One of the most important issues in using service marketplaces is choosing between fixed fees and hourly rates.
Originally all the service marketplaces used fixed fees. Odesk, by introducing hourly pay supported by a provider monitoring system, grew rapidly, resulting in almost all the other service marketplaces following suit with this model.
However one of the many challenges for those new to using crowds on service marketplaces is working out whether to pay fixed fees or hourly rates.
We addressed this issue in Chapter 8 of Getting Results From Crowds. Below is the relevant excerpt from the book, supported by visual icons to represent the different situations. Each row shows the situations that support the use of fixed fees or hourly rates.