So I started taking work on Freelancer.com and got my first client 2 days ago. However, he sent me the project with all the default values. "I have a project for you..." $250 budget, etc. When I went to chat with him I accidentally clicked accept before talking to him about the specifics. Noob move.

Having accepted it already I knew not completing it would make me look bad because accepting it, whether on purpose or by accident, was my fault. So after talking about the project it is clear to me this project will take at least 2 weeks or more.

I installed Laravel on his server, created the home page and am setting up user authentication now, I need to make a full admin panel to change pictures, edit posts, etc. As well as some more work. I'm doing full stack. I don't want to basically work for free and having already been 2 days I'm about to reach that point.

How should I ask for more money? Or should I suck it up and do the job because I messed up? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

UPDATE: After proposing to work the first week for $250 then hourly after the client agreed. Then after the first week of setting up user authentication and the home page and some other things the client ghosted on me.

Should have known better, let it be a lesson to all new freelancers. If the client brown noses quite a bit and seems very nice and flexible it's probably because they're using you and will do whatever to keep from rocking the boat and having you quit. Be smarter than me. Good luck.

2 Answers 2



You cannot ask for more money - but you can explain that you mistakenly accepted and therefore wish to withdraw from the task without any payment. In fact, you should have done that immediately. We're human, mistakes happen.

This will annoy the client - but since it's only been a few days you won't really be hurting them - like you might have had in two months if you quit in sheer frustration.

In a rosy scenario, the client might want to know what could make you stay on the project - but since they expected a full e-commerce site for only USD 250, it seems they don't fully realize the extent of the task.

If you somehow find common ground with this client, I would avoid a fixed price unless your delivery essentially can be cloned from previous projects.

  • 1
    After talking with them I proposed that the first week of work would be $250 and the rest would be my hourly rate. They said that was fair then told me they would see how things went after the first week and wanted to know how much I could get done. I think they want to pay as little as possible, which is understandable but not fair to me. I'm not working for peanuts. So I think I will have to close the project and respectfully decline to offer my services for so little money. Jul 23, 2018 at 15:05
  • You probably did the right thing, correcting a mistake as soon as possible. In addition, nothing kills the will to be a freelancer as working for nearly free - so some projects or clients should simply be avoided.
    – morsor
    Jul 24, 2018 at 6:50

You agreed to complete the work for $250. Mistake or not. That's what you agreed to. Failing to adhere to that agreement will have repercussions - how great or small I'm not sure any one can say definitively.

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    Do you believe I should make a full e-commerce website for $250? Jul 21, 2018 at 22:45
  • @EdwardSeverinsen absolutely not. Not even close. That figure is missing at least one zero. But then, I wouldn't ever agree to do so either. It's up to you to decide if the repercussions of failing the agreement are more severe and damaging than the doing such a large amount of work for so little pay. For me... I'd suffer the consequences and decline to work further. Actually, I would have never started work.
    – Scott
    Jul 22, 2018 at 2:21
  • I think it's fair to go back to a client early on and tell them that you had misjudged the project and give them a new quote. Explain that you are sorry about the mistake and tell them you are happy to withdraw if they wish to go with someone else. The fact of the matter is, if you get someone else to do this work for you, you will have to pay them. I would 100% start by telling them it was a mistake and try to withdraw or offer them the correct price.
    – Eoin
    Aug 14, 2018 at 19:24
  • Well it would be fine to reevaluate costs during exploratory conversations. That is often the norm. However, to accept the project, complete some work, and then to ask for more compensation is a bit unprofessional. If you are going to ask for more, it should be before any work is started or when the client is requesting items above and beyond what has been agreed upon. It really shouldn't be mid-way between completing what has been agreed upon.
    – Scott
    Aug 14, 2018 at 19:28

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