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Can freelancers offer an hourly price for a fixed-price job bid?

ehandoko213
Active Member
Erwin H Member Since: May 3, 2020
1 of 12

Dear Upwork Community,

I wonder if it is possible for freelancers to offer an hourly price for a fixed-price job bid, or vice versa?

Thanks for your kind information.

 

Best,

Erwin

g_vasilevski
Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
2 of 12

Hi Erwin,

 

At the moment, freelancers don't have an option for this scenario. However, clients can send a fixed price or an hourly offer regardless of the job type they`ve chosen. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork
kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
3 of 12

Goran V wrote:

Hi Erwin,

At the moment, freelancers don't have an option for this scenario. However, clients can send a fixed price or an hourly offer regardless of the job type they`ve chosen. Thank you.


This is not quite true. I assume what you mean is that there is no button to press whereby you change the nature of the payment method on the project?

 

However, I have more than once bid a fixed price on an hourly project and vice versa, been awarded the project (with the payment method being changed on award) and completed it without the sky falling in. 

 

You can say within your bid whichever way is suitable for you. 

g_vasilevski
Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
BEST ANSWER
4 of 12

Hi Kim,

 

Yes you`re correct, I was referring to not having a button to send an hourly offer to a fixed price job post or vise versa. Freelancers can offer this type of contract in their proposals or discuss the details with their clients during the interview stage and decide what best works for both parties. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

View solution in original post

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
5 of 12

Erwin,

 

For a variety of reasons (including scope creep and lack of clear payment protection) I usually include the following paragraph when I apply to fixed price projects:

 

"I usually work under hourly arrangements, but I am happy to discuss a fixed rate arrangement with you for this project."

If the fixed price on a project is high enough to cover the risks I foresee on a project, then it might be a worthwhile project for me.

 

But I have very rarely found a client whose Upwork post shows a preference for a fixed price is willing to either substantially increase their contract amount or consider an hourly contract.

 

I assume this is sometimes because they don't fully understand the amount of work their project will require, but mostly I think it's due to so many clients on Upwork having very limited budgets, so they can't afford to pay more than their initial offer.

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
6 of 12
Hi Erwin, I prefer to work fixed price versus hourly. When I apply to hourly jobs I let them know in my letter that my bid is a place holder, I prefer to work fixed price and I explain how I scope the work and how this helps them control costs. It works pretty well for me. Clients don't often know the difference in the contract models so you can make it part of your pitch.
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 12

Fixed-price and hourly are two separate contract types.

 

Whenever clients try to combine the two, it is a "scheme." And it rarely works out for the freelancer.

 

As a freelancer, you do NOT want to offer an hourly price for a fixed-price job bid contract. And you do NOT want to offer a fixed-price for an hourly contract.

 

[NOTE: Edited to fix a mistake which WAS VERY CONFUSING.]

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
8 of 12

Preston H wrote:

Fixed-price and hourly are two separate contract types.

 

Whenever clients try to combine the two, it is a "scheme." And it rarely works out for the freelancer.

 

As a freelancer, you do NOT want to offer an hourly price for a fixed-price job bid. And you do NOT want to offer a fixed-price for an hourly contract.


No, YOU don't want to do this. I often do. And XX may want to if it's Wednesday (or their other favourite day) and the wind is blowing in the right direction. There is absolutely nothing wrong in proposing a fixed price for an hourly project or vice versa. 

 

No one here is trying to combine the two, but doing so wouldn't necessarily be nefarious. There can be different components to a project which lend themselves to different methods of pricing.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 12

Preston H wrote:

As a freelancer, you do NOT want to offer an hourly price for a fixed-price job bid. And you do NOT want to offer a fixed-price for an hourly contract.


Seriously? There are countless situations where that makes sense and when I do just that. Successfully.

 

Please try not to tell freelancers what they want. You know what you want. You don't know what other people want.

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

Kim and Petra:

 

You are both correct about this.

 

When I read your replies and then re-read my post I saw that I had typed the wrong word. And so that sentence "suggested" something that I don't at all agree with.

 

I often submit bids and recommend fixed-price instead of hourly, or recommend hourly instead of fixed-price, as I am sure many freelancers do.

 

I added an edit to my post, and hope it now conveys my meaning.

 

Bidding on jobs is the start of a conversation, and it can make sense to discuss alternative contract models with clients that may be different than what they posted.

 

My point here is that when it comes to actually agreeing to a contract... sometimes clients will want to add the "fixed-price" element of a set price in their discussion of an hourly contract. Freelances should not agree to that. "I'm hiring you with an hourly contract, but the cost should not exceed $100." If that is really what a client wants - a fixed-price - then he should use a fixed-price contract.

 

What I really have seen happen - including with some of my own contracts - is a client asks for an estimate of how much it will cost to do something, and hires the freelancer with an hourly contract. An hourly contract is - by definition - flexible. The client then asks for a variety of new features, changes, meetings to discuss new projects, etc. Then the freelancer has worked many more hours than originallly "estimated," and the client complained because the total cost was more than the original estimate.

 

Hourly contracts are GREAT for clients. But they do NOT imply a fixed cost, and all freelancers should be wary of clients who broadcast ahead of time that they are trying to treat one contract model like the other.

 

The converse example is if a client hires a freelancer using a fixed-price contract and then wants to treat it like an hourly contract in some ways, such as monitoring the time that the freelancer works on the contract, or asks for tasks outside of the written task description... Things that are fine to do with hourly contracts, but are not part of fixed-price contracts.

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