innocent_white_lamb writes "An acquaintance of mine who owns an small business is trying to outsource a programming project by putting it up for bid/proposal on some of the "offshore freelance coder" websites. She personally knows nothing about programming, which is why she is putting it out for bid in the first place. The proposals that she is getting apparently vary by a factor of about four in terms of time required and cost, and the lowest costs don't necessarily correspond to the least time required for the project. Since there is such a huge variation in the proposals and since she knows nothing about programming other than "this is what I want it to do", how can she evaluate the proposals and avoid getting screwed, especially since the proposals she is getting come from "far away places" where she likely wouldn't have much recourse in the event of a problem. What happens if it doesn't work the way that she thinks it will after she's paid for it?"