This news is so frustrating. I am now paying around 6x to talk to a customer than what I did prior to the change in how fees were assessed. Worse, I don't know what I will pay until after the customer responds and then only if I log in and track down the charges.
Now we are being told that client budgets will not be visable. Thumbtack owns the search engine rankings with a deceptive heading reading "Top Ten _ in [your city]" Follow the link and next thing you know you've submitted a request for services--no top ten list to be found. This results in many requests from people who are just testing the waters not near ready to buy.
Bid requests are very limited in detail as it is. With the new system, you are making it evern worse and if the person responde with a follow up quote, we get charged $20? $30? (Who knows?).
Without seeing the budget and with very limited descriptions of the details of the project, it is becoming almost impossible to determine if the client is a serious buyer or not.
No question requests have decreased since the pricing changes and I am much more reluctant to bid on the one's that do come through as it is such an expensive gamble. Add in the fact that as a drone photographer, my services are highly regulated by geographical location and there are specific areas I can't serve and Thumbtack bids are no longer in my best intersests.
In another thread, "Marco" refers to people making bid requests as their customer. Your customers are the pros who pay for your service and without them your service dies.
Hope these changes are recognized as they failed attempt they are and you go back to serving your "customers" first.
I agree with everyone else that has been relying on Thumbtack to find clients, how can I possible provide a quote to someone without knowing what the clients budget is. If I overbid I will be ignored, and if I underbid I could either be ignored for being too cheap or miss out of making enough money to make the project worthwile.
This is truly a terrible decision made by Thumbtack that has upset most if not all of the pros that use it.
I hope it gets changed back soon.
Lately it seems that Thumbtack only seems to value the customers opinion. The only problem with that is that the Pro's are the ones paying for this service. I haven't seen one decision with the pros in mind. Instant Match? So now we can bid aginst 20 people instead of 5 and why was this change made? Because customers wanted more options. I honestly believe it was because thumbtack wanted more lead $ because this was not in our best interest. Now they are doing away with the budget range because they think customers dont have an idea of costs? BS. They did this because they want us pros to blindly bid. I'm sure they saw that we weren't bidding on the lesser jobs which probably affected their pockets so once you take that away, now we are back to blind bidding.
In what universe do people go into a situation looking to hire a professional with no budget range in mind? My first question to any client is "what's your budget?" Then I tailor my quote around that.
I have been loyal to thumbtack for years and have recommended their services to hundreds of people. This is another slap in the face.
I would suggest the following to all the pros out there outraged by this latest change:
1. Keep complaining..(call, write, text, whatever...maybe they'll listen)2. Stop bidding. Obviously they seem to only be concerned with their pockets and since we, the professionals, are their source of income, maybe they'll listen.
Please start listening to the pros, i've enjoyed using thumbtack for years and it has truly helped with building my business but myself and the hundreds of others on here don't want this latest "no more budget range" change.
JasonB please show me where pros were complaining about seeing a potential clients budget range. Because the decision to omit that question has hurt a lot of pros like myself. If thumbtack really values it's pros (and they should) then bring that back. If customers have no idea of cost, they can easily go online and ask "what's the average cost of..." At least seeing a customers budget range gave me a better option whether to bid or not. I believe this change was made with the customer in mind, not the pro. If you don't believe me, simply go on the community board and look at how many of us pros are outraged over this latest change. Please do what's right and bring the budget range prompt back.
I totally agree. My company does high end video production. If I can't see what the client expects to spend (and almost always they are in a dream world) then I'm not going to spend money to bid on their job. How can this be good for ThumbTack?
There has to be a way to differentiate between the mom & pop shop that wants a web video shot with an iPhone and a client who needs a serious promotional piece. The problem is very often clients are unable to or just don't articulate their expectations. This is a real problem for many professionals here. Would love to hear if others have sorted out a way to work with this new environment. If not I'm not likely to be using ThumbTack going forward.
What happened to the "budget" line item in the request for jobs.
I used to see how much the client was willing to spend, now that info is gone.
