That is a great question, and raises another possibility based on some stories I've heard in the forums--some clients extort freelancers with threats to ruin their ratings. The $1 is the minimum that a freelancer can have been paid in order to allow visible feedback, which makes me wonder whether the client scammed that freelancer, then blackmailed her for positive feedback and a near-full refund, leaving just enough to show feedback.
@Tiffany ... I don't know, how do you blackmail more two dozen people and avoid bad feedback? The freelancer who earned $1 already had more than 30 5-star reviews to her name, with much better payment.
In contrast: another freelancer. His first job on Upwork was with the scammer, and he earned $60. He gave the scammer 6 lines of enthusiastic feedback, including "excellence experience!" That's expensive blackmail for the client. And the more-experience freelancer only earned $1.
I just don't know how it all fits together. If you're a client with several years of excellent feedback, how do you make a sharp turn into thinly-disguised fraud? If you're a scammer, how do you avoid bad feedback or banishment?
I don't know, Matt. It wouldn't work on me. But, I've seen several people come to the forums and report that they've been mistreated and scammed and given the client good feedback and a partial refund or a full refund out of fear that their JSS will be affected.
Could you please send me a private message with a link to the job post you are referring to? Just click on my name here and you see a link to send a private message.
Requesting free services is against Upwork ToS, so if the client requests you to submit work only in exchange for future royalties, they would be violating the Policies. They need to pay you for the work you deliver through the platform.
Also, selling, trading, or giving an account to another person without Upwork’s consent is against Upwork ToS.
Hi Valeria. I can certainly send you a link to the post.
One other amazing detail: this particular job, with the $5000 royalty "arrangement," has been posted since June 12 (over 2 months!) and the client has interviewed 274 invite-only freelancers.
Am I really the first person to flag it? Does flagging it do any good?
Actually, I misspoke. This particular job has been posted TWICE (also on June 2), and both (identical) job descriptions include attached screenshots (the first one from Upwork Help Center; a second, different one from Trust & Safety) in which Upwork staff state that this kind of job post is perfectly OK.
Perhaps it's because Upwork staff don't read the fine print, which is in the file attachment. Or perhaps it's because Upwork staff don't take 2 seconds to google the client and discover that their business claims are completely bogus and they go by fake names.
Whatever the case, I'd still like to know what the deal is with the 5-star reviews. That's what really blows my mind.
Recently, we hosted an event with Upwork's Engineering Lead, Mike Maietta. In this event, we introduced this new tool, and Mike demonstrated how to use it and answered questions.Learn More
Upwork partnered Red Bay Coffee and artists commissioned from our own platform to bring the Wake and Make blend to life. We asked the creatives to share their freelancer journeys.Learn More
Virtual Talent Bench enables you to easily discover and connect with talent. Learn more about building custom lists of talent, adding tags, notes, and more to move your business forward.Learn More
Loom addition in messages provides more ways to easily communicate and share information on Upwork!Learn More