What are the most affordable virtual assistant services?
Look, I get it.
You could use some extra help these days, but it’s not like your pockets are just overflowing with cash and you can afford a personal or executive assistant to do your bidding at all hours of the day and night.
Wouldn’t that be nice though?
But thankfully you don’t have to break the bank to begin to ease your workload. In fact, you can get started with personal or business outsourcing for less than $50 a month.
I scoured the VirtualAssistantAssistant.com database to compile this list of the lowest cost virtual assistant companies. I’ve tested many of these services myself, and will do my best to share example use cases where I have them.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Mechanical Turk is a unique micro-task outsourcing platform that’s actually owned by Amazon. You can get tasks done for as little as $0.02 each (2 cents!).
The minimum per task is actually just a penny, but Amazon tacks on a one cent fee (or 20% of the task, whichever is greater).
I’ve used Mechanical Turk primarily for data entry projects. In my case, I had a spreadsheet with product SKUs but didn’t have the product names. Gathering the names was an easy — but time-consuming process with hundreds of rows — so I turned to the global workforce at mturk.
What would have taken me hours to do manually was done in a fraction of the time for around $20.
Other use cases for Mechanical Turk include inexpensively gathering user feedback or survey responses, proofreading and correcting passages of text, transcribing audio or video, or tagging and categorizing photos.
What I Use Mechanical Turk For:
- Data entry
- Data normalization – taking free-response entries and categorizing them
- Quick “gut reaction” surveys
Mechanical Turk Pros:
- Cheap labor for mundane, low-skill tasks
- Crowd model can get large projects done quickly
Mechanical Turk Cons:
- Somewhat confusing interface (seems to be built by engineers for engineers with some weird terminology and instructions)
- Task set-up time may negate cost or time saving for small projects
On Fiverr.com you can find a huge range of virtual services starting at just $5. You can even find people willing to serve as your loyal virtual assistant for an hour or two at a time.
This platform is a popular spot for finding affordable skilled and up-and-coming freelancers. I like Fiverr’s a la carte ordering system–there’s no posting a job description and waiting for bids.
Instead, you find someone who can do the exact thing you need, and hit the “buy now” button to get started. Speed, ease of use, and affordability is where Fiverr shines.
What I Use Fiverr For:
- Website graphics
- Blog articles
- Social media images
- Book covers (including the cover of the Virtual Assistant Assistant book)
- Website technical help and troubleshooting
- Site speed tune-ups
- Podcast introductory voiceovers
- Video intro sequences
- and more
These gigs have ranged from the base $5 level, all the way up to over $300 for more time-intensive specialized projects.
(If you don’t want to mess around with rookie sellers, definitely check out Fiverr Pro — pre-vetted and hand-selected professionals.)
There really is a wealth of services on the site and is often the first place I turn to when I have a quick project I’d like to test out. Because it’s so inexpensive, I often test several sellers at once, especially for subjective tasks like graphics, and just pick my favorite.
My basic strategy for finding high-quality providers is to search for whatever I need help with, and then identify the sellers and the gigs with tons of positive feedback.
- Speed of hiring
- Inexpensive — even to test several service providers
- Wide breadth of virtual services available
- Quality can be hit-or-miss, especially at lower price points
- Selecting a provider can be time-consuming
- Platform seems to have high turnover — if you find a great freelancer, try and get their contact info in case they stop using Fiverr!
Pakistan-based Efficise has been serving VA clients for more than 5 years with plans starting at $15 a month for 5 30-minute tasks.
(If you use them all to the full extent, that’s just $6 an hour.)
Efficise virtual assistants are trained to handle a host of tasks, including the standard administrative stuff, web research, and other one-time virtual “gofer” jobs. Many clients turn to them for help with:
- travel planning
- social media management
- data entry jobs
- and more.
It’s been a few years since my last trial with Efficise, but they’re still one of the most affordable virtual companies in the world.
OkayRelax is my favorite task-based virtual assistant service, with plans starting at $29.95 per month for 5 tasks up to 30 minutes.
I’m actually on the next tier of OkayRelax service, which is currently $99.95 per month for 25 tasks — but most importantly, it gives me a dedicated assistant (Angel) I can delegate to every time.
I’ve been a customer for years, and have recommended the service to many readers and friends.
I think tapping into the pool of assistants can work really well for certain tasks, like general administrative and research tasks, but I like the consistency and learning that happens over time with a dedicated assistant.
One cool thing about OkayRelax is if you have a task that’s longer than 30 minutes, that’s OK — you can just ask your assistant to charge as many tasks as they need to get the job done.
What I Use OkayRelax For:
- Formatting blog posts
- Collecting screen shots
- Installing lead magnets on my website
- Recurring weekly reports and data entry
- Updating content on websites
- and more
- Super affordable dedicated assistant plan
- Assistants work US business hours
- You can delegate longer tasks if needed
- Reliable service — I’ve had 4 OkayRelax assistants and they’ve all been strong performers.