I am definately on board with all of the comments here. If I was to go to shop for vehicles for example, one of the questions that the car salesman would ask is "What is your Budget"? This is a common question asked in many professions so they can quickly decide which product or service is the "best fit" for their needs.
OK... Now that I have said that, we have a set price range for our Photograly service. Does it seem fair to first of all pay for a quote that we likely will not get a booking from and second of all, send information to a potiential customer that they have no interest in.
Lastly, Lets say that a customer wants to pay 1500.00 for a wedding package. Without seeing the budget, we may send a "cut price" of 750.00 to book the date. If they go with us, we have just lost the potiental of 1500.00 package!!
Bad Bad Move in my opinion.
I absolutely flipped out, so upset that budgets were removed. However, I've been screaming from the mountaintops for over four years, telling TT that their budget options were utterly inane and had nothing to do with real world pricing. So, let's take a new perspective on this and see if it could in any way play to our advantage...
Ms. Smith comes onto TT looking for a photographer. She's not really sure what it might cost.. She knows that historically, photographers are expensive and that people pay thousands of dollars for wedding photographers. She doesn't know what to expect, but she thinks, "It probably won't be cheap.". Then she goes to put in a request (or, very likely, got sucked down the rabbit hole and didn't even realize she was putting in an actually request when she stumbled into TT's interface after clicking on a Google result - as I've heard exactly that from TT clients!!!) So, she's bracing herself for the numbers, and then she sees that she can have one for under $250, or $250-500, or $500-1000, or $1000-$1500 - and then I begged and pleaded to add more, so they added $2000+.
Well, that's AAAAHHHMAAAYZING! I can get a wedding photographer well under $500. Yay! Well, Ms Smith, you can get a person with a camera that wants to be a photographer, but you can't get a professional photographer for that!
Had TT not put those insane numbers there, would anyone think they could get one that cheap? But sure enough... the TT link they clicked in Google clearly said "Affordable Photographers", and by golly they really are! So, TT was poisoning them with cheap thoughts, and the client would pick these insand options, and real photographers would either not bid, or bid as low as they could possibly go, because they need to eat and somehting is better than nothing.
Now, TT isn't pre-poisoning their minds with inane expectations! So, we photographers are bidding the jobs more in line with where they should be priced - albieit still low because where bidding against FOURTEEN OTHERS.
Instead of the client now seeing 14 equally inane lowball bids from shoot-n-burn amateurs doing side jobs - who haven't a clue how to actually price themselves, Ms Smith now sees an array of bids from $200 - $2000 or more. She's got to think that there must be some difference in quality or something if some are so low and some are so high.
With showing the bids, we were forced to bid low. Without them, maybe we stand the chance of the client having an unpolluted mind - HOWEVER..... IS THE CLIENT STILL BEING OFFERED BUDGETS OPTIONS, BUT TT IS JUST NOT SHOWING US THE OPTIONS?????
That is a HUGE difference!!!!! Moderators, please tell me if any budget questions are now asked, or if any guides are given on pricing ranges - as they were inanely given before.
THE AVERAGE PRICE OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY NATIONALLY IS $3,500 AND IN NY IT IS $3800. There were no categories that even reached the typical wedding photography cost!
If ALL mention of prices or budgets has been removed from the client experience, then this could be a VERY good thing, because TT is clueless about pricing, and was severely limiting our abiity to make money.
I know factually that TT was skewing down what they are willing to pay for sessions, because time and time again, after they pay only $195 or $295 for a session, they end up spending 5-10x that on their additional image purchases from that session. So, you cannot convice me that those clients weren't expecting to pay more before TT offered them ridiculously cheap budget options.
Someboding coming in, thinking they'll be paying $500 for a session, suddenly sees a $100-150 option and says, "Wow, photography got cheap! I thought this would be expensive!"
BID WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE BIDDING! This is the time to experiment and see if we can drive the prices back up to where they should be! The industry is hurting because of this ridiculous pricing by amateurs and newbies who don't know what they're supposed to be charging. So, let's get this back on track!
But again, IT WILL ONLY WORK IF TT MAKES NO MENTION OF PRICING OR BUDGETS AT ALL! So, moderators, my question needs addressing - what does the client see?