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bundie702
Community Member

This is truly sad...

Someone in Liverpool, England just posted this ad. I can hardly believe what they are asking for vs. what they are paying.

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**edited for Community Guidelines**
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Can you BELIEVE that? $5 for what will likely be at least 3 hours worth of work and very possibly more (of which Upwork will take 20%)? The really sad part is that than 5-10 people have applied.

I usually shrug off these low-paid jobs, but this is so incredible I just had to comment on it. How desperate can people be to be willing to work for $1.50 an hour or less. This is truly sad. 

56 REPLIES 56
yitwail
Community Member

Thanks for posting that, though moderators will edit it shortly. But consider that she'll consider new freelancers looking for their first job; that's her hook. It was always difficult to get your first freelancing job, even before oDesk and Elance combined to become Upwork, but now that Upwork can suspend freelancers for submitting too many unsuccessful proposals, it's understable many new freelancers will be desperate to land their first job, and clients like this one know this and will exploit it.
__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Good point, John, about clients going after newbies.

 

I recently lost my Top Rated status because I wasn't active for about 60 days. I suspect I won't be getting it back anytime soon, because good-paying editing jobs are too hard to find on the platform and things are getting worse all the time. I'll probably just stick to my existing clients and the work I get from my website.

 

Odd that moderators would see the need to edit a posting that's on the feed. It's okay for it to be on the feed, but not okay to repeat it here? I must be missing something...


Bettye U wrote:

 

Odd that moderators would see the need to edit a posting that's on the feed. It's okay for it to be on the feed, but not okay to repeat it here? I must be missing something...


Maybe it won't be. Upwork Community Guidelines are open to interpretation. For instance, it *might* be suppressed as an instance of "Posting advertisements for any products or services" even though that's not the intent. There's also "Posting content determined to be inappropriate, overly negative, in poor taste, or otherwise contrary to the purposes of this forum, in the sole discretion of Upwork." (I added the underlining.)

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


Bettye U wrote:

 

 

I recently lost my Top Rated status because I wasn't active for about 60 days.


No. You lost it because your JSS is below 90%

Let me try this again. My JSS dropped below 90% because I wasn't active for 60 days, and as a result I lost my Top Rated status.

vulani
Community Member

Upwork can suspend freelancers for submitting too many unsuccessful proposals?!

I'm an Upwork Newbie. Could you please explain the details of this statement or where I can read more about it? What is the threshold and do you get a warning?

I'm trying to determine my niche on this platform and seem to have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Thanks 


Denise B wrote:

Upwork can suspend freelancers for submitting too many unsuccessful proposals?!

I'm an Upwork Newbie. Could you please explain the details of this statement or where I can read more about it? What is the threshold and do you get a warning?

I'm trying to determine my niche on this platform and seem to have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Thanks 



I'd like an answer on this, too, please.  Is this real?  I've sent out about 30 proposals in the last few days, because I'm trying to get my number of active clients back up (don't worry, I'm not applying for the bottom feeders' posts), but I'm worried that my "been interviewed" rate hasn't been as high lately.  If this is really an UpWork policy, can you, Avery, or one of the other gurus please post a link?

Thanks!

lysis10
Community Member

haha the ol' "I'm injured can you work cheap to help a poor feller out?" trick. It's a good attempt. Plenty of idiots will do it.

Someone invited me to a job that included the words, "I'm on a tight budget..." I thanked them, but declined. In my experience that phrase usually means they want a lot of high-quality work for very little pay... 

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Bettye, 

I had to edit the post as it violated this specific Community Guideline:

  • Including names of persons or companies (or other identifying information) in an accusation of misconduct, incompetence or other wrongdoing.

In this case, anyone can try to locate the job post by copy-pasting phrases from the post, and searching it in the marketplace. I hope this clarifies things, Bettye. Let me know if you have further questions!


~ Avery
Upwork

Thank you Jennifer, but I did not accuse anyone of misconduct, incompetence, or other wrongdoing. My issue was with the people applying to transcribe and edit an hour's worth of dictation for $1.50 an hour, not with the client (actually, more power to them for getting work done for practically nothing)!

 

I appreciate your attempt to clarify this for me, but frankly, I've long since given up on trying to understand some of the platform's violations. It seems to be okay to post jobs for suspicious or illegal activity, like plagiarizing, but it's a violation to cut and paste a job posting on the community boards. Why is no one looking at the contents of some of these postings? I mean, someone could post a job looking to hire a hitman, and it would stay up longer than a cut and paste job on these boards! (I'm not trying to be difficult, but I just find this ironically funny.) The rule should probably be no cutting and pasting, period. 

