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

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
11 of 24

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
12 of 24

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)

 

florydev
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
13 of 24

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.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
14 of 24

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.

florydev
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
15 of 24

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>

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
16 of 24

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.

 

 

 

wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
17 of 24

How do you know all that detail, Petra?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
18 of 24

Will L wrote:

How do you know all that detail, Petra?


Because I remember it well.

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
19 of 24

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 ...

sergio-soria
Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
20 of 24

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!" Smiley LOL This way I improve my target, expectations, etc. for the next time I see a similar job.

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