There are many great dilemmas in the modern world. But if you’re a freelancer in the 21st century, there is no greater dilemma than which platform to use: Upwork Vs. Fiverr.
The number of full-time freelancers on Upwork grew from 28% in 2019 to 36% in 2020. While part of this rise may be attributed to the onset of the pandemic, the trend continues post-pandemic. By 2027, about half the US workforce is projected to be freelancers.
First, let’s travel back in time to understand the surprising beginnings of freelancing.
Upwork and Fiverr are global companies that provide platforms for millions of freelancers to conduct business.
1. The Fundamental Difference between Upwork and Fiverr
- Upwork is a client-centric platform. Multiple clients post job openings and wait for freelancers to bid on them. The clients usually choose the most experienced freelancers, although this depends on their budget.
- Even big companies like Microsoft, Airbnb, and GoDaddy hire freelancers on Upwork.
- On Upwork, you can open a free account and choose between domestic and international jobs.
- The platform uses a digital token called “connects,” which lets you apply for jobs. When you open the account, you get ten free “connect.” But if you need more, you’d have to buy them.
- Fiverr is a freelancer-centric platform. It works like a marketplace for gigs, where freelancers post their availability and the type of work they do. Clients who are interested, buy their services.
- The platform does not charge fees for signing up or listing your services.
- However, after the completion of each transaction, Fiverr takes a 20% cut.
- Based on your experience, Fiverr puts you into one of the four seller levels:
- New seller: Refers to the freelancers who are new to Fiverr.
- Level 1 seller: A seller who has completed ten high-rated gigs + had a Fiverr account for at least 60 days.
- Level 2 seller: A seller who has completed 50 high-rated gigs + had a Fiverr account for at least 120 days.
- Top-rated seller: A seller who completed 100 high-rated gigs + had a Fiverr account for at least 180 days.
While Fiverr has a simpler subscription model, it is also cheaper for beginners. On the hand, Upwork has a complex subscription model and can be expensive for first timers. However, as you start earning more, Upwork tends to be inexpensive due to their inverted fee structure.
- You can make a free account with Upwork. Along with the account, you get ten free digital tokens called “connect”. Connects are used to apply for jobs.
- Once you spend the free “connects,” you’ll have to buy more. Here’s how much it costs:
- 10 connects = $1.50
- 20 connects = $3
- 40 connects = $6
- 60 connects = $9
- 80 connects = $12
- A “freelancer plus” membership comes with 80 connects and increases your visibility to buyers. It costs $14.99.
- Upwork also charges on every transaction in the following way:
- Up to the first $500, Upwork takes a 20% cut.
- From $500 to $10,000, every transaction will cost you 10% of the billed amount.
- For every transaction above $10,000, Upwork only takes a 5% cut.
- Upwork waives all platform charges if you participate in the Upwork Payroll service.
- Fiverr has a much simpler model. There are no platform charges on signing up and no concept of digital tokens.
- However, Fiverr takes a 20% cut for every transaction, regardless of the amount.
- There is a $10,000 project cap.
3. Which Platform Is Good For Long-Term Gigs?
- Upwork usually has projects that are consistent and long-term in nature.
- You can set milestones for long-term projects while applying for the job.
- If you’re looking for short-term projects that are paid on a per-project or a per-hour basis, Fiverr is a good option.
- The gig model in Fiverr isn’t structured to support ongoing work.
Due to the simpler fee structure and cheaper rates, Fiverr is ideal for beginners.
- Upwork has a model in which freelancers approach clients when they post jobs. Clients tend to favor the more experienced freelancer out of the lot. This makes it hard for newbies to be part of the game.
- Moreover, Upwork charges beginners with a higher commission (20% of the billed amount until the first $500).
- Beginners will have to spend a lot on “connect”- Upwork’s digital token.
- Fiverr has a freelancer-centric model. Here, freelancers post their services and wait until clients approach them.
- Although Fiverr categorizes freelancers into different tiers, even beginners can sell their services depending on how good their profile and portfolio are.
- Fiverr has no concept of digital tokens. Therefore, there are no additional listing fees.
While both Upwork and Fiverr are secure platforms with 24/7 customer support, there are a few differences in how they work.
- As a freelancer on Upwork, you can see your client’s transaction history. It lets you make better decisions when it comes to choosing your client.
- Rejecting an order does not affect your profile in any way.
- On Fiverr, you don’t see your client’s transaction history. It makes choosing the client slightly tricky.
- Moreover, if you cancel an order, it might affect your completion rate.
|Cost||Sliding scale: < $500: 20% commission$500 to $10,000: 10% commission> $10,000: 5% commission||Flat 20% commission for all transactions.|
|Gig Length||For long term gigs.||For short term gigs.|
|Experience||Ideal for experienced freelancers||Ideal for beginners|
|Security||Shows transaction history of clients||Doesn’t show transaction history of clients.|
Both Upwork and Fiverr have a fair share of pros and cons. While Fiverr is ideal for beginners, Upwork is great for long-term opportunities. Upwork costs higher initially, but in the long run it is cheaper than Fiverr. On the other hand, Fiverr has no concept of digital tokens, but charges a uniform fee for both newbies and oldies.
Your choice between the 2 platforms should depend on the kind of projects you want to take up and the experience that you have.