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Re: Poll: Hourly Vs. Fixed Price which do you prefer?

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 58

Hey everyone!


We wanted to check in with our users to find out which job type they prefer hourly or fixed price, and why? 

If you prefer fixed-price, what would encourage you to work hourly?

If you work hourly, what would encourage you to work fixed-price jobs?



Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 58

I like both equally!


I mix hourly and fixed rate project, with the hourly ones generally being more long term and the fixed rate ones more one offs.


Personally I find that I am more productive on hourly contracts than fixed rate ones, as I don't allow myself to be distracted.


Because of that I find that hourly contracts are a more profitable way to use my time.


Generally I go with client preference though.

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
3 of 58

Fixed price.


And a number of my fixed price projects have been long term.


> If you prefer fixed-price, what would encourage you to work hourly?


Either being so broke I had no choice but to seek hourly work, it being a request from a client with whom I've already established a relationship and they have a good reason for the choice, or the project being so absolutely amazing I'd drag myself over glass to do it.


If people feel they have to watch me while I work, they can come here and make me coffee while they do it.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 58


> which job type they prefer hourly or fixed price, and why? 


Fixed for translation & writing, hourly for editing & proofreading.


Translation works fine when charged per word. Rates may vary depending on the subject, but it works better on fixed prices.


For writing, I can estimate the workload, plus I don't feel using hourly for writing.


Editing & proofreading works better on hourly because the amount of work needed depends on the quality of the text and this is not something that I know how to estimate in advance.


> If you prefer fixed-price, what would encourage you to work hourly?

> If you work hourly, what would encourage you to work fixed-price jobs?


Nothing, both are adapted to different kinds of work and there is no need to use one instead of the other.


Wow, wow, wait a minute here! What are you guys up to again? No shenanigans I hope.


Listen, just leave it as it is. Don't try to fix stuff that is not broken.


"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
5 of 58

Fixed price only.


I shudder at the thought of the time tracker peering over my shoulder all the time. As another poster said, if someone wants to watch me work, they should make themselves useful while they do it.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 58

I do both.


But I prefer hourly contracts, of course.


I earn a lot more money doing hourly contracts.


It is difficult to bill for all the time spent working on a fixed-price contract, such as when clients have questions or request changes.


So even though I provide quotes for fixed-price contracts calculated at twice what I think the project would cost with an hourly contract, I still earn much more money doing hourly contract work.


I am very restrictive and selective about what kind of tasks I will do with a fixed-price contract. It needs to be very specific, well-defined, and I need all the input data and specifications before I accept such a contract.

Upwork Staff
Shawna H Upwork Staff Member Since: Nov 29, 2016
7 of 58

Rene, haha don't worry! We're not going to make anyone go with one or another, just curious why folks prefer one or the other, and if there are any big issues about either one that we can help with.

Community Guru
Vince D Member Since: Feb 18, 2016
8 of 58

Ditto what Preston said.

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Buckaroo Banzai
Ace Contributor
Phat D Member Since: Nov 25, 2016
9 of 58

I prefer hourly jobs over fixed-price ones. I think it all narrows down to how well you can estimate the workload before you accept the contract.


As a developer, I find it extreme hard to reasonably estimate the hours needed on development jobs, where clients' requirements often changes and gets more complicated as the project evolves. Sometimes it can well take me a net worth of up to 10 hours BEFORE I accept a fixed price job offer, just to discuss the scope of work with the client and to clearly understand the bigger picture and what exactly they want. Some clients just don't know what they want and you have go through it with them to pin down the logic of the app to be developed. With an hourly contract, I can dive into the work earlier and it is easier to estimate the workload once you have done (and are paid for) some part of it. In other words, with a fixed-price job, I have to go through all the smallest details and logic of the app in advance, and account for them when I give the client a quote. Quote too high, you wouldn't get the job as the client woudn't understand why it would take too much time and money. Quote too low? You know that pain.


It will not be that bad once you have done a few jobs with that client and you understand them enough to know that if they estimate something to take 2 hours, it will take 10 hours in reality, and quote accordingly.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
10 of 58

It actually depends on the type of job. For a job that you know is not going to have any rewrites or revisions, or a specifically set number of hours then it would be fixed rate.


IF the job is going to take a lot of revisions, edits and changes then hourly so you'll get paid for he number of hours those revision etc will take up.