There is a difference between a society which guarantees every individual human dignity and a society which guarantees every individual can be paid well to do whatever they feel like doing.
Actually, a lot of people who have no education or skills or capacity for computer work DO want to be bus boys, if they can make a living, and there's PLENTY of those people, believe me (I'm surprised robots haven't replaced them yet, but at least here in the US this has yet to happen).
And I never said anything about blog writers. I was talking about "professionals" - software developers/programmers, designers, mathematicians, medical writers...even many of those wouldn't be able to earn enough to pay the rent working on Upwork.
You seem to have missed the point here. You should read Ehsan's comments, he did a good job calling out the faults of this system.
I disagree with your market philosphy (price should be determined by value and not only demand) but that's for another discussion/forum...
Leah M wrote:
"The difference between this situation and traditional offshoring is that in the latter, the work is outsourced to those overseas at overseas rates, while here often times employers prefer to hire professionals from English speaking countries but for outsourced rates..."
This is as exact as it's get. I think there's not much to do about it at the moment. That's a very specific problem that you can't fix overnight. Pricing mechanisms are really difficult to design. Just look into the real world.
There are other problems that should be adressed first which can make the overall experience better and compensate for the frustration connected to the pricing situation. Prescreened jobs, verification of payment method on the client side before jobs can be posted, early binding meaning if I invite a freelancer I also accept his rate or else have to mention this before the interview, more rigorous penaltys against abusive clients, if I set a rate on my homescreen I can only bid on jobs in this category(!!!--->this could be an easy fix for the pricing situation at least in the high-end market.)....These are just a few that come to my mind. I'm sure that the clients have some issues of their own that they liked to get adressed.
Some of these mentioned improvements would easily adress the low price problem. If I have to bid on my chosen rate level it would at least prevent that low bidding clients are bidding on jobs in the experienced category. This week several jobs I applied on which were in the $$$ category took freelancers for less than $10-$15. If $10-$15 is now the benchmark for $$$ jobs this site is done. If only freelancers who chose to be in the $$$ category can bid on these jobs this would improve the situation drastically. Just my two cents though....
One more thing. From what I've read so far here in the forum a lot of freelancers and clients are bothered with unprofessional behaviour which is somehow connected to the rates.Either you're lucky and get one of the clients who are willing to pay fair or you don't. There are definitely clients out there who are willing to pay a reasonable amount, know a certain code of cunduct and are 100% professional. The general problem on this site is that professional clients are driven away from the site due to the behaviour by certain freelancers(i.e. bidding on jobs they can't do for example,unprofessional behaviour and so on) and freelancers are just insulted by low prices and abusive client behaviour from unprofessional clients. That's before we talk about the structure of the system. That's the human part.
Leah M wrote:
"It's funny, your previous comment was like an argument against "free market" fanaticism in general."
Well not exactly, I'm a firm believer in the free market:-) But these prices have nothing to do with a free market if they destroy the market itself because clients and freelancers are leaving.....
Ehsan, I'm no expert but all of your suggestions sound good to me. The bottom line is there are complex human factors that cannot be eliminated but could be improved by relatively simple technical means, such as prescreened jobs, verification of payment method on the client side before jobs can be posted, early binding, more rigorous penaltys against abusive clients etc., just as you mentioned.
"There are definitely clients out there who are willing to pay a reasonable amount, know a certain code of cunduct and are 100% professional. The general problem on this site is that professional clients are driven away from the site due to the behaviour by certain freelancers(i.e. bidding on jobs they can't do for example,unprofessional behaviour and so on) and freelancers are just insulted by low prices and abusive client behaviour from unprofessional clients."
- You're bang on the money. I assume this is an issue in every online platform for remote work opportunities. I think this can be addressed by a better verification system (such as verification of credentials, experience) and even more importantly better UI design.
From my side, I have contacted support about how thier job search filteration is lagging behind the times...this would save time and grief for both clients and freelancers. The search criteria is very general and needs to be divided into more specific categories to make the search process efficient. For example, there is no option for how many years of experience are required, how many stars the client got, or even whether or not their payment method has been verified. Also, clients should be required to fill out specific details about their job requirements, details that the search algorithm should be able to utilise for the benefit of the seeking contractor and ultimately the client as well, as the right freelancers could find their job postings more efficiently. For example, in the field of translation, the languages are mentioned in the job description but the specific field often isn't. With regards to programming, sometimes the client takes the time to list the programming languages needed, sometimes they don't. But even when they do, Upwork doesn't have an alrogithm to match those with a list of specific coding languages the freelancer might be looking for.
Regarding the free market, there are many different definitions of what this term means. I was referring to the fact that you believe in systemic intervention and see the potential for abuse.
Whenever I tell people that a lot of my income comes from Elance, they usually take a look and say "OMG $3/ hour for programming WAT???" But, it's the behind the scenes stuff that you don't see. The invites and repeat customers are my bread and butter. Also, the talent cloud customers are awesome and you don't see who they are on the front-end. I'm assuming the top rated perks are similar to Elance's talent cloud.
I bid too, but as soon as I finish an onsite contract and start pounding the Elance pavement, it's those repeat customers I go for because they can carry you throughout the weeks.
The trick is that you must be able to wear many hats, and I think that's where people fall out. It's a good thing, because it means fewer competitors for me. ))
You have to be a marketer, a sales guy, a bill collector, the actual talent, and the dog walker in between. ) Luckily, I have a cleaning lady so I don't have to play janitor. lol
I'm going to have to agree with Preston here.
Prices in UpWork are not on a fixed rate basis as they are always dependent on the agreement between contractor and client.
It's entirely your fault if you accept a job that's hardly worth a penny for a truck load of work. Those penny jobs are only worth it if you can do them in volume.
Clients don't know crap about the price ranges and freelancers are always going to be hinging on the one price that always gets them the job (if you frequent the Coffee Break section, it's the one I call the Goldilocks Rate) even if the new system discourages it.
The new system enables both client and contractor to meet halfway; to actually use the messaging system.
@Robert James R wrote:
Clients don't know crap about the price ranges...
My clients do know about professional rates. That's among the reasons they're my clients.
I didn't know beans about professional rates when I started on Elance, and you don't have to go very far into my job history to confirm that. I learned.
I respect your right to disagree with me, but I don't think this is workable. Who decides that a poet's work has more value than a plumber's? Or that a ballerina's work has more value than a professional football player's?
By what mechanism will you guarantee that those whose work is more "valuable" are paid more?