Spires is a platform designed by tutors for other experienced, independent tutors.
Given that Spires covers all subjects and levels of teaching, we understand that tutors with different specialisms, skills, knowledge and experience will command different tutoring rates.
Also, not all job requests are the same within a given subject/level of teaching so we needed to allow a lot of flexibility in job pricing. As such, we allow tutors to set their own rates on Spires via a bidding process on new jobs.
We trust that they will bid appropriately and sensibly in order to both be happy with their rate and our commission, as well as have some competitive pressure to actually win jobs at affordable prices for clients. Market economies exist for a reason - they tend to drive sensible outcomes.
Thus, Spires' jobs board is essentially an auction.
When a new job request is posted by a student or client, you can bid an hourly rate at which you will be willing to complete the job. Your bids will be converted into the currency of the region the client is in at a predetermined rate (dollars, euros, pounds etc). All of this information is displayed in the bidding window for you:
Bidding is competitive in that other tutors may also bid on the job and you will not see what other tutors bid until after the job is closed. This happens when either a tutor has been successfully hired, at which point you will be notified if you won the job by email, or if not, of the winning bid amount of the tutor that did.
You can also check past bids in the 'My Jobs' section of the 'Jobs' area on Spires to see more information on successful and unsuccessful bids relative to other tutors.
When you successfully win a job, Spires charges a % commission of the rate the client is paying. This is shown to you at the point of bidding for complete transparency.
*** Commission is essential to the proper functioning of the platform ***
The technology we offer isn't cheap (it's very expensive), our staff need to earn a basic living and in particular the marketing costs of gaining job requests on the platform are very high (far too high for any individual tutor to bare).
Commission is like tax, no one wants to pay it but if everyone stops then civil society stops and everything falls over.
It's an essential legal requirement on Spires, not voluntary. Like you, we provide a service and its is paid for through commission. Like you expect to be paid for your services, we do for ours. We work on getting you clients and providing well functioning technology at a reasonable cost, tutors then work on educating the students. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.
In return for the commission we charge to operate and maintain the system, the benefits we offer professional tutors are significant: flexible, well-paid and globally focussed work, reduced admin and travel time on tutoring, a stable source of client leads, free communications, storage and class recordings, and a raft of legal and safeguarding protections and indemnities.
*** The system relies on honesty and integrity ***
Entering into private arrangements to avoid commission is akin to digital shoplifting or tax evasion and will be treated us such by Spires.
Commission amounts can vary and are based on the origin of the client:
1. Spires jobs
All jobs coming directly from the Spires platform start at 25% commission. After that, we have designed the commission system to be competitive and to promote and reward tutors for their hard work, honesty and dedication. Commission drops by 1% for every 5 hours of tuition you complete on the job, down to a minimum of 20%.
2. External jobs
Jobs from external partners will have a different commissions. When bidding on a job it will be clearly displayed who posted the job and what the commission is. This will be fixed, it will not change based on the job length. It is typically 30%.
3. Students you Invite to Spires
In the 'My Jobs' section you will see a button that lets you 'Invite Client' to Spires.
Clicking this button will allow you to create you own job on Spires for your client:
Doing so will automatically create a Spires account for your student and will email them instructions on how to proceed.
*** Commission on students that you bring to Spires is fixed at 5% ***
This covers the payment fees and basic tech costs that we must pay. More information here.