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Increasing Transparency in Boosted Proposals

Our team recently launched a test to increase transparency around bidding in Boosted Proposals to help you make a more informed decision around spending Connects.

Check out the product update about this test here and let us know your thoughts about this update in the comments below.

~ Valeria
878 REPLIES 878
Community Member

Please I don't know what to say but I need clarification why I'm unable to get a job on this platform since I joined Upwork. I don't even get an invitation like I used to have. Some will only view my proposal and don't interview. I have spent a lot of money buying connect but getting at least one job is difficult for me

Please, what is the way forward, any advisor for me?

Yeah I hear that, I have seen clients who's stats show 100% hire ratings not hiring someone. 


I just want to say that I am taking about the mid week in Feb where I sent proposals to clients with portfolio customized to the job they are looking for but not a peep. 


I have a network off this site so relyying on that, same dtrstergy and getting responses. 



Community Member

In my search for the next wave, I've been looking at articles online.. here is an interesting take on the idea of what is considered fashionable vs profesional. While I saw a stat from UpWork's own admission, that they saw 100% increase in freelancers on the system during COVID.. and maybe made them more fashionable for a second, but I I don't think they are going to remain fashionable nor seen as remotely professional for much longer with this type of low-class, fast-food, bidding-war frenzy of freelancers with zero integrity and self-worth that they think it is dignified to play this very un-professional game.

From, "LA Startups," July 1, 2020

"But there’s another darker side to it, so to speak. Upwork clients are also hesitant about admitting their use of the online platform as an alternative to the traditional recruitment routes because it seems unfashionable."

While UpWork may have got a bit big-headed with their COVID-time popularity, but if they were seen as unfashionable pre-COVID.. when these comments are being made again in the public media, I suspect it will be much more scathing.

It's quite sad. I think even if they get rid of the Boost system now, they may have already sealed their fate. I don't know.. but it just feels so... dirty. 🙄😑

A great promotion for the competitors would be, "We're what UpWork used to be." 🤣

Community Member

I've been reading articles online about UpWork and the freelance market, how it relates to COVID, best services, etc. Here's one to search from Yahoo Finance:

"Upwork CEO on how businesses benefit from putting freelancers to work"
June 23, 2022 with UpWork CEO, Hayden Brown.

Do you think any UpWork leaders/management will go on major media publications and talk about how they have tuned their freelancers into a frenzy of $50+ bidding wars to be seen by a single client who doesn't know they are actually looking at low talent with big pockets instead of promoting actual talent front and center?

I think not. Anyone with integrity would be embarrased to tout this horrible bug being disguised as a feature.

Community Member

Paid bidding on Upwork has created an unfair advantage for freelancers who have more money, but not necessarily more skill or experience. This undermines the entire concept of a freelancer marketplace, where freelancers are supposed to be evaluated and chosen based on their skills, experience, and portfolio.

In a fair and equitable system, clients should evaluate freelancers based on their ability to perform the job and provide value, rather than their ability to pay more for the chance to bid. This is especially important for new freelancers who are just starting out, as they may not have the financial resources to compete with more established freelancers who have built up their savings over time.

Overall, while paid bidding may generate revenue for Upwork, it undermines the very nature of a freelancer marketplace and could ultimately lead to a decrease in the quality of work produced. 

Well said 

Community Member

I understand your concern, but the recent change to increase transparency in boosted proposals can actually save you money by allowing you to make a more informed decision before using your valuable Connects. With more information at your fingertips, you can confidently decide whether a proposal is worth investing in.

Community Member

Boosting system is very bad system Please clean this system 

Community Member

When one as a freelancer comes to a job with 100 connects bid, one feels obligated to bid 120 not to be outbid by those that put 100 connects.

Community Member


I do not support boost system in UpWork. I hope upwork will answer my question.

Can upwork stop this Online Casino (Boost System) in future?

If the answer is Yes,

When upwork stop this section?

It's so devastating, I do not support the motion. Upwork should hide the bidding system 

Community Member

It's really hard to get jobs for freelancers. Many fake and unprofessional guys boost their proposals and took the top 4 slots.
So the other developers don't have enough chance to show their proposals to the clients.
Vise versa, clients have fewer chances to hire professional developers because many new freelancers(0 earned) boost their proposals to take the top 4 seats. 

Upwork says that the boost feature is for reducing the proposals but that's not true actually. 
Too many freelancers submit proposals and the clients don't want to scroll down and down to the bottom. 
They see only a few proposals on the first page. So only boosted proposals(4 guys) and 1 lucky guy has a chance to show their proposals to the clients. 
Whether the boost feature exists or not, still lots of freelancers submit their proposals. 

The boost option is not a good idea for both clients and freelancers. 

Community Member

When boosting was first launched, I was also worried about clients ignoring my proposal if I don't boost them, but that hasn't been the case, in the last 5 jobs I have gotten, I haven't boosted any of my proposals. Clients want freelancer who match the job listing, they don't care who paid to have to jump the line and had their proposal be displayed first. I actually feel sorry for the desperate freelancer who boost their proposal because it's totally pointless and a waste of connects

Hello friend, I fully understand that the demand from customers is for the right people for the job posted! However, the system is leaving your proposal archived until all the boosted proposals are verified, I keep monitoring the last visa of the client, I analyzed that my proposal was sent a week ago! and received no visualization since the client is online a few minutes ago!

