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4b7cb766
Community Member

Upfront Fees For Freelancers

Hi Guys! Can anyone enlighten me to why we now have to pay $0.15 to apply for jobs and still give a percentage of our earnings to Upwork? The number of jobs I submit for are drastically larger than the ones I get hired for so Upwork is basically charging me an upfront fee to use their website which I think is unheard of, even a job agency doesn't charge you to walk in the door. Besides, I have applied to plenty of postings which just turned out to be scams- so so called exec wanted me to buy him apple computers and ship it to him and tried to convince me to take the job outside of Upwork. So, if they are not thoroughly vetting the Clients, my applications that I now would be paying for will be futile. Am I the only one who has an issue with this new upfront fee?
18 REPLIES 18
sergio-soria
Community Member

Why we now have to pay? Because Upwork decided it. Those are the rules now.

 

Anyone else has the same issue? Yes, a LOT of freelancers. Take a look at the community and you will see. There are many threads about the same and you have just created another one.

 

Scammers have always been there, the only way to stop them is to report the job post as fast as you can. But that has nothing to do with the new paid connects system.

I think it has everything to do with the new connects system, I don't pay
to email with scammers on Craigslist so I don't see why I should do so here.
If they want to keep it that way they should make an effort to get clients
so were not paying for nothing. Paying Upwork 2x is definitely something
I'm not okay with. I guess it time for a fresh new startup to take over in
this space because I only expect the fees to go higher.

Not okay.
petra_r
Community Member


Nay S wrote:

I don't see why I should do so here. Paying Upwork 2x is definitely something
I'm not okay with.
Not okay.

It's really very, very simple:

You don't want to pay for connects?

Then don't.

Let us know how profitably that works out for you.

4b7cb766
Community Member

Thanks for providing so much knowledge and insight to this thread Petra! You're such a glowing personality!
4b7cb766
Community Member

Thanks for providing so much knowledge and insight to this thread Petra! You're such a glowing personality!

Petra,

I do believe that a forum is a place where people are meant to express their opinions. Nay S believes (and so do I) that we are paying extra (however little) for the opportunity to apply to scam jobs or jobs that may not even be real. The new system is good for no one. 

Why do you feel that it is positive to consistently come back with a zing? Why not make an attempt to be helpful instead?

florydev
Community Member


nay S wrote:
Hi Guys! Can anyone enlighten me to why we now have to pay $0.15 to apply for jobs and still give a percentage of our earnings to Upwork?

Upwork changed their policy.  You can read the official reasons here: 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Connects-Change-Rollout-Update-and-Frequently-Asked-Qu...

 

The number of jobs I submit for are drastically larger than the ones I get hired for so Upwork is basically charging me an upfront fee to use their website which I think is unheard of, even a job agency doesn't charge you to walk in the door. Besides, I have applied to plenty of postings which just turned out to be scams- so so called exec wanted me to buy him apple computers and ship it to him and tried to convince me to take the job outside of Upwork. So, if they are not thoroughly vetting the Clients, my applications that I now would be paying for will be futile. Am I the only one who has an issue with this new upfront fee?

Nope, there are oodles of you and it is at least $0.30 and as high as $0.90.

 

You need to hit the flag as inappropriate link on the job listing and report it.  Keep your communication on Upwork and they will research it, kick the job, and give you your connects back.

 

They don't throughly vet their clients, that is a fact.  

 

simonhyslop
Community Member

Beats me. Connects used to be free, so I really thought they'd cut down on the percentage of fees they take when they started making us pay for them; but as it turns out, not so much.

 

Your best bet is to be very discerning with what you apply for (don't ask me why we have to be the ones vetting and verifying our clients when we already pay Upwork 20% plus Connect fees just for the privilege of working through them). Check the client's history, whether they've hired anyone before, how many jobs they've posted, and how often they've actually hired people. That should all be displayed next to the job.

 

It's still glorified gambling, of course, but what can ya do?

Seriously! They didn't even rethink percentage fee structure to account for
the $0.15 charge!

Fail. I hope there's a techie somewhere building a new platform that isn't
going to charge Freelancers ahead of time.

Drop me a line if you end up finding a place that works out better for you. I'm already trying out a few new sites. I'm all for reducing spam or whatever, but I'm not seeing any evidence that these new charges are doing that.


nay S wrote:
I think it has everything to do with the new connects system, I don't pay to email with scammers on Craigslist so I don't see why I should do so here.

