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High Upwork fees

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
21 of 26

Johnathan M wrote:

"
"The fee is voluntary."
Well, DUH, yeah. But not really - it's not like it's a donation and I can just pay Upwork whatever I want to. It's ony voluntary to the extent of, "If you want to get any work from here, here's what it costs. If you'd like to try to live without any income, then you can VOLUNTARILY opt not to pay it."

 

Exactly: if you find it more cost-effective to work through Upwork despite the fee, then you can choose to do so. If you could generate a larger profit finding work through other channels, any sensible person would of course choose to do so. So, only those of us for whom the arrangement is profitable will choose to stay (unless we're very, very poor business people).


The fact that it's voluntary has no bearing at all on the question of whether or not it's a fair or reasonable fee.

 

Sure it does. Because, again, if what you're getting from Upwork isn't worth the fee, you will of course leave.

 

Just a point of information: With most successful companies, the price of their goods or services goes DOWN as they become more successful, not UP - this is due to the business achieving economies of scale.  In short, when a business is first starting out and has few customers/clients, it might need to have a 50% profit margin just to make enough absolute dollars to stay in business - but once it has, say, a thousand customers, it can usually afford to do with a lower overall profit margin. Well, Upwork isn't shy about crowing its success, but apparently, for Upwork, having twice as many customers somehow necessitates them charging twice as much for their services. (Can you spell "GREED"?)

 

I don't know where this "crowing" is going on. Upwork has never made a profit. Even after raising fees to stop bleeding money on the tiny jobs that were a net negative for it, the company continues to operate at a loss. 

Just out of curiosity, do you think it's fair that the freelancers should have to bear the burden of providing 80% of Upwork's total fees while clients only contribute 20%? Between clients and freelancers, who do you think generally has a greater ability to bear the cost?

 

Clients provide 0% of Upwork's fees. What the client pays is a payment processing fee that is charged to Upwork and passed on to the person processing the payment.

 

I think that's entirely fair, since Upwork saves the freelancer a huge amount of time and money while providing almost no services to the client.

 

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
22 of 26

Johnathan M wrote:


Just out of curiosity, do you think it's fair that the freelancers should have to bear the burden of providing 80% of Upwork's total fees while clients only contribute 20%? Between clients and freelancers, who do you think generally has a greater ability to bear the cost?


100% of the money comes from the clients.

Oh and the client payment processing fee is 2.75% - not 4%

 

The fee is also only 20% for the first $ 500, then it drops to 10% and eventually to 5%.

When the fee increased I recalculated my prices to take this into account, which means I was no worse off, and after $ 500 / $ 10.000 I get a rate increase.

 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
23 of 26

Johnathan M wrote:

because I do build Upwork's fees into my fees and I tell clients that right up front, that part of the reason for my fee is that when they pay me $100, I only end up getting $80.) Since Upwork DOUBLED their freelancer fees, I'd estimate that about three-out-of-four of the many clients I've dealt with have asked me about making payment arrangements outside of Upwork.



Well, that's hardly surprising, since you're raising your rates and then announcing to client's that you'd work cheaper if you didn't have to pay Upwork fees. Sounds more like YOU'RE asking to work outside of Upwork, but doing it in a way that makes the client think it was his idea.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
24 of 26

J.B. Maverick:

I do not doubt that you are sincere.

 

But the types of questions you are asking just don't hold resonance with me.

 

When it comes to Upwork, I'm clearly not as philosophical as you are.

 

I'm more of a mercenary than a philosopher.

 

Consider this case study:

 

John worked for 10 hours on "Platform A". He earned $1000.

 

John worked for 10 hours on "Platform B". He earned $2000.

 

He did the same type of work on both platforms.

As a mercenary, I look at these numbers and think that Platform B is better. Because John earned twice as much.

 

But I haven't told you the full story yet:

 

Platform A charges a 5% fee.

Platform B charges a 30% fee.

 

The philosopher looks at the 30% fees and says "That is bad." Or "that is unfair."

 

The mercenary doesn't care that Platform B has an "unfair fee percentage." The mercenary is just glad that he earned twice as much money working on Platform B.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
25 of 26

Upwork can't report earnings to its shareholders even with its current fee for freelancers, so don't expect any reduction in those fees for the foreseeable future.

Community Guru
Pat M Member Since: Jun 18, 2016
26 of 26

Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing.  Upwork isn't for everyone.  For that matter freelancing isn't either.

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