After using two different freelance designers I'm sick of them, the problems I've experienced are:
contrary to promises they didn't have the necessary skills
no sense of design,
seemed to only want to do whatever was easy for them regardless of whether it met my spec.
Super slow delivery totally breaking all deadlines.
Super slow communication
Endless broken promises.
Before you IT guys hammer me I know most people have no understanding of your dark art, but seriously I'm pretty IT literate, by that I mean I've specced many systems in my professional life, I 've built applications (not web apps) I've done simple sites but I just dont have the skills or the time to learn the skills that I need for a more sophisticated retail site. I should also add I'm realistic, flexible and practical - the only thing I'm not is loaded which it seems you would need to be judging for some of the crazy prices I've been quoted by agencies.
So can anyone tell me where am I going wrong? or point me in the direction of a capable English speaking designer (searchable db, shopping carts, mail lists etc) that's not too expensive?