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Paying to apply for jobs that are not what they seem

Ace Contributor
Nikki V Member Since: Sep 2, 2015
1 of 7

I'm wondering if anything can be done about people who advertise their projects asking for an expert on an hourly rate, or with a fixed priced figure that is just plucked out the sky, with no intention of paying a decent wage.

 

Too often lately, I've applied for a role that requires an 'expert' and used connects to do so, only to find they are actually paying a pitance. When we have to pay for connects now, it seems very unfair that so many jobs are not what they seem. I just paid for 4 connects to apply for a role that turned out will pay about 0.75 cents per hour! I would never have applied had I known that. It's such a waste of time which is bad enough but now I am paying my own money to apply for these nonscense jobs. 

Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
2 of 7

I find that you can often get an idea of what they really pay by looking at the contracts they have opened in the past. It's not always possible, but it does help in a lot of cases. 

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
3 of 7

I assume most clients won't pay more than about 25% above the average price of their previous projects on whatever new project(s) they are posting. I might still submit a proposal on a particularly interest project that doesn't fit that measurement, but not very often.

 

And phrases in a project description like "bootstrapping" or "there's lots of potential furuter work for the right freelancer" are big red flags to assume a client is looking for a low price.

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
4 of 7

"potential future work"

Moderator
Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
5 of 7

Hi Nikki,

 

We know clients at times do not provide accurate information, for a variety of reasons. As a freelancer, we recommend carefully reading the entire job post and using your own experience to determine whether you have enough information, you trust that information, and it’s worth using your Connects to submit a proposal. We also suggest you look at other important details, such as any client history. On our end, we provide clients with tips to create complete, accurate job posts and will continue to look at ways to make sure freelancers have the information they need to vet a client. Thank you.


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Community Leader
Tom Z Member Since: Jul 10, 2016
6 of 7

Also, I feel like a lot of the posts are "clients" trying to get pricing from you so they can pitch similar service to someone else. They're trying to get a feel of what the "price" should be.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
7 of 7

Nikki V wrote:

I'm wondering if anything can be done about people who advertise their projects asking for an expert on an hourly rate, or with a fixed priced figure that is just plucked out the sky, with no intention of paying a decent wage.

 

Too often lately, I've applied for a role that requires an 'expert' and used connects to do so, only to find they are actually paying a pitance. When we have to pay for connects now, it seems very unfair that so many jobs are not what they seem. I just paid for 4 connects to apply for a role that turned out will pay about 0.75 cents per hour! I would never have applied had I known that. It's such a waste of time which is bad enough but now I am paying my own money to apply for these nonscense jobs. 


Your bad client radar should improve over time. Meanwhile, try shifting your perspective to look at a broader metric. Instead of thinking about the cost of applying on a contract by contract basis (e.g. "This contract cost me $0.90 to land" and "I wasted $0.60 on this proposal."),  think of your total investment on a monthly basis. "I invested $20 to make proposals this month and gained $120 worth of contracts as a result."

 

If this broader metric doesn't represent a positive ROI after a few months, then I would probably abandon Upwork as a lead generation channel.

 

When I first tried Upwork, I set a limit to the initial investment I was willing to make to purchase extra connects ($1 each at that time). And, even with 60 free connects to spend, I made purchases. After a month or two, I was able to land enough contracts to cover the costs of these extra expenditures. After several months I no longer needed extra expenditures. This advice may not apply if you are not new to Upwork, but for those trying to get started, I recommend deciding in advance how much you will invest and sticking to that plan. Don't continue to invest if you aren't seeing results. 

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