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beysvogel
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freelancer sites

Without digging through the loooong contract of Upwork can anybody tell me if it is allowed to be a freelancer of Upwork and a freelancer for a other type of freelancer services?  Thus a member of two sites at the same time?

 

Thank you

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@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Bob,

 

Yes, you can use other freelancing websites. Please note that you're not allowed to advertise other profiles on your Upwork account nor accept jobs you've applied for on Upwork/take clients you've met on Upwork off the platform.


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. As you are hiding the client I can see identical job descriptions but don't know whether it's the same client or a farmer. And yes, I quote different prices. The platforms' commissions are costs and the costs enter into the sales price.

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52 REPLIES 52
vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Bob,

 

Yes, you can use other freelancing websites. Please note that you're not allowed to advertise other profiles on your Upwork account nor accept jobs you've applied for on Upwork/take clients you've met on Upwork off the platform.

Untitled


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Bob,

 

Yes, you can use other freelancing websites. Please note that you're not allowed to advertise other profiles on your Upwork account nor accept jobs you've applied for on Upwork/take clients you've met on Upwork off the platform.


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. As you are hiding the client I can see identical job descriptions but don't know whether it's the same client or a farmer. And yes, I quote different prices. The platforms' commissions are costs and the costs enter into the sales price.

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Even the scammers send identical invitations to "job offers" on different freelancer websites.


@Margarete M wrote:

Even the scammers send identical invitations to "job offers" on different freelancer websites.


True.

 

It's also not my problem, that the three other sites I offer my services on ask for less commission than Upwork does.It was Upwork's decision to double the commission, now they have to live with the consequences.  


@Joachim M wrote:


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. 


 I wonder whether this is true. I tend to think not. The Upwork TOS say that you agree not to work with a client you've initially connected with on Upwork outside the platform until two years have passed. I don't believe there's any exception for having happened across that existing client later on a different platform.

 

I think the client who started working with you on Upwork and then decided to award a later job on a different platform would be on the hook for the $2,500 buyout fee, and you'd be subject to suspension for circumvention.

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Joachim did not talk about clients for whom he worked on Upwork before. 


@Margarete M wrote:

Joachim did not talk about clients for whom he worked on Upwork before.


But, the TOS don't say "worked for before". 

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The names of the clients are hidden when a freelancer bids for a project and only is visible when an interview is initiated and there are many clients who do not use their real name on Upwork or farm out their project through another profile.


@Margarete M wrote:

The names of the clients are hidden when a freelancer bids for a project and only is visible when an interview is initiated and there are many clients who do not use their real name on Upwork or farm out their project through another profile.


Not too long ago Vlad even confirmed that it is okay to work for a client on another platform. We are just not free to take a client off platform and work them directly. We as "free"lancers are free to work on other platforms same as the clients. 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Joachim,

 

I'm sorry but I never stated that you can start working with your Upwork client on another platform after starting your relationship on Upwork. That is a violation of our ToS and does count as disintermediation.

 

Please refer to our ToS and the information Tiffany shared.

Untitled


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim,

 

I'm sorry but I never stated that you can start working with your Upwork client on another platform after starting your relationship on Upwork. That is a violation of our ToS and does count as disintermediation.

 

Please refer to our ToS and the information Tiffany shared.


If you work with a client and subsequently discover that you have worked with this client before on Upwork, it cannot be considered disintermediation, which presupposes a deliberate attempt to work off site. All platforms have similar circumvention  rules in place. But nobody can stop either clients or freelancers going to where the cherries are fattest. It is not the freelancer's fault that the client secrecy act prevents them from unwittingly circumventing.

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There a really shady clients and freelancers on the platform and I wonder why they are allowed to continue. There are clients who try always to hire you off the platform and if you refuse they hire somebody else and go away with this freelancer. This is clearly reflected by their low hire rates.

I think, Joachim has explained the situation and he is not someone who has to be suspected for circumvention. 


@Margarete M wrote:

There a really shady clients and freelancers on the platform and I wonder why they are allowed to continue. There are clients who try always to hire you off the platform and if you refuse they hire somebody else and go away with this freelancer. This is clearly reflected by their low hire rates.

I think, Joachim has explained the situation and he is not someone who has to be suspected for circumvention. 


