Freelance Marketplaces vs. Pareto: A Comparative Analysis

Freelance Marketplaces vs. Pareto: A Comparative Analysis

At first glance, Pareto may be confused with a freelance marketplace where businesses can outsource data collection, research, and analysis, as well as other supporting business operations.

In this article, we will compare the scope, services, features, and general principles of Pareto with some of the largest freelance marketplaces, namely Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr. This will illustrate how our services and scope vary, which will help you decide which option is the best for your business and your needs.

What Are Freelance Marketplaces?

Freelance marketplaces are online platforms that connect independent workers and potential clients. Businesses and individuals may choose to resort to these platforms to find freelancers with specific skill sets, to meet temporary needs, or even to establish longer partnerships with freelancers. On the other hand, they’re high visibility platforms for freelancers to showcase their portfolio, choose which jobs to apply to, and get in touch directly with potential clients (although this option is usually behind a paywall).

These platforms display extremely varied services and allow both the client and the freelancer to define their conditions in terms of price range and deadline, as well as the freedom to decline any collaboration. The revenue is earned by charging a fee on both the freelancer’s revenue and the client’s payment, as well as several payment plans with special perks both for businesses and freelancers.

Is Pareto a Freelance Marketplace?

Simply put, no.

Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr are examples of platforms that connect a pool of freelancers with clients in need of a specific service. The work done by freelancers is unsupervised (despite being rated in the end) and the vetting process falls under the responsibility of the client.

Pareto is an alternative to these platforms that connect clients and contractors. Our team of project partners, QA specialists, and data analysts work together to deliver high-quality data operations based on each client’s specific criteria. Plus, as a client, you’ll have a single point of contact. Project partners allocate the best data analysts for each project so that every deliverable matches the client’s needs and is appropriate to every type of business.

On the other hand, freelance marketplaces offer extremely diverse services, that can range from website development, graphic design, translation, copywriting, or search engine optimization. Pareto, on the contrary, has a much more specialized set of services, focused on repeatable processes, namely data solutions, catered to help businesses grow.

Our highly talented team of data analysts are specialized in data collection, research, and analysis, as well as in other supporting and administrative projects. These operations are specially catered to support businesses in performing competitor research, finetuning marketing strategies and processes, hiring valuable talent, carrying out startup fundraising, and finding ideal customers.

Find 43 examples of projects to offload to Pareto today.

What Are the Largest Freelance Marketplaces in 2022?

More and more people value the flexibility of freelance and remote work. An analysis of the number of freelancers in the United States from 2017 to 2028, projects that by 2027 there will be 86.5 million freelance workers in the United States and independent work will make up 50.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce.

It is not, therefore, surprising that new platforms are coming into the industry and sometimes gathering significant traffic. However, three websites are particularly mention-worthy: Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.


Upwork is arguably the leader in the freelance marketplace, having 22 million users and covering virtually all areas of freelance work. Aiming to foster longer collaborations, Upwork benefits “long-term clients”, i.e. contracts that last at least 3 months. Freelancers are divided according to their specific set of skills and send individual applications for job postings. It is then on the clients to screen the applicants, decide if they match the requirements, and even interview them before starting the actual job.


If Upwork is the leader, then Fiverr is a close second. Unlike Upwork, this Israeli marketplace is more geared toward one-off gigs and is typically a good place for new freelancers to get started. Freelancers are encouraged to list their skills and it is on the clients to browse for profiles that match their needs.


Lastly, Freelancer works with a bidding system where clients post the project and the freelancer bids on it with its best rate and pitch. The client then reviews the offers and chooses the best technical bid for its needs (not necessarily the lowest bid, but the better match).

What Are the Advantages of Using Freelance Marketplaces?

Regardless of the company size, type of business, or area of operations, there will always be one-time needs that do not require hiring more team members. Depending on the type of task, goals to achieve, timeline, and necessary expertise, you may be looking at freelance marketplaces as options to offload these tasks. Here are some of the advantages presented by these platforms.

A bottomless source of talents

In these platforms, the categories of freelancers are endless: you’ll find graphic designers, translators, developers, copywriters, animators, lawyers, manufacturers… even tattoo artists, and astrologers. The sky is the limit and whatever your current need is, it is almost certain that you’ll find someone in the world who is offering that service.

Pricing sliding scale

In addition to the varied offer, it is possible to choose different levels of experience and price ranges to fit your needs. When cutting costs is a priority, this opens the possibility to find below-market prices, even though it increases the risk of scams or low-quality work.

