๐Ÿˆ Community
ยป Forums ยป Freelancers ยป GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO COMPETE WITH 3RD...
Page options
ralphiedee
Member

GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO COMPETE WITH 3RD WORLD BIDS

Listen, enough is enough here. I'm getting sick and tired of looking at job postings and seeing bidders posting hourly rates of $3.00 ????????????????

 

Lets not beat around the bush as 99% of clients care about $$$$$$$ and this is KILLING all the great contractors on here who earned their high scores and feedback. Where are the contractors scores like Elance?  AS they were posted RIGHT NEXT TO THEIR BIDS At least when a contractor bid on a job a client can see the list along with all the information and so could everyone else looking at the job the way you have that set up now is not good.

 

So what do we contractors do? DO you expect us to go from our respectable hourly rates and lower them to 3rd world rates?

 

I've been looking at jobs that I lose and in 95% of the job loss is to some third world bidder with a ZERO score and a $3.00 an hour fee.

 

I know I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE HERE who feels like this, you people need to really take a look at this problem as these same $3.00 an hour bidders get to bid first because of their timezones is bad enough.

 

Guys can we level the playing field a bit here?

49 REPLIES 49
katrinabeaver
Member

This is a global market and contractors from the developing countries can charge that.  You just have to look over these postings because they aren't going away and neither are the contractors.  To be honest with you I have seen many people from the US, AUS and EUR charging $3 an hour also so it's not just developing countries.  There are clients here that pay great wages and some that want the $3 an hour people.  Personally I've had no problem finding clients that are willing to pay my rate but it has taken a lot of time and effort, and now I have a client base I can depend on.  

 

You just have to invest the time to find them and don't get worked up over what someone else is charging.  This is your business and you  need to run it as such.  Don't drop your rates.  Spend your time perfecting your cover letter and profile and tell the clients why they should pay more for your services.  I have actually landed a lot of projects where the client specified they wanted the freelancer with the lowest rate.  I'm not going to reveal my "pitch" so to speak but I think you can figure it out. 

 

Be patient,  It will happen.  

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
screeler
Member


@Ralph D wrote:

Listen, enough is enough here. I'm getting sick and tired of looking at job postings and seeing bidders posting hourly rates of $3.00 ????????????????

 

Lets not beat around the bush as 99% of clients care about $$$$$$$ and this is KILLING all the great contractors on here who earned their high scores and feedback. Where are the contractors scores like Elance?

 

 AS they were posted RIGHT NEXT TO THEIR BIDS At least when a contractor bid on a job a client can see the list along with all the information and so could everyone else looking at the job the way you have that set up now is not good.

 

So what do we contractors do? DO you expect us to go from our respectable hourly rates and lower them to 3rd world rates?

You'll notice, if you look, that there are many contractors who get work at their rates, so $3 bids don't bother them. 

 

I've been looking at jobs that I lose and in 95% of the job loss is to some third world bidder with a ZERO score and a $3.00 an hour fee.

 

Some third world bidder? Clients are on these forums as well you know. And they might be from those 'third world' countries. 

Did you know that some 'first world' freelancers live in 'third world' countries? 

 

I know I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE HERE who feels like this, you people need to really take a look at this problem as these same $3.00 an hour bidders get to bid first because of their timezones is bad enough.

 

Yes, many people that you don't like get the jobs for $3 an hour. That's up to them. You could, if you liked the job, just as easily make a proposal for more money per hour and explain why you're a better candidate at more money. 

 

You could stay up later or get up earlier! lol 

 

Guys can we level the playing field a bit here?


 

petra_r
Member


@Ralph D wrote:

 

I've been looking at jobs that I lose and in 95% of the job loss is to some third world bidder with a ZERO score and a $3.00 an hour fee.

 

I know I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE HERE who feels like this, you people need to really take a look at this problem as these same $3.00 an hour bidders get to bid first because of their timezones is bad enough.

 

Guys can we level the playing field a bit here?


 No need.

