oDesk Wire Transfer

Went back to my oDesk account the other day after a long, long time. They have added an option for Wire Transfers now. For a moment I was excited. Yipppeeee … no more signing up for Payoneer and waiting forever to receive the card. No more setting up Skrill (formerly Moneybookers). I quickly went on and set up my account only to find out oDesk charged $30 per withdrawal via Wire Transfer. WHAT THE HELL! So the portal charges 10% of the withdrawal amount and then another $30 for the transaction and then another $4.99 as currency conversion fee. It’s ridiculous considering most of the tasks pay $1/hr and the fixed price projects are like $4 an article (for example). I can write about 5 500 word articles a day so let’s say I have a good month and write 5 articles every day for 30 days that would come to around 150 articles and a total earning of $600. oDesk subtracts their 10% and another $34.99 for the transaction and that leaves me with $505.

So for a whole month worth of work I get what? Only $505!!! Recently an SEO client-turned-friend from the US said the low rates were the fault of the contractors. They bid so low in order to get a job it makes the rates so pathetically low. It’s sad how the low employment rate in our country and in others like Philippines and India forces people to work for peanuts. I know how hard it is to get work on these portals and maintaining a good rating. There are predators out there that will hire you for pennies, give you an impossible task (25 articles 500 words each in 3 days) and when you deliver they will still bug you over the money threatening to give you a bad rating if you complain to the admins. It has happened to me so I know what I am talking about. And if it comes to the worse and you do go to the admins, chances are they will side with the buyer. So what options do online workers have?

What has your experience been like using these portals both as clients and service-providers? I know you will never comment coz you are probably here looking for info on “honesty and generosity” as per my stats. But miracles happen. Which reminds me of MJ … 😥 “And I believe in miracles, and a miracle’s gonna happen tonite … ”


4 thoughts on “oDesk Wire Transfer

  1. can you mention the source where you got to knw tht they deduct 10% of the withdrawal amount? are you referring to same 10% which is the odesk fee per project?


  2. Hi,

    You’ve got it wrong, actually there’s two kind of wire transfer options on oDesk. The USD wire transfer (one that costs $30 per withdrawal) has been around since a long time (it was there in 2009 when I started working on oDesk) the new option that you came across is called Local finds transfer, this costs $4.99 per withdrawal and the first withdrawal is free. The money is sent in the contractor’s local currency (PKR in our case) and takes about a week to reach your account. These are two separate options that you seem to have mixed up.

    Don’t go for Skrill anymore, they are charging merchant fees from all freelancers now and will charge you 4% of the total withdrawal plus another $2.6 and the $1 that oDesk charges to send funds to Skrill, it’s crazy now!

    Hope this helps…


    • @ Ayesha Sadaf Kamal: I am new to oDesk and have to start up the payment system. Which is the cheapest option? I have a Bank Al Habib account but I recently got to know that they deduct $25 for every transaction through moneybookers because they are not in agreement with the JP Morgan intemediary.

      Please help me out. Should I create a new account with a different bank to avail cheaper option?

      I would really appreciate your advise.

      M Hemani


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