A friend of mine recently used 99 Designs to get a web site design and was extremely disappointed. While a site like that may work well for logos, it does not work well for web sites. He was under the impression that if he paid between $1,000 and $5,000, he would have a variety of professional site designs to choose from and that they would blow him away.
Not the case. For his project he needed three pages designed. Only two artists submitted three pages and a couple of others submitted one page. It makes sense that they would only submit one page because there’s no guarantee they will win the job. So why put in a ton of effort for no pay? His options were limited.
In the end he settled for one of the two who put in more effort, but he still wasn’t that happy with what he got. The designs were somewhat amateur and the code was pathetic. He could have hired me for the same price, had three top-notch (and different) designs to choose from, and had pristine code delivered to him.
This probably goes without saying, but I think he will be hiring me next time!