 

Thanks again.

Oops, I meant, thank you, Avery.


Bettye U wrote:

Thank you Jennifer, but I did not accuse anyone of misconduct, incompetence, or other wrongdoing. My issue was with the people applying to transcribe and edit an hour's worth of dictation for $1.50 an hour, not with the client (actually, more power to them for getting work done for practically nothing)!

 


Bettye, I was going to mention accusation of misconduct as one possible reason for editing your post, but decided it was a bit of a stretch. However, I looked up the word misconduct and one definition is improper behavior, and we both think paying $5 for transcribing then editing a 40 minute audio file is improper behavior, so I can appreciate Avery's viewpoint.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
e_gasparini
Community Member

Hello everyone,

such low rates come as no surprise, to me. But not only in translation; how many times have you read something like "New to Upwork?" This is a great chance for you!", and it turns out you're asked to write a 3,000-word article for $5 and "a great 5-star feedback!". Just wow.

Needless to say, these job posts must be avoided. I understand when someone points out that newbies are desperately trying to land their first job, so that they won't have their account suspended for too many unsuccessful applications, but there's more than that: working for those rates has a huge, negative influence on the translator and his/her career, and it also negatively affects the whole translation field, it diminishes fellow translators' work!

I haven't had any luck on Upwork so far, despite putting a lot of effort into it by polishing up my profile, my proposals...
Who knows if I will actually have my account suspended because of that! But that doesn't matter, as I have no intention to negatively impact my career, just to avoid getting suspended on Upwork -- maybe people forget that Upwork is very, very far from being the only place where freelance translators can get jobs. 

I wish so bad that, as time passes, less and less translators accepted shameful rates like those. We'll see (and hope)!

Have a great day you all.

What really breaks my heart is when the client offers a reasonable price and you can see (with the Freelancer Plus plan) that some freelancers have offered to work for a pittance instead.

uaecalling
Community Member

It is a buyers' market out there Smiley Frustrated

It shouldn't be. It's up to us freelancers not to play this game, as it hurts our intererest.

 

 

A simple fix if Upwork would chose to do so ... is to set the minimum at $25. That's still not great, but it sure doesn't look as shameful as $5 - why Upwork wants to align itself with that other $5 site is beyond my ken.

A $5.00 minimum is fine.

 

There are jobs I'll do for $5.00.

 

If Upwork allows this freedom to freelancers, it doesn't mean you need to do jobs for that amount. You can establish any mininum you want for yourself.


Preston H wrote:

A $5.00 minimum is fine.

 

There are jobs I'll do for $5.00.

 

If Upwork allows this freedom to freelancers, it doesn't mean you need to do jobs for that amount. You can establish any mininum you want for yourself.


No ... it's not fine.  You make enough $ that you can afford to work for free once in awhile (because when all is said and done, it is essentially working for free). And you know as well as I do that most people who take those jobs are being taken advantage of - they end up being way more than a $5 job. But more than anything, I do not understand how UW is not embarrassed to allow such jobs.


Virginia F wrote:

Preston H wrote:

A $5.00 minimum is fine.

 

There are jobs I'll do for $5.00.

 

If Upwork allows this freedom to freelancers, it doesn't mean you need to do jobs for that amount. You can establish any mininum you want for yourself.


No ... it's not fine.  You make enough $ that you can afford to work for free once in awhile (because when all is said and done, it is essentially working for free). And you know as well as I do that most people who take those jobs are being taken advantage of - they end up being way more than a $5 job. But more than anything, I do not understand how UW is not embarrassed to allow such jobs.


It depends on the amount of work. I have a regular client that need translation with max 80 words every now and then. It takes less then 5 minutes but it is a new contract everytime and I just crossed the $100 line. I always celebrate a completed job and sometimes these translations cheer me up when I really need it.


Jennifer R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

Preston H wrote:

A $5.00 minimum is fine.

 

There are jobs I'll do for $5.00.

 

If Upwork allows this freedom to freelancers, it doesn't mean you need to do jobs for that amount. You can establish any mininum you want for yourself.


No ... it's not fine.  You make enough $ that you can afford to work for free once in awhile (because when all is said and done, it is essentially working for free). And you know as well as I do that most people who take those jobs are being taken advantage of - they end up being way more than a $5 job. But more than anything, I do not understand how UW is not embarrassed to allow such jobs.


It depends on the amount of work. I have a regular client that need translation with max 80 words every now and then. It takes less then 5 minutes but it is a new contract everytime and I just crossed the $100 line. I always celebrate a completed job and sometimes these translations cheer me up when I really need it.


