I have been asked to give a quote before, the way I understand it is clients can create a contract regardless of the specifics of the job description, what the client did was tell me to give a quote per video edited(that was the job), and we would go from there.
I haven't experience Upwork as a client, the next time I need something done I will give it a shot, but for now it's a bit of a shot in the dark for me.
I find this aspect of Upwork challenging as a freelancer, too. We're forced to provide a quote with our proposal, whereas on Elance we had the option to provide a quote later.
Most often, I contacted clients with a proposal and asked questions- sometimes by phone or Skype- before agreeing on a price. It's unreasonable to expect a client to determine a price. It's also unreasonable to require freelancers to quote a price without being able to ask questions first.
Has anyone found a workable solution?
This is an important topic, but it's tricky.
On Upwork, we are definitely accustomed to requiring clients to state a specific budget for fixed-price contract projects. And, yes, that tends to be the amount that contractors build their proposals around, because that is what it looks like the client wants to spend on the project.
It's a very different way of thinking than we hear about from Elance, where clients can just describe a project and leave the amount portion blank, and get quotes from contractors.
I have read posts from Elance clients who believe Upwork contractors are price-gouging them or something, because they provide quotes centered on the budget specified by the client. Clearly that is an unfair way to think about it. Any project can be done with higher or lower levels of quality, or with more or fewer features, so projects can conceivably be customized to fit any budget.
There are some good ideas being presented by Elance clients and contractors, and maybe there will be modifications in the future.
But for *now*, the best you can do if you're a former Elance client is to try to replicate your experience as close as possible. One way to do that is to put in a budget at the upper bounds of what you would be willing to pay, but then state in the first line of your job description:
"I DO NOT KNOW how much this project should cost. I put $250 only because I have to fill in SOMETHING. Please read my project description and tell me how much you can do this for, even if if the amount you quote is something very different than $250. Please DON'T bid $250."
@Andrew H wrote:My big issue with Upwork is the client has to provide the fixed price not the freelancer.
Then you don't have an issues with Upwork, because they do not require this. This topic has been asked and answered in multiple threads, and it always stems from clients who don't understand basic business terminology, and/or possibly have been confused by how poorly Elance has handled such things in the past.
The simple approach is as follows:
If you don't have a budget calculated, post it as an hourly job.
If you want to get an estimate from a freelancer, ask for one. Be sure you actually give them enough information so that a reasonable estimate can be given.
If you both agree with the estimate, convert it to a fixed price job.
I agree 100%.
"Generally we find Upwork a clunky, difficult to use site in comparison with Elance".
I can't even find a menu option for "Search for Freelancers!" I want to find people who I have worked with on Elance.com, but ... they are not coming up when I perform a search. They transferred by profile but none of my history. That seems odd to me.
I am usually buying services, not providing them, so seraching for freelancers needs to be easy for me.
Sorry to hear about your confusion. It looks like you have both freelancer and client profiles connected to your Upwork account. Make sure you click on the round icon in the upper-right corner and select the client-company from the drop-down menu. Then go to your "Jobs" tab and you should see a carousel with profiles of freelancers you have hired on Elance before. You can re-hire them here on Upwork.