Community Member

I'm a freelancer, who's fairly at the top of my field: I'm top-rated, expert vetted, approval rating is 100%. I get a ton of work from referrals and lots of repeat clients.  My projects are significant, most in the thousands of dollars.

I never use boosts on my proposals.
I only apply to projects with the minimum connects required (as I used to before the change), because the boosted connect amounts are outrageous - I see people bidding over 60 connects to appear at the top of a project. Since I'm already a paying member, I feel it's too much to pay my monthly member fee, provide 10% of my earnings, and also pay extra to bid on jobs.

However, since the new boosted proposals update, I rarely get interviews anymore - I used to get quite a few more and I used to get almost every job I interviewed for.  The platform was an amazing experience.
I believe this change has produced a fairly poor experience for either top notch freelancers like me (far less visibility and so less work), or for clients (who see potentially poor candidates, just because they pay to be on top).
I'm borderline not seeing enough traction to make sense remaining on the platform - it's pretty bad, after a very good prior run.

Anyone else experiencing this?  

The change I've noticed may also be due to other economic factors, but I do see a timing overlap with this update...

Yeah Ever since the bidding freature is introduced many freelancers have mentioned the ssame thing, reduce in client interviews. 


Previously even if the client did not go with me there was a reply of some sort to me. But ever since I have seen te bidding system take off as a main feature, there nothing heard from the cleints. 


I also am a freelancer in the real world so familiar with sending proposals, pitch decks etc and alsways get a reply Yes or no, It was the same with upwork until this bidding. 

Community Member

I'm sorry for this message , but Upwork was a fabulous place for freelancer until "bidding".
Afther 8 MONTHS whitout working I need to message whit other freelancers for this huge problem.
I'm TOP  RATED ,  upwork Skill Certificated freelancer and selected upwork Talent .
I keep my reputation as high as possible (100%) for almost two years, achived Top Rated and later got into Talent Cloud , trying to provide as much as I can and for what? 
If you pay more you can win bidding race . My work quality is totally bypassed.
Upwork, what's happened?
Your community was focused on quality of work, now is set up for money fishing like the others freelancer site, and this is really important point for your company future . 
To raise our voice I ‘ve deleted my Freelancer Plus membership plan and please if you have the same problem , all of you, do the same.
Delete your plan and Upwork will riconsider the “bidding scam”

I agree! This bidding scam makes top-rated talent seem worthless. You work so hard for years only for your quality work and skills to be by-passed due to bidding woes. 

It's largely unfair and discouraging. Upwork should reconsider this malfunction.  

Thank you so much Vivian, this is not my problem, is the problem of all freelancer, I've found in Upwork a real place to be a better artist.

Now I fell useless to be here.

It is well

They said their main goal was to decrease the competition, and I feel like they have achieved it. Lots of freelancers who are not part of agencies and can't pay 30-40$ per 1 bid would just leave the platform at some point being unable to land a contract.
Myself included. I was lucky to have a few projects from clients who wanted to work with a Ukrainian dev, but otherwise, I would have probably never landed either of those.

Thanks Oleksandr, your experience confirms this problem, there are many users who have been cut off for this reason. Now this problem can no longer be underestimated

Yes I 'know.

We need some b....Ls to share this type of issues.

I hope more people wake up and report this

Hi Gianluca,


The bidding system is designed to create a fair and competitive marketplace for freelancers and clients alike. While it's true that some projects might go to the highest bidder, the system takes into account much more than just the bid amount.

Upwork's bidding system is designed to help clients find the best match for their projects by considering several factors, including the freelancer's experience, skillset, and work history. This means that your top-rated status, skill certifications, and excellent reputation are still very much relevant when clients evaluate your proposals.


In fact, many clients on Upwork value quality and expertise over cost, and they are willing to pay a premium for freelancers who can deliver exceptional work. The bidding system enables you to showcase your skills and justify your rates to clients, helping you stand out from the competition.


By offering a platform where freelancers can compete based on their skills and expertise, Upwork helps ensure that clients receive the best value for their investment. This, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop that encourages more clients to join the platform, providing even more opportunities for talented freelancers like yourself.


It's important to remember that Upwork is continuously working to improve its platform and services. If you have any suggestions or ideas for how the bidding system could be improved, I encourage you to share them with the Upwork Community. This way, you can contribute to making the platform better for all users.

Hi private Utku S profile,

I would have preferred to have a real conversation about the issue.
This prepackaged answer doesn't help in the least to understand why thousands of freelancers doing their best are overtaken by those who have more money to buy the bids.
My talent and bla bla bla , I earned them, but whoever has just opened a freelancer profile and has the most money wins.
I am helping with this topic not to migrate thousands of upwork users to other platforms until complaints about this wrong system are taken into consideration.


Yo, listen up, my fellow freelancer! I get that you're frustrated, but let me break it down for you. Upwork ain't just about the cheddar, it's about quality too, ya know?


