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9263d53c
Community Member

Release advance payment

Hello, I'm new here and I'm hiring a service to develop an application.
We set the value at a fixed price.
I made the first deposit as agreed and scheduled the rest. However, the contractor wants me to release the first advance payment.
I didn't see it and I have nothing to evaluate.
Would that be normal and safe?

 

Thank you for your help.

13 REPLIES 13
prestonhunter
Community Member

The free asked you to release a payment in advance, before receiving anything.

 

Is this allowed?
Yes.

 

Is this normal?
No.

 

Is this safe?
No.

 

Personally, I believe that most freelancers who ask for advance payments are scammers. I am not saying that all are. I believe most are.

 

While using Upwork, I strongly recommend that clients not work with any freelancer who asks for payments in advance.

 

Upwork has an escrow system in place. This is done so that freelancers know the client has set aside the money for the work. It is not necessary for clients to release money before receiving deliverables.

I don't think these things are always a scam. In fact, most transactions require money upfront first.

When you go buy some milk, the cashier wants your payment before you take the milk

gas is require to pay before you leave. 

When a contractor invoices it's customer, money times their payed in advance for building materials

Even online transactions like ebay or amazon require your payment before shipping.

 

So why is it, the sellers always get ripped off by this? Its' like we changed the rules somehow. 

I think a great invention would be this...

There needs to be advance payment software for sellers...I'm not talking credit cards.

More like temporary loans that are quickly payed back upon the transactions of the buyer

So for example it's a big project and it costs $5000 but your selling it for $6000 well this "company" gives you $5,000 to do the work, then when you receive payment from the customer, you receive $6,000..pay back the "company" then keep $1,000. Everyone wins. 

 

I think it would go a lot smoother for the seller, buyers would be happy because the seller is able to do their job quicker and more people would be able to get into a field in which they might have not otherwise done. 

 

Andre:
That is fine.

As a freelancer, you can ask for an advance payment.

 

The important thing is for Upwork clients to understand that advance payments (upfront payments) are not protected. They are done through the honor system.

 

If a client hires a freelancer to do a large job, and pays the freelancer $1000 as an upfront payment, that money is gone forever.

If the freelancer never does any work on the project, there is nothing that the client can do. The clien can't get the money back. The freelancer has not violated any Upwork rules.

 

I believe that if most clients are aware of this, they will choose to not use advance payments.


Andre E wrote:

I think a great invention would be this...

There needs to be advance payment software for sellers...I'm not talking credit cards.

More like temporary loans that are quickly payed back upon the transactions of the buyer

So for example it's a big project and it costs $5000 but your selling it for $6000 well this "company" gives you $5,000 to do the work, then when you receive payment from the customer, you receive $6,000..pay back the "company" then keep $1,000. Everyone wins. 

 


No invention needed, as there are many companies worldwide who offer invoice factoring, invoice discounting, or invoice financing services. 

 

tta192
Community Member

Normally you want to release partial payments in exchange of partial results that you can use to continue the project even if the freelancer quits and you have to hire someone else.

Regardless of that, the freelancer may ask for a small advance payment to avoid having the project cancelled before any payment is made (if you change your mind and refuse to pay anything). Up until recently contracts with zero payments would negatively impact the freelancer's profile/statistics/JSS. So you could in theory agree to a one time symbolic advance payment. Or, you could ask the freelancer to try and plan the work so that he can deliver something - anything - of use to you to justify that payment.

But more importantly you both need to find flexibility and build trust to make the project successful.

7fb5673e
Community Member

Can I ask my client to pay me advance payment and how can I go about it

re: "Can I ask my client to pay me advance payment and how can I go about it"

 

Yes, you can ask.

If you have a fixed-price contract, have a client create a milestone.

Call the milestone "Advance Payment." Specify the dollar amount.

The client creates the milestone, funds the payment, and then immediately releases the money to you.

 

If you have an hourly contract, have the client use the client-side 'Send bonus" tool to pay you an advance payment.

 

Does Upwork allow this?

Yes.

This IS allowed.

 

However:
If a client asks me: "Should I pay an advance payment to a freelancer?"

...My answer will be "no."

I recommend against it. You should only ask for payment after you have done the work, not before. 

You should not ask for an advance payment, especially since you have no prior reviews on Upwork and not even a portfolio. A client might think that you're going to scam them.

bobafett999
Community Member

Well in real life a contractor will expect some down payment to protect himself.  On upwork a freelancer has virtually zero protection.

 

On a flip side the freelancer can get money and skip and there is nothing you can do.

 

Only you two can decide.  A reasonable compromise might be to break down the job in little chunks and do hourly on the first few chunks and then move on to fixed price.  You both would get to know each other. 

re: "Well in real life a contractor will expect some down payment to protect himself. On upwork a freelancer has virtually zero protection."

 

We're on Upwork, so that's what we're focusing on.

The contractor example does not really work. The contractor gets a down-payment for supplies he has to buy for that specific job, he does not get a down-payment for the hours he will work. The freelancer does not and should not have any upfront expenses. If they do, they are probably already violating ToS by buying something for the client. 

bobafett999
Community Member

That doesn't change the dynamics between a buyer and a seller. 

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