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Seriously? Supposed to work for $2 or $3 an hour?

Attention: Anyone who is taking jobs that are paying you $2 or $3 an hour. STOP!!!!!!! Can you really pay your bills on that? I know I can't, and as long as you're willing to take that money that is all you are going to make and I can't get a decent paying job on here.

Hi Lois, The reality is that there are areas around the world where one can live on those rates, and you (and I) are in competition with them. Doesn't mean you can't get a good job here, just means that you have to work at it and find the right clients. Best, William



I'm from Argentina, South America, and for sure we don't live with $3/hour and I don't accept such earnings.


I'm a professional, with 20 years in my field, and I compite at the same level with first world freelancers. In fact all my clients are from USA, Australia, Europe... Is not where you live, but your professional quality.  


I think there should be a minimum rate (fixed and per hour jobs). 





Welcome to the global marketplace!

Despite the fact that there are areas of the globe where $2 and $3 are considered "making ends meet" wages, who wants to live like that? If this can take you above worse conditions that is great, but really this is all about the professional services contractors are charging for, not where they reside. No matter if you're in South Africa, or in the Philippines, you should charge for your services based on how well you provide them. I think, once and for all, the idea of what an individual contractor is worth should take precedence over location. I really get tired of hearing about other locations that can survive on these low figures when they could actually do so much better for themselves. It's a fact, if people charged what they were really worth then the global market place would be fair and balanced. Of course, that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Why don't people realise that by agreeing to work for $1 an hour, they are setting the rates at $1 an hour. Clients pay low wages because they can. If they had to pay more they would either pay more, do the work themselves (if they could) or the work wouldn't get done. Clients hire you because they need you. If you think you can't be hired at a higher rate, you have to seriously think about improving your skills. Pay should be about skill, not how much money you need for necessities. If someone offered to pay a translator $50 am hour, do you think the translator would say, "No thank you. I only need $5 an hour to live."

100% true. Wish more people realized this.

Sounds like its time for the UN to mandate a Global Minimum Wage. Could be sliding scale, based on the countries of both the contractor and client. Individual countries should set outsourcing minimums on their own; any country that doesn't hates it's own workers. To clarify, a statute that forbids outsourcing for less than the client company's country's local minimum wage for that job classification would stop lowballing. So, if you want to work on a contract in the Phillipines from USA, you could bid $0.91 an hour or more. But if you are in the Phillipines and want to bid in the US, $7.25 an hour or more. Then skilled workers like translators would only have to compete against burger-flipper wages, not slave wages. Notice to clients: no one capable of perfect fluency will ever offer to work for lowball wages. A quick search:
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country
  • http://www.un.org/esa/desa/ousg/op-eds/oped16.html
  • http://www.ilo.org/global/research/global-reports/global-wage-report/2012/lang--en/index.htm "Surely, Gentlemen, if we do not all hang Together, we shall all hang Seperately!" PS: higher wages for all workers everywhere = more oDesk revenue from fees = more disposible income worldwide = global increase in consumer spending = people can actually afford to buy products from the companies they work for = world economic recovery. It's clearly a win-win situation, if you do the math...
  • Freelancers Union

    Australia - The Lucky Country - built by smart people! You can see now that unless you earn about at least $20 per hour on the freelance sites you are better off working at McDonalds.

    I completely agree. Clients want high quality work, yet aren't prepared to pay for it. I guess we are competing against people from other countries, where $1-$2 is acceptable. Not stereotyping, but there are some great clients here on Odesk.

    Reality is that in some places $5 per hour is a good professional rate on which they can live well (I think) whereas in most Western countries one can't even eat, let alone pay for everything else. The sad thing is, that people accept contracts for much less than that rather than trying to adjust to higher rates and earning a bit more. The consequence is that clients are jumping on the bandwagon and offer less and less, even those from Western countries. It really annoyed me when I recently saw a job advertised, by a Swiss client, asking for a well qualified translator to work for about $18 per day, warning not to bid more as he/she has people who will work for that - this is immoral and unethical. But I don't think you can report that sort of thing. One must trust the common sense of freelancers, some (not many) still applied though.

