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

Community Guru
Isabelle Anne A Member Since: May 19, 2014
31 of 58

@Rene K wrote:

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. 


That was my immediate thought too. But here's my input.

 

Most of my jobs have been hourly and that's the kind of contract I prefer. Two reasons I'm on Upwork include the convenient way of tracking my working hours (using the the tracker) and the fact that Upwork provides payment protection on hourly payments. (And kudos to Upwork, which recently came through for me when a long-term client went AWOL and didn't pay me for the work I did).

 

A couple of areas of improvement regarding hourly contracts:

 

- Please shorten the in-review period + security hold time that it takes to get our money.

- Please reconsider sufficient activity levels as a criterion for the payment guarantee. This just doesn't work when, for example, you're proofreading a text that has very few mistakes and therefore needs very few keystrokes.

 

 

I like having the occasional fixed-price job but I hate it when scope-creep clients take advantage of this kind of contract, which happens way too often with me. I also wish there were some sort of guarantee for milestones because I've had a client withraw his payment method after already funding the milestone...

Ace Contributor
Ashley C Member Since: Jul 19, 2016
32 of 58

I only work fixed price jobs for a few reasons.

 

-The idea of screenshots creeps me out.

-Like other freelancers have said, much of my time is spent researching and taking paper notes. I also like outlining my ideas on paper first, so actual typing/keystrokes is a small percentage of my work.

-With my 2-year-old running around and wreaking havoc, there's constant stopping and starting involved in my writing, which I feel would make the Time Tracker too much of a hassle. I'm sure my client would wonder why I seem to only work in 15-minute increments.

 

The only thing I don't like about fixed price jobs is that instead of seeing the number of jobs I've completed, clients only see that I have zero hours, which I'm sure has lost me some jobs here and there.

Community Guru
Tamaz J Member Since: Nov 4, 2014
33 of 58

Both.

It depends of course, but most of the time I give both options in the proposal. 

You asked what can be changed - so, the answer is so called "security period". 

Honestly, I do not understand what "security" you do for that long on both fixed and hourly contracts?
Both sides, freelancer and client, have all relevant information made avaible (accounts valid, cards, paypal, etc.) - what else you need to make funds released promply?

As I remember, on Elance fixed was immidiate pay. (Only during last couple month, by the way when Odesk took over, it was made 2 or 3 days).

Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
34 of 58

As a writer, I generally work on a fixed price per word basis. So for that reason, I prefer the fixed rate jobs to hourly. 

 

I don't mind working hourly, it's just that it usually winds up being in favor of either myself or the client. Myself, if I have to do more research than anticipated or work on multiple revisions. The client if it's a subject I'm already well-versed in and can write pretty quickly. 

 

The one good thing about the hourly jobs is the automatic payment. Sometimes it can be a struggle to get a client to fund, approve, and release each milestone. Especially with long-term clients.

 

That's why when I've established a relationship with a client, I'll float the idea of moving to an hourly contract with manual time. That way each week I simply plug in a few hours and it automatically bills. 

Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
35 of 58

@David D wrote:

As a writer, I generally work on a fixed price per word basis. So for that reason, I prefer the fixed rate jobs to hourly. 

 

I don't mind working hourly, it's just that it usually winds up being in favor of either myself or the client. Myself, if I have to do more research than anticipated or work on multiple revisions. The client if it's a subject I'm already well-versed in and can write pretty quickly. 

 

The one good thing about the hourly jobs is the automatic payment. Sometimes it can be a struggle to get a client to fund, approve, and release each milestone. Especially with long-term clients.

 

That's why when I've established a relationship with a client, I'll float the idea of moving to an hourly contract with manual time. That way each week I simply plug in a few hours and it automatically bills. 


 I get what you are saying, but why would it be neccessary to work on multiple revisions? What sort of writing do you do that requires multiple revisions? I'm only asking because I have never had to revise anything in the more than 7000 astronomy articles and  research papers, or advanced automotive diagnostic guides I have written over the past ten years. 

 

I just don't get it; if you know your subject, why do you have to revise anything multiple times?

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
36 of 58

@David

 

Why is it a struggle for you?

 

I am clear with every client that work begins and continues with each fully funded milestone. I've not had to wrangle long term clients to move forward with each milestone. I'm curious as to the factors differentiating our experiences?

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
37 of 58

@Kat C wrote:

@David

 

Why is it a struggle for you?

 

I am clear with every client that work begins and continues with each fully funded milestone. I've not had to wrangle long term clients to move forward with each milestone. I'm curious as to the factors differentiating our experiences?


 I have clients who get wrapped up in other things and don't get around to setting up the next milestone promptly. There's no "struggle"--I just do something else and when they get around to setting it up I tell them what kind of timeline is reasonable given my current commitments. But, they don't always act promptly.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
38 of 58

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Kat C wrote:

@David

 

Why is it a struggle for you?

 

I am clear with every client that work begins and continues with each fully funded milestone. I've not had to wrangle long term clients to move forward with each milestone. I'm curious as to the factors differentiating our experiences?


 I have clients who get wrapped up in other things and don't get around to setting up the next milestone promptly. There's no "struggle"--I just do something else and when they get around to setting it up I tell them what kind of timeline is reasonable given my current commitments. But, they don't always act promptly.


This exact scenario just happened last month.

 

I'm ghostwriting for a client. Everything goes through the first two milestones. He did fully fund the third (and final milestone), then disappeared. Subsequently, he rematerialized in January. Unfortunately, the contract had been dormant for so long that Upwork closed it. He sent a new contract. 

 

No struggle. 

 

If he hadn't escrowed the next milestone, I would have just said, I'll start work as soon as you escrow the next milestone. 

 

If no response, well, I have other clients who have all their ducks in a row. So, I move on to my next deadline task. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
39 of 58

The nice thing about hourly is none of that release escrow bs. I really like that I get paid at a set time. I've gotten to a point though that all of my escrow clients release quick, so it's not a huge deal but then you get the new client that you wonder if you're gonna have to fight them. 

 

The strug is real.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
40 of 58

Interesting...

 

I don't  struggle with the money end. Always good there.

 

It is the scope creep that has been a prior battle.

 

Not any more. Big lessons learned on that front.

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