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StanG
Community Manager
Community Manager

Announcing new, simpler fees on Upwork

Today we introduced two key pricing changes: on May 3, 2023, we are retiring our sliding scale fee structure and introducing a 10% service fee for all freelancers, and on April 26, 2023, we are implementing a one-time contract initiation fee for clients of up to $4.95 per contract. Click here for the full announcement.

 

Please share your questions and feedback in the thread below.

2,013 REPLIES 2,013

Glen,

 

The opposite of my advice is to make sure that your Profile doesn't confirm to Upwork's machine learning algos and promote outdated Skills that clients don't need as much.

You see Bill, there's a whole other world out there beyond Upwork.

 

And a whole other world exists in-between the extremes of "listening to" and "doing the opposite".

 

Pollarism is nearly always the lazy response, maybe one day you'll find it.

Glen,

 

Upwork is my favorite site, however it's the smallest of four active sites I am on.

 

Don't assume ๐Ÿ˜

What are the other three please? I would really like to find an Upwork alternative.

I have a large and engaged LinkedIn profile.

 

The other two ways don't apply as much in 2023.

Wow, that was petty :D.

Why would he care if he has 95 % if he earned 1 million.

And, no he is not the n1 freelancer on the site.

Why does he defend Upwork's horrible decisions THAT much, I don't know.

Get the figures right Filip, he has generated over $1 billion. There is absolutley no disputing that and any of the other claims he makes.

ac_soft
Community Member

If Upwork will do the math on how many long term contracts it will loose then it looks better for the freelancer.
The business would consider should I pay 5% to the freelancer or pay the same and let the freelancer win 5% than before. 
If you do the math in the head it looks good for Upwork but the real life proves to be a bit different.

The $5 per contract for the clients will reduce the number of fake projects. 
Some freelancers will thanks Upwork for this fee increase because it will bring them 5% back to their pocket.

Adrian,

 

It has already proved profitable and workable for Upwork according to their Quarterly stock reports to Wall Street according to Upwork when directly asked this question.

Looks like someone can't tell the difference between short-term gains and long-term profitability.

Those are Upwork's financial responses not mine, however the proof is in the numbers.

The pay cut does not take effect for us existing 5 percenters until January, so no one has had to move off the platform for that reason yet.

 

I am stuck unitl 4 months into the new year before I hit 2 years with my client. I will start discussing moving off of here shortly with them because Upwork hasn't seen it fit to grandfather us with existing contracts into a 5% rate. I have to do what makes sense for me financially and this is a no-brainer. I'll take the paycut for the 4 months and then hopefully get a longer term raise out of it by also ditching the 5% fee as well. So in the end, Upwork loses out and I win. My client may also be paying extra fees for credit card paymens here and a direct bank transfer will save them money too.

 

It really doesn't matter if we raise our rates either, as that just means that Upwork will be taking a bigger chunk of our profits and our clients get stuck holding the bill. I guess your clients' profits aren't your concern though as you are an Upwork stockholder.

c18f1786
Community Member

I am stuck until 4 months into the new year before I hit 2 years with my client.

 

I'm not sure the $1 conversion fee after 2 years still applies. It seems we're still stuck in a situation where it remains in the ToS (Section 7.3), but there's no reference to it in the help article on conversion.

 

Also, it may require any open contract(s) with the client in question to be over two years old, even though the wording of the ToS states that it's the clientโ€“freelancer relationship which is considered. I have a 15-month long contract (still open) with a client of >2 years for whom I've done multiple contracts, but the option to convert is not showing where it should be.

 

Would be interesting if anyone can clarify these points.

hear no evil, see no evil.

With long-lasting contracts there's a trust relation between customer and client. (I hope) It's more likely that contracts with value between 10k-40k still run via Upwork, but contracts with more than 40k are transfered outside Upwork. But I guess they did the math on this

ijessop
Community Member

I recently transitioned a client off the platform. The $1 fee for contracts > 2 years old was honored but it has to be initiated by the client and the client had to contact Upwork support to get it done.

c18f1786
Community Member

Thank you, Isaac. Very helpful to know!

05fbde86
Community Member

I am not paying $4.95 to start a new contract. I am sick of you constantly changing the fees every few months. You website is often down and difficult to navigate. I am taking my business elseware. I have enough of Upwork. 

