nebojsa.todorovic

A freelance veteran with a 1K+ projects portfolio loves and writes about everything that’s freelance

Upwork Costs: From Nada To Prada

The best things in freelance life are supposed to be FREE! Right?
So, what the hell happened to Upwork?
Upwork’s costs are hitting hard for both clients and freelancers. Why?

Upwork Costs For Clients

If you are a client then what you pay to your freelancer is all you have to pay. Right? No additional costs. No processing costs. No membership fees. No assistance fees.
Wrong! Let’s just ignore the most obvious thing. Who’s going to pay a 20% freelance fee? You are, our dear clients. Let’s not kid ourselves. Your freelancers have to include it in their final proposal price. So, don’t blame your freelancers if the price is too high, but rather blame Upwork.
No surprises?
Source: Upwork
Well, I’m not a client, but I’m still surprised and confused as a freelancer. Why this processing fee on the top of all a client has to pay on Upwork?
And, that’s not all.
Source: Upwork
The further you go — the more it’s going to cost you on Upwork.

Upwork Costs For Freelancers

That’s the thing we all love about freelancing the most. With zero investment, you can become a freelance hero.
You already have a laptop. It doesn’t have to be brand new or top-notch. You can count on decent Internet speed in your home, can’t you?
You work. You get paid. Then, you pay fees to the freelance platform where you won a project. This is the natural order of freelancing.
When Upwork doubled its freelance service fees, some freelancers simply left while the majority of them complained for a while and then just went along with it.
We all know how Upwork’s fees system works for freelancers. Here’s a quick reminder.
Source: Upwork
I guess that many freelancers thought that the Upwork's most recent decision to charge you for every single bid/connect was a bad joke. The first unpleasant email reminders were the wake-up call for Upwork freelancers.
It’s real. It’s happening. From now on, you have to pay to play on Upwork. No more free connects (job applications) on Upwork.
(Source: Twitter )
So, what can you do about it? Well, it’s Upwork’s way or the freelance highway. If you are a Top Rated freelancer you will get a “generous” one-time aid package of 60 free connects. That’s something that should help you “with the transition.” I guess, but I can’t confirm, that the same applies to new freelancers on Upwork.
I sure hope that’s the case. Otherwise, how are you supposed to submit your very first proposal if there’s no money in your Upwork account?
It can’t be all that bad. The good old Upwork already did the math to calm you down.
Source: Upwork
What’s the big deal? You will spend five bucks or less per month on connects.
The “good” news is that there are no new ways for Upwork to introduce additional costs to its freelancers. For what is worth, we shouldn’t underestimate Upwork’s creative potential regarding their new and higher fee policies.

Does It Really Have To Be This Way?

Upwork is the biggest and the most popular freelance marketplace, but it’s not the only one.
There are freelance platforms where you can bid as many times as you want. Who says that the freelance fees have to go up by default?
Here’s an example that the service fees for freelancers can go down for a change. I used to pay a flat 10% service fee on goLance. Then, to my big surprise, they decreased it to 7.95%. One serious rumor has it that they aren’t going to stop there.
It gets even better for the clients. Not only that you don’t have to pay any service or membership or payment processing fees on this platform as a client, but you actually get a percentage of your money back. That’s something called CashBack.
Source: goLance
So, where there is a will there is a way to do the things differently.

When All The Money In The Freelance World Ain’t Enough For You

I still haven’t answered the question: Why? Why do you have to be like this Upwork?
Just because you’re doing poorly on NASDAQ, my dear Upwork, it doesn’t give you the right to take it out on your users, especially freelancers.
NASDAQ: UPWK
Greed isn’t good. Even Gordon Gekko had to admit to himself that he was wrong. What’s taking you so long, my dear Upwork?

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