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Is Upwork fees 20% TOO high?

784aba84
Active Member
Aurelien P Member Since: Oct 28, 2020
11 of 58

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. 

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
12 of 58

Aurelien P wrote:

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.  


I don't think of it as Upwork "stealing" money from me. I decide how much I want to charge for a project, and then I add 20%. It's impossible to run a business without having any expenses, and people who freelance online probably have fewer expenses than almost any other type of business. 

 

As for other headhunters not charging such high rates - I don't know about that, since it's been ages since I've looked for a permanent job, but it's been my experience while subcontracting for various creative agencies that they do take a hefty cut; usually 20-30%, but sometimes as high as 50%. Again, I just charge more to cover their fees, and in return, I get to work for some huge brand names - clients that I would never be able to get on my own. This is a marketing expense that I'm completely happy to pay.

 


Plenty of other platforms use decent fees. Greedy people here, I won't use this plateform crazy high rates you work for nothing. 

It costs a lot of money to advertise a service and bring in clients. If you can find a website that has as many clients as Upwork and charges lower fees, then obviously it would make sense to use it. 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
13 of 58

Aurelien P wrote:

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. 


Do headhunters ever charge the employee/contractor? My experience is that they always charge the business and IME the cost is almost half of what I'm paid. I just calculated my last contract in corporate before I went freelance and the company was paying about 40% to the recruiting company. I guess you could say that the money could have gone into my pocket, but recruiters in my home town had all the good businesses so you can't get into one of the kush jobs if you don't work with a recruiter unless you know someone there. I was being paid market rates for my area and had full benefits too even as a contractor (it's a way to get around the contractor/employee rule...similar to Upwork's payroll thing).

iningkelvin
Active Member
Kelvin I Member Since: Nov 11, 2020
14 of 58

Basically that means, Upwork want to ripoff and strip off small freelancer. I'm planning to try another platform for smaller scale freelancer. Anyone have any idea or better platform to suggest?

Upwork so far is a good platform for bigger budget freelancer. Hope they do well. 

l_winberg
Active Member
Leah W Member Since: Jan 5, 2021
15 of 58

I agree, having higher % for smaller clients just pushes those starting / joining the platform down. I had my first project which paid 250USD, but i ended up only receiving 190USD due to fees and tax, converted into euros I'm left with less than 150€ (obv they are not responsible for conversion, but maybe offer different currencies to make it easier?). On top of this, those who are less established find it harder to win contracts, thus apply for more which means BUYING credits to just to apply for a job! Definitely not a website to support junior freelancers

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
16 of 58

It's the small dollar value contracts that cost Upwork the most in terms of customer service, problems, payment issues and the like.  In my field, there have been various platforms that have come and gone and they all charged 40% or more, didn't guarantee payment, etc. I'll take 20% any time to not have to market my skills and not chase after payment,  No one is forced to use Upwork and if you don't like the fees, try other platforms.

charles_kozierok
Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
17 of 58

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%.

boshoffirene
Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
18 of 58

I really don't see it as such a huge issue. Take into consideration the time and hassle I would have spent billing a client, following up for payment, etc. etc. etc. and that percentage charged starts looking good. Besides, longer projects are my bread and butter. Small projects that I take on from time to time provide the jam.

rohan999
Community Leader
Rohan S Member Since: Mar 23, 2017
19 of 58

Should I have to exceed $500 in one contract or just with that client in total since beginning ? Thanks

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
20 of 58

Rohan S wrote:

Should I have to exceed $500 in one contract or just with that client in total since beginning ? Thanks


Just with that client, Rohan.

It does not matter whether it's on one contract or 10 (or whatever.)

 

I started shooting for longer term client relationships years ago (before the 20% even came in) and think of the original 20% as a $ 50 "finders fee" which is pretty irrelevant when it comes to client relationships worth many thousands, and it's oh-so-sweet when it drops to 5%!

 

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