Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Re: Question about low offers

Ace Contributor
Emily S Member Since: Oct 6, 2015
1 of 31

I just got started with Upwork and I've been browsing the jobs.  I noticed some of them are offering to pay a really low amount.  Like $20 for a job that would probably take 4 or 5 hours or more.  Or .50 cents for 100 words!


I haven't submitted any proposals yet, but it is my understanding that we bid how much we want to be paied for the job, correct?  So I'm wondering if any of you bother even submitting proposals for jobs like that?  Do you just put your bid amount even though it is higher than their budget?  Do they ever realize that most people aren't going to do quality work for that low of a payment? Or do you just pass those jobs by?


I'm new to professional writing, so I realize I'll have to maybe take less than I'd like in the beginning just to get some experience under my belt.  But I don't want to completely sell myself short or waste my time.  On the other hand, I'm afraid that with no experience, I don't have a chance of getting those higher paying job to start out. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 31

Emily, once you get going you will be able to be more discerning about jobs. You can ignore lowballers. But right now you just need to get on the playing board. You should finish a job or two so that you can get things started. Apply for and complete some fixed-rate jobs, and don't worry too much about the money until you finish two, because that will help you get hired more for real work.

Active Member
Lilian B Member Since: Sep 10, 2015
3 of 31

"don't worry too much about the money" Seriously? You mean "be a slave work for free, no problem,,," Great advice, indeed! 

Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
4 of 31

While I agree with Preston that those two first jobs are really important, I would still advice to stay away from clients that are obviously underpaying and/or just looking for the cheapest provider. Those guys are mostly bad news - many of them treat freelancers badly, are hard to communicate with and have ridiculous requests which tend to increase after they hire you - meaning that they pile on more work after you've accepted the job, and then get angry if you say no. (Not to mention that you would be partly responsible for keeping the lowballers thinking that peanuts are enough for quality.)


What I suggest you do is that you find two projects that are legimately small. My first two were an app review and translating a couple of Google AdWords, and neither of them took me more than 30 minutes. 


Good luck!


Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 31

Excellent tips from Hanna.


If you make sure your first few jobs are fixed-price jobs, nobody will know how much time you spent on them, and they won't set a precedent for hourly rate. So if you can't get really good jobs right off the bat, it is wiser to use fixed-price jobs to start out with rather than start out working for an hourly rate far lower than what you want to work for regularly.


My typical jobs now range from $500 to $3000.


But my first three contracts were for $82, $10, and $20.


I just wanted something, anything, so that I could have positive feedback on my profile, which then helped me get more work.


So definitely avoid any problem clients, such as clients who have a history of giving bad feedback.

Active Member
Ramesh K Member Since: Oct 19, 2015
6 of 31

Dear Preson,

It's not a matter of fixed or hourly job. I have five years experience in Elance and Upwork. In my experience, there are many low bid projects posted in Upwork. Which should take 15-20 hours, they only posted with $5-$10 budget . This one affects badly to the full-time freelancer like me. Upwork should control this on some way. Could you provide your suggestions on this one please?


Ramesh Kumar

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 31

Bid your rate. If you have something the client likes, they will come up to your price.

Ace Contributor
Emily S Member Since: Oct 6, 2015
8 of 31

Thanks everyone! 

Community Guru
Scott E Member Since: Jul 26, 2015
9 of 31

Yeah, I'm with Hanna. Look for small jobs rather than cheap jobs. I think clients are quite happy to hire new people, but it can be a bit worrying if they are untried and untested. So I think it's more of a risk avoidance thing... they don't want to shell out $5000/$1000/$500 if it's going to end in tears. $25/$50/$100 is a lot easier to swallow though... but rather than bid $25/$50/$100 on a $5000/$1000/$500 project... bid $25/$50/$100 on a $25/$50/$100 project. 

"Welcome, humans. I'm ready for you!"
- Box, Logan's Run (1976)
Active Member
David K Member Since: Nov 13, 2015
10 of 31

Scott, i'm a brand new newbie to upwork, as in 3 minutes ago.

perhaps i'm a bit dense but i'm not sure of the basic concept of this site.

do i post myself as a freelancer with certain qualifications  ...OR

does the client or a company post what their projects and i pick one

that i feel qualified for ,...OR

Both of the above,....OR

neither of the above,..becauce

UpWork is the real client sice they are in charge of

handling all the money transactions.


who is doing the match up.

who is acting as the "Employment AgencY"


i do technical writing, and other genre also.

if utilizing a site like this is a viable option

then i would like to do that.


i also know that not everything on the web

is what it appears to be.  i could be giving

my work away for free.

this has happened to me before even at a brick

and mortar institution.


apologies for taking your time but i had a gut

feeling after reading your post that you know

whats going on here and could give me the

"straight scoop."


Have a great weekend Scott,

david in carolina