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Is Upwork fees 20% TOO high?

florydev
Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
31 of 57

Richard A wrote:

Considering that actors' agents average 10%, I do believe that 20% from Upwork is rather costly.  An acotor's agent even does a lot of the leg work.  What does Upwork do besides acting as an online mediator and securing funds for SOME of the jobs.  And now Upwork has the gall to charge the freelancer a bidding fee on top of taking a 20% cut off the top.  They say that it is to cut down on the ammount of bids sent out.  In my case, there would be substantially less bids being sent out if clients weren't running away due to my rate that has been increased by 20% to compensate for Upwork's greediness.  I have no issue with paying Upwork a fair fee as they do provide a great service.  However,  20% plus bidding fees has just taken it too far in my humble opinion.  And let's face it.  The vast majority of contracts are below $500.00 for the type of clientel on the platform.


In my line of work there are third party recruiters and they typically charge a third on top of the rate you are presented to the client with.  The rate you get for your work is not of your choosing it is whatever is left over with what they negotiate to the client and the their third.  Sometimes you can wiggle a few extra bucks per hour out of it and the recruiter gets a little less cheese.  They get their cheese for finding you the customer.  They actually do a lot more legwork and sell you so they deserve a little more.

 

My example might be just as pointless as yours except for one little thing.  On Upwork you can choose your own rate, it is one of the things I very much like about it and one of the things I fear the most that they will mess with.  If 20% is too much for you, the charge 20% more, which means you are more likely to get to $500.00 faster, which means even more cheese for you.

 

A wise man with a big, green, bald head once said that mindset is important and I think the mindset people should have is they are running a business and as such they should consider their costs when considering the price of their offering.

analyticarts
Ace Contributor
John D Member Since: Jan 20, 2019
32 of 57
Upwork fees are extremely reasonable. You should see what my recruiter is making on my current contract.
taz1004
Ace Contributor
Brian C Member Since: Oct 27, 2019
33 of 57

Upwork fees are extremely unreasonable for what they do (or NOT do) to protect the freelancers.

jim_g
Active Member
Jim G Member Since: Jun 9, 2019
34 of 57

A while back I was into pastel landscapes. I was able to show at a certain event at a gallery once.

My painting sold for $500!

The gallery's cut was 40%!!!

 

So 20% ain't too bad.

It just sucks when you see it on every proposal you make.

jim_g
Active Member
Jim G Member Since: Jun 9, 2019
35 of 57

And for anyone who says "raise your rates to make up for it,' I lost 2 jobs in 10 days for doing that.
They were small jobs, <300, but I was looking at what I'm making rather than what they are paying.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
36 of 57

Jim G wrote:

And for anyone who says "raise your rates to make up for it,' I lost 2 jobs in 10 days for doing that.
They were small jobs, <300, but I was looking at what I'm making rather than what they are paying.


The idea of raising your rates "to make up for it" makes no sense to me. If using Upwork cost me money, I wouldn't be using it. I use Upwork because it SAVES me time and money when compared with cultivating client relationships on my own. 

 

It's super interesting and unusual, though, that two clients in that short period of time got back to you to let you know specifically that you'd not only lost out on the job because your rates were too high, but that the differential was within that 20% margin.

hoyle_editing
Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
37 of 57

Brian C wrote:

Upwork fees are extremely unreasonable for what they do (or NOT do) to protect the freelancers.


 

It maybe more helpful to think of the fees you pay as advertising budget rather than payments for 'protection', certainly cheaper than most other methods of client aquisition! 

 

I think you will find you have far more protection here than if you aquired all your remote clients from traditional advertising techniques.

 

They provide 

escrow services,

hourly protection for those that follow the correct procedure for tracking time,

fixed price protection in combination with the escrow services.

They also verify client payment methods and offer assistance if you do end up in a dispute.

 

 

Are Upwork perfect? NO - BUT, i happen to think the fee's are quite reasonable when you consider the many advantages they offer over finding clients yourself.

taz1004
Ace Contributor
Brian C Member Since: Oct 27, 2019
38 of 57

"It maybe more helpful to think of the fees you pay as advertising budget rather than payments for 'protection',"

That's what I was referring to. Negative publicity with unfair rating system.  Low JSS due to unresponsive client or unfair client by unknown client.  It actually hurts your "advertising"

hoyle_editing
Community Guru
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
39 of 57

I agree that the rating system may not be the best system, but it is OK. Sure there is a couple of elements that seem completly unjustified and even downright stupid. But, its not the be all and end all. 

 

If you are **Edited for Community Guidelines** about 20% fees then you must be getting work, and if you are getting work then the 'advertising fees' are clearly working, so i really dont understand why you have an issue. 

 

 

taz1004
Ace Contributor
Brian C Member Since: Oct 27, 2019
40 of 57

"If you are whining about 20% fees then you must be getting work, and if you are getting work then the 'advertising fees' are clearly working, so i really dont understand why you have an issue. "

 

Maybe I should be getting MORE work than I should be and Upwork "ADVERTISING" is working against me.

I'm simply stating my "OPINION" as that's what this thread was for.  I don't know why every "Community Guru" have to turn every opinion into arguement with assumptions.  Well... maybe that's why they're Guru's.  I didn't make an issue out of your opinion.  Just read and move on.

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