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skytrav1116
Member

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
expuser
Member

I have never been so appalled at all the low-ball offers clients ask for our hard work. I see it just about every time I come to look for work on here. Someone wanted two illustrated book covers, all the rights and everything, for SEVEN dollars!! It took all I could muster to just stew in my own thoughts and not try to educate the client about why our work is worth more than that. I don't know about everyone else, but 7$ isn't going to pay any of my bills!! There was another client who wanted an entire children's book, and complete transfer of rights, for $25. From what I was reading from the others who already commented, those aren't even the lowest prices. I can't believe someone is willing to work for 0.01 an hour!! Or even a dollar an hour! Honestly, it is contractors who accept all these low ball offers which make it that much harder for our entire industry to be taken seriously. It isn't just the clients at fault. The more the see professionals working for so little, the more they are going to think it is acceptable. /end rant. Haha.

You said, "The more (they) see professionals working for so little, the more they are going to think it is acceptable." What you are seeing are not "professionals" working for so little, regardless of their portfolios and regardless of where they are located. What you are seeing are desperate people out to make some money who have no clue what they're worth in the marketplace and don't care to find out. THOSE people are not professionals.

I agree with Cate. Those are not professionals and companies that low ball often get what they deserve. I bid on some educational activities two days ago. Budget was $50, a bit on the low side but it was only a few worksheets/activities... or so they said. Anyways, they gave the job away to a recent grad from high school who bid $9!!! I was like... wtf! ('scuse my language...) It's not the fact that a high school grad is doing the work, the thing was it went for $9. It takes me a least 2 to 3 hours to design a proper activity - that's one of the reasons teachers complain about preparing classes - it takes forever sometimes. People have no idea of what some jobs entitle, bid on anything, and this I just shake my head at the silliness (stupidity?) of it all.

That is just ridiculous...! With such a low offer like that $9 offer, you have to wonder how hard the contractor would be willing to work. The client could very well end up having to come back and offer the job again.

Yup. You will also find them in the forums, complaining about contractors who submitted sub-par or plagiarized work, or running away with their money.

Ahh, yes... the wonder whiners whinging about "Why they can't find decent workers who will work for whimsical wages..." (I am feeling poetic today! LOL) ... Well, if they didn't take the second lowest bidder, (because we all know how they swear that they don't hire the lowest! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) they might actually find somebody decent. I refuse to believe most people on here are bad workers, what I do find is that lately oDesk's screening process must have been thrown out the window... I remember that I had to send in a copy of my ID, a bill in my name, etc - and I find it incredible that there are so many scammers on board when I had to go through hoops to sign up. Seems a bit unfair, do they not screen the people who are hiring???

"Seems a bit unfair, do they not screen the people who are hiring???" .....NO.

I had a client who wanted me to lower my rates to write for his website. When I refused, his response was, "oh well...I'll get back to you when I need rewrites." What kind of idiot goes into a job KNOWING they're going to have to pay twice for good material?! That one. ****and I don't do "rewrites" unless its on my own stuff.

I used to have a "client" that hated to pay me "so much" for hourly writing. His theory was that there were plenty of writers who could do it for at least 1/2 of what I was charging. I agreed with him that he *could* get the work done for 50% less but the work may not be "up to his standards". He "wanted to see". I let him. When he came back to me 3 weeks later and asked me to "tweak and edit" what he paid 50% less for, I told him what my rate was - he informed me that was 50% higher than my writing rate. I explained that my writing rates and editing rates were completely different as they required different skills. He then hired me at my "usual" rate to do his writing. End of problem.

Thanks, Doreen. I'll have to remember that if he contacts me again. :)

That is true. But nevertheless, they will pitch themselves as professionals to clients, and make the real professionals look bad and as though they are asking far to much money for their hard work. It's just sad...
hati2
Member

It is sad to see exceptional contractors not getting the pay they deserve. Clients take advantage of the FACT that no matter what, THERE is someone who will want to do the job at that VERY low rate. Professionals in various fields are left out and the availability of jobs one can do just seem to diminish in such circumstances. Something serious needs to be done...Some clients who specify they require bids between a certain hourly rate to another are jokers. Because they may still want a contractor with a bid of $1 and below. Contractors are the only people who understand what it means to be a contractor and should refuse to accept such bids..even though it may not be possible for the desperate/freshers/beginners/...

