For campers who bid on Freelancer

I know intermediate Android and Web development and I opened an account in in order to earn some money.
I just don’t understand how people open very low paid projects and people really offer this low.
I don’t say that arrogantly, I just can’t understand how can I as someone who has never got paid by development, win a job project if I bid higher than other experienced freelancers.
For instance, I see now a website with login system which means Fullstack project and the publisher offers 30$.
People offer also 30$ and even lower than that.
Here’s the link
How can I even start getting my first freelance gig if people offer in most of the project like 30% of the price for this kind of project?



i’m not in the same position but I have looked into it.

  1. What I got from Quora was that starting out you have to accept less to get your rep up

  2. People bid low prices for exactly the user story provided. When they get a response from the publisher and really get to know the real requirements, then the price goes up accordingly. Now I don’t know if that counts for these ridiculously low budgets you see on there but I could probably do “a website with login” via Wordpress in 15 minutes. In which case i’ll take his $30. If they need hosting, design other features, then they cost more @ my rate.

  3. I’m guessing you’re Western and are shocked at the prices some developers from other parts of the world can afford to work for.


Yeah, this part is easy with most backend frameworks. I can go from starting a Rails or Express project to a full login system in under 5 minutes. It takes much longer to do it right, though. $30/hour is just over $60k/year, so we’re definitely talking junior level salary in the USA. That could be feast or famine in other parts of the world, so if $30 is a lot and they can get it done in under an hour, the freelancer could be looking at a decent sum.


Interesting - the Freelancer business model makes more sense to me now… Gives extra incentive to the job posting winner to actually get to it and get the job done.

You also have to keep in mind different Freelancers all over the world will be competing for projects. So, a Freelancer from a non-US country will have a lower daily cost of living then compared to a Freelancer in the US. That is why you will see projects with $5, $10 or $15 per hour bids.

Random facts:

Cost of Living in Russia
Cost of living in Russia is 50.34% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Russia is 61.51% lower than in United States (average data for all cities).

Cost of Living in Ukraine
Cost of living in Ukraine is 63.64% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Ukraine is 76.03% lower than in United States (average data for all cities).

Cost of Living in Germany
Cost of living in Germany is 11.52% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Germany is 38.34% lower than in United States (average data for all cities).


Hum… the client’s payment is not put into an escrow account then. I guess I assumed it would be held in escrow and if you could show Freelancer ( in case of a dispute ) that you fulfilled your contract you would get paid. But it sounds like the client holds all the cards.[quote=“P1xt, post:6, topic:60700”]
They can string out non-payment for months and Freelancer has a long and proud history of siding with clients and giving them a whole lot of leeway.

wow… That would leave a sour taste in your mouth. Thanks a lot P1xt for those details - its very useful information, and helpful to me personally.

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The situation I’m in means it would be much better if i could kick this career off from home… initially I thought I’d be able to use freelancer and such but every time I read about it it just scares me off. God knows what i’m going to end up doing.

You’d think the operators of these sites would know about the flaws and fix them, such as the project starting on acceptance, I mean from what I’ve just read it seems blindingly obvious to start it when funded.

If they debited my account before I got paid, i wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. End of. This company has greedy bstrds written all over them.

@P1xt I think I might go and have another look at upwork and see what jobs would suit my current skills or see where I need to be.

I’m not sure it’s really a viable channel for a beginner, I did think once of going doing some of the jobs privately for practice at some real world jobs, but their requirements are not really detailed enough to put much together.


@P1xt what freelancing site would you recommend for us beginners?

This is a great thread - particularly @p1xt’s contributions.

The thing that stops me from freelancing with my current skill set is that I know any project is going to lead to me needing to learn a ton and follow a lot of blind alleys. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning, but not under the pressure of a paid deadline when my professional rep is on the line.

I’d also have no idea how long a project will take me, so my estimates would always be way off and further reflect poorly on me. I’m gonna wait until I am professional before I start trying to be one :slight_smile:


Check out Double Your Freelancing. It has a free email course with great advice. Highly recommended.


Crystal clear advice, thanks

Some freelancer of my country go directly to Thailand, China, Viet Nam where the cost of living is nothing to freelancing there or opening their companies there. Simply because it’s cheaper.


This is a bit off topic, but I thought a few reading this thread would find it useful.

Wes Bos has a blog on his site, especially relevant to Canadians, about the business side of freelancing, and is worth the read. Everything I wish I knew running a sole proprietorship business

The responses are especially good.


This thread has great advice, especially the last thing @P1xt said.

To recap so I know I understand: Don’t freelance until you already have professional experience (read: 9-5 dev job) because you will not have the experience to complete projects on time and to the client’s satisfaction (because online freelance clients don’t know how to tell you what they need properly).

Did I get that right?

This answer has all the answers for my freelancing question. Thanks.
Tbh, I didn’t know this post would have that much traffic and I hope it helped other campers like me understand better the freelancing world.

Wow. Nice thread.
I love p1xt’s advice. But I don’t have such time to spare learning how to code without making money from it as soon as possible. Thank God I have already steered clear of freelancer. But would love to read about other credible freelance sites.

nice point. I started freelancer a year ago. Even though my past clients whom I have worked for commended my work in real life, I still can’t land a job on freelancer. it’s frustrating, making me feel I had to learn more to be better but the more I learn the more frustrated I get on how other programmers bid on jobs. It makes no sense. i wish someone could give me more tips on how to land a job as an efreelancer


Good thread!

Although not directly related to Freelancer, I found an article on medium about additional soft skills to have based on the experiences of a freelancer. I hope it is useful:

The same person goes along similar topics when discussing with other campers a remote freelancing platform, I think it is worth reading…

Hope that helps…

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