 

Bid your price, have a profile and portfolio that justfies it, and do your own thing choosing potential contracts to bid on wisely.

 

Ignore what those people do, they play in a different sector of the market and are not your competion!

 

PS / for context .... https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Job-Posting-time-should-be-regulated-as-US-freelancers-g...

 

starting to sound a bit xenophobic....

Many freelancers from developed countries are working for ridiculous rates too. That worries me more Smiley Frustrated

Some clients will be looking at cost only, I don't waste my time with them. I build quality sites at a fair price and those clients looking for quality work find me. I make it plain that I am from the U.S. and those dealing with me will not have to deal with language problems, cultural differences or time-zone differences of 12 hours or more. It weeds out the bargain hunters and draws those looking for quality work to me.


@Dan S wrote:

Some clients will be looking at cost only, I don't waste my time with them.

 

How do you know they're only looking at cost if you don't bid on the work and interview them? 

 

I build quality sites at a fair price and those clients looking for quality work find me.

 

Looks like you're set outside of Upwork, so why are you kvetching? 

 

 

I make it plain that I am from the U.S. and those dealing with me will not have to deal with language problems, cultural differences or time-zone differences of 12 hours or more.

 

Depends on what kind of American accent you have. Sometimes it's real hard to decipher the accents from some states. 

 

Are you only dealing with people in your time zone? That's really restricting your money-earning potential don'tchathink? 

 

It weeds out the bargain hunters and draws those looking for quality work to me.

 

Not necessarily. 

 

 

As a client, a freelancer highlighting that they spoke English and were likely to be up at the same time I am would make me feel like they were very low on selling points.

Do you value yourself?

Do you believe your work and skills are worthy a good bag of money?

Do you think that your abilities will be more attractive than your price?

 

If yes to all, then you should not be bothered by low-bidders.

 

If the client is looking for quality, i.e., your skills, the client will pay.

 

- I have a price;

- I can offer the client a good service by that price;

- If the client chooses to trust someone bidding 2 dollars the hour...

Then it's not my problem anymore.

 

I'm not saying that low-bidders are badly-skilled freelancers.

But I think that, if you're really good with something, you will want to be properly payed.

I don't think you should call "3rd world rates" ,  I have an agency placed in Boliva my country is considered "3rd world" we have been working here and on elance for many years and our rates are the same as US rates, I think "3rd world rates" is the wrong definition.

 

Cheers 


@Norman Emilio P wrote:

I think "3rd world rates" is the wrong definition.

 

Cheers 


 Norman, that is the same person who demanded that foreign freelancers be banned from seeing new job posts until he gets his backside out of bed so he can bid on them first....

jessicasimko
Member

I am in a completely different category from you, so this may not apply to you,  but do you look at who applies for jobs? I just got invited to a job that within 20 minutes already had 10 proposals - most very cheap... many under $5. I applied at my typical rate without a thought. The thing is... only ONE of the 10 is even remotely experienced and even that one isn't really experienced.

 

 If I was the client, I would probably NEVER come back here again, because if I didn't apply (I am completely qualified) all she would have to look at are data entry, SEO, customer service people applying for a job to write her resume. If I came back and only saw THAT.... THOSE are the people applying to write my resume, I would be appalled that people who aren't even remotely qualifed are wasting my time and I would write this site off as garbage. 

 

Just being honest.. lol

 

I guess my point is... look at the proposals. Are the people even qualified?  Which.. I understand.. may very well be the case in your category.  In mine, no matter how many people apply, there are typically only up to about maybe 5 people who are truly qualified to do the job and I would consider a "competitor" although I don't tend to look at other people in my category that way.. but the other 15 -20 -30...  they typically never get hired so they are just more of a huge pain for the client and a real disservice to them.

The expression 3rd world strikes me as offensive. It's also outdated. And, most importantly, denotes a tendency to stereotyping. All of which should be avoided when one's working on a global platform.

