There's a situation I seem to be running into quite frequently lately: I apply to a job that's been listed as hourly for something like translation or proofreading, tasks often paid based on the length of the text instead of the amount of time the job takes. I go ahead and put in an hourly rate, and when I get an interview with the client, I let them know that I'd prefer a fixed-price arrangement. Most clients agree to this readily, but some of them will have sent me an offer for an hourly contract before I have a chance to explain this, which can be problematic.
As a freelancer, I'm not familiar with the interface clients use to manage offers. Upwork's help pages say that clients can edit offers under Pending Offers, so I suggest this to the client. About half the time, I get a message saying that the original offer was withdrawn with the reason "This offer was replaced by another one". A fixed-price offer shows up, I accept it, and all is well. The other half of the time, the client tells me they can't figure out how to edit or replace the offer. I have no clue what to tell them in this situation. I've had a couple clients who created a new fixed-price posting and invited me to it—the whole back-and-forth process to get this set up can delay the work considerably, but it does solve the problem. I've also had one who insisted that I accept the hourly offer and input some amount of manual time roughly equivalent to what I'd've charged on a fixed-price contract. He expressed some concern about what would happen to his hiring statistics if he sent a new offer. I told him I wasn't going to essentially lie on a contract and risk violating the ToS, so I had to turn the job down.
After my latest run-in with this, I've sent a feature request to Upwork, asking them to implement some way to propose changes to an offer after it's sent. Rather than either accepting or declining an offer, I'd be able to discuss a fixed-price arrangement with the client, and if they agree, simply send them a counter-offer with the updated terms, which they could accept to start the contract. This would save a lot of hassle on both ends, as I wouldn't have to explain to my clients how to use an interface I've never seen, and my clients wouldn't have to jump through hoops to revise offers they've sent me.
Anybody else run into these situations? How do you usually deal with them?
There is a great big and very difficult to miss "change to fixed rate" function on the offer page. The Clint simply has to click on "modify offer" and then on the "change to fixed rate" - easy peasy.
Personally I do not try and make clients jump through hoops to suit me. If they want to work hourly, we'll go for it. If they want to work fixed rate, we go fixed rate. Not a problem.
Totally agree there should be a "counter offer" option. I've found that most clients don't care about how they pay, they just want an easy process. They usually don't understand the UpWork system very well, nor do they care to spend a ton of time learning it as they have other things to worry about. Could be a nice feature!
Cory, as a writer I am constantly suggesting to potential clients that we work on a fixed rate basis v. hourly. The explanation why can be a short one sentence comment toward the end of your proposal.
Feel free to PM for suggested wording.