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ceb6e258
Member

New fees for Freelancers

I am a Customer who is assessing the impact of the new freelancer fees. I am >$10,000 with same Client but I have some concerns for any new Clients. Here are my points.
1. Small fee for applying for a job is great. It weeds out time wasters and makes my life easier.
2. 20% for freelancer for under $500 is too steep. It is the end client who will pay via mark up and will discourage new entrants.
2. 10% for freelancer for under $10,000 wont work. Client will be charged extra by freelancer, so now we post a $10,000 job for $1,000 and do the $9,000 offline. Multiple milestones paid upfront will mitigate risk.
3. I think PayPal Buyer protection fees will mitigate any residual risk.
4. Once freelancer and client become confident then both will completely bypass Upwork.
5. You Guys really need to think again.
ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Thanks, Rene - didn't know that but, for some reason, I also thought Gary was a freelancer.

View solution in original post

35 REPLIES 35
wlyonsatl
Member

And that, Gary, is prt of the reason the rest of us who don't cheat Upwork out of its fees pay such a high rate.

 

 

I pay 2.75% and Client is out of scope of new structure. I'm happy with that but I wouldn't take on a new freelancer via upwork. That's my choice.
feed_my_eyes
Member

I honestly don't think that clients are being charged too much on Upwork; quite the opposite. 

florydev
Member

1. Agreed

2. I can neither agree or disagree to this, I understand that a lot of jobs don't get to $500.00 with a client ever, but those are not mine.  What I think it suggests is that Upwork would prefer to have more jobs that are > $500.00.

2...a?  I think it works fine.  Honestly 10% is nothing, for example an recruiter in my industry will charge easily 1/3 on top of a project forever.  To me that is Upwork's money, I don't even think about it.

Client will be charged extra by freelancer - I guess one way to look at it is as a cost incurrred by your business so you would expect this.  However, I actually don't charge a higher rate for work I found outside of Upwork it's the same, to me the 20/10/5 is worth it because I had to do so very little to find the work.

I think people who take their work off this platform are TREMENDOUSLY short sighted.

3. Who said anything about risk, Upwork wants to get paid, if Upwork doesn't get paid, then it isn't here anymore to complain about.

4. I am plenty confident but there are no protections out there.  I can have a contract, I can hold IP, but there is no guarantee of payment.  Even with clients I have reason to trust you never know for sure until the check gets there.  I still work outside of UW and always will...but what I find here stays here, and I will get paid.

5. I don't think they are going to.

I don't compare Upwork to an Agency. I already pay an Agency via Upwork. I'd go back to Elance any day. I would not public post an expensive job on Upwork ever again. I'm happy to run with existing Agency.

Gary's profile is no longer available - so maybe he did himself in.

Have you checked your profile?


Joan S wrote:

Gary's profile is no longer available - so maybe he did himself in.


Clients have no profiles in the community. What you see when you click on his profile is how Upwork signals a client profile (in a poorly way).

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless

Thanks, Rene - didn't know that but, for some reason, I also thought Gary was a freelancer.

andrew-beatty
Member

I was onboard with the idea initially, thinking $0.15 for a connect would be reasonable to maintain the integrity of freelancers applying, BUT, requiring 6 connects at $0.15 per connect to bid on a job is outrageous. Charging freelancers nearly $1 per bid and then taking 20% from the actual job (IF they get it) is ridiculous.

I have encountered MANY "clients" who are only posting jobs to test the market and see what's out there. People posting jobs aren't necessarily going to hire anyone and requiring freelancers to pay exorbitant prices to bid on jobs that are statistically unlikely to work out is only going to encourage more people to conduct their business outside the Upwork platform, which is a negative for all of us. 

I already pay a monthly fee of $14.99 for Freelancer Plus which only comes with 70 connects. If each connect under the new system is $0.15 my monthly fee should be getting me 100 connects - otherwise why am I paying for a membership? 

