she applying the ALL CAPS because she is frustrated beyond belief as to the ridiculousness of what is continually being implemented on this platform. I stated this before in my replies to "support" (and I use that lightly), this is not a hobby for most of us. This is serious. The modifications and policy changes directly affect our ROI, and livelyhoods. So I think the use of ALL CAPS is warranted.
EXACTLY!!!! I'm a top pro here and there's not a single TT support person who has not looked at my work and told me it's gorgeous, and complemented me for my professionalism, follow-up, and excellent profile... yet, I still sit here freaking over not getting work, and not getting high enough paying work. I literally work 7 days a week, 10-18 hour days for way way way less than minimum wage, to do enough work to survive - yet my monthly bills are more than my income. I pull all-nighters to keep up. I have no time to get on my website and fix things to bring it up to date. No time to work ON my business, only in it. I'm on the hamster wheel trying to survive and TT keeps knocking the pros down, knocking the pros down. SUPPORT US IN DOING OUR BEST WORK AT INDUSTRY STANDARD RATES!!!!!!! The more we're beaten down, the WORSE it is for the clients! TT is making this a WORSE client experience, not a better one! There is no one trying harder and doing better - I'm in the top ONE PERCENT of pros - so if I'm suffering, how on Earth are the others keeping it together??? This is my livelyhood! No one is supporting me - I'm fending for myself and trying to thrive by doing everything right, providing an amazing client experince, top notch service, and beautiful imagery! There isn't anything MORE I can do. I'm doing it every day 12 hours a day for 4.5 years and something's go to give! TT has to do something to help us thrive! PLEASE!!! Help us!!!
I wanted to follow up with some context on why we're making this change:
Also, I just want to clarify that these changes won't affect all categories. Here are the categories that will be affected:
Aerial Photography, Boudoir Photography, Commercial Photography, Engagement Photography, Headshot Photography, Pet Photography, Portrait Photography, Nature Photography, Real Estate and Architectural Photography, Sports Photography, Wedding and Event Photography, Audio Recording, Candy Buffet Services, Comedy Entertainment, Dog Grooming, Face Painting, Food Truck or Cart Services, Furniture Repair, Motivational Speaking, Personal Chef, Private Cooking Lessons, Private Swim Lessons, Test Prep Services , Video Editing, Video Production, Video Streaming and Webcasting Services, Bridal Stylist, Wedding Planning, Wedding and Event Catering, Wedding and Event Decorating, Wedding and Event Venue Rental, Wedding and Event Videography
Thanks for raising this, and have a great weekend!!
I totally get what you are saying but since we are charged when a customer contacts us how will the fees be determined now? Sometimes I do a catering job for 100 people that only want burgers @ $8 per person rather than catering for 100 people that want plated service @ $30 per person. So now I'm afraid to bid either of the jobs because I don't have a clue what the bid is going to cost me if the customer contacts me. I sure don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" but it's really hard for me to do business through Thumbtack. Sure I have picked up some jobs but at the same time I have paid $50+ for a customer that never really had any intention of hiring a catering company.
@JasonB so you'll set it up to refund us when we quote a job and their budget is 1/10th our normal rates? If that's not the case, then you can bet I won't be gambling with TT anymore. This is how I see things working:
Client: Needs Wedding Photographer
I send over a list of questions to find out what exactly they need (since thumbtack doesn't get enough info from REAL leads) including my base rate of $1,800
I send another message asking about their wedding, what they are looking for, etc.
Client: We can only afford paying $300 for 6 hours of coverage plus album, plus second shooter, plus engagements
I send a message stating that those services would cost around $2,500
Now I could arguably petition for a refund of my money and fight TT (which I likely wouldn't get). I'd be happier knowing ahead of time they couldn't afford me so I wouldn't waste anyone's time.
Here is what I think:
MY CAPS, EXCLAMATION POINTS AND REPEATING INDICATE THE OUTRAGOUS LEVEL OF UPSET I HAVE WITH THESE CHANGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TT IS KILLING ANY CHANCE OF GETTING WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My TT prices are SEVERELY discounted from my normal pricing. I have to do that BECAUSE I'M COMPETING AGAINST FOURTEEN OTHERS!!!!!!!! So, I look at their budget and determine what I CAN do for the amount they want to spend. Then I stand an actual chance at getting the job! If I bid my normal numbers on every job, I would only get about 10% of my current amount of jobs!
