What is it?
You can now request upfront payments on Fixed Price jobs. When applying to a Fixed Price job, you may specify what percentage of your bid you want paid before starting a project.
Why did we do this?
There were many providers who expressed concern about working on fixed price jobs without the payment guarantee we were able to offer on hourly jobs. Allowing providers to request a payment upfront helps them bid with confidence by knowing that if they are hired, the Buyer is willing to make a payment before the project starts.
What does it look like?
Here is the new Fixed Price application page:
Some things to consider:
Build your reputation - Buyers are more likely to consider making an upfront payment to very experienced providers with good feedback. If you are new to oDesk or you have yet to receive any feedback, consider bidding without an upfront payment request to increase your chances of getting the job and building your oDesk reputation.
Be Reasonable - If you ask for too much upfront, you could reduce your chances of being considered for the job. Upfront payments are intended to promote provider confidence when they are working with new buyers on fixed price jobs, so only ask for enough to make you feel comfortable in starting the project.
Set expectations - If you request an upfront payment, make it clear in your cover letter what the Buyer should expect from you before they schedule another payment. For example, you could request 50% upfront payment for completing the first phase of the project, and tell the buyer you expect the other 50% upon completion of the entire project. Buyers will likely want to know how much work product they will receive for the initial payment, and by making expectations clear from the beginning, you will be able to avoid misunderstandings.
Be flexible - The Buyer may want to hire you, but may not be comfortable with the upfront payment amount. You can negotiate a lower upfront payment and change it by clicking the "Change Bid" option under "My Candidacies".
We hope this feature will help providers better manage their risk when applying for and working on Fixed Price jobs.