Purchasing a Consultation in Project Catalog™

When you need expert advice or help planning a project’s scope, a consultation with a professional is a great place to start.

Finding a consultant

By consultant

If talent offers consultations, you’ll see it on their profile. You’ll see the topics of expertise they can discuss and how much they charge per 30 minutes.

By browsing Project Catalog

You can shop on Project Catalog by browsing categories or by entering what you want in the search bar. You can use the available search filters to narrow your search.

Choosing a consultation

For each consultation project, you’ll be able to see details about what the consulting freelancer offers and the price per 30 minutes. You’ll also see what documents they provide after the consultation. These may include a project plan, time and cost estimate, meeting summary, or a combination of those.

Booking a consultation

Once you’ve found someone you want to meet with, here’s how to book:

  1. Create an account if you don’t already have one
  2. Schedule a consultation from available times on the consultant’s calendar
  3. Proceed to checkout
  4. Enter a payment method or choose your existing payment method
  5. Confirm and fund
  6. Send the consultant’s required information within 24 hours

You’ll see what information the consultant needs from you to complete the consultation when you’re booking. This may include your website, explaining your business, explaining what you need from the consultation, or other information that the consultant needs to prepare to help you.

You’ll have to submit that information for the consultation to move forward after purchase, so you’ll want to be sure that you can provide what the consultant requires. (If you’re unable to submit the requirements within 24 hours after purchase, we’ll automatically cancel the project.)

After you book

Once you submit the consultant’s requirements, they’ll review them. If they find they aren’t able to help you with what you need, they’ll cancel and you’ll get your money back.

You’ll get a new virtual work space called a workroom — a page we create specifically for your consultation. It will track whether you’ve submitted the requirements, show the time and date of the meeting, and show the follow up after the meeting. You can message your consultant from the workroom. You can also view past messages and documents that you and your consultant have submitted here.

You can reschedule or cancel your consultation up to 24 hours before the meeting and we’ll refund your money. However, if you cancel within 24 hours of the meeting or don’t show up to the meeting, we won’t refund the money and we’ll send your payment to the consultant.

After the consultation

After your meeting, the consultant will send you the documents they offered in their consultation description. We’ll let you know when the freelancer completes that step. From there, you can review the documents and approve payment to the consultant.

If you and the freelancer agree that you don’t need any follow-up documents after the meeting, you’ll have the option to go ahead and approve and pay. However, if you opt out of receiving these documents, you’ll also be asked at that time to agree not to file a dispute of payment on the consultation. Without documents, we wouldn’t have any way to review and settle a dispute.


Frequently Asked Questions

When can I buy a consultation project?

We’re making consultations available to a small number of clients in late February or early March. We plan to make this feature available for purchase for everyone later this year.

How do I purchase a consultation project?

Once you’ve picked a consultation you want, here’s how to book:

  1. Create an account if you don’t already have one
  2. Schedule a consultation from available times on the consultant’s calendar
  3. Proceed to checkout
  4. Enter a payment method or choose your existing payment method
  5. Confirm and fund
  6. Send the consultant’s requirements within 24 hours
Why did Upwork cancel my project?

We’ll cancel your project if you don’t share mandatory requirements with your consultant within 24 hours. Your consultant uses this information to learn what you want to talk about. Without it, they may not have time to prepare or the right background information to know how they can help you.

How does Upwork investigate no-shows?

Once you file a dispute, our dispute team will review what happened through our current dispute and refund process. They will take into consideration that the no-show was the reason for a refund request.

What happens if I didn't get any value from the meeting? Can I request a refund?

You can request a refund from the consultant. If they reject your request, you can file a dispute. However, the consultant will also have the opportunity to show what they provided. Since value is subjective, we encourage you to work this out with the consultant and provide feedback about your experience.

What happens if the consultant is late or doesn’t show up?

Please wait at least 5 minutes. If the consultant is more than 5 minutes late, you can consider them a no-show and request a full refund, either by asking the consultant or filing a dispute.

What happens if I’m running late?

If you’re more than 5 minutes late, the consultant can consider you a no-show. They’ll still get paid even though you didn’t attend the meeting.

What policies are consultants and clients expected to follow?

Please see this support article for guidelines.

Can I still file a dispute if I choose to approve and pay a consultation without receiving documents?

No, when you choose to approve and pay without receiving documents, you’re also agreeing that you won’t file a dispute on the consultation payment. Without documents, we wouldn’t have a way to review and settle the dispute.

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