I have a client. I need to create a Wordpress template for him (as he told in the listing). He shared two HTML pages in the initial meeting.

He said mistakenly he sent that file then he shared a link from where he copied those two HTML pages. That link is not a normal static website, it is a full fledged e-commerce site. They want a replica of that for the same price, which is 100 dollars only.

How should I handle these types of clients? I am expecting more work from that client in the future.

  • 3
    I had to learn this lesson myself and I guess everyone does no matter how hard people tell you not to do it: you are better off not accepting this type of client. They don't value your work and the issues you face now will keep on coming. You will end up doing a lot of work for too low a rate which will frustrate you and hinder your ability to work for customers that do value your work. Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 12:31
  • 2
    Guys, there should not me downvotes here IMHO.
    – Peter MV
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 19:21
  • Unless you are an indentured servant, you are free to say "No."
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 22:02

4 Answers 4


May I guess. He approached to you saying if you do this for bargain, you will get more work? Yes you will get more work, 5 times more complex for 50% more money - $150 in your case. Any serious client will let you first do 1 project, and only then he will talk about more work. Because if they immediately say that they have more work, even a bad contractor will push 110% to impress them in the first project. So I'd say these are clients looking for cheap slavery work.

I would refuse saying that for $100 I can only do X, Y and Z, and for more, I have to recalculate my price.

But be careful if you're on rating systems like oDesk cause they will most likely give you a bad feedback.

  • Thanks guys for your answers, I think, I need to talk to my client Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 19:30
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    To elaborate on Peter's answer, be really professional when you decline. Even if you're not on a system like oDesk. Your reputation will follow you, and you don't want someone to be mad at you because you acted unprofessionally. :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 19:33
  • 4
    On oDesk, you only get a rating if you do work and get paid. Turning someone down with no work done means they don't get to rate you.
    – user152
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 14:25
  • @jmort253 How would you decline professionally? Any phrase you can share? I'm really bad at this.
    – JohnnyQ
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 9:28

I'll keep my answer simple. If a client is asking for a custom full-fledged CMS/e-commerce site for a $100, as a freelancer, you should read that as "this person is a complete waste of my time," and move on.

Of course, don't say that to the client.

To the client, be very professional and polite. Thank them for considering you, apologize for not being able to meet their price. Quote 'your' price and let them know to contact you in the future if you can be of assistance.


This client may have never intended for you to do the work shown in the initial links sent. Perhaps the client is hoping that you will take the bait and actually commit to doing much harder work without changing your price. I'd inform the client that because of a change in scope, you have to change your price. Don't worry about what happens in the future, you have to make your position as a smart business person NOW. If the client makes trouble, leave that client alone. It's not worth it. If you accept the client's behavior now, the client will do it again!!!


As I write this I note that the topic is over a year old, so this may be a useless answer.
However, one thing to consider is that the client does not realize what they are requesting. They are asking for work that they may not be able to do themselves, because it's outside their area of knowledge, much less expertise. You might consider discussing, politely but frankly, the fact that the initial "do two pages" is very different from the "duplicate this complicated site". Part of the discussion should try to get at what they actually need and want. They may want just the two pages, which they incidentally saw on a complicated site.

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