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best examples of cheap jobs

yes, there are a lot cheap jobs posted out there. instead of just feeling angry at the cheapskate buyers and the providers willing to be used, and getting frustrated at oDesk for various reasons, why don't you post here any jobs that you think qualifies in the category of "cheap"? we can't do anything about their rates, but at least we have control over our reaction to them. lighten up!

i'll start:

I am looking for someone to help me do the following:

1. Write 1 Press Release Article for a SEO company
2. Create 1 Gmail account.
3. Create 25 accounts at 25 sites I specify.
4. Then, submit my content to the 25 sites I specify.

1. Able to do this within a day
2. Able to deliver promise
3. Lowest bid will always be considered FIRST!


there are a lot more, i'm sure. feel free to contribute!

[ETA: Just post the job descriptions and the budget please. Comments regarding the buyer or the post should not be included. Thanks!]


Vote Result

Score: 8.8, Votes: 44
I haven't been to the job

I haven't been to the job boards for a looong time but if ever I do, I'll make sure to post here if I ever see those awful job posts. Smile

Would including the job post URL be all right as well?

no it's not all right

and it violates the terms of service.

Why do people insist on posting these in threads, it adds nothing to any meaningful discussion. There are hundreds of cheap buyer threads here and they result in nothing but buyer bashing and cries for oDesk to do something.

Why give these guys more attention than they deserve? Why spend time when you could be looking for another assignment (or adding a helpful post to a blog that might make you a bit of money) with these types of exercises in futility. I think it's more than high time that we start acting like what we're supposed to be -- and in case anyone forgot what that is it's professionals not a bunch of cry babies


let them post

let them post if they want to post. there is no intention to bash buyers. for those who want to rant, they can create another thread and be--as you said--crybabies. i meant this thread to be like clients from hell. just a compilation of the best examples of cheap jobs here. there's no need to contribute if you don't want to.

thanks for your opinion! Laughing out loud


no no

No, not hundreds Doreen... THOUSANDS. 90 percent of all listed jobs. I spent three HOURS sifting through job listings and could not find ONE single job for more than five dollars an hour, for any of the writing catagories. If you can find just ONE job Doreen listed for more than 5 dollars an hour that would be so nice. JUST ONE, pretty please? My eyes just hurt so much from crying like a baby that its to hard to see and its worn me out. In fact I think I am going to have to take a nap. I feel ill.

I am a writer

Do you see any jobs of mine at $5 an hour?

I can make more than $5 an hour posting my articles on Helium! I had one article that I wrote in 20 minutes last week that I promoted on Stumble Upon and Twitter and here's what I made on it (so no one thinks I'm pulling their leg). It's about *removed by admin*

What you do not see is that I will also get another $1 for this because the title was empty when I wrote to it.

Freelance writers in my opinion have opportunities that few other freelance professionals have. There are far more outlets for us to earn money than nearly any other field. Not only are there writing sites like Helium, but you can set up a blog and monetize it, you can utilize sites like Associated Content, Constant Content, Factoidz, Bright Hub, Demand Studios, the list goes on and on.

Freelance writers who are not earning as much as they would like to in my opinion have no one to blame but themselves. *removed by admin*

I have replaced a full weeks pay on Helium. Did I do it overnight? No, it took me 6 months. Robert you seem to have plenty of skills. If you take the oDesk Readiness Test, set up a LinkedIn account and get references from prior clients, I'm sure you'll do fine.

There is fierce competition among writers perhaps partially because people like me - over 50, never wrote a word except book reports in school - who find themselves out of work and need to make a living are turning to freelancing to survive.

It's not going to happen overnight no matter what your previous experience is! I didn't think I would ever consider myself successful working from home, but I do consider myself successful. I've come a long way in 3 years. I may never land an article in a national publication (though I did get an article published in a newspaper not so long ago as well as a law journal which is interesting since I have no legal background).

Am I always happy with the rates I can charge? No, but most of the time I'm very happy with them. I know what I am capable of and I stick to my guns when it comes to bidding on jobs.


Thank you

I love to see positive attitudes shining through the clouds of discontent. Great sources. Thanks again.

Other writing sites

Thanks, Doreen! I just came across your post and clicked through to your page. I'm going to follow up with Helium, etc., write what I want and hope the money rolls in. Good luck to you!

very positive and helpful - love your effort

I just have to comment on this even though it is a really old post (2008 seems like ages) because I love the way this text exudes the positive attitude and helpful altruist approach of you, Doreen - very encouraging indeed - I will keep it in mind!
thanks & all the best to you!

