Thank you for your message, but I guess you didn't read mine since I was replying to Michelle's post.
- You don't want users to set a budget, because "WE MAY RIP THEM OFF (?), but you want US to give you a weekly budget......
- You want us to work with "Price Packages" but you are no longer offering packages to us....
You are not treating us as your CLIENTS, you think users are your clients, but WE pay the bills.
Hi everybody -
Quick update here. We have been analyzing the results of tests we had running in Food Truck or Cart Services, Wedding and Event Videography, Portrait Photography, and Personal Chef. Early results are mostly positive but not entirely clear yet. If you are active in any of these categories, we would love to hear your thoughts! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for ways we could improve the questions (e.g., wording, answer options, other).
To keep things moving forward, we are launching two additional customer budget test questions - one in Wedding and Event Catering and the other in Wedding and Event Photography. They are going live tonight. Again, feedback would be great. Just email us.
Additionally - if any of you would like to talk with me about this situation, or anything else Thumbtack/Events-related, I'd love to connect. You can book a time on my calendar here: https://mtandler.youcanbook.me/
Thanks again for all the feedback, and have a great weekend!
Category Manager, Events
I don't know how many times I will have to write the same feedback over and over. I sent in a very thorough response regarding how the budget question should be handled. In a nutshell - LET THE CUSTOMER INPUT THEIR OWN, UNTAINTED PRICE! I've always detested the inane, unrealistic budget options that had nothing to do with real world pricing. I'm glad they are finally gone - I've been begging for 4.5 years to get them fixed. Instead, TT ripped out the budget question altogether! Thank you for working on a way to realistically put it back. JUST LET THE CLIENT TELL US WHAT THEIR BUDGET IS! Dont make suggestions, and don't let it be an optional question. It needs to be a mandatory question that requires a dollar amount. You can also make it a two-part question: Minimum budget & Maximum budget. It's a very legit question. Go on any real estate site and you will see the very same question for the price range they are looking for in houses. TT is trying to make the site function in the same way as a Zillow, by putting in various parameters of client desires. Then follow through with it all the way and ask the minimum and maximum budget question. This will enable pros to know what type of client it is and therefore create a package that works for them. A realtor wouldn't show a $200k famliy a house in a million $ neighborhood. How would you know what client to bring to what neighborhood? I don't want to quote a $3000 package to a $200 client, as much as I don't want to quote a $200 package to a $3000 client!
And this just happened! Someone put in a 2nd request because they got nothing but lowball garbage for their wedding photography request. They were ticked off and said they wanted real #s from legit people that can actually do the job! The WANTED to spend more money, but no one was servicing them right because no one had any clue what this person's budget was!
LET THE CLIENT INSERT THEIR OWN IDEA OF BUDGET, WITHOUT BEING TAINTED BY TT'S VERSION OF WHAT TT UNREALISTICALLYT THINKS IT SHOULD BE!!! TT doesn't even have price options that reach anywhere near what people are willing to spend! I'm forced to cut my price to $150 to compete, where I'd normally charge $295 or $395. Then I get hired and the person might spend another hundred, thousand, or even $3000+ more!!! TT doesn't even have portrait categories in those ranges!!! But guess what, all throughout the country there are people doing $3000 portrait sessions! That's what real world pricing is like! That's what people spend! PHOTOGRAPHY IS CUSTOM COMMISSIONED ONE-OF-A-KIND ART - NOT A COMMODITY!!! But you'd never know that based on the inane budget opetions TT provided, so PLEASE DO NOT GO BACK TO THOSE RIDICULOUS NUMBERS!!!
Yes, I have seen some requests come through with budget amounts written in. VERY HELPFUL! I immediately knew exactly how to respond in each case and felt great and confident with my bid decisions!!! It was a massive relief in pressure and my actions were 100% appropriate to each request. I felt like I had some control again, shooting with laser precision, instead of randomly throwing something in the air!
@DefiningImageryMy revenue got hit hard like really hard as they took out the budget option. I have officially stopped using TT as they really don't care about people who believe in providing quality service.
It is very sad to see that once a proven business model where everyone was happy has been changed so much that now the pros are getting screwed and they want to make sure Customers are happy.
