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Is Upwork fees 20% TOO high?

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Active Member
Ploychat T Member Since: Jul 25, 2015
1 of 37

Anyone think that Upwork fees 20% TOO high?

 

I've just backed to find a job on Upwork and I'm shocked that Upwork fees have increased to 20%! I don't know why, but 2 years ago was just 8-10% (I'm not sure). I think 20% is too high and it is unfair for freelancers because you work same as usual but you need to pay for Upwork fees more than doubled. I think Upwork should remain that the income is from freelancers, they would find another website in one day if their deserved earnings are not worthy as they worked. 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Elba A Member Since: Feb 28, 2017
2 of 37

IMO, is not, and is just for the first $500.

  • 20% for the first $500 you bill a client across all contracts with them
  • 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
  • 5% for total billings with a client that exceed $10,000

The more you bill a client the fee will decrease! But if you stay below, well it won't!

Another point you can increase your rate to adjust to the new fee.

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Active Member
Tanvir Ahmad A Member Since: Aug 7, 2018
3 of 37

Well but those who works on small projects ( Under $500) its too much for them. So it should have been 10% for 1$-5000$ and 5 % for 5001$-Up..

 

Thank you.

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Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
4 of 37

I'm sorry to learn you feel this way, Tanvir Ahmad. Smaller contracts cost us more to serve than larger projects. The costs of acquiring clients, helping you connect with the right opportunities, and providing services like payment protection outweigh the fees currently charged for small projects. At the same time, larger, repeat projects incur fewer of these costs. To support our customers better, we’re increasing our fee on smaller projects and decreasing it when your relationships cross important thresholds. This provides our customers an incentive to continue building long and substantial relationships on Upwork, which we think will help ensure Upwork stays a vibrant marketplace now and in the future.


-Avery
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Scott P Member Since: Apr 24, 2020
5 of 37

"To support our customers better, we’re increasing our fee on smaller projects and decreasing it when your relationships cross important thresholds." How does this help anyone but the Upwork company themselves?

 

"Support our customers?" Do you mean, make more money for the Upwork company? It's not supporting anyone taking 20% fees. Take into account 20%+ taxes on that, that is a whopping 40%+.

 

I have had to move platforms because this fee is outrageously high. Also, chances of getting $500+ for a repeating client is VERY low, Upwork knows that or they wouldn't make such "sliding scales," so they can keep charging 20%.

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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
6 of 37

Scott P wrote:

. Also, chances of getting $500+ for a repeating client is VERY low, Upwork knows that or they wouldn't make such "sliding scales," so they can keep charging 20%.


I've actually found it very easy to have the vast majority of my client relationships above that threshold, but it was something I had to actively focus on and manage.

 

Would it be nice it the first tier was lower? Sure. But I stopped wanting a pony a long time ago too.

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Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
7 of 37

Scott P wrote:

"To support our customers better, we’re increasing our fee on smaller projects and decreasing it when your relationships cross important thresholds." How does this help anyone but the Upwork company themselves?

 

"Support our customers?" Do you mean, make more money for the Upwork company? It's not supporting anyone taking 20% fees. Take into account 20%+ taxes on that, that is a whopping 40%+.

 

I have had to move platforms because this fee is outrageously high. Also, chances of getting $500+ for a repeating client is VERY low, Upwork knows that or they wouldn't make such "sliding scales," so they can keep charging 20%.


You left? Your profile says that you just completed a job two days ago. And if you've landed dozens of clients and made over 3K in just a few months, what makes you so sure that you won't get any repeat business? Or have you made enough connections that you can afford to leave the platform now, to avoid paying any more fees?

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
8 of 37
I teach 10% with all my clients within a week. And I'm just grateful Upwork doesn't charge more. It's my understanding, anecdotally, that smaller contracts take more customer support to service, have more disputes, and, of course, they gross less money. So I find it very fair that they charge higher below $500 since the risk and cost to them is greater (from what I've seen, i don't know that the company has confirmed that).
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Active Member
Aurelien P Member Since: Oct 28, 2020
9 of 37

20% - 10% and even 5% rate for an ONLINE freelancers plateform ?? Are we serious here ??... Even REAL headhunter businesses don't charge such rates.

Add to this : cost of 'connects' + tranfer fees + tax and you just break de legs of any small freelancer. In usual language we call that a steal. As freelancers we are not supposed to work for the Upwork stock exchange shareholders, but for our real customers. Plenty of other platforms use decent fees. Greedy people here, I won't use this plateform crazy high rates you work for nothing. 

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Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
10 of 37

This isn't going to change. Your best way to deal with it is to become a good freelancer and get steady, long-term clients. Once you pass $500 in earnings with a client, it drops to an entirely reasonable 10%.

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