I don't understand Upwork's intent with this system. I don't understand the benefit of Freelancer Plus with the new system and I intend to cancel the membership. Couple this situation with the implementation and then removal of tests and it's clear the team running Upwork is struggling to figure out how to run this company. They wasted valuable freelancer's time conducting tests which they promised will improve hire rate, only to remove them. I agree that the tests are irrelevant, however, this is another example of the clear lack of direction at the head of this company.

I imagine it will only be a short amount of time before another company pops up and takes over the market share currently held by Upwork - They're clearly showing everyone what not to do.

I think this presents an opportunity for LinkedIn.

Are you talking about a different LinkedIn than I have heard of?

 

Profinder costs $59.99 a month because you have to subscribe to Premium Business.  Maybe if you were already doing that then it might be worth it.  Regardless, I have consistently been sent less than 4 jobs a month.   I can't look at jobs that are available, I only get what they send me, and I can't tell the client what I want.   I can't even tell them what kind of jobs I can do.  The jobs are also only local to me...why?  I work for people all the time that I am not in the same timezone with.

 

It sounds like you are a client worried about freelancers but if that is your solution you are just plain wrong.

 

 

Still alive and kicking here. I'm not a guru, sherpa, superstar or rockstar. Upworks money starts with people like me.

But, Gary, why is it that Upwork says your profile is no longer available?

Hi Joan, I'm not available because i'm not a Freelancer. I came onto the wrong thread. I will try the "Clients" thread and see what trouble I can cause on there ๐Ÿ™‚



Andrew B wrote:

I have encountered MANY "clients" who are only posting jobs to test the market and see what's out there. People posting jobs aren't necessarily going to hire anyone and requiring freelancers to pay exorbitant prices to bid on jobs that are statistically unlikely to work out is only going to encourage more people to conduct their business outside the Upwork platform, which is a negative for all of us. 


That EXACTLY what a Professional Client should ABSOLUTELY do before considering to award anybody the project. They SHOULD test the market in upwork and local on-shore market and calculate what's best for their business. That is the basic fundamental of Capitalism and looking back Mr. Jobs was the "Best" at it and thats why Apple ended up in China, didn't they... Thats why some very well known branded Sports Wear also produce in Sweatshops and sells at 100%++ margin, don't they.

The point is Businesses are there NOT to make Freelancers "Well Off" but themselves and people should realize that by now. The sooner the better... ๐Ÿ™‚

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for your feedback, Gary. I moved your thread to Clients section as you are sharing your perspective as a client. I'll also share your observations with the team but before I do, I'd like to note that it's against the ToS for the client and the freelancer to move payments off Upwork unless it's been longer than 24 months since they first connected on Upwork.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria, thanks for your input. I'm aware of the T&Cs. It doesn't affect me as I have been with same client for years via Upwork, but I would be discouraged from finding any new talent on Upwork. I just would not want to put the Freelancer through the abusive fees. It is so wrong. Time will tell and I suspect that Upwork will relax the Freelancer abuse. If you could bring back Elance that would be great.

petra_r
Member


Gary C wrote:

2. 20% for freelancer for under $500 is too steep. It is the end client who will pay via mark up and will discourage new entrants.
2. 10% for freelancer for under $10,000 wont work. Client will be charged extra by freelancer,

You do realize that there is nothing new about the 20% - 10% - 5% sliding fee structure, which has been in place for years?

 


Gary C wrote:
I'd go back to Elance any day.

I am always amused when people mourn a failed business model for the very reasons that led to its demise

 


Gary C wrote:

 It doesn't affect me as I have been with same client for years via Upwork,


Freelancer. You mean "the same freelancer."

You're the client. Clients do the hiring, freelancers get hired.

 

 

Hi Petra, Inline comments below.

 

Gary C wrote:

2. 20% for freelancer for under $500 is too steep. It is the end client who will pay via mark up and will discourage new entrants.
2. 10% for freelancer for under $10,000 wont work. Client will be charged extra by freelancer,

You do realize that there is nothing new about the 20% - 10% - 5% sliding fee structure, which has been in place for years?