[quote]exceptional contractors not getting the pay they deserve[/quote] If they were exceptional contractors they would be getting paid what the deserve. Don't blame it on the client. The contractor has a choice not to bid on the job. Probably about the 1e+100 time that has been stated on forums.
shariqueahmer
Member

What would you do, if you were a client who needed to shell out money to get a work done and that if you're a small business with very tight budget.

Don't spend money on crap. Save it until you can get quality and don't settle for less. Unfortunately, too many clients settle for the $3.33 an hour guys who don't really know what they're doing because its cheap labor. And we all know who those contractors and clients are. Its pretty obvious by looking at profiles and past jobs.

[quote=Sharique A.]What would you do, if you were a client who needed to shell out money to get a work done and that if you're a small business with very tight budget.[/quote] small business + very tight budget = no money

Exactly. I try to avoid those like the plague unless it's a kid who I feel good about helping out for next to nothing. otherwise... the entrepreneur needs to either do the work themself or realize they aren't ready to attempt any business yet. The #1 reason for any business failure is cash flow

I know there are businesses out there looking to save a buck but some of these "offers" are down right exploitative. Elance has a minimum bidding system in place and so should Odesk. Personally I get really irritated when I check out the jobs that are paying peanuts and see the demands for "perfect English", proper research, etc.

I just saw a posting on Craigslist for oDesk writers--$7.50 per 150 word count biographies. Seriously? I'm a speedy copywriter but even I can't research and whip up a bio in less than 45 minutes. Any company that recruits oDesk writers is getting exactly what they pay for--below minimum wage labor. Professional writers should not degrade their craft by contributing to such greedy tactics. Save your talent for companies who understand that "anyone can write, but few people write well."
iacob_irina
Member

why don't you report the jobs? i can't wait to repair my computer - to be read as getting windows on it again - so that i can take hourly jobs and report those insulting our skills and abilities.

[quote=Irina I.]why don't you report the jobs? [/quote] Get real. You can report those jobs all you want to. oDesk is not going to do a damn thing about it. If you don't want to take a bottom-feeder job, then don't bid on it. I can guarantee you that 100 other poor fish will.

There's a woman who is employed by my building to take care of the gardens. I could realistically estimate that she gets paid about $1 an hour. Minimum wage in my country for manual labour positions is little more than that. I certainly choose to pay my own domestic worker a whole lot more but I don't bother myself about the woman who works in the garden. The clothing industry, as you well know, commonly uses sweat shop workers who earn about 8 cents an hour in countries all over the globe. I choose to support only the boutiques that I know use local CMTs that pay well but, to be honest, I don't bother myself about the sweatshop workers in India. There is a man who does the cleaning at a coffee shop I frequent. I know that he is paid less than $20 a day because I have spoken to his employer. I give him excellent tips every time I go there but I don't spend my time complaining about his wages. That those jobs are on offer at those rates is none of my concern unless I choose to take on that work, which I don't because I don't want to earn those wages or do that kind of work. There is absolutely no point in complaining about wages that have no impact on my life. This is precisely how it is on Odesk. $1 rates? So what? I don't want the work or those rates so it doesn't affect me. There are 80 percent more workers in the world earning below minimum wages than there are workers earning above them. Again, I actively support where I can but I don't spend my time complaining about those below the poverty belt. Odesk is only a tiny section of the global marketplace. There will be low paying clients, mid level clients and high paying clients. The low paying clients are none of my business. I see their ads and move along, as I do in the brick and mortar world. There is no international minimum wage, so there will probably never be a minimum wage on this global platform. As a person who grew up in the apartheid regime, I have watched friends who grew up in poverty, could not afford an education and received substandard schooling. I have watched them seek out and get university scholarships, learn to excel at their crafts and become great successes in their careers. I have seen this happen several times over. Before they received their scholarships, they were skilled enough only to earn $1 wages. They chose not to complain but rather to do something different to improve their earning potential. There are still people living in the townships who are unwilling to get an education and who earn $1 wages. Does that affect my friend from Lesotho who became an international crime lawyer? No. Nor does it affect my friend from the Eastern Cape shanty towns, who went on to become a brand manager for SA's biggest brewery. If you're going to complain about Odesk rates, you need, in principle, to complain about sweatshop rates and gardening rates and the rates paid to farm labourers in India. Their wages have as much impact on your earning potential as those $1 Odesk rates do.