Thank you. Quite the opposite, I've reported clients for trying this and always turned such suggestions down. 


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Joachim,

 

I'm sorry but I never stated that you can start working with your Upwork client on another platform after starting your relationship on Upwork. That is a violation of our ToS and does count as disintermediation.

 

Please refer to our ToS and the information Tiffany shared.


Well Vlad, then you better start disclosing clients before we quote. I can recognize previous clients but that's all.

 

Let's imagine an example: I would quote on a job on the platform in the UK. The contract would be finalized and only then do I notice - if I remember it at all - that I worked for this client about 1.5 years ago on Elance. What's then? If I don't don't honour on the contract on the UK site I'm screwed, if I do I'm screwed too? Sorry in such a situation I didn't take the client off platform.


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Joachim M wrote:


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. 


 I wonder whether this is true. I tend to think not. The Upwork TOS say that you agree not to work with a client you've initially connected with on Upwork outside the platform until two years have passed. I don't believe there's any exception for having happened across that existing client later on a different platform.

 

I think the client who started working with you on Upwork and then decided to award a later job on a different platform would be on the hook for the $2,500 buyout fee, and you'd be subject to suspension for circumvention.


Sorry, this is not practical and not put down like this in Upwork's ToS. Only a single platform discloses the client before the contract is made, it's not Upwork. Hence on all platforms I quote without knowing who the client is. Only after the contract is completed do I get to know who the client is - if at all. Often enough the clients then still hide behind an alias or the name of a member of staff. It definitely is not my problem if the freelancer sites (including Upwork) don't verifiy the clients and even allow them to hide behind an alias.


@Joachim M wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Joachim M wrote:


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. 


 I wonder whether this is true. I tend to think not. The Upwork TOS say that you agree not to work with a client you've initially connected with on Upwork outside the platform until two years have passed. I don't believe there's any exception for having happened across that existing client later on a different platform.

 

I think the client who started working with you on Upwork and then decided to award a later job on a different platform would be on the hook for the $2,500 buyout fee, and you'd be subject to suspension for circumvention.


Sorry, this is not practical and not put down like this in Upwork's ToS. Only a single platform discloses the client before the contract is made, it's not Upwork. Hence on all platforms I quote without knowing who the client is. Only after the contract is completed do I get to know who the client is - if at all. Often enough the clients then still hide behind an alias or the name of a member of staff. It definitely is not my problem if the freelancer sites (including Upwork) don't verifiy the clients and even allow them to hide behind an alias.


I'm not sure what you mean by "not put down like this in Upwork's TOS". Upwork's TOS say:

 

Therefore, for 24 months from the time you identify or are identified by any party through the Site (the โ€œNon-Circumvention Periodโ€), you must use the Site as your exclusive method to request, make, and receive all payments for work directly or indirectly with that party or arising out of your relationship with that party (the โ€œUpwork Relationshipโ€).   

 

 


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Joachim M wrote:

@Tiffany S wrote:

@Joachim M wrote:


Every now and again I do meet clients I've seen on Upwork also on other platforms and vice versa. I've seen the same job posted on several platforms too. I don't take clients off Upwork but clients are free to post their jobs on several platforms and I am free to quote on several platforms.  It's then up to the client to decide on which platform they award the job. 


 I wonder whether this is true. I tend to think not. The Upwork TOS say that you agree not to work with a client you've initially connected with on Upwork outside the platform until two years have passed. I don't believe there's any exception for having happened across that existing client later on a different platform.

 

I think the client who started working with you on Upwork and then decided to award a later job on a different platform would be on the hook for the $2,500 buyout fee, and you'd be subject to suspension for circumvention.


Sorry, this is not practical and not put down like this in Upwork's ToS. Only a single platform discloses the client before the contract is made, it's not Upwork. Hence on all platforms I quote without knowing who the client is. Only after the contract is completed do I get to know who the client is - if at all. Often enough the clients then still hide behind an alias or the name of a member of staff. It definitely is not my problem if the freelancer sites (including Upwork) don't verifiy the clients and even allow them to hide behind an alias.


I'm not sure what you mean by "not put down like this in Upwork's TOS". Upwork's TOS say:

 

Therefore, for 24 months from the time you identify or are identified by any party through the Site (the โ€œNon-Circumvention Periodโ€), you must use the Site as your exclusive method to request, make, and receive all payments for work directly or indirectly with that party or arising out of your relationship with that party (the โ€œUpwork Relationshipโ€).   