You and Preston both are missing my point, so I'll give up. Yes, $5 is fine, and what's also fine is how much is left after Upwork's fees and self-employment taxes. Yeah, that's just fine.

kfarnell
Community Member

Apart from anything else, a more sensible minimum (though I would prefer $50) would immediately raise the perceived standard of Upwork as higher than those other places that instantly spring to mind.  My mind boggles at the thought that Upwork prefers not to try to attract people who are prepared to spend more money...

I agree with Kim.  Settting a $50 minimum on jobs reflects a more professional aspect that I would think U wanrts and needs to develop.

 

This is even more true in light of the announcement of Upwork Plus for Clients  (see here:  

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Introducing-Upwork-Plus-for-Clients/td-p/567998)

 

It is tantamount to impossible to create the image of competency that large corporations demand while allowing $1 or $5 jobs. It is equally impossible to retain top tier freelancers when stabbing them in the back as per full details in the link above.

 

 

 

 

 


@wendy_writes wrote:

I agree with Kim.  Settting a $50 minimum on jobs reflects a more professional aspect that I would think U wanrts and needs to develop.

 

This is even more true in light of the announcement of Upwork Plus for Clients  (see here:  

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Announcements/Introducing-Upwork-Plus-for-Clients/td-p/567998)

 

It is tantamount to impossible to create the image of competency that large corporations demand while allowing $1 or $5 jobs. It is equally impossible to retain top tier freelancers when stabbing them in the back as per full details in the link above.

 

 

Thank you for stating things much better than I did, Wendy. Glad someone understands where I'm coming from.



Kim F wrote:

Apart from anything else, a more sensible minimum (though I would prefer $50) would immediately raise the perceived standard of Upwork as higher than those other places that instantly spring to mind.  My mind boggles at the thought that Upwork prefers not to try to attract people who are prepared to spend more money...


If Upwork would be interested to raise the standard, they would:

  • use better test,
  • take a closer look at the freelancers self-attested qualification,
  • get rid of all these freelancers looking for some easy money.

 

Once you improve the quality provided by the freelancers you can aim for higher rates as well.


Virginia F wrote:

Jennifer R wrote:

Virginia F wrote:

Preston H wrote:

A $5.00 minimum is fine.

 

There are jobs I'll do for $5.00.

 

If Upwork allows this freedom to freelancers, it doesn't mean you need to do jobs for that amount. You can establish any mininum you want for yourself.


No ... it's not fine.  You make enough $ that you can afford to work for free once in awhile (because when all is said and done, it is essentially working for free). And you know as well as I do that most people who take those jobs are being taken advantage of - they end up being way more than a $5 job. But more than anything, I do not understand how UW is not embarrassed to allow such jobs.


It depends on the amount of work. I have a regular client that need translation with max 80 words every now and then. It takes less then 5 minutes but it is a new contract everytime and I just crossed the $100 line. I always celebrate a completed job and sometimes these translations cheer me up when I really need it.


You and Preston both are missing my point, so I'll give up. Yes, $5 is fine, and what's also fine is how much is left after Upwork's fees and self-employment taxes. Yeah, that's just fine.


I am not missing your point. It is a difference if a client offers 1ct or 7 ct per word. 1ct is not ok but happens all the time. As long as freelancers agree to these low rates and clients do not care about the consequences of a poor translation you can discuss as much as you like without reaching a conclusion. You do not have to agree to take on small jobs but you cannot exclude serious clients only because they have small jobs as well.

There is a difference between adding a nominal amount for a milestone and pricing a project at the same amount. You already have an established relationship with an ongoing project and much less time and effort are expended for the money. Even if a 'new' contract occurs each time, that is still not the same as starting a contract with a new client. I still think $5 is too low, but it's clearly worth more in those circumstances.

 

And small jobs do not have to equate to peanuts jobs. 

 

(Edited to add): 'Once you improve the quality provided by the freelancers you can aim for higher rates as well.'

 

Chicken and egg situation. You could equally say 'once you raise the rates you can aim for higher quality freelancers'.  

Alas, I feel I have so much to like about UpWork, and so much to rage toward at the same time.   When I first started out, (only half a year ago), I was taking any small job I could get, because, while I had the education, I didn't have a portfolio.  Once I got a few articles under my belt - which, yes, were worth way more in time and content than what I was paid for them - I was able to start successfully bidding for jobs with higher rates.  (Not that I've had that many, but...)  I think that's okay if UpWork wants to be open to newbie freelancers developing their skills here.  Now I try to avoid those low paying clients, and I'm finding plenty of other postings out there with reasonable rates.  Now if I could just get those junk contracts off my record so my JSS would go back up... but that was another rant.

