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Goods & Services, Transactions & Fees

Let's say I get hired on Upwork to build a website. This website is a shop, where consumers buy some goods. When the user orders something, the website automatically purchases first the required item at a cheaper price from another website and then sells it to the end consumer, all in a single transaction.

Let's say I finish the project and get payed through Upwork for this job.


Let's also say that I see an opportunity to sell goods to the first website. The client never asked me to do this, but I build my own website that can offer a better price for the products that they will eventually sell to an end consumer, and they agree to use my website instead of the other one.


Do these transactions need to happen within Upwork as well?

Now, let's say that the object of the transactions are not goods but data, and my website is an API that provides the data service to the client's website for a monthly fee.


Does this fee need to be payed within Upwork as well?

Community Member

I think the most obvious way would be to pay the fees to Upwork to be able to continue the work with the client outside the platform.

This would cost around $3000.

I don't think that is correct. It varies according to your highest rate, and in my case according to my calculations it would be about 4 times as much.


In any case, I still have the same questions. Of course, if I pay the conversion fee then I can do as I like, I know that. But if I provide some automated data service to a customer I met at Upwork and I charge for each operation or using a monthly fee, how do I manage that within Upwork? or can I manage it outside Upwork without paying the conversion fee and without violating the ToS?


For example, say my API charges for each operation. Does Upwork have an API to manage deliveries, tracking and so on? Say my API charges a monthly fee. Does the customer have to manually pay me using bonuses or milestones, or is there a way for the customer to set a recurrent monthly payment in an automated way?

Community Member

Mohamed A. A wrote:

This would cost around $3000.

No, it absolutely would not!

*IF* the fee applied, it would cost $12,480- It is 12% of the freelancer's hourly rate multiplied by 2080

Where in the world did you get $3000 from?


Community Member

Marc, you aren't allowed to earn money in any way from this client or anything that came about through you meeting this client (including referrals) outside the platform for two years after meeting the client. I don't know about that specific case and that is something you absolutely need to have checked by Upwork, rather than rely on "opinions".


As to how to charge, that can be done as a retainer (salary) or monthly milestones.

The client can also set a weekly (not monthly) salary payment. That can be done with an hourly contract with the max weekly hours set to 0 and a weekly salary specified in the advanced options.

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