It is absolutely possible to work for a client that you have worked for on Upwork on another platform, because there is very little client transparency on any of these sites.

 

If I land a job with a client on another platform and subsequently discover that I have worked for the same person on Upwork (and prior to the job on the other platform), I do not consider this to be circumvention, as I have no means of knowing without spending a lot of research time on finding out if the job I am working on was also posted on Upwork. 

 

 

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Upwork tries to conceal name and address of the clients and I have difficulties to research it for legal VAT invoices and for the tax authorities. Clients have the impression they could operate anonymously on the platform and thus different legal problems arise. 


@Nichola L wrote:

 

 


It is absolutely possible to work for a client that you have worked for on Upwork on another platform, because there is very little client transparency on any of these sites.

 

If I land a job with a client on another platform and subsequently discover that I have worked for the same person on Upwork (and prior to the job on the other platform), I do not consider this to be circumvention, as I have no means of knowing without spending a lot of research time on finding out if the job I am working on was also posted on Upwork. 

 

 


 There's an argument to be made for that if you blindly enter into a contract without having sufficiently communicated with the client to find out who he/she is. That would seem an odd practice to me, but perhaps some people work that way.

 

If you recognize the client as someone you have interacted with (not just worked for) on Upwork before in advance of entering into the contract, then I believe the law would disagree with you as to whether this was circumvention.

 

 


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

 

 


It is absolutely possible to work for a client that you have worked for on Upwork on another platform, because there is very little client transparency on any of these sites.

 

If I land a job with a client on another platform and subsequently discover that I have worked for the same person on Upwork (and prior to the job on the other platform), I do not consider this to be circumvention, as I have no means of knowing without spending a lot of research time on finding out if the job I am working on was also posted on Upwork. 

 

 


 There's an argument to be made for that if you blindly enter into a contract without having sufficiently communicated with the client to find out who he/she is. That would seem an odd practice to me, but perhaps some people work that way.

  


 That's common practice on Upwork and other sites. Just recently I acquired a translation job on a British site for $355. All I know is the name of Mary.. I know the website of the client as I'm translating the site, I have no idea whether or not Mary is employee there. Happens on Upwork too. And yes, this creates all kind of problems with EU freelancers like me, as we would require the address.

petra_r
Member

Of course you can!!!

 

See the "FREE" part in "FREElancer" ?

 

As long as you keep your Upwork clients on Upwork you can be (and some say should be) on other sites and / or also find work via other venues.

 

You are not tied to Upwork other than that you can't meet any clients here and then work with them outside the platform.

 

PS - Vlad was 8 seconds faster ๐Ÿ˜‰

And the Upwork job feed now shows that a job posting is from a previous client....

But it also shows "previous client" if you have only had an interview with a client , or have responded to an invitation, but there has been no job offer.

 

Sometimes the client's name is clear and sometimes not. The same client on another platform might not have quite the same profile.


@Nichola L wrote:

But it also shows "previous client" if you have only had an interview with a client , or have responded to an invitation, but there has been no job offer.

 

Sometimes the client's name is clear and sometimes not. The same client on another platform might not have quite the same profile.


Either of those things would fall within Upwork's "identified or been identified by" on this platform. 

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@Nichola L wrote:

But it also shows "previous client" if you have only had an interview with a client , or have responded to an invitation, but there has been no job offer.

 

Sometimes the client's name is clear and sometimes not. The same client on another platform might not have quite the same profile.


Especially it shows "previous client", when I have rejected the job offer and this is clearly wrong and misleading! 

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If a client offers a job A on Upwork and Job B on another platform, he cannot be forced to offer Job B on Upwork as well.


@Margarete M wrote:

If a client offers a job A on Upwork and Job B on another platform, he cannot be forced to offer Job B on Upwork as well.


No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee.  

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@Tiffany S wrote:

No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee.  


 Pay the 2,500 USD opt out fee for a job that is worth 50 USD?

 If a freelancer on Upwork gets awarded Job A on Upwork, and then gets Job B (with the same client) on another platform, this is not disintermediation. Clients and freelancers are 'free' to work where work is.

