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Is It Okay for a Client to Have you Buy Something and Reimburse you later?

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Active Member
Kelly B Member Since: Nov 7, 2019
1 of 9

Hi, I'm fairly new to Upwork and I just received a possible job, but the client wants me to purchase a product with my own money. Then after I write a "great" review, says they will reimburse me. However, the amount for the job is just $5 which doesn't cover the cost of the product which is $27. Is this acceptable practice?

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Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
2 of 9

Kelly B wrote:

Hi, I'm fairly new to Upwork and I just received a possible job, but the client wants me to purchase a product with my own money. Then after I write a "great" review, says they will reimburse me. However, the amount for the job is just $5 which doesn't cover the cost of the product which is $27. Is this acceptable practice?


No, it's a paid review for Amazon, which is against TOS for Amazon....

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Community Guru
Robin H Member Since: May 28, 2019
3 of 9

Red flag - decline!  

 

If you feel it's wrong, it's probably wrong.  

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Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
4 of 9

If the job were legit, there would have to be 2 milestones, with the first one in an amount that covers $27, plus shipping, plus Upwork's 20% fee on the total, AND, the milestone would have to be approved as soon as you accept the offer, so you can buy this product without spending any of your money. Even then, as Miriam pointed out, if the "great" review is going to be posted on a site like Amazon where paying people to write reviews is disallowed, then the job violates Upwork ToS.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
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5 of 9

Hi Kelly,

 

Thanks for flagging this job to us. I'll share this with our team for further review and will take action as per our internal processes. 

 

Please, check this help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Also, check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

 

Thank you!


~ Bojan
Untitled

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 9

Kelly:

I think it is often helpful to put yourself in the client's place.

 

I'm not goint to address any of the Amazon.com aspects of your question. I want to focus on the money/reimbursement aspect:

 

Let's say that YOU were the client and you wanted to hire a freelancer to write about something it. Maybe you wrote a book, and you wanted to hire a freelancer to write a chapter-by-chapter synopsis for that book, which you planned to put on your website.

 

Would you ask the freelancer to purchase the book, with a promise of reimbursing her later?

 

Or you would you send her the book?

 

I know that you are a professional, ethical person. So you would never ask a freelancer to spend money and then reimburse you later, especially in a way that would cause her to lose money.

 

I know that you would send an item directly the freelancer. Or if that was not possible, you would send the money up front to the freelancer, before she made the purchase.

 

I know that you would never ask a freelancer to spend $27 with the hope of earning $5.

 

When you see something like that - something that makes no sense and that you wouldn't do if you were the client - then it may be a point of interest whether or not Upwork "allows" it. But what is more important is that you - as a freelancer - are not going to do such a silly thing.

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Community Leader
L. S Member Since: Sep 17, 2015
7 of 9

I would report it to Amazon as well. 

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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
8 of 9

 


Kelly B wrote:

Hi, I'm fairly new to Upwork and I just received a possible job, but the client wants me to purchase a product with my own money. Then after I write a "great" review, says they will reimburse me. However, the amount for the job is just $5 which doesn't cover the cost of the product which is $27. Is this acceptable practice?


Why are you working for $5? 

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 9

$5 is the minimum allowable fixed-price contract amount.

 

There are actually a lot of things that I would be willing to write a short review of if you paid me $5 and send me the item for free.

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