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I'm not on-board with any ideas to force people to choose. If some poor dude posts his first gig ever, he's a serious buyer but gets 10 junk bids, there should be nothing forcing him to choose from junk. I believe it's perfectly within their right to choose no one.
Next, I totally get bidding low when you're desperate or have 0 experience. I can't really hate on those people. However, I have had good success at bidding high, if anything to get the buyer to read my proposal. I said this in another thread, but I think buyers read my proposals just to LOL at me or say "haha who is this loser bidding wayyy over everyone else?" But, I get my proposal read, which is the first battle.
If the customer is just looking for the cheapest price and doesn't care, I"ll never hear from him. If they want quality and someone with experience, and they like my bid, I'll at least get a response to negotiate. I've gotten a lot of varied responses, but it's usually "Hey Jennifer, I like your proposal but you're kinda over my budget." At this point, I explain my high bid and tell them that they are buying into someone with hands-on, real-world experience. I think at this point, a lot of freelancers panic and throw a lowball bid. This shows that you're weak and not serious. Fail. Let the buyer throw a price at you, and then you can see where his head is at.
I also think that by replying at all to me, I'm not completely out of their budget. So, they will go lower, I'll ask them to come up a bit, and then everyone is happy. Of course, it doesn't always work like that. Can't win them all! Sometimes, they throw me something that I'm OK with, so I don't even really need to negotiate.
Bidding high gets people's attention. Freelancers think they should be scared of bidding high, so they start the lowballing. Some, I think, try to go "average" with their bid. The result is that their bids are burried with 40 other average people. While mine is at least read because when filtering by cost, I'm at the top.
So, to all those lowballers, I say "haha."
I agree with James, limiting the number of interviews the client can initiate is a good idea. I've had many potential clients waste my time, even taking me to Skype and writing me daily trying to get free technical advice, and then when I tell them I am not their consultant and they should contact me when they have a real job, they get angry and disappear. Then there're the low price workers, as James said. Seems you can earn 15 times more flipping burgers than being a computer science graduate, engineer or programmer, here's a good example: **edited for Community Guidelines**
And I agree with Jennifer. Let clients interview as many freelancers as they like. I'm totally against any development that takes control of how I run my business out of my hands. If your proposals aren't getting noticed, improve them; don't look for ways to force clients to hire you.
It's not about "taking business out of your hands", it's about:
1- helping the client decide
2- preveting the client from abusing the system
3- guarding the contractors from timewasters
So, the interview/hiring process should be made to resemble a real life scenario where the client doesn't have the time to interview 20 people, so there should be regulations in place that enforce the client to choose more carefully whom they'd like to talk to, just like how the contractor has a limited number of Connects to use, which makes them choose more carefully which job to apply to.
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