Anyway, I would probably like to see a higher minimum, but I liked what you originally said, Kim: "Apart from anything else, a more sensible minimum (though I would prefer $50) would immediately raise the perceived standard of Upwork as higher than those other places that instantly spring to mind.  My mind boggles at the thought that Upwork prefers not to try to attract people who are prepared to spend more money..."

I really want this platform to work, but between all that I'm reading lately - FLs being suspended for too proposal/hire ratio, this client plus nonsense, and the fee system (not that I have to pay fees, just that they act like they're not making most of their money from us), and my latest experience with JSS - I'm really starting to question it.

BTW, since my invitations have all but dried up (I'm guessing due to the JSS), I've bid for nearly 40 jobs in the past week or so (all of which match my skills and qualifications).  I really hope I get a couple of them so I don't get kicked off.

Edit/Update: Got four great (IMO) jobs (one with a previous client) just this morning.  I love UpWork again.  Until I hate them again... ๐Ÿ™‚

Ps.  I actually took my concern to CS regarding the "sending too many proposals" issue, and they told me I was safe because I still had two open contracts... if I hadn't had any open, however, it may have been an issue - that was the implication.  So, beware on that one, everyone.  Make sure that if you're doing what I just did and spend three solid days just spendin' up those connects, that you still have some work open, or, if you don't, that you only send out proposals you're pretty sure you're gonna land.  Also, thanks for the kudos. ๐Ÿ˜„

Well, Brandon, apart from your JSS, your profile looks very good, with excellent feedback. I wouldn't despair, chances are many clients won't even notice your JSS.

 

I have been having a hard time getting new clients lately, and I guess it's mostly because we are too many on the platform - and many of us are ready to work for nearly nothing to get the jobs. I like getting the Freelancer Plus membership just to get an idea of what others are bidding, and there are always weirdos offering to do a huge amount of work for peanuts. They probably don't get the jobs, but the clients get the idea that we are a crowd of beggars ready to do anything for a few dollars. It's pitiful.

 

I think we should all fight that, for example when we have extra connects, just use them to send messages to clients proposing unacceptable rates to explain to them why these are unacceptable. Just let them think about our real life, about things like Upwork's cut, what we pay to banks to have dollars changed to euros (I live in France) and the taxes we pay in our countries. 

 

Many clients seem to think of freelancers as virtual commodities, with no real life. 

I assume your suggestion was tongue in cheek and hopefully no-one will take it literally. 

 

Harassing people about their proposed budget when you're not even interested in the project would only add to the perception too many clients have that freelancers here are unprofessional with the people skills of a pot plant. 


Kim F wrote:

I assume your suggestion was tongue in cheek and hopefully no-one will take it literally. 

 

Harassing people about their proposed budget when you're not even interested in the project would only add to the perception too many clients have that freelancers here are unprofessional with the people skills of a pot plant. 


 


Luce N wrote:

Kim F wrote:

I assume your suggestion was tongue in cheek and hopefully no-one will take it literally. 

 

Harassing people about their proposed budget when you're not even interested in the project would only add to the perception too many clients have that freelancers here are unprofessional with the people skills of a pot plant. 


 


Kim, this is not a tongue in cheek suggestion. We are dealing with a serious matter. These people are probably breaking the laws of their countries by hiring at rock bottom price, since most civilized countries have minimum wage laws.

 

I would not harass people, I would just explain things to them. For example, if they have a history of hiring at $5, $10 dollars, I would explain to them that it is not in their interest to continue doing so as only desperate freelancers will answer their offer, and they may not be qualified to do their job, or worse still, they may be planning a scam.

 

I would then tell them that I might be interested in doing their job and what I would consider to be a fair deal for it.

 

I'm a kind person, and I believe in sharing advice.

> These people are probably breaking the laws of their countries by hiring at rock bottom price, since most civilized countries have minimum wage laws.

 

Minimum wage laws do not apply to freelance workers. And a number of 'civilised' countries do not have a minimum wage, for example, Sweden. No laws are being broken.

 

> I would not harass people, I would just explain things to them.

 

Which they may regard as harassment. Distasteful though the low rates are, the client isn't technically doing anything wrong and may well have got what they want for their money before. Chances are that they're also intelligent enough to realise precisely what they're doing. 

