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Community Member

Let's put an end to this ABSURD bidding war!

We used to be charged from 2 to 8 connects to send a proposal. So far so good.

But now, not only Upwork is charging 16 connects to do it, but also we have to bid even more connects to have a chance to be seen by the client! I'm a top-rated-plus Brazilian translator and my fellow freelancers are bidding over 60 connects on some jobs! This is simply absurd!

Oh, and Upwork is now notifying us when a client sees our proposal, just to make it clearer that we won't stand a chance without accepting to be explored by this absurd bidding scheme.

I'm already outraged by this change in the fee system (I worked my a** off to achieve the five-percent fee and now they make me go back to the "standard" ten-percent fee? Oh, come on!) but this bidding thing is really making me mad.


How much more money will you guys take from us???

Community Member

I totally agree! Upwork used to be a great platform, but they are charging us more and more to do our jobs! How much more can we take?

Sorry Alexander, Upwork is not forcing anyone to waste connects foolishly. People who don't even read the job posts before sending an offer and who are stupid enough to bid ridiculously amounts of connects are doing so because they want to, no one is forcing them

Sorry Luce,

But Upwork should not allow boosting bids.

If sending a proposal requires 4 connects, that's it... 4 connects for everyone! 

If you boost with 50 connects, and you then buy 50 connects more, Upwork is earning money. And the freelancer is wasting money. That's why they allow it, and allow also sending proposals for scammers, and allow scammers. It's Upwork's business. But it is unfair for us, the freelancers. 

Hi Deborah, I agree with you, if Upwork is really allowing scammers to thrive here on purpose, that's unfair. However, there are so many messages telling newcomers about how to stay away from scammers that newcomers who still fall into the trap are a bit too simple to survive on Upwork. You can also see this as a painful but efficient way to teach them to stay away from scammers.


I agree Upwork should not allow boosting bids. Before, they didn't and everything was fine. However, now that they've found out that some freelancers are weird enough to bid 50 connects - that is $ 7,50 - they may have come to think that it's a good way of making some extra money.


Yes, good old Upwork may have grown a bit cynical.

If $7.50 freelancers spend on 50 Connect will get them money, that is not true, I think they should focus on serving we the customers well so more people can join and they can earn more.

Deborah, I do agree with you, this boosting business is terrible. I'm having my doubts about who boosts 50 connects. Could this be some trick to make freelancers believe they need to send that many connects too?

while we should not look at those that boost a lot, some have nothing to offer, or they don't know how Upwork works, or they might be new to the platform, so they will just bid for jobs without knowing what it is, majority of people that bid with high amount of connect, Check their proposals!

Community Member

I think the bidding aspect does not really matter, what gets me mad is the fact that Upwork has changed from 2 connects per job up to 16 connects, I really get tired while searching for jobs. Currently, I don't even see any job of 4 or 6, the majority are 12 and 16, and it pisses me off. And freelancers will still bid with 50+ connects 😔

Community Member

Completely agreed Ivy. I don't get any views and with 387 proposals sent I have already spent more than $500. I got 0 results this year. It seems many job posts are simply fake.

Community Member

Don't waste your money buying connects, and don't waste your connects boosting your proposals. If you do it, you are paying to Upwork for finding a job, and not receiving money from a client. Serious clients will evaluate your skills and not the number of connects you use. I suggest even not paying a membership. Use the 10 free connects and only buy 10 connects more ($1.5) if you find a job that fits your skills without boosting!

If Upwork will not get money from the freelancers, maybe they will care to avoid the scammers, or do something about clients that post jobs and never hire anyone. 

Community Member

Upwork should refund unused connects for unassigned jobs, while also prioritizing efforts to counteract scammers and address inactive clients

But will clients even get a chance to view your proposal if it's not boosted? 

That is my fear. I want to ensure my proposal is seen at the top on the jobs I go for.  I don't like to mess around.

That's awful, Aukse! And don't you find it even more irritating to see that we spend a lot of money buying connects and the clients don't even see our proposal?

Agree! That's why I suggested to Rate the Clients.

We can see their Profile and feedbacks, but Upwork should rate them as they rate us, and publish the  rating.

