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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???


Interestingly, the good jobs (I charge $100+/hour) very, very rarely require that number of connects. Most of the gigs I bid on, worth several hundred to thousands of dollars, are 8, or even 4. I think this tells us a lot about where Upwork would like freelancers focusing their efforts. 

I guess the aim of asking a high number of connects for a job that is worth more is to discourage clients from using Upwork for such tricks.

In the client forum, there is at least one post by a client wondering why he is not getting any bids for a job he's offering to pay $20 while it's worth much more. If I remember right, Upwork is asking 16 connects for this job.

In the "pre Covid days", if the job was interesting, I would still make an offer asking for the amount I thought the job was worth, and this would often work. Now, the situation makes such an offer too risky, particularly if don't want to throw your connects away.

Community Member

At this point Upwork is just a connects shop, perhaps they should change the name because for sure it is far away from original idea of connecting clients and freelancers. Amount of scammers flooding the platform is huge, percentage of successful projects very low, costs to even be on this platform raising at an alarming rate and all Upwork do is asking for more while giving less and less. That's not how it works, that's a scam itself. I am puzzled by the sheer fact that I have to pay to apply for a job. I get it, Upwork is a middle man, they don't hire directly but acting like a middle man as they do now is just unethical. I don't support it, never boost my proposals, never buy connects with other money than what I have available to withdraw (and it is very small amount as I never buy huge amounts of connects), I don't use Plus plan. I simply keep the middle man where they should be - in the middle, occassionally being rewarded if the middle man does a good job. If not, their loss. I'm not a charity and I will not fund Upwork's crazy ideas how to spend their lives in wealth, I came here to find a job but seeing every month the quality of service they offer getting lower makes me considering other options. Middle man that is not delivering is being fired, simple.

Community Member

The truth has been spoken, Olga! Upwork shouldn't even charge us to send proposals because they already receive 10% of all our income (it used to be 5% for our oldest clients but they found a way to cut that off, didn't they?) So they should simply help us get hired more often and receive their fair share, but now they are in the business of exploring the very people that support their existence in the market...

They receive 10% of the income of a tiny, tiny fraction of freelancers who send proposals here. Why do you think they should provide free services to the millions who never land a job and so never pay a dime in fees? 


Or are you suggesting that successful freelancers should pay more to subsidize the millions who put a drain on the system and never pay any fees? I'm confused about why you think either Upwork or successful freelancers should pay the way for freeloaders.

Community Member

Upwork is also not a charity. If you find it unprofitable for you to purchase their services in connecting you with clients, you should find a different way to connect with clients. 

How can i done with this community to run

Community Member

I wouldn't call allowing scammers to flood this place as a "connecting to clients", out of 10 offers I get 8 are straight scam/"do-me'work-for free-"/purchase something to perform the task etc thingies. Quite amusing way for Upwork to earn their cut. By your other comments in many topics I can see you are successfull, perfectly satisfied with Upwork's performance person, that's awesome. But please don't act like their defender, many people proved them to be **Edited for Community Guidelines** and unprofessional in what they offer. Stay within your glass bubble and let us express our discontent. Because discontent doesn't always lead to leaving, that's childish, adult people seek for solutions instead.

How do people stay in self-employment without ever spending a penny?

Community Member

People bidding with 50 connections still have the impression that more is better, with no consideration for the quality of the proposal. Though this may be appropriate in some instances, but wouldn't on $5 jobs. 


Eventually they'll figure out, after they're out of connects, after think about the quality of these proposals. This approach is unsustainable, both in theory and practice. 

Sir how can i strt this project help me

Community Member

Pretty much this.

I've been on Upwork since back when it was called oDesk, before the merge with Elance. I've seen bad times here, but nothing quite like this, even during COVID it wasn't quite like this.


I've also been mostly away from Upwork for about 1 year because I was working on other projects. I'm looking at platform now I've noticed two immediately obvious changes. First, as you said the connects to send a proposal went from 2-8 to 8-16. The second, and most worrying, is the absolute abysmal quality of the job posts. Most the the days there's literally nothing I'm interested in replying, even if it was free. From obvious scams to meaningless posts, this is what distinguishes today from COVID.


I don't know what happened between last year and today. I haven't kept up with the platform as I said. But something definitely happened, and happened very quickly.

From my point of view, what happened is that many people with not much to offer as freelancers joined Upwork during Covid and many are currently joining because there are tons of stupid videos on YouTube with gurus "teaching" the crowds on how to make a fortune on Upwork. If you read the comments, you'll see that the audience of these videos is completely naive and many believe they too can make a fortune on Upwork. That's why they are joining Upwork.

