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Commission Complaints

The complaints against WyzAnt’s 40% commission demands a response.

Suppose a tutor with 15 hours of work time through WyzAnt charges $40 an hour. Of that amount, WyzAnt will automatically deduct $16. This deduction is based on WyzAnt’s commission rate, which is 40% for the first 20 hours of work time. So the tutor is not earning $40 an hour; rather, the tutor is earning $24 an hour. According to a number of individuals, WyzAnt’s 40% commission rate is too high, way above average. Some folks, oddly enough, have even posted complaints on other websites. Why?

Here's some food for thought.

1. Twenty-four dollars an hour is higher than any state’s hourly minimum wage.

2. You can create your website for tutors and charge a lower commission.

3. If you tutor for an hour you will be paid $24.

4. If you don’t tutor for an hour you will not be paid $24.

5. Twenty-four dollars is more than zero dollars.

6. You don’t have to stay with WyzAnt, but before you leave the colony see numbers 3, 4, and 5.

7. You can easily increase your hourly rate (Would you rather earn 60% of $50 or 60% of $40?)

8. How did you find that WyzAnt student?

9. How did that WyzAnt student find you?

10. The unemployment rate is still 9.1%. Many of them would love the opportunity to earn $24 an hour.

11. The commission rate is not a hidden fee. It's easily found and clearly stated: Just click on Help and then go to Payment Policies.

12. After 20 hours of tutoring, Wyzant’s commission rate decreases, and it continues to do so as the tutor accumulates hours in tutoring.

13. Joining WyzAnt cost zero dollars. So how many hours will it take to make a profit? Amazing! One hour.

The question has been asked: How much money do people want? A million? Ten million? Nope. A person always wants one more dollar than what they have.

Strange that a person would agree to work for an hourly rate and then as an employee complain about that same hourly rate a month later. (I think I will post this article at sites that have the commission rate complaints posted.)


This post comes across as extremely defensive and doesn't give reasons for Wyzant's percentage other than, "At least you've got a job, buddy." 40% for a middleman is an extremely high amount. Especially for something that isn't advertised to potential tutors ahead of time - the only way I learned this was reading an email from Wyzant after having scheduled a tutoring time. Something should be done about this percentage. I see that this was written in 2011 and three years later, nothing has been done. 
Just some background, I'm a student on Wyzant, and am considering start tutoring on my own. I have a day job as a software engineer. 
My 2 cents on this matter is that it doesn't matter what they charge, as a business, you should charge as much as you can. Wyzant has built a decent platform, and there is nothing to stop a person to move away from them other than their established reputation and network of students. It makes perfect sense for them to leverage what they have and reap profit from it. 
The whole mechanism is self-balancing since if they charge too high, then the tutors will have to set a higher price to compensate for the fee, resulting in fewer students being able to afford tutoring, hurting Wyzant's profit, and in turn, they will lower the fee. 
It looks like it has been this way for 3 years and the fact that they seem to be doing pretty well suggests that their price strategy is probably working. 
What this post does is, it is defending worker exploitation. Remember that exploitation is only possible if workers (tutors in this case) don't have many other options. So, saying "this is better than zero hourly rate" or "go somewhere else" is preposterous and certainly does not justify the hefty commission rate.
Remember also that tutors often have to travel long distances for one hour of work, which can mean they work effectively for way below minimum wage.
I also think the 40% commission is ridiculous and a disincentive to using their service.   #1.   What value does Wyzant create beyond the basic matchmaker function between student and tutor? how does it justify an additional charge for any subsequent meetings between student and tutor.   #2 it artificially increases the cost of the service.   As either a student or a tutor I have a hard time knowing that the price of a service is just arbitrarily inflated over what it needs to be because someone is getting paid for doing nothing.   #3.   Increasing the cost shifts the demand curve.   Quite frankly I have a hard time charging students more than $20 an hour because I can't justify paying more than that to have someone sit and talk me through my homework.   That means I as a tutor am making less than $15 and quite honestly I'd rather stay home.
Companies are in business to make money.  The current commission rate is really high and remains high eternally.  In time, other options will open up with other companies and drive the commission rates down or cause the business concept to be made more reasonable.  Current options would be to advertise for your own students through the schools, libraries, and local business.  Soon you will be in a better position.  Wyzant is a tool for locating students.  No one is obligated to use their platform.  Get established in your community, establish your own clientele, then they will refer you to others. 
What about the taxes that will also be paid come tax season? Federal taxes are going to be 20% and depending on your state up to about 6-7%. So, altogether that is 66% taken out of your $40/hr rate. That leaves you with 13.60$ per hour, so if your commuting there and back for each hour, say 15 min each way you're really earning about 9$/hr after all of the applicable deducations - so hopefully you aren't spending a lot of time planning for your sessions outside of your actual meeting time because that would then even further reduce the amount you're earning per hour. 


Ron R.

Fullerton, Home of the Most Patient, Caring, Knowledgeable Ant!

20+ hours