If a client doesn't read the proposals or doesn't hire after 1 week, or hires a 10% of the jobs he posts, his rate should be affected and published. Even when we check the client's profile and history. 

That's an excellent idea!!!

Community Member

They do get a 1-5 rating and a history of their spend and where they are from. Which is helpful, but true not a comprehensive profile.

Community Member

Upwork actually does something like this, Debora

They do see your proposal--and they choose whether or not to open it and read further based on your first two lines, your profile title, your JSS, your earnings to date and other variables. 

Aukse - If you improve the description of you on your profile, you might have greater success. The first two sentences of your description are the most important. If a client's attention is not grabbed in those sentences, you have lost them. So focus exactly on what you can do for a client in those sentences!

I am a freelancer and also hire here. When I post a project and freelancers respond, I see the first two sentences. Then, I can choose whether to view the rest of the proposal. Those should be the most attention-grabbing. As for the profile description, I believe having a completed profile is much more important than the first two sentences. I look for education, experience, and feedback left by other clients. I wouldn't want to pass by a great freelancer because they didn't write the most engaging lede. 

As an FYI, you have errors in your profile description. There should be a comma between the words polished and with, and eBooks is misspelled as ebooks. You're missing a comma between the words English to separate the two independent clauses. You have others, but those are an example. 

Before you make statements about jobs being fake, as this is a very serious accusation, and you should have some real proof. Anybody who is bidding with 50 connects is probably scrambling to get that proposal in front of the client as quickly as possible, hence a crappy proposal that they raced through to get submitted, with weak work examples.


That's why the proposals aren't being read and the freelancer hired. People love to point the finger at Upwork as to why they can't be successful.


To be even more clear on this, connects are refunded for scammer proposals, and that's the way it should be, as Upwork could do a better job of weeding these out early. But, making a blanket statement that they are putting jobs out there, knowing that they are fake, to generate revenue from unsuspecting bidders is unreal.


People think that it could never be them as part of the reason that they didn't get hired.


This seems like a lot of assumptions. I don't bid 50 connects, only because it's not necessary in my field. I often bid 20-25, which is what it takes to get to the top slot in my field. I'm never rushing, and rarely even bid on the same day the job was posted. I find that my proposals are more than twice as likely to be opened when boosted. Since the cost of 25 connects is roughly equal to two minutes of work time for me, it's more than worthwhile. 


I know there are a lot of newcomers out there throwing connects at everything thinking getting to the top of the list will outweigh not being the best option, but I can't be the only person using it strategically.

Community Member

Welcome to Upwork. I see you have landed your first jobs and haven't experienced Upwork as many of us have for years. 

When we say "fake" jobs, we don't mean Upwork's making them on purpose. What we mean is a lot of times, clients are just looking at how much things cost, trying to get free samples, or even scamming freelancers. These aren't legit job offers, and Upwork isn't doing much about it.


I've flagged loads of these jobs, but they keep popping up. If you're looking for evidence, many of us deal with these shady job posts all the time. Everyone can voice their issues on any site. When things aren't going right and no one listens, it's frustrating.


There're freelancers who used to earn big bucks, like $30k-50k each month, but now they're making $5k. So are they all just bad at their jobs now? They are bad at submitting proposals? Think twice before calling people out here!


Upwork has changed. I used to get loads of job invites weekly and out of every 10 proposals I would get at least 3 interviews, but not anymore. Out of my last 100 proposals this year, I only got 7 views, landed 2 jobs, and 10 of my boosted proposals weren't even checked.


I'm not blaming anyone, but the numbers don't lie. We want Upwork to vet clients better and give refunds for bogus job posts. Some clients post a job and vanish. How is this fair? Upwork could definitely do more to help out us freelancers.

Martin, you may be right about the high bids in some cases but not all.


I personally will bid between 40 to 60 on a job.  You may see that as high but I don't just put a proposal up fast.  I spend about 20 minutes putting my together.  And to me I want mine to be first.


For me I normally send it about a day after the job has been listed.  I review how many bods, hire rate, and previous reviews.  This way I can really think if I want the project.


Sending out high bids means less proposals but better quality.  


I have tried to get clients with PPC and those cost way more than the connects. 


