We have previously talked at length about others concerns when it comes to crowd sourcing. Some do not fully understand the technology, but now that it’s really starting to put down some roots, we feel it’s long past due for us to start talking about this on our blog. So with that in mind, we thought we’d serve up a full list of some of the best techniques that we know to help you avoid being scammed out of money, time or effort with these kinds of sites.

  1. Know the Payment Plans: If you’re researching a new site that you’d like to try out, the very first thing you want to do is research in detail the payment schedules and methods. How will the site be paying you for the work that you create for clients? How often will they pay you? What sort of guarantees are in place that ensure you’ll get your money? Be very wary of any service that promises some kind of “gift card” or other such returns instead of actual cash payment. More often than not, these will be scams, and should be avoided.
  2. Know Who Gets the Rights: What happens to the designs that you submit that don’t win? If you’re not able to retain the rights to that hard work that you produced, then you’re not getting the most or the best out of your crowd sourcing option. Be extremely cautious around any site that claims rights to any and all submitted designs. This likely means that they’re taking your hard work and reselling it to other customers without you making a dime off a whole lot of effort. Avoid this, and have some respect for what you’re good at.
  3. Understand the Policies: How does the designing process work with the site? Will you be submitting whole designs, or will you instead be submitting merely a proposal? Understanding this on the front-end can save you a whole lot of time and wasted effort. For instance, do you really want to produce an entire design, or would it be more worthwhile to go for sites that offer just a concept submission? Know what you’re comfortable with and aim to fit those specific needs and wants as often as possible.