Low Payment Offer on ODesk by Clients

Hello Everybody, How can it be that many Clients on oDesk offer to pay $1 per hour for any type of job? I do not understand why a Contractor would accept such a deal! How much did your computer or laptop cost you in the first place? Not 1 dollar!?! How about your efforts, your time, your understanding of the project and everything else that is required to complete even the most simple of projects? Let us all give a thought to such offers. Thanks
103 REPLIES 103

Your so good in noticing little details.... despite of......:)

One of my favorite jobs is proofreading - go figure 😉

Which reminds me of my favorite episode of MasterChef season 3. Christine Ha presented a Duplicated French Dish, Flavor, Portion and Cut and presentation to the garnish was exact replica of the sample dish. And the host said "Your not really Blind, Are You?" (something to that effect).:)


The proof is in the pudding. I have seen a 'million' websites with the language so slaughtered it is barely readable. It seems to me people do not care about content, just paying peanut shells and taking what they can. I have to say when I run across the websites where the content is crap I immediately close her down. It does not make sense that a true webmaster who cares about their business would accept this. Yet they do. You get what you pay for. Sue

I've come to the above conclusion, and will only bid on jobs that offer what I consider to be payment commensurate with my skills and experience. Shame on all who accept low-ball offers. And shame on the "clients" who post them. One more month and I'm off oDesk. I can't take the bad English and can't watch my beloved language being massacred by non-native speakers willing to do the "hit" for 10 cents an hour.

A client once offered me an online teaching job for a measly $1 per hour. (WTH?!) Obviously, for Asians (particularly Filipinos like me), these contractors base the rate on the USD exchange rate. That's understandable but offering $1-$2 as an hourly rate is absolute BS. The worst thing is, despite how low the client's offer is, you'll still see a lot of contractors vying for the job.

You get what you pay for. In the end, most of these people are going to find out that their low-cost work is going to be a high-cost headache. I had one client who was paying someone like $3/hr to maintain their blog for months, only to realize that the person was posting nothing but garbage. Stuff directly plagiarized from other sites or spun from Wikipedia articles. Half the posts didn't even make sense. So, on top of all the money he paid that person, which he had no way of recovering, he had to pay me a lot more to fix the problem. If he had paid someone a decent wage to begin with, it would have cost him a lot less. Penny-wise and pound-foolish, false economy, whatever you want to call it. If they actually want decent work, they will learn their lesson.

You took the words right out of my mouth. I'm university educated with a B.A. and an M.A. in progress. I find the idea of working for $1 an hour just plain insulting and frankly I'm more than a little annoyed that I wasted so much time on these foolish "qualifications" for these ridiculous rates. I could get a job at McDonald's for 8 times as much and probably get health benefits as well. What a joke! This is probably the last time I log into oDesk, at least until some serious changes are made. $1 an hour, my a**. Give me a break!

Hi there, Guys we should request to odesk for the fix per hour rate from 1$ to above and also for fixed price has some lower limit like 10$ to 20$ and all contractor don't have right to bid blow than 10$. Regard Sachin

Clients offer lower and lower budget as time goes by. They are demanding 3 pages PSD to Responsive HTML work in $30-40 while the rate in market for same work is at least $90-150 per page. Basically clients demand web development work in $2-3 per hour. It's not fair, we invest so many years in learning the technologies and now getting very low price. I am not applying for jobs anymore but sitting with empty hands. Now a days clients wants 4-5 days work in couple of dollars. This amounts meets the electricity and broadband bills only. What about our skills and time????

You are absolutely right and Odesk should do something about this. Look here a piece of Article I found today which says what four things Odesk can change for better user compliance.

Who ask you to bid on that job.. there are alot of inflation over third world countries so let them work at $0.1 and you can bid for $10/hr Odesk give you all options.

I saw a job offer that said "i will not consider bids over 0.025$ per hour"... I mean ***.. Id suggest, oDesk to set fixed price jobs to be not lower than 5$. Also the hourly job to not to be lower than 2 or 3$ per hour. Everything below is not human. Also it'd be good if bids to be restricted to be not lower than 30-40% from the actual budget of the client. There are just my suggestions. Cheers, Vladimir *[Removed by Admin]

Greetings, This is something that I think about the whole time. Most people think that with just $1 people will be able to survive. At the end of the day clients must take into consideration that we all have electricity bills that accumulate and they mostly want you for 40-60 hours a week. oDesk should control this and make a standard minimum, if at the end of the day your company is so small that cannot afford at least paying out a min of $3.00ph to outsource then the people that own the company should do it until they are able to afford an additional employee. It comes down to US too, if we don't bid on their post then they will have to increase the amount that they pay out. Those ridiculous "bids over .50 cents per hour" are just humiliating and really not worth even the time to write a cover letter nor read the job description for it.