Because people like to know

Because people like to know that they are not alone in sifting through 20 pages of nonsense and people requesting 10 hours of work for $2. It's cathartic to be able to complain and laugh it off with fellow contractors.

don't post

hi stef. don't post the URL, just the job description, and of course, the budget! Smile


Got It ;)

I didn't know it was against the oDesk ToS so sorry about that. I haven't posted anything yet so no harm done.


at least we get our bit of fun. the forum posts nowadays are getting nastier.


Even worst !

I saw a post "USA ONLY ! , NO MORE THAN $3 ! NO UPFRONT !"

We are (Providers) who allowed poor clients like this one to post jobs like this , we allowed them by wasting our job quotas applying for their cheap jobs.

This is the matter Smile

How about some cheese with that whine?

We are (Providers) who allowed poor clients like this one to post jobs like this , we allowed them by wasting our job quotas applying for their cheap jobs.

This is the matter

Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
Doctor: "Stop doing that"

You're complaining about what YOU have done. So don't do it if it bothers you so much.

The marketplace is a place of supply and demand. That's how economics works. I just posted a job where I'm told there are over 300,000 available contractors. I have a limited budget. Which contractor do you suppose I'll choose? (Hint: The least expensive one that has the necessary skills to perform the task.) I'm a tiny business struggling to make a living, and my budget is virtually zero. Every dollar I pay out is a dollar I have to allocate from something else I need. I suspect the majority of odesk "buyers" are in a similar position.

If you're unhappy with the jobs posted on odesk, then go elsewhere to find a job. There's nothing to stop you from spending money on marketing your services to "high paying" clients (i.e. major corporations).

But that's where the rubber hits the road isn't it. That's where you'll find not just hordes of average and below average competition like there is on odesk, that's where you'll find true professionals against whom you'll have to compete for those high dollar contracts.

You want a cheap source of jobs? That's what you get at odesk. You want high paying jobs? Go do what we in the United States have to do to get worthwhile clients - spend time and money on marketing.

By the way... you may not be aware but there's a global recession going on, and has been for quite some time. Almost everybody is suffering with the exception of the oil companies. So go complain to OPEC, I'm sure they'll be very sympathetic.


Anna P. wrote:
ey, c'mon, what I've found today is really even better, you have to admit:

"We need experienced German to English and English to German translators . It will be an ongoing project.Machine translation is strictly not allowed. Our Price will be 0.01 USD per source word.

Persons without prior translation experience, Please do not apply."

:] poor guy.

(but even poorer: the one and only single guy who applied to this. hours and hours after job posting only this one single poor guy. honestly: sorry to hear and read that someone's business is not really working out in the moment, but: THAT horrible?...)


edit update 2 hrs later. my post here must have worked out. now we have a second one, a second applicant for "0.01/word, but human quality and translation experience please..." - beautiful picture, all I can say, if seen at this through a clean browser window: nice landscape, wild nature, zoom and: "oh, look: two skilled translators playing in the tree..."



update following day. now it's three skilled translators. ex-tre-me-ly interesting social behaviour there, inbetween all those beautiful tree leafs. getting more and more "skilled". let's see. if he takes one of them, we will at least soon have another jackpot-link for a forum or a blog. "BEST! skilled translations online... have your fun while reading but better don't drink coffee while doing so. could be dangerous for your monitor." ;]

Smile hehehe!

I agree with the post

Thanks for the post Smile
Yes, I agree that a lot of jobs posted herein are like that... They want a quality work done, but would just insist a rate of $1 per hour... or $5 for the fixed price. However, although the rates are like that, there are REALLY a lot of providers who still apply and bid for the job...

And that's the reason why buyers frequently post that way because they know that even if it will be a .50c per hour, there are A LOT of providers who will apply.

what is the Future of job in odesk???

yeah, you are right, i don't know what will happen after few months.

I don't usually post

I don't usually post but I just needed to share this job:

We need a few writers who can write about new tech things, like the new iphone, mac something Google is working on and like that. Hourly rate: $0.5-1

Seriously?? The copy and pasting I just did was worth more than what this guy wants pay per hour. What is even worse is that there are 5 people who have applied for this job. I don't care where you live in the world but that is not worth the electricity to use your computer.

big time waste of time and electricity plus internet

Hi to all! This is my first post here at oDesk forum. I definitely agree, even for a copy paste type of task, that rate is not, and never should be acceptable by anyone Sad am sooo sad for poor clients (no budget) posting jobs like that and poor people who are bidding for those jobs. It's a big time waste of time, energy,electricity and internet, not to mention the back breaking hours on a sitting position! A massage and therapy sessions obviously will cost you more! my goodness! my low back is aching, I badly needed a massage Sad

cheap employers

cheap employers are not poor. they pay so low because they want to and they can find someone willing to work at that rate. there is a thread here somewhere, where the employer says that his contractor from the philippines told him that $1/hr is more than she receives as a nurse.

you can see then that it's not just the cheap employer's fault, but the contractors too, who let themselves be financially exploited. i mean, seriously? $1/hour? she must be receiving nothing as a nurse!


