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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

Brava @ Kim for "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."

 

From your lips to decision makers' ears. If only it were so easy.

 

 


Wendy C wrote:

Brava @ Kim for "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."

 

From your lips to decision makers' ears. If only it were so easy.

 


I guess discussing about it on the forum is one of the ways we can make this idea become reality.

Luce, don't hold your breathe .....    ๐Ÿ˜ž

Luce, I was thinking of doing something similar to your original suggestion (though much more passive-aggressive) regarding hourly rates.  I've finally decided on what I think is a fair hourly rate for my services and have put it on my profile.  I hate that I have to post an hourly rate, because, for some jobs, the work involved is less strenuous than others, so a flat rate doesn't always make sense to me.  I wish UW would give me the option to at least set an hourly rate range, or just say "varies." or just let me hide it (since I pay for premium).  But my other idea was to just set my profile hourly rate to $1,000,000, and then begin every proposal with the words "I'm bidding for this job at a SUBSTANTIAL discount from my normal hourly rate..."

No, I'm not going to do it, but I did have a couple of other things I'd like to point out that are relevant to this thread:

1.  I posted a job as a client a few days ago for a marketing expert to help me with my strategy - just writing a simple report.  Believe me when I say that I am dirt-poor by U.S. standards right now, and I don't have a lot to spend, but I thought about how long it would take me to do the job that I was asking for and I offered $50.  I only got three bids on it, two were obvious pros who'd been at it for a while.  One bid my budget, and the other $62.50 (which, I would have paid if I thought he would have been that much better than the others).  Then I got another proposal from a newbie.  His cover letter was literally one sentence - "I would do this for free."

Now, me being a FL myself and believing that one should be paid for the work they do, of course I didn't accept that.  I could have sent this person a message yelling at him for offering free work, but I saw that he's literally brand new and doesn't have any work yet, and is really probably just trying to get some experience.  So, instead, I created a new, low budget job specifically for this FL that was basically asking for a MUCH simpler analysis (appropriate to what I perceived his skill level to be) for $15.  (In my offer to him I explained that he should never, ever, ever offer to do work for free)  This was last night.  When I woke up this morning, the work was in my inbox.  It was exactly what I paid for, and I gave him five stars.

I then hired the $50 bidder for the original job because I think he'll do the best job of the three of them and I want his analysis.  

 

2.  One of the jobs I was offered yesterday, from a former client, once I started to look at what would be required of me, was really not worth the budget the client had set up - for me.  That's because it was an assignment to write about political stuff I knew nothing about, and put a slightly conservative spin on it (which makes me cringe to think my name would be on it).  So, even though I know that taking that job would have helped me get my JSS score back up more quickly (repeat client), I sent a message back to the client politely explaining that, for what he's offering, I would have to do too much research to justify the project.  I also explained that the work I did for him in the past - which was similar in word count and budget - was much easier for me to write and took less time than this particular project would take for me, and respectfully asked that he keep me in mind if he has other jobs more like the ones I previously did for him.

You guys can all make of this what you will - pick apart what I did right and what I did wrong - but here's what I think I've come away with:  When you're starting out, you need to build your portfolio, and you shouldn't be paid expert rates for that  work when you haven't proven yourself an expert yet; but you should at least be paid,  for Pete's sake!  There are always going to be bottom feeders in the pond, I fear, but it's up to each of us to operate with integrity and in a manner that's consistent with our own values.  For me, for now - I feel I've settled on a fair hourly rate, and I am going to be much more selective about the jobs for which I bid.  I swear by all that is holy, though, if my JSS doesn't go back up this week after all of the work I've done lately to fix it, I'm gonna have a meltdown.  I want my Top Rated badge back, d&#n it!

Edit: Grammar ๐Ÿ™‚

Brandon, I just love your other idea "... was to just set my profile hourly rate to $1,000,000, and then begin every proposal with the words "I'm bidding for this job at a SUBSTANTIAL discount from my normal hourly rate...". 

 

I really hope you'll get your Top Rated badge soon, but you know how strange that JSS algorythm is... no way of telling what it decides to do next! We have to be patient with that creature.

Brandon, kudos to you for your honesty and integrity in your response to the past client. FWIW, I'm betting he/she appreciated it and will reach out to you in the future.  Sadly, honesty is a scarce commodity...


Wendy C wrote:

Brandon, kudos to you for your honesty and integrity in your response to the past client. FWIW, I'm betting he/she appreciated it and will reach out to you in the future.  Sadly, honesty is a scarce commodity...