No, the scammers have nothing to do with the new connects system, and I will tell you why: because the scammers have been doing what you described for years, it didn't start now with the new connect system.

 

You are not forced to pay and bid for scammers. Save your connects for the good posters. As a freelancer you must be selective and check who you are sending a proposal to. You must develop the knowledge to read between the lines and detect when there is a scam involved, if they are serious clients or other type of people who don't even know what they want. Don't expect Upwork to do that for you. They never did it and will never do.

 

Is the paid connects system unfair because so far bidding was for free? Maybe, but it's the way Upwork found to stop the spammers flood and to get rid of freelancers who pose as professionals but are disastrous and use the platform just because it's free. Now things have changed.

I'm not saying that the new system is "unfair ", I'm saying why am I paying for change if the only thing that is changing is me paying up front. If the purpose of the paid connects are to weed out freelancers who are not qualified, then the same should be set for job posters so Upwork can weed out the scammers. Why should we be they only ones paying extra? If they require is to be legit they should require employers to be legit. Scammers will always exist but I certainly shouldn't be carrying the burden of them if I'm part of a "trusted" platform.


nay S wrote:
If the purpose of the paid connects are to weed out freelancers who are not qualified, then the same should be set for job posters so Upwork can weed out the scammers. Why should we be they only ones paying extra?

Well, maybe you don't know but they are weeding out scammers on the client side too placing a limit of 3 invitations per job post to free client accounts. This way scammers cannot send unlimited invitations without paying. And they are also depriving free clients of reports they used to have for free. So yeah, we are not the only ones carrying the burden or paying extra. But guess what... They are weeding out legitimate clients as well with those actions. You should be worried about that, not about the connects, because there are millions of freelancers but not many clients in comparison, so if you are good your way is open without trashy freelancers bothering. Instead if they weed out legitimate clients they don't come around here no more. No clients = no money.


Simon H wrote:

Beats me. Connects used to be free, so I really thought they'd cut down on the percentage of fees they take when they started making us pay for them; but as it turns out, not so much.

 

Your best bet is to be very discerning with what you apply for (don't ask me why we have to be the ones vetting and verifying our clients when we already pay Upwork 20% plus Connect fees just for the privilege of working through them). Check the client's history, whether they've hired anyone before, how many jobs they've posted, and how often they've actually hired people. That should all be displayed next to the job.


This is very common wisdom that I just don't agree with.

 

Just yesterday, I proposed on a job  and that client had never hired anyone before.  We talked about it last night, I think it went well but you never know.  If it works out I will make enough money to buy all the connects I will need for the rest of my life, well until the raise the cost again.  The job only has 5-10 applicants at this point.  This is only anecodotal but I can't remember ever applying to a job before the snappening  with so few proposals in 24 hours.

 

I don't have the thing you do where it bothers me that things that were once free are no longer free or that things change prices.  If I don't like it, I just leave it.  If it's too expensive, I won't pay.  I also believe if enough people don't like it, it will fail.

 

I also see the same problem Upwork does that too many people apply for jobs and because connects are free I am not sure I believe all of them are qualified.  The new connect pricing is certainly suggestive of an answer.  Will it work?  No idea, too soon to tell.

 

I believe you should use your connects strategically, but not sparingly.  If you see jobs that you know are you know you will destroy then fire away.


Mark F wrote:

Just yesterday, I proposed on a job  and that client had never hired anyone before.  We talked about it last night, I think it went well but you never know.  If it works out I will make enough money to buy all the connects I will need for the rest of my life, well until the raise the cost again.  The job only has 5-10 applicants at this point.  This is only anecodotal but I can't remember ever applying to a job before the snappening  with so few proposals in 24 hours.


I certainly don't think it's a foolproof approach, but frankly it's all I can think of. The vast majority of my Connects are wasted on jobs that I'm perfectly qualified for, but which end up just sitting there and never hiring anyone. Restricting my applications to people who actually have a consistent history of hiring people is the only approach I can really think of. My budget is limited, and I really can't afford to blow much money on Connects.


Simon H wrote:

Mark F wrote:

Just yesterday, I proposed on a job  and that client had never hired anyone before.  We talked about it last night, I think it went well but you never know.  If it works out I will make enough money to buy all the connects I will need for the rest of my life, well until the raise the cost again.  The job only has 5-10 applicants at this point.  This is only anecodotal but I can't remember ever applying to a job before the snappening  with so few proposals in 24 hours.