0a87c9c3
Community Member

Hii sir 

Hi Amit,

 

Did you have a question that the community can assist with?

carlosfromchile
Community Member

I have two clients for whom I have happily worked for years at a 5% fee. I will move both contracts out of Upwork before the 10% fee takes into effect.

 

Thank you,

Carlos Figueroa

5fdb4b6d
Community Member

I am also moving out of Upwork with a long-term client because of this fee raise. It's not fair to them or myself. Long-term contacts should be grandfathered in, and new contracts 10% flat fee.

lucioric
Community Member

Meanwhile, the stupid scammers making their reign off in here. For those, no cutting measures. Flourishing the stupid scammers, as it seems to have to be, and cutting the good actors, imagine the results.

tamijo
Community Member

Today is my last day on Upwork which is a shame as I have been working thru here since 2010 yes 13 years with different clients! I always have long term jobs that I keep for years and like the 5% fee its not too much but now to take money from my pocket after giving me 5% now going up to 10% your crazy! My client has hired me on too the company and I will not be paying you anything any longer.  I am sure you will be seeing alot of your long term clients leaving you. Have fun with that!

apheiner
Community Member

Congrats with your job! 

Congrats with your job. I stopped to response for new offers in May 2023 and new contracts I sign out of UpWork. It not makes sense pay 10% during years only for bank transfers what are paid separate.

waqas82
Community Member

There is no justification for Upwork to charge us 5% extra (that's more than half-month of money that I make in a year). Automated invoicing and payment processing (which I pay $30 extra for) is the only solution Upwork is providing to me. So for resources Upwork "spends" a lot less on my long-term contracts.

 

To anyone saying Upwork isn't profitable, that's not my problem. They may use the same justification in a few years to move the 10% to 15% (history is proof of that) and then to 20% again. They want to be profitable, hire freelancers that work on Upwork, I would have thought 75%+ of Upwork would be running through Freelancers at this point, they don't trust to work with their own?

 

I have a long term contract and I baerly sign in to Upwork anymore, nor does my client. I would by proposing two options to my client, increase my pay by 5%, or move to direct payment. I think I know the answer I will get from this.

 

I will not have any problem with Upwork changing the charges for "any new" long-term contracts (although increasing the threshold from $10k to $25k would be better) that I do, I will be going into them knowing what the charges are. For old long-term contracts, they should be grand-fathered in.

776fc177
Community Member

Sounds fine.
a91a1962
Community Member

What are other platforms that you are looking to move to?

ericaandrews
Community Member

So MONTHS ago I got banned for simply  saying this new policy was going to FORCE all the truly top-notch, high performing freelancers off the platform. Well, aside from one quick, small contract in the summer, and one contract where I may do 30-60 minutes of "maintenance" work,  I have CLOSED all Up work contracts in preparation for the New Year because 10% being SKIMMED off the top of my money  plus 5-10% being siphoned from the customer on the front end is BEYOND ridiculous. I simply moved ALL my business OFF up work via NEW contracts where the the clients pay DIRECTLY via direct deposit. This MEANS I can offer them a "discount" on my profile rate of $80/hour and ACTUALLY RECEIVE 80/hour. My INCOME has increased GREATLY by simply creating NEW contracts that don't involve this platform at all.  What I charge is what I get PAID. Period.  Cheaper for the clients, cheaper for me. - bad for Up work as they are forcing the GOOD freelancers OFF the platform by gouging ridiculous amounts of money and leaving the clients with "slim pickings" of whatever desperate talent  is left behind. Good luck everyone.  It was good while it lasted.

 

 

They only consider the stock price, they don't really have a long term plan. 

Once a company goes public it's always about the shareholders at this point. Companies get tremendous pressure based on their quarterly results and Unfortunately, if you are ever going to work for a public company that is how it will always be. I once worked for an amazing private company they were all about employees first, and treated us very well. Once they went public it went downhill for the employees over the years they started chopping away at our bonuses, then making it impossible to reach our bonuses. They started cutting down and out of benefits, and slashing raises or even raise freezes. I lasted about 4-years after they went public and realized I had to get out of that company. So yes, shareholders always come first as the company has to produce for the shareholders, not the contractors or employees.