    Finally someone is talking about this subject, I thought about posting the same thread. I have worked as a full-time freelancer for 1.5 years, before that part-time. Lately I have lost many jobs to people, who charge those low rates. If someone is telling that they can offer quality work for 1, 2, 3 dollars per hour, then my practice has shown the absolute opposite. At first I lose the job for person, who charges low rate, then he/she gets hired, then some time passes and the exact job posting appears online again with comments that previous contractor did not do, what he/she promised.Seems like the rates those people charge do not motivate them enough. Another thing I have realized is that there are too many clients out there, who expect that a contractor would work on low rates. At first they advertise with one price and while they start interviews, then the agony starts. I don't know what is going on, maybe I am getting overly paranoid but lately I have had very very bad experiences with clients. In my opinion these things are connected to each other and if this continues we are all going to work for those rates soon. I think it would be only fair if a client wouldn't expect lower rates than 75% of the countries minimum wage, he/she is representing.

    Recently I have been invited to apply to quite a number of jobs (I changed my profile a bit maybe that's why?), I apply with a rate that is no more than minimum wage here, would do better working at McDonalds, and I don't get the job. Only just now a client from Australia (should be able to pay a reasonable rate) hired someone to translate 13,000 words for $144. It would take me a week to do the job well (maybe others are a lot faster?) and I would have to skimp a lot to do a weekly food shop for the family on that. Right now I don't mind working for little money, while I am working towards a postgrad qualification in translation, and I do the best job I can - but once I am qualified I intend to look elsewhere for work, and its out there.

    I have to agree on the fact that the payments for translation jobs o this platform are incredibly low. "Real" agencies demand 0.05-0.10$ per if not more. Most freelancers are quite happy with just 0.01$/word. If I remember correctly, I have seen you among other applicants for German translation jobs. Well, I usually translate 1000 words an hour. 13.000 words can be done within a day depending on the text's complexity. A week, however, is definitely much too long. Would you mind exchanging ideas via PM/Skype as to coordinate the search for alternatives? I regularly encounter the very same problem...

    Yes, I see you amongst the bidders for German translation jobs. And another translator (with more industry experience in the UK told me that her usual rate was £0.05 per word, that's about $0.08) and someone else mentioned that the going rate here was £0.08-£0.10 per word ($0.17ish). So I am just trying to find my feet in this industry, but it doesn't take much working out that I am not getting a good deal here. I don't think many freelancers are happy with $0.01 per word. But what really annoys me is when buyers from Germany, UK or Switzerland etc. are demanding that sort of rate and won't budge. Well, 1000 words an hour!! I am impressed!! Yes you could do 13.000 in a day if you had all day. I have other things to do as well, and even if I had all day I needed several of those. Alternatives, hm, I don't really want to advertise my Skype address here, but from what I have heard, it would be good to get agencies interested, but they take those with experience and specific translation qualifications first, I assume.

    You can find me on linkedin where you can check my contact details. I have an old friend in Hamburg who is working as a system administrator for an agency. He recommended me and I'm still waiting for the approval (I had to do some pseudo-test). I'm sure that the payment/s will be much better there. In the meanwhile, I've found quite a few good-paying clients (well, if you consider 14$/h as good). I might increase my rate if I get "spammed" with more work. Then again, I am currently in Mexico and I do not need "that much" for earn a living. I'm quite happy with what I get. But once I move back to Germany (which is supposed to happen later this year)...phew. That could be challenging with my current rate...even if I'll go to the rather "cheap" Eastern Germany...

    I haven't been on Linkedin but I will look. Yes, I have raised my rate by $1 and this still seems to be OK. I just don't want to be one of the most expensive because there are more experienced people about as well. I still have one nice client who I occasionally do work for $8 p/h because I was a bit slow to realise that the exchange rate to £ is so bad. In Germany I don't think you can get by on this, but apparently translation rates for agencies in Germany are lower than in the UK. Probably because nobody speaks any other languages here and in Germany most people have a reasonable command of English at least.