What sometimes happens is that some people only choose those with the lowest price, not looking at their qulifications. They then get what they paid for, are unhappy with the product, and blame Upwork for the poor results rather than blaiming themselves for choosing someone that was not qualified to do the job. I have seen many job postings that start out with "I have an unfinished project..." or "I have had poor results with Upwork in the past but will try once more..." or "My last developer bailed on me, leaving me with a site that doesn't work". They then try to talk me down on my price because they have already spent money with someone else and have nothing to show for it. Perhaps Upwork should stress to new clients to look over the qualifications of providers first, pick out those that seem to be able to do the work, interview them, and compare price as the last step.


@Dan S wrote:

What sometimes happens is that some people only choose those with the lowest price, not looking at their qulifications. They then get what they paid for, are unhappy with the product, and blame Upwork for the poor results rather than blaiming themselves for choosing someone that was not qualified to do the job. I have seen many job postings that start out with "I have an unfinished project..." or "I have had poor results with Upwork in the past but will try once more..." or "My last developer bailed on me, leaving me with a site that doesn't work". They then try to talk me down on my price because they have already spent money with someone else and have nothing to show for it. Perhaps Upwork should stress to new clients to look over the qualifications of providers first, pick out those that seem to be able to do the work, interview them, and compare price as the last step.


This is probably very accurate across the board then because I rewrite resumes that were already rewritten... ๐Ÿ™‚  I guess the thought/excitement of getting a job done so cheap doesn't make clients stop and think of the classic phrase "you get what you pay for".  

This is similar to the old college research/admissions paper mill schemes where students paid money to receive a completed paper that alledgedly met all their research and assignment needs, but upon receipt the paper showed spelling errors, poor grammar and less than due diligence with research.  Likewise, the lower the price, and the minimal vetting by Upwork, leads to poor quality work product and clients left to caveat emptor when buying a provider.  Upwork should view itself as a recruiting and placement site, and add background and verification of work history.   Or, make work portfolio a requirement--sample web design and products (even code listings, if not snapshots of working application screen) as part of freelancing profile submission.

 

MJ


@Dan S wrote:

What sometimes happens is that some people only choose those with the lowest price, not looking at their qulifications.

 

 

Yup, that happens. 

 

They then get what they paid for, are unhappy with the product, and blame Upwork for the poor results rather than blaiming themselves for choosing someone that was not qualified to do the job.

 

But aren't you kind of blaming Upwork for the $3 thing? 

And, it's hard to admit one's wrong so some people tend to blame other people. 

 

I have seen many job postings that start out with "I have an unfinished project..." or "I have had poor results with Upwork in the past but will try once more..." or "My last developer bailed on me, leaving me with a site that doesn't work".

 

 

It's a shame some people have to go through that, but it's a lesson learned. Hopefully. 

then try to talk me down on my price because they have already spent money with someone else and have nothing to show for it.

 

But if they're desperate, and you're the best person for the job, you've got the upper hand when they contact you. I'm assuming you're not flat broke, so it's either they go with your price or they don't. But if they go cheap again, and come back to you, you have the option of upping your price. I know that's kind of mean, but it's how I've seen it done in the construction business. 

 

 

 

Perhaps Upwork should stress to new clients to look over the qualifications of providers first, pick out those that seem to be able to do the work, interview them, and compare price as the last step.

 

It's up to the clients who need work done to do what's right for their business. Upwork could suggest, but they can't help if the client doesn't heed the advice. 

