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optimizedwales
Community Member

How do we see the bids made by the other freelancers?

I have  just upgraded to Freelancer Plus which states that I can  'View competitor bids for any job'.

 

Where can I view this information ?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

23 REPLIES 23


Noureldin Y wrote:

https://www.upwork.com/ab/plans/membership/change-plan

buy the $15 plan.


Which part of "I have just upgraded to Freelancer Plus"  was in any way too complicated for you to comprehend?

wescowley
Community Member

You'll see a range of bids at the bottom of the job post.  You won't see individual bids.

bid range.JPG

Thank you for you fast feedback

wlyonsatl
Community Member

Michael,

 

Unfortunately, all Upwork will allow you to see is the maximum, minimum and average bids already placed on a project. This can be better than no information at all, but it's far less than useful than what Upwork's predecessor Elance used to provide, including pricing details on ALL proposals and then identifying which proposal actually was accepted by the client. (If the high and low bids are both outliers from the majority of the proposals, then neither they nor the average are useful information.)

 

This much more detailed information was an especially big help to new freelancers who wanted to understand the common and successful freelancer pricing in their niche, but I've been on Elance/Upwork for a few years and would still like to know when price has probably played a role when my proposal has't won a new project.

 


Will L wrote:

This much more detailed information was an especially big help to new freelancers who wanted to understand the common and successful freelancer pricing in their niche, but I've been on Elance/Upwork for a few years and would still like to know when price has probably played a role when my proposal has't won a new project.

 


Will, I am curious, what would you do with that information?  I can see in the abstract that it would be nice to have it but when I start down the road of what action I would take because of it I am drawing a blank.  

Hi, Mark.

 

I would do the same thing with that information that any smart business owner does in an open and transparent market, which includes getting an understanding of where my standard proposal rates for different types of work stand compared to my competitors and occasionally testing different pricing to see if my win rates change within the core range of competitive pricing I can see in my Upwork niche.

 

I've consulted with and advised hundreds of companies in a wide variety of industries during my career and not a single one didn't care what their competitors were charging for their products and services. In a market as competitive as Upwork, flying blind on competitors' pricing is a big disadvantage for freelancers who want to try to find the right balance between charging higher prices and winning enough bids to make whatever level of earnings they desire.

 

I assume this is especially a problem for new freelancers who also have no experience in the offline economy, meaning they really have no clue when they start out what pricing competition they face.

 

It is to Upwork's advantage that freelancers maximize their pricing, which would also increase Upwork's fee income (it's biggest revenue source). So, it isn't obvious why Upwork doesn't provide this more detailed pricing information. Maybe Upwork thinks higher pricing would reduce the number of clients relying on Upwork freelancers for work done at below-market prices? I don't know.

Oh sure, they collect the data, companies collect lots of data obsessively.  

 

But I am not sure this particular data, at least for me, would be actionable.  That someone one a bid at less than me, what does that tell me I should have done differently?  I have no information about what they said and how they said it, so am I to assume it was only because I was cheaper?   If I make that assumption, what do I do as a result?

Hi Guys,

I really appreaciate the detailed replies.

As someone that is new to Upwork, I am trying to gauge the rate that is
likely to be successful.

The range is a help but at this time will have to learn from trial and
error.

Regards,

Mike


Michael P wrote:
As someone that is new to Upwork, I am trying to gauge the rate that is
likely to be successful.

The range is a help but at this time will have to learn from trial and
error.


Michael, and what I am discussing with Will almost as an aside is I am not sure that information would actually be helpful for you.  At some point you have to decide what a rate is and by trial and error you will figure out if it works.  I don't believe there is a shortcut or a work around what you will find is as you look at other people's rates you will think, that is too low or that is too high.

 

In my opinion, rates are variable because the offering's we each have are almost entirely unique.  I can't speak broadly to all categories but my gut tells me this is true.  

At it's base, your rate needs to be what you need for your company and life run.  I also think it is advisable when you consider that living wage that you at least double it as a bottom line rate.  Your mileage may vary but I feel comfortable saying you will spend a lot of time looking for work and not earning and you need to make hay when there is hay to be made to feed yourself through those bare patches.  If you have a lot of experience and ability then making enough to survive is not enough, you should be charging enough to thrive.  That is the base reality of a rate, if you can't make that then ultimately you can't succeed.