- Since it’s a shared assistant service, sometimes task turnaround times can be slow
- Sometimes I run out of tasks during busy months (they let me renew early so we could get back to work!)
- Task request ticket system can generate more emails than necessary
Perssist operates a similar model with a team of globally-distributed virtual assistants, but with a New York headquarters. And instead of tasks, their plans come with a set number of hours.
Their entry level plan is just $28 and gives you 2 hours of support.
So what can you get done in those 2 hours? Perssist VAs make calls, do research, make appointments, help with travel planning, or make those dreaded phone calls to customer support you’ve been putting off.
Time is billed in 5-minute increments and unused time rolls over to the next month. They’ll even give you a free hour to test out the service.
6. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands offers all USA-based virtual support starting at $29.99 a month.
That plan affords you access to Fancy Hands’ wide pool of assistants for up to 5 20-minute tasks. I actually pre-pay for the annual plan so I have a big bucket of tasks I can assign for less than $4 each.
Fancy Hands uses a team-based approach, where your tasks go into a queue with all the other customers’ requests. Then, whatever assistants are available and qualified can get them done for you.
What I Use Fancy Hands For:
I’ve been a customer for years, and use Fancy Hands primarily for:
- Proofreading and editing (native English speakers!)
- Flight check-ins
- Responding to surveys on my behalf
- Online research
Unused requests do roll over to the next month and you can save a bit by committing to an annual plan instead of month-to-month billing.
You can also get half off your first month through my referral link.
Fancy Hands Pros:
- A large pool of US-based assistants means quick task turnaround — often in under 20 minutes for simple requests.
- You can approve the use of multiple tasks for more in-depth work.
- Great for one-off tasks that can be easily explained in email. (You can also request tasks by phone or voice message through the Fancy Hands app.)
Fancy Hands Cons:
- I’ve found some assistants are better than others, and you since it’s not a dedicated service, you kind of get who you get.
- Longer tasks require secondary written approval, even if you say it’s OK in your initial request.
- Some tasks can sit in the queue for a while; they must not look easy or fast to get done!
7. Task Virtual
Task Virtual starts at just $39 a month for 20 tasks, or $60 for 5 hours of dedicated VA work.
The India-based VA company lists real estate management, ecommerce management, and social media management as their areas of specialization — in addition to the typical administrative tasks.
For the task-based plan, tasks are classified as small jobs that take 10-15 minutes to complete.
On the dedicated assistant side of things, $60 is among the lowest price point I’ve seen.
TaskVirtual has even offered Virtual Assistant Assistant readers an extra 20% off your first month of service with referral code VAA20:
Delegate is an interesting new personal assistant app, where you can submit “unlimited” requests for a flat $50 a month.
I’ve been testing Delegate out myself for tasks like:
- Product research (What are the best lightweight khaki shorts for men? Where can I replace these blinds?)
- Restaurant reservations
- Finding activities (What’s the best nigiri restaurant in Seattle?)
I honestly have a hard time coming up with personal tasks to send them, but I can definitely see how this would be a handy service to literally have in your pocket.
For just $70, you can buy 10 hours of virtual assistant support from Tasks Assistant, a newer VA company in India. The company also offers a 5-hour free trial, effectively giving you 50% more time for free.
There are no ongoing commitments; if you like the service you can buy another block of 10 hours as needed. That $7 per hour rate is among the lowest I’ve found.
Tasks Assistant was founded in 2014 and can handle a wide variety of remote work.
The venerable Ask Sunday has been providing virtual assistant services for over 10 years.
For those dipping their toes into the world of outsourcing, they offer a $79 per month plan that includes your first 5 hours of work.
If you need more help, you don’t have to upgrade or commit to a larger plan; additional hours are simply billed at $17 an hour.
In recent years, the India-based company has shifted toward serving entrepreneurs and small businesses, but still welcomes individual clients who could use a hand.
11. Use Per Wish
Use Per Wish is a startup virtual assistant company in India with backing from some industry veterans.
The setup is unique in that the service is just $10 an hour with no monthly minimums or automatic renewals. Just pay for what you need and use the hours as you go.
Use Per Wish has a large team of qualified assistants at your disposal to help with a variety of administrative tasks.
Low Cost Virtual Assistant Services: Conclusion
These virtual assistant services represent some of the best “bang” for your outsourcing buck. My recommendation is to check the profiles of the companies that look like the best fit.
From there, you can create a trial account to test-drive the service, or sign-up for a small monthly plan. The beauty is they’re all so inexpensive–it’s a very low-risk way to dip your toes into outsourcing.
Already know what you need help with? Check out our list of the Best Virtual Assistants in every category.
Have you worked with any of these virtual assistant companies? What did you think?
Were they a good value for the money or did you find it worthwhile to spend a little more for dedicated support or an assistant closer to home?