Another thought: When I was 20 and didn't know how to use a mouse, I took a vague interest in Photoshop. I spent some spare time learning a few of the tools, which are fun to use today when I feel like changing my desktop image. I have absolutely no talent as a designer and I am by no means an expert in Photoshop. Let's say I wanted to become a professional freelance designer. I would first do a course to learn all I needed to know about Photoshop and what ever other programs I needed to offer a comprehensive design service. I would then get myself a mentor or an internship to work on faking the talent I don't have. Only once I had learned to produce satisfactory results comparable to the above average workers in the industry worldwide would I attempt to market myself as a freelancer on a global platform. Let's say I decided to do that entirely backwards: Let's say I came to Odesk first. I would only be able to charge $1 rates because, frankly, I know nothing and have no talent whatsoever. Few would want my work and the few who decided to hire me would be unhappy with what they received. An existing client I write for once asked me if I'd be able to create a newsletter design for them. My ancient Photoshop version, desktop and laptop cost a lot more than $1 but I could not ethically charge her for design work because that is simply not a skill I have. I would not have taken the job even if she lowered the rate to $1 an hour. In my market landscape, that would be immoral of me. If you'd like to see my Photoshop skills, look at the background of my profile pic: I did that. ๐Ÿ˜„ Some of the posts written by artical writters complaining about $1 rates write almost as poorly as I Photoshopped that background. Just saying. Do I make a clear point?

[quote=Kirsten Holmes]Do I make a clear point?[/quote] I think that you are trying to express how the differing levels of skills represented here deserve different rates of pay and that there is no reason to complain about that. I completely agree with that. I look at oDesk like a restaurant district in a city. McDonald's and Toco Bell are next to Applebees, but very few patrons that venture to the restaurant district for Applebees are tempted by McDonald's. Even fewer of those who are there to enjoy an evening of fine dining even bat an eye at the fast food joints as they enter the upscale restaurants that the Applebees dinners are only occasionally tempted into. Each patron to the restaurant district knows what they venture there for and know what to expect from each eatery. On oDesk, there are contractors who want to market fast food to clients who they assume are looking for such. How does such business even affect the business of those offering fine dining to clients in the market for that. The problem with oDesk is that there are no flashing neon signs. Every eatery declares themselves to be a fine establishment. I think that is what you are trying to say. I don't really care for your examples in your first post. I could get deep into why some of it represents a certain mindset, but I will stick with stating that I really do not care for you seeming to say, "I will give a little to help where I can but wont really be bothered by the harm being done elsewhere." I do not think that was what you were trying to relate, but that is what came through.

Robin, this is not really the forum to discuss the causes I do choose to support strongly, which is why I didn't mention them. I do try to make a difference in the areas that I feel are most pertinent. I was not trying to say we should not try to affect change at all. I just think that is an issue for another website. Odesk rates and SA minimum wages are dwarfed by the other fatal and tortuous problems that present themselves hourly in my home town.

I honestly don't think it is the place for that type of info either. I would not have discussed it, personally, if I were you. Why is it anyone's business where you help and who you feel is deserving unless you want to make that info public. I do not think it really relates to the statement that you are trying to make. It reveals too much and does not help your argument (although, it is rather eloquently put together). I personally believe that we have similar views on the topic, although you didn't acknowledge that, so perhaps we don't. The argument is here, deserving to be or not. You just made a long, drawn out post discussing it. Now, it is suddenly an issue for another website and dwarfed by other fatal and tortuous problems. Of course it is, but I am responding to your post here, on this topic, and contrary to what you clearly think, I have no beef with you. You asked if your point was clear. Well, no, to me it said far too much about unrelated issues, and that muddled and confused the point you were trying to make. Unless, of course, you were trying to make the point that I assumed you were not?

