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bidding?

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
1 of 17

a confession: it took me quite a while to realize, that a number of clients (how many? all? 10%? I wish I knew...) expect you to bid on their project. I have probably wasted a good number of connects writing in my proposal: the price you quoted is fine by me. 

They expected me to underbid and most likely thought I was weird.... 

I understand now that it is one of the perks of paying for membership to see the bids of other freelancers, as to underbid them, then, presumably. Or not apply at all. 

I am now left wondering why the system is set up this way. In a perfect world, the client knows what he wants and what he is willing to pay for it. The freelancer knows what he's worth and what he is willing to work for. Now I am in an easy to price field - translation - and I do realize, that many others are not that easy to evaluate. 

Bidding seems to cheapen this process a little bit for me. I think it encourages the low-ball offers that we keep seeing...

your thoughts?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 17

@Martina P wrote:

a confession: it took me quite a while to realize, that a number of clients (how many? all? 10%? I wish I knew...) expect you to bid on their project. I have probably wasted a good number of connects writing in my proposal: the price you quoted is fine by me. 

They expected me to underbid and most likely thought I was weird.... 

I understand now that it is one of the perks of paying for membership to see the bids of other freelancers, as to underbid them, then, presumably. Or not apply at all. 

I am now left wondering why the system is set up this way. In a perfect world, the client knows what he wants and what he is willing to pay for it. The freelancer knows what he's worth and what he is willing to work for. Now I am in an easy to price field - translation - and I do realize, that many others are not that easy to evaluate. 

Bidding seems to cheapen this process a little bit for me. I think it encourages the low-ball offers that we keep seeing...

your thoughts?


 I don't "bid" as such, and I do not pay much attention to the budget.

I calculate how much I want for the job and then put that amount in the box.

I have not quoted less than the budget in years, usually I quote more, sometimes several times the "budget" (which, as I said, I pay little attention to unless it more or less aligns with my rate.)

 

I also don't apply. I've applied to one job since November last year. (The above is what I do when invited to apply.)

 

This is not some kind of reverse ebay for jobs where the lowest bidder wins. There ARE jobs like that but not in the sector I am interested in.

dee_tanyol
Active Member
Denise T Member Since: Jan 11, 2016
3 of 17

What a coincidence..."reverse eBay" is exactly how I describe Upwork to friends (though I also explain that the customers for whom "lowest bid always wins" are not the ones they want to cultivate).

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 17

As a freelancer, you are a business.  Businesses set the price when they submit proposals. So, I don't think the process here on Upwork is unusual at all. The jobs posted aren't job offers but requests for proposals. Tell the prospect what you are willing to do and for what price you will do it. 

resultsassoc
Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
5 of 17

Tonya is right. Some clients buy on price. When you identify them, never offer them your services.

 

Translation is not always easy to price. A newspaper article, letter or book is easy to price. Technical or expert material is far more difficult. And some job posts reflect abject ignorance. "I don't want you to translate the whole German material, just the abbreviations." I don't translate for pay any more, just offer it for free to clients. Best of luck.

wendy_writes
Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
6 of 17

Martina, never give a bidding quote until you have seen the entire item to be translated. A 200 word scientific document and a 2000 word short story can be vastly different.  Bidding on a per word price alone is not adequate.

 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
7 of 17

I think it depends on the niche, and it depends on the individual client. Most of the clients I work with - I think they find the dollar amount field more of a nuisance than anything.

 

I usually ignore it these days when I submit proposals. I often put in my hourly rate and suggest moving projects posted as fixed-price contracts to hourly.

 

I think fixed-price is fantastic for many types of jobs, but it is often impractical for the types of projects I work on.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 17

re: "This is not some kind of reverse ebay for jobs where the lowest bidder wins. There ARE jobs like that but not in the sector I am interested in."

 

I am mainly a freelancer, but I hire for a lot of short term jobs as well. Here as well as on Craigslist.

 

I rarely have projects I would hire lowball bidders for. Usually I just delete those immediately.

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
9 of 17

@Martina P wrote:

In a perfect world, the client knows what he wants and what he is willing to pay for it. The freelancer knows what he's worth and what he is willing to work for.


The world does not have to be perfect for these practices to be good, and for you to adopt them as your own when choosing and responding to prospects.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 17

re: "In a perfect world, the client knows what he wants and what he is willing to pay for it."

 

I am flexible on these points.

 

I have found many clients have no idea whatsoever about what it will cost to do something, but they have money and are willing to spend money on a freelancer who brings value to their project.

 

Clients can be great clients even if they have no idea about what they want to spend.

 

MOST of my clients DO know what they want to achieve, but sometimes even that is not necessary in order to be a good client.

 

If a client is willing to pay for my time, it is okay if he has only very vague ideas about what he wants to do. This IS rare, but it happens.

 

Its not okay for fixed-price contracts, of course.

 

But it is okay for clients to pay for my time as an advisor or consultant to help them flesh out their ideas and help them make some concrete plans once they better understand the possibilities.

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