 

 


 

I do notice that when a contractor has been burned by the $3.00 and hour people, they post in all caps and dare anyone new to NOT FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS! LOL. 

marcyscreed
Member

The best thing you can do is to simply not compete. Find jobs that pay well or with a good budget. Check the client's history for payments - how much did they pay previous contractors and how much is the average pay? These alone will tell you if the potential client can (or will) afford your rate. If they don't, you can move on to the next. You can still send a proposal if you wish to try though. The client may change his mind (in terms of rates preference) if he finds you valuable. But it isn't other freelancer's fault if there are clients who need to stick with a budget. In poor countries (3rd world you say), $3 is a lot and can be enough for a day's expenses. You can't always associate low rates with poor quality; some places just have a low cost of living. 

tlsanders
Member

You're not losing work to $3/hour builders--people who are looking to pay $3/hour were never your market. You're wading through a lot of postings that aren't the client base you're looking for (which affects all freelancers and is somewhat tedious), but those people who want to pay $50 to have a website built aren't your prospects any more than the ones who want to pay $70 for a 10,000 word e-book...and they still wouldn't be, if the $3/hour or fraction of a cent a word freelancers weren't here.

lomen_jan
Member

Top quality contractors charge quite hefty prices even in Somalia., Russia or Seattle.  I am more pissed when clients from "developed countries" need job done asap (that would usually take more than 10 hours) and offer 5$ for it. 

And all those who charge cheap and work good are forced to raise their fee sooner or later. 

If your job could be done by someone for way cheaper price I suggest you to highlight your qualities more.  Tons of those cheap contractors have some visible flaws that would wand off those clients who want their job done good. 

I really don't want to rain on your parade, Ralph, but your post depict you as someone who is insecure about your skills and quality. To be honest even the quality beasts of freelancers are disposable and replaceable. You could consider rebranding yourself. 

Now, let me tell you more about my angle. I live in beautiful peninsula of Istria, western part of Croatia. We have here western EU prices and we are way more expensive than the rest of my country. My region is leaning more towards Italy than Turkey. It is a tourist heavy region and every waiter speaks at least 2 foreign languages. When someone sees that I'm from Croatia, they think more Eastern Europe than Italy. I have to explain them that I live nearer to Milan than Belgrade. Is it fair? No, but I cannot do nothing about it (unless they are ready for a portion of history and geopolitics). However, I brand myself as quality achiever, trend connoisseur and edgy creative. It works for me and gives me that extra je ne sais quoi that some clients need. 

Belgrade is expensive and beautiful as well, As well as Sarajevo, Sofia and the rest of the Eastern Europe. 

 

So whatever you wanted to say with this: "When someone sees that I'm from Croatia. they think more Eastern Europe than Italy. I have to explain them that I live nearer to Milan than Belgrade..." is just the example of your own prejudices and stereotyping.

More importantly, it is inaccurate.

 

And OP doesn't have to look far.  He can just look around himself  because where he lives many, many Ivy League grads work full time for a metro card, sandwich and a chance to add some big names on their resume. 

 

Focus on yourself, people.

 

 

 

 


@Natasa M wrote:

Belgrade is expensive and beautiful as well, As well as Sarajevo, Sofia and the rest of the Eastern Europe. 

 

So whatever you wanted to say with this: "When someone sees that I'm from Croatia. they think more Eastern Europe than Italy. I have to explain them that I live nearer to Milan than Belgrade..." is just the example of your own prejudices and stereotyping.

More importantly, it is inaccurate.

 

 


Belgrade prices are cheap compared to my hometown.  Most expensive places there fall under mid range here where I live. 

Next, I was not making any prejudices and stereotyping, people are doing that. My region was never part of Croatia untill 70 years ago.(don't let me started about historic and cultural heritage that actually is different from the rest of my country, and I dare it to expand to whole region). 

Regarding distances, I would like you to place a bet on it. 150$? 250$? If I'm wrong according to your book, you have nothing to lose. ๐Ÿ˜‰

No, I have better things to do (and beside, that was not the topic-I just had to react to that inaccurate data.)

 

I was in Lovran this summer (beautiful city btw) and I was speaking from my own experience. 

 

But probably you live in some other Istra, and I live in some other Belgrade... 

Natasa M wrote:

No, I have better things to do (and beside, that was not the topic-I just had to react to that inaccurate data.)

 

I was in Lovran this summer (beautiful city btw) and I was speaking from my own experience. 

 

But probably you live in some other Istra, and I live in some other Belgrade... 


