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Bark Review: Can It Help You Find Skilled Professionals [2024]

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis Freelance Jobs Expert

Bark is an online job board with thousands of professionals offering both local and digital services. It’s free to post your jobs, and you can use it as a complementary tool to other popular boards, such as Indeed and LinkedIn. The quotes I received on Bark were reasonable, but for digital services, I believe there are cheaper options available to you.


A Job Board for Both Local and Online Services

Bark homepage
Bark specializes in local jobs but also offers online services.

Bark operates in 11 countries, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Customers (aka clients) post jobs, and the system “matches” them with available professionals near their area (for local services). It’s up to the hirer to review profiles and request replies from suitable candidates.

Unlike similar job boards, Bark tends to feature more agencies and small companies than independent freelancers. You see, the platform charges professionals a fee to reveal the email and phone number of the interested client. Naturally, most freelancers can’t afford to pay $5-50 every time they want to contact a hirer.

On the other hand, Bark’s pay-to-bid system filters out freelancers who might be on the fence about your listing. You receive fewer, but better-tailored-to-your-business offers – at least, that’s the idea.

Most listings on Bark are for one-off local jobs (e.g., painting). That said, professionals on the platform also offer long-term (e.g., counseling, personal training) and online (e.g., logo design, copywriting, marketing) services. The quotes I received were pretty reasonable, but for digital services, I’d still opt for a cheaper alternative, such as Fiverr or Upwork.

Like with all job boards, you should be extra cautious when hiring people through Bark. Professionals aren’t vetted, there are no refunds, and you need to handle payment yourself. Read on to learn more about Bark and how it can help expand your search for hires.



A Decent Alternative to Traditional Job Boards

Bark works a lot like a traditional job board. I like how you can just post a request and wait for professionals to come to you with quotes and offers – even if it’s not always as quick as you’re led to believe. The platform features several tools to help you filter “matches” and find the right fit for the job.

Digital and Local Services

Bark is home to thousands of profiles, with professionals focusing on all kinds of jobs, including digital (e.g., web design, copywriting, translating, marketing) and local (e.g., gardening, house cleaning, decorating, catering, DJ) services. My research showed that there aren’t many independent freelancers on the platform – you’ll mainly be dealing with agencies and small businesses.

Once you specify your job and fill out your details, Bark automatically matches you with profiles that meet your criteria. You can contact any of your matches for free, but you can’t freely search the website’s whole database for more options – which can be a bit limiting.

Match Sorting and Profile Details

Bark profile
Profiles on Bark often contain plenty of information about the professional and their past work

You can quickly sort your matches based on rating and response time. Once you find a profile that catches your attention, you can get more detailed information by clicking on their name.

All profiles include a small About section on the freelancer/agency and an overview of their history and activity on the platform (e.g., number of times they’ve been hired, average response time, staff numbers). There’s a portfolio section with photos of previously delivered work, followed by detailed client reviews. User-generated Q&As and a complete list of services are also available via the main profile menu.

Unfortunately, there’s zero information about rates on the profiles. I don’t love the fact that I have to wait for custom quotes to get a general idea of what I’ll have to pay – but it is what it is.

No Additional Fees

You can post requests on Bark for free. That’s great, but you should remember that Bark doesn’t handle payments. Once you’ve hired a professional, Bark’s job is done. It’s up to you to negotiate rates and pay your professional, and you can’t ask for a refund if things go south.

On the other hand, agencies and freelancers that offer their services on Bark pay to contact you back – even if they’re paying Elite Pro members. Presumably, this discourages users from applying to every job that pops up on their feed – Upwork’s Connects serve a similar purpose.

Τhis pay-to-bid model only works well on platforms that can offer freelancers some kind of security. Bark doesn’t have that, which is why there aren’t that many professionals bidding for jobs – which, in turn, leads to slower response times for customers.

Urgent Requests

If you want to indicate that your request is urgent, you can press a little button at the top of your matches page. I’m not yet sure if this button affects response times or if it’s there just for show. It does feel a bit redundant – why would anyone not press it if it doesn’t cost extra?

Bark Features at a Glance

Signup fee
Transaction fee
Money-back guarantee
24/7 support
Conflict resolution

Ease of use

Hiring Through Bark Is Straightforward, but It’s Not as Fast as I Would Like

It takes only a couple of minutes to create your Bark account and post your first job on the platform. I had no trouble filtering my matches either, but I didn’t hear back from any professionals I contacted within the given timeframe. Although most listed response times were around 1–5 minutes, I didn’t get any replies until several hours later.

Long story short, Bark’s professionals pay quite a bit to access your contact details (anywhere from $5–50), so chances are you’ll have to wait several hours before you hear back from anyone.

Plenty of Matches

Even though you don’t get to search through Bark’s entire database, you’re given quite a few options to choose from (my logo design request resulted in 400 matches). Of course, you can’t know whether you’ll hear back from your selected professionals, so it’s wiser to request replies from as many people as possible.

That’s the only way to get quotes and calculate costs, as Bark doesn’t list rates on the profiles.

Multiple Requests at Once

While my logo design request was still active, I decided to post another for house cleaning services. This time, I received replies much more quickly, proving that Bark was built with local services in mind. There’s no limit to how many requests you can post at once, and I even found that posting the same request twice will result in faster response times.

