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Price increase on a fixed price contract

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Active Member
Allison H Member Since: Nov 12, 2016
1 of 12

Hi!

 

I'm a new freelancer. I have been doing a fixed price job since the beginning of December. I went in at a lowish price, to secure the contract. It's been going very well so far. I would like to know when (or if) it would be appropriate to ask to be paid more per article. I would not want to put a spanner in the works, however, my work is of a high standard and I feel that it's worth more than I have been getting up to now. I have submitted abut 35 articles in December, all of them having been accepted. Can anyone possibly help me with this? 

 

Many thanks!

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Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
2 of 12

@Allison H wrote:

Hi!

 

I'm a new freelancer. I have been doing a fixed price job since the beginning of December. I went in at a lowish price, to secure the contract. It's been going very well so far. I would like to know when (or if) it would be appropriate to ask to be paid more per article. I would not want to put a spanner in the works, however, my work is of a high standard and I feel that it's worth more than I have been getting up to now. I have submitted abut 35 articles in December, all of them having been accepted. Can anyone possibly help me with this? 

 

Many thanks!


 Allison,

 

If you have a fixed price contract you should honour it until it is completed. 

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Allison H Member Since: Nov 12, 2016
3 of 12

Thanks for the reply. How long does a contract normlly run? There has been no time frame stipulated.

 

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Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 12

@Allison H wrote:

Thanks for the reply. How long does a contract normlly run? There has been no time frame stipulated.

 


There is no standard duration for a contract. If your contract is based on a fixed price, then there are one or more milestones that correspond to well-defined task(s). For instance: translating 1000 words, writing a 500 words article, or programing a well-defined function in a software.

 

Once the job corresponding to the funded milestone(s) is delivered, you and the client may decide to close the contract or to add further task(s) by adding, and funding, more milestone(s).

 

At this moment, and prior to accepting further tasks, you can renegotiate the rate by discussing with the client.

 

Of course, if you promised a certain rate for a certain amount of work, you cannot really ask for more money right in the middle and out of the blue. Doing this wouldn't be appropriate.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 12

You can't ask for more work to complete the work you agreed to do.

 

But you can (and should) refuse to do work outside of the agreement.

 

If you agreed to write Article X (1000 words) for $10.00, and then the client asks you to write Article Y and Article Z as well, you need to politely explain that you can't do that, because that violate's Upwork's rules.

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Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
6 of 12

But you can (and should) refuse to do work outside of the agreement.

 

Almost all the projects I've done lately have been add-ons to the original agreement. What rule does that violate?

 

It's only a violation if you do it unpaid, and there's no suggestion here that that's happening.

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 12

@Kim F wrote:

But you can (and should) refuse to do work outside of the agreement.

 

Almost all the projects I've done lately have been add-ons to the original agreement. What rule does that violate?

 


 It does not violate any rule at all, and is complete nonsense.

 

Clients and freelancers can agree to as many additional milestones as they they like.

 

That said, freelancers are not bound to a contract or a price forever and ever. Of course a freelancer is well within their rights to say to a client:

 

"I have really enjoyed working with you on the XYZ articles to date. As of (insert date) I will, however, no longer be available at my introductory rate of $ XX.XX per (whatever.)

 

I would love to continue our work together. The new price will be $ XX.XX per (whatever.) Let me know if that will work for you. "

 

If yes, fine. If not, also fine.

 

 

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Allison H Member Since: Nov 12, 2016
8 of 12

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it!

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Martin K Member Since: Sep 18, 2020
9 of 12

Hi Upwork community,

 

I am a new freelancer working on my first project and would like to ask for some advices.

 

I am working on a research project for a client. Research work, for those who know what I'm talking about, is not something where you know straight away the amount of work and time that is required. Especially, when you are working on a new topic. Let me explain: chemical engineering is a vast family of engineering concepts. While there are commonalities, there are also differences.  A PhD in thermophysics is different than a PhD in ultrasonic cavitation, although both are chemical engineering. The former will be able to work on the later topic, but it will require some time to get to learn and understand the new concepts.

 

The client hired me to work on a new topic which i'm not familiar with and there is a learning curve to it. When I accepted the project, I didn't really know how much work will be required. One thing I knew is that I was capable to do what is asked. So I had my estimations and gave a price accordingly. We then agreed to start to work. The thing is: the more I dig into the topic, the more I realize than I don't know much and I will need more time to learn the engineering concept. 

 

Also, the project requires me to use a software that I have once used during tutorials at Uni. The client is aware of that and I came to realize that I need more time getting used to the software.  

 

Now my question: 

As I said, the more I dig into the topic, the more I realize how complexe the engineering and scientific concepts are, the more I think I will need time to digest and understand everything.

However, I already told my Client how much I wanted for this FIXED-PRICE contract. However, I think that I should be paid for this learning and understanding time which is part of the work. 

I already submitted one milestone and believe that I was underpaid. For the same amount of work, requiring my degree of qualifications, the market price is normally way higher. But since it was my first contract and I needed smething under the belt, I just did it.

 

I now would like to increase the price of the other milestones and the rest of the contract. What would be the procedure or best practice to do that? It's not like I am NOT honoring my contract.  This is not a straightforward work i.e like writting 5000 word article or build a website where the time and amount of work can be easily estimated. Research work is always exploratory first.

 

Can I ask to switch to an hourly contract in the middle of a fixed-term contract after I already submitter one milestone? I really don't feel like putting all the hard work and get underpaid.

 

Please advise!

 

Many thanks.

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
10 of 12

Martin K wrote:

 

I now would like to increase the price of the other milestones and the rest of the contract. What would be the procedure or best practice to do that? It's not like I am NOT honoring my contract.  This is not a straightforward work i.e like writting 5000 word article or build a website where the time and amount of work can be easily estimated. Research work is always exploratory first.

 

Can I ask to switch to an hourly contract in the middle of a fixed-term contract after I already submitter one milestone? I really don't feel like putting all the hard work and get underpaid.

 


You can certainly have that conversation with your client, either about increasing the amount of the milestones or closing your existing contract an opening a new hourly one, but personally, I wouldn't recommend it. You're setting yourself up for a bad review, which, for a new freelancer on here, is not a good thing.

 

You entered into a contract to do the work at a certain price. Unless you're being asked to do something outside of the scope of that agreement, you should honor it and learn from it. Never take a fixed-price contract without fully understanding the scope of what you're agreeing to.

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