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Client exploiting samples to get a free job

89am_studio
Ace Contributor

There are many clients who request samples in photoshop jobs, to test your skills, this could be ok and I often work on these tests and forward them with the proposal.

 

The problem is that some clients just use these "samples test" to exploit freelancers and get a free work.

 

Today I have applied to a job where there was a portrait to retouch as a "test", and 5 more portraits to edit as the job itself.

I have worked on my test, as many others did, and I have seen that the client replied to everyone or almost everyone who applied, me included. He told me I did a great job, but he still needed to look at the other works to decide which one to choose.

 

Well, after a few hours, he closed the job and nobody got hired, I suspect he just needed that picture retouched and have opened that job just to get the work done for free.

 

How Upwork deals with this type of situations?

The conversation is locked so I cannot even flag the client for free work.

 

26 REPLIES 26
lysis10
Community Guru

Did he close it or did upwork? It shows as the client closed it when upwork closed it. They do indeed close for "free tests." Back when I first started and didn't have my elance profile merged, I had some dude try it on me. I waited a while until I knew he had a good history of asking for free work and reported. POOF gone

natacharodriguez
Community Guru

brianajross
Community Leader

I report these types of jobs. I don't do their "so-called tests". Legitimate clients won't ask for you to work on their project without hiring you first.

 

If a client wants to see the qulity of your work, well, that's what a portfolio is for. If they have specific questions they can open an interview. There's no need for these "tests".

versailles
Community Guru

@Andrea M wrote:

 

 

How Upwork deals with this type of situations?

 


 

Upwork? Upwork has nothing to do with this. If they get involved they may suspend your account for having worked for free. So let Upwork alone.

 

However, you can do something about this. By not working for free or providing clients with free tests.

 

If you do this kind of free work, as you just did, this is a business decision. I am gonna to spend some of my time working for this client for free. This is your call, nobody's else.

 

If you make this decision, there is no need to come here and tell us about it. You don't tell us about every decision that you make, do you?

 

If you ask me, by doing this you'll get out of business very soon, but again, it's your choice. I don't do free work.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
89am_studio
Ace Contributor

The message test says it was cancelled by the client so the room has been archived, and I can't even message him anymore because of that (nor report him for free work).

I have trusted him because he has already hired 4-5 times (don't remember exactly) and payed some money.

 

I am not sure if that is normal or not but I am pretty new to Upwork (only had 2 jobs), I thought it was a normal procedure to send a sample work for photoshop jobs.

I know there is the portfolio part to show your skills, but maybe a client want to see a preview of what can you do on a specific job, and even if most of them hire after the test sample, a few of them use this exploit to get free photoshopped images.

Umm - you don't want to message someone like this. There was no job. However, if you think the client has used your samples from your proposal, Google them and make sure you get a takedown notice - DMCA.

 

The difference between a client cancelling a job and declining a job proposal, is  shown  in your connects history: Cancelled by client = connects returned.

Declined by client = 0 connects returned

I know the difference, most of the proposals are obviously declined, because of all the competition, but this time was cancelled by the client without hiring any freelancer.

The 2 connects are back, and that is fine, but he wasted 30 minutes of time to 20-50 people, without paying anyone.

.... And he never will because he got all the work + some for free .....  😞

I know it, but Upwork should allow the bidder to reopen the closed job so that he can flag it, now I have no link where to go to flag the client.


@Andrea M wrote:

 

(...) I have no link where to go to flag the client.


 https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Thank you


@Andrea M wrote:

I know the difference, most of the proposals are obviously declined, because of all the competition, but this time was cancelled by the client without hiring any freelancer.

The 2 connects are back, and that is fine, but he wasted 30 minutes of time to 20-50 people, without paying anyone.


  you got your connects back so if this is the case there's no need to flag because Upwork got wise to the scam. 😉 

he didn't waste any of his time cuz he got his work done for free.

don't ever work for free. 

I know about the connects back but we all wasted 30 minutes of our lives to make a test that will never give a chance for a hiring.


@Andrea M wrote:

 

The 2 connects are back, and that is fine, but he wasted 30 minutes of time to 20-50 people, without paying anyone.


 He needed 5 photos editing.

He got 20 to 50 proposals, and even if only 10 of those agreed to do 1 for free, and only half of those were acceptable quality, the client got their 5 photos edited.

 

Just stop doing free samples (there are some situations where it makes commercial sense to do so, but 30 minutes to win a 2.5 hour job is not one of them.)

 

The practice would stop within 24 hours if freelancers just stopped giving away their work.

Actually the test image was attached to the job so he only got 1 done, was the same for everyone.

 


@Andrea M wrote:

Actually the test image was attached to the job so he only got 1 done, was the same for everyone.


 That's a bit better. I don't mind those "as much" as the ones who clearly get their entire job done from samples.

 

Andrea, it still makes no commercial sense to invest 30 minutes to win 2.5 hours worth of work, even less so when there are 20 - 50 others.

It's not about money at the moment, what I need is feedbacks, I only have a 5 stars feedback plus a job that has not been closed by a client, so I need to build up my profile to get better chances of being chosen for future jobs.

Also when I have bidden there was like 10-15 other bidders, later they grow up to 20-50, otherwise I wouldn't have bidden with so many people.

 

Usually when I do these tests I put over the image a big text watermark with 20-30% opacity so that the image cannot be used by the client, but this time I have trusted the client too much.

 

My first job was achieved thanks to this, attaching a sample image (with watermark), however I don't do this for every job, but if I have free time is still a way to practice more even if I am not chosen for the job.

That's why you keep getting ripped off. lol You work for stars haha that's funny.

Only the first jobs to get some good feedbacks, otherwise I have no chances at all to get hired.

"this could be ok and I often work on these tests and forward them with the proposal."

 

Andrea - it is NEVER okay. Please stop thinking that the only way to succeed on this site is to give away free work. Take a poll - ask successful freelancers here how often they give away free work to get a project. Decent clients don't treat people the way this client just did. They hire you, and they pay you for your work.

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