I am new and have been starting to look at writing/editing jobs. I know what the difference is supposed to be between hourly and fixed rates, but what I am seeing doesn’t make sense.
Some listings say things like “edit 50-page report” and give a fixed price of $20. Yet it is not possible for someone to perform the work required and still be reasonably compensated (at least over the $3.00 minimum).
How can this be? What am I missing?
re: "Yet it is not possible for someone to perform the work required and still be reasonably compensated (at least over the $3.00 minimum)."
You are making general assumptions about how long it takes other people to do a task, and about what constitutes reasonable compensation for other people.
Many contractors would never even consider working for rates that you think are great, because the pay is so low.
Many contractors are thrilled to get paid to do a job at a rate you would never consider, because you think it is too low.
I am talking about tasks that could not possibly be accomplished for more than $3.00 per hour if they were billed at an hourly rate.
It looks potential clients are taking advantage of the fixed price concept to pay people less than the minimum.
Cathy never benchmarked herself with other providers (please note providers in some countries would be over the moon to accept a rate of $3/hr). But Cathy has just become a member of Upwork, from what I infer. As a community guru, please give her a constructive feedback rather than comparing her to providers who would accept this job at the low balling hourly rate defined by the client. I have a distinct feeling that some clients need to be educated regarding the scope and time taken to complete a project.
I have found some success in bidding for jobs that I can excel at, regardless of the fixed- price. I provide my history and discuss the project with the client. When they understand that I can do the work better and more efficiently, even at a higher rate, they will change their mind. Many times, they see what they can get at the lower rate, or don't know what time it will take in their post. In your proposal, explaing that your hourly rate is $XX and to complet the project, you estimate XX hours. That way, they know you have put some thouht into it.
Cast a wide net, catch many fish! -Good Luck.