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Elance v Upwork - no contest for me, Elance wins by a mile

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
71 of 87

Hi Nick,


Thank you for sharing your experience and feedback about transferring to Upwork. I would like to note that on Upwork the client's Work History, feedback from previously hired freelancer, hire rate and average hourly rate paidcan be viewed on anyjob posting by that client. Also, you are able to post a private job on Upwork as well. Just choose "Only people I have invited can find this job" under the Marketplace Visibility option.


private job.png

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
72 of 87

Nick, Upwork does not categorize contractors into Entry Level, Intermediate and Expert categories.


Contractors can classify THEMSELVES using the Profile Settings.




But this is just a user interface element used by Search functions. It has nothing to do with rates or what jobs contractors can apply to.


How clients classify themselves and the classification clients use when posting jobs are meant as conveniences for clients to help them convey what kind of contractor they are looking for.


These things definitely have nothing to do with what country the contractor lives in. (That is the first time I have ever heard somebody suggest such and idea!)


This is helpful for both contractors and clients. It doesn't block anybody from applying to a job, and it doesn't dictate what rates a client pays, or what rates a contractor asks for.


Don't overthink this.


If you need "task x" done, and you really need somebody with great expertise to do it, select "Expert" as the option. If a contractor is willing to do that work at what you regard as "entry level" prices, then pay that contractor what she ask for and appreciate the savings.


It is that contractor's responsibility to ask for the payment that is appropriate for her. It is not a client's responsibility to determine how much a specific contractor should be paid.

Ace Contributor
Nick S Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
73 of 87

Hi Preston,


Thank you for your response. So to be clear, I could choose "Expert" level freelancer, and then freelancers would still bid for the job, and you are saying not everyone that applies will necessarily charge "Expert" rates?


I just want to make sure I understand. Thank you. 



Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
74 of 87

re: "Thank you for your response. So to be clear, I could choose 'Expert' level freelancer, and then freelancers would still bid for the job, and you are saying not everyone that applies will necessarily charge 'Expert' rates?"



You are correct.


If you choose "Expert" level when posting a job, you are indicating that you want an expert-level contractor.


This shows up in the job posting, but this does not prevent anybody from applying for the job.


You are likely to see more expert-level contractors apply, but virtually anybody could apply.


If you find that 10 contractors apply for your job, and 9 of them charge $50/hour, but 1 of them charges $10/hour, you are welcome to hire the contractor who charges $10/hour.


You may find that the contractor you hire is only somebody who thinks of himself as an expert, and wastes your time. Or you may find that the contractor is fantastic at what he does and is a great bargain, doing excellent work at a rate lower than what other contractors charge.


Hiring the low bidder is definitely the way to go if you have a lot of time and patience and can risk going through a few freelancers who don't work out, or if you are willing to hire multiple lower-cost contractors at a time and only use the work from the best of them.


But if your project is time-sensitive, or if you simply don't want to spend so much time dealing with low-cost posers, then you may wish to hire somebody from within the cluster of rates that are higher but more typical of people who identify themselves as experts.


So it really depends on your situation and what type of contractor you like to hire.


I definitely agree with you that there are contractors from countries where expenses are lower who are willing to do great work for less expensive fees. Most of the contractors from some countries aren't even worth interviewing if you have a serious project and need expert help, but many of the contractors from those same countries are real gems.

Ace Contributor
Nick S Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
75 of 87

I see. Thank you, Preston, for the clarification.


Clearly, I had an emotional reaction to the price breakdown being put in my face like that...I didn't take into consideration that Freelancers don't see this, or that anyone can apply for any level. 


I think, to be fair (as it appears I've angered many people here), you must understand that I am simply wary of Upwork trying to squeeze more money out of clients on any level, whether it ends up in a freelancer's hands or in Upworks—I'm not faulting freelancers for charging any rate they wish. I just thought it was odd of Upwork to assume everyone in every country charges the same rate for Expert level service. 


As a client, the big reason we go to sites like Upwork and Elance is to have access to a greater workforce pool and to find the best option *FOR* the most affordable price. 


I am not the enemy, I am a small business job provider. And yet I've been called "cheap" and "insulting" among other things by clearly frustrated (yet still hostile) freelancers for being honest about my experience. We are all just trying to make a living.


Thanks for your thoughts. 



Ace Contributor
Nick S Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
76 of 87

Thank you Valeria, that is very helpful! Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
77 of 87

re: "That doesn't mean whatever wage you agreed on is normal or sustainable... professionals have expenses, debts, a commensurate standard of living to maintain, and families to support."


I think this part of Douglas's statement may reflect very sincere beliefs that are important to him.


But a contractor's standard of living and whether or not a contractor has a family to support, or whether they are independently wealthy and only do work on Upwork for fun, really has nothing to do with Nick's question.


It is neither obligatory nor possible for a client to guess how a rate that a contractor quotes to him relates to that contractor's lifestyle, regardless of the country in which the contractor lives.


A client can not decide a rate for a contractor. Only a contractor can choose to decide what rate to quote when applying to a job, and only a contractor can choose to accept a job offer.


If a contractor from Country X is a genuine top-level expert, and that contractor charges $12.00/hour to do a certain type of work, then that means, by definition, that $12.00/hour is not an "entry level" rate for that contrator, but is, in fact, an "expert" rate.

Community Guru
Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
78 of 87

His point is valid though, and it is true that such low wages shouldn't exist for expert level services. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
79 of 87

re: "you don't have to care that we have a family to feed, but we charge the rates we do because it is not substainable to be paid less"


You are welcome to explain the rationale behind your own rates, but you can not speak for everybody.


Different people have different reasons for how they set their rates.


What if a contractor really needs money, but they are not very good at what they do?


Should they charge more than the person who is excellent at what they do, but has absolutely no need for they money they earn?


Who would a client rather hire?

Ace Contributor
Nick S Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
80 of 87

Again, Amanda, I disagree. An Expert in India does not charge the same as an Expert in America. They don't have the same costs of living, and you cannot assume that their work is inferior because they are not charging high-rates. It's frankly an elitist assumption from a culture that is angry that we all spent $200K on universities and are now bidding for low-paying jobs with people who can live below our Western minimum wage. 


I didn't invent the system, but it is not a level playing field. And people are pissed, I get it. 


You want me to hire Americans again? Then lower my payroll taxes, insurance costs, and corporate filing fees. The money has to come from somewhere. The biggest issue I have with freelancers is they assume all business owners are just cheap a**holes sitting on piles of cash. We are fighting the same battles you are, just using different methods.