 

Didn't realise that because I moved over from Elance with the same "Agency".

 

Gary C wrote:
I'd go back to Elance any day.

I am always amused when people mourn a failed business model for the very reasons that led to its demise

There were advantages of Elance over Upwork. eg. I preferred the ability to manage exchange rates more easily. Elance only failed because the owners were greedy and wanted an excuse to increase revenue in the form of Upwork.

So it used to be Elance for bigger jobs, ODesk for small Jobs, then Upwork brought it together, now Upwork is moving towards strangling the small Freelancer and back towards the Elance model again because small jobs are more trouble than they are worth.

 

Gary C wrote:

 It doesn't affect me as I have been with same client for years via Upwork,

Freelancer. You mean "the same freelancer."

I mean't "Agency" who is actually a Freelancer but it is important to distinguish because some regard the charges to equate to Agency Fees, when many of the large Freelancers are Agencies or larger Companies. The Upwork charges are website admin fees nothing else. Also, I could not use a Freelancer because the breadth of skills would not be present in one person and the solution would likely be driven by the ability of the Freelancer and not by the Business Need.

So during the next 12 months, I will have a $10,000 Android App to have built, but if I don't use my existing Client, I wont be billing all that via Upwork.

 

But thanks for the response Petra.

It seems to me like Upwork is tuning their business to generate more profit, is that what you mean by greedy?

 

If so, then are you suggesting that they are not allowed to do that because it is "unfair"?

 

It seems to me that Upwork is under no obligation to operate in any way as they did in the past not to continue to operate as they will in the future.  Similarly, I am under no obligation to try to find work here if I find their practices "unfair".  Finally, you, as a client, are also able to go find freelancers somewhere else using any method you like.

 

If you did post your job on Upwork and a freelancer bid on your project at $10k would know they are only going to make $8950.  Upwork informs them as much before they can put in a fixed price bid and it does something similar with hourly....not that it should need to because anyone who is actively looking for work on Upwork should at least understand that.

 

Do I wish it was 0%?  Actually no.  Upwork has proven to be a handy tool for me and I want it to be there when I reach for it.  If they ever get to the point where they charge too much for me, I will figure something else out.  But I am good right now.

 

Thanks for your opinion Mark.

No problem whatsoever.


Mark F wrote:

It seems to me like Upwork is tuning their business to generate more profit, is that what you mean by greedy?

You mean "any profit". Upwork has never turned a profit.

 

I am a long-term client who has been using Upwork since 2012. Most of my freelancers have been working with me for over 2 years, past the disintermediation period, and we are still here because Upwork gives me many tools to easily manage a high number of freelancer relationships, which would otherwise cost me a lot more time than I pay them in money (even with the new client fees - as Petra noted, the freelancer fees have not changed recently). All of my ongoing contracts are over $500, and several are over $10,000. Freelancers account for their fee in their hourly rate, and I don't really think about it at all.

 

If you want to risk your account by violating the Terms of Use and bragging about it in the forums, go ahead. Other clients accept the cost of doing business.

Hi Jennifer, Mark,

There are enough posts about dodgy profiles on Upwork. You only have to browse. If it works for you then carry on. For me, it's too risky to onboard new freelancers. It does not work for me.
Good luck to you though.


Gary C wrote:
Hi Jennifer, Mark,

There are enough posts about dodgy profiles on Upwork. You only have to browse. If it works for you then carry on. For me, it's too risky to onboard new freelancers. It does not work for me.
Good luck to you though.

Upwork gives you plenty of tools to weed out the "dodgy" profiles. I have never been scammed after being here for 7 years and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. I've had very few negative experiences at all, and the vast majority of my experiences have been positive.

 

If it's too risky for you, you can always go somewhere else without violating Upwork's ToS.