Let's say I took on the Odesk problem we are speaking about as my personal cause. I would not introduce minimum rates. I think that would be a grave error that would hurt those who have earned them. What I believe needs to change is the way freelancing is approached. With this little dot com universe, people are coming in thinking that they can realistically earn in an industry they know nothing about. What they need are some marketing and business management skills. They need to find out what their passions, talents and skills actually are. They then need to hone those skills over months or years before trying to compete at higher rates. Then it will be time for them to put their marketing skills into practice by approaching the entire World Wide Web and not this one lousy platform. We are all online here at Odesk, so we have a world of information at our fingertips. Educating ourselves is far simpler today than it has ever been before. Now I never received any of the above elements freely or easily myself. I applied for a marketing scholarship I had little chance of winning, and when I got it I put everything into earning my distinctions. I could not get a university education so I introduced myself and my work to a successful writer who had several doctorates in literature. In exchange for my doing odd jobs for him over the years, he taught me, studied with me and mentored me through my first manuscripts. I cut out articles, filed papers and updated websites in exchange for my seven year education. Today when I find writers I believe have the ability to grow, I support them in their endeavors. I have worked on a number of manuscripts over years at no charge because these people had real potential. I have watched a writer develop from backyard scribbling to the publication of a successful book, several short stories and more articles than I could count. She recently won a second prize in a short story competition, which put tens of thousands in her bank account for less than a day's work. I am currently helping another writer to develop his thesis into a publishable collection, and offering support with the publicity he needs to gain before he attempts submission. I would not offer such support to most who are asking for minimum rates here because the bulk of the posts are coming from people seeking a position in the writing industry who can't speak English properly in two lines of forum posts. Worse: they have no idea that there's a thing wrong with their use of the language and they tend to insist repetitively that their 'engrish is perfekt.' For most of these contractors, learning the language and then learning to write competently would take many years of great effort (as it did for me,) which is the only way they are likely to earn the rates they desire. In a word, my solution to the Odesk rates problem is 'self empowerment.' I simply don't believe there is an easy way.

it has all been discussed before, complete with points and counter points. Here is just one of the MANY discussions.

Robin we do have similar views on the topic. I also haven't stated anything in this thread that I haven't said in others. This topic frustrates me and I'm tired of it. Responding to the issue is clearly not going to have any impact so I'll stand down.

[quote=Irina I.]why don't you report the jobs? i can't wait to repair my computer - to be read as getting windows on it again - so that i can take hourly jobs and report those insulting our skills and abilities.[/quote] That's ridiculous. Reporting jobs for low budget is totally counter productive. It wastes everyone's time which could be spent on more urgent or profitable things, achieves absolutely nothing and takes support time away from real issues. If you don't like a client's budget simply move on! Irina, it's total hypocrisy when you talk about reporting clients for low budgets when you, yourself, take on a 10 000 word translation for $ 20 - even split between 4 translators! Frankly that is an insult to every professional translator out there! In fact it is an insult to most slaves! If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
louisduncan
Member

This is the perfect example of a common mentality at the moment, perfectly encapsulated. The first job in Graphic Design section at the moment of posting. "Graphic Design SUPERSTARS ONLY, We have hired 7 different graphic designers in the last two weeks and have been VERY disappointed. In all cases, they had what looked like good portfolios, but when we actually put them on real projects they're work was substandard, and completely insufficient to meet our demands. We have a full time position available for a TOP QUALITY graphic designer..." So you look down at the history and see they are paying graphic designers at $2/3 an hour. They say they have hired 7 different graphic designers in the last two weeks and have been disappointed, but instead of looking at the rates they are paying and who that's clearly attracting they're just throwing it out there again and again and again in the hope that something will stick. It's just not clicking that if they want their TOP QUALITY SUPERSTAR they're going to have to pay for it. Why after 7 designers is that not clicking? Barking things like "If you are not good enough to create logos that can compete with these national brands, then DO NOT apply" doesn't exactly reel the talent in either. "If a US Fortune 500 company wouldn't use it, it's not for us either." Yes, but a US fortune 500 company would be paying literally thousands for branding and their product packaging design. What makes you think you can get that kind of quality for $2 an hour? It's not the low rates that bug me so much as it is the expectation that hiring that low will get you "US Fortune 500" quality. If you hire low that's fine but at least adjust your expectations.
rpmacrohon
Member