"Once a company goes public it's always about the shareholders at this point."

And that's actually complete non-sense. I've been in the market since 2008 and I learned eventually that although actual results can't be completely ignored, most shares don't follow current results. It's always about the future and "what could be". 

Upwork could lose money for 40 years, it wouldn't matter if shareholders thought it's "going to be the next big thing". 
The stock price only follows the trend that is constantly formed via golden or dead crosses. 

Believe me, the US market is basically a giant hoax. EVERY stock is moved by the market makers. If they want to lift it or create a new trend, they will. This is the best way for them to constantly skim off profits with minimal risks. 

So it really doesn't matter. If Upwork wanted to be profitable, they could easily reduce personell costs, but they don't want to. 

That is abundantly obvious. I used to see non-stop Up work TV commercials in my area  designed to attract new clients, and ALL of them stopped abruptly a few months ago. It's almost like they don't care if they build the client base but are simply content to gouge whatever they can from the freelancers before the business caves in  and goes under. 

betttor
Community Member

double fees for old clients contracts, double price/connects like 12 connects for 75 USD budget offers bid... that is all now called "new simple fees and prices" in Upwork. But totally it s about some kind of scam under fairy tail **Edited for Community Guidelines**. For which kind of activity from own side upworks wanna take 10.000 USD from 100.000 usd year workload withf old client? many freelancers and clients leave upwork due its simpler/**Edited for Community Guidelines**fees policy and that s the only right decision 100%

fsafner
Community Member

There are more problems as well. Not only did they increase the number of "connects" to offer a job too much compared to previous years (pay to work even though they charge you 10%?) but also the despair of many people who offer their jobs at pittance prices. And clients are already getting used to this and also offer pittance quotes. It is very common to see job offers of 10 - 20 dollars for jobs that require a lot of time to prepare. This, at least in the Graphic Design sector, is going very badly. Very difficult to get decent jobs. Personally I am very disappointed. Lately I have helped myself with old clients here and also some private ones because the new jobs published are disappointing.

apheiner
Community Member

Go apply and make a statement like "actual price will depend on complexity of the task". Why not, some companies offer jobs at 1/3 of the US minimum wages.

hasansins
Community Member

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Just for information let me give an example from myself. Last year I made around 200k on upwork and this year I am barely hitting 20k as I moved my work out of the platform. Was happy to pay 5% as a finders fee but not going to pay 10%. It is easier to work outside upwork to be honest. Good luck to all.

kbadeau
Community Member

I still find it nonsensical that old contracts are not grandfathered in, but I know somebody did the math and figured 10% of the contracts they keep would be greater than or equal to the $ from 5% contracts that they're losing. I'm also a shareholder so I'd love to know if those exact numbers are (or will be) available anywhere, but no mods ever respond to this thread anymore, so I'm basically just shouting at the rain.

 

It seems like a very weird play to announce the change in March and then not have it take effect until January, because they won't get a great sense of how many people left the platform during 2023 because of this. But I would like to know how many people exit in 2024 when the new fee structure actually takes place.

angela__rose
Community Member

I was devstated to hear this initial announcement, and my dread has increased as the end of the year gets closer. I've been working hard through Upwork for over two years, and I've been on the lowest level of the fee structure for most of this time since my entire income is from two clients on this platform. I've worked so hard to earn hourly rate increses from my clients over this time, and this insulting fee increase for me and others like meโ€”the powerhouses who make Upwork its moneyโ€”will erase a good chunk of that progress. I already have to pay exorbitant healthcare costs as a freelancer, and now I'm about to be squeezed more on this side as well. I can't, for the life of me, imagine why Upwork would choose to abuse its most valuable workers. Just greed, I guess? I'm so disappointed, and I've started looking for full-time jobs. I don't want to leave Upwork and the freelance lifestyle, but Upwork obviously doesn't have any of our best interests at heart.

Please reconsider this insulting change! Well-established freelancers like me should get to keep the fee structure that we're at. People have it hard enough as it is, and I doubt your higher ups are suffering too badly. Put your workers first!!

Angela,

 

We ALL have the 10% fee from the $100 to the $1,000,000 freelancer.

 

Compared to the other options on the Internet 10% is fair.

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