Calm down Jennifer. No one has actually broken any T and Cs. It was mentioned as a risk. I'm aware of the options and I make my choices. You are obviously an Upwork lover or actually working for them. Not so sure about the 100s of 1000s of Dollars though without issues. I think imagination is kicking in there lol. I've explained why Upwork is a dangerous platform. The tools are not effective. I've explained that too. There are many complaints about scammers. The truth is before your eyes from MANY people but you do not believe them and you attack them for telling the truth. The truth does hurt but sometimes it needs to. I'm sorry that you cannot accept. It's time to call an end to this Guru, Sherpa, Rockstar, Superstar nonsense. I'm done wasting my time here. God bless you and goodbye.


Gary C wrote:
Calm down Jennifer. No one has actually broken any T and Cs. It was mentioned as a risk. I'm aware of the options and I make my choices. You are obviously an Upwork lover or actually working for them. Not so sure about the 100s of 1000s of Dollars though without issues. I think imagination is kicking in there lol. I've explained why Upwork is a dangerous platform. The tools are not effective. I've explained that too. There are many complaints about scammers. The truth is before your eyes from MANY people but you do not believe them and you attack them for telling the truth. The truth does hurt but sometimes it needs to. I'm sorry that you cannot accept. It's time to call an end to this Guru, Sherpa, Rockstar, Superstar nonsense. I'm done wasting my time here. God bless you and goodbye.

I never said there weren't scammers. I said that Upwork gives you tools, and sensible clients who use the tools provided and apply some common sense don't get scammed. I've talked openly in the forums the few times I have actually run into an issue, which have never been actual scams. You can see my history of forum posts yourself. And I am happy to DM you a link to a previous job I've posted where you can see my client history including reviews to and from freelancers, but here are my stats:
 Upwork stats.PNG

The whole "Guru" thing that you keep disparaging is simply a factor of how long people have been in the forums and how many posts they have made. It is not a rank awarded by Upwork and I am in no way affiliated with Upwork.


Gary C wrote:
Calm down Jennifer. No one has actually broken any T and Cs. It was mentioned as a risk. I'm aware of the options and I make my choices. You are obviously an Upwork lover or actually working for them. Not so sure about the 100s of 1000s of Dollars though without issues. I think imagination is kicking in there lol. I've explained why Upwork is a dangerous platform. The tools are not effective. I've explained that too. There are many complaints about scammers. The truth is before your eyes from MANY people but you do not believe them and you attack them for telling the truth. The truth does hurt but sometimes it needs to. I'm sorry that you cannot accept. It's time to call an end to this Guru, Sherpa, Rockstar, Superstar nonsense. I'm done wasting my time here. God bless you and goodbye.

______________________

Upwork might not always get it right, but it is only dangerous to people who do not want to play by its rules. I do not know how long you have been here, but you are clearly unsuccessful at finding the right freelancer. Finding the right people and paying them correctly is a skill that neither Upwork, nor any other platform, can really help you with. As to the pricing, I can remember the oDesk days when the freelancer paid nothing and the client paid 10%.  And that was in the ToS. So count yourself lucky. 

Neither had Amazon until recently but itโ€™s a fair quibble.


Gary C wrote:

 

I mean't "Agency" who is actually a Freelancer but it is important to distinguish because some regard the charges to equate to Agency Fees, when many of the large Freelancers are Agencies or larger Companies. The Upwork charges are website admin fees nothing else. Also, I could not use a Freelancer because the breadth of skills would not be present in one person and the solution would likely be driven by the ability of the Freelancer and not by the Business Need.

 

So, the upshot of what you're saying seems to be "I'm not actually looking to hire individual freelancers, years go by between hirings, and I'm not at all the kind of client Upwork is courting...so I likely won't hire here again." That sounds fair, but not like it's indicative of a flaw in the system. It seems more like you've wandered into a vegan restaurant looking for a steak and won't go there for steak again. That makes sense for everyone.

Hi Tiffany,

 

Just a couple of points below to explain further. There ARE flaws in the system, which make my life harder. I have highlighted these to Upwork, but they are not really interested.

