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filip_knezevic
Community Member

What to do when a client offers working outside of Upwork?

There are greedy freelancers that do not want to pay fees. But there are greedy clients as well. They don't want to pay 3% more. But it happens.

Personally, I find it hard to understand that somebody who will pay 6000 dollars for 100 hours per 60 per hour, can't shell out those 3% more - 6180 dollars.

But some clients can have a lot of work and they can even try to blackmail you: We go outside of platform, or I will choose another freelancer.

What to do?

Option N1 - just decline, report and that's it. Some clients will stop working with you at this point. Fine.

Option N2 - and a much better one in my opinion (if you don't want to lose such clients that have a lot of work): offer them a new contract 3% cheaper then the first one. For them it will be same like they are dong it via PayPal, no provision (as with fees and 60 per hour, they would be paying 61.8 per hour). If you offer 3% cheaper hour, they will pay 59.946 instead of 61.8. For us, well, it's 3% cash less. So if I charge 60 per hour, I will offer a new Upwork contract with 58.20 per hour. No biggie, if it's a client where I can have many, many hours, and a lot of earnings.

This calculation is with my price of hours, but I think this can work for many people, never mind their rate.

Because there are essentially three options: 1. lose the Upwork, 2. lose a good client that pays good cash (but still is greedy about 3% extra :D), 3. lose 3% of earnings, but still earn!

What option is the best here?

14 REPLIES 14
petra_r
Community Member


Filip K wrote:

3. lose 3% of earnings, but still earn!

What option is the best here?


I've never had that situation, but if it did present itself with a long term, well-paying client, I'd likely go with 3.

 

I've had clients ask to go outside Upwork before hiring, and I just told them I only work through Upwork, and that was that (without offering any discount). I've never had a client ask after they hired me on Upwork.


I've had clients ask to go outside Upwork before hiring, and I just told them I only work through Upwork, and that was that (without offering any discount). I've never had a client ask after they hired me on Upwork.


Interesting enough, I was only once asked before the contract, but it happened a couple of times after a fair share of work and money flow. And reporting makes no sense, as they always asked me in Skype or verbally in a conversation. I always declined, and they continued to work with me anyway. Recently a client asked me THREE times, on different occasions. That annoyed me, so I closed the contract and offered him 3% lower price per hour. I'm waiting on the response.

I don't get it, usually it's cheap clients that want to save every cent, but I don't get the clients that are ready to pay a good price for hour, ready to go long term, but they are still concerned with those 3%.

But, reading the forum, I noticed freelancers (usually starters or from developing countries) saying they were literally blackmailed into working outside or stopping work with them. So perhaps, this can help somebody avoid both options.

richard_wein
Community Member

I can't speak from experience,  as I've never had this happen to me. But I always assumed that clients who wanted to work outside Upwork expected to save more than 3%. Don't they expect you to share your saving of 20/10/5% freelancer fees by giving them a discount? 

Richard W wrote:

I can't speak from experience,  as I've never had this happen to me. But I always assumed that clients who wanted to work outside Upwork expected to save more than 3%. Don't they expect you to share your saving of 20/10/5% freelancer fees by giving them a discount? 



I don't know, I was never asked to LOWER my price and go outside the platform, just to go outside of the platform, which implies they are indeed concerned about that 3%.  

I'd expect Richard is right in most cases - the client would expect you to share your savings from not paying Upwork's fees. Just 3% is not enough money saved to risk being kicked off Upwork for breaking the rules.

 

At any rate, don't agree to it.

I never got much into a conversation about this with my clients, so I'm not sure if that is what they expect. I just tell them Upwork is my only source of income, and I don't want to risk anything about it.

I thought the whole point for doing it is to avoid paying fees, for both the freelancers and clients.

That's why I say I dont get the point to risk because of 3%, but they still do it.

 

Filip, in no way can I speak to the motives of the clients you are talking to who ask about paying off-platform.

 

I typically assume that many of the situations freelancers report in the Forum refer to clients who are trying to trick freelancers into working for them without paying them at all.

 

In my own experience I mostly just ignore the fact that a client asks me such a question. I tell them that I only handle payments through Upwork, and they do so.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Member

IME most clients who suggest going off the platform are new to UW and oblivious to the implications, and once I briefly explain it, they are fine staying. I have had clients who would have happiliy moved off, if I were willing, because they find the UX cumbersome and would just as soon avoid it. Any client who presses, after I've declined and told them why (because it's a violation of the ToS -- they don't need to know how much or how little of my income depends on UW), essentially self-selects out of my practice. I have no interest in working with clients who are willing to cheat UW. How do I know they wouldn't cheat me if they saw an opportunity?

lysis10
Community Member

I've only had this scenario happen to me when the client gets suspended. You can't blackmail me with "I'll go with another freelancer" cuz they're suspended so I know they can't do that on Upwork with a suspended account. I just blow them off until they fix the problem.

 

Clients don't phrase it with "I can't pay the 3%" but rather they want you to go off-platform thinking you'll work for cheaper so they phrase it with "you don't have to pay the fees." I don't care about the fees though.


Clients don't phrase it with "I can't pay the 3%" but rather they want you to go off-platform thinking you'll work for cheaper so they phrase it with "you don't have to pay the fees." I don't care about the fees though.


Same here. But in my case, they never even mentioned the fees. But I was not up for talking about it in details with them anyway.

A lot of clients will ask to pay you outside of Upwork because they don't intend to pay you at all. I'm guessing that's why you didn't hear from your client again after you offered him a discount. It wasn't about the fees.

No, Christine, the client is a proper client, he payed more than 1000 USD  in one week.

 

#Crazy update#

He asked me three times to go outside, asked for my PayPal etc. 

I said no, and third time I closed the contract and sent him a new one with 58.2 dollars per hour and explained he is not loosing anything and he will pay 60 per hour INCLUDING Upwork fees.

He just sent me an offer, but he changed 58.2 to 60 again and he didn't even comment. ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„

He just said, ''Ok, if you decided we need to go via Upwork, no problem''.

So who is crazy here? What were his motives? He never asked me to reduce price or anything. He is not the client that intends not to pay me as he will need me, probably for at least another month or two.

Madness ๐Ÿ™‚


Filip K wrote:

No, Christine, the client is a proper client, he payed more than 1000 USD  in one week.

 

#Crazy update#

He asked me three times to go outside, asked for my PayPal etc. 

I said no, and third time I closed the contract and sent him a new one with 58.2 dollars per hour and explained he is not loosing anything and he will pay 60 per hour INCLUDING Upwork fees.

He just sent me an offer, but he changed 58.2 to 60 again and he didn't even comment. ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„

He just said, ''Ok, if you decided we need to go via Upwork, no problem''.

So who is crazy here? What were his motives? He never asked me to reduce price or anything. He is not the client that intends not to pay me as he will need me, probably for at least another month or two.

Madness ๐Ÿ™‚


Why not simply ask him why he wants to stop using Upwork, then perhaps you could solve the problem instead of just speculating about his reasons?

 

Why would I do that? 

He just sent me a new contract with my preffered hour. I dont really care.

Point of this thread was not to speculate about their clients' reasons but to help some freelancers that might be in the similar (or much worse) position.

 

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