I certainly don't think it's a foolproof approach, but frankly it's all I can think of. The vast majority of my Connects are wasted on jobs that I'm perfectly qualified for, but which end up just sitting there and never hiring anyone. Restricting my applications to people who actually have a consistent history of hiring people is the only approach I can really think of. My budget is limited, and I really can't afford to blow much money on Connects.


Simon, I am going to challenge your assumptions and in doing so, I might seem like a jerk.  Truthfully, I am, but in this moment, I am not trying to be:

 

Why didn't they hire anyone?  Why didn't they hire you?

It could be there is just a massive amount of jobs on Upwork that somebody created for no other reason to waste their own time.  I think it unlikely.  I think the majority of jobs on Upwork were created for one purpose, to solve someone's problem.

 

If we can accept that as truth, then them not hiring anyone is actually indicative that not only did you fail to prove to them that you were the MOST qualified but everyone else did.  You came in both first and last, which is both good and bad.

 

It is not enough to be perfectly qualfied.  You have to sell yourself as the ONLY one qualified. 

 

I can almost guarantee that every job you have already done on Upwork you were initially brought in because the client thought you were the best for the job.  Best in their view might mean anything, cheapest, easiest, smartest, prettiest, whatever.  But somewhere they made a decision that you brought something to the table no one else does.

 

I respect people's budgets to a degree you cannot possibly fathom and I agree that you have to make conscientious decisions.  I think you should look at a job not considering that criteria but if you think are likely going to be the BEST candidate they will see.

 

I read that job ad yesterday and I was like, hey that's me, sign me up.  And I spent a lot of the day wondering when that guy was going to reach out to me, and he did.  This is not just raging ego (which I have plenty of), I knew what he wanted, I knew how to do it, I knew how to express how I could do it.  

 

I think you, and everyone really, should look for jobs were you know you will destroy it.  When you see that spend your connects like water.


Mark F wrote:

 

  If it's too expensive, I won't pay.  I also believe if enough people don't like it, it will fail.
Great point - Whilst some of your points i dont neccesarily agree with, i think ultimatley THIS is the point - we are all in the same boat, so we either figure it out and continue, quit, or the system changes.
I also see the same problem Upwork does that too many people apply for jobs and because connects are free I am not sure I believe all of them are qualified.  The new connect pricing is certainly suggestive of an answer.  Will it work?  No idea, too soon to tell.

I actually think they have made it really easy for anyone to just top up thier connects balance and bid on more jobs, but like you say, its to soon to tell. Ultimately i hope it works as i have no problem with the system if it works as intended ๐Ÿ™‚

 


 

thebookdoc
Community Member

Nay,

Try not to let the negativity in this forum discourage you from voicing your opinion. I happen to agree with you. I think anyone who doesn't is short-sighted. You are not paying 15 cents, you are paying 30 up to 90 and possibly more.

What some of the old-timers here might not realize is that not everyone is here to get long-term work. Some people may not have a ton of experience and feedback. Whatever the reason, the new policy seems to be discouraging freelancers from applying to jobs at lower pay scales, and making it more expensive to be a freelancer here. If you apply to 20 jobs to get one and you are applying to jobs that are $50, what do you really make? Let's say each application costs 40 cents...Just applying cost $5. That's 10% of what you'll "Make". But then the company takes 20% of the $50, or $10. Chances are that if it is a $50 job, the employer is already low-balling, so it is going to cost you a few hours of your time. Let's say 3. We'll not just forget about the six or seven hours you took paying to apply. So you'll make $35 for about 10 hours of your time. $3.50 per hour of your effort.

Anyone with sense can see that this is not a desirable situation. People will not be applying to such jobs which will discourage clients that post them. The client user base will shrink. Freelancers will be tempted to take minimum wage jobs for twice the profit or half the time. That could mean the freelancer pool will get smaller. That points to a shrinking community, which is not going to be more attractive to potential clients. So the employers all the established freelancers who say "just suck it up" are seeking may dwindle. 

In my opinion, this is very bad for the community in many ways. If we all just march on silently, it does not seem like a smart move. Customer support often told me that it was more effective to bring up enhancements and suggestions in the forum. In short, you are doing the right thing to voice your concern.

Honestly, I'm really not sure what these people who just accept the change are thinking, or if they are. In the short term, it might be good for them. In the long term, it seems to me like a long string of dominoes that has just started to fall.

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