Online Marketplaces: The Work is Out There

Oct 13, 2017 | Stephen Jackson

These days, shopping online is such a keystone of daily life that it’s hard to imagine what we did before. The numbers are staggering: A 2017 study found that 96 percent of Americans with access to the internet have shopped online at least once in their lifetime, and 80 percent have done so in the past month.

It’s no secret that purchasing goods online is a godsend for anyone running their own business. But while it’s a no-brainer to purchase inventory items over the internet, online marketplaces like Fiverr and UpWork allow you to outsource all sorts of tasks with relative ease.

And with this week’s announcement that Swedish furniture megalith IKEA has purchased “gig economy” powerhouse TaskRabbit, it appears that the business of outsourcing tasks to online communities is not going away anytime soon.

From web design to custom soundtracking — and just about anything else you can think of — online marketplaces have you covered, giving you access to and unbelievably large pool of freelancers across the globe. Take look at some of the sites below — they just might have the fix you’ve been looking for.


Arguably the most well-known online marketplace, Fiverr’s motto is “Freelance services for the lean entrepreneur,” and it certainly live up to its name, as many jobs are offered at starting prices of just $5. But note that these baseline fees can rise pretty quickly as you get into more customized requests.


UpWork works a bit differently than Fiverr in that you must first post what you are looking for (graphic design, SEO boosting) then search through potential candidates. This function is cool because interested freelancers will also contact you if the job is a good fit. There’s a free version, as well as tiered subscription options. Take a look and see what’s best for you.

Envato Studio

Envato is basically like Fiverr, so if you aren’t happy with Fiverr’s talent pool, here’s another arrow in your quiver.


These folks were trailblazers in the world of online marketplaces and continue to provide A-to-Z services for individuals, startups, and major companies. The Guru network is huge — 1.5 million members worldwide — and it claims to have completed over a million jobs since starting in 1999.


Freelancer is similar to UpWork in that you need to post a job before checking out potential freelancers. But it’s always free to post (there’s also an upgrade), and it offers a desktop app to manage your projects. Take a look at some finished jobs here


If your website needs some TLC via SEO optimization, then you might want to check out SEOClerks. Here, you have a few options, such as posting a job, bartering services, or searching for jobs.


Konker hosts a variety of business services, but it’s bread and butter is SEO and marketing support. True to form, it also offers affiliate marketing programs to sellers in order to promote services related to its own.


Here’s an interesting one, owned and operated by Amazon. MTurk is short for Mechanical Turk, and it’s a site where you can make requests to complete Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). It’s seems like a stopgap measure while AI struggles with more qualitative functions, like selecting the best photograph for a window display from a group of 100. Certainly the most #BladeRunner of this list, but it might be worth taking a look for your most granular tasks.


While TaskRabbit is geared mostly to individuals who need help with tasks such as moving, furniture assembly, and yard work, this gig-economy mainstay can provide quick solutions to small businesses in those same capacities. Got a shipment of unassembled, ergonomic office chairs for your new, hip workspace? Holler at TaskRabbit — it can help.