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Issue with freelancers raising their rates?

c72c8f23
Active

Has anyone else who posted a job found freelancers raising their rates once in contact or interviewed? I've had this happen three times now, two of the freelancers I reached out to and one applied. I got quite frustrated when the last one went from $12/hour to $25/hour after interview. 

I understand sometimes freelancers will raise their rates, and are able to at any time, but there should be a better system for this. And vice-versa, to protect freelancers time a client shouldn't post a job for $2k and down the line before begining the project say oh actually its $1k now. 

 

I was told by customer service to post this issue here since Upwork doesn't have anything to keep people accountable for this issue. 

22 REPLIES 22
rverang
Community Guru

If it's a fixed rate project, I would understand a freelancer adjusting their bid/rate after the interview where the full scope of the project has been discussed.

 

For hourly rate, I'm not sure why a freelancer would drastically increase (more than double, in one freelancer's case) his rate. You may asked them to justify the vast difference. I'm not sure if you'd get either an honest answer or a valid one.

 

Personally, I wouldn't hire a person whose bid/hourly rate is $12/hr then increased it to $25/hr after the interview.

kat303
Community Guru

If a freelancer reads the job description and bases their proposal on what they read, then during the interview they discover that the job is more complex, longer and more time consuming. Instead of the freelancer figuring out it will only take an hour to complete and then finds out it will now take 2 hours, I can see a rate increase to make up for the length of time. Also, if more work is added during the interview phase, which will increase the length of time to complete this also can cause a rate increase. This happening, would usually occur for fixed rate jobs. I can't think of why this would happen for hourly jobs.

 

In the future, try describing your job in as much detail as possible. When interviewing don't add on extra work then what was specified in the job description.

I agree with both replies.

If the scope of work is clearer in the interview phase, I have certainly raised my rates before.

But on hourly contracts, I've raised my rates only by a few dollars here and there, not by twice the original proposed amount. I would suggest you also not hire the freelancer who wrote $12 in their proposal, then changed it to $24 during the interview.

Actually, I am facing a similar situation.  It is an hourly job.  During interview I discovered that this would take a bit of research.  The time tracking APP does not have research mode, it counts clicks, mouse scrolls and clicks.  During research all of those are at very minimum. 

 

If the buyer allows me manual time entry, I could account for that.   But in that case I would not be protected.  So I thought raising the hourly rate might be reasonable (It would not be double though).  I am definitely interested knowing what others say.

I know this is a bit more work for a client, but I'd check the freelancer's profile work history to see what hourly rates the freelancer has recently worked for, and if they're much higher than their advertised rate, then the freelancer's stated rate is deceptive. On the other hand, if the freelancer normally works for a lower rate, then ask for an explanation as to why you alone should hire them for a higher rate.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
prestonhunter
Community Guru

I'm a freelancer.

 

Honestly, I can't get my mind around this, either.

 

My posted rate is my rate.

 

If I want to raise it, I'll raise it in between looking for jobs. But not while I'm working on a contract. And certainly not after I have been invited to interview for a job, or after I send a proposal.

 

But that's just me.

 

If other freelancers do things differently, I guess it's fine as long as they aren't breaking any Upwork rules. I just don't relate to it.

I wonder if there is some kind of misunderstanding, as it's actually not all that straightforward to change a bid after the interview.

 

What the profile rate is at any given time does not affect the bid on an active candidacy and plenty of freelancers have a profile rate far in excess of what they actually work at, it's a cheap and plump and clumsy "marketing trick."

 

Sometimes clients also think the hourly rate is the fixed price bid...

 

 

Renante and Kathy are correct.  Prashant makes a very valid point when it comes to research.  Until the buyer/client and the proposed freelancer actually discuss, in detail, exactly what is needed no bid is truly accurate.  And no estimate on time needed (hourly gigs) is either.


@Wendy C wrote:

Renante and Kathy are correct.  Prashant makes a very valid point when it comes to research.  Until the buyer/client and the proposed freelancer actually discuss, in detail, exactly what is needed no bid is truly accurate.  And no estimate on time needed (hourly gigs) is either.


 Sure, but does it really make sense to have different hourly rates in such cases? I get it when it comes to fixed rate bids, or estimates of how many hours it'll take, but an hour of time is an hour of time as far as I am concerned. A difficult project simply takes more hours.

 

When I see profiles with the hourly rates all over the shop and wildly differing I suspect the freelancer doesn't know how to quote or simply tries to take advantage of (some) clients.

 

For me this only happens when I find that someone needs a ghostwriter instead of an editor. I do three different kinds of editing and I'm fine charging the same hourly rate for two of them, unless a substantive edit is required, or a ghostwriter. Those are the two that I do charge more for because they are more intensive.

