It is very hard to find the right developer who does what they promise. A part of success formula is to find the fit developer.
Reasonable daily communication and update on work progress and issues encountered, so we can provide any assistance or make adjustment.
Basic competent skills and expertise, and take a project that developer feel comfortable with.
We will always have issues along the way, but there is always a solution to every problem. That requires both party to take proactive and honest approach.
We always provide detailed feedback within the same day and try to be very organized as we know that will save our developer's time.
We understand there is no perfect job, perfect job requires more time and long term relationship.
We always extend the deadline if the work is in addition to the original scope. And we always add bonus for a job well done.
OUR BAD EXPERIENCE ON ELANCE
Sometimes developer does not review the project carefully, and they take on something way beyond their skills and completely failed to deliver.
Some developer simply lies and does not allocate agreed time to the project, and scramble last minute to put together pieces that do not work. That was what happend with our first awarded project to a Vietnam magento developer. For 10 days, he pretty much tried to do everything within last day, and told me he did no know milestone 1 existed, and 90% of tasks in milestone 1 were missed, but he claimed he finished 65% of the whole project which is a total lie. He even asked for sql access on the day of deadline.
To be fair, thinking back, he is only suitable for quick fixes, and he is not a good developer. It was our mistake to award a $1500 job to someone who cannot develop and can only do some quick fixes. It is such a waste of time for him to take on something that is totally out of his skill sets, for example, he turned a simple tab we required into a big excel like table. That really depresses me. Every time we checked with him, he send one line reply like "everything is going well mate", then, he totally surprised you in the end that 90% of milestone one was not done. ;)