Thanks, Wendy.  I hope so, too.  And yes, honesty is a scarce commodity.  I often don't understand why we just don't say what we mean (see my previous rants on "private feedback").  It is so much easier on everyone if you just say exactly what you expect and what you mean in professional matters.  

I received an invite the other day to translate into Swedish. I decliend choosing I am not fit for the job and 2 minutes later the client invited me again asking why I declined the invitation. I explained that it was because I am no native Swedish. Her reply: Thanks for being so ethical and professional

I was smiling for the rest of the day.

 

It is truly sad. Nevertheless this is a free market place. The best thing to do is not apply for these low rates. They will not go away since the cost of posting jobs on Upwork is probably $0.00. Simply let the market sought this out.
Upwork employs smart people and they clearly see no detriment to their platform with these types of clear low-balling job offers. Maybe they are correct in this assessment. It does make the Upwork environment seem less appealing to skilled freelancers who take pride in their work. But ultimately, this makes no difference to the bottom line of the platform. The platform is subject to algorithms and rules that play out purely deterministic results. This is simply another example.
geraldine_f
Community Member

I agree and I am even more angry at those who accept to work at that rate. I often spoil my Connects to tell those slave seekers how ashamed they should be. Have you noticed ? The less they pay, the more they are exacting.....


Geraldine F wrote:

I agree and I am even more angry at those who accept to work at that rate. I often spoil my Connects to tell those slave seekers how ashamed they should be. Have you noticed ? The less they pay, the more they are exacting.....


Well, there's been a discussion about doing just that. I have started myself. The only difference is that I'm not going to do it nastily, just try to make the "clients" understand how dangerous it is for them to offer rock bottom prices - they usually only get what they've paid for.

 

Last time I've told the culprit that what she/he was offering was still a bit too much for a Google translation.

re: "I often spoil my Connects to tell those slave seekers how ashamed they should be."

 

This is inappropriate behavior.


A freelancer who does this should be removed from the platform.

Preston, I think Geraldine is right, but she should try not to be aggressive, that's all. 

 

If more people were taking the time to tell clients that we are real people, and that we get offended by some of their humiliating offers, maybe they would learn a little bit about how to treat real people. 

Luce,
When a client "offers" a rate as low as a couple of dollars per hour, they know very well they are seeking slaves and that they are taking advantage of some of them's distress. And it is because there are freelancers desperate enough to accept such deals that more and more clients refuse to pay more. There is no point to try to be nicely make them understand, because they just don't care.

 

As for Preston's suggestion about people like me, It does not surpise me from someone who who would not mind to work at USD 1,5O / hour. Lol.

I'm not going to lie, I've written several drafts of such messages, but decided each time that it was unprofessional. 

What would be nice, however, is if there were some kind of wiki or Wikia set up independently where those types of clients can be called out.  UpWork's algorithms for weeding out "bad clients" as I understand it from reading the help pages only works if the client has a history of bad feedback.  Some of these bottom feeders just promise 5 stars for 5 stars and the hungry newbies play along. 

I'm dealing with one such client now.  He has hundreds of five-star reviews, yet I'm about to get paid a paltry amount for a ridiculous amount of work, which he's now being nitpicky about.  In this situation, I'm about to just cancel the contract myself, but again, I want to take the high road here and be the professional one.  If I just canceled the contract and took back the work, then it would be fine if he already had a history of bad feedback, but because so many people out there just gave him five stars quid pro quo, it's going to look bad on my JSS and stats. 

So, as "blacklist" as such a wiki or Wikia might sound, it is a way for us to try and protect ourselves from such goons.  It's also really not all that different from the BBB or Chamber of Commerce ideas, either.  If the governing body's (in this case UW's) system for weeding out bad clients is flawed, then the only way to get around that is to be vigilant.  This would be another tool to help with that vigilance.  I know nothing about how to set up such things, but if anyone else knows, I'd be glad to discuss the idea of setting it up with you further!

Brandon, I wouldn't bother to avoid being "unprofessional" to tell my mind to very unprofessional people.

 

How professional is a person that says he'll give a translation job to the person who will offer the lowest rate? Would a real professional even think such a stupid thing? How professional are companies who don't mind using gibberish when they sell their products on the web? Or who publish articles that don't mean anything because they were translated by some idiot that thinks that basic knowledge of a foreing language makes him a translator?

 

 

Prestonbot,

There's nothing wrong with working for positive change.  The biggest reason people lose power is to not think they ever had it.