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Is it just me or?

I've noticed a great deal of differences with Odesk now. Especially with the quality of the marketplace. It used to be there were numerous quality clients (perhaps there still are, but I don't see their postings as much) and job postings were decent. Nowadays, it appears that acquiring work on this site is much more difficult. I never had a hard time beforehand. Now it appears that the lowest rate, and low rates in general seem to be what the majority of clients are after. Even if it appears skill sets don't even match up. No matter your skills on your profile, job application quality, or how well you can sell yourself--cheap is really becoming the mainstay here. It is more than frustrating, but then, alas. Many of us saw this coming two years ago, and even beyond that for the folks who'd already been here. There is just no way that I'm going to lower my rate to a peanut fair. While my profile rate is the $25.56, I have been more than willing to go to $16.00 and even $13.00 when bidding for jobs now. That doesn't even help that much. Bids very much lower are preferred. I know this has all been talked about before, so I'm really just letting off steam. 🙂 I just wanted to see if others were running into a brick wall as many times as I am now. I've already started focusing more elsewhere, and it is a shame. I really had liked Odesk. If it weren't for my mainstay clients I have, I'd not be having much work here at all anymore. Thoughts and feelings here? Am I alone in these assumptions?

Yes and no. I do think that quality posts have declined, but I also think this bottom-feeding trend is just a phase and eventually quality will win. I think you are in a very competitive field, have you tried refining your skill set? I started out on here as a translator, but quickly realized that I won't be able to make fair rates on here so I focused on my other skills, and was able to triple my rate in 3 yrs. I only work on long term projects and try to grow my existing clients instead of chasing new ones.

I think this weekend I'll work on some of that on my profile. I'm going to change quite a few things and attempt to hone in on my higher level skills that should benefit me the most. I'm with you on trying to keep the long term positions, but I did have one who had to finally quit due to budget issues so that left me with a gap. I feel I have another who is going to be bowing out in the next couple weeks after about four months. So, stressful trying to fill in gaps such as those. They were good positions too. Another thing that gets me is you can work with a client for a long time and for some reason (they are having a bad day, or something else) leave you feedback that is not perfect after months of working with them. This is another crushing factor here at Odesk because there is nothing we, as contractors, can really do about it. I had that happen with a fitness client-- after working with him and earning well over $1,300.00; and even working with him twice! He said he had been having a bad day. Isn't that nice? Now he has tried to contact me again on Skype because he has not been having good work of late. I don't know if I'll even talk to him again. 😞 So, obviously multiple issues that can cause some disadvantages here. Thank you for your advice because it helps!

I do agree that the rating of long term projects should be handled differently than shorter projects. I sometimes do worry about that too. If my existing contract went south (which I'm not expecting it to but still...), I could never recover from that ($50k+). At the same time, I can't avoid long term projects for fear of a potentially bad rating. It's something oDesk will hopefully address one day. Your profile is very strong and I would be very surprised if you couldn't find something decently paid. I'm sure that once you refine your profile a bit and experiment with different cover letter pitches, you'll be golden and won't have problems working at your ask rate. The one thing I have never done is budge on rate, because whoever hires on rate alone is just not someone I would want to work with. I would ask the fitness client if he was willing to change the rating given his bad day explanation. Don't give up! 🙂

Yes, on that fitness client who wants me to work for him again, lol. I don't think I'm going to. About a month ago he did go in and claim to have adjusted that contract feedback, but he didn't help much. And he always raved about the work I did for him too, so go figure? His comment is good, but the star rating he still left didn't match up. The thing with him is that he is a cancer survivor and has other disorders; so, you'd think he'd not be the way he is. His mood jumps from here to there in a second. But, myself, being a psych major--I tried to be understanding 😉 The contract won't allow for anymore changes. Thanks for all your great input, I so appreciate the kind words too! Misty

Nope, you're not alone. Which is why I'm so glad I have looked for clients outside oDesk now. I just have a few clients left here, most I've found somewhere else. It's never a good idea to put your eggs in one basket, as they say.

I couldn't agree more on the eggs and the basket thing 😉 I've started focusing elsewhere as well, but because I was mainly focused on clients here, when the work was pouring in--I didn't have time to focus on the other personal areas outside of here to strengthen, so I've definitely let those outside opportunities slip some. Trying to regroup. I can only hope that things will get better. Thanks!

It is a relief to hear that I am not alone. I was on leave for four months because of something I had to attend to outside oDesk. When I started to look for jobs last week, I noticed that oDesk does not seem to be how it was. There also appears to be a scarcity of quality jobs (and clients) in oDesk. I have lowered my hourly rate but I do not have any decent job offer/interview as of now. This really makes me worry. And I've had my fair share of unreasonable feedbacks, too. 😕

You're not alone. It is quite obvious to see that the majority of jobs posted on oDesk propose rates way under what I would call reasonable. But what I've also noticed is that good customers very rarely post jobs too. They tend to look for freelancers themselves. So the problem goes both ways. It is quite clear that clients with high quality expectations are prepared to pay more for better quality. They too seem to be fed up with spammed applications written (or not) by people with poor English yet presenting themselves as perfect-ally by-lingual. So I believe that good clients ARE out there! They are just not going about it the same way. And I do believe that this will eventually be counterproductive for oDesk. Qualified freelancers are slowly but surely avoiding the site and Good paying clients too. Another thing I strongly believe is that you have to get caught once to know what to expect. Many customers look at other job postings and think : "why should I pay more when some can get the job done for 10$ or less?". So they try and soon find out WHY. And are suddenly prepared to pay more... Do not lower your rates! It's really important to understand that good customers eventually look for good freelancers and will consider a low rate as suspicious.

Thank you for the affirmation. My feedback is not perfect but I believe I have a solid profile that can give me decent jobs. Months ago, I was the one saying "no" to clients because there were jobs more than I can handle. Now, two weeks of searching for jobs result to no interview, no offer, no contracts. Somebody please let me know if I am missing something here. Thanks.

Oh I'm sorry if it sounded as though I was pontificating. That wasn't at all my intention. I'll rephrase what I wanted to say. I'm not denying that there really could be a decrease of quality jobs available out there. I'm just saying that good clients seem to be going about it differently. Nevertheless, I hope you'll find something real soon Donna.

Oh no, you did not sound like that all. You were very nice and helpful. I just wanted to express my disappointment. I apologize if I sent the wrong message. Thank you again. 🙂

I was at a point where I had to turn jobs down all the time because I just was over loaded. It has been, and had been that way for well over a year and a half. Now, at almost 2 years into my time here at Odesk, for the first time ever I am not getting prospects like I was. For the past three weeks I've had interview requests, and discussions with clients, but they haven't led anywhere. It is discouraging. Like I said, without my permanent clients I have, I'd be in a trying state here at Odesk. I'm not sure what is really happening. But, good luck to you. I do hope things turn around!
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