News flash Pros are your customers listen to us.
The entertaining part is we constantly hear from the Moderators that these changes are based on Pros but not a single pro who gave the feedback showed up here, I guess they are too busy making millions of dollar that they don't have a second to come out and explain how this system is profitable for them.
@BNG1 It stinks to hear that you feel that we don't care about people who believe in providing a quality service. When customers come to us, we want them to get connected to the best professional possible to get the job done.
A lot of the changes and updates we make are based on pro and customer feedback and we value everyone's suggestions. Take the budget question for example. Yes, we did take it away for some categories and a lot of pros were frustrated about it. After taking everyone's feedback, we realized that something needed to be done. You can see here that Michelle, one of our category managers, gave some insight on the change and announced that we're going to test out some new budget questions to see what works. You're all being heard, that is something I can promise.
@Meckell The budget option for my business categories were taken away in early 2017. I have been expressing my concerns since but no one cared, now you did the same thing for Photographers and other major business categories and all hell broke, now it's being noticed?
That pretty much proves my point. if the entire community is not suffering don't bother. let the small categories business suffer.
You just get hurt by reading these comments imagine how Pros like me would be feeling, experiencing and suffering, what they had to do for ends meet?
My business got hit by 60% of revenue just by you taking out the budget option and increasing the competition from 5 to 15. Now TT wants to charge me $75 to quote for 1 job from 10 jobs So not only I will earn less but I will spend more practically losing money.
And in case if you don't know, I provide photobooth services where average jobs are $500 for 3 hours of service and I have to spend $75 to quote on a job. That is 15% of my revenue to quote for a job not to book just to quote.
Not only do I need to discount the price to get consider but now I have to fight against 10 more Pros so my hiring % drops to practically none.
No pro requested any of these changes. No pro wants to bid against 14 others, instead of 2 or 3. No pro wants to pay triple or quadrouple - in fact, it appears that I, nor any other pro, will be able to bid on event photography any more because they are coming in with a $62 fee if the client responds!
My recent stats came in - I bid on 92 jobs, paid for 6 people who contacted me, and there were no hires. So, if I have to have 10-15 paid conversations to get hired once (because apparently speaking to 6 people was not sufficient to get me hired!), that means that I would have to pay approx $800 in bidding fees in order to get hired for one job.
My overhead (all expensed to keep my business open - insurance, electric, gear, rent, car, gas, supplies, etc.) per client is $150, and that doesn't include paying myself for labor. That's just a dead even paying the overhead. So, an event job with a budget of $950 or less, means I've paid more money out of my pocket than the job is paying me. I need to be paid a minumum of $200 an hour for shooting time, because that shooting time results in several hours of post production work. That means that if I charge $200 an hour, it needs to be a 5 hour event just to recoup my expenses occurred in getting hired for the job. In order for me to then cover the 25 hours of labor involved in producing the job, I would have to double my rates to $400 per event hour to cover my labor. That means that I would have to bid event jobs at MORE THAN $2000, which is pretty interesting because the ridiculous budget options only go up to $2000 (which is actually only half the average wedding photography price!)
If pros can't bid, TT doesn't get paid. So someone needs to immediatly get that insane $62 fee off of event photography or the category will no longer be serviced by pros. And this is apparently just an example of ONE category of request. From what pros have said here, the same issue applies to many industries across the TT platform.
I am now forced to be unable to bid on this category, so I will have to rely on what categories allow me to earn more than I pay out to TT. I certainly will not be able to work for free and TT gets 100% - 300% of the profits. TT is not a charity and should not expect pros dig themselves deeper and deeper in debt for each bid submitted, with no hope of any return on investment.
Whether I like the new system or dislike the new system is utterly irrelevent when the math says that I can't be paid for my labor unless I am getting paid more than $2000 for any event. All emotions removed, and looked at from a logical, mathematical equation, no legit pro can bid on event photography requests when they have a fee of $62. As soon as any pro does the math, they will immedately stop bidding on event photography and then TT will no longer be able to make any profit off of that category. You simply cannot charge more in fees than the pro is able to collect from the client.