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Feature Request: Unsure Project Cost

dhaemer
Active Member
Darrell H Member Since: Apr 19, 2017
1 of 12

Can you please allow clients to choose something like "unsure" or "unknown" for their budget?

 

I understand we don't want every job posting being listed as "unsure," but it presents a real problem for clients who honestly aren't sure what to choose. I frequently see job posts with miniscule fixed budgets (10% of what it should be). Sometimes clients explain in the description (which is still problematic) to give a quote for the project, but sometimes they don't. Freelancers have no way of knowing if that's the "real" budget for the project, or if it was chosen because there's no other option.

The functionality of this would be further enhanced if more guidance could be given to clients about which experience level to choose (beginner, intermediate, or experienced). For example, if a client accurately chooses "beginner" for the experience level, and chooses "unsure" about the budget, some freelancers would know to pass on that job, because they focus on "experienced" level jobs. Currently, I see many job postings listed as "experienced" level while quite obviously being limited to a "beginner" level budget.

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 12

If a client is unsure about their budget, then an hourly contract is the best way to set it up.

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

It is not always possible to know what a reasonable budget for a particular project will be.

 

But it IS possible to describe what you want to accomplish, and to hire a number of freelancers on an hourly basis to help you with your project.

 

Carefully evaluate the work that each freelancer does and only continue working with those who provide you with the most value for your project. Some of those charge a lot of money per hour but work quickly and accomplish a lot. Some of those are slower, but have lower hourly rates.

 

Don't fixate on budgets. Focus on value and results.

dhaemer
Active Member
Darrell H Member Since: Apr 19, 2017
4 of 12

Jennifer D: Yeah, that makes sense. It seems many clients don't understand that though, or at least that's my perception. Am I just whining about the dysfunction that will always exist within the freelance world?

 

And just to clarify, I'm a freelancer, not a client.

 

Preston H: I definitely agree. I was just thinking there might be a way to help clients more readily find that value. Maybe I'm in left field on this one.

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
5 of 12

@Darrell H wrote:

Jennifer D: Yeah, that makes sense. It seems many clients don't understand that though, or at least that's my perception. Am I just whining about the dysfunction that will always exist within the freelance world?

Unfortunately, yes. Most clients, especially new clients, have no clear idea on what things actually cost and pull budget numbers out of thin air.

 

It would be most excellent if Upwork gave them the option to state that plainly, and to steer them towards hourly contracts, but I don't see those changes happening any time soon.

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
6 of 12

> If a client is unsure about their budget, then an hourly contract is the best way to set it up.

 

Not necessarily.  For starters,  just because a client is unsure of their budget when they post a project, that doesn't mean they don't *become* sure after discussion with one or more freelancers. Plus a number of freelancers here - me included - won't take on hourly projects, so they are limiting their possibilities. If their requirements are narrowly defined, that could be an issue.  

jcullinan
Community Guru
Jess C Member Since: Feb 18, 2015
7 of 12

@Kim F wrote:

> If a client is unsure about their budget, then an hourly contract is the best way to set it up.

 

Not necessarily.  For starters,  just because a client is unsure of their budget when they post a project, that doesn't mean they don't *become* sure after discussion with one or more freelancers. Plus a number of freelancers here - me included - won't take on hourly projects, so they are limiting their possibilities. If their requirements are narrowly defined, that could be an issue.  


Count me in the number of freelancers who won't do fixed-price contracts. Too many risk factors.

 

Fixed-price contracts when the scope of the project is not clearly defined are just not a good way to do business - unless you want to babysit incrememental milestones and do it in tiny pieces. If the client knows exactly what they want and the freelancer knows exactly how to accomplish it and they can agree on a fair price, that's a different animal. But if the client doesn't know what things cost, doesn't know how much time it takes to do the project, and doesn't know what the final product should look like, then hourly is really the only way to go to be fair to both parties.

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
8 of 12
  • Fixed-price contracts when the scope of the project is not clearly defined are just not a good way to do business - unless you want to babysit incrememental milestones and do it in tiny pieces.

I’d prefer that. I have no idea what you class as tiny pieces, but I personally have no problem with milestones of (say) $3-500 at a time – sometimes smaller. It might not be a good way for *you* to do business – fair enough – but that doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad.

 

  • If the client knows exactly what they want and the freelancer knows exactly how to accomplish it and they can agree on a fair price, that's a different animal.

 That’s obviously the ideal.

 

  • But if the client doesn't know what things cost, doesn't know how much time it takes to do the project, and doesn't know what the final product should look like, then hourly is really the only way to go to be fair to both parties.

In that situation, I’d prefer to turn down the project rather than work with someone who continues being clueless.

 

Plus, of course, time isn’t the only relevant factor when it comes to pricing. I have a few highly specialised and unnusual skills. They’re rarely in demand here, but when they are, I’ll charge a higher flat rate than I would for other work. For me, that’s much easier than having a set of different hourly rates.

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 12

Thanks Jess and Kim for the additional insight. I was kind of assuming that a client who isn't sure about their budget probably isn't sure about their scope either, but that's obviously not always the case.

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

I've been pestering against the fact that you have to enter anbudget for fixed price project for a while.

 

On Elance (curse jar) the budget field was optional and it was great. From a buyer's perspective I just hate it that I HAVE to enter a figure in there.

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