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Freelancers' sites request that you bid for the projects upfront, and sometimes schedule the project in phases. But most of the time, the project descriptions are rudimentary (like "I urgently need an app to weigh the Moon") so that it is virtually impossible to make any assumption.

In the initial phase of bidding, talking to the requester is not necessarily possible. So how does the bidding process really work ?

  • very simmilar, if not duplicate: freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/3982/… – user152 Jul 8 '16 at 9:55
  • @stacey: I still haven't received a satisfactory answer. Nobody seems to have experienced the requirement to provide a quote as the first step of a bidding procedure. – Harry Cover Jul 8 '16 at 10:17
  • The correct answer is in the linked question. If there isn't enough information to provide an accurate bid, then don't bid. The onus is on the client to supply satisfactory information. If there's no way to clarify, then you can only go on what is supplied. – user152 Jul 8 '16 at 10:38
  • @stacey: in automated sites, if you don't enter a value in some "Amount" field, you can't submit, the button stays grayed. That's what I am talking about. But I would also like to know if a negotiation process is possible and if the amounts can be changed after the fact. – Harry Cover Jul 8 '16 at 10:43
  • If you want a feature change on a website, or to find out if a freelancing site supports changing the values after the fact, I'd recommend contacting the website support directly. Questions about freelance website functionality aren't on topic around here. – user152 Jul 8 '16 at 11:13
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The clients who post projects in freelancer sites do not care to give the details of the app in the project description. I have seen 90% of the clients not describing the requirements. They just say "I need an android app" or "I need an app to be build soon". But here freelancers gets confused weather to bid or not.

I am giving these suggestions assuming that you are a new freelancer.

  • So if you are a new freelancer, then you have to be very careful. As you have high chances of not getting the bid accepted by the client. As your profile is new, no one wants to take risk on their project.
  • I would suggest that you search for mostly those projects which have a good description. And bid responsively as you have a limited number of bids.
  • Always make your proposal more interesting, and make a demo if possible to show it to the client, to make him believe that you are talented person.
  • Go with a good price and reply to the client as soon as he/she text you or contact you in any ways.

If you get the project, then do it to your best. And you will get more and more projects. And never give up. The beginning as always very slow.

More information for new freelancers here.

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    Thanks but my question is "how can you bid with little or no project information" ? Can the bid be conditional ? Can the bid be refined after acceptance ? What's the true practice and procedure ? Bidding too high for safety is a dead-end, while bidding too low is suicidal. – Harry Cover Jun 29 '16 at 9:38
  • I would suggest that you search for mostly those projects which have a good description. never go for those project with description you can not understand. – Sagar Nayak Jun 29 '16 at 9:41
  • No insight on how others do ? – Harry Cover Jun 29 '16 at 9:42
  • others means "experienced freelancers" ?? – Sagar Nayak Jun 29 '16 at 9:43
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    @Harry Let me summarize: he is saying don't bid on such tersely-described jobs. You continue to ask him how to bid on them and he continues to say "Don't." – Joel Wigton Jul 7 '16 at 17:34
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Don't submit to bidding wars.

The trick is to write a great proposal/pitch for the job that can win over your client. Your bid, or price, doesn't really matter as long as the client believes you're the best fit for the job.

There are freelancers who live for bidding and copy-pasting job proposals. And the one thing they suck at is writing a convincing proposal (see here for examples).

Work on your portfolio, build your reputation and learn to write a great pitch. No need to include the price in your proposal, you can negotiate that later.

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  • I can't follow you. The first thing which is asked you in the bidding process is a price and a schedule. Without them you just can't bid. – Harry Cover Jul 7 '16 at 13:55
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    @Roshan You wrote a good article, but it would've been better if you'd disclosed that when linking, to fit into the culture here about self-promotion. Especially since you are selling training drip email campaigns at that link. – Joel Wigton Jul 7 '16 at 17:32
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    @HarryCover I moved away from UpWork long time ago (clients were looking for cheap freelancers not value or quality). But while I was offering my services through the site, I never included a bid in my first proposal. But I wrote a great proposal and asked clients to send me a reply if they wanted to talk about pricing. This got them curious and I managed to win almost every job (about 4 out of 5) that I proposed to. – Roshan Perera Jul 8 '16 at 8:57
  • @JoelWigton I apologize for that. Had no idea it's not allowed to link to personal websites. BTW my site is completely ad-free and im not selling anything, at least not yet (email course is free and no promotions or affiliate links included). – Roshan Perera Jul 8 '16 at 8:59
  • @Roshan no worries, and it is allowed it's just best practice to disclose that you are affiliated. Kinda like how finance writers who recommend stocks really should divulge that they also hold the stocks. That's all. – Joel Wigton Jul 8 '16 at 14:08
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You should come up with a template to send during bids. Without a lot of information as to the details of the project, you can't tailor the bid too much.

I usually, for these bids,

Introduction

Exprieince and education

Why I feel as though I'm the right choice/ what I can provide to make the project a success better/faster than others

past projects

skills

more about me and details as to how I generally accomplish projects.

Ask for a follow up "Message me back" or "You can Skype me at"

Let's say they need a website. That's all it says "I need a website". You don't know the scope or details but you can still explain your industry skills, project history, and how you develop/design website (process, time frame, special skills).

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  • I have the feeling that my question is poorly phrased. I am not after advice to get work, I am worrying about how to handle the risk associated to poor project descriptions. – Harry Cover Jun 29 '16 at 23:23
  • What risk? You can only give a general bid, if they like you they'll interview you and give you details/you need to ask for them. If you can't do the job, move on. – Memj Jun 30 '16 at 18:49
  • @Memj How can you even give a general bid if you don't know the details? – johnny Nov 28 '17 at 0:43

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