For a while clients have been receiving huge numbers of offers from would be freelancers that had not even read the job offers. "Good" clients must have grown weary of Upwork and must have found a replacement for Upwork. In my opinion, Upwork is just trying to discourage freelancers that don't have much to offer besides their naivity, in the hope that the "good" clients will come back. 

Let's see if that works. In the meantime, many of us are suffering....

If Upwork wanted to discourage the unskilled, they would reinstate the overall limits, category limits, Upwork tests, and skills tests. They adamantly refuse to take even the most basic measures to restore the platform the way it was. I recognize they need money, but making us into employees is not going to work.

I don't know about the skill tests, there were so many people offering the answers on the net...

From what I've seen since I joined (end of 2016), Upwork keeps trying new strategies.

I wish I coud see figures that enable to analyse the results of these strategies. That would probably be very interesting.

Great platforms have skills tests that are not easy to defeat, with rotating questions and some that require writing sentences for example, with writers. Some have meanings that are all sort of correct, but one is perfect, and you have to write it out. It is quite possible to have tests that are not simple or easy to defeat.


I write test questions for fire and EMS, as well as labs and hospitals. While they are accessible on the 'net, they have never been stolen and there are simple, cheap ways to rotate them and alter them enough it is extremely difficult to get the answers.


I'm quite certain I am not the only person on this platform that knows how to create a random functional testing system that is secure.


Well, you can look at the records they share and their quarterly, but that tells you very little about the inner workings that affect us all. For example, they are not sharing how much of their profit came from firing 15% of their work force. Just saying, oh look, a profit, without the rest of the budget is meaningless.

Cool, you are a test specialist! I wish Upwork would use your services... But the tests themselves were not that good, at least the language tests.


I'm not really interested in how much money Upwork made (particularly how much they made by making workers redundant and by selling connects - I did notice those two points in the quarterly and found the information shocking), but I love analysing other type of figures. Things like which age group makes the most money, is there a difference between how much women make compared to men, do these vary a lot or not... And obviously what were the effect of Covid. And much more information that I don't even think of which is possible to find by comparing charts and figures.

Well, I don't normally do tests for businesses, usually only in the medical/health/emergency/disaster fields, but I have provided tests for all kinds of operations. It really is not that difficult. Let me amend that statement. Performing the work, can be hard. For example, writing test questions for OR surgical tools, from counts including sponges all the way through disinfection can be tedious. The steps to make the tests secure, are not difficult, nor do they take huge amounts of time or money to establish. The program you write rotates questions and tests in random ways with hundreds, if not thousands, of possibilities. Once you write the questions, and write the program for rotations, replacements, etc. you are set, unless you want to change it up.


Things like which age group makes the most money, is there a difference between how much women make compared to men, do these vary a lot or not... And obviously what were the effect of Covid. And much more information that I don't even think of which is possible to find by comparing charts and figures.


Very interesting questions that can impact all of us. It would be interesting to know about the male-female money aspect. I would imagine it still rewards males for having XY.





Well, after tests such as those you have worked on, tests for Upwork should be easy... Mind you, the quality of the questions would need to be worked on, as I told you the language test were not that good - and as it is often the case - understanding the questions was a challenge !


Yes, there would be tons of interesting topics to study should we have access to the right figures. I would love to find out whether males and their XY charge more than the females do, and if this type of information is evolving with time.

Community Member

Any client who is looking for a qualified, serious freelancer will go through all the applications, 60 connects or not.

Those clients who pick from the top, are not the ones I would like to work for.

If they cannot be bothered to check my 12 year Upwork feedback, I wouldn't want to work with them anyway.

When I started on here, it was oDesk. I would apply for jobs, no reply, cancel my job proposal and get the connects back. That was 2008. It was super easy to get a job back then, now there are how many freelancers on Upwork?

Now I have to use 16 connects to apply for a job? Fair enough, the online freelancer market is insane. Covid helped with that, people realized you can actually work from home.
If you had to apply for a real job, in the real world, where you had to go to an actual physical interview, how much is that going to cost? $2, 50? It has been over 12 years since I have had to do that so I am not sure. Bus/car//train fare…plus the initial…send us your CV….
Bottom line.. If you are not happy with 16 connects, go elsewhere. Upwork is not a charity, it is a business.
With regards applying for jobs so as not to waste connects. Is the client new? Do they have their payment verified? Do they have a history of long term employees on Upwork? What is the average hourly rate they pay for similar jobs you are applying for? Do they hire and fire quickly? Check all these things out and then chances are you will not be wasting your 16 connects.

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