not completing the job, i want to know about it, as it will heavily influence my decision making process when looking for a freelancer.

    Well guru.com hides that, so because they hid the negative feedback, i went into a contract with a company i felt could complete the work for the project listed.

    Now, i would like to stress, if any part of what work he did complete was salvageable, i would have done so, as i still needed to complete said project and i had already paid $300 for it, however the work i did receive did not work at all, and was very very novice, that is the part that really annoys me about all this, it is more then apparent that he had no clue what he was doing,

    I do apologize, i do not mean to be argumentative, however , due to the fact guru.com removes my negative feedback, i have nowhere to vent my frustrations.

  5. Guru.com may not be a scam, but they facilitate scams, they hide negative feedback so all you ever see are the good jobs they get good feedback for, i am out 300$ due to a scam from one of their devs, cant even file a small claims court case as all the information they used to sign up is fake.

    1. Hi Daniel, I’m really sorry to hear you’re out $300. it sounds like you’re referring to the fee that Guru.com has which allows freelancers to pay for negative feedback being removed. It’s definitely a controversial feature and an argument can be made in favor of a freelancer who has been unfairly reviewed.

      In my opinion though, despite this controversial feature, I think it would be unfair to say Guru.com facilitates scams. I don’t see how they would benefit from having scammers on their platform. Perhaps they can do more to prevent situations like this by taking a second look at freelancers who have excessive amounts of negative feedback, or maybe only allowing freelancers to pay for a certain percentage of their feedback to be removed. But from a freelancers point of view, there are often clients who are taking advantage as well expecting to get 2 or 3 times the amount of work done than they are willing to pay for (I’m not saying that’s your situation… just looking at it from both sides).

      I’ve never created or managed a large marketplace like Guru.com though, so I’m not qualified to say what they should or shouldn’t do, or even what they’re able to do. Scammers will use every platform and medium they can to rip people off though and whether it’s a job board, Facebook or Guru.com I imagine it’s a difficult challenge to manage. .

      1. Wonderful response. Thanks, Jay. I have been a freelancer since I graduated from college back in 2017. I can actually support your idea: I have had to deal with a could of clients who would expect you to deliver 10 times what they paid for. Such clients particularly take advantage of the rating system by capitalizing on the fact that bad/negative rating will ruin your account as a freelancer. They will push you to the wall and threaten to give a negative review. Yet, at the same time, I have seen very irresponsible freelancers as well. So, in general, some claims are justified. However, I do not think guru.com is right to remove negative reviews for payment. To me, such a feature implies they intentionally choose to encourage shoddy work because after all, the freelancer knows they could pay to have negative feedback removed. I think they need to be customer-centric.

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