We got all these talented peeps on this platform, showin' off their mad skills and buildin' their rep. It ain't just about who's got the most dough to throw. You got your Top Rated status and all those certifications you earned, right? Those ain't for nothin', they still count big time when clients be choosin' who they wanna work with.


Now, sure, some clients might be swayed by that extra cash, but you know as well as I do, that most of 'em are lookin' for top-notch work. They ain't gonna throw their Benjamins at just anyone. They want the best of the best, and that's where you come in.


So, don't stress too much about the bidding system, it's just one part of the game. Keep doin' what you do best, and those clients will come runnin'. Remember, Upwork's got your back and we're always workin' on makin' things better for everyone in the hood.


And hey, if you've got some ideas to make things even better, don't keep 'em to yourself! Share your thoughts with the Upwork Community, so we can all work together to make this place the top spot for freelancers like you.


Stay strong and keep hustlin'. Upwork's got your back. Peace.

Yes my friend, this is the type of conversation whit real humans.

I raised a real problem that goes beyond the well-organized rules.

The frustration is shared by what I see.
If I don't work on Upwork I will work in other ways.
The principle of bidding is wrong because what I reported actually occurred with other freelancers, the loss of 100% of clients.
I have always chosen Upwork for every treatment because it has always protected me from scams and scams.
Now something happened ,because with better quality, better feedback, and a lot of money spent.....

0 clients.
Does anyone have the technical faculties to understand the 100% statistic drop?
Maybe I hit a sore spot?
I have a suggestion to help, go back to the previous version of the bidding system, where your qualities and the reputation gained on the platform count for something.
Thanks for your reply.


Why would any Upwork freelancer's "quality of work" sudenly change?


What changed is the bidding structure.


The bidding structure was put into place because Upwork is a publicly traded company and with the huge influx of freelancers, they took advantage of the situation as publicly traded companies sometimes do.

Surely you can come up with a better rebuttal than one that blames and accuses the freelancers of poor quality work or one that uses unprofessional  language in response to an honest comment.


After reading your response, I, for one, will not take part in these forums again. There is obviously no earthly good that will come of doing so.

Thanks for all private messages of support!

Community Member

Thanks for hiding this topic,
after seeing 21 pages of responses from Upwork users, my suspicion was well founded.
I think you need to work better or backtrack, I've always praised Upwork, but after seeing dozens of Topic you're losing your credibility.
I think there are many more problems, hope will be fixed soon.


Good work 

True, same with my reply 

Community Member

Bidding "Race" will destroy Upwork


I'm sorry for this message , but Upwork was a fabulous place for freelancer until "bidding".
Afther 8 MONTHS whitout working I need to message whit other freelancers for this huge problem.
I'm TOP  RATED ,  upwork Skill Certificated freelancer and selected upwork Talent .
I keep my reputation as high as possible (100%) for almost two years, achived Top Rated and later got into Talent Cloud , trying to provide as much as I can and for what? 
If you pay more you can win bidding race . My work quality is totally bypassed.
Upwork, what's happened?
Your community was focused on quality of work, now is set up for money fishing like the others freelancer site, and this is really important point for your company future . 
To raise our voice I ‘ve deleted my Freelancer Plus membership plan and please if you have the same problem , all of you, do the same.

Delete your plan and Upwork will riconsider the “bidding scam”

Community Member

This is what your platform is now thanks to the connects. This are all job posts that aren't job posts, with many proposals and many bids. You should monitor it better. 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**



**Edited for Community Guidelines** 


yep, this is on one of the scam jobs I made a post about here a few weeks ago.



Community Member

There are also some above 100 connect as well

Community Member

I so agree with you there are so many fake jobs and they even have verified payment plans. Come to find out scammers are getting cleaver and paying money for accounts in good standing to pose as recruiters only to redirect you to some bs site to try and get your info. I reported so many of these yet nothing happens to them.    I am starting to think getting a real job on here is impossible anymore thanks to this new system those who are legit get bombarded with boosts while those of us needing jobs are left in the cold..

Exactly. My thoughts though 

Community Member

I think this bidding strategy won't stop at any moment. 

Community Member



Community Member

Upwork's decision to introduce the Bidding Race feature to its platform has been widely criticized by freelancers and businesses alike.


The Bidding Race feature allows businesses to select multiple freelancers to submit bids on their projects and then select the lowest bidder.


This encourages a race to the bottom in terms of rates and often leads to a decrease in the quality of work. Freelancers are also affected by this feature as it takes away their ability to negotiate rates and sets a predetermined rate for them. This can have a significant impact on freelancers' long-term financial security as they are often unable to increase their rates to meet their needs. Furthermore, Upwork's decision to introduce this feature has been seen by many as an attempt to reduce the cost of hiring for businesses, which can have a negative impact on the freelancer industry as a whole.


This has already been seen in other areas of the freelance market, such as Fiverr, where freelancers have seen their rates fall drastically due to the competition from other freelancers. Overall, Upwork's decision to introduce the Bidding Race feature has been met with much criticism due to the impact it has on both freelancers and businesses.


It is important that Upwork takes into consideration the effects

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