And for when I don't get hired after an interview I ask the client what I did wrong or why they went with someone else.  And most of the time it was because I did something stupid,.like not really understand their problem or spelling errors.


And I agree 100 percent Upwork can do better about the scams.  I have no problem reporting jobs I believe might be a scam.  Not sure if it helps but I will help pick up the garbage if it makes the platform better.

Sending out high bids means less proposals but better quality.


No, it definitely does not.


Plenty of highly skilled freelancers are doing well without bidding astronomical amounts. Some never boost at all.


Freelancers must make sure their profile and proposals are perfect. There is no excuse for poor language and spelling. There are numerous editors, and if you must, free but poor spell check programs. Don't bother buying one, because they all make errors.


Applying in haste is a waste. If you don't know you will be one of the top applicants, don't apply. Boosting will not get you where your skills won't. You would be better served by ensuring your proposals did not have errors, than boosting. Do you really think the client will overlook your mistakes because you boosted? No, they will not.

There are a lot of fake job posts and outright scams on Upwork now. It didn't use to be this bad. I'm not sure why Upwork is allowing it now. 

Upwork earns money from freelancers that buy connects, even more if they boost their bids with 50 connects. Also, if the client is a scammer, freelancers (specially the new ones) apply there with a lot of connects. So, why should Upwork avoid scammers if they earn money from freelancers that bid there and buy connects?


Also, if the client is a scammer, freelancers (specially the new ones) apply there with a lot of connects


Surely, with your posting about scams, you learned about this?


You misrepresent the situation. I don't recall you ever mentioning this, so I will help.


If the freelancer is scammed, they contact Support, and they will have every connect returned.


If the freelancer broke the Terms of Service while engaged with a scammer, they do not get connects returned.

From your point, I will advise you not to apply for every job you see, you should check for the client that hires, not just any job you think you have the skills for and you can deliver

Community Member

— Don't waste your money buying connects, and don't waste your connects boosting your proposals. If you do it, you are paying to Upwork for finding a job, and not receiving money from a client. Serious clients will evaluate your skills and not the number of connects you use. I suggest even not paying for a membership. Use the 10 free connects and only buy 10 connects more ($1.5) if you find a job that fits your skills without boosting! If Upwork does not get money from the freelancers, maybe they will care to avoid the scammers, or do something about clients that post jobs and never hire anyone. 


— In the last year, Upwork is not solving the problem of the scammers. So, take care, and don’t apply to them, they are not here for hiring people.

Community Member

It seems that Upwork is doing its business selling connects, that's why there are jobs that require 16 connects and they allow people to boost their bids with 50 connects or more (especially the new freelancers), and they keep the scam jobs until people post their bids…using connects, of course.


  • DON'T BOOST YOUR BIDS. If you do it, you are paying to Upwork for finding a job instead of earning money from your work. Serious clients will find the best options according to your skills and not according to the amount of bids you use.  
  • I suggest NOT paying for a membership. Just use the 10 connects they give you for free and buy 10 more ($1.5) ONLY when you find a good job for you. 
  • I recommend your Profile to be visible to Upwork members and not Public outside Upwork. This way you avoid people outside Upwork (for example, scammers) to find you and enter for posting a job or inviting you. 

I agree with you, Débora! I have been a member of Upwork for 4 years now and I'm feeling very frustrated lately. We should not have to boost our bids or pay for a membership, but unfortunately, it seems that if we don't do this, we won't ever get seen. I've earned over $90k on this platform but lately, I'm not even getting any answers from the clients, because my proposal gets hidden by freelancers who send proposals using more than 60 connects. That's really sad and unfair.


I work here for 13 years now (previously it was Elance).

Never in 13 years was Upwork so bad. It is not anymore a fiable platform. 


Boosting isn't necessary to get jobs. It should only be used when you know, for certain, you are one of the top two people.

Community Member

**bleep** good advice!! thank you

Community Member

Thank you for saying what we were all thinking, Ivy! I'm a voice artist and it's becoming really hard to keep up with this increased usage of connects. People should hire us because we are a good fit for the job, not because we give more money to Upwork just to be seen! Let's put an end to this!!

Of course, people only know you're a good fit for the job if they read your proposal. So, doesn't it make sense to make yours one of the few that gets read?

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