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Level 5

Too many Bidder's ?

Hi all Pros and thanks Thumbtack!

Ive been using Thumbtack for near 3 years, so I have some experience with the changes the program has been going through.

In the Home Improvement area (and likely others) Thumbtack use to list as many as 5 Pro's Bids per client inquiry. I thought that was actually too many.

Now Im seeing all of the clients getting around 11 to 15 Pro Bidder's !!

Just about everyone who uses the Internet to search for things does not like to look further down the Search Page through more than 3 research results. There are several reasons for this behavior and the reader has their own, but in the Thumbtack situation I see a few reasons that this is a big problem for us Pro's and the App;

1. Probably initially looks to the Client like the so called Pro's are all sitting on their couch in underwear and just dying for someone to finally contact them.

2. Most likely the Client is left feeling slammed, as the Auto Bid's and other Bidder's are auto loaded near instantly.

3. Competition is of course good but this situation seems too far into Confusion.

4. So overly Client-Side oriented that the situation appears to be designed to generally drive down the Pro's Pricing.

That all said, I can't think of a way to *fairly* limit the Pro Bidder's listed to the Client, except to just stop the Auto Bidding for atleast the Home Improvement category and just let the interested Bidder bid ASAP.

What do you think?



Occupations (1)
17 responses

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

I agree totally. They say these changes are designed for the Pros but it's obvious they no longer care about our opinions.
Level 4

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

Hi JHC! 

I noticed the same in my category (Illustration/Graphic Design). For mine, I felt 5 bidders was a fine amount: gives you variety without overwhelming a client. I noticed a couple of months ago they opened it to 8-10 bids and now the jobs are open to 15. Speaking as someone that sells art, is far, FAR too many.

 This is discussed by artists on a regular basis: offer clients a handful of options, and only pull out more if you are making no traction with their needs. If they have too many options, then it’s easier to just choose nothing. For the Illustration category for example, if you and every artist offers 6 samples, if you have 5 bids that’s 30 pieces of artwork to look at (assuming someone isn’t offering more samples). So now, we open it to 15 bidders. Again, assume they have 6 samples attached, so that’s 90 samples. As you mentioned, you get to the bottom 2/3 of results and they won’t even bother looking.

 I’ve also noted on the handful of jobs I’ve bid on, with all of those options, no ones being contacted which by extension means no ones being hired. And as much as I want the job, if NO ONE gets the job, that’s a tell on the system that probably needs some tweaks. Smiley Happy

  I’ve been very fortunate and gotten some amazing clients and work from this site, but currently it’s really not working well I feel. Options are great but too many options tends to overwhelm clients. 


Level 10

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

Hey @JHC and others,

Thanks for this comment.  I totally understand that showing more pros to customers is a big change.  For context, we actually made this decision after hearing from customers that they want to be able to view more pros, so that they can choose the pro that's right for them.  They're more likely to hire if they have more choice. 

Of course, we also want to make sure we're being fair to our pros, which is why we now only charge you if a customer actually contacts you; you're only charged if a customer actually reaches out and sends you a message.  This feels like the best way to create a better customer experience, while also continuing to do right by our pros.

For more information, check out the keynotes from our Self Made event a few weeks ago: 

Thanks again for weighing in! Keep the feedback coming!

Level 6

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

Marketers assume that the more choices they offer, the more likely customers will be able to find just the right thing. They assume, for instance, that offering 50 styles of jeans instead of two increases the chances that shoppers will find a pair they really like. Nevertheless, research now shows that there can be too much choice; when there is, consumers are less likely to buy anything at all, and if they do buy, they are less satisfied with their selection.  - Harvard Business Review

Jason I have sent the link below (excerpt above) to TT support on at least two occassions. As always, I'm told the information will be shared with those higher up the food chain. Like most of the people posting on this sight, I have seen no sign of that info getting to decision makers. Can you share with us how feedback is shared? Is there a single person you report to (what is their title/name)? Is it discussed in a meeting? What is the flow chart for feedback and who is the ultimate recipient? thanks


Level 10

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

Thanks for your note, @p19581.

We definitely agree that there is such a thing as too much choice, which is why we still cap the number of pros we'll show to customers.  Instead of always limiting customers to 5 pros, like we used to, we're now showing them up to 10 or 15 in some markets, and the results from this change have been positive.  Of course, this change also means that pros like you are getting in front of more customers.  And again, you're only getting charged when one of those customers takes the next step and reaches out.

When it comes to feedback, I can promise you that we take suggestions and comments from pros seriously.  We look at all of the feedback we get across all of our channels and look for common themes and recurring topics.  These highlights then get shared with our Product teams -- the teams that design and build the features you use every day.   We always look at pro feedback closely, because, at the end of the day, our #1 goal is to make sure you all are getting hired.  We're on your team.

Hope that helps to clarify.  Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Level 6

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

We look at all of the feedback we get across all of our channels and look for common themes and recurring topics.

Who is "we"? How do "we" "look". Is it in a meeting? Regularly scheduled meetings or ad hoc? I'm trying to get some insight into your process since none of us seem to be seeing any results.

Level 10

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

Hey @p19581,

There are whole teams of people focused on gathering and synthesizing pro feedback -- from Pro Marketing to User Research. Incorporating pro feedback into our plans and our vision for the future is a regular, ongoing process.  Of course, we can't promise to act on every piece of feedback from every individual pro.  But we always keep an ear to the ground.  It wouldn't make any sense for us not to!

Hope that helps!

Level 7

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

That’s interesting. A couple of years ago TTs research said the opposite.
Level 9

Re: Too many Bidder's ?

You’re number one goal is to get us hired?? Putting us up against 14 others? Please - please - let’s see some posts from the overwhelming number of pros that are being suggested here that are being successful on this new system. I want to know what they are doing. It took me about three months to figure out what worked best for me when I joined and since then I’ve been a Top Pro for 4 years. Now ? Bookings dropped off 99%. So all you Successful Pros with the new system - please post your stories. Tell us how awesome Instant Match has been for you. Tell us how your business has grown and how the triple price has not effected you because you have doubled your bookings. Please share your success stories. Encourage us. We who are no longer having great success would love to hear your insights and how you have personally seen a tremendous growth because of this change. Let us know how you were not successful but now that there are 14 others quoting, triple prices and 10 instant matches has been a wonderful change for your business. I want to find those post somewhere on this site if you can direct me - give me some hope. JasonB you say here that the results have been positive - - so let’s hear from those people. What exactly are they finding positive? that would be helpful for those of us posting that seem unhappy right now.