alfredogl
Member

Sudden change of contract

Hi, Everyone! I hope you're all doing well!

Is it normal that a client changes an hourly contract into a fixed priced one after the freelancer sends a proposal? 

For example, I sent a proposal to an hourly project that fitted my rate and the client answered me with a link to a Google Drive document with a fixed price proposal (and cheap one).

 

I've stumbled upon this type of situation more than once...

Thanks in advance!!

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marc_compte
Member

Alfredo, do you mean the actual contract (as in, they already hired you)? You use the word contract and also say "after sending the proposal", but if the contract happens it will be way after you send your proposal. The job posting and the proposal is just talk, no firm commitment on either side.

 

What can happen, and it does sometimes, is that the client submits a job posting with an hourly rate window. Then you make your proposal, where you usually estimate how much time it would take you and your proposed hourly rate.

 

This provides the client with an estimate on the overall cost of the job. But so far there is no contract in place. Then, when the client sends you an offer for the actual contract, sometimes they set up a fixed price based on your estimation. S/he is entitled to do so.

 

Then it is up to you to decide if you accept the offer or not. If you are confident about your estimation and your client, you may agree. If you are not confident about your estimation or you are not confident about the client keeping the initial requirements (and suspect they may try to make you do extra work for the same price) you may decline.

 

And if the fixed price they offer is lower than your estimation it may not be a bad idea to decline either. But either way, it is your choice. If you decline, do it politely and you can explain the reason ("I'm sorry, but I can't do it for this price" or something of that sort) and move on to other proposals.

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8 REPLIES 8
petra_r
Member


Alfredo d wrote:

Is it normal that a client changes an hourly contract into a fixed priced one after the freelancer sends a proposal? 


Clients can't change contracts. They can indeed set a job post as hourly and then start discussing fixed rate. Until a contract is in place, everything is negotiable.

I understand what you mean, but honestly when I spend my connects applying to a job post set as "hourly" I expect that it stays that way. Otherwise what's the point if it's always "open to discussion?

 

Is there a way to avoid that?


Alfredo d wrote:

Is there a way to avoid that?


Not really, no. Everything **IS** always open to negotiation. Including the budget of a fixed rate contract or the hourly range on hourly job posts,, which are usually the default ranges set by Upwork unless the client changes it.

Look at it this way. If you send a proposal for an hourly rate and they send you a message to discuss anything or send you the link you mention, answer them back and you will get 10 more connects. So, in terms of connects, you will have a positive balance in any case. You are not wasting connects.

Good point! Tks!

marc_compte
Member

Alfredo, do you mean the actual contract (as in, they already hired you)? You use the word contract and also say "after sending the proposal", but if the contract happens it will be way after you send your proposal. The job posting and the proposal is just talk, no firm commitment on either side.

 

What can happen, and it does sometimes, is that the client submits a job posting with an hourly rate window. Then you make your proposal, where you usually estimate how much time it would take you and your proposed hourly rate.

 

This provides the client with an estimate on the overall cost of the job. But so far there is no contract in place. Then, when the client sends you an offer for the actual contract, sometimes they set up a fixed price based on your estimation. S/he is entitled to do so.

 

Then it is up to you to decide if you accept the offer or not. If you are confident about your estimation and your client, you may agree. If you are not confident about your estimation or you are not confident about the client keeping the initial requirements (and suspect they may try to make you do extra work for the same price) you may decline.

 

And if the fixed price they offer is lower than your estimation it may not be a bad idea to decline either. But either way, it is your choice. If you decline, do it politely and you can explain the reason ("I'm sorry, but I can't do it for this price" or something of that sort) and move on to other proposals.

 Thank you very much for your very good and thorough reply!

wlyonsatl
Member

Alfredo,

 

I have had a few prospective clients who wantd to change their proposed contract type from hourly to fixed price after I submitted a proposal. I assumed they wanted a fixed price to begin with, but thought they'd get more responses on an hourly contract than if they were upfront about their limited fixed budget. The games clients play!

 

I just said, "No" in each case. I can think of one prospective client who said, "Sure. No problem. We can stay with hourly" once I explained that neither the client nor I could know upfront how much work or work time would be required of me. 

 

I never heard from the others again.

 

C'est la vie!