Over the years, I've paid others to do various jobs on a couple of my dynamic websites. I've lost count on how many times these people have over-promised and under-delivered. I've even been blatantly ripped off on a few occasions. I've used both local and western expats living in Thailand (this is where I currently live), and tried using the services of various companies in India too.
I never did try to find people in Europe or the USA for fear that the fees would be well out of my reach. However, I recently needed some database optimisation work doing and thought I'd join a site that specialises in freelancers. I was curious to see if I could get some reasonable bids outside of Asia.
The site I joined was called PeoplePerHour. I put up my job and opened it for bidding. Within 2 days I had about 14 bids from all over the world. I eventually gave the work to a British guy who is a PHP programmer and MySQL database expert. Despite the time difference our communication was seamless and professional. He said he hoped to have the database optimised within 4 days from the start date. He excelled by having it done in 2.
Total cost? £80. That was £70 cheaper than 3 quotes that came in from Mumbai. There were 2 other quotes a bit cheaper, and the rest were somewhere in between.
The best thing of all is the payment system. Once you have accepted a bid, a deposit has to be made before work can begin (it's usually 50%). This deposit does NOT go to the freelancer, but is held by the site. The site informs the freelancer that the deposit has been made by the client. The freelancer then agrees to commence work.
When and only when the work is completed and the client is happy, is the full balance paid to the site. The site then forwards this payment onto the freelancer less a small commission for brining the 2 parties together.
Anyway, I just thought I'd throw this out on the forum in case anyone reading here is thinking about looking for safe ways to outsource work in the future.