 

Whatever the number you come up with you will have to at some point be battle tested.   

 

My ultimate problem from discussing rate like this is that underpinning this discussion is that rate is the most important variable in finding work.  That if you can find that right sweet spot where you rate finds you all the work you want at maximum dollar.  I don't think this is realistic at all and disregards that what might be more important to a particular client is quality or when the work can be delivered.

 

I think it is more likely that the almost all clients want to pay the least amount possible to get what they want but have no idea what that amount is.  It is up to you to convince them that the what you deliver is worth the what they are going to pay for it.

Mark,

 

According to Petra, the board's most prolific poster who often has information not available to other freelancers, Upwork/oDesk itself has hard data that showed the significant depressive effect transparent competitor pricing had on freelancers' bidding prices six years ago. (She didn't tell us whether Upwork/oDesk found that transparent pricing resulted in lower winning bids, which would be all that's really important in terms of Upwork's/oDesk's own fees.)

 

So, if that's true, transparent pricing (when available) is not irrelevant to many freelancers in their proposal pricing. And the resulting lower pricing was good for clients, whose interests are not aligned with Upwork's or freelancers' in this respect.

 

Running a successful business is about putting together the jigsaw puzzle that makes the many dimensions of your business's offering (price, quality, availability, uniqueness, etc., etc.) attractive to potential customers. That's just Business 101.

 

This has nothing to do with whether "...rate is the most important variable in finding work." Unless a business sells pure commodities, that is never the case. But in most industries and Upwork niches it is certainly an important part of the jigsaw puzzle that determines whether enough of a freelancer's bids will be successful enough for them to continiue using Upwork as a source of profitable projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Will L wrote:

 

According to Petra, the board's most prolific poster who often has information not available to other freelancers, Upwork/oDesk itself has hard data that showed the significant depressive effect transparent competitor pricing had on freelancers' bidding prices six years ago. (She didn't tell us whether Upwork/oDesk found that transparent pricing resulted in lower winning bids, which would be all that's really important in terms of Upwork's/oDesk's own fees.)


Yes, Will, she did: 

"Upwork's predecessor...discontinued showing competitor bids after extensive trials which showed that on average, freelancers who saw the competitor bids bid lower than those who did not and projects where the freelancers were able to see the competitor bids were awarded at lower hourly rates and lower fixed rate prices." (emphasis added)

 


Will L wrote:

 

This has nothing to do with whether "...rate is the most important variable in finding work." Unless a business sells pure commodities, that is never the case. But in most industries and Upwork niches it is certainly an important part of the jigsaw puzzle that determines whether enough of a freelancer's bids will be successful enough for them to continiue using Upwork as a source of profitable projects.

No, I am not convinced.  Maybe you can have this Petra person, whoever that is, try to convince me but I don't agree.

 

I personally would not do anything based on what other people's rates are.  If I can't find work based on my rates then I might lower them or I might just abandon this fishing hole, but I am certainly not going to do anything based on the average rate a bunch of random jackwaggons on the Internet have decided to charge.

 

If the rates were available, and by the way they are because you can just create a client account and search for things that you do, I still wouldn't advise another person to take them into account.  Information is great, as long as it is good and actionable and I don't believe this information would be either of those things.

There's a difference between "competitor pricing is not irrelevant to freelancer bid prices" (Will's statement) and "competitor pricing is not irrelevant to good decision making about pricing"  (which is what's really at issue).

 

"Competitor" pricing plays an important role in pricing when you're selling widgets,or widget-like services. But, the range of experience levels, skills, customer service skills, marketing and sales abilities (etc., etc., etc. ) on Upwork is huge. 

 

I (like many other successful freelancers here) am often hired by clients who tell me my rates were the highest they saw in their searches. 

 

If you choose to offer undifferentiated services that could be provided equally well by any of thousands of other freelancers, then of course all you have to compete on is price (and you've already lost the game). If you want to make good money as a freelancer,the key isn't undercutting someone else's pricing or finding the sweet spot in pricing--it's upgrading your offerings to substantially reduce the number of true competitors you have.


