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Paid connects punish the poor and struggling

matthew24857
Ace Contributor
Matthew C Member Since: Feb 4, 2020
1 of 4

Paying to apply to projects on this site is counterproductive.

 

I would guess that people who are actually successful at freelancing get repeat business. In these cases, there is no need to pay for "connects" to apply to a project.

 

And even if there was, these people would have plenty of money from all their successful projects to use to apply to new projects.

 

It's only people who are starting out, struggling to gain any traction, who must repeatedly pay for "connects" with what little money they have to keep applying in the hopes that someone will actually respond with work to do.

 

If the purpose of paying for connects is supposedly to screen serious candidates, to discourage spam, I would prefer to provide a free sample of the work that needs to be done. Not only is that a more intelligent way to judge my abilities to do a project, it also doesn't cost money that I don't have.

 

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
2 of 4

Frankly, as a freelancer you are running your own business.  Would you  open a bricks and mortar business without adequate funding?  One of the first principles of going into freelancing is having another means of support, either from a job, a spouse or savings.  Otherwise, every connect spent without a job becomes earth-shattering.  I'm not being mean, just realistic.

feed_my_eyes
Community Guru
Christine A Member Since: May 4, 2016
3 of 4

Mary W wrote:

Frankly, as a freelancer you are running your own business.  Would you  open a bricks and mortar business without adequate funding?  One of the first principles of going into freelancing is having another means of support, either from a job, a spouse or savings.  Otherwise, every connect spent without a job becomes earth-shattering.  I'm not being mean, just realistic.


I agree - this is harsh, but true. It takes time and effort to build up a freelancing career to the point where you can make a decent living (for most people, anyway). It's not a good choice for someone who needs quick access to a reliable income.

 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 4

Matthew:
There is some truth to what you are saying.

 

I personally appreciated the "purity" of the system when there was absolutely no cost at all for freelancers to create profiles and bid on jobs. That time has passed.

 

Connects cost money. Not very much money. But, yes, there is a cost. And you are correct if you believe that the cost is disproprotionally difficult for poor people versus people with more money.

 

But Upwork isn't a church or government agency. Upwork does not owe anybody access to its services for free. It is a business, and its purpose is to make money. It makes money by providing a service to clients. Paid connects is part of what Upwork does to enhance the client experience.

 

The initial franchise fee to start a McDonald's location is $45,000. You could similarly claim that this franchise fee "punishes the poor and struggling."

 

Upwork charging for connect is not truly "punishing the poor and struggling" any more than the franchise fee is. These costs are part of doing business.

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