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Job postings with grossly unrealistic budgets

How do other people handle job postings that have grossly unrealistic budgets listed?

For example - the job I recently saw had a budget of $15 for the complete job.  I applied anyway hoping it would be negotiable - it was not.

The client offered a fixed $15 to cover the following:
1. Materials = minimum $30, maximum $60
2. File prep = 10 minutes
3. Machine set up time = 10 minutes
4. Print time = 2.5 hours
5. Post processing = 10 minutes
6. Ultraviolet curing = 30 minutes
7. Packaging for shipment = 5 minutes
8. Drive to/from post office = 15 minutes each way
9. Shipping USPS first class = $6-$10 minimum

I understand some of these items will vary widely between freelancers - I don't expect everyone to take as long (or as little) time as I do, or a longer/shorter commute/drive/bike/walk/etc to post office etc.  The problem with this job post is that even the most basic time valuation and shipping request creates a negatively valued job post (aka, free work).

I am well aware that I can scroll on past but one of the ToS are that clients cannot ask for free work.  This job posting IS asking for the freelancer to perform free work once you account for even the most basic of expenses (time).   

Client has a long record of this:

Ultimately, I flagged the posting for asking for free work/unrealistic expectations despite the low budget that was listed.  I am hoping that I am not alone in taking a moment to flag job postings like these when I see them...?? 


Community Member

I flag many of these types and nobody cares because hungry artists will take it anyway, and Upwork will not mind because it is a business only.

**edited for Community Guidelines**


maybe the client is looking for a prompt engineering.


Hi Brenda, 

I'm sorry you're not seeing the value you expect in your job feed. As those projects may interest other freelancers, please use filters while searching to exclude the ones you're not interested in. At Upwork, the terms of any contract, including the rate, are for clients and freelancers to decide upon together. Any freelancer dissatisfied with the rate offered can negotiate a higher rate or find a project they consider to be more suitable.

Please note that I had to remove the screenshot of the job post since accusations of misconduct are not allowed in the Upwork Community. You may refer to the Community Guidelines for more information. 

~ Avery
Community Member

It's honestly gotten worse. When I started on Upwork, yeah, there were a LOT of low-budget, low-value jobs. Some of them, I even took, because I didn't know any better. But you also saw clients who were aware of the value of what they were asking for and paid accordingly. Sadly, those clients are fewer and further between. 

My feed is 90% people who want to pay $15-30 on what, in the real world, is valued as a $3-500 or greater job. 

Community Member

Hey Jeremiah, I just skip Jobs unless they meet my requirements IE a profitable client / freelancer relationship. That has been my experience after 300+ Jobs. Have a Happy New Year!

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