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A Client Asked for Five Times Work Posted

Active Member
Lela G Member Since: Oct 15, 2017
1 of 12

My very first potential client posted that they wanted X for $200.

 

During the interview the client asked for five times x for $350 and said that is what they pay most freelancers.

 

I replied politely that I must have misunderstood the offer.  The client then went away.

 

Is this common?  

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 12

Is this common?

 

I don't think so.

Inappropriate client behavior happens, of course. Anybody can come here and become a client.

 

But I believe it is only a small percentage of clients who act in such an egregious manner.

Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
BEST ANSWER
3 of 12

It is common. Most clients do not even understand complexity of work and what they feel like a small adjustment proves to be a 5x increase in scope.

 

Fortunately, it equally frequently happens to be the other way around Smiley Happy, as some clients think that something which is trivial or copy-paste is very complex.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 12

Lela, I don’t think any of my would be clients acted like this, but you did the right thing by walking away from this job. 

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Lela G Member Since: Oct 15, 2017
5 of 12

Actually, I did not walk away.  The client did.

Active Member
Lela G Member Since: Oct 15, 2017
6 of 12

I am just wondering, did they do this because I am new?  Or does this happen to experienced freelancers as well?

Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
7 of 12

Lela, there's no reliable way to tell what the client's motivations were in your case. Perhaps they simply realized after the posting that their scope had increased and they believed it could be done within their budget. Or, perhaps they tried to pull a bait-and-switch by posting X and then seeing if you'd do 5X for less than 5X$. Either way, be glad you didn't end up with this contract if the work is not something you'd consider doing for the price the client was willing to spend. 

 

As for whether or not it's common for this to happen* to new as opposed to experienced freelancers - it depends. Clients with nefarious motives often target freelancers with less experience because the more experienced ones tend sniff out their baloney quickly. 

 

*By "for this to happen" I mean a client suggesting that a freelancer do a vastly increased amount of work for not a vastly increased amount of money, not that a client goes silent. Corresponding with a potential client without converting that interview to an offer can be common for anyone for myriad reasons - most common in my experience are factors that make it a less than ideal fit whether due budget, skillset, general vibe from client, etc. 

Active Member
Lela G Member Since: Oct 15, 2017
8 of 12

How do you graciously get out of a contract when they begin to asking for more work?  I did not accept the offer.  In fact, I withdrew the proposal, noting that I had 'misunderstood' the offer to be X for $200 and not 5X for $350.

 

I was concerned the client might accept my offer, get me into a contract and THEN begin asking for more.

 

I hope that was the correct course of action.  

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
9 of 12

They cannot force a contract on you.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Melissa T Member Since: Dec 5, 2014
10 of 12

@Lela G wrote:

How do you graciously get out of a contract when they begin to asking for more work?  I did not accept the offer.  In fact, I withdrew the proposal, noting that I had 'misunderstood' the offer to be X for $200 and not 5X for $350.

 

I was concerned the client might accept my offer, get me into a contract and THEN begin asking for more.

 

I hope that was the correct course of action.  


1) The client makes an offer to the freelancer, not the other way around. You submitted a proposal. The client has the option of making you an offer based on that proposal. Even if the client had made you a proposal based on your offer, after learning more about the job before accepting the offer you can decide to decline it. You are always free to withdraw proposals, but you are also always free to decline offers that are not a fit for you.  

 

2) Asking for work outside the contract requirements is scope creep. It's part of freelancing, can be quite common, and it is up to the freelancer to manage it. If a client injects new requirements into the scope of the job you can explain that the requested work is outside the contracted scope, suggest that they authorize additional hours (if an hourly contract), set up an additional milestone (if a fixed price contract), or explain that you don't have the availability to complete that additional work (if applicable). You can handle it however is best for you and your business at the time. 

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