A "job" I was recently invited to had 47 invitations and some, but not many, fewer responses. I could tell right off the bat something was off. After one exchange with the client it was obvious there were a couple of things going on....not a real job and the guy was a true nut case. He was able to engage and use God only knows how much time of maybe 30 other freelancers. Does this really make sense, that a potential client can, for free, have a direct avenue to waste the time of 30 people when your revenue depends on those 30 people actually doing some real work through your platform?
The answer here is really straightforward. Yes, of course some are taking it off-line in violation of UW policy. Others are due to the myriad of reasons that folks have already indicated. There is no conspiracy nut hat required here. Everyone knows that happens. I don't really understand what question is really being asked here.
I believe the question/observation was that people have noticed some trends - lots of interviewing and no hiring, and people being contacted through other means to discuss employment when the freelancer was clearly found on Upwork.
In regards to the observations that 1) Apple doesn't charge to let you look at its computers and you can drive a $200,000 car without having to pay and that Upwork holds the value of its freelancers at naught - the latter observation is being couched in economics terms. Relatedly, and bringing in the first observation, Apple sells computers and car dealers sell cars. Upwork doesn't sell freelancers. Upwork runs a marketplace consisting of freelancers and clients/potential clients. When I state this, I carry the assumption that the freelancers ARE looking for and ready to work. Clients or may not have work that actually needs doing, or needs doing if the circumstances align. Let's compare this to a company that runs a holiday market. It provides booths/tables for vendors to display their merchandise and a space and advertising for shoppers/browsers. Providing services related to this market is how Upwork makes it money. And I am not suggesting that Upwork begin charging potential clients to browse freelancers, although in a full economic analyses of all possible buyer and seller motivations and barriers this would go into the mix. Something isn't working yet, as Upwork isn't making any money yet, and I bet it would really like to have the answer.
As I understand it, Upwork makes the preponderance of its money from freelancers - the cut of money earned and memberships, etc. The primary means by which it makes money off of clients is by charging them for its service to pay the freelancers. I don't know, which is why I'm asking - is there any reason why clients might find using this payment mechanism onerous, undesirable, unnecessary? They have a litany of mechanisms for paying for things that they already use, including possibly other freelancers. Do they feel they just don't want the hassle of dealing with one more mechanism, one more system, especially if they can identify the freelancers and contact them through other means and use one of their existing mechanisms to communicate with them and pay? This is what is meant by setting the value of the freelancers at naught - Upwork is saying "here is information on people who are ready to work that you can have for free." I'm not making a value judgment or even stating a personal opinion - that's just a straight-up fact. Is that a problem? Potential problem? Maybe? As I said before, I have some economics expertise but I'm not a pro - would be very interested in how a pro would frame the issue.
Lee Ann M wrote: Upwork doesn't sell freelancers.
What in the world else do you think it sells?
It sells freelancers' time / expertise / labour.
So yes. Upwork does sell freelancers. Freelancers (their time / expertise) are the products on the shelves of the Upwork "store."
@Lee Ann M wrote:
As I understand it, Upwork makes the preponderance of its money from freelancers - the cut of money earned and memberships, etc.
The money which pays both freelancer and Upwork comes 100% from the client.
Any attempt to dress this fact up in any other way is delusional at best, disingenuous at worst.
@Mark K wrote:
"I don't really understand what question is really being asked here. "
...but I'm going to answer it anyway!!
Yes, the question as asked was indeed answered with a simple "yes" whether you are a conspiracy nut or not. However, it feels like that is obviously known and therefore the reason to ask the question is something else or to make some other point which wasn't specifically expressed.
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