Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Re: Why is Upwork encouraging freelancers to gouge the people hiring them?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
11 of 20

I think this represents a real blind spot for those of us who are regular Forum participants.

 

We were aware of the rate tip feature. But we largely ignored it. We assumed other freelancers were doing the same.

 

The original poster's hiring practices put him in contact with a substantial sub-group within Upwork's freelancers who DO NOT ignore it. And, in fact, use the rate tip feature in a way that seems unethical or irresponsible to the original poster. 

 

I think the "blame" for this can be shared between Upwork and the freelancers who are using this tool without much thought.

 

Fortunately there is an easy solution for the client, which is to simply reject the higher rates proposed based on the rate tip.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
12 of 20

Two points: 

 

A few posters in this thread have mentioned fixed-price contracts. It is okay to discuss that here, but that really has nothing to do with the original poster's issue. Which is strictly about hourly rates.

 

Second: I think the rate tip feature has a place. Which is to suggest to freelancers that they might raise their posted rate. I don't think it should be used to spring a new, higher rate on a client who has already received your proposal at a lower rate. It is for future consideration.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
13 of 20

@Preston H wrote:

 

 

The original poster's hiring practices put him in contact with a substantial sub-group within Upwork's freelancers who DO NOT ignore it. And, in fact, use the rate tip feature in a way that seems unethical or irresponsible to the original poster. 

 

I think the "blame" for this can be shared between Upwork and the freelancers who are using this tool without much thought.

 


Excellent point. There's also a substantial sub-group of freelancers who don't understand how the platform works, and for all we know, they may think they're required to bid the rate tip suggested rate.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
14 of 20

I remember when this "rate tip" first debuted and for a second or two I wondered if I had been making a rate mistake. The language they use around this does give off the impression that it based on good behind the scenes science at UW. However, I quickly realized that it doesn't reflect the realities of UW but, at least in my area, it does reflect rates I would get with local clients outside of UW. I've been on this platform enough to know that the rate tip isn't a realistic reflection of the majority of clients here. I don't even process the rate tip now and I had forgotten all about it until this post. I can absolutely believe there are many on this platform that would take the tip as gospel. The way the language is written around the amount coupled with an inexperienced freelancer (note, I said inexperienced and not dumb) could easily lead to the higher rate offered.  I don't agree with those freelancers who offer a rate vastly different than their profile unless they are in a business where the nature of the work would legitimately impact the hourly rate offered. I also don't agree with those freelancers who can set a lower profile rate as a bait and switch to attract clients. Of course that is separate of this issue but can also account for some of the much higher rate increases on proposals. 

 

In the end you have freelancers who - like all sellers - would like to get as much as is reasonable for their services. You couple this with the very entity that knows EXACTLY what clients are paying for these services, advising you to up your rate. What do you think is going to happen? 

Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
15 of 20

@Doug P wrote:

 

When I set out to hire some one I search very carefully - I decide what skills I need and what range of pay is in the budget.  Then I search, review skills and ratings, and interview candidates.  I spend lots of time doing this.  Then I narrow my search down to the right person and offer them the job.  They then raise their rate that was posted.  This NEVER happened until a few months ago.  Now it happens EVERY job.  In one case the rate the freelancer "offered" wanted was 400% over their profile rate.   

The freelancer should post a rate they are comfortable with and feel they are worth and stick to it for the next person who hires them.  If they feel they are worth more, they should raise their profile rate.  As jobs progress and either the freelancer becomes busier, their skills improve, or the job demands more, the rate can and should be re-negotiated between the two parties.  


 

From a freelancer point of view, I have a couple of comments, one isn't directly related but it may be a factor...

 

- I am personally curious how Upwork comes up with the suggested rate because when I see it it is usually 30-50% over my listed rate. This "feature" has been around at least a couple of years. When I first joined 2 1/2 years ago I would follow the advice because I was new and unsure of pricing. Were some of these freelancers new to the platform? When I was new, I saw the suggestions all the time, lately, I only see those suggestions occasionally.  I've raised my rates a few times over the past two years and that message is less common now.

 

- Also, it sounds like you are sending an offer rather than an invitation to interview? I know some freelancers see this as risky to accept since they can't see the client's prior reviews or history if there isn't a public job associated with the offer. I recently declined an offer for this very reason. In my case, the client didn't have a job listing and didn't actually describe the scope of the work in the offer either. I reached out to Upwork support to see if they would let me see the clients previous publicly posted reviews from freelancers. The rep said they couldn't show me that information to protect the client's privacy since he sent an offer.  The offer was hourly, but I still need to know what kind of work is involved! It sounds like your offers are clearer than this client's offer.

Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
16 of 20

@Samantha S wrote:

I reached out to Upwork support to see if they would let me see the clients previous publicly posted reviews from freelancers. The rep said they couldn't show me that information to protect the client's privacy since he sent an offer.


Not the point of the original post, but I have experienced something similar (see my posts on this thread: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Client-Info-Included-in-Direct-Offers/m-p/483289).

 

They are supposed to refer you to -- if it's available -- a public job post of the client so that you can see their past reviews. There are good CS reps who have done this for me and a few other freelancers, and yours should have provided you with that info. Try a different CS rep, because many of them have no idea what they are supposed to do. 

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
17 of 20

Doug,  the sad reality is that freelancers on Upwork run the gamut between truly talented professional people from around the world ... and the least knowledgeable and often time grandiose cheaters from around the world.

 

There is inadequate screening of Freelancer qualifications and honesty/ethical behavior. As many of us will confirm, we are constantly reporting these people to management.  For understandable  reasons we are not informed of the results - but we also check on the status of profiles we report.  Too often management does nothing - at least not of consequence.

 

I am firmly of the conviction that buyer and short-listed freelancers need to discuss the job parameters and expectations before agreeing to work together. 

 

If your jobs are mostly one-off jobs - example: translate 300 words from French to English; subject matter includes "medical terminology" or "translate 300 words from French to English; subject matter 5-10 year old storybook" the costs will vary.  Medical terminology is a far cry from a kid-lit blurb. This is true - be it on a per word basis or on an hourly one.  The same holds true for every skill set.

 

Quotes given really do depend on the quality, depth, research required, etc. for any job. 

 

I am not excusing the FL behavior you've encountered; I am trying to explain why it sometimes happens.

Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
18 of 20

Is this "rate tip" feature still in place or in test mode for only selected freelancers? I saw the other discussion and that was back in 2015. After so many years I can't believe they are still testing it! I have never seen this rate tip while applying to a job.

Highlighted
Community Guru
Kholleras I Member Since: Nov 24, 2015
19 of 20

@Sergio S wrote:

Is this "rate tip" feature still in place or in test mode for only selected freelancers? I saw the other discussion and that was back in 2015. After so many years I can't believe they are still testing it! I have never seen this rate tip while applying to a job.


 

I still see it, but not all the time. I don't know what sorts of jobs you apply to, but most of the jobs on your profile are fixed-price jobs, so maybe that has something to do with why you haven't seen it yet.

Community Guru
Gerry S Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
20 of 20

I'll charge "less" if the job is "easy".

 

But if discussions prove that things are more complicated than the original post suggested, then of course, a new rate may be warranted.

 

Conversely, a "hard" job may prove to be easy once the requirements are better understood.

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS
TOP KUDOED MEMBERS