Communication Via Phone

Bark messaging
You can – and probably should – request a callback to discuss your project’s details further.

Bark has a message overview page on the website, but customers and professionals communicate via email. Once someone has replied to your request, they’ll get your phone number, and you can request a callback to discuss your project in more detail.

That seems to be the norm on Bark, and we love to see it. Sure, instant messaging gets the job done, but a quick phone call will help you better explain your idea and specific project requirements.



Bark offers support via email and phone. It operates in 11 countries: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, India, France, and Germany.

Email support is available 24/7. I sent an email early Monday morning and received a reply within a few minutes. My question was:

“Can anyone join Bark, or do you vet profiles somehow?”

Here’s what they emailed back:

Bark email support
It looks like this wasn’t the first time someone asked this question

The short answer is no – Bark doesn’t vet any of the professionals on the platform. That’s not great news, and you should take care not to hire new profiles with no reviews. Before accepting any quote or offer, make sure you request a callback to have a quick chat about your project’s requirements.

Phone support is also available 24/7. I called the US number at around 5:00 EST and was connected to a representative almost immediately. I asked if it would be possible to use Bark to hire professionals for digital and other online services outside the 11 listed countries. The website asks for your postcode even when you’ve specified you’re looking for digital services.

The representative kindly explained that although initially created with local services in mind, Bark now features many profiles in digital fields too. Still, Bark’s team only offers support in 11 countries, and inserting false postcodes to access their service elsewhere isn’t recommended – I definitely didn’t do just that.

Bark’s support is great, but I’ve deducted a few points due to the absence of live chat and self-help resources (e.g., knowledge base).



Posting Requests on Bark Is Free

Access to Bark’s profiles is 100% free. As a customer, you’ll never have to pay anything to contact professionals, and there aren’t any other fees to worry about. That said, keep in mind that Bark doesn’t handle payments directly, so there’s no transactional security. How and when you decide to pay professionals is your responsibility, and you can’t ask Bark for refunds if you’re not satisfied with the delivered work.

In that sense, Bark resembles a traditional job board more than it does a modern freelance platform. That’s not necessarily bad as long as you know what to expect.

Now, how much can one expect to pay on Bark? I can’t tell you how much each professional charges on the platform, but I can give you some averages based on my experience.

I received four offers for my one-off logo design request. The cheapest was $50, and the most expensive was $200. For the housecleaning service (4–5 hours), I received five offers, from $100 up to $180. All things considered, these prices are pretty reasonable.

Bark’s professionals seem to charge close to the average market rate, but you can undoubtedly strike better deals by letting your requests run a bit longer and negotiating better prices.


How does Bark match up to the competition?

Fiverr BusinessCompareOur Score4.9Compare
UpworkCompareOur Score4.9Compare
BarkCompareOur Score4.2Compare
Freelancer.comCompareOur Score2.5Compare


Bark is an online platform featuring thousands of profiles for both local and online services. It’s free to use and can be a decent alternative to traditional job boards, such as Indeed and LinkedIn.

Because Bark charges professionals every time they contact a client, there’s a higher chance you’ll hear back from freelancers who are genuinely interested in your project. At the same time, this means you’ll have to wait a few hours before receiving your first quote. The prices are reasonable, and the quality of work is good.

If you’re looking to add one more job board to your arsenal of online tools, Bark is worth considering. You can use it as a complementary tool to expand your search. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose.

If you’re looking for a freelance platform offering payment security, refunds, and helpful work tools, I recommend you try Upwork.


Is Bark credible?

Bark connects customers with local service providers in various industries, including home improvement, photography, pet care, etc. The platform is legit, and I had zero issues with the professionals I hired. 

But, as with all job boards, it’s essential to exercise caution and do your research before hiring anyone. Bark doesn’t handle payments, doesn’t issue refunds, and isn’t responsible for subpar work delivered to clients through the platform.

How much does Bark cost a month?

As a client, there’s no cost to use Bark’s service to request quotes from service providers. You can submit a request for a service and receive quotes from providers in your area at no charge.

Professionals, on the other hand, pay a fee ($5–50) for each lead or referral they receive. Supposedly, this is to limit reckless bidding and ensure customers only hear back from interested service providers.

What’s the best way to hire freelancers?

Although most of us are used to Bark’s traditional approach to hiring, there are freelance websites that are cheaper and offer payment security. On Fiverr, for example, you can find freelancers who provide services starting at just $5. Fiverr handles payment, so you don’t have to worry about freelancers running away with your money – and you can always ask for a refund if you don’t find the delivered work satisfactory.

You can explore more options in our updated list of the best freelance platforms.

Can you trust people on Bark?

Bark doesn’t vet its professionals, so you should be extra careful before hiring anyone. Check their reviews and ratings on Bark, as well as on other platforms, if possible. You can also ask for references and examples of their past work. Don’t forget to ask for a callback, and be clear about your expectations for the project, including timelines, deliverables, and payment.
Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis
A freelance writer and editor with experience in digital marketing, Alex has published over 40 product reviews and comparisons on Website Planet. He has tested email marketing services, freelance websites, social media management tools, and more. Before joining our team, he worked at an Australian agency where he experimented with all things digital marketing. In addition to his work, Alex enjoys cooking and writing about games.
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