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Upfront fee's help

Active Member
Amy Koch J Member Since: Dec 5, 2015
11 of 25

There is not an upfront fee being asked before the job is discussed. I want to discuss ALL aspects of the job at hand I bid on if a clinet comes to me interested in hiring me first. I had a clinet want to pay me to talk to me about project and hire me to talk to me about their project. This situation was very very bad because I gave the client back there 25.00 dollars they wanted to pay me to talk about their job and i did not want to work under the terms they provided, this situation lower my freelancer score for the year and the clinet and I decided that the work I do, does not fit their book series anyways. The clinet did this all when I first came onto Upwork platform from Elance, and when the guidelines on Upwork were still unclear.


On Upwork if a client wants to hire you and pay you to talk about their job: DO NOT DO IT!! Talk free of charge, write free of charge, and come to terms for the job ahead of time before you accept the job, for this is the new way on Upwork.


I am writing this because this whole thread of information DOES NOT apply to the new Upwork platform.


Thank you,


Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
12 of 25
You have to produce a quote for the job when you apply. If you can estimate how much to charge for the job based on the job description, you can estimate an upfront fee. I would not feel comfortable telling a client at an interview that I wanted an upfront fee after I waived it in my application. In that case, I think the client would have the right be angry. If the upfront fee is calculated as a percentage, it doesn't matter what the price of the job is because a low-paying job will have a low upfront fee; a high-paying job will have a high upfront fee. Besides, the client knows the full price of the job because you will have quoted it.
Active Member
Lorra B Member Since: Oct 31, 2013
13 of 25
I have had this problem. I recently hired someone and there was a 30% upfront fee. They never logged their time in the system. When the feelancer delivered the work it was not that we spoke about and I provided samples. I tried to speak to them about it but no luck. Cancelled the job and shows that they still get to keep the 30%, which in return I got nothing. Going forward I will not work with anyone who requires and upfront fee.
Active Member
Shaun F Member Since: Jun 11, 2013
14 of 25
Lorra many contractors on odesk are asking for upfront fee's and I see the new game is ask for $4 / $4.44 and they may give the project to me keep the money and I wont do the work and odesk will do nothing as well I see in 2-4 years if that long odesk wont be around at all as the clients will be gone We are also finding even if your willing to pay $500 for a simple job finding a good enough contractor is very hard on odesk We have built a small up from odesk on our skype now but they can only do simple things and they are good but take there time over everything a job you need doing in a week we now say that be 3 weeks then but we still need to go to odesk to find other contractors for other work we need doing A escrow system for fixed term and hourly pay would give the contractor hope they can see the money there if they do a good job and us the clients have peace of mind as well but clients need to check work and thats something many contractors on here get abusive about if they do that then we stop working with them and they often have things to hide and the work wont be good at all Thanks to all for replying good to get a insight from other clients
Community Guru
John B Member Since: Feb 20, 2009
15 of 25
Asking for $4? LOL! You must be getting all the low ball contractors applying or your jobs must not be appealing. Serious talented contractors ask for a lot more upfront than $4! No wonder why you are having problems you are obviously hiring inexperienced contractors. $4 to me is like one quick email worth of work. When I apply if the budget is $250 or less I ask for 100% upfront and many times I get it. On larger jobs I always ask for 50% upfront and all work on the contract is paid upfront. You need to get real!
Community Guru
Heather H Member Since: May 9, 2011
16 of 25
To be clear, I am both a client and a contractor. As a contractor, I have had too many clients who have paid an upfront fee, and those who have not-take a completed project without full payment. The upfront fee for real professionals is a safeguard that our time is not wasted. As for contractors taking a long time to get things done, that happens, but not with everyone. There are also clients, who will take a month or more to do an interview, sending several messages over skype, odesk, email ect, but never actually start anything, this is an equal waste of time (Yes, the actual poster of this thread has done this). As a client, it may seem strange, but I prefer to give a small upfront percentage, so that I can leave feedback in the event that a contractor does not follow through. I have a pretty good vetting process, so this doesn’t happen often, and those I hire, at any rate high or low (depending on job of course), are always happy at the level of trust shown from the outset, this makes for a much more suitable working environment. It is best for a client to be clear in their job posting, offer fair rates, and hire people who are actually professional, not simply good enough with a computer to figure out how to do a sub-par job. Your hiring process and choice of contractor should of course fall within your budget, but don’t let your budget dictate the LEVEL of contractor you hire.
Active Member
Robin C Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
17 of 25
Does anyone get punctuation for that $4?
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
18 of 25
I honestly thought I misunderstood what I was reading; that nobody could be complaining about having to pay $4.44 up front.
Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
19 of 25
I always ask for an upfront of 50 percent for a fixed-price job. In fact, it is a standard part of my proposal which means I am always asking for it when I submit my proposal (which is what you hate). Since it's a percentage, what does it matter if we haven't discussed the details of the job. Whatever price we agree to, I want 50 percent upfront before I even start. If you don't like paying upfront payments then post hourly jobs.
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
20 of 25
Someone made the point above that freelancers can make a habit of taking upfront fees and running. Well they could, but as they've been paid, the feedback against them would be down to the floor with comments like "he/she took the money and ran" - so then they wouldn't get many more jobs and the scam would fizzle out. Another point is, it's not just for the money that a freelancer should get an upfront. Even at 1%, (as long as it's over $1) it gives the freelancer the power to leave feedback if the client fouls up/doesn't pay etc..