vWorker - Bidding, Client Interaction and Project Award Policies and Mechanisms
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Bidding Process and Policies
Bidding on vWorker is a simple and convenient affair. As I just said, a contractor can fill out a bid right from the project detail page, which both saves time and allows the proposal to be written with the requirements in clear view. There’s a spot to enter a bid, a large box for a proposal, and you can also upload an attachment if relevant to the bid.
vWorker charges no fees for bidding, and has no limitations on the number of bids a contractor can place. They are the only site that operates this way, and I guess it works for them, but frankly, I’m surprised they don’t have problems with certain providers posting excessive numbers of bids. The site warns users right next to the proposal box not to spam or otherwise violate the site’s terms of service, but I really wonder how they enforce this, and also how many junk bids clients receive from contractors who “shotgun” to try to get work.
Pre-bid questions are submitted using the same form: if you don’t enter a numeric bid, the entry in the large box is sent as a comment or question instead of a proposal. There is of course no charge to do this (since bids are also free), which is important for serious freelancers who may have questions before putting in a formal proposal.
vWorker prohibits advance payments and warns freelancers clearly that they risk disciplinary action if they try to ask a client for funds before work is done. Somewhat conversely, contractors are also not allowed to offer to do work for free, and again, the site indicates this plainly right on the page.
vWorker uses exclusively closed bidding, with all proposal details hidden; not even an average bid is shown. The company states that this policy is intended to help reduce the tendency of contractors to underbid each other, driving down project value, and in my opinion they are correct. If you load up a project that has already been awarded, though, the value of the winning bid is shown.
There is no public message board on vWorker. Clients can send out “broadcast” messages to everyone who has bid on a project, but contractors cannot post in a common area where everyone will see the messages. There is a chat room for real time group communication, but I almost never see it used: given the variability of freelancer schedules, a real-time chat isn’t well-suited to group interaction.
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