As a relative newbie, I was perturbed and put off by some of the ridiculous prices clients wanted to pay (and the equally ridiculous bids put in by contractors). But I soon realised that I needed to stick to my guns and request my true worth. Although, admittedly, I did go lower for my first few jobs, but these lead to other jobs with much higher prices. When I see people demanding (and that's what they do) that only bids of 1 dollar, or less, will be accepted, then demand (again) that they need to be excellent writers, it does get my goat. But, I just think that it is their loss and they will most certainly get what they pay for - such a shame! As for contractors who bid low, as someone else said, it's relative to them: while it might be a pittance to us, it is probably worth a lot to them. I say that there is more than enough work to go round (I haven't stopped since I joined) and people just need to get on with what THEY are doing!

I just found this post: "...This is a work for hire! YOU WILL RETAIN NO RIGHTS TO THE ARTWORK!" And the "client" wants his/her book fully illustrated, with top quality artwork... for $150 (!!) and still wants to retain full rights?? oDesk... please, you'd better do something about this once and for all, or all you'll end up with will be starved-to-death, minimal quality contractors in Jupiter or something along those lines.

Most countries have a minimum wage in effect. When you hire contractors you should expect to pay more than minimum as the company is not paying taxes or benefits and can tell your "job" is done at anytime. Working for .50 or $1 is insulting to my time and skills.

[quote=Shelley Sauter]Most countries have a minimum wage in effect. When you hire contractors you should expect to pay more than minimum as the company is not paying taxes or benefits and can tell your "job" is done at anytime. Working for .50 or $1 is insulting to my time and skills.[/quote] So you bring up a post that is 8 months ago? On top of that, you apply for jobs that are paying less than 5.00 an hour. I saw one there that was paying less 4.00 that you applied for. Get real. There is no minimum wage for free lance contractors, never has been, never will.

As a video producer and animator, I am constantly faced with potential clients that pay next to nothing for video production.  Some jobs offer $10 budgets!  It's absurd!  My animations are reasonably intricate and take hours to build.  Educating clients first and foremost is the key.  It would also help if other freelancers would simply not indulge companies that pay offensively low rates for services.  Our time is valueable and our skills are relevant!


Not all clients are educable. You know which ones aren't. The cheapskates will get what they pay for. Turn your face elsewhere. 




I know how you feel, as a screenwriting and producing major the budgets of video productions here give me the shivers. Most clients obviously do not understand (or do not care about) the requirements that softwares like Premier or Final Cut Pro place on your computer - it's not just the cost of the software, but the computer's build as well that is expensive. 


If we want to be charitable, we could assume that with work like video productions and animations (and illustrators etc.) a lot of the low bidders are contractors that are still in the process of building up their portfolio, so they accept these ridiculous offers because they think that it is better being paid something for a portfolio item that they can later say was for an actual client than just making something for the sake of adding it to their showreel. I don't think most of them realize that they are pushing down the prices for everyone when they do that, but that is the nature of the global market I'm afraid.


All that being said, as Douglas wrote, I agree that it is best to just not waste your time with clients that are here to look for contractors that accept complex projects for peanuts. They will (hopefully) learn their lesson when they get what they paid for.


I thought I was seeing things , I just started using this site today , and I thought the bid  was what they offered , but it was what I put down in my settings profile , then I was thinking maybe they are clients from other countrys were the pay is less .. so you mean to tell me for usa jobs offered , they are really posting 3 dollars a hour , thats against miniume wage laws I thought , wow this sucks . I am really getting fedup with todays job market as a whole its a headache .


Jean Pierre, the real question that should be asked is how in the world does a contractor afford the many softwares being used if they work for so little.


I'll tell you the answer. Most of the people who would work for that amount probably have pirated software copies. That in itself is another issue entirely. Imagine someone gifted in using photoshop. From what I know, PS costs $60 a month if you buy it on a subscription basis. I doubt someone who pays that amount monthly would consider working at these ridiculous amounts. Someone who "bypasses" the $60 would have no problem to do that at all. That is the real tragedy my friend 🙂