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Most undeserving pay for a gig

I woke up today and saw an alert for an new order placed.

Going in, I saw it was for the $5 gig which I have mentioned it is for only 1 hour of work. The buyer has given 2 pdf that has a table of four rows spanning 100 pages and 85 pages in both the pdf.

I can’t use the formula in Excel to separate it as this isn’t formatted as a table in the pdf. Copying them makes them unformatted and scattered all over.

The buyer isn’t responding to any message where I said them the gig is only for 1 hour of work and this pdf’s have 185 pages of tabled text.

I don’t want to cancel it as it affects my rating.

Has anyone gone through this type of problem in the past?


No. I don’t think anyone has gone through this problem, you are the first one. How do you measure what 1 hours worth of work is? If you say you will drive a car for 1 hour and then I pay you to go 1000km, I expect you to forget about using the brakes and drive 1000km/h or better. This is a problem you brought on yourself.


When I first created the gig I assumed an hour of work to be standard as sometimes 100 pages of table cleanup or formatting could be done with an Excel formula within 10-15 minutes.

All previous buyers have contacted me before placing the order except this one.

This pdf is poorly formatted even copy a text, pastes back as like

how are
you doing

instead of “hello how are you doing”

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If you could the work in 10-15 minutes using formulas how does that sum up to be 1 hour of work? What you were getting from your previous buyers was simple work that didn’t require you to break sweat. What you have gotten from your current buyer is the true definition of work that requires 1hr of your time. Now you have 2 options

  1. Do the work
  2. Cancel the work and state you couldn’t do it.

Does your argument make any sense to the initial post? What are you trying to achieve in it?

I said it requires a standard 100 page which I was referring to “formatting” takes around 10-15 minutes.

The option is for 1 hour of work (max). Not every buyer ask for the same formatting which require a couple of minutes. The previous table transcribing task I worked for, the buyer estimated 4 hours and made the order which I completed in 3 hr 20 min and even informed the buyer

As a buyer, how would I estimate how long a job’s going to take?

I’ve visited what may be the relevant gig on your profile - as a non-specialist who might use your sort of service, I’d be at a loss to know which package to order. Your gig doesn’t mention the number of hours either.

Might be a good idea to have a look at your gig description etc. - it may not be entirely the buyer’s fault? :wink:


Thank you for the input. The concerned gig is

I have stated it to be an hours work.

It is difficult to mention it. Even if I didn’t mention a hour work for a gig, the buyer would have done the same.

In the past I had done cleaning up 1500 columns of data with multiple rows within 30 minutes which was for a gig. Had it been a poorly formatted pdf, it was taken a minimum of 2-3 hours. It is up to the buyer to assume what is fair.

And to make it clear. I didn’t complain here. I just shared to see if some others too have gone through in similar situations.

Thank you for posting the link - I can see the hours of work listed now, but I’m still not sure how a buyer could estimate how long it’s going to take you to complete the task.

I still wouldn’t know what a fair amount of time would be.

Maybe you could put more into your description to help your buyers work out which package is the most suitable for them?

You’ve got 2 choices for your current problem:

  1. Ask for a mutual cancellation
  2. Ask for a time extension to complete the work - you could ask the buyer to spend more money if you wanted.

Good luck! :sunny:


Thank you

I didn’t want to cancel so I sent a message to the buyer but I didn’t get any response. Its been nearly 6 hours since the order.

The time is enough but the thing is I will have to dedicate around 8-10 hours to it. As there are hundreds of words in a page spanning 185 pages.

Thanks again

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Cancel it.
If you honour such deliveries, you make these buyers way easy to spam with more such orders.
You will end up wasting your time.


What about doing an hour of work (is there a way to make it trackable? Just a thought.) and submitting it to the buyer. They will get exactly what they paid for according to the gig description. You’ve also messaged them to let them know the issue, and they’ll be able to see how much you can do with their material in one hour… It might also let you both estimate the total cost of finishing their full project.

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Do you have the possibility to use a word count of some sort? If it’s not something that can be covered by the gig then you might get this type of issues more often. For now, I would cancel the order through the resolution center as it’s not worth your time (I presume).

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Send a custom extra asking for more money, or cancel the order.

If you do not hear from them soon ask customer support to cancel it since you can’t do it for $5.


I am at page 15/185 and currently at 1452 words after formatting them from the pdf

Thank you

Will sort out with a fair price once I get a reply from the buyer

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I think it is best that we put specific details or measurement on our gigs so that the buyers will also be guided accordingly. Honestly, if I am the buyer even if my work would take a day I will still choose the cheapest price and expect the seller to do a miracle and finish it in the shortest time possible.

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If $5 = 1 hr of work which = 100 excel pages, then it would be a good idea to state that in the package description. Or maybe use pdf pages as your reference (I will format 100 pdf pages into excel tables for this amount of money) or something specific like that. That way buyers will have a better grasp on what the difference between each package is. Right now, it reads as if you would do the same amount of work for $5 as you do for $15, and if I was a clueless buyer, of course I would go for the cheapest package.


Thanks for your input. I will look into it and make the necessary changes.

As for 100 pages. Not all pdf’s are properly formatted as a table to make life easy. The current gig I am into, claims to be a table but only a line separates each column with no lines between rows. The problem is sometimes there are sentences which makes it difficult for me to insert a formula to separate all.