    @André U wrote:
    I have to agree on the fact that the payments for translation jobs o this platform are incredibly low. "Real" agencies demand 0.05-0.10$ per if not more. Most freelancers are quite happy with just 0.01$/word. If I remember correctly, I have seen you among other applicants for German translation jobs. Well, I usually translate 1000 words an hour. 13.000 words can be done within a day depending on the text's complexity. A week, however, is definitely much too long. Would you mind exchanging ideas via PM/Skype as to coordinate the search for alternatives? I regularly encounter the very same problem...

     Gabrielle and Andre


    Actually, I have recently seen a client who wanted translations of 13,000 words for a budget of $45, that is not even $0.01/words so I told him straight it was not acceptable, on another occasion I have seen another client who wanted translations of 3000 words for a budget of $10 again it was not even $0.01/words and guess what? there was someone who was ready to do it and did it. Seems some clients are here to bargain.


    Yes, people can live on that and that actually be above min wage in their country. This is a freelancer site for outsourcing, why on earth do you think people are on here? To pay the same amount of money they would pay by hiring locally? get real.

    Out of all the time I've gained contracts here, I've noticed one thing that really, really bothers me. I've worked for people all across the globe, from Canada, Switzerland, Russia, India, China, Germany, United States, Australia, etc. I've found that two of the cheapest buyers are ***** (from my experiences) That isn't to say I haven't had a few sporadic contracts where these two specific groups haven't paid good money. However, the vast majority are very, very, very cheap. There are many USA jobs posted here all the time for very low amounts, and some others from other countries as well, but I'm just pointing out where I see the most unreasonable offers coming from. Western people can't work for those $1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and onward jobs and make a good living. Outsourcing does exist across the board. But.....it really does create some problems for those who are consistently competing against very low dollar figures. For instance, from my cellular service (Verizon) to my cable provider, and on to my Insurance--I very rarely talk to an American and these are American companies. Outsourcing is a reality. No matter how stressful to many. The question is what can we do to guarantee we still get work, when everywhere, you're competing against those who will work so cheap. In practically any profession as well. Just a thought on what is happening all around us every day, every year. The sad fact is, even these multi-millon dollar companies will try and go with cheap labor 😞 And no, I'm not being biased on ethnicities here, I'm just pointing out the Outsourcing facts. I find it distasteful to see American buyers claiming $3.00 an hour is such a nice livable income just because someone lives somewhere else. But, they expect it. It is absolutely disgusting. It has been said before, and I'll just say it again. If you rate your services right, no matter who you are or where you reside, then you can stop buyers from wanting to be so cheap. It is high time that contractors bid on the quality of their work versus where they live. No one wants to just get by. NO ONE. So, for those specific individuals who keep coming here saying, "oh, yes you can live on $3.00 an hour, or $1.50 can purchase a meal in this area," be more realistic. You want to do better for yourselves so if you provide an excellent service make these business people pay for it. Earn a decent income and you'll soon have balanced outsourcing that is earning everyone a quality living. For those buyers who can't afford it, or who just want to stay cheap, or who just feel they shouldn't have to pay that much and so on and so forth, it is time for those individuals to start doing the work themselves. By golly, if people would just work for what they are worth there wouldn't be these issues consistently coming up! *[Removed by Admin]

    This is not too much of an issue in my category although its a downward spiral as well, but I guess in programming or IT related jobs it is worse as there are qualified individuals in India, etc. As you say, nobody just wants to just get by, so why don't these skilled and qualified people sell their skills to the Western market at Western prices??? Instead they are caving in and making these clients very rich by getting their jobs done for nothing and the contractor just gets by. Its disgusting, but the only ones who can change this is these contractors themselves.






    JSN Metro Joomla Theme Customization Needed to be done TODAY! Must BE DONE BY MIDNIGHT Fixed Price Project - Est. Budget $10.00 - Posted 15 minutes ago Job Description Hello, we are looking for someone who is willing to work TODAY! We are posting this add at 1:30 P.m. ish time (CST) and will award BY 5:00 P.m. CST. The work that is needed to be done MUST be completed TODAY/ TOMMOROW MORNING by the time I wake up to check. We have a theme, (JSN Metro Pro to be exact) for Joomla, and what we need is someone to make it to where ALL the articles default background is in rgba (255,255,255,0.1) to make it look like their is some glass behind the article text, and we need the text to be WHITE. We have designed a sample of what we want, located at xxx.Org and it is the article on the frontpage. We want the titles an all headings, the contact forms, and EVERYTHING to be using this kind of glassy background, and white text. We figured out how to do this on the home page, but can not figure out how to do on the other pages. To see what we mean, please click on ANT OF THE LINKS AT THE TOP. it shows up as white background, with white text, and that is our issue! Also, the contact forms are doing this as well, and we want it all to match. If interested, you will be required to sign a Non disclosure agreement, and we will give you access to the site. you will have until tomorrow morning to figure out, and you will not be paid until the job is completed to satisfaction. Let the lowest bidder with the most knowledge in this area win! Out...