 

Dear Nataลกa,

You don't have to dabble in dark arts to find out this fact:

Distances:

Lovran - Milano: 498.61 km or 398,08 km by air

Lovran - Belgrade:  570,87 km or 489,02km by air.

Despite the your summer experience, the word you are looking for is "sorry".

If you wanted to react to my fact driven data,  google before you post.

To stay on topic, yes, clients see eastern Europeans as a surrogate to freelancers of Asia.  They project stereotypes that people from "Eastern bloc" are still cheaper to first world, despite that some regions are catching on to western standards.  How western stereotyping could be culturally wrong; just take Borat as an example. He doesn't portray Kazahstan at all, but some region that you hail from.  I wrote all that so point how peoples prejudices can miss the mark completely due lack of knowledge/facts. 

 

Stay safe and deuces.

Jan

I wouldn't mind being seen or labeled  "as a surrogate to freelancers of Asia..." 

What that supposed to mean? Should I find that offensive? 

I do not. I 've actually many friends from Asia who charge ten times what you do.

 

Actually, I am planning on going to Singapore this year-then I 'll really be a freelancer from Asia! (If I have time for that there...) 

 

As to whether will someone view someone else as a cheap labor because s/he comes from a certain country-well, I won't work for that clients at all, so I couldn't care less. 

I was not referring to the geographical distance when I said that your data is inaccurate-more to the fact that you were alluding that Belgrade is cheap (or cheaper) for living.  Belgrade in which I live is not. (Edit: And I didn't see any Borat(s)  here-I wish! Funny guy...)

 

And in general that whole "foreign countries, low rates" agenda is highly inaccurate.

 

There are many people from all walks of life who for whatever reason work pro bono or at low rates, because they get some non-monetary value out of it. This is not limited to any country in particular. 

 

There is no sense in focusing on others (because there will always be someone cheaper) but taking care of yourself and your own business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strangely I never thought of Croatia or Bosnia or Serbia as "Eastern European" in that sense at all, let alone "Third World"

 

Hell, I am much closer to both Croatia and Bosnia (and quite a bit of Serbia including Belgrade) than I am to Milano...... As far as Iยดm concerned Milano is Switzerland with people who happen to speak Italian...

 

PS - useless trivia of the day: At Bari Ferry terminal there is still a sign directing you to "Jugoslavia!"

 

car ferry.jpg

Holy cow, Istria is beautiful!

versailles
Member

Listen you guys, enough with your Croatia, Serbia, Italy and I don't know what other underdeveloped primitive third world country. France maybe, while we're speaking about primitives.

 

You're preventing Americans like Ralph to breathe. Give them some air and stop bidding on their jobs. You hear me? You ugly foreigners, with your strange customs and your strange languages.

 

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless
lomen_jan
Member

I am so going to take this ferry sign photo, Petra. It's bloody awesome and outdated.South of Italy is one beautiful decay.  

And yes, If I can still remain my prices with cheaper competition around, I guess I'm doing something good. 

I'd love to see some obscure country like Norway. ๐Ÿ˜„ 

Skilled and experienced freelancers shouldn't worry about low-priced competitors from any country. 

 

Why? 

 

Because experienced contractors shouldn't be targeting cost-conscious buyers in the first place and, therefore, they shouldn't be losing (very many) jobs to low-priced freelancers.

 

When I first joined Elance in 2002, I also used to grumble (to myself) about the cut-rate fees proposed by competitors.  As the years passed, and I read and wrote books on how to market professional services, I realized that I should be positioning myself as a premium services provider to premium (usually larger) buyers.  Once I started doing this, my income skyrocketed and cut-rate competition disappeared as a concern.

 

I recommend you adopt this same marketing approach.

But the truth is some clients only look at lower rates and I have seen in some of the job that says is "Selection Criteria is based on lowest bid", When I saw this line I did not apply for that job. Period.

Is there any minimum standard rate applicable here? Like, in companies , there is a minimum salary is defined for that job. So something  similar to this can be done here?

