Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

To ignore budgets or to not ignore budgets?

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
1 of 27

Hi Guys,


currently I'm sitting on almost 70 connects and I will most likely get that $ 10 membership to have my connects roll over because I don't expect to be able to apply to 35 jobs in the next 10 days.


The reason why I am not applying to jobs are the ridiculous budgets and hourly rates.


I regularly browse the Web Development / Mobile Development categories and additionally Javascript/HTML5 jobs.

Often I encounter jobs with a budget of less than $ 50, but the work requires a 4-5 digit budget.


"Please program an app for ios, android and web" - Budget $ 20

"Please program a game like clash of clans" - Budget $ 50

"Please program a 3D tool for architects" - Budget $ 150


And so on. Most jobs - over 90% - have an est. budget that is just enough to pay for the time it takes to discuss the project and to open an editor.


Then ofcourse there are hourly paid jobs.


Clients who regularly offer hourly paid jobs flagged with "$$$" and then I scroll down and check their job history. And none of their contractors were paid more than $ 8-16 an hour.

The jobs flagged with "$$" often just pay $ 5 an hour.


The question is:

Should I bother applying to those jobs and bid far out of the clients est. Budget?

Did any of you get a job while bidding 100x the est. Budget? Heck, some jobs would require to bid 400x the Budget.

Any experience welcome.



Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 27

If the job interests you, put in your own estimated budget, and explain what they will get for it...More than one freelancer i know (myself included) have gotten the job. Sometimes the client just has no idea how long it will take, etc.

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
3 of 27

Thank you, Irene,


you are right. I have heard of freelancers who got jobs that way. So I believe this is possible.


But when the client has no idea how much the work is worth and he has 50 proposals within his budget of people who pretend to be the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of Webprogramming and then he sees a realistic bid, I can see that most clients would go with the bottom feeders instead. Just because those 50 people who bid low give the impression that the client decided for a decent Budget and that anyone bidding far above is a conartist.



I can also imagine clients, who actually have a decent budget, to put in a ridiculously low budget to filter out spam. They could easily decline anyone who bids within the budget and look for freelancers who bid according to the job description.


What I'm trying to figure out in this topic are numbers as to how often a realistic bid gets the job.

Maybe some freelancerscan give some insight as to how many of their (far) above budget bids got them a job.


If it's 1 in 100 realistic bids that gets a job, then I better hold on to my connects until a decent job posting appears instead of explaining to the client why his project won't be able to be completed within his budget.


I could also just bid within the budget and tell the client what I can do for him at that price, but then I'm too afraid to end up with a bad feedback because the client might want more than just a tiny part of his project to be done.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
4 of 27



In your field, you may not have the luxury I have of being able to judge the quality of clients from other indications in the RFP. A prospective editorial client might be clueless about budget but relatively clueful enough to define a plausible job. In that case I'll submit a proposal and/or query using my standard rates. I've often been the highest bidder and won contracts (though that was on Elance). For the majority of the postings that are rife with red flags, I don't bother. 


I'm guessing for technical work the proportion of clueless prospects, and the necessity of communicating with them before dismissing them if needed, would be higher than in my field. It still might be useful to do your primary triage based on non-budgetary factors, and quote your normal rates. That in itself may serve as a filter.


I don't think of connects as precious resources to be hoarded, banked, or fretted over. My time is far more precious; based on the quality of the available RFPs, I never find myself investing enough time to outpace my auto-renewing connects.


Finally, and perhaps gratuitously, mindreading prospective clients is a mug's game. Bid for work you want at the price you want, and let prospects' reactions to your strategy show itself in their practical responses.




Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 27

It depends on whether you can afford to.


Essentially if you have enough Connects and not enough work you can balance your applications.


I have won contracts going in many times over the stated budget (often fixed rate budgets are only placeholders because the client has no idea what the budget is going to be like and just enter a figure because they must)


Personally I quote what will make it worth my while to do the contract. This depends on what else I have got on, and how much I want to do the contract.


If I have little else on, and see a chance to earn a bit of pocket money quickly and easily I may bid to win.


If I have enough work and just fancy doing something, I will go in at a "take it or leave it" bid.


If I have too much on already but someone asks me to bid I will go in so high that it will either scare them off, or will make it worth my while to sacricice sleep and / or social life


In August I didn't have much on so just took contracts to stay busy.


At the moment I am booked for 60 hours a week for the forseeable future so it would take very serious money to convince me to take on anything else at all.

View solution in original post

Community Leader
Sebastian N Member Since: Sep 22, 2015
6 of 27

Thank you, Petra.


That's a great post. You are right, as soon as you have long term clients or enough work piled up, then bidding out of the budget is much easier. Because it doesn't hurt if your bid is not taken or ignored.


I currently have 1 client who wants to hire me for several projects (1 project per week until the end of the year) and one other client also offers me a new job. Most of those jobs take 1-2 days to finish, so I have a lot time left to work on other jobs.


I guess I should just give it a try with the connects that I have currently left and see if it gets me anywhere. 


Active Member
tanya s Member Since: Oct 11, 2015
7 of 27

I would NOT recommend this common contractor's practice. If a client contacted you to quote, it means that a client likes your work. Be honest and tell that you are fully booked for X weeks, and will be happy to take on this task after you are done with 3 big jobs in your hands already. But give a client your honest quote. A client will never get back to you if your quote is too high.
Some clients have continuous projects. It is possible that one day your work load will dry out and some clients will avoid contacting you, because you are unreasonably expensive.
Also, a client is not stupid and researches the market price. )) What do you think a client will think of you if your price is 5 folds higher than average? Clients put a lot of time and thought into hiring someone.

@Petra R wrote:
If I have too much on already but someone asks me to bid I will go in so high that it will either scare them off,


Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 27

"I would NOT recommend this common contractor's practice."


I've used her logic myself and it sometimes works out that you're pleasantly surprised. I've been known to readjust my schedule when someone really wants me to work for them and they pay me well. Higher pay means you, my friend, get in my priority list.


If you schedule yourself well, you can squeeze in that great paying dude who wants to work with you out of the blue.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 27

I pay for rollover, and I think it's worth it. Sometimes, things get slow and you go slummin and bid on stuff you wouldn't normally bid on. In April this year, I blew through like 100 connects. These past few months I've used maybe 30-ish total. I had 194 connects this month, so the rollover does add up. Just depends on the month I guess. 


When I have extras, I go for broke and bid my regular rates on jobs that I feel mayyyybe they'd be into me. Doesn't happen often. lol But sometimes they like your work and contact you.


I don't know the cap for rollover, but if you're going to lose connects, you might as well bid and see what happens.


The budget system for flat rate is flawed. People have no clue what it will cost. That's why they need a professional. If I am hiring someone, it's because I can't do it myself and I have no idea what other professionals charge for their expertise. I'm only an expert in my own field. So, the customer might have sticker shock, but if you're worth it, they might contact you to negotiate.


I get all types of "negotiations" too. I had one guy throw $15/article at me with my $55/article bid. Not even in the ballpark buddy. Of course, he had tons of work for me. LOL I've never understood the mindset of customers offering for me to work more. I don't want to work more. I want to work less. LOL I mean, like DUH.  Anyway, some people will work with you within a reasonable range even if you're way above their posted budget.

Community Guru
Maria C Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
10 of 27


I am in the same case as you, since most of the jobs posted are ridiculously low paid, I have an excess of connects. So not to waste them, I bided what I consider normal in 2 or 3 of them… it didn’t work. Smiley Very Happy

Anyway, if you have so many connects, why don’t you use them? You have nothing to loose. Bids exist because budgets are open.