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bookcoverdesign
Community Member

Do clients know upwork takes 20% from freelancer earnings?

Do clients know upwork takes 20% from freelancer earnings?

17 REPLIES 17
a_lipsey
Community Member

Why should they know or care? My business expenses as a freelancer are my business, not the clients. I factor Upwork fees, which are simply a cost of doing business, into the rates I set and my quotes, but it's none of the client's business. 

lysis10
Community Member

Most of them don't. I work with a lot of new clients and explain how it works. Think about if you were a client and showed up to this place and wanted to hire someone. Would you be educated in the ways freelancers work? Probably not. It's fine though. You can tell them if they ask. Sometimes Upwork is a whole new world to them and they are interested in understanding how it works.

Up to now, whenever I mentioned this to clients, they were very surprised. I did find a job offer where the client spoke about these 20%, so some are aware of it.

 

It's a shame freelancers (particularly beginners) don't take these 20% into account when they bid....

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Preston H wrote:

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Well Preston, you probably don't often have jobs where Upwork takes 20%. You"ve been around long enough to mostly have jobs where Upwork takes 10%, which is a much more acceptable rate, in my opinion. This is why you don't care whether a client knows or not, it doesn't hurt your finances.

I haven't been around quite as long as Preston, but I've never thought that my (fair imo) Upwork rate was the client's concern, no matter the percentage. It's my cost of doing business, why would I make it their problem?


Luce N wrote:

Preston H wrote:

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Well Preston, you probably don't often have jobs where Upwork takes 20%. You"ve been around long enough to mostly have jobs where Upwork takes 10%, which is a much more acceptable rate, in my opinion. This is why you don't care whether a client knows or not, it doesn't hurt your finances.


 

Are you saying he never gets/accepts contracts from new clients?

Because if and when he does - why wouldn't he have to pay the 20% on the first $500 like everybody else?

 

So I went and took a look at Preston's profile and saw he regularly takes on new & smaller jobs. Unless they are all for repeat clients they will all have incurred the initial higher fee.

 


Ela K wrote:

Luce N wrote:

Preston H wrote:

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Well Preston, you probably don't often have jobs where Upwork takes 20%. You"ve been around long enough to mostly have jobs where Upwork takes 10%, which is a much more acceptable rate, in my opinion. This is why you don't care whether a client knows or not, it doesn't hurt your finances.


 

Are you saying he never gets/accepts contracts from new clients?

Because if and when he does - why wouldn't he have to pay the 20% on the first $500 like everybody else?

 

So I went and took a look at Preston's profile and saw he regularly takes on new & smaller jobs. Unless they are all for repeat clients they will all have incurred the initial higher fee.

 


I was going to ask this same question. Small or large project, 20% on the first $500 seems pretty low to me, since I literally do hardly any marketing to gain the client. I'd rather complain about the new communication TOS BS than the 20% fee. Many of us will be lucky to sign any new, honest clients who will abide by that new TOS rule, so that 20% won't make much of a difference for long. 


Amanda L wrote:

Ela K wrote:

Luce N wrote:

Preston H wrote:

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Well Preston, you probably don't often have jobs where Upwork takes 20%. You"ve been around long enough to mostly have jobs where Upwork takes 10%, which is a much more acceptable rate, in my opinion. This is why you don't care whether a client knows or not, it doesn't hurt your finances.


 

Are you saying he never gets/accepts contracts from new clients?

Because if and when he does - why wouldn't he have to pay the 20% on the first $500 like everybody else?

 

So I went and took a look at Preston's profile and saw he regularly takes on new & smaller jobs. Unless they are all for repeat clients they will all have incurred the initial higher fee.

 


I was going to ask this same question. Small or large project, 20% on the first $500 seems pretty low to me, since I literally do hardly any marketing to gain the client. I'd rather complain about the new communication TOS BS than the 20% fee. Many of us will be lucky to sign any new, honest clients who will abide by that new TOS rule, so that 20% won't make much of a difference for long. 


Well, Amanda, you must take into account the fact that not eveyone here is in a niche that is profitable and that not everyone has access to the United States only jobs. You can also consider the fact that freelancers that are not it the States have to pay the banks too when they exchange dollars for their local policies. Another point to consider is taxes. Depending on the country where you live, a freelancer may have to pay more taxes than you.

I, for one, am much less irritated by the 20% thing because I've been on UW for long enough not to have to pay 20% for every job I get. But I can remember how it felt.


Luce N wrote:Well, Amanda, you must take into account the fact that not eveyone here is in a niche that is profitable and that not everyone has access to the United States only jobs. You can also consider the fact that freelancers that are not it the States have to pay the banks too when they exchange dollars for their local policies. Another point to consider is taxes. Depending on the country where you live, a freelancer may have to pay more taxes than you.

