Side Hustle

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 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

I joined PPH (People Per Hour) back in 2012 after seeing a Facebook ad that caught my attention. As a freelancer myself, I thought I would try and see if I could make some extra cash on the side during quiet 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 had 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 business owner myself, I need an extra pair of hands to help with projects from time to time, so I would post jobs on People Per Hour in the hope of finding someone suitable.

As a buyer, it can be pretty overwhelming by the sheer number of proposals you receive; at times, there were so many proposals that I could only pay attention to the first 50 and I had no choice but to ignore the rest.

What you will find with People Per Hour is that you get a lot of generic proposals from India that include absolutely nothing that shows 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 ruins the chances for genuine, talented freelancers.

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

As a buyer, you do not pay any fees to post a job, which is a positive. Instead, all fees are coughed up by the freelancer.

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

ProsCons
Sell fixed fee services with add-onsVery high fees
New projects added dailySpam proposals
High budget projects availableOversubscribed proposals
Escrow protectionTwo week withdrawal time
On-site projects availableNo seller protection
Supports three currencies, USD, EUR and GBPLow-quality People Per Hour jobs
Paypal and direct bank withdrawals + others
Receive customer reviews and ratings

Final Word

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 (plus VAT) to your customers and always keep an eye on the constant fee changes, as this is something the company has had a bad habit of doing.

For Buyers

Do not be fooled or persuaded by low bids or fixed offers as a buyer. 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 high 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 the best choice 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 or not hear back at all. People Per Hour should limit the number of proposals each job can receive and also allow business owners to filter proposals by country just like you can do with offers.

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

Also See:


Affiliate Disclaimer Guide Folks receive referral fees from companies listed on this website. Your support keeps this website running. Please read our affiliate disclosure for more information.

Join the conversation