 

> For example, if they have a history of hiring at $5, $10 dollars, I would explain to them that it is not in their interest to continue doing so as only desperate freelancers will answer their offer, and they may not be qualified to do their job, or worse still, they may be planning a scam.

 

Given that the internet contains loads of advice suggesting that starting out on Upwork entails charging low rates, low bidding freelancers may be guilty of nothing more than following bad advice.  Even if they are desperate, that doesn't necessarily mean they are con artists or unskilled.

 

The low rates are, of course, unreasonable and can even be seen as abusive. At best, they are often insulting. But the culture here is created by Upwork itself.  Unless and until Upwork raises the minimum rates and encourages spending at a higher level, people will continue to offer derisory rates.

 

Upwork could choose to promote proven quality freelancers; offer incentives to successful freelancers to stay on-platform/bring in more work; use satisfied clients who pay professional rates for quality work as part of their promotion; market itself as superior to other sites because here you can find true proven professionals unlike on other platforms where it's a race to the bottom and several other things. They could have a premium side (whilst retaining lower rate projects if they wanted) and promote themselves as the only large online platform that does this. They could acknowledge that a lot of money is made from individuals with one-off projects and not everyone here is a corporation or SME and they could cater better to those individuals.

 

Upwork could do a lot of things that would not only enhance their reputation but would also attract more money, for them and us. Without them doing things like this, we can't do more than what you say below.

 

> I would then tell them that I might be interested in doing their job and what I would consider to be a fair deal for it.

Well Kim, thanks for taking the time to give your point of view. I must admit that I agree with many of the things you say, however I don't call working for a pittance freelancing, it's just being taken advantage of. I live in a country were "uberisation" is not encouraged, and I'm glad about that. To me, it is morally wrong to take advantage of others, that's all.

Too time consuming, Luce.  And futile. Educate the buyers you want to turn into your clients.  That's all who count.

 

Without a quasi-professional job cost minimum + improved screening / vetting  of FLers (U is working on this) + purging the site of years long dormant accounts - buyers will never perceive U as a truly professional marketplace.

 

As always,  I get that U. believes a large number of potential talent on tap for buyers to select from is a plus but U. seems to negate that in total by limiting invites to 3.  

 

Just my rant for the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 


Wendy C wrote:

Too time consuming, Luce.  And futile. Educate the buyers you want to turn into your clients.  That's all who count.

 

Without a quasi-professional job cost minimum + improved screening / vetting  of FLers (U is working on this) + purging the site of years long dormant accounts - buyers will never perceive U as a truly professional marketplace.

 

As always,  I get that U. believes a large number of potential talent on tap for buyers to select from is a plus but U. seems to negate that in total by limiting invites to 3.  

 

Just my rant for the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 


Doesn't have to be a time consuming thing, I can have a sort of template to save time. And who knows, once "educated" these people may want to hire me.

 

How do you know that U is working on screening / vetting FLers? That's great news.

 

If U. truly believes that a large number of potential talent on tap for buyers to select from is such a good thing, U. should say so to the clients that have been scammed or that have hired someone for cheap and regretted their choice... and see how the clients take it.


Luce N wrote:

Wendy C wrote:

Too time consuming, Luce.  And futile. Educate the buyers you want to turn into your clients.  That's all who count.

 

Without a quasi-professional job cost minimum + improved screening / vetting  of FLers (U is working on this) + purging the site of years long dormant accounts - buyers will never perceive U as a truly professional marketplace.

 

As always,  I get that U. believes a large number of potential talent on tap for buyers to select from is a plus but U. seems to negate that in total by limiting invites to 3.  

 

Just my rant for the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 


Doesn't have to be a time consuming thing, I can have a sort of template to save time. And who knows, once "educated" these people may want to hire me.

 

How do you know that U is working on screening / vetting FLers? That's great news.

 

If U. truly believes that a large number of potential talent on tap for buyers to select from is such a good thing, U. should say so to the clients that have been scammed or that have hired someone for cheap and regretted their choice... and see how the clients take it.


I created at one point a template regarding fiction translation and some DOs and DON'Ts for clients looking for translators. Most clients have no idea and believe that the translators have to be good if they are top rated. I stopped counting the jobs I got out of that list. I used the template outside UW as well linking to my UW profile for reference and landed a job at a publisher. They want full-time but I would go crazy doing only fiction.

 

I would love for UW to have the freelancers checked but I really hope they ignore the test results. Smiley Very Happy


Jennifer R wrote:

I would love for UW to have the freelancers checked but I really hope they ignore the test results. Smiley Very Happy


Me too, or they should take the time to change the tests very often as you can find the results on YouTube.