My opinion

I don't know... . . but I always presume employers bid low because that is their budget. There are clients that bid low and there are clients that provide a bonus for a good work. It is just a matter of choice if you want to accept or not I guess.

less than $1 dollar as a nurse....

Aleah T,

Hi, there just cant help but react to who ever that nurse from the phil posted she/he earns less than an hour as a nurse. It creates a bad general perception. Fact is in our country Minimum pay differs from region to region, In Mega Manila w/c is the center of business its an ave. of $1.60/hr while the lowest in provincial its an ave. of about $0.85/hr, logic there is that cost of living in the provincial region are supposed to be lower. generally given to unskilled, manual labor, 1st timers or nominal office work. And there are guidelines w/c be too long if post it all. As to the nurse, as of to date out of 50 nurse who graduate available job for nurse is about 2. out of 50 who graduate as nurse 80% to 90% dreams of working as nurse abroad and out 50 who are taking up nursing 80% are pressured by parents, peers to take up nursing. lastly out 10 who take the licensure exam only about 5 pass on the 1st take. I would safely assume that the one who posted he/she is earning less $1/hr as nurse is working in a provincial region and or taken the low pay to earn the the "Cumulative Experience" required so she/he can pursue the quest of working abroad. And that is the law of supply and demand. And BTW, that contractor is probably exploiting this law regardless of the skill level.

less than $1 dollar as a nurse....

sorry double post...

i have high

i have high hopes for oDesk. we all just have to make a concerted effort to help improve it. Smile


this is not really

this is not really cheap, per se, but the last line is a classic Laughing out loud

I have a book of short stories, that will be published next month. The short stories need to be edited and put into the right form. Knowledge of the bible will be greatly appreciated. I need someone with excellent English skills. I need this done by tomorrow night. It shouldn't take no more than a couple of hours to proofread and edit the book. You will need to sign a non-disclosure form before working on this project. I will pay you $50 after the book starts selling.


transcription at $1, any takers?


We have a group of audio files ranging in length from a few seconds in length to around 60 minutes each. The total talk time is 74 minutes. This is a fixed cost job at $1. We will have ongoing transcription work and we are looking for someone to work with us on a long term basis.


$1??? Seriously? Did a

$1??? Seriously? Did a provider apply for that job? =O

yup, a lot applied

yup, a lot applied, and some were interviewed (average rate of those interviewed: $2). there is a minimum rate of $5 for fixed projects, so this is the budget listed in the overview. it is only in the description where the buyer specifies his budget of $1. it is so sad to see this post. transcription is so labor intensive; i will not do it even if I am paid $20/hour. $1 for at least 5 hours' worth of work? i will laugh if it is not so tragic!


book scanner needed


I need to get 3 books scanned, OCRed, and emailed to me.

The books I need are:
1. Conquering Arthritis: What Doctors Don't Tell You Because They Don't Know
2. How to Eat Away Arthritis
3. Arthritis, What Exercises Work

You can often get them at your local library.
Budget: $10.


I am sure there are laws

I am sure there are laws against this but I could be wrong..... so know we are below gaf and unethical... ummmmmmmm

at the very least

at the very least it's breaking copyright laws.


Haha! You would spend more on

Haha! You would spend more on scanning the books.

Not a Cheap Job

But still unreasonable:

I need 63 articles on printing and web marketing by tomorrow afternoon at 12 PM EST. Keywords provided upon project acceptance. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY RUSH PROJECT!

Each article is 400 words. Can someone really produce 63 by tomorrow?

probably through a spinning

probably through a spinning software. i don't know if you've read a spinned article; there are lots published in triond. the words are in english, yes, but it's just a jumble of them--they don't make sense. if those articles were human, they'd be diagnosed as schizophrenic.



I've also seen this post... It's funny and CRAZY!!! Laughing out loud

Buyers who make use of samples

I recently got selected for an assignment and after spending much time, the buyer tells me that she has to get it re-written. I have never had a problem so far and have always been rated with 5 stars by the buyers I worked for. I refunded the money to the buyer as I don't want negative feedback and ended the assignment. There are some buyers who ask for samples and then they sell the samples and don't pay us., so please be alert when a buyer asks for a sample sometimes 2 or three.


I've glanced over these posts. I have a couple of small hobby projects, and the word Hobby makes all the difference.

