I am sure there is a flow to freelancer that I will figure out with experience. But it is hard for me to know what to bid when the project description says "Write a book" and the budget is 20-30 dollars or yen or whaever. Then I see Freelancers bidding, for example, $24 to have the project done in 1 day. And there is no text in the bid, it is just blank. So how does anyone connect with some realistic contract. I assume it is happening, since freelancers are showing $$$. I also see some projects saying they will pay $X for X number of words. The budget has what is apparently an arbitrary number, and then there are bids, with differing amounts. Are the bids and budgets just meaningless numbers, or is there some translation I am not getting? Should I just bid the lowest on every job and then give them the "real number" when they hire me?2 likes
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This is a very bad development on Freelancer but it happens often. If your new ... ignore such projects. It makes your life harder and the employee probably doesn't know what he wants. You could bid on it and when you get awarded you could wait for the employee to contact you to go over the full requirements before accepting the offer. That's what I would do. Don't accept the awarding of the job without discussing it in full with the employee because then you'll get scenarios like "Buy an apple" and end up buying and Apple iMac like Ritz Digitals explained.
When I started on Freelancer I only made a bid on projects I fully understood and was sure I could complete 100%.
So the key with a "blank" description is after you do your bid and it get's accepted, wait for the employer to give you the full requirements before accepting.
I see the interchange of bidding - accepting bids as an interchange of power. Correct me if I'm wrong, and his is just a personal opinion: when you bid on a project, the balance of power is not in your favor.
All you can do at this point is try to tip it in your favor but you depend on the client to contact you so you can ask more, you depend on your profile's credibility (which is your most valuable asset). Let's assume you get abid accepted and you get hired.
Now the balance of power is tipped in your favor. Clearly the client wants your services and wants to squeeze as much profit from you as they can. Some people when they see their bid got accepted, they instantly accept not considering the consequences: your profile credibility (the one I was mentioning above) being at risk if you don't consider all the facets and what you're embarking on.
In order to keep a good profile stance and credibility level, I believe you should use the power (when it's in your favor) to ask everything, make plans, ask for changes in the description as per what you agree to deliver, and also make the deadlines and milestones as clear as they could be.
Only after you've utilized every tool at your disposal to shelter you from risk, you can accept the project and start working.
When a project is accepted, the balance of power is complete, equal to both the client and freelancer and all the details are fixed and it's unprofessional from any of the parties to change details at this point.
Hope this helps, and remember, don't jump on clicking accept offer. I've been in the position of rejecting offers in the last minute because client didn't want to discuss last 2% of the project and I felt they were going to act unprofessional at the end.
Cardinal rule for freelancers: keep your profile valuable.
I agree with your Miachael, Just casious when you bidding in such projects. There are plenty of projects where you'll not get information. As you know there are 2 kind of of buyers as well as many kind of service provider. Let's talk about buyers.
Buyer 1: The real buyer will pay for the work you render services without any question. They are good. They post project as per their project budget.
Buyer 2: The smart buyer. They need everything and will pay you a peeny. They will ask you write a book. buy an apple etc. etc. They'll not provide you details i.e. what is apple. is it a fruit or apple iphone.. So you need to ask them before accepting project. These kind of smart buyer are in the board and always try to get more with a little penny. Last they might file a dispute mentioning "I'm not satisfy", "I didn't like your work", "I didn't like the design" etc. etc. and win the dispute easily.
So it's your responsibility to accept the job even bid before such project. Although I always ignore such kind of bid, but some time get caught and loose the dispute.
Anyway we need all of kind of buyer bad or good. It's our responsibility whether to loose the fund or ignore those.
I have some thoughts on the scammers (or "smart buyers" as Swapan calls them), but first, Michael, I like your analysis of needing to find "the flow" to the site.
As you'll read below, I don't feel there's enough potential to bother with the risk of applying for the kinds of project descriptions you're describing. There's not a sort of underground cryptic language or dance going on - or if there is, you don't want to be a partner in that dance anyway.
So, I would skip them - I do. Sometimes they sit tantalizingly on the fence, offering just enough information to keep you interested, but If I don't clearly see what they want AND their profiles look like they just signed up [see below], then the rule I'm setting for myself is to keep looking.
Unfortunately, so far, I have had more of my bids accepted by fraud, spam, or scam employers than to people who really want a job done. In almost every one of those cases, the "job" had little to no details. So, I've just been skipping them.
What to look for (so you know to skip them, I mean:
Project title is terribly vague or brief
Project description is terribly vague or brief
Employer profile showing sign-up of that day or the day before
Employer profile showing only email verification
Employer profile showing zero stats
I realize there are, probably every day, new, real-life employers who just discovered that very day that they had need of outsourced talent and they decided to come to Freelancer to meet that need. And I realize that by adopting this jaded position of self-preservation, I may overlook these fellows now and then - but I doubt it's happening very often! Who is going to take the time to create an account on here to get help with a real project and then not give any helpful details when they post the job??
Vlad is absolutely right: a freelancer's most valuable resource on this site is his or her blemish-free statistics on their profile. In those fraud jobs that I "won," I was fortunate enough to see what was happening before I clicked the "Accept" button, but anything could have happened if I'd entered into a deal with them prematurely:
I could have thought I was in a great gig for hours or days, happily chugging away on my work, and then gotten stiffed on the payment;
I could have realized right away I'd made a mistake, but seeing no other option tried to do the best job I could for him, however long it might have taken, hoping it would work out;
I could have reported him but still lost a transaction fee (I think that can happen);
I could have gotten "lucky" and had a fairly decent experience with the frauder, but as soon as I turned things in, he gives me 1-star reviews and deletes his account!
It's just not worth it. If the gig has all the warning signs, just ignore it. If you want another reason, think of the freelancer's second most valuable resource: Your BIDS! They refresh very slow for me, so that has helped me be a little more strict about only bidding on good jobs.
Last point. A more realistic threat is when they do try to give a good project description. Then, once they choose you, they say they actually want you to set up a fake account on a different freelancing site and let them use your computer to remotely log in on it (or some such nonsense).
Jeesh... This site! I feel PTSD setting in as I'm caught between my excitement that someone wants to hire me and my terror over risking my 100% completion rate stats by clicking the "Accept" button for a bad actor!
In my case, the employer after accepting my offer has not communicated with me anymore. I made the mistake of accepting before clarifying the details. my question is if the surcharge that I am made to accept the project in case the employer does not appear is reimbursed?0 likes
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