I did it mainly for rollover thinking that as a noob Upwork person I'd need it. Haven't needed it. I needed rollover badly in April on Elance, but other than that I haven't run out of connects.
I don't think the averages are useful. Someone always bids the lowest, and someone else is way out there.
I've actually found that bidding my hourly rate is easier and it's less tempting to try to undercut others.
I recently bid $1000 more than the highest bidder on a gig that was highly technical, so I knew I was one of the few who was qualified. Highest bid after mine was $500. Mine was $1500 with my typical "I'm awesome and you should hire me!" I was rreeeeeally busy at the time, so I was throwing it out there. Guy came back and said my bid was the best and I was most qualified and hired me. He's next week's paycheck.
So, anyway, I say bid what you're worth and bid even when you're busy. You'll find that you won't even need the connects and won't care about some lowballer bidding $3.
Let's be honest here -- $3 bidder isn't really your competition if you got the proposal game down and you're qualified.
Only thing I really miss is seeing what bid won and an alert if I've worked or spoken to the customer already, so I know to avoid or not to bother. But I'll take a working message system over any of that any day.
Thanks everyone! Here's another question. To my understanding of the paid membership, you are paying the $10/month for these benefits, but are also still having to pay the 10% fees per project completion/payment. Am I understanding this right? Frankly, even if the benefits like roll-over connects etc were not there (or even remained at a minimum benefits as it is now) I wouldn't mind paying the $10/month to use the site as long as the fee percentage was reduced or eliminated. As it stands right now, I may try the membership out at some point, just to see if the few benefits that it does offer is rewarding enough for me, but like Jennifer, I have a feeling I'd wind up cancelling my membership simply because the benefits just don't seem that great yet.
I would also like to see some offset in the upwork comission for paid membership. I have stopped bidding for Fixed price projects below $500 since the comission became 20% for them.
I am on it and the benefits for me are connects rollover - sometimes I am off work for a month and extra connects are handy. I also occasionally buy extra connects as I do many small-budget jobs (50-500).
Never cared much about competitor bids - in my field I believe this information can be ignored.
There will be no paid account from me. I don't see the benefits in paying for a Freelancer Plus membership. I had submitted 30 or so proposals over the course of the last week and received an email stating I need to pay for a membership or my account will be moved to private and nobody will see me nor will I be able to submit proposals. Isn't that the point of Upwork? To be a freelancer and submit proposals? So, it's a forced membership based on the email I received.
They already keep 25%, which is fine, but now forcing $10/mo for everyone as a freelancer. No thanks. I'm out, Peace!
@Curtis D wrote:
(...) received an email stating I need to pay for a membership or my account will be moved to private and nobody will see me nor will I be able to submit proposals. (...)
Is the underlined part really in the e-mail you received Curtis?