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Is upwork dying slowly?

Active Member
Geeta S Member Since: Apr 13, 2015
1 of 49

I have a software development company. We started working through upwork in 2009. The number of clients and the quality of projects is detoriating slowly. The pace of detoriation has increased multifoldes recently. Despite having the title of a top rated agency and doing good work for so long, we are not getting enough business from upwork.

Any suggestions to increase conversion rate would be appreciated.


Ace Contributor
Ajay S Member Since: Sep 9, 2018
2 of 49

Yes i observed the same !!


People are attracted to cheap bids and jobscore.  this is the fact.

more over upwork allows unverified people to post rubbish projects free of cost, similar problem ruined and the problem exists today also.


Even experienced freelancers are fedup with the fake projects posted - never reply to the bids and waste of credits.  20% commission of upwork + 18% GST - budget becomes big and this discourages freelancer to work seriously.  


upwork is a matured platform, they shoud't treat unverified accounts like "SON IN LAW".  these guys are wasting upwork infrastructure and resources.  specially projects posted from INDIA - NIGERIA - PAKISTAN - BANGLADESH.  some thing fisy going on.



Active Member
Tayyab M Member Since: May 9, 2019
3 of 49

Yes you are right I lose my many  connect due to this type of fraud or fake projects 

Active Member
Mohan G Member Since: Apr 26, 2016
4 of 49

I have been a freelancer since the days of Given my skill set, I used to get the work quite easily. For the past few months, I have noticed that it is quite hard to get the jobs. Also the number of jobs in my domain have reduced and moreover the fake jobs seem to be growing up. It is very hard to get a response from the clients. It is really hard to be a freelancer. I think it is time that I start looking for a job.

Community Guru
Lucio Ricardo M Member Since: May 16, 2018
5 of 49

Very difficult to get the jobs. If you are lucky enough for the client to respond (sometimes none appears as connected, I have got to suspect of my app is which is failing to get the online state), if you enter into an hourly contract, they can have you idle for much time. You say hi, hi hi, daily and they don't respond. I an getting dubious of using upwork as the sole source of income.

Active Member
Roy S Member Since: Jul 28, 2020
6 of 49

Of course it is and it very logical for a company to outsource their work if it's cost benificial for them. In these Pandemic times we're getting In-House developers team cheaper and on top of that we get Tax Deduction for hiring new people, than outsourcing (we're in South-East Asia) so why would we be attracted to outsource the work?


We've also experienced Low Quality Control in outsourcing work where we had to completely redo the work ourself and on top of that outsourcing companies are charging in currency not of their own country which introduces additional (unnecessary) Inflation to us. Calculating all these aspects it's no longer WORTH IT...

Ace Contributor
Andrew C Member Since: Apr 19, 2015
7 of 49

I don't really notice any changes in the quality of the job posts myself. To me, it has always been the same since I joined several years ago. There will always be a few fake job posts lurking on here. There will always be a few job posts asking you to build the next Facebook or Google for $100. There will always be some job posts that are just too vague to really know if it's something you should send a proposal for. To me, that's how it has always been and I simply just ignore those job posts when I'm browsing through them. It's easy to just ignore them and move on. Are they annoying to deal with? Sure.


My situation is the opposite to yours. At the beginning I was struggling, but now that I have several stellar reviews on my profile, 100% Job Score, and a large portfolio of past work, getting jobs is becoming easier and easier for me. For the last year and a half things have been going much better for me. Do I still struggle sometimes to find work? Yes. But I don't blame Upwork for it. Some days there are just no clients looking for the exact skill set I have. That's just life. And that's OK. Or at least that's how I try to view it. I get frustrated sometimes though. I won't lie about that.


The reality is that freelancing is unstable in general. There will be highs and lows. It's not like the full time jobs I used to have where I work, get a paycheck, and go home never worrying about it. But the freedom freelancing offers is something I never want to give up. I just have to accept that sometimes things won't go in my favor and that sometimes it really is out of my control. But I don't blame Upwork for it.


Either way, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Maybe you should take another look at the types of proposals you're sending to clients. I took a quick look at your profile and the first thing I noticed is that you don't have a portfolio of past work to show. I think it could help you win over more clients if you have an attractive portfolio. Also, you have some not so good reviews at the top of your profile. I bet that potential clients see that and become hesitant despite the other good reviews you have. You should try replying to those bad reviews and explain why the project didn't work out so well (be honest of course).

Ace Contributor
Ajay S Member Since: Sep 9, 2018
8 of 49
Hello and thanks for your valuable comments.

You are happy because good number of reviews clients get attracted which
means new comers are not considered at all.

Reviews also has a magic role. i get a project for full one month and a
single review. others editing html / images / some code modifications get
many reviews in a week.

The question is 20% commission + 18% GST (indian tax) what about my bread
and butter? paying from pocket and applying to fake projects etc..when
upwork is charging so heavy - should't entertain this foolish act.

A client is in need of work - never replies - never opens for months and
days - the moment we offline messages a complaint is raised inappropriatel
which we never come to know.

upwork is a matured platform. i suggest no client should be allowed
without funds deposit. there should be a deadline of 5 days to select a
freelancer or loose money. this will make upwork spam free.

monthly i apply 30 porjects - few responds and never select a freelancer.
well we can only suggest. this encourages me to come with my own platform
next year competing sooner.

We these are my few comments. man earning will praise and other hand gets
frustrated. i know this is a competetation but should be fair.

Thank you.
Active Member
Nauman Ahmad S Member Since: Sep 4, 2015
9 of 49

I think the clients are fed up with the low-quality work of **Edited for community guidelines** freelancers. Either there are many low-quality clients or the clients are too interested in connecting with their local workforce that they do not afford to hire anyone from outside their time zone or work culture.

With this, industry also changes, so services that you were providing in the past might have now become outdated due to introduction of new methods.

Ace Contributor
Ram S Member Since: Nov 14, 2017
10 of 49

Hi There,


I want to reply on your this para: 


The question is 20% commission + 18% GST (indian tax) what about my bread
and butter? paying from pocket and applying to fake projects etc..when
upwork is charging so heavy - should't entertain this foolish act.


First of all, I am new in this platform but I am aware very well about Upwork. As far as I know, the commission is 20% only up to 500 USD after that its less. Secondly, As I know that you don't need to pay GST 18% on any overseas payment its already expected and if you have Undertaking from GST website.

All Payment on Export for our IT Services GST is exempted. Please consult with your CA.


As far as getting jobless is a concern, there is a lot of competition and if you stick with one skillset so for sure huge competition will ruin the job gradually. 


I am sorry if I said something that hurt you. I know you are very senior to me and you know well. I justed pointed what I thought should be corrected. 


Winning a job is not only in your hand. Bidding on value and worthy project is the key to earn more. 


Yes, people always expect to hire for 30 days in 100 USD but good people will not hire if we bid less. So why we are ignoring good clients. I pass the cheap bids and bid on those jobs which pay good and I can provide good work with services.