In complete control (of the choice of freelancers)

While the platforms may suggest a vendor’s profile, the ultimate decision is always in the handsof the client, who will look at the different options and match with the freelancer that best suits their criteria. This is a plus for those who like to be in complete control or who have a very specific idea of their ideal hire.

Reasons to Stay Away from Freelance Marketplaces

Conversely, not everything is under the control of the client, and regularly resorting to these platforms comes with an added risk of encountering a bad experience. Here are some of those risks to consider before posting on these websites.

Uneven quality or scams

Websites such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr will not pre-vet or quality-check the talent featured on them, relying instead on customer ratings. While you can find incredibly talented professionals on these websites, the lack of oversight on who can create profiles creates the added risk of ending up with not-so-stellar jobs. There is also the possibility, despite the platforms’ best efforts to protect both clients and freelancers, that the freelancer is actually a scammer and delivered fraudulent results.

Time-consuming freelancer vetting

Most freelancers that have ventured into freelance marketplaces will agree that these websites are overcrowded. This translates to most job postings rapidly collecting hundreds of applicants to be sorted through and vetted. Unless the job requires a highly specific skill (a translation between a rare language pair for example), you will likely spend hours reading pitches, budgeting with different proposed rates, and sorting through poor-quality samples.

Service fees

Platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer charge up to 20% of the freelancer’s earnings (depending on the platform), which will invariably drive up the prices defined by the freelancer, possibly offsetting their initial financial appeal. There is also a smaller percentage charged to the client.

How Does Pareto Compare?

As we’ve highlighted, Pareto is not a freelancer marketplace and our scope significantly differs from that of the platforms we’ve been analyzing. On one hand, our area of operations is geared to highly valuable but time-consuming repeatable manual and data-focused projects to help businesses and startups achieve their best results. This means that our range of services will not be as wide and all-encompassing, but will be more specialized.

On the other hand, once you sign up at Pareto, you will be paired with a project partner, who will take care of assigning your different projects to available and experienced data analysts hassle-free. With Pareto, you won’t have to endure time-consuming vetting processes. You and your team can focus your time and energy on the work that matters most. Pareto strives to be an extension of your team, which is why we cultivate a highly dependable operations team and ensure long-term business continuity.

Beyond that, with Pareto, you will never have to worry about low-quality outputs, as all our work is reviewed and quality assured. If the deliverables do not match your criteria, customers can let us know within 10 days of delivery and we replace or refund any data at no extra cost.

Comparison table between Pareto, Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer

Best forData operations, contact generation, competitor research, lead generationDiverse areas, short and medium term collaborationsOne-off gigs in the creative and tech industryShort and medium term collaborations in the creative and tech industry
Customer supportRound-the-clock customer support on Slack, Discord, or emailRound-the-clock customer support on the platformRound-the-clock customer support on the platformRound-the-clock customer support on the platform
Pricing systemsStarting at $100 per project or monthly subscription starting at $88/monthEstablished by the clientBetween $5 and $500Established by the client
Payment methodPayment upfront, released once confirmation of deliveryPayment upfront, released at every milestone or upon deliveryPayment upfront, released once confirmation of deliveryPayment upfront, released at every milestone or upon delivery
Service feesNo service fees20%, 10%, or 5% charged to freelancers; 5% charged to clients20% charged to freelancers; $2 or 5% charged to clients10-20% charged to freelancers; 3% charged to clients
Quality assuranceAll deliverables are quality-assured and can be revised within 10 days if they don’t match criteriaClient ratingsClient ratingsClient ratings

Creating Growth Opportunities for Underrepresented Talent with Pareto

With the unprecedented growth of freelance work, and the post-pandemic growth of remote work, marketplaces such as the ones under review offer an intuitive platform for freelancers to build their portfolios, showcase their expertise, connect with potential clients, and generally get started in their industry.

However, anyone can sign up which creates an issue of oversaturation where freelancers can send hundreds (if not thousands) of applications before securing their first job. Similarly, freelancers are competing with each other to land gigs, which may lead them to undersell their work and end up being underpaid.

In this highly competitive and unregulated market, freelancers also typically have less training opportunities than their in-house counterparts. Having to take skills upgrading into their own hands, independent workers could be stuck doing the same tasks over and over again and not benefiting from career progression.

At Pareto, we offer an alternative to this cutthroat paradigm. We are on a mission to support underrepresented talent and help tilt the scale. Our team of data experts is more than a group of contractors. Together, we are creating meaningful work by employing working moms, providing technical training, and encouraging leadership at all levels.

Get ready to join forces!

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