What does any of that have to do with whether clients know about the 20% initial fee or not? Do you explain your taxes to clients as well? And exchange rates?

 

Personally I have never discussed Upwork's fees with any client, ever. I wouldn't do so either, any more than I would discuss the cost of my Internet, electricity or my computer with them. My costs of doing business are what they are, and have nothing to do with my clients.

 

It's also a dead end conversation, as the client may think "Strange, does that only apply to this freelancer or why would she even bring it up? Don't all freelancers on the site pay the fees?"

 

 

Hi Petra,

 

Well, when you decline an offer because the proposed price is too low to make the proposal worth accepting, you may mention to the client that your'll only get 80% of what he's offering. I probably have done so a few times.


Luce N wrote:

Well, when you decline an offer because the proposed price is too low to make the proposal worth accepting, you may mention to the client that your'll only get 80% of what he's offering. I probably have done so a few times.


Why would I? I counter their offer or just decline. If the client does not want to pay my rates, they couldn't possibly care any less why my rate is what it is. 

 

If I can't afford a Porsche I don't care why it costs what it costs, I can't afford it. 

 

Knowing that it costs $ X to build and has ceramic brakes and that the leather costs $ XXXX and the gearbox costs YYYY makes no difference to me. If I can't afford it, I can't afford it.

 

I'd also find it super weird if the car salesman would try to justify the price by breaking down the cost.

 

You NEVER sell a product based on what ist costs to make, you sell it on the value it brings to the buyer. The buyer isn't buying the product's costs, the buyer is buying what value it has to them, and that has nothing to do with the costs.

I thought the original question was whether clients knew about the 20% Upwork takes. My answer is yes, sometimes they do, as sometimes they mention it in the job offer and sometimes freelancers tell them about it for whaterver reason.

Did I say that I tell every client about it? No.


Luce N wrote:

Hi Petra,

 

Well, when you decline an offer because the proposed price is too low to make the proposal worth accepting, you may mention to the client that your'll only get 80% of what he's offering. I probably have done so a few times.


There's your problem. You get 100% of what he offers and you pay Upwork as a business expense. Upwork does a lot of work for you that you don't have to do. If your business model isn't turning a profit, then that's for you to figure out, not lay on clients like it's their responsibility to figure out how to make your business model sustainable. 


Luce N wrote:

Amanda L wrote:

Ela K wrote:

Luce N wrote:

Preston H wrote:

The way I look at it:
It's not a secret.

Any Upwork client who wants to know about how things work for freelancers can easily look that up.

As a freelancer, I don't care if clients know or don't know. It's certainly nothing that I bring up.


Well Preston, you probably don't often have jobs where Upwork takes 20%. You"ve been around long enough to mostly have jobs where Upwork takes 10%, which is a much more acceptable rate, in my opinion. This is why you don't care whether a client knows or not, it doesn't hurt your finances.


 

Are you saying he never gets/accepts contracts from new clients?

Because if and when he does - why wouldn't he have to pay the 20% on the first $500 like everybody else?

 

So I went and took a look at Preston's profile and saw he regularly takes on new & smaller jobs. Unless they are all for repeat clients they will all have incurred the initial higher fee.

 


I was going to ask this same question. Small or large project, 20% on the first $500 seems pretty low to me, since I literally do hardly any marketing to gain the client. I'd rather complain about the new communication TOS BS than the 20% fee. Many of us will be lucky to sign any new, honest clients who will abide by that new TOS rule, so that 20% won't make much of a difference for long. 


Well, Amanda, you must take into account the fact that not eveyone here is in a niche that is profitable and that not everyone has access to the United States only jobs. You can also consider the fact that freelancers that are not it the States have to pay the banks too when they exchange dollars for their local policies. Another point to consider is taxes. Depending on the country where you live, a freelancer may have to pay more taxes than you.

I, for one, am much less irritated by the 20% thing because I've been on UW for long enough not to have to pay 20% for every job I get. But I can remember how it felt.


Then what are you doing here? If you're not profitable it means you aren't making money. 

 

Regardless of anyone's expenses anywhere, it's still more expensive than that 20% to acquire clients through other means.

 

Regarding banks and expenses, we all have expenses beyond Upwork. Please don't presume to know what my expenses are, because you don't. 

 

If you're just answering the question then why are you arguing about what other freelancers'business expenses are? 

Raise your rates to a level that the 20% doesn't hurt. It's probably 100% tax deductible on your end. You are the boss. Don't take less than you're worth.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

I can only recall this topic arising in the context of a new (clueless) client offering to hire me off the platform to save me having to pay the UW fee. It's happened a couple times and in each instance, I briefly explained that I get good ROI on the UW fees and besides, am not interested in violating the ToS. End of subject.

 

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