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Upfront fee's help

jobsonthego
Active Member
Shaun F Member Since: Jun 11, 2013
1 of 25
Hi Fellow Clients Is anyone else having major issues with contractors and freelancers and agency staff on odesk asking for upfront payments before they have even discussed the job and done any work ? We are and its very grating on us now thats not how we do business you do the work you get paid thats how business has worked for years and years Discuss
coffman-robin
Active Member
Robin C Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
2 of 25
[quote=Shaun F.]asking for upfront payments before they have even discussed the job and done any work ?[/quote] That's what an upfront is. It is part of the initial discussion, and it is paid before any work begins. [quote=Shaun F.]you do the work you get paid thats how business has worked for years and years[/quote] Not in the world of freelancing and contracting. Upfront payments have been the norm for "years and years." Well, actually, always. Hope that helps. 🙂
brown71635
Active Member
Lorra B Member Since: Oct 31, 2013
3 of 25
I agree with that. Times are completely different now. We have people looking to take advantage of other knowing they are not going to deliver and sometimes they are not the person doing the work. Also in the past you also knew the freelancer that you were dealing with they able to see you face to face. Here that is not the case. Yes, sometimes we can see people , however then that's not the person who is actually going to do the work.
marciamalory
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
4 of 25
It's common practice to provide an upfront payment for a flat rate freelance project. This way client and freelancer split the risk. If you want to purchase a valuable item, you leave a deposit, don't you?
kirstenholmes
Active Member
Kirsten H Member Since: Apr 1, 2012
5 of 25
[quote=Marcia Malory]It's common practice to provide an upfront payment for a flat rate freelance project. [/quote] I think part of the OP's comment was regarding freelancers asking for upfront fees before the interview and before they have an idea of what the contract entails. You can't expect upfront fees when you don't have enough information yet to even come up with a fair budget offer and at that early stage, the client may not have made a hiring decision yet. As for asking for upfront payments after the interview and before work is delivered, perhaps your viewpoint would change if you knew how many oDesk contractors have work stolen from them. It is simply not financially viable to work fixed rate contracts without an upfront because half of our clients would take the work and run. If you want to pay only once work has been delivered, I suggest working with hourly contracts instead. Either way, risk needs to be mitigated for both parties, and upfront payments ensure that the risk is evenly spread between client and freelancer. When one party has a lopsided degree of power in the relationship the results will not be optimal. An insecure contractor who is unsure about whether they will be paid for the work they're doing is unlikely to deliver the results you want. Upfront payments are respectful of a freelancer's time and commitment.
marciamalory
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
6 of 25
[quote=Kirsten H.][quote=Marcia Malory]It's common practice to provide an upfront payment for a flat rate freelance project. [/quote] I think part of the OP's comment was regarding freelancers asking for upfront fees before the interview and before they have an idea of what the contract entails. You can't expect upfront fees when you don't have enough information yet to even come up with a fair budget offer and at that early stage, the client may not have made a hiring decision yet.[/quote] By that logic, the contractor shouldn't be able to come up with a price at all. Besides, the upfront free is expressed as a percentage, so it shouldn't matter. 50% of a $10 job is much less than 50% of a $100 job. It's up to the client to explain the job as clearly as possible in the description or at least during the interview. You can change the payment terms of an hourly job at the interview stage. I don't do much fixed price work; can you renegotiate the upfront payment? I've had clients disappear on me when, at the interview stage, I've asked them to clarify exactly what they want me to do. It would be nice if oDesk gave contractors the option to ask a client a question before applying for a job.
david_donna
Active Member
Donna D Member Since: Mar 20, 2013
7 of 25
I'm also on another freelancing site, and I've been reading their boards. Apparently they had that option to message clients before applying to jobs and it was abused with freelancers asking to be hired instead of the one the client has already hired, etc. that the site took the option away because fhe clients were basically harassed. I just ask all of my questions in the proposal.
marciamalory
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
8 of 25
It's too bad how people abuse the system and ruin it for everyone else. I avoid applying to jobs where the description is vague because I don't have time to write a long cover letter only to find out that I didn't want the job in the first place. Would have wasted the client's time, too.
kirstenholmes
Active Member
Kirsten H Member Since: Apr 1, 2012
9 of 25
[quote=Marcia Malory] By that logic, the contractor shouldn't be able to come up with a price at all.[/quote] Huh? Once I've heard what the job entails at the interview stage, I am able to put in an offer and propose the upfront payment I want as well as the full cost of the work. What's illogical about that? If I don't know what the job entails, how can I tell the client what it will cost? [quote=Marcia Malory]Besides, the upfront free is expressed as a percentage, so it shouldn't matter. 50% of a $10 job is much less than 50% of a $100 job.[/quote] Of course it matters. If I charge a 50% upfront and I don't know what I'm charging in full for the job, how do I calculate what 50% of an unknown amount is? Telling a client that I charge 50% upfront is meaningless to them, since they have no clue whether I am charging $1 or $100. Personally, I don't put my demands forward before the interview and I don't charge the same upfront percentage for every job--I weigh the risks and choose an upfront to suit.
coffman-robin
Active Member
Robin C Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
10 of 25
When we apply here on oDesk, the option to include an upfront is part of the process. So, it is really not unreasonable at all that a freelancer who expects an upfront would use the option to make that known. Personally, I think clients generally appreciate knowing ahead of time whether the freelancer expects an upfront, instead of having that come up after the interviewing process has begun. It is not unreasonable, if the freelancer customarily expects 50% upfront, for them to state so in the very beginning of the conversation. That way, neither the freelancer or the client needs to be bothered by clients who are unwilling to pay the upfront. Honestly, I would think that it would be more difficult to discuss an upfront after the interviewing process has begun. I would think the client has every right to expect that to be included in the original application or not be part of the discussion. 50% of the value of the job is still 50% of the value of the job, regardless of the final cost. 50% upfront is still 50%, no real need to figure out any math. That is how the oDesk tool works, too. It is percentage based, so if the job ends up requiring more work than initially expected, as the bid increases, so does the upfront amount.
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