 

For hourly jobs, there IS a minimum rate. It's $3.00 an hour. Unfortunately for fixed rate jobs, there is NO minimum rate. So contractors on those jobs can technically bid 50 cents if they wanted to.

Unni wrote:

"Is there any minimum standard rate applicable here? Like, in companies , there is a minimum salary is defined for that job. So something  similar to this can be done here?"

 

Unni,  Upwork's minimum rate is meaningless. The minimum standard rate for freelancers is the value they put on themselves. It is important to learn how to recognize those clients who go for bottom feeders and how to avoid them. It can take a while. 

 

evansonkeith
Member

I know this was posted in 2015 and I just search the topic and found you on the web. I agree. I have a question. What was your solution? And this goes out to others too.

re: "What was your solution?"

 

Whether or not there needs to be a solution depends on the person. It also depends on the job niche. Some niches can be commodicized more than others. I offer specialized services at a very high level of quality and expertise. Very few people anywhere offer what I offer, so I don't worry about competition from "3rd world bids" or from anywhere else.

 

From my perspective, if a client can hire someone from "Country X" to do the same task at the same level of quality for $100 that it would cost to hire someone from "Country Y" to do it for $1000... then it makes no sense to hire the more expensive person.

 

In the real world, clients routinely hire more expensive freelancers because the clients are cheap, selfish, thrifty, greedy, self-centered and only looking out for themselves. That is a good thing. Self-serving clients are a good thing for a freelancer such as myself, who charges higher rates. Because those clients know that the more experienced, more expensive freelancers in my job niche will end up saving them money.

 


Preston H wrote:

re: "What was your solution?"

 

Whether or not there needs to be a solution depends on the person. It also depends on the job niche. Some niches can be commodicized more than others. I offer specialized services at a very high level of quality and expertise. Very few people anywhere offer what I offer, so I don't worry about competition from "3rd world bids" or from anywhere else.

 

From my perspective, if a client can hire someone from "Country X" to do the same task at the same level of quality for $100 that it would cost to hire someone from "Country Y" to do it for $1000... then it makes no sense to hire the more expensive person.

 

In the real world, clients routinely hire more expensive freelancers because the clients are cheap, selfish, thrifty, greedy, self-centered and only looking out for themselves. That is a good thing. Self-serving clients are a good thing for a freelancer such as myself, who charges higher rates. Because those clients know that the more experienced, more expensive freelancers in my job niche will end up saving them money.

 


Agreed. Prove to be a good investment and clients will invest in you. 

paywell
Member

I believe the solution would be introducing multi-level interviews.

A Client would have to create a test-job and upload the solution.

All proposing parties would upload their version of it. 

And, whoever is chosen - gets the $10 or so for the completion of the test task.

After this, the solution is shown to all participants. 

 

In my opinion, those $3 bidders are usually just "fillers", unable to complete the task.

Giving them a sample task to complete would filter them out quickly. 

 

TLDR: I think the high amount of jobs with no hires shows, that qualified Freelancers are invisible to the Client. Because of lowballers, boosters and the platform's technical issues. 

Nope, clients can still find low price best quality... most rational person would seek out for best price - best quality. Try buy something from an online market place your self, what would be the first filter option you'd go for ? average people will filter price !.

miriam-ocampo
Member

You know there's a section on the job being offered where it mentions an average of the hourly rate they pay and other interesting things about the customer. I never bid on jobs that pay less than 20 USD dollars per hour,  why should you? By the way, I live in a 3rd would country and I get hired at different rates and all over the world, it depends on the expertise, not the price. 

I have been getting fewer jobs these days, but it's not because of the price, I think it might be the boosting option, but there's no way for me to know if that's the reason, it could be a coincidence. 

Also, I don't think many employers or colleagues appreciate it when you are derogatory to people from other countries, it doesn't look professional. 

Upcoming Events
Dec 13
Succeeding with Clients Talent Toolbox
Dec 21
Virtual Community Hour Community Hour