Tiffany S wrote:

If you choose to offer undifferentiated services that could be provided equally well by any of thousands of other freelancers, then of course all you have to compete on is price (and you've already lost the game). If you want to make good money as a freelancer,the key isn't undercutting someone else's pricing or finding the sweet spot in pricing--it's upgrading your offerings to substantially reduce the number of true competitors you have.


That is what I meant, you just said it better.  <lawyered>


Will L wrote:

 

It is to Upwork's advantage that freelancers maximize their pricing.


Correct. This is why competitor bids are no longer shown.

 


Will L wrote:

So, it isn't obvious why Upwork doesn't provide this more detailed pricing information.


Upwork's predecessor (which was oDesk, not Elance. Elance was gobbled up by oDesk when it went down the drain) discontinued showing competitor bids after extensive trials which showed that on average, freelancers who saw the competitor bids bid lower than those who did not and projects where the freelancers were able to see the competitor bids were awarded at lower hourly rates and lower fixed rate prices. That was in 2012 or 2013.

 

 

 

How do you know all that detail, Petra?


Will L wrote:

How do you know all that detail, Petra?


Because I remember it well.

eLance also discontinued showing competitor bids long before the merger/buyout/whatever you want to call it. They were very upfront about why: allowing FLers to see bid quotes resulted in lower prices all around.  As Petra stated.  The only difference was that eLance was fully transparent as to why the change.

 

As an aside:  Will, there is no reason to sound like a snark when discussing other forum posters ... esp. when the person you're being snarky about donates more time and effort to helping people than the rest of us combined.  I thought better of you ...

Interesting discussion.

 

When I started in March 2016 the feature to see every bid was still there. You had to roll over the pointer over "Proposals" and a pop-up would show the bids. You were able to see every freelancer, country, etc. even before applying I believe.

 

According to this https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Changes-to-how-Upwork-displays-proposal-count/m-p/1779... and this https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/I-want-to-see-competitors/m-p/221134 the feature was soon removed.

 

I found the feature interesting but I also remember feeling it was a kind of race-to-the-bottom firestarter. Though it was nice to see other bids and how much other freelancers valued themselves then I realized I actually didn't need to see that. I bid what I believe I should and that's it. What I do once in a while when I have too much time on my hands is going to an archived job and see who won, how much was charged and how good the freelancer was. This helps me to evaluate clients better because some are willing to pay more than the original price published due to a quality job, others just award the cheapest freelancer on earth, etc. Besides, I check the feedback and see if the client was a tough one or easy-going. Sometimes I say "Wow, good I didn't win!" :smileylol: This way I improve my target, expectations, etc. for the next time I see a similar job.


Sergio S wrote:

Interesting discussion.

 

When I started in March 2016 the feature to see every bid was still there. You had to roll over the pointer over "Proposals" and a pop-up would show the bids. You were able to see every freelancer, country, etc. even before applying I believe.


Still that late? I was sure it went away earlier :)

 

florydev
Community Member


Petra R wrote:

Will L wrote:

 

It is to Upwork's advantage that freelancers maximize their pricing.


Correct. This is why competitor bids are no longer shown.

 


Will L wrote:

So, it isn't obvious why Upwork doesn't provide this more detailed pricing information.


Upwork's predecessor (which was oDesk, not Elance. Elance was gobbled up by oDesk when it went down the drain) discontinued showing competitor bids after extensive trials which showed that on average, freelancers who saw the competitor bids bid lower than those who did not and projects where the freelancers were able to see the competitor bids were awarded at lower hourly rates and lower fixed rate prices. That was in 2012 or 2013.

You must be this Petra person that Will spoke of.

 

I really think another key factor to success on being a FL here or anywhere is pretty much holding the line on rate.  Lowering your rate should be a dramatic and well thought out decision and should be tied into your ability to find work at that rate, not based on what other desperate whackjobs are willing to do it for.

 

To me rate is a dramatically personal thing and it really comes down to your ability to defend it.

 

This ia a kind of fraud. Because before upgrading the membership upwork has said we can see the individual bid price but unfortunately it's not getting.

Hi Md,

 

I checked this for you and was not able to replicate the issue you're describing. All the Job Postings from your profile have bid ranges. Could you please clear your cache and cookies or log in with another browser to check if you`re still experiencing the same issue?

 

Please note that the ranges won't display if there are less than three bids on the job. 

 

Thank you.

~ Bojan
Upwork
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