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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.

1. Mechanical Turk

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

Our full Mechanical Turk review | Visit Mechanical Turk

2. Fiverr

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
  • Chatbots
  • Infographics
  • 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.

Fiverr Pros:

  • Speed of hiring
  • Inexpensive — even to test several service providers
  • Wide breadth of virtual services available

Fiverr Cons:

  • 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!

Our full Fiverr review | Visit Fiverr

3. Efficise

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:

  • transcription
  • 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.

Our full Efficise review | Visit Efficise

4. OkayRelax

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.

okayrelax pricing

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

OkayRelax Pros:

  • 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.

OkayRelax Cons:

  • 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

Our full OkayRelax review | Visit OkayRelax

5. Perssist

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.

Our full Perssist review | Visit Perssist

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!

Our full Fancy Hands review | Visit Fancy Hands

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:

taskvirtual promo

Our full TaskVirtual review | Visit TaskVirtual

8. Delegate

Delegate is an interesting new personal assistant app, where you can submit “unlimited” requests for a flat $50 a month.

delegate homepage

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.

Our full Delegate review | Visit Delegate

9. Tasks Assistant

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.

Our full Tasks Assistant review | Visit Tasks Assistant

10. AskSunday

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.

Our full AskSunday review | Visit AskSunday

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.

Our full Use Per Wish review | Visit Use Per Wish

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.

Your Turn

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?

19 Comments

  1. Habiliss –I had an assistant for about 6 months. I did everything, spoke to supervisors, etc. Practically EVERYTHING done had to be REDONE. I would not recommend them. It looks like they also are not available if click on link, I am not surprised if they went out of business. What they promised and what they delivered was not worth even 5 dollars USD.

  2. I signed up at Mechanical Turk for employer account.

    The site is ridiculously hard to use with the worst user experience imaginable. Surely the worst user experience on the internet today. And you basically have to be a programmer to even use it.

    I found it impossible to know what the hell I was doing or what even the site was.

    It was impossible to research prices as you must create an employee account and then wait 2 days for approval. Including FULL DETAILS real name, address, etc. WHAT?!!!

    This is bloody nonsense.

    Worse, when I googled about Mechanical Turn I realized that it is just exploitation of the poor and desperate. It is a way for unethical pieces of SH*T to hire people for jobs and paying them, nothing. Cents.

    Sure it sounds like it’s great for me to hire people for my tasks for cents each. But who’s completing these tasks? The most poor and destitute and impoverished and desperate people on the planet. And you are paying them nothing, they can’t even get a meal at taco bell for what you paid.

    AWFUL. I have a VERY negative opinion of Amazon after seeing this mechanical turk site! As an employer looking for cheap labor, it may seem like a gold mine for me, but the truth is I recognize this as EXPLOITATION OF THE POOR and this is VERY EVIL!!!

    Not to mention that I can’t even see what the hell how to post a job or what even it is that I posted without paying amazon which takes OVER 50% OF ALL SALES from the employer, so even if you hire for 50 cents you pay $1 to amazon.

    THis is a horrible horrible site and the absolute worst user experience on the planet, and the worst possible marketplace BOTH for employers and for employees. I can’t believe this crap exists.

    While I wanted to pay low, there is a limit!! When you want people to work for pennies per hour, well in my understanding this is called SLAVE LABOR AND SWEAT SHOPS which are extremely unethical.

    While in some countries a couple dollars per hour is actually a decent living wage, NOWHERE in the world can PENNIES be a living wage!!!

    I want to pay a low wage because I also have low income for now BUT I AM NOT WILLING TO RESORT TO SLAVERY!!!

    Shame on Amazon for this horror and promoting worker exploitation and slave labor and sweat shops!!!

    1. This is in reply to the person trashing Amazon Mechanical turk. I’ve been a “worker” for amazon mechanical turk. Stop knocking on a things you absolutely know nothing about. Its a job that sucks if you’re in a first world country. But it absolutely tops working in a chinese or Bangladeshi sweatshop making peoples nike sneakers. Lets see… comfort of your own home, or free wifi area and working on a computer vs. grueling manual labor in the worst conditions possible. Also it can act as an supplemental income for these people instead of spending even more time in horrendous conditions. There are countries where people make less than $2 US dollars a day. Amazon mechanical turk is a godsend for them. So stop your upright bullshit. By the way if you dont like sweatshops stop buying sneakers, clothes and iphones or any phone. But guess what you would only be putting these poor people out of work.

  3. I don’t like that Habiliss employees are obviously posting in these comments. That’s a deceptive practice & for that alone, I would not recommend you anymore.

    I used Habiliss with mixed success. They were unable to understand the necessary details of several tasks & weren’t nearly as understanding as I thought them to be. This may have been miscommunication on my end. However, they did save me several hours on each of my projects & made some simple but long-tasks very quick for me. I would give them a 75/100 but because they are deceiving us in these comments, I’d now rate them a 30/100.

  4. Had a terrible experience with Habiliss. Tried them for a month and got all my tasks wrong. I hired after seeing so many “good reviews”. You can just trust them to leave reviews for themselves. They are fake.

  5. I have been using Habiliss services for a quite while & I had not found any issues with them until now. Good service.

    1. Only Indians use the phrase “until now” to mean “so far”.
      If I say “I haven’t had an issue until now”, that means that I HAVE had an issue, just now.
      When you arrive at a store in your neighborhood, you might indicate that this is your first trip by saying “I’ve never been to this store until now”, indicating that you ARE now at the store. Similarly, saying “I’ve not had any issues until now” means you HAVE just now had an issue.

      Similarly, it’s mostly Indians that say “I had not FOUND any issues”, when what you mean is “I have not HAD any issues”.

      Clearly you are Indian, which is suspicious given that Habiliss primarily serves an American audience.

      If you even are an actual customer and not a shill for the company, as Gerardo suggested, then you probably haven’t “found” any issues “until now” because you both speak the same broken nonsense language.
      For native English speakers who are actually capable of speaking clearly and correctly, they are a garbage service that literally did not understand a single task I requested, similar to Gerardo’s experience.

      Shill.

      1. Hi tim,

        I Wouldn’t class language like used specifically by indians, I for example aint an indian, I mean Im half french half new zealander that was born down under in Australia, in fact I pride my self as a cross bred mongrel, and I honestly didn’t realize until now that, that sort of language was indian speaking language. Not having a crack at anyone or anything but I just hate it when people generalize stuff, oh feel free to facebook me aswell and you’ll see im as country aussie bogan as you can get. In fact you’ll either see me with a turkey on my shoulder or a cowboy hat lol

  6. I have tried both fiverr & habiliss but I’ll go with Habiliss because my dedicated assistant does a wonderful job on every task I assign. Its affordable and life is so easy now, i’m living happy and free 🙂

  7. I am trying Habiliss now for my small business. They are good in providing potential leads. I have recommended them to my other business friends as well.

  8. Agree with the comment above. Habiliss should be listed on top, they are a really efficient bunch but most of all works for my budget.

  9. I have personally used Habiliss and totally vouch for them! You can literally call them any time 24 / 7 and be attended to immediately. As a working mother, they have helped me with my personal tasks a lot. Must-try I would say.

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