 

"I'm not actually looking to hire individual freelancers" - True, due to issues with diversity of knowledge and management of risk. I do hire one individual freelancer, however that is for graphics work, as it can be done off my website platform. The actual implemention of those done graphics is performed by the Agency.

 

"years go by between hirings" - Untrue. We just keep re-opening the same job(s) over and over, so it may look that way to you.

 

"and I'm not at all the kind of client Upwork is courting" - Untrue. I'm probably considered to be a cash cow, as I'm a long term user with the same Agency / Freelancers and I transferred over from Elance. The Agency mentioned that I pay 2.75% and they pay the remainder to 5%. Those charges are in line with what I would expect to see as a software service fee, so I'm okay with that.

 

"so I likely won't hire here again."  Untrue - It's all re-hires. For new freelancers, it is very difficult to find someone who can do the job and to trust them because of i. Not being able to verify portfolios AND link directly to reviews with clear evidence of that link, ii. there are too many fake reviews, which appear to have been done by groups of associated people.

 

I've been stung twice before and it has cost me $1,000s to put right the mess left behind and to re-instate old code. I brought existing Freelancers / Agencies from Elance. My hires via Upwork have both ended up badly. Too many scammers and blagards.

 

INSERTED: Now I receive a communication from Upwork informing me that they will no longer be testing Freelancers. LOL. So before, I had a remote idea who I would be hiring. Now I have no idea who I would be hiring. That was the last thing I could place some reliance on. Crazy.

 

The theme I am seeing is that many Hirers & Freelancers are happy to accept the Upwork fees, as they regard Upwork as being similar to an Agency. To me, I pay an Agency via Upwork and I see Upwork as only a software service, similar to JustGiving.

 

So the underlying question is: Do you regard Upwork as an Agency (charging Agency Fees) or do you regard Upwork as a software Service (typically charging max 5% across both parties)? Your answer to that question will determine whether or not you agree with the fees. Each to their own.

gbalint
Member

This is my perspective as a software developer.

 

Upwork is a marketplace. I come here because I believe I will find big-bucks projects with people that are 100% involved into understanding and developing them. Clients come here believing they'll find excellent developers.

 

The reality is 90% of the projects are uninteresting for good software developers and from a client's perspective 90% of the developers are just some kids who learnt programming by watching Youtube videos and boast 6, 8, 10+ years of "development" experience.

 

The meeting point between good projects and good developers is very small. Most of the jobs posted in the last 5 hours represent little interest for me, for instance, so the good projects have low visibility to begin with. And good developers are already involved in well-paying, interesting work so they won't ever apply. You have to hand pick them and try to extract them from their current projects by offering them something better.

 

I've been interviewing people from other sources and 100% of them are already working. So it isn't like you'll ever find a jobless developer.

 

Getting back to fees and tools that Upwork provides. Well, I really enjoy Upwork getting rid of the noise (projects with low budgets and low interest as well as developers that aren't actually developers). The numbers of software devs has fallen from 150 000 to 20 000 for a specific search I did so that is excellent. It's still a long way to go since I know a part of these 20 000 and I know they aren't really devs, but just some kids that did the same kind of work over and over again.

 

And, finally, I don't really need Upwork to vouch for anything. I can easily spot the good ones from the unexperienced ones in 5 - 10 minutes.

 

In the end what Upwork offers me as a client is a pool of about 30 000 people I can start selecting from. Yes, the fees are high, yes, I might need to raise the hourly rate from $30 to $50 just to convince the guy to jump boat, but in the end chances are a bit better than the, at most, 3 candidates I get from other sources (like job ads).

cschubiger
Member

I also put the price onto the client. I explain this to them, but most of them don't mind at the end of the day. 

55a40c2d
Member

The fee of 20% up to $500 earned is ridiculously high and it freelancers to go outside Upwork greedy system.    As a client after 4 years using the site I had no idea until recently.  

Shame as the platform works well but I feel for the hard-working people who folk out 1/5th of their earnings.    I guess the vast majority of work comes in the $500 bracket.

I propose a fee of 10% up to $250 then 5% thereafter.