I see this way too often, and its completely unfair to the freelancers.
If a client wants to see offers for the entire project he/she needs to post the project as a fixed rate price and post their budget.
Otherwise the average bid range (I pay premium for) is completely useless.
Aditionally, there is no bar for what freelancers are bidding on the job: could be $10 or $10,000 and I have no idea of knowing.
Similarly, I see clients posting jobs with a budget of $999,999 asking for freelancers to send an offer.
Has something recently changed on the client interface? Because I've noticed an increase in hourly-based projects where they want a fixed-rate quote. And I've spoken to some befuddled people who couldn't work out how to post it as fixed rate.
Though it could be partly due to the fact that they can't post a fixed-rate project without specifying a budget. By posting hourly, it feels like the options are more open. This could easily be resolved with a category of 'open budget' or similar when posting a fixed-rate project.
Hey Joaquin, many Clients are not experienced Upwork users or business owners nor good with basic math. Many will pay $20 per hour for 100 hours versus getting the same job completed at $200 per hour in two hours. Explain the math to them; they don't know. Have a great day!
I think many clients do this because when you post a fixed price job, you are forced to make an uneducated wild guess about how much it will cost to get that job done--a guess that freelancers use to judge whether you pay appropriately for the skills required. When you guess wrong, it impacts what freelancer send proposals.
The reason that they do this is because they are seeking one of two things
1. The lowest price possible.
2. A sense of where the median price would be across all who submit a proposal.
In the case of #1, this is what drives freelancer rates into the ground. Its a race to the bottom.
In the case of #2, the client is seeking someone who isn't so low that they're desperate, but not so expensive that they wind up broke. They are seeking someone to do good work and be compensated fairly.
To submit a proposal, you should have a good idea of how long it takes to do a certain task, job, or project. I understand if thats a difficult task - trust me, the work that I perform is full of nuances that can blow out an entire bid with the smallest oversight. This is where you need to let experience be your guide. You may win some and you may lose some - the best thing you can do is keep meticulous records of how long every job takes, and finish each job like you normally would when your bid is wrong. In other words, eat the difference when you mess up. As long as you're learning from it, this stage of managing your own business (as a freelancer or otherwise) will pass and you'll grow into a better bidder and negotiator because of it.
These lessons are the most valuable to learn - I hope you find value in them.