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Increasing Transparency in Boosted Proposals

Our team recently launched a test to increase transparency around bidding in Boosted Proposals to help you make a more informed decision around spending Connects.

Check out the product update about this test here and let us know your thoughts about this update in the comments below.

~ Valeria
863 REPLIES 863
Community Member

I have been silent on the forums since the new bidding war began but now feel a need to speak up simply because it's something that should not be withheld from Upwork. I still think Upwork is the best place to work online but as we all know they threw us a curve ball last year and this is what happened to me.


When the major companies such as Google and Microsoft during post-COVID made their decisions to outsource to freelancers rather thank re-lease their very expensive buildings, of course, the freelancer market was flooded.

I noticed in June that the ability to get good contracts was difficult and it got worse as the months drug on.


I was working exclusively through Upwork, and as a result, I had to take on projects that were not my speciality.


Even thought I had developed the ability to screen thoroughly - I had to take on clients that I knew were not going to optimal and then when the bidding war bomb was dropped, of course, it got worse.


My score was lower steadily after having spent a year getting it back up 100%, it dropped to 94% because of an especially cruel client in December.


So, by the end of December, my credit cards were maxed out, and I was literally going to be homeless.  I called my daughter in Indiana (I lived in Oregon) and she offered to help me. Her and her husband drove all the way from Indiana to Oregon with their truck and trailer and loaded up my 99 Firebird, all my furnishings and moved me back to Indiana to live with them.


So, now I can build my client list slowly and I don't have to knowingly take on bad clients. But because of that one horrible client in December, who left a scathing review of exagerations and outright lies, I've only been able to get one new client in three months along with two repeat clients who "still like me". Of course, I have to get 10 new reviews before I can have that one removed. I figure that will most likely take about 3 years to get back to the volumn on Upwork I was doing before June 2022.


What did I do wrong? I put all my eggs in one basket. I believed the UpWork videos of the young freelancers who giggled and stated "I work exclusively for UpWork, because that's what works for me. Tee-hee!" Very misleading. I don't watch the Upwork marketing videos anymore. And, I feel like an idiot for believing them.


So, yes, I still submit proposals on Upwork, but only if I truely appreciate the description. In the meantime, I'm going through the process of recruiting new clients off Upwork. That takes a long, long time because for one thing, it's a new process that I must now learn having never done it before.


However, I'm certainly not going to let it deter me from doing my very best to rebuild my business both on Upwork and now, off Upwork. I will never again put all my eggs in one basket.


I've been in this world a long time and I absolutely believe that there is always hope. So, when I get bucked off, I get right back up, dust myself off, and get right back on the horse. That's what I recommend to every other freelancer who experiended similar circumstances to mine.


Best of wishes to everyone,

Susan Daniels


The same. Since the fatidic summer of 2022 I am uncertain about income here. I don't know if the bidding or what the hell, but that like by a curse is not as it used to be.

Probably also is that, the sea of freelancers swimming besides us.

Community Member

You should return to old ways where bidding is hidden or invisible. So, it doesn't have to push people into competing with bidding wars.

Community Member

This is getting ridiculous... I just saw a job posting with 300 connects bids. Upwork eats a massive fee from the hiring party, eats a huge fee from the freelancer, and they seem to be making a small fortune from the connections alone. 

Hi Tiago, today I saw one with 1000 connects

Community Member

This is the dumbest idea Upwork had since they were Upwork, like the beginning. You telling me that a freelancer or agency, that spent couple years building their reputation means NOTHING, because I can sign up today with no Upwork rating and buy $50 connects or 3000 connects, then I can waste 300 of them on a project bid bypassing the top freelancer on Upwork??? 


Come on. The guy at Upwork that had this idea should be fired. You job is to connect a user in need with top freelancer to provide the service, yet you went from doing so to just looking out of how much $$ you can make of anyone. Connects aren't expensive, nor cheap. That doesn't really matter, what ruined Upwork for Freelancers and Businesses looking to outsource work is the boosted listing. Now a days, a business that comes into Upwork will hire a freelancer that had a good written profile, no experience, etc.. but got hired because the freelancer that has the skills and years to prove it, got moved to the bottom of the list because the inexperienced freelancer bid higher and had the $$$ to do it. Yet, inexperienced freelancer out of business by next week because he won't deliver the service as it should of been for the business in the first place. 


Turn off the boosted feature Upwork, stop thinking its all about $$$ even though it might be. Us, freelancers still bought your connects, still paid for subscription plans, and we delivered top quality service to businesses. This boosted bid feature is junk. Does nothing for the right freelancer and the worst for the business that comes to Upwork looking to connect, service. 


Very disappointed!

Community Member

I require additional invitations to my profile. The current number of invitations I receive is insufficient, and I am in need of employment opportunities. Unfortunately, my two current jobs have been put on hold. It is disheartening to see a lack of invitations and job offers. However, I am confident that with more invitations, I will be able to secure the employment I require.

Reading through some of these replies, looks like Upwork is on a mission to lose their most trusted and dedicated freelancers that delivered work through the years and now with this bid system, less invites, less winners. It even looks like businesses posting jobs are moving away. Time to look else where I guess. So long Upwork. 

