Outsourcing sellers


I don’t mind writing articles and stories for other writers who are too bogged down to finish an order. I don’t mind knocking my prices to make sure they at least break even. Especially if they are open about what they are doing. But recently I have found some sellers approaching me asking me to write essays for them which turn out to be orders from other clients. They are buying something off me for $5 and then turning it around for $15, which is ripping off clients and breaking down communication.

Got particularly annoyed at one particular one who was charging up to seven times as much for something which for me is a very simple gig. They didn’t have many reviews on it, but it was so blatant what they were doing that I’m surprised they had any orders at all.

So, if you don’t want to line some lazy person’s pockets: check out your buyers before they order, and be sure to charge a reasonable price! Selling anything to anyone for $5 just devalues the whole market and attracts the scammers, guys.


I don’t have an issue with resellers. I did bite the head off one lately though. Our initial communication was something like “I have no money what’s your best offer” so I said “look at my gig prices”. They were happy with the work then decided we were going to embark on a wonderful and semi-profitable empire.

That’s when I snapped.I did apologize later because I felt mean, but I won’t apologize for snapping about the greed. BTW, if you’re reading this, google white label SEO. Those guys have your back. They’re also cheaper than me.

I’m not sure that your advice to check buyer before they order stands. Think about it.


If you don’t want resellers, I would suggest you state that in your gig description, or state that you expect to be notified. It may not stop anything, but it gives you an opportunity to cancel if you realize it.

It’s not against the ToS to outsource or resell and any buyer you deliver to owns all rights including resale unless you state otherwise. It’s also a common strategy for new sellers (and many not-new) to sell $5 gigs to be competitive or specifically for resellers. So, I understand the rant, but it may not have traction.


Most good, repeat buyers I have had were not selling the exact service they ordered off me from their buyer account. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t mind reselling if it’s honest and not five or ten times the average gig in that category. What winds me up is, like you say, when they try and negotiate your prices down, or sell your work at ten times the price to someone, or when they order off you, get a great review and just flat out don’t review you back because you’re competition. I don’t like jerks, is what I’m saying.


As I said, I don’t mind honest resellers. It’s the people who try and get you to do too much for too little when they’re selling it on for five times the amount that is winding me up.


Competing on price (cost) is a race to the bottom and encourages this sort of thing.


So, why do you put your price so much down and too low to the bottom because this encourages this sort of thing.


Outsourcing is fine. Trying to reduce my prices, demand something I don’t offer, or skip the queue without paying the extra fast delivery is not, no matter who’s doing it.


There are two sides to this coin called reselling. Buyers today are quite savvy and everyone who is in business knows the general range of what a certain service costs. If they are paying a sub-contractor more than what the sub-contractor is paying you, it’s mostly because they have added value to the package before purchasing content and will add value to it after you provide the content.

Typically, Keyword Research (33%) + Content (33%) + Uploading and marketing (33%)

There might be aberrations where people overcharge, but as a pattern reselling as a business model is a really sane concept. It’s unfair to write it off as a lazy person’s work. Often, the original business is aware that their provider is sub-contracting parts of it to others and they are fine with it because the sub-contractor adds value to it in other ways and justifies the cost.

In my previous role as a brand strategy manager, I used to manage a team of writers. Often, there used to be a lot of market research before we zeroed in on the keywords based on the overall strategy. Basically, a lot of work went into it even before the writer started writing. Once the content was delivered, it was my role to upload it to the client’s site, which more often than not had content locking (pay for this to access this content), which required backend coding which the content writers would not have been able to navigate. I can understand an external observer thinking that both, the writer and myself provide the same thing, ‘content’, and therefore should be valued and paid equally, but that’s because they are not privy to the other aspects of the business.

Even if the sub-contractor was selling ‘the same thing for more’, there’s also the aspect of bringing in the leads. The sub-contractor is the one who brought in the business and shared the bounty with you by outsourcing a chunk of it to you. How much money did you pay him for lead generation? 0.

Sub-contractors bring in business to freelancers which we otherwise would not have gotten on our own, or would have had to spend money to acquire by means of paid adverts or social media marketing. It’s good business. Almost no reseller has been able to run a successful business for a long period by simply selling the ‘same thing for more’, they are adding value to it in one way or another, which the original buyer is cognizant of.

You can charge whatever you think your services are worth, but going after the sub-contractor and calling them colorful adjectives like lazy scammers and jerks is a bit over the top. The sub-contractor is paying you what you asked, and you are delivering what you promised, where is the scam in this? As for those who, you claim, are selling ‘the same thing for more’, what stops you from investing in lead generation/marketing and acquiring such high paying clients yourself? That is what the sub-contractor essentially did, he hustled and negotiated and sold the idea that his services were worth whatever he charged the client, which is what they are being rewarded for.

There’s no honest resellers and dishonest resellers, there’s just business. Incidentally, a freelancer passing judgement on sub-contractors for ‘charging too much’, might open him up for counter-judgment from the sub-contractor for ‘charging too less’ and driving market prices down. Which is why I never do that.

TL;DR : [quote=“emmaki, post:2, topic:80058”]
I’m not sure that your advice to check buyer before they order stands. Think about it.

Pick your sellers right