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Do you bother applying/bidding at a higher rate than the client says is their budget?

mrdanielprice
Community Guru

As the title suggests, I'm curious as to how many people bid higher than the job's supposed budget. If so, have you ever had a client accept your bid?

 

I just applied for a job that's budget was $20. My rate would be $55 for the amount of work they're wanting, so I decided to bid at that, anyway.

23 REPLIES 23
lysis10
Community Guru

Yep, I do it all the time and I'm not hurting for contracts. I don't even pay attention to the ranges anymore from other bidders. For the most part, only a few people are actually qualified for the job, so I know that the guy might fight the urge to pick me and even might try to find someone cheaper, but if you want someone with experience and hands-on knowledge in the industry, ya gotta come up in budget. 😄

 

I don't bother with the entry level posts. If someone is looking for entry level, it tells me that they want cheap. I only bid on mid-level and expert jobs unless I have some connects to blow, which I usually do every month.

 

If the budget is something like $5 and I want $65 for 1 article, I know that I'm probably too high. But if it's something like $150 and I want $250-$300, I might give it a shot.

 

You also have to understand that the client's aim is the cheapest at the highest quality. We're looking to maximize income, so we're immediately put into a situation where we have to justify a higher price. Why am I better than the guy bidding $3/hour? I can think of several reasons.

 

Also, for some people, money isn't too much of a factor. This is usually businesses. Individuals usually have a tighter budget, so I tend to avoid them as well. Your standard blaaahger making adsense pennies can't spend $100 for an article. A business guy that needs some content for his blog because he's too busy usually prefers quality and experience over price.

and979
Community Guru

A few hours ago I made my bid for a job with a budget of $100. It's a proofreading job for 16K words, but the client wasn't giving enough details to determine if the budget was worth it. So I decided to place my bid at $160, while at the same time offering a discount to be agreed once I have the text to be proofreaded. $160 would really be my best price for an average proofreading.

 

So... some clients are unaware of the real prices on the market, some of them try and set the lowest budget possible, some other are reasonable and understand that there must be an ethic also in paying freelancers what they deserve.

 

My personal statistics say that I have never got a job in which I have placed a bid higher than the client's budget. But that's not a reason to stop trying.

I don't believe that most clients are looking to spend a specific amount of money. I believe they are looking for value.

 

Value is not the same thing as price.

 

And it is not the same thing as "cheap."

 

If your job proposal and your profile page indicates that you are offering the client a good value... meaning they'll get the most "bang for their buck," then you will get the client's attention.

 

Maybe I can hire "Contractor A" to do this job for me, at only $50.00.

 

But "Contractor B" applied, and clearly has more experience, more expertise in this type of project. "Contractor B" is going to charge me $100.00 for the same job, but that's clearly a better value for me.


@Andrea B wrote:

A few hours ago I made my bid for a job with a budget of $100. It's a proofreading job for 16K words, but the client wasn't giving enough details to determine if the budget was worth it. So I decided to place my bid at $160, while at the same time offering a discount to be agreed once I have the text to be proofreaded. $160 would really be my best price for an average proofreading.


 160 for 16k words? That is WAY too cheap!


 160 for 16k words? That is WAY too cheap!

Petra,

it's a proofreading on an existing translation. It's basically a matter of three (maybe four) hours, or even less if the translator of the source text wasn't Google Translate. Last week a client set a $20 milestone for a 10-minutes proofreading, and when I submitted my job I only asked him $10.

But if you say so maybe I should really reconsider my rates - not only as a proofreader but as a translator too. I guess it also depends on where you live (i.e. costs of living are different in Italy and in India), and you probably already know that there are people on here willing to work on the same job for 1/2 my rates.


@Andrea B wrote:

 160 for 16k words? That is WAY too cheap!

Petra,

it's a proofreading on an existing translation. It's basically a matter of three (maybe four) hours, or even less if the translator of the source text wasn't Google Translate.


 Done properly (checking every sentence against the source text for correct use of language and fixing errors, mistranslations, flow, context) proofreading of a 16 000 word translation can NOT be done properly in 3 to 4 hours.