"No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee. " 

 

How? This would require a reciprocal agreement between the sites concerned and sharing of a lot of data.


@Kim F wrote:

"No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee. " 

 

How? This would require a reciprocal agreement between the sites concerned and sharing of a lot of data.


You seem to be saying that the client and freelancer could violate the contract and get away with it, which is likely true--just as many freelancers and clients move offsite and work directly without being found out. Whether or not someone can breach the contract undetected is a very different question from whether or not such action would breach the contract and subject the parties to legal liability.

 

 

No, I was asking how he could be forced to make the choices you stated. 

 

I didn't say anything about anyone getting away with anything. 


@Kim F wrote:

No, I was asking how he could be forced to make the choices you stated. 

 

I didn't say anything about anyone getting away with anything. 


Well, the only barrier to enforcement would be that Upwork didn't know about it. Is that not "getting away with it"?

 

If Upwork knew about it, there's no barrier to enforcement--it could be enforced like any other contract provision in any other context. 

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@Tiffany S wrote:

@Kim F wrote:

"No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee. " 

 

How? This would require a reciprocal agreement between the sites concerned and sharing of a lot of data.


You seem to be saying that the client and freelancer could violate the contract and get away with it, which is likely true--just as many freelancers and clients move offsite and work directly without being found out. Whether or not someone can breach the contract undetected is a very different question from whether or not such action would breach the contract and subject the parties to legal liability.

 

_____________

 

Nobody suspects this besides you... and accusing other freelancers is not according Upwork's TOS.

 


@Tiffany S wrote:

@Kim F wrote:

"No, he cannot. But, he can be forced to choose either not to hire his Upwork freelancer through the other platform or to pay the $2,500 opt out fee. " 

 

How? This would require a reciprocal agreement between the sites concerned and sharing of a lot of data.


You seem to be saying that the client and freelancer could violate the contract and get away with it, which is likely true--just as many freelancers and clients move offsite and work directly without being found out. Whether or not someone can breach the contract undetected is a very different question from whether or not such action would breach the contract and subject the parties to legal liability.

 

 


Tiffany, I honour my contracts but it must be possible to honour them. As the sites are being so secretive about the clients and too often clients hide too it simply isn't possible. Well, and after some time one simply doesn't remember all the names that didn't turn up in the profile only in the files one worked on. 


@Nichola L wrote:

 If a freelancer on Upwork gets awarded Job A on Upwork, and then gets Job B (with the same client) on another platform, this is not disintermediation. Clients and freelancers are 'free' to work where work is.


This would be my understanding too, looks like Upwork has a different view. 


@Joachim M wrote:

@Nichola L wrote:

 If a freelancer on Upwork gets awarded Job A on Upwork, and then gets Job B (with the same client) on another platform, this is not disintermediation. Clients and freelancers are 'free' to work where work is.


This would be my understanding too, looks like Upwork has a different view. 


It's not so much a different view as it is the definition that Upwork has written into its Terms of Service.  

Nowhere in Upwork's Terms of Service does it say that freelancers may not work on other platforms. If a freelancer happens to work for the same client from different platforms, Upwork would have a hard time identifying the conflict in their ToS,  or proving that either client or freelancer had disintermediated, and then suing for same.

 

And as Kim suggested, the other platform(s) could have a similar problem. I doubt if many, if any, clients would ever be sued for disintermediation because they had posted a job multiple times across the internet, and awarded it to a freelancer who also had multiple accounts across the internet. 

 

It would be the most pointless chicken and egg exercise.


@Nichola L wrote:

Nowhere in Upwork's Terms of Service does it say that freelancers may not work on other platforms. If a freelancer happens to work for the same client from different platforms, Upwork would have a hard time identifying the conflict in their ToS,  or proving that either client or freelancer had disintermediated, and then suing for same.

 

And as Kim suggested, the other platform(s) could have a similar problem. I doubt if many, if any, clients would ever be sued for disintermediation because they had posted a job multiple times across the internet, and awarded it to a freelancer who also had multiple accounts across the internet. 

 

It would be the most pointless chicken and egg exercise.


If we were no longer free to work on other platforms, we are no longer freelancers but employees of Upwork. Hey, to whom do I send my account data for my monthly salary? 

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