If you look at user feedback, there is a lot of disagreement about how Thumbtack charges, and if you look at the cost per inquiry, the quoted range is from $18-75 per "lead"... which is FAR above market price in most cases for small business owners, especially since there is no method of validation that these leads convert to sale or purchase.
I would highly recommend Thumbtack consider a monthly subscription charge based on industry, not a CPA/CPL model. Take a look at www.SocialMediopolis.com/smmc for example.
When I signed up with Thumbtack Pro years ago in California, the pricing made sense. For my industry, it was one price: $2.70 per lead (or thereabouts). That made accepting leads affordable and made the gamble worthwhile.
Since I offer community service-oriented holistic practices (yoga and Reiki) for sliding scale, my profit is much lower than many of my competitors. My primary customer has health issues and is often on a fixed income or has financial limitations. My average price for private yoga sessions and Reiki sessions is $20-40 (most end up paying $25). That made the old Thumbtack Pro pricing work for me. I could reply to three or four people and even if only one purchased my services, I made my money back and a little profit. I have found that many people who use Thumbtack are just doing research. Many of my colleagues have noted the same. Which means, even if you vet your leads well according to the information they provide, many of them will not follow through because they are not ready to commit. That makes high lead costs impractical.
The new pricing system is confusing. The last lead I got cost me more than $20! Since the system changed, I had to set a weekly or monthly budget (which I can't afford even at your lowest rate). And the new lead fee platform punishes you for having a lower budget. Lower budget = fewer leads per week. Since I have to choose the lowest amount, I no longer receive qualifying leads, if I receive any leads at all in a week (or month). In fact, I receive so few leads in total, I rarely check and update my Thumbtack account anymore. When I do receive leads, they are not even in my industry. I am receiving leads for naturopathy, homeopathy, and cranial sacral therapy more than anything. This suggests that Thumbtack should separate out their holistic services so that they are subcategorized. I'm sure plenty of other providers who offer Reiki or other modalities like me and have the same problem.
But back to the quote/lead fees. Now that the Thumbtack has changed how they calculate their lead costs, I am skeptical to accept leads. One of my last customers throughThumbtack cost me over $20, which is what I was paid by that customer. It was hardly worth my investment and time. One could argue that I should charge market value but that would be in stark contrast to my company values and mission, to provide yoga and Reiki services to all people. Also, even if I charged $50-60 per session, as many of my colleagues in this area do, a lead fee of $20 is astronomical. That is a 30% commission to Thumbtack! Do you think a contractor who is making $40k on a project would pay $13,200 for a lead? Absolutely not!! It's a huge gamble to begin with. Then, even if you get the lead, you already have a deficit.
Until Thumbtack changes the fee structure to something I can afford, I will continue to turn down leads.
What is the point of collecting all these complaints if we aren't getting any feedback from Thumbtack? Or any results? This is just another way of getting everyone to vent, and creating more collective negativity toward this business. DO SOMETHING, THUMBTACK, OR GO OUT OF BUSINESS. You are losing credibility not only with YOUR clients, but with ours.
I thought we were supposed to get some answers to these important issues "within a week." It's time for everybody who's losing money with Thumbtack to vote with their feet.
I have done the calculations and you have raised the quoting charge in my field by 600 %. Six. Hundred. Percent. 6 hundred. I WILL NEVER bid on a job that might pay $100 yet the cost to send a blind bid in the wind is a third of my take home pay. I might clean houses for a living but I did attend college and I can do math. Cmon Thumbtack .... how many meeting did it take to come up with a SIX HUNDRED PERCENT increase? You’re losing credibility with all your pros here along with clients that need a service! I received a message today that “someone chose me based on my profile” and you are sending me many notifications to seal the deal. Whoa slow down ..... NOT SEALING any deal with hidden quote fees. Where is your quote fee? It’s not free to communicate on Thumbtack w/ potential clients.
I am as shocked at TT's lack of response to all this as Captain Renault was by the fact that gambling was going on at Rick's in Casablanca, haha!
But seriously, TT--are you going to seriously respond to the (literally) thousands of your pros who have taken the time to answer the query your employees posted? (And no, that video you posted doesn't count as a serious response...)