This is the latest update of my Adventures in Personal Outsourcing series. The conclusion of my interactions with my Virtual Assistant that I found at Guru.com actually took place not long after my last post on this subject, but I have only gotten round to posting the update now. My Bad! Anyway, I can say that my experiment with Personal Outsourcing has been very good indeed. Apart from my initial difficulties in finding a VA that would do the work at other, more well know VA companies (notably YourManInIndia.com, and GetFriday.com), once I found Guru.com the offers from VA’s to do the work were plentiful. I chose a lady from India who agreed to post all of my books onto Amazon.co.uk for $25 or about £12.
After a bit of toing and froing caused by me not being specific enough in my instructions (note that you might often be speaking to non-native English speakers), my VA did a superb job, completing the task within a couple of hours. I now have her personal contact details, and when I have another task for her to do I can do it directly with her, bypassing Guru.com. This can make the next task cheaper (Guru.com take a commission), but potentially exposes you to more risk, since you wouldn’t have Guru.com’s assurances and cover. It all comes down to trust and I wouldn’t advise ditching the agency in favour of directly employing your VA until you have built up a strong relationship. Ultimately though, VA’s value their reputation and if they tend to rip off their clients, word will quickly spread and they would be out of business pretty sharpish.
Anyway, my VA posted 50 of my old books on Amazon at a cost to me of £12 pounds, and since then I have had a steady stream of buyers selling around 25 books, giving me a revenue of £83 and a profit of £71. Delivery costs are covered by Amazon in the usual way (they add postage costs to the price of the item) and this is normally more than enough to cover your costs when you come to post the item.
I will definitely use my VA again for other time intensive tasks such as looking for flights and booking hotels. I am even thinking of asking her to get me a list of rental properties in my area for when I have to move next year!
If you are considering using a VA for some tasks you want done and want to use mine, drop me a line and I can pass on her details.