So.... outsourcing huh?.... Hmmm....
The local Advocate newspaper's front cover a few weeks ago said (Big bold letters) "Sorry, this issue has been outsourced to India". Funny.
So, yeah, let's see. The first company I went with was the only one who took it upon themselves to go to my website and put together a sample for me. I was impressed by the initiative, and hired them. How did it go? Well, 2 weeks later, the deadline had passed, and they had JUST figured out what the hell I was talking about. Was it my inability to speak clearly? Nah. Like I usually explain about China, they understand the words, not the concepts. So, I pulled allthe other possible work from them, and let them finish the task that took me so long to communicate to them. It's now 3 weeks past due, and they did about 110 out of 500 entries.
Second company I hired, I had them do some design work. The title was "2 Posters and a Bag". The agreed price was $2.50/hr. They did 10 hours and really nice, eye catching designs. I paid them the $25.00 and asked for the master files. They said to send them another $25.00 and they would send me the masters. Needless to say, I do not respond well to extortion. I will have another company just redesign it for a fraction of that cost. Besides, it's the principal.
At this point I was frustrated, as I put in about 20 hours of MY time explaining all these projects. The worst was that India was 9.5 hours off from me, so their 9am was my 11:30pm so this created many late nights for me. Point was defeated on making my life easier.
I reposted all my jobs again, this time I broke them apart into different tasks and categories. Then I found my guy. He is Canadian, speaks English as a first language, moved to China, and opened his own Virtual Assistant company. The results were drastically different.
China is 12 hours different from me, so he logs into chat at 8-9pm, perfect for me. He understands my comments (and my jokes). He can follow even the most complex things I throw at him (still testing, but he has been fine so far). While not perfect for all my tasks, he meets most of my needs. His price is $3.00/hr.
There are some tasks I will find others for, like PHP Web coding, but then I will get specialists.
Overall, I found it hit or miss. Even with Feedback, I found I had troubles. The people I liked most were over $9/hr and at that point, I can hire locally. But, my bigger goal is not one-off tasks. I plan on training, then they can do the repetative work daily (like posting on Craigslist) and I can just oversee.