 

That is an absolutely crazy idea. You essentially have to read 32 000 words - the source text and the translation. How the hell can that take only 3 or 4 hours, let alone less?


All you can do in 3-4 hours is reasonably carefully read a text in one language and say "Yes or No"

 

As for the cost of living being different in Italy and India - why the hell would that even matter? How many native Italian translators live in India?

 

I live in Italy and I take $ 0.02 per word for translation proofreading / light copy-editing.

jmeyn
Community Guru

@Petra R wrote:

@Andrea B wrote:

 160 for 16k words? That is WAY too cheap!

Petra,

it's a proofreading on an existing translation. It's basically a matter of three (maybe four) hours, or even less if the translator of the source text wasn't Google Translate.


 Done properly (checking every sentence against the source text for correct use of language and fixing errors, mistranslations, flow, context) proofreading of a 16 000 word translation can NOT be done properly in 3 to 4 hours.

 

That is an absolutely crazy idea. You essentially have to read 32 000 words - the source text and the translation. How the hell can that take only 3 or 4 hours, let alone less?


All you can do in 3-4 hours is reasonably carefully read a text in one language and say "Yes or No"

 

As for the cost of living being different in Italy and India - why the hell would that even matter? How many native Italian translators live in India?

 

I live in Italy and I take $ 0.02 per word for translation proofreading / light copy-editing.


The average reading speed is 250 WpM. So to just take the text in the average reader would require 2 hours. Naturally this speed can be increased by using speed reading techniques but these don't include correcting and commenting. So to correctly proofread 16k words 4 hours are ambitious.

 

Like you Petra, I charge $0.02 for proofreading human translations. I gave up on proofreading Google Translate translations, won't do them. 

petra_r
Community Guru

Joachim M wrote

 

Like you Petra, I charge $0.02 for proofreading human translations. I gave up on proofreading Google Translate translations, won't do them. 


 They (Google Translations) don't need proof-reading, they need re-translating.

 

Bad human translations need editing or heavy editing.

 

Editing costs extra. When I am given a bad translation to proofread I go straight back to the client and tell them that the text needs to go back to the translator to be fixed, or needs editing. At a higher rate, obviously.

 

I find it is sometimes quicker to re-translate than to edit a cr*p translation. But as I don't translate at the moment if I see a text like that I decline to do it.

 


Done properly (checking every sentence against the source text for correct use of language and fixing errors, mistranslations, flow, context) proofreading of a 16 000 word translation can NOT be done properly in 3 to 4 hours.

 

That is an absolutely crazy idea. You essentially have to read 32 000 words - the source text and the translation. How the hell can that take only 3 or 4 hours, let alone less?


All you can do in 3-4 hours is reasonably carefully read a text in one language and say "Yes or No"


 

Petra,

the client didn't even want to give me the original English text. I asked him for it. He just want me to check if the translation is flowing enough. So I just have to read 16000 words, and make some minor changes here and there if needed. I guess 3-4 hours are enough, given the fact is not a specialized text. But maybe I'm wrong and I'm going to make the worst mistake of my entire life...


@Andrea B wrote:

 


the client didn't even want to give me the original English text. I asked him for it. He just want me to check if the translation is flowing enough. So I just have to read 16000 words, and make some minor changes here and there if needed. I guess 3-4 hours are enough, given the fact is not a specialized text. But maybe I'm wrong and I'm going to make the worst mistake of my entire life...


 Have you seen the translation?

 

I have never, EVER (and I have been doing this for a very long time) seen a translation I could proofread 16000 words (PROPRLY) in 4 hours. And I am not slow, by any stetch of the imagination. Professional proofreaders tell me they manage a maximum of 1500 to 2000 words an hour when the text has already been professionally edited and is not technical.

 

Un-edited, or self-edited (by the translator) translated text, even at a very high level, is never like that.

There are very valid reasons why even the work produced by the highest level writers ideally goes to an editor and then a proofreader.