Bottom Line I feel, that Some if not Most Client fail to really grasp the real meaning of Cost Effectiveness and Cost Efficiency and Some would simply would try to take advantage of People's Desperation to Earn. Problem is, more often than not when they think they got the long end, they actually are holding the short end, got coned by a worker who are simply "DRESSED NICE". Like a book with great Cover, but actually blank pages inside. Then they come to the forum to complain...... That goes the same to some Contractors who "THINKS" they know what they are supposed to do
rjc33020
Member

Why are they asking for tax information in order for me to withdraw money? I was told I had to fill out a profile to apply for a job?

[quote=Ryan Cornelius]Why are they asking for tax information in order for me to withdraw money? I was told I had to fill out a profile to apply for a job?[/quote] So they can let the government know you have earned money. Do you not pay taxes?

[quote=Ryan Cornelius]Why are they asking for tax information in order for me to withdraw money? I was told I had to fill out a profile to apply for a job?[/quote] Ryan welcome to oDesk. I think you might have messed up on your English skills, one is the lowest while 5 is the highest. I would recommend rewriting your overview especially if you are planning on applying for writing assignments. Also, PLEASE increase your rate -- don't insult your own intelligence by being willing to work for such a crappy rate. I would also suggest you read Contractors Learning Center and take some time to read through some of the forum threads about rates/profiles and how to land an assignment on oDesk. Good luck! Doreen

Welcome aboard, and no this is not a cruise line. As mentioned before, change your English to 5/5 and get your rate on up there. As note do not lower it to get that first job. Show you deserve more in your Overview. What you have in your overview really needs to be reworded and put in Other Experience with a title of Personal Project or something similar. Your Overview needs to be directed at the Client stating what you have to offer them. My three cents worth. well, just noticed he posted 7 days ago. wonder if he will be back.
mymhoks
Member

mostly ***country accept $0.25 rate per hour and it is not fair, dont tell me, we can buy foods,pay our bills for that rate, my god, why odesk admin didnt change the minimu wages here in odesk? how can we report those client that posting job for $0.50 per hour..? *[Removed by Admin]

Not up to oDesk. You are your own business, to run yourself, to apply/accept jobs that pay what you request/require, to have and to hold, forever and henceforth. Don't like the rate, don't apply. It's that simple. Or you can still apply with the rate that you think you deserve. Up to you.
yui101
Member

I have seen other online workplace as competitive as Odesk and they have minimum bid of $10. Why can't Odesk operators set a limit to bidding prices? To Odesk management and some contractors. Do you think $2 is fine? No it is not, what's worst is that there are new contractors accepting less than a dollar rate. How can this be happening? you guys are killing the industry! PLEASE MAKE NOTICE OF MY COMMENT AND LET IT BE HEARD BY ODESK AND EVERYONE.. "WE NEED A BIDDING LIMIT of NO LESS THAN $1 or $2....."

[quote=Herbert Marzon]I have seen other online workplace as competitive as Odesk and they have minimum bid of $10. Why can't Odesk operators set a limit to bidding prices? To Odesk management and some contractors. Do you think $2 is fine? No it is not, what's worst is that there are new contractors accepting less than a dollar rate. How can this be happening? you guys are killing the industry! PLEASE MAKE NOTICE OF MY COMMENT AND LET IT BE HEARD BY ODESK AND EVERYONE.. "WE NEED A BIDDING LIMIT of NO LESS THAN $1 or $2....."[/quote] Clients are not supposed to offer less than $3 for an assignment. This is largely ignored. Unfortunately, if contractors are willing to work for pennies an hour you can't stop them. Please it's oDesk not Odesk (sorry I'm uncertain why that annoys me so much) ๐Ÿ™‚
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