You can't depend on invitations. When you are new, they are likely to be scams. You have to apply for jobs to get jobs. Take a hard look at the job to make sure it seems legitimate. Then see if you can honestly do the job better than most people. If those checks aren't there, you shouldn't apply. Throwing connects at jobs will only make you poorer.


There are successful freelancers who have survived changes. However, they have good skills and know how to use the platform. I'm sure with your confidence, you will have more jobs.

Community Member

Please, why is my proposal not getting viewed anymore? ☹️

Community Member

As a newcomer to the Upwork community, I feel compelled to share my opinion on the bidding system. I find the bidding process itself acceptable for both serious professionals and Upwork. However, what frustrates me is the excessive boosting of bids, which often leaves me pulling my hair out.

For example, I recently came across a job on Upwork with a fixed price of $30, but to place a bid on it, I would have to use a staggering number of connects. In this case, it required around 70 or 80 connects, which amounts to a cost of $12 (0.15 * 80). It's disheartening to consider investing such a significant number of connects and the associated financial expense when there's no guarantee of actually getting the job.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that the Plus membership on Upwork only provides 80 connects per month. This means that if I want to bid on multiple jobs or secure more opportunities, I would have to purchase additional connects throughout the month. This further burdens freelancers financially, making it even harder to compete in such a bidding environment.

Given these circumstances, it's extremely difficult for someone like me, a regular Upworker, to compete effectively. The high number of connects required and the uncertain outcomes create an imbalance. It seems that those with more connects or resources have a significant advantage, making it increasingly challenging for new or less-established freelancers like myself to secure jobs.

While I understand that Upwork's bidding system aims to encourage serious professionals and foster fair competition, the current structure presents obstacles for many freelancers. It would be beneficial to explore alternative approaches or make adjustments to the bidding system, ensuring a more level playing field for all participants.

This: ".... Upwork's bidding system aims to encourage serious
professionals and foster fair competition, the current structure presents
obstacles for many freelancers." is a joke. They set up this bidding method
and being required to buy connects to make money.

Yes, a $30 flat rate job and spending $12 for boosting your bid would be
idiotic crazy. And you don't know that you'll get the job! Not to mention,
you'll come out with maybe $25 or less after all the fees Upwork charges

I miss the days of oDesk.
Community Member

Well, they wanted to get ridd of SCAM freelancers, now they have them in the top places and clients are leaving. Some post many Times the same job - but they can't find the good one, which is AT the bottom, After the developing countries pay 500 connects to be on top. Interesting to see if Upwork is able to understand that

Community Member

That's not the problem

Community Member



Community Member

It is very clear that the proposal boosting system is only beneficial for Upwork and neither good for freelancers or customers. 
We are all unsatisfied with this. I'm just curious to see how long Upwork will keep it and whether will they risk their top freelancers to leave the platform! 
What's the purpose of getting a top-rated badge if you can outscore the others with $10 in a proposal? 

Community Member

I don't know why upwork introduced this, it is completly unfair for the new freelancer. A single job of $100 is getting top bids of 50-75 connects. Spending this much connects on single job is like completly impossible for a new freelancer. It's a request to upwork to look into this and help new freelancers to bid.
Big agencies are bidding 50-75 connects on each new job which diables a new freelancer and any other emerging freelancer to bid on these jobs. Big agencies are already established and have good moneyflow and they can purchase a smany connects as they can. Please look into this upwork. THIS FEATURE IS MAKING YOUR PLATFORM UNFAIR.

Community Member

Check this.. how a new freelancer bid on this job?? Upwork you must look into this.

Community Member

Upwork is becoming boring; I don't know if I am the only one noticing it due to amount of proposals and yet no job.

Upwork should do something about this.

Community Member

Please check this feature and find is it working good for new freelancers?


Increasing Transparency in Boosted Proposals""

Don't you think it is more transparent for those who have a good amount of money.
How a new freelancer can do this. How a new freelancer can bid this much of connects.

Community Member


I thought I was the only one who felt that the boost proposal feature was meant to drain our connects and make the company more money. I bought 60 connects yesterday and submitted four bids. I remain with only 12 connects, meaning I must pay another $10 today to get more connects; otherwise, I won't be able to submit any proposals. 


It's as if the company is arm-twisting us freelancers to pay at least $10 per day to bid on the platform. 



Community Member

As if that wasn't enough, they even silently increased the number of connects you must spend to bid on certain jobs from 12 to 16!!!! This is unbelievable and I hope they do away with the feature. 

Community Member

Hi Upwork
I've been using platform since 2016 and that was only way of working with my clients since I found it important to build the best working history here. In addition, I didn't use any other freelance platforms because of the same reason.
I never had any issues in finding new client to work with since I'm confident in my skills and experience and I can provide the best results.
However something that happens in the last half a year is terrible especially with adding connects bidding system.
I found the situation hilarrious when for a job post that might just get archived without hiring, people are bidding 1000 (150.00$ Tax) connects and more which then just dissaper without any profit.
Even though it's a great business model for you it destroys all of the attitude to you as a reliable platform where JSS and previous history of work should be at the first place.
Thank you for the attention.

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