Thumbtack should charge Pros for job wins.
I think the current platform has ZERO incentive for Thumbtack to see the customer hire a Pro. Pros are Promoted. Pros that manually bid are contacted. Thumbtack makes their money. Anything after this is meaningless from Thumbtack's financial point of view.
I would suggest something like knocking all prices down by 10% and then charge the winning Pro 20% of the individual bid price.
As an example, let's say a bid is $10 for a $250 service job and the average number of Pros bidding is 4. Thumbtack would make $36 (4 x $9) on the 4 bids instead of $40 (4 x $10). Then Thumbtack would charge an additional $7.20 (20% of $36) from the winning Pro. That Pro would be charged a total of $16.20 and the 3 other pros would have been charged $9 each. So the total Thumbtack would make would be $43.20 rather than $40 under the current system.
Initial charges for bidding Pros: $9 each
Additional charge to winning Pro: $7.20
Total charges to winning Pro: $16.20
Total charges to all Pros for this job: $43.20
I'm not factoring in Promote discounts for this example, but I think a Promoted pro that wins should still be charged the 20% for winning. So a Promoted pro would get an even bigger discount for not winning a bid as compared to other non-Promote Pros that don't win the bid.
I think overall:
1) Thumbtack would make more money
2) Pros would be charged 10% less than they are now for non-winning bids
3) This creates an incentive for Thumbtack to be more HIRE focused rather than just Promote/bid focused.
4) Pros would get hired more and make more money.
5) Thumbtack's batting average goes up. Thumbtack increases its reputation as a good matchmaking service for customers and service professionals. Currently Thumbtack can make money on a post and have that customer walk away saying "Thumbtack doesn't work! I didn't find a Pro I liked." This is always going to happen, but it should happen less if Thumbtack is more hire focused.
@StoriesUpSTL as of right now there's not a super accurate way for us to know when a hire has actually taken place or once a job has been completed. We currently charge pros when a customer reaches out or responds. That's definitely an improvement to how things used to be when a pro would be charged for every quote that was sent. With that being said, we're always evolving and this feedback is super helpful for us to hear. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!
"as of right now there's not a super accurate way for us to know when a hire has actually taken place or once a job has been completed."
How can you say that? You have a mark yourself/pro as hired option and a project status update option. If these aren't accurate, then why do they exist?
@StoriesUpSTL we have seen pros mark themselves as hired and customers mark pros as hired when that actually wasn't the case. We aren't saying that this is the circumstance for every occasion, but it does happen. This could make things difficult if we ever do decide to charge the pro an additional fee once they're hired.
Ok, then how about a 2 step verification process? Both customer and Pro have to mark the Pro as hired to count as hired. Same for job completion.
The fact that you DON'T have a system in place that YOU trust for tracking hires and job completion data PROVES my point. Thumbtack just doesn't care about getting Pros hired. They only care about the introduction.
@StoriesUpSTL we do care about pros getting hired and customers finding the right pro for their project. However, you do pay us for the initial interaction and from there, it's up to you to converse with the customer and win them over. Of course, we're always wanting pros to find success and grow their business through Thumbtack.
Thanks again for all of your thoughts and feedback regarding this situation.