    Out is about right. You'd kiss off more than $10 of time just messing around with NDAs. As jobs go, that's a complete waste of pixels.

    Hi, What do you think would be a fair bid? Thinking $1.00 fixed? Concerned I may be out bid. Out...

    You're clearly not taking this freelancing seriously. You should, of course, offer to pay them for the privilege. EDIT: Hang on. The above was sarcasm. Shouldn't have to point it out, really; but someone, somewhere will probably apply for that job.

    Hi, I'm a little apoplectic that I may be over qualified and hence will have my bid hidden due to new oDesk procedure. Hope this is not the case! 15 bids so far. Out...

    15? [quote]'Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so --Douglas Adams[/quote] I wonder if it's possible to resign from your own species.

    THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into as Mar 2, 2014 (“Effective Date”), by and between xxx xxx xxxx, Operating Manager of xxx xxx, LLC. , xxxx xxx, LLC, and Web Master of xxxx xxx xxx, INC., (“the Disclosing Party”) and , (“the Recipient”) (collectively, “the Parties”). Purpose for Disclosure (“Business Purpose”): The recipient will be making some changes to the xxx xxx xxx xxx website, of which all is proprietary, and is not to be disclosed to any other third parties, except at xx. xxxx discretion. Any partners, customers, or affiliates or any member of the companies shall not be marketed or contacted either within 1 year of the recipient agreing to this NDA, The Parties hereby agree as follows: 1. For purposes of this Agreement, "Confidential Information" shall mean any and all non-public information, including, without limitation, technical, developmental, marketing, sales, operating, performance, cost, know-how, business plans, business methods, and process information, disclosed to the Recipient. For convenience, the Disclosing Party may, but is not required to, mark written Confidential Information with the legend "Confidential" or an equivalent designation. 2. All Confidential Information disclosed to the Recipient will be used solely for the Business Purpose and for no other purpose whatsoever. The Recipient agrees to keep the Disclosing Party’s Confidential Information confidential and to protect the confidentiality of such Confidential Information with the same degree of care with which it protects the confidentiality of its own confidential information, but in no event with less than a reasonable degree of care. Recipient may disclose Confidential Information only to its employees, agents, consultants and contractors on a need-to-know basis, and only if such employees, agents, consultants and contractors have executed appropriate written agreements with Recipient sufficient to enable Recipient to enforce all the provisions of this Agreement. Recipient shall not make any copies of Disclosing Party’s Confidential Information except as needed for the Business Purpose. At the request of Disclosing Party, Recipient shall return to Disclosing Party all Confidential Information of Disclosing Party (including any copies thereof) or certify the destruction thereof. 3. All right title and interest in and to the Confidential Information shall remain with Disclosing Party or its licensors. Nothing in this Agreement is intended to grant any rights to Recipient under any patents, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets of Disclosing Party. ALL CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED "AS IS". THE DISCLOSING PARTY MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE, REGARDING NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS OR ITS ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR PERFORMANCE. 4. The obligations and limitations set forth herein regarding Confidential Information shall not apply to information which is: (a) at any time in the public domain, other than by a breach on the part of the Recipient; or (b) at any time rightfully received from a third party which had the right to and transmits it to the Recipient without any obligation of confidentiality. 5. In the event that the Recipient shall breach this Agreement, or in the event that a breach appears to be imminent, the Disclosing Party shall be entitled to all legal and equitable remedies afforded it by law, and in addition may recover all reasonable costs and attorneys' fees incurred in seeking such remedies. If the Confidential Information is sought by any third party, including by way of subpoena or other court process, the Recipient shall inform the Disclosing Party of the request in sufficient time to permit the Disclosing Party to object to and, if necessary, seek court intervention to prevent the disclosure. 6. The validity, construction and enforceability of this Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the law of the Missouri. This Agreement may not be amended except in writing signed by a duly authorized representative of the respective Parties. This Agreement shall control in the event of a conflict with any other agreement between the Parties with respect to the subject matter hereof. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.

