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Receiving no or only irrelevant freelancer proposals

Active Member
Florian A Member Since: Mar 22, 2016
11 of 34

Wow a lot of accusations in there. You can at least ask in advance before writing such crap. Seriously.


The $20 web content job was just an example. These were the type of jobs where you used to be flooded with proposals especially from India and so called SEO writers. You had to filter out the right guys and everything was good.


Now I can post a job seeking for an expert in the SEM area paying $22/h+ and get like 3 proposals. All from non qualified freelancers asking for $3.33/h. Does that make sense?


I guess my 4.96 rating is too bad, I should have 5.00 straight or even more to not being seen as "bad client" as you call it.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
12 of 34

$22/hour for a SEM is still low. You're basically cutting out the lowballers unqualified for the job, but you're still cutting out the people with experience. When you are still too low but too high for the lowballers, you just get robo bidders who just bid on everything.

Active Member
Florian A Member Since: Mar 22, 2016
13 of 34

lol, this is the maximum you can put on Upwork. That's why it is $22/h+ - the plus is indicating that there's virtually no limit. So yea, still just for the lowballers I guess...

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
14 of 34

That's the maximum you can enter? That's weird.


I know people in the industry who charge hundreds of dollars an hour for SEM, but they also handle some big name brands. You're right to stay away from the $3/hour people, because they'll just get you a penalty but I think if you want to grab attention by a professional on here, you should at least drop $50/hour for the rate.  The higher rate indicates that you want value.

Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
15 of 34



Please note that we cannot access the information on your employer profile to see what sort of jobs you normally post or what sort of feedback you have received, so we have to assume that the examples you decide to give are a good representation of you as a client. We have nothing else to go on on.


We see a lot of clients here that are baffled about why they are not getting quality proposals, and in most cases, it boils down to their budget being way too low considering the work requested. So that's the assumption we start with because most often, it is the right one. And of course, the 20$ example did not help matters either.


There is a big race to the bottom going on in UpWork, where contractors from developing countries bid on the low end of the spectrum to get their foot in the door; a lot of them are either not qualified for the jobs, or they inflate their hours to earn artificially more. I am not saying this is the case with all freelancers at the cheaper end of the spectrum, but most qualified freelancers do tend to charge their worth no matter where they live.


On the other hand, the higher end of the spectrum - the top rated freelancers - seem to be climbing higher and higher. 


From reading this thread, I believe you would prefer to fish between these two categories, and that can be tricky.


The best way to get good candidates is to look for them yourself with proper keywords. The recommendation algorithm is a trainwreck, and I find it doubtful that it will be changed anytime soon. 

Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
16 of 34

Hi, Florian. You may find that raising the budgets and expanding the job descriptions with more detailed information, on your current job postings, may attract more quality freelancers.

~ Valeria
Active Member
Florian A Member Since: Mar 22, 2016
17 of 34

As already mentioned, this has no effect at all. We tried it with maximum and ridicolously high budgets and had the same issue. Yes, there were more proposals with higher budgets but still 100% off. That means when looking for a real expert and willing to pay "too much" for a job we get like $3-6/h proposals from people that are clearly not qualified. Even though these qualified people are on Upwork and in a large quantity.


Either you are really aware of it and just have no clue how to fix it or you really do not care and think your clients are stupid and it's their fault. That's exactly what I hear when talking to customer support.


I know I'm not alone with this and freelancers report the same thing. I talked to some of them I have a good relationship with about jobs I posted and where they were supposed to make bids as usual. Their reply was simply: I can't find your job (even though they are perfect fits and we have a mutual job history).


Good luck.

Ace Contributor
Michele P Member Since: Mar 2, 2016
18 of 34

Re: the race to the bottom going on in UpWork


As a freelancer I have seen many people bidding $3.33/hr. I keep putting proposals in for what I hope are valid positions and I price myself resonabily and only bid on jobs I can actually do, It seems every job I apply for has a low bid listed of $3.33/hr. I can't and won't work for $3.33/hr. Guess the client will get what they pay for in that case.


I hate that you are posting jobs and not getting any quality proposals for the position. It makes all freelancers look bad. Just like when a client post something that will take 10's of hours of work and want to offer a pittance for the work., That makes all clients look bad.




Active Member
Florian A Member Since: Mar 22, 2016
19 of 34

I just don't understand why it is even possible to bid this low when client is clearly looking for $20/h+ freelancers. I know exactly what to expect from $3.33 freelancers but there's no way to block them either.


Furthermore, in some cases it would make sense to block a certain area which is **Edited for Community Guidelines**, etc. It is only possible to select one certain region but not to block one and get proposals from all other regions. So I would have to select Western Europe for example if I don't want freelancers from a certain region. At Elance you had to select multiple regions and this worked perfectly. Like everything from Eastern to Western Europe + North America.


Sometimes I just think Upwork is not thought through completely. At least this is a nobrainer for me as client.

Community Manager
Vladimir G Community Manager Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
20 of 34

Hi Florian,


The location preference is available on Upwork and, exactly as on Elance, this preference will show as a job requirement but won't block users from other regions from submitting their bid.