re: "If charging 18% would mean that the client would add the 8% on top..."
The 18% starter fee (or 10% regular fee, or 7.5% advanced fee) would all be treated the same: These are fees Upwork withdraws from money the client pays before paying the money to the contractor.
So, in essence, the contractor "pays" the fees, but of course, all the money is coming originally from the client.
If a client pays $50 for a service I provide, then the client pays $50. Not $50 plus 18%.
Upwork would retain 18% of that under this proposed fee structure ($9.00) and I would receive the rest ($41.00).
So if I want to be paid a full $50, then I would need to charge the client $60.98.
This is how things already are, with the across-the-board 10% fee.
It's up to me as a contractor to decide how much I'm willing to work for and what hourly rate or fixed-price rate I will work for. This is not part of the client-side interface. The client pays one fee and it is not the client's concern which portion of that goes to Upwork and which portion goes to the contractor.
It's like any other goods or services that you buy. When you purchase a song in iTunes, I can assure you that some money goes to Apple, some goes to a credit card company, some goes to the singer, some goes to the songwriter, etc., etc. But you are simply presented one price (for example: 99 cents).
Upwork is not going to change this and make the client's interface more confusing.
re: "Thanks Preston for the clarification. Under $100 seems a lot more reasonable."
I'm just telling you what I saw in the survey I took. I'm assuming that similar surveys were sent to different people, some with a $100 threshhold, some with a $500 threshhold.
But maybe I was imagining things or remembering incorrectly. Anyway, this was a survey, and not an announcement from Upwork. Who knows what they'll do.
Preston, they must have changed the survey after I took it. I'm attaching a screenshot of the survey I took, which clearly shows 18% for the first $500.
I understand that we are the ones paying the fee. My point was this.
Let’s say the client now has a budget of $50 and I am happy to get $45 (with the 10%). When I apply for this job I see it as a $45 job, not as $50.
When the fee goes to 18% I would be expecting the offer to be $50 + 8% so I can get my $45. If the client is not planning on increasing the budget for that 8% then I won’t apply.
This is only my wishful thinking as I am aware that clients couldn’t care less how much we earn, but if the fee increases and the ridiculous job offers stay the same, then I can see many people leaving the platform. If UpWork is thinking of increasing the fee then they should increase the minimum hourly rate and find a way to control fixed price projects that offer offensive pay.
Oh my God.
I'm a resume writer and ALL my jobs are short term and not many over $100. For me this would be a disaster. To go from 10% to 18% is really costly and I'm noting eating 18% and that means raising rates and passing it on to clients.
This would effectively end my jobs here.
I can't believe they are even considering it. All freelancers who do short term work are really going to be hit by this.
Faheem asked earlier, "Any idea where we could look for this 2 year restriction?"
It's here -- https://www.upwork.com/info/terms/ -- under 7. Non-Circumvention.
So Preston, you might have a client or 2 who's paid you $10k. Once you're past the 24-month non-circumvention period with Upwork, would you pay even 7.5% or arrange payment outside Upwork & pay nothing?
re: "Once you're past the 24-month non-circumvention period with Upwork, would you pay even 7.5% or arrange payment outside Upwork & pay nothing?"
To answer your question, I personally would not have any interest in working outside Upwork with any clients I met on Upwork, regardless of whether or not Upwork said it was fine to do so because a certain amount of time has passed.
For me, staying within the Upwork infrastructure with these clients has value to me beyond any difference in revenue I might bring in with or with not having to pay fees of 7.5% or 10%.
"This would effectively end my jobs here."
One of the reasons I left a certain site in UK, who were doing quite well until they introduced the high percentage fees, plus handling charges - all ten fingers.
What is this about asking people what they think anyway? They never paid the blindest bit of attention to that in the past. They just do what they do and that's it. They still haven't announced the new top rated forum on the announcements page yet. This place is wearing me down. I wish had been chosen to be one of the Stepford freelancers who have been so effusive all week about how perfect this place is....because I'd love to think it was like that. But no, it's just getting weirder by the day.