42 votes

How should I respond to requests to work "for exposure"?

This is one of the most prominent red flags which indicates a bad client, in my opinion. It's really not that complicated. Sorry, I do not work pro bono or without payment on request. There's no ...
  • 17.4k
18 votes
Accepted

Can learning a new technology be a paid task for a client?

If you do not know how to build an iOS app... How in the world do you know how long it will take you to learn how build one? How would you know how long actually building the app would take? How ...
  • 17.4k
15 votes

Should I give the finished work to a client before or after they paid me?

Always after. You've got to protect yourself. The way I'd recommend structuring a project - and make sure you explain this beforehand - is to request a 50% upfront deposit (or whatever amount suits ...
14 votes

Project owner is asking for refundable deposit

If you are performing the work and they are hiring you, there's no reason on Earth you should be paying them anything for any reason.
  • 17.4k
12 votes
Accepted

Asking Clients to pay Advance Payment?

With new clients that approach me, I ask for a non-refundable deposit up front. Usually it ranges from 30% to 50% depending on the overall project cost. I tend to waive the deposit for any client I've ...
  • 17.4k
11 votes
Accepted

Am I supposed to be paid even though my work isn't used?

There are some contest sites that operate under similar terms -- everyone sees the design description/brief, everyone works and submits designs, only the chosen design (winner) gets paid. So yes, in ...
  • 17.4k
11 votes
Accepted

How to politely stop doing free work for people

You may feel rude but at the end of the day it's your business. If they come back the second time you should give less information than you provided on their first visit, but tell them you can give ...
  • 476
10 votes

Monthly Fee vs. One-Time Payment for a Large Project with Difficult Client

Step 1 is to protect yourself with a clear scope of work. Write up a clear, concise scope of the work you are performing. Include not only the work being performed by also what is NOT being ...
  • 201
9 votes
Accepted

Should I discuss hourly rate before doing job or just do the work and let the client see the rate in the invoice?

Always discuss payment before work begins. ALWAYS. (You should have a contract detailing scope and payment) If you fail to do this it is inevitable that you will end up doing work the client doesn't ...
  • 17.4k
9 votes
Accepted

New project manager suddenly demanding source-code prior to payment

IANAL, nor any form of professional regarding law, let alone Australian law. However, from what I've found from a quick google of Australian copyright law, it seems to conform with most copyright ...
  • 545
9 votes

How should I respond to requests to work "for exposure"?

It is really little that can be added to excellent @Scott's answer. I just wanted to add a simple tactic that helped me several times. Due warning: I'm not aware about any academic research on this ...
8 votes

What should I charge for a custom shirt builder web application?

Some of the first considerations would be: How many times have you done similar work, what were your costs, time, difficulties. How much will you have to charge just to break even? What profit is ...
  • 264
7 votes

Including cost of materials in quote

I do not know what's standard for your particular business niché. However, your "cost of materials" seems exceptionally out of line to me. Charging for software, hardware, and training which you ...
  • 17.4k
7 votes

How to politely turn down a client's request for a free test job?

I've been a designer for over 25 years, there has never been any reason for me to ever work for free at the request of someone I didn't know. Ever. Yes I've worked for free for family or friends, ...
  • 17.4k
7 votes

Client wants free and half-rate meetings

I think you know the answer to this, but may be a bit apprehensive about losing the client if you fail to attend these meetings. That's always a possibility. It's your business. Your pricing and what ...
  • 17.4k
6 votes

How much payment should be required up front?

As a freelancer or consultant, you should always charge at least a percent of your total project free upfront. This has two immediate advantages: It makes your client put some skin in the game. ...
6 votes

Monthly Fee vs. One-Time Payment for a Large Project with Difficult Client

For large projects I always do monthly billings to the client plus a prepayment before starting the project to pay initial costs. It is perfectly OK to do like that, it is a mutual responsibility. ...
  • 2,044
6 votes
Accepted

Learning that my first bill will be paid after two months instead of one

Since you have DONE work and have not been paid before, you cannot do much but wait. Check the contract between you and your intermediary and push on him. If he has screwed up, let him pay you and ...
  • 14.3k
6 votes

Project owner is asking for refundable deposit

Without knowing the customs in all countries, on the face of it - this sounds fishy. What is their argument for wanting you to deposit money before working? I cannot even make up a legitimate reason. ...
  • 3,747
6 votes
Accepted

How to deal with a customer who get work and didn't gave payment?

Most freelance sites have an arbitration clause for this type of thing. Screenshot the logo being used and contact the proper support channel on said freelance website. It'll take a while but they ...
6 votes
Accepted

When making a website which activities do you normally include in invoice?

Generally, clients buy a freelancer's time. Using that logic, all time spent on client work is invoiced, regardless of the work. I never heard of clients wanting different rates for work on prototype ...
  • 3,747
6 votes

Client hasn't responded to invoice, company has potentially conflicting policies on when to pay contractors, unsure what to do

It sounds like your contract isn't as explicit as it should be regarding payment. If this is the case, you need to use that to your advantage by using any leverage you hopefully have. If you can ...
  • 3,747
5 votes
Accepted

How long should I leave an overdue payment?

You must state explicitly what the penalties are in your sales conditions, including the delay after which the invoice is deemed overdue, what the fee is (usually an interest rate on the amount - ...
  • 1,032
5 votes
Accepted

Should one still be paid for troubleshooting when nothing was found?

Tough question. Seems like the real issue here is what are you being compensated for? And what value are you providing? I find it best when those two are aligned closely. tl;dr: I think your best ...
  • 2,030
5 votes

Asking Clients to pay Advance Payment?

You're doing just fine. Think of other business models where the client's trust and credibility is on the line BEFORE any services are performed: Here in the US, and probably everywhere, you can't ...
  • 5,303
5 votes

New project manager suddenly demanding source-code prior to payment

The single worst mistake I ever made as a contractor was agreeing to provide source code before payment was made. Don't do it. This doesn't pass the "smell test" at all.
5 votes
Accepted

Freelancer sent an undiscussed bill for quote

I don't think a freelancer really expects to get that money. Rather, he simply decided to "throw a test ball": if the failed client will pay - well, if no - no and okay. The fact that the cost of ...
5 votes

How should I respond to requests to work "for exposure"?

Just don't respond. That's the answer. People who are serious about wanting a service are willing to talk about price. Anyone who asks for a free service and talks about exposure was either never ...
4 votes

Do I risk anything if I shut down a product that hasn't been paid?

Do not post negative comments about your client on the website you created for them or your own business website. You could very easily scare off future clients who will now be afraid that if they ...
  • 582

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