Additionally, I pass on 75% of the requests because they have impossible budgets! So TT's new greed concept is to make us bid on that 75% so that TT can earn 4x the amount of money! Between auto bidding, hiding the cost of bidding, and now removing budgets, TT has now found a way to TRIPLE the amount of bidders and QUADROUPLE the amount of income from those bidding. Factor in that the cost of bidding has doubled to tripled, so now TT has brillinatly managed to increase their income, per request, to 24-36x what they earned before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it's actually about double that, because before, when we manually bid, there weren't always four other bidders! Often I was the only bidder on the job, and usually there were 2-3 others, and sometimes the full 5. So, the bean-counters found a BRILLIANT way to increase income on a request by 48 - 108 TIMES what they made before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at the numbers at both ends of ultimate potential:
Previously - I was only bidder and TT made $5 off that lead, and I passed on the next 4 because they had impossible budgets. So 5 leads, one bid, TT earns $5.
Now - Everyone bids on everything, whether autobidding or manually (because we now have no clue on budget so bid where we wouldn't). 15 people bid on one job and pay $15 per contact = $225. 15 people also bid on the next 4 that they would have skipped before. 5 jobs X $225 per = $1125 to TT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, now that TT has figured out the golden jackpot that the new system takes them from earning potentially only $5 per request, and they can now potentially make TWELVE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS per request, do you really think that they are going to change anything to make it good for us? If 225 pros drop out of the system for every one that stays, they're still making money, and they cut costs by having less pros to handle. That means less customer service reps, etc. It's all about the money and extracting the most they can out of every lead. It's "good business" when it's the accounting dep't making the decisions, but what it costs in terms of detriment to the pros is unfathomable! Desperate carnage everywhere!
Sure, as a business person I want to get every dollar from a customer that I can, but at a level of comfort for them! If they see the value in what I provide for them and they have the money to spend, sure a $3000 album is a great sale! But, if it means they can't make their next mortgage and car payment, NO!!!!!! I would never put them in that position! AND THAT'S WHY BIDDING WITHOUT BUDGETS DOESN'T WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I customize EVERY bid to their budget! YES, there ARE clients who say the budget is $100-$150 and I bid $150, do the session and then make a $1500 sale to them later. But at the time they put in the bid, they had no idea that they would see a $1500 value in their portraits! When they see the gorgeous images, they want them, and are willing to pay for them! But if I bid $1500 on their initial request, there's not a chance on Earth that I'd get the job!!!!!
The only reason I take the $150 jobs is because of the potential for upsell later. But dropping my prices this year to $150 on all the jobs that I was bidding $295 last year, means that I'm now $9000 down in sales this year because I've lost $145 on each of those jobs! And the math works because $9000 at $145 less per sitting = 66 clients. Last year I did 86 jobs. I stated earlier that 3/4 of my jobs are going at half my normal rate. Well, guess what? The math I just did here indicates that 76.7% of my jobs have had the session fee cut in half!!!!
So, what am I supposed to do? Bid $150 on every session and when people actually have a $295 or $395 budget I won't know that, so I'll be discounting for by 50%-62% when I don't have to!!!!!!!!! THIS IS AN ENOURMOUS CHUNK OF EARNINGS TO LOSE!!!!
Yes, they're unrealistic about the price of photography, but at least we know how much they have to spend!!!!
NO, we can't EARN MORE!!!!!!!!!! We scare them off with real world prices and eliminate any chance of getting the budget customer by tweaking a package to make it fit them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I don't initially LAND the job, there IS NO OPPORTUNITY FOR UPSELLING!!!!
My entire TT plan works because I get them in for the $150 or $295, or $395 session and then I upsell them more later! At $150 with no upsell, the job is a LOSER for me because my overhead is closer to $200 to have someone sit. So I don't make money until after their session, when they buy more images, books, albums, etc. So you're completely right about the upsell, but when the client is just comparing prices when you have 3 pros and a dozen amature shoot-n-burners bidding, then we pros are forced to drop our price to get anything. So, if that's not bad enough, now to not have any guideline whatsoever to go by when pricing to hit them at what they think it should cost... ??? YOU'RE KILLING US!