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What do you think about 20% service fee?

Active Member
Ramazan S Member Since: Sep 30, 2017
1 of 57

Hello everyone.


What do you think about 20% service fee?


I hardly make some money on Upwork and I feel like service fee takes most of my effort away.


Shouldn't that fee be less?

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 57

I hate everything that takes me sweeet sweeeeet $$$ but the sweeet sweeeet rewards are why I do it.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
3 of 57

Yes, you should immediately find a platform that offers the same level of lead generation and services but charges less. Or, handle those tasks on your own to save the 20% fee.


Paying a referral fee, commission or services fees is a part of doing business. Your own rates should reflect this and other costs. Choose a rate that allows you to feel well-compensated after expenses or take steps to reduce your expenses. 

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 57

I think it's a great compromise. Obviously, Upwork couldn't continue to lose money on all those tiny jobs, but it would have been bad for a lot of clients and freelancers to disallow them, so Upwork introduced a fee that allowed it to continue to service low-dollar jobs without bleeding money.


I think Upwork provides great value for the money--the time it saves me each month more than makes up for the fees. Upwork makes it easy to connect with clients with zero marketing dollars and a tiny fraction of the time investment required to seek out and cultivate new sources of business outside the platform.


I also think that "most," by definition, means more than a 20% fee by definition is not taking most of your effort (or even close to it).

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 57

@Ramazan S wrote:


What do you think about 20% service fee?

 I don't think about it at all. It's built into my rates and it is only on the first $ 500 with any client, so it soon drops to 10% anyway

Community Guru
Hieu T Member Since: Aug 11, 2017
6 of 57

And it will be 5% if I earn $1000+ with any clients, is that correct?

Hieu T

Vietnamese translator
Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
7 of 57

@Hieu T wrote:

And it will be 5% if I earn $1000+ with any clients, is that correct?

 No, if it will be 5% if you earn $10000+ with one client, for that client only.


Back to the original question, I think the 20% fee is too high, but UW couldn't care less how many freelancers think it's too high.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 57

You're not alone if you think that the 20% fee is high...


But as others in this thread have pointed out...


You are NOT REQUIRED to pay the 20% fee.


And you are not required to use Upwork.


It's totally your choice.


If you are to able earn $10 per month on Platform X, which only charges you a 10% fee...


But you are able to earn $500 per month on Upwork, which charges you a 20% fee...


which platform will you use?

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
9 of 57

Personnaly, I think 20% is a lot.


On the other hand, Upwork is a huge platform, and it must be expensive to make it function so well. I'm gratefull for all the people that work behind the scene to make the use of Upwork seem so smooth.


However, I have done many jobs for the same client and I love being charged only 10% when I work for him. I wish I had more such clients. I'm trying my best to make my wish come true.


Because I'm not in the United States, I then have to pay for exchange rate and as most of us I have to pay for taxes. Sometimes I even wonder if it's worth working on Upwork at all. 


Let's say 20% is a lot, but it's the price to be paid for good service.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 57


Good comments.


It IS fair to say 20% is a lot.


I understand how you feel about the taxes...


The requirement to pay taxes on money that we have earned is something that exists in the United States. To the best of my knowledge, this is a requirement in most countries.


But I have mixed feeling when I see comments about this in the Forum. Because this isn't really about Upwork at all.


I mean... it is a true observation.


But if you earned $100 working at a brick-and-mortar store, you're probably going to be taxed on that income. If you earned $100 from your own business, you're probably going to be taxed on that income.


And Upwork 100% absolutely did not levy that tax.


Upwork DID impose the 20% fee. But they didn't think up the tax or anything. That's something that your country or state or city imposed on you.


So does it make sense to even mention that in association with comments on Upwork and its fees? I dont know...