One nice contractor offered samples, and I declined. The subtle benefit of going with Hourly is just "start working". I have one contractor who is on lead, and a couple more who seem to be going slower, so maybe they're studying the task before they Start The Clock. So my lead contractor has been working, and off we go. He wants to work, so he'll get paid. For the other two scopes that are stalling a little? Okay. It's a hobby. I can keep hiring contractors until the stars emerge from the mid-lines.

Treat OnJobTraining as part of their hourly wage. I posted a fun chess project which is more tricky than difficult. Having done it myself I knew where some of the infamous pitfalls are, so sure enough, when one showed up... so what? It only took some practice runs to avoid it.

For my article-notes project, sure, copied fragments are fine ... I just asked that the source address get added to each section so that it can be documented when I go about using it.

Executive MBA essay

I am in the final phase in applying for a Exec MBA program. The admission committee was not satisfied that I have shown an understanding of the personal commitment required for the Executive MBA. In order to make a more informed assessment they asked for a personal statement of approximately 500 words detailing:

1. Details of my motivation for undertaking the Exec MBA and how it will help my career objectives

2. Explaining the kind of arrangements i will make in make in my professional and personal life to commit to the Exec MBA.

I have drafted the first draft and would like someone with excellent writing skills to review and adjust where necessary. Professional writing skills are required.

Budget: $5.


I saw that one! Crazy

I saw that one! Laughing out loud Crazy really.

$1 for 1000 words--apply now!


NO Feedback required !
Lots of immediate and ongoing Work Available for the right candidates.

Only bids AT or BELOW $1 per 1000 words article will be considered.

This is a Entry level writer job.
You must be flexible and be ready to write on a wide variety of topics.
You must be able to work on your own with minimum supervision.
Must be capable of doing your own research.
This is a great way to get oDesk experience.
This can be a long term job for the right candidate with performance based pay increments. I have a only a small budget for this project !


- 100% copyscape passed Original Work
- Fast and reliable writers
- Must be able to write at least 5 articles of 500 words each per day (2500 words per day) ****Please DO NOT apply if you are unable to do this !!!
- Good grammar and NO spelling mistakes

PAYMENT per article:
1000 words: $1.00


Haha.... dream on..

that's what I'll say to a buyer. Or perhaps, I'll reply like:

Dear Buyer, If you can write a 1,000 word original, copyscape-passed, grammatically corect and well-researched article in ten minutes, I'll pay you $100.

Smile i wonder what planet do these buyers come from..

If the job post could only

If the job post could only have a small messaging system below it, I'd definitely leave a note saying, "Jump off a building, will you?"

Honestly, who is telling these buyers that we writers are willing to work at such cheap rates? Jeezes.



Stephanie G. wrote:
If the job post could only have a small messaging system below it, I'd definitely leave a note saying, "Jump off a building, will you?"

Honestly, who is telling these buyers that we writers are willing to work at such cheap rates? Jeezes.



Marissa S. wrote:
that's what I'll say to a buyer. Or perhaps, I'll reply like:

Dear Buyer, If you can write a 1,000 word original, copyscape-passed, grammatically corect and well-researched article in ten minutes, I'll pay you $100.

Smile i wonder what planet do these buyers come from..


So the real pay rate is $100 per original, copyscape-passed, grammatically correct article, right? Post those terms and then send me an invite! I'll have it for you in ten minutes. : )

A typing speed of 100 per

A typing speed of 100 per minute is very good!
And the capacity to not waste any time in thinking process is superior.

Typing speed of 120 wpm

I used to have a secretary that could type 120 words per minute. I know, because I was looking over her shoulder. She could take a document that would take me an hour to type, and she could do it in 10 minutes. Yup, 1200 words in 10 minutes. Of course she didn't have to think, only copy.

So yes, there are people with greater skills than your own.

And yes, some people are very quick thinkers, especially women I've noticed. Churning out material fast and furious is not a big deal for some people. Some of them even enjoy doing so.

I notice you've made 156 posts Poonam. I trust you got paid for each of them? If not, then why are you wasting your time so unprofitably when you could have used that time working on making money.

Dear buyer let me donate a

Dear buyer let me donate a dollar to you so you can wipe your *removed by admin* with it

perhaps the buyer

perhaps the buyer--i mean, employer (i like client better)--doesn't know what it takes to write a 1,000-word article? the research alone, not to mention the formulation of ideas, the organization of thoughts, the selection of words to be used, the effort in typing and editing, the usage of electricity, etc etc is worth way more than $1! sigh. of course we know it. and oftentimes the buyer knows it too. he is not just willing to pay more.


Trouble is that your click

Trouble is that your click has already been counted.
There is time limit for it to be counted, like 6sec.
Most likely made the poster less than a penny, but it does add up.

How long to click on, read enough to know it's trash and then click out?