But again, I only up the rate by two or three bucks an hour. Nothing crazy

I've noticed that a lot of clients think they need a proofread, only for me to find out after looking at the manuscript that they're at least two edits from that proofread.

That's why I up my rate occasionally. Is that bad? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm truly curious. If I should stop that, I definitely will. The very last thing you want is for clients to think I'm a liar, or shady.

@Petra R wrote:

 

 it's a cheap and plump and clumsy "marketing trick."

 

 

 


 I did not think like that.  I bid my posted rate for projects that take short 'X' hours.  If I think the project may be for longer time I charge less per hour.

c72c8f23
Active

I didn't add details but I posted a job for simple translation work, which freelancers are usually hired for simple translation work. So understandably if it's a multifaceted job then they can say their rate would be higher, but I think they do this to engage clients in an unfair way.

This seems fairly common in my case right now, I think doubling their price is a little out of hand though.

 

I suggest you go for fixed rates for translations. All you have to share in the job description are word count, languages, and maybe topic. Share the file with those freelancers that leave a good impression in their proposal.

A reason for inceasing the rate might be the source file e.g. I turned down a 30K job the other day because it was all images and the client wanted me to type the English text as well as the translation without paying extra for it.

Increasing the rate for an hourly contract during the interview does not make sense to me since the client has to pay for my time anyway.

Great advice! Although this is an ongoing project that can be anywhere from 3-6 months. I don't have much of an idea of hour to lump it into one fixed project and I wouldn't want to undercut a freelancer either.

Thank you for your help though! 

Just use milestones. Create a new one everytime you send a text to the freelancer. I have several clients that work like that. This way both of you are on the save side.

I think you're right since another freelancer I just spoke to originally had his rates at $20, bumped it up to $30, oh boy!

Perhaps you haven't clarified specifics of this translation in the Original Job post.
There is huge difference between social, legal, medical and financial translation.
I have seen people charging for legal tranlations $40 / hour which I find ok, I would never pay this rate for basic social /marketing translation though.
Hope it helps:)

Thanks Arkady! But I was very straightforward in my post this would be basic business Japanese translations. I guess that's why I find it more surpirsing at the huge jumps in rates (sometimes more than double!) when freelancers post that's what thir rates are for. 

Unfortuantely upworks platform didn't assist me in the end with finding a freelancer for my job, I was able to find someone through another translations website that was no-nonsense. I do appreciate UpWorks platform though but for this simpler job it definitley turned me off to the process of extreme rate raising that seems natural. 


@Courtney S wrote:

Thanks Arkady! But I was very straightforward in my post this would be basic business Japanese translations. I guess that's why I find it more surpirsing at the huge jumps in rates (sometimes more than double!) when freelancers post that's what thir rates are for. 

Unfortuantely upworks platform didn't assist me in the end with finding a freelancer for my job, I was able to find someone through another translations website that was no-nonsense. I do appreciate UpWorks platform though but for this simpler job it definitley turned me off to the process of extreme rate raising that seems natural. 


 _____________________________

Courtney it really does depend on how you worded your job offer, which obviously from these posts we can't be privy to.  I have to say it is unusual for hourly rates to change in the way you say. However, I have a base per-word rate, which will accord with my hourly rate, so it is possible that I could quote way above what the client is expecting. 

 

Also if you are a translating agency, bear in mind that a freelancer has fairly heavy fees to pay to Upwork so if you too, as an agency, have to make a profit from freelancers, you might be better off going elsewhere. 

My point in my post was to see if something can be done to protect both clients and freelancers, saving them wasted time, energy, declining other offers, essentially losing money.

My job post simply said basic Japanese business translations in which their profiles state their rates cover this simple yet specific task. Just like how I spent time reaching out to a freelancer who went from $12/hour to $25/hour for basic email translations, I don't think it would be far if a client posted a job for $2000 and after that freelancer spends time, energy and declines other options, the client tells them actually we'll give you $1000 for this job.

For bigger, multifaceted jobs, I can see how there would be more haggling. Unfortunately mine was stright forward enough to not warrant a double increase to a rate that freelancers state they do in their profile.

 

I own a startup company, I am extremely limited on funds, but I do want to be fair about how I pay someone for the job they do. Taking by your reply Nichola it seems you think it quite easy for clients to shelve out money and possibly want to take advantage of freelancers, which is a shame. 

For my search, seeing rates double did turn me off and who knows how many more good clients come on looking for a fair rate to see the same thing happen.

Again, my point was is this the most honest and respectable process for both freelancers and clients? 

 

 

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