 

Do you remember the client I mentioned by the way? I thought it was the funniest co-incidence that with millions of freelancers and clients I would have proofread a text just yesterday that you translated (into Italian - I proofread the German version) last year. I have since figured out it was indeed the very same

 

 


Do you remember the client I mentioned by the way? I thought it was the funniest co-incidence that with millions of freelancers and clients I would have proofread a text just yesterday that you translated (into Italian - I proofread the German version) last year. I have since figured out it was indeed the very same

Well ok, he doesn't pay too much, but he promised me a free trip to Dubai Smiley LOL


Andrea B wrote

 

But if you say so maybe I should really reconsider my rates - not only as a proofreader but as a translator too.


 I think you do ...

 

I believe you and I have worked for the same client.

 

You translated his tourist flyer into Italian for less than half (!) of what I just (yesterday) took to proofread (!) the German translation of what I suspect is the exact same flyer.....

haha I love when I get paid well after seeing that someone else made half of what I did. It's not really the client's fault at that point. It's the cheap provider.

 

Or then there are jobs that I don't really want so I bid high. Sometimes I get those. I figure the price makes up for what I can see will be a PITA customer.

 

My dad was a general contractor, so maybe I just got lucky learning certain things. When you don't know, bid high! When you have red flags, bid high! If you think the guy is gonna be a pain, bid high! This way, you can at least be happy with the money should you run into problems. We see so many people here QQ because of that PITA customer and they aren't getting paid anything. Well dummy you went low!

 

 

Petra,

as you see I'm quite new on here, and I basically translate (and proofread) in my spare time. I have a full time job in a completely different field, but I wanted explore the possibility to get back to the 'old days' in which translations were enough for a living.

I had to start building my 'reputation' on Upwork, and the quickest method (for me, at least) was to start working with extremely low rates. I have already raised my rates a bit (just a bit), and I must convince myself that my rates are still too low.

And yes, as to the tourist flyer I'm pretty sure we're talking about the very same client...

christian1220
Community Leader

I started doing it recently and had some decent results. I think the difference between the client's budget and your bid is important. I mean it's one thing to bid $250 when the proposed budget is $150 and completly different thing to bid $1000 when the budget is $300.

 

Many projects are underated on Upwork. In my category I see a lot of clients who want WordPress websites for $50. I don't bother to apply but if they offer at least $150 I would go and ask for more.

 

I am working on this "strategy": I never explain myself why I bid more, instead I focus on the cover letter and try to make them respond. I try to cover more details and come up with better proposals. I think that when you're confident about doing great work you don't have to write a sentence and say it then move to another line. No, everything as a whole must give a sense of quality.

 

It's like when you spend money on something more expensive than the alternatives. They don't write on the label "hey, we're expensive because..." You just look at it and already know it's worth the extra money.

researchediting
Community Guru

Daniel,

 

Yes. Yes.

 

All the best,

Michael

iaabraham
Community Guru

I recently bid $50 for a $25 job (similar to your case). The client tried to get me to lower my price but I stuck to it. So he hired me without arguing further.

 

I completed the work, he was happy and left me 5 stars, mentioning in his feedback that it was worth paying more.

 

Clients who want quality work should be willing to pay for it, and these are the kinds of clients that you want to work with.


@Isabelle Anne A wrote:

 

 

Clients who want quality work should be willing to pay for it, and these are the kinds of clients that you want to work with.


 And, this are the clients that return with new business.

turbocro
Community Leader

Budget really doesn't matter, sometime clients don't know actual value of job..

Few days ago I bid $600on job with $300 budget and won the bid, so it's only problem to explain client why your bid is way up from their original budget...

 

jmeyn
Community Guru

@Daniel P wrote:

As the title suggests, I'm curious as to how many people bid higher than the job's supposed budget. If so, have you ever had a client accept your bid?

 

I just applied for a job that's budget was $20. My rate would be $55 for the amount of work they're wanting, so I decided to bid at that, anyway.


I do. Every now and then I'm even awarded the job. I don't put time and effort into bidding, if the price is too far off. Say, the client is willing to pay 1 or 2 Cents per word for a translation. I tested bidding my rate on some them in the past, they are too far off. Let them get what they pay for; peanuts for the monkeys. I've seen such translations in some freelancers portfolios, ranked with 5 stars. Okay, the client doesn't speak the target language 😞

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