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Upfront payments possible?

jackiepeeler
Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
1 of 18

I just asked for an upfront payment -- that is, a partial payment to begin a project before any work is submitted. The client has some experience here and said that can't be done. But I have had it done in the past on an Upwork contract. It's not unusual for agencies and designers with their own businesses to ask for that, but maybe not here.

 

It wasn't important so I let it go, but I'd like to know for the future.

zacgman
Ace Contributor
Zac G Member Since: Nov 27, 2016
2 of 18

I sometimes do a "Deposit" milestone, for 30-40% of the contract amount, and I ask the client to approve that as soon as the contract starts

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
3 of 18
I would never give someone money upfront here. That's the whole point of escrow. Bump up the price by a percentage to account for the escrow risk in case they dispute. Too many frauds here and qa is terrible. Sucks for us but can't blame people for having their guard up.

Had 2 wot phone calls this week and I had to bring out th big b in me and stopped her short and asked her if she walked into her doctors office would she ask these question. Gawd one of them was "what is a typical freelancer day like" so I told her I sleep until noon and then go to the gym. I was so annoyed. But then she said what several others have said to me and explained that hiring on upwork is hard because of the fraud profiles.
kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 18

Jacqueline,

 

It's technically possible for a client to pay an upfront by releasing the first milestone before the freelancers starts working on the project. However, this practice is not recommended as it cancels the protection of Escrow.

~ Valeria
Upwork
jackiepeeler
Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
5 of 18

Oh, thanks, that's really interesting. How would it do that?

 

Are you saying if there is a say, 30 percent total upfront payment, after you get that and the next milestone(s) are then funded, those subsequent milestones would not have escrow protection?

 

 

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
6 of 18

No, it means there is no Escrow protection for the client who releases money without having anything to review. If the freelancer scarpers the client is left with no protection for the amount they released.

 

I used to ask for up-front payments before we had Escrow (in the oDesk days when there was no Escrow at all) but would never do so now. (Those days there was even a function for that)

 

The whole point of Escrow is so there is no need for it.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 18
It just depends. Client history and country are huge factors. Even if they claim to be in the US but I can tell they are from certain countries, experience tells me to bump it up.

So let's say I think it's about an hour. Maybe 1.5 hours. I might go $200. This covers my 1 revision or let's say they dispute. I will go for all of it in this case but let's say for whatever reason I messed up and md has me dead to rights in an error I can stroke his little ego and go 50% and make him feel like he won, dispute person will see this as fair, but I've still at least made money on actual time spent plus a little extra for the hassle.
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 18

@Jennifer M wrote:
It just depends. ...........

 ............... depends on posting in the right thread?

 

Smiley Very Happy

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 18

no I was replying to her but no quote function in mobile

yitwail
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
10 of 18

If a client wants to make an Upfront payment, that's their prerogative. I've had at least one client who does this, creating something like a 20% milestone for starting a project, presumably so I won't have to wait untIil I finish to get some payment. But I wouldn't ask a client for that, especially not a client I haven't worked with previously -- if nothing else, it seems to me there's a big risk the client will choose another freelancer who doesn't make such a demand.

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