    This is a joke right? Might be a rather sick joke, but a joke none the less? I certainly can hold my breath and hope so!!!! Otherwise, this is more than pathetic.

    Hi, This is very serious and I take all my project bids very seriously. Even ones for a $1.00. Also how does an binding NDA work with oDesk TOS's. Thanks, Out...

    One thing you may not have thought of Mark ... who is going to pay the attorney to review the agreement? Will you be setting up a $0.25 job on oDesk for that? 0:) 0) 0:-) :innocent:

    Hi, Yes, I agree. I was just informed over the phone by my attorney that it will require a $150.00 retainer and $200.00/hour every hour under review. Sadly I will have to decline project due to the cost in attorneys fees. But I do thank you for your advice. Out...

    Hi Should I take this project, looking for advice? Please review and accept my offer. xxx xxxx OFFER DETAILS Client: xxx xxxx (xxx xxxx, LLC.) Freelancer: xxx xxxx Job Posting: JSN Metro Joomla Theme Customization Needed to be done TODAY! Must BE DONE BY MIDNIGHT Contract Title: JSN Metro Joomla Theme Customization Needed to be done TODAY! Must BE DONE BY MIDNIGHT Budget: $1.11 ($1.00 paid to freelancer) Upfront payment: $0.56 View Offer This offer will expire on Sunday, March 9, 2014. Accept this offer to start working! Out...

    If you can knock out the job in 2.16 minutes and are prepared to write off the NDA messing about then go for it. There's a dollar with your name on it out there! Of course, with the no contact thing, you can't ask for it or tell the client that the job is completed.

    Hi, I want to sincerely thank all who helped me through this offer and all the great advice. It is with great regret that I had to decline this most generous offer due to me being informed by a current client on a new full-time project. I informed the customer and wished them success and fortune with their project. I want to wish all oDesker's a wonderful week. Thanks All!!! Out... PS: Darren your the best!

    [quote]Any partners, customers, or affiliates or any member of the companies shall not be marketed or contacted either within 1 year of the recipient agreing to this NDA[/quote] Spelling mistake notwithstanding; how are you going to inform them that the job is done/collect your sweet, sweet $1 without contacting them? If you ask for your dollar afterwards, you break the NDA and forfeit the money. That's evil. I like it. [quote]5. In the event that the Recipient shall breach this Agreement, or in the event that a breach appears to be imminent, the Disclosing Party shall be entitled to all legal and equitable remedies afforded it by law, and in addition may recover all reasonable costs and attorneys' fees incurred in seeking such remedies.[/quote] Read: "If we feel like it for any reason" Slip in a paragraph somewhere in the middle about if the Disclosing Party does not fulfil their part of the contract they will travel to a nature reserve at their own expense thereby to be voluntarily savaged by angry Honey Badgers. See if they notice. EDIT: Do you reckon the NDA is covered by the NDA?

    Hi, Thanks for the great feedback. I did a full NDA review and they had several spelling mistakes, one serious one is they spelled the client's last name wrong. I informed them that I would change the spelling mistakes, but want my attorney to review and give their ok. They responded that just go-ahead and sign it, you don't need an attorney to review a binding legal document. They want it done ASAP, so I can bid on their other projects. Do you think I should get my professional attorney to review a legal binding agreement before I sign it and make it binding? One good item is I don't think my bid was hidden!!! Out...

    The rates are determined by a global market. Yes there are some people that will charge less and do a terrible job ; but we also get that here. I had spent over a grand (pounds) , with alot of grief and still not got it done. Came on odesk and I had the same job done for $75 with professionalism that wow'd me. Viva la O DESK! The world is flat!!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that was confused on this. I was thinking, how is that possible when our minimum wage is way above that. It now makes sense that it's because of the rates in other countries.
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