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Re: Ask for more information before bidding?

lee2015
Active Member
Ai Nee L Member Since: Sep 27, 2015
1 of 7

Hi, is it possible to pose questions to clients before sending a proposal? I notice there are many job post that give vague information about the task. Freelancers ended up losing 2 Connects bidding for a job that doesn't fit.

 

Eg;

"Need someone to compile a list of websites and their owners." This is very vague since we need to know what kind of websites and how many contacts were required?

 

Of course, clients can choose not to reply but if they do, freelancers will be more confident to bid.

 

 

Thanks.

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 7

Ai, it's not possible to ask questions without sending a proposal, so if you're concerned about losing connects, then don't bid, especially if it's a fixed price job. Some clients will leave out details so they can keep asking a freelancer to do more work for the same fixed price, and other clients are vague because they're not sure what they want. The reason Upwork does not allow asking questions is that some freelancers will just beg the client to hire them instead of asking questions and that could drive away clients from Upwork.

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hammer66
Active Member
Michael H Member Since: Jul 24, 2021
3 of 7

Excuse me but this is an utterly unacceptable answer. You force us to bid on amorphous, half-baked, scanty, mysterious job proposals to even figure out if it's anything we could stand to do.

 

1. It is easy to punish these job-beggers by revoking their questioning ability, so that isn't a good or honest reason

2. I really have no idea what half the jobs actually are, or really entail- and you don't allow us to clarify anything, just waste alot of time bidding for an unknown job that maybe we don't want once we know the details

3. Mostly in all these e-books or creative writing projects, what I'm concerned about as a prof journo... Is the writer crazy, or delusional about their experience + ability, or pursuing some pet obsession, there is no fixing that, and then what- we get demerits if we bail on a project? You MUST make writing employers provide A SAMPLE OF THEIR WORK or DESIRED WORK so we can assess if it is right for us, or something we want to do. That is easy and fair.

4. Your setup devolves almost all power to the employer, who gets loads of supplicants with various skills, while divulging very little info. Why on earth can't we add to or amend/edit  a proposal when we forget something important?

 

5. I've been published around the world in mags and newspapers for over 3 decades, did writing projects for various companies (inc billionaires), edited/rewrote 5 books, but you don't let me use any of it to present as "completed projects"; all that counts is YOUR work, so by that standard I am a rank neophyte, which I'm not.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 7

Michael H wrote:

Excuse me but this is an utterly unacceptable answer. You force us to bid on amorphous, half-baked, scanty, mysterious job proposals to even figure out if it's anything we could stand to do.


Nobody is forcing you to do anything at all. You are perfectly free to simply move on to a job post that is more to your liking. 

 


Michael H wrote:

5. I've been published around the world in mags and newspapers for over 3 decades, did writing projects for various companies (inc billionaires), edited/rewrote 5 books, but you don't let me use any of it to present as "completed projects"; 


Of course you are perfectly free to add that work to your portfolio. In fact, that is exactly what your portfolio is there for.

roberty1y
Community Leader
Robert Y Member Since: Aug 25, 2017
5 of 7

Michael H said:

 

Your setup devolves almost all power to the employer, who gets loads of supplicants with various skills, while divulging very little info.

 

That's true, and you could argue that Upwork should do more to make them give more information in their job posts. But Upwork is more indulgent to clients than to freelancers, even though its fees come from the freelancers' earnings. As I see it, there's a simple reason for this - clients can have their way because the demand for work (for decently paid work, anyway) exceeds the supply.

hammer66
Active Member
Michael H Member Since: Jul 24, 2021
6 of 7

They probaby should be more indulgent to clients, BUT that's no reason to force both parties to blunder around in the dark- Ebay permits questions of sellers, and UPWORK should too.  That would save time, energy, and allow faster better match-ups between clients and talent (nicer than freelancers, no?). That's in the interest of everyone, since the faster proper matches are made, the more money everyone, inc the Platform, makes.

cupidmedia
Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 7

John is correct. Either you can see from other clues on the post (e.g. the clients hiring history etc) that it is a client you might be interested to work with and it's worth you bidding "blind", or you decide it's not worth it and don't spend your connects.

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