felics | 9:11 PM
Bidding on projects can be quite a burden because you have to sort through each one of them and examine the descriptions very carefully before taking the plunge. But nowhere in that process can tell you anything about the buyer except from his feedback in his dealings with the other service providers.
Feedback is a good measure to determine the integrity of the buyer but sometimes it is not enough to give you any idea how he would deal with you once the project is underway granted that you won the bidding. So, how are you going to proceed and get the assurance that you will get paid once you finish the job?
Once the project is awarded and accepted, the buyer would always immediately sent you a message detailing the things you need to know as a freelancer how he wants the job done. In short, he will send you the instructions. This action clearly indicates that his interest to get the project done as soon as possible is high. Those buyers who takes time to send the instructions right away after a couple of days or so should be taken with great care. You have to be wary of them if you don't want to end up with a $5 project fee debt in freelancer.
Usually most buyers don't have problems paying through escrow if the provider asks for it. Escrow is the best course of action to get paid and to have a peace of mind once you are working on the project. But other buyers don't see it this way and they must be dealt with with caution. The things you can depend on in this situation are your sound judgment and complete trust that the buyer will not double cross you.
The Buyer's Business
This is a remote thing to happen but it could still be possible. If you unexpectedly read negative feedback about the buyer's business, chances are it will catch your attention eventually no matter how hard you try to ignore them. Once that happens, doubts will set in and chances are you will freeze the project pending the reaction from the buyer. This is especially true if the conditions mentioned above are not met.
These are the things you need to ponder before tackling the project you just won. But in the end though, it will come down to two factors. Your sound judgment and trust on the buyer and most of the time, these are enough to pull you through.