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tired of clients that think you can work for nothing

Active Member
Carlotta C Member Since: Jan 6, 2013
1 of 8

it s crazy how a client can even think about it...asking people to work and be paid nothing! is this freelancing? I mean it's 2 years and more that I m around here and the things are getting worst and worst...even if I read super happy articles about how cool is to be a is not...


sometimes I just would like to quit


(a bad day...yea it is..Woman Sad )



Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
2 of 8

My advice is to make your profile more professional, especially your overview and then I'd raise my rates...BUT not until you get rid of that one bad feedback. Refund them and that disappears. 


Get a better more professional picture.


Revise the overview.


Take more tests.


Add some Portfolio Items


...and then raise your price to at least $15 - $20 an hour, and charge them the odesk fee. Good translators in your area are easily charging $20 an hour. You have a great history so let your rate honor that history.


Ask what you belive you are worth. You've got a good rating and Job Success score so go for it. Value yourself. 

Active Member
Clive P Member Since: Apr 28, 2015
3 of 8

Three things are obvious to me:

1) Artists have devalued their work by working for little or nothing.

2) Clients have grown to exploit this fact.

3) Odesk has done nothing to level the playing feild.


And to be fair, I'm not sure how they can do anything. This site is open to the entire world. That sounds great, but it also means more people like you and me living in North America or greater Europe can't complete with other very talented artists who might only need $1 a day to get by.


it's getting worse every day.

it may be time to rethink time wasted looking for work here on Odesk.

Community Leader
John T Member Since: Mar 19, 2015
4 of 8

There is a lot of very low paid work on oDesk. I think you have to make one of two choices with each low-paid job that comes up. Either 1/ just don't apply for it or 2/ apply and do it because it's valuable for other reasons (oDesk stats, portfolio content, etc).


In the longer term, of course, you want the amount of 2 you do to be going down, and the amount of 1 going up.


As to why people knowingly offer frankly insulting rates for work, I don't think that's mysterious. Cynical and explotiative clients do this. And thus there are more reasons than money to avoid such jobs.



Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
5 of 8

They do it because there are freelancers who are willing to work for those rates. And I'm not just talking about new freelancers. I have seen established, well-qualified freelancers willing to work for extremely low rates.


If I was running a business and someone with comparable qualifications was willing to do a job for a lot cheaper, I would probably go with the cheaper one as well.

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
6 of 8



Many of the clients who are established have found out going with the cheaper is not always the best.


I have seen clients that have been on here for awhile cynical about the cheaper rates as they didn't always get what the paid for. Not to say all with cheaper rates are not good freelancers.


The issue with oDesk is there are some with higher rates that are crap just like the lower rates. 


But I agree that that the biggest issue is there are a lot of cheaper rates so you have to just decide you will work for what you feel is your right rate and ignore the jobs that are paying lower rates. There are clients that will pay higher raates, (although it depends on what someone feels is a higher rate as well)


Some people don't think I charge enough and I have had other think I charge to much. 


I had a guy I applied for a job and he said my rate floored him, but he wrote as he wanted to see what I was about. I didn't accept the job, after I was offered it but he was use to paying really low rates.

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
7 of 8

I couldn't agree more Suzanne. I have had many clients who learned their lesson with those cheaper rates and are more than willing to pay higher ratesto get quality.


I used to be insulted by those low rate invitation jobs until I realized the client had simply hit all when offered 10 freelancers by Odesk. They had not idea they were not being offered the best of the best but were being offered a wide range to choose from. They must have not even looked at each one individually and just hit the button.

Ace Contributor
Andy B Member Since: Feb 19, 2016
8 of 8

Figure this thread is due for more action.  It's not like the problem has improved a year later ;).


So I've noticed that there is this horrible business-killing push and pull going on in a client's head: They want quality and Want to Want to pay for it, but they also don't want to part with any money.  Just today I quoted what would normally cost this person $250/hr to get in the real world only $60/hr here.  He was very excited to speak to me because of my experience and success with exactly the type of thing he was looking for (in all modesty, we were a match).  After our back and forth, he tries to convince me to work for a commission LOLOL!  He wants me on his team - but yet that push/pull in his head about spending to get things done right vs. getting somebody for $3/hr to just do some general labor that won't actually get him any closer to his goals took him over.  My guess is he won't hire anybody and just keep doing what he's doing, frustrated with the lack of growth of his business.


And this is a common problem I see Everywhere.  It's also one of the most common mistakes I see people make with their business - and I've seriously watched businesses fail because people aren't willing to go with better options over cheaper ones.  The rub is, they WANT to hire a quality professional.  They WANT better results.  But like an alcoholic that can't say no to a drink, they can't Not make short-sighted bad hiring decisions.  Not that there aren't plenty of good $3/hr workers on here for a lot of projects, but certain projects and positions require specific skills/connections/experience/creativity/leadership more than general do-as-i-tell-u-for-$3-per-hour type jobs.  It's actually rough on those clients, they and their business suffer but yet they can't help themselves but make the mistake - even when they know it's a mistake!   It's both interesting and sad to watch.  The pool of quality freelancers is effectively out of their grasp. So they have to settle for what they can "afford." 


AND the solution is Not for us to lower our rates and become Charities.  I've made the mistake of doing that, and I've seen others try that, and it is a bad idea all around - everything comes crashing down on everybody like a house of cards.  In fact, we should all politely demand what we think we're worth/what we want to make fearlessly because charitable efforts are better spent on actual charities.   There ARE clients out there that will pay your rate, and pay you to "audition" and respect your work and time and never expect you to do anything for free.  So no need to do anything at a low rate or for free out of fear that it's that or nothing.  


My 2 cents :).