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Five dollar budget

Community Guru
Ray C Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
1 of 11

many job listings for a logo design, a brochure, i've even seen "Logo, Business Card & Brochure" budget $5.

I usually laugh but then i look and see that 19 applicants have applied! What is going on here? Are there really 19 people who are so desperate they are willing to do a job, any job, for five dollars? Just filling out the application and having a conversation with a client can sometimes take an hour! What is the deal?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 11

Actually, it would be $4.50 after Upwork gets 10%. It might be interesting to become a client and post a job like that, and see what $5 will get you. Not having the specific job at hand, I can only speculate about the applicants, but a freelancer who's never been hired, and there are many in that boat, might take on a job like that just so they can get a job under their belt. Way back near the end of 2012, when I started at oDesk, I did take on several small $6 web jobs. When you factor in time needed to communicate with the client, it wasn't lucrative to say the least, but it did get my foot in the door. From a client perspective, all things being equal, you're more likely to take a chance on a freelancer with limited or non-existent history on a job with a mini budget.

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A few hours later, I found a $5 job in my area of work. There were 18 applicants, and to my surprise, all but 3 or 4 do have an Upwork earnings history. So perhaps some are pursuing Preston's strategy and bidding higher than the client's budget. It does appear to be an extremely simple task, in no way comparable to creating a logo.

 

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 11
This has been discussed before. While it may not be a smart move, sometimes clients leave five dollars as a placeholder amount when they do not know how much to post as a budget. I have earned thousands of dollars from two of three jobs that posted a five dollar budget.
Active Member
Paula B Member Since: Jul 12, 2015
4 of 11

That is fascinating info to know. Thank you!

 

I am not a freelancer, other than in my own field, which is teaching kids who fail to learn to read at school All my kids leave me being able to read at grade level. I'm an online reading teacher.

 

So I understand freelance work. I started my business by accepting kids for 3 lessons a week at no charge, for a month! Those folks became my most dedicated clients. 

 

Since I'm a teacher, and therefore poor, do you have advice about how I can submit cheap jobs for Adobe Captivate 8 work, and in some way, then find the truly talented ones, who I would of course pay more? 

 

It's cool to read about the way I got myself started, and that it still occurs in other fields too. I've always wondered if I was an idiot to offer so much free time, since I had 25 years successfully teaching the same thing.

 

 Smiley Very Happy

Community Leader
Patrick P Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
5 of 11

@Paula B wrote:

 

Since I'm a teacher, and therefore poor, do you have advice about how I can submit cheap jobs for Adobe Captivate 8 work, and in some way, then find the truly talented ones, who I would of course pay more? 

 


 My advice would be to post a project that works out to AT LEAST minimum wage for a US citizen. That is not to say that you should not consider freelancers from India, the Phillipines, Bangladesh, etc, but that if you want a real chance at attracting high-quality newbies, you need to post something that pays a real - if severely undervalued - wage. After that, pay close attention to the level of expertise they exhibit in their interview.

 

Please note that if you post dirt cheap rates, you will almost certainly receive dirt-cheap work. There are rare exceptions, but the amount of time you will need to spend sorting through the chaff and avoiding scam freelancers, plus the likelihood you will have to re-post the project and pay for it again because the work submitted by the first freelancer was so shoddy, means that you'll probably spend more money if you try to spend less (that or you'll just end up settling for something you're unhappy with).

 

Just remember: It is fine that you once undervalued yourself to - as you say - get your foot in the door, and we've all done it at one point or another. But it is an entirely different thing to try to cheat and take advantage of someone else in a similar position.

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
6 of 11

@Paula B wrote:

who I would of course pay more


There is none of that on Upwork.  Too many bad clients continue to run all manner of scams to get free or cheap work.  If you want to find "truly talented" freelancers, treat them like the valued people they are.

 

On the subject of placeholder budgets: whether it's $5 or $5,000, it's unprofessional for a client to post a fixed price job when they have no idea what that fixed price should be.  You might get lucky like Preston if you bother with that sort of client, but if you don't play the lottery you'd probably also be smart to ignore those sorts of jobs.  Save your Connects for a client who has their act together.

 

Active Member
Claudio S Member Since: Jul 12, 2015
7 of 11

 In some moment we need to see facts suited to words. All the freelancers are in upwork to work but how call a proposal to translate 7000 words from English to Italian with a budgete of 10 (ten) dollars? I call it just a joke. How can we really works in upwork?

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
8 of 11

When I first started 6 years ago, I too started at $5 an hour just to get my foot in the door and have some feedback. After that I built up my price over a few months and then years to $50. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 11

re: "You might get lucky like Preston if you bother with that sort of client, but if you don't play the lottery..."

 

This is indeed an accurate way to characterize this situation. I definitely do NOT recommend clients use $5.00 as a placeholder to mean "I don't know how much this will cost... please tell me"

 

But I know that some clients do that.

 

When I apply to projects I usually apply to decent-looking projects, but I regularly apply to odd or poorly-crafted job applications.

 

USUALLY applying to these DOES NOT PAN OUT. But sometimes it is very profitable to so so. So I continue to do it.

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
10 of 11

@Preston H wrote:

When I apply to projects I usually apply to decent-looking projects, but I regularly apply to odd or poorly-crafted job applications.


I do this too (usually because there are so few good jobs around here that I end up only using ~30 Connects in a month), but my standards for acceptably-poorly-crafted just differ a bit from yours.  Even a budget that is wildly off is fine by me (assuming it's not so low it doesn't get filtered out), but I draw the line when the client explicitly states they've filled in a fake number.  If they can't be professional enough to simply post it as an hourly job, I'm not in a position to risk my JS score any further by taking on an iffy project/client like that.

 

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