One of the things we’re often criticized for is how ‘expensive’ Onlinejobs.ph is compared to ‘free’ services like Upwork and Freelancer.
First, these services aren’t exactly free. You’re charged a payment processing fee and the VA is charged a commission.
Second, if you’re the nice kind of employer who pays commission fees out of pocket so your VA can get their salary in full, you may be surprised how much more you’re actually paying if you do the math.
Let’s say you got a Premium subscription ($99) to Onlinejobs.ph and you found a Filipino virtual assistant within a month (which is usually the case for most of our clients). The VA you hired has a salary of $400. So on the first month, you shell out a total of $499. That’s the salary and the subscription combined.
Now that you’ve found your VA, say you decided to cancel your subscription (which is totally okay with us, by the way). By the 2nd month, you’ll only be spending $400. $0 on subscription fees.
Let’s say you hired another VA on one of those platforms. Upfront they charge 2.75% processing fee per payment. Plus a whopping 20% commission on the first $500 you spend and 10% LIFETIME commission.
VA salary: $400
Processing fee: $11
At this point, you’re probably saying, “Aha! I got you John! Upwork is cheaper!”. Yeah, it is cheaper by $8. But if you got the Pro account, things start to get interesting.
|Total First Month VA Cost|
|Upwork||Onlinejobs.ph Premium||Onlinejobs.ph Pro|
But let’s say, in the interest of fairness, we stick to the premium account. You saved 8 bucks, yey! I just want to remind you that you’ll be charged a processing fee for EVERY payment. And the 10% commission is lifetime. So for the rest of this working relationship you’ll be paying an additional $51 ($11 processing fee plus $40 commission). So how does this all cost, let’s say, if your VA worked for you for 6 months and you’re paying them once a month?
|1st month||$91 (fees plus commission)||$99 (subscription)|
|2nd month||$51 (fees plus commission)|
|3rd month||$51 (fees plus commission)|
|4th month||$51 (fees plus commission)|
|5th month||$51 (fees plus commission)|
|6th month||$51 (fees plus commission)|
That’s a difference of almost $250! Imagine if you paid twice a month or weekly? What if you really like that VA and you work together for a year? Two years? Imagine the cost.
Let’s say, again in the interest of fairness , we reduce the commissions by half.
|1st month||$51 (fees plus commission)||$99 (subscription)|
|2nd month||$31 (fees plus commission)|
|3rd month||$31 (fees plus commission)|
|4th month||$31 (fees plus commission)|
|5th month||$31 (fees plus commission)|
|6th month||$31 (fees plus commission)|
To put things into perspective, to match the $346 cost in fees and commission, you’ll need to subscribe to our Premium account for at least 3 months and 5 months for the Pro account. To match the $206, you’ll need to be a Premium user for 2 months and a Pro user for 3 months. That’s more than enough time to hire an entire team of Filipino employees.
Now, you’re probably saying, “John, I can save money by not paying the commission at all. I’ll just pay the processing fee”. Yeah, probably. But I would go against you on this one, not because you’re wrong, but because I think by doing this you’re supporting a system that’s unfair to workers.
The initial 20% and lifetime 10% (or 5% if your payments reach $10,000) commission may not seem like much, but it’s a lot of money for your Filipino VA. $2 can buy them a decent lunch. A $20 commission can buy a weeks’ worth of lunches. This means for every year that they work for you they actually lose around a month’s salary to commissions. That’s money that can go to rent, utilities, paying for school, etc.
Imagine if you’re taxed that much every year, how would you react?
If you want to be a decent guy and pay your outsourced workers a decent wage without losing an arm and a leg in the process, a Pro or Premium subscription may not be so bad after all.
About Julia Jasmine M. Sta Romana
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City
She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.
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