How to Avoid Bad Clients on Freelancing Websites

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Have you ever been deceived by a client? Well, you are lucky if you have not been. I have been cheated but luckily the contract was worth so little, I did not see the need to follow up.

To avoid being duped, it is vital that you know that bad clients do exist on oDesk or any other freelancing websites.

To be able to separate good clients from “bad clients” it is important that within the shortest time possible you research the client before applying for any job.

There is a lot you can tell about a client by researching them and in return, you will avoid bad clients.

1. Payment Verification and Date of Registration

This is the first thing I look for before I apply to any job or before I accept any job invite I receive.

It is important for a client to have a verified system of payment especially if the job is a fixed price job – this is how I was conned- I did a fixed price video editing job for a client that never had a verified payment system and immediately the client received the edited videos he went AWOL.

Good clients always have the “Verified Payment System” notification.

This is not to say that all clients with unverified payments are bad clients, but this should be a red flag to avoid being duped.

Sometimes a client with an unverified payment system is a new client on that freelancing website.

Tip: I actually capitalize a lot on new clients because very few people want to apply to their jobs because of lack of a verified payment system.

clients with unverified payment system

If a clients registration date is older than 6 months and their payment system is not verified ,I keep away from that client as much as possible. If I get that gut feeling that this could be the sure thing and not a con that will ran away with any money if I get hired, I apply to the job with caution and inform the client to verify their payment system.

 2. Check the Client’s Job History

This is what I jump to next, A client’s job history. It shows the number of hours and jobs the client has posted and paid.

What is the average hourly rate of that client? What is the client’s feedback status? etc. 
A good client will have paid for all the previously completed jobs.

This is difficult to discern if a client is new to a particular freelancing website but it is important that you tread carefully.

3. Feedback from other Freelancers

Feedback review is very important before applying to any job. The reason is simple a client may be trying to offer you the same job someone else had a problem with.

Poor feedback to a client is almost always as a result of poor communication and unclear job requirements to the freelancer.

Sometimes you run into situations where a client deviates from the agreed job terms and keeps adding more work but is not paying. This is unorthodox client behavior and any freelancer needs to be careful.

Tip: Not all clients with poor feedback mean that they are bad clients. We are all humans and sometimes we disagree and since contracts can be terminated at any minute a disgrunted freelancer can leave a poor feedback to a client.

Also some clients are definitely new, therefore, the feedback score is not be applicable.

avoid bad clients with poor feedback

4. Are there any similar jobs posted by the same client with NO HIRES

Some clients post the same job over and over and this from my perspective is unprofessional. I consider it SPAM !!! 

It is a clear red light that you should avoid this type of clients at all costs. They tend to pay very poorly, are very strict and on most occasions, they are out to waste your time. 

See pictures below of clients that keep posting similar jobs with no hires.

Other Similar Jobs by the Client

Over the years, I have used this quick and easy assessment method to avoid bad clients on freelancing websites and it has always worked for me.

I hope it will help you to avoid bad clients.

5. Clients that ask for sample jobs that feel like a real job.

Some clients request freelancers to do sample jobs in order to assess if a potential freelancer has what it takes to create a product that the client is looking for.

Most sample jobs that are requested by clients are genuine. However, some clients ask for samples that feel like a real job to a freelancer.

During my freelancing career, I have met such clients. They ask for a sample job and once you give it to them, they ask for a review after review.

Basically, it results in a lot of time wastage for the freelancer and these clients run off with a promise that there is more work coming. You never hear from them again.

A sample job is a small excerpt of the whole project.If you feel a sample is turning into a full blow job, inquire from the client.

6. Clients that offer to pay outside the Freelancing Platform Available.

This is a RED FLAG.

In my opinion, to safeguard your payments and reputation it is always important to handle all work from the freelancing websites you met the client.

Most of the times clients want to run away from the little commissions that this websites charge. Nobody wants to pay the commission if they can pay a freelancer using other payment methods.

It is important that you ensure all transactions are done on the freelancing websites being used to help in cases of disputes and with hourly contracts payments are guaranteed.

If you have some other method to assess a client before applying to a job and thus avoid the bad clients kindly comment below, let me know if this post was beneficial on  Freelancer Insights Facebook Page or you can Contact Me.

Photo Source: Free Images

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