I'm a dj and I feel like I have zero control how my money is spent. Sure, I can set up a maximum budget and set my own templates, but there are really small jobs that auto cost me $40 to bid....I can't afford losing that much on a $300 job.
It's confusing. I don't know what I am paying for sending a quote. 5% seems to be a fair commission. It doesn't seem as though the client is paying anything. So I pay for responding to a quote yet book a small percentage of those gigs. In my estimation, I wind up paying far greater than 5%. Suggestion: split the cost of your fee between me and the client.
The cost is to much we don't use it as much spending on other sites that less money and about the same out come. The old way was working fine and should never had been changed. Now I've seen more than 8 bids on one lead and if that one customer just ask one question and everyone that get asked the question is paying. (Not Good) and not happy with this new way. Also prices should be told before quotes are sent.
This is a very hefty subject! Its clear that as small business owners its important for our dollar to stretch as far as it can. I did think that the buying credits system was much more affordable. It seems that most have had the experience of having to pay for leads that literally lead to neverland and that can be extremely frustrating. I believe that accountability is very important and that it keeps individuals honest, so if the customer had skin in the game they would think twice before arbitrarily submitting requests. Maybe once the customer has access to profiles to see who they would like to go with once they make contact its $5 a nominal fee to make sure they do their own due diligence before reaching out to a pro. Then I believe that it would be appropriate to charge the pro once the work in complete as is typical in the service industry. The pro could pay a set fee that Thumbtack comes up with. Maybe there could be some market research done on each line of service and Thumbtack has a small, medium and large flat fee lead rate. That way each pro will know exactly what they will be paying according to the size of the job. Also I think that it would be beneficial to be able to rate the customer like the Uber app does. I believe this does two things 1. adds another level of accountability to the customer (b/c honestly the customer is NOT always right lol) and 2. This can be a way to balance out any negative feedback from a customer who will never be pleased. I still believe that Thumbtack has the ability to right this ship and retain these pros that are ready to jump overboard, however these issues do need to be addressed and let's figure this out together. Kudos for even having this forum because I think that is the first step recognizing there is room for growth. We are the power users and this is some valuable information for Thumbtack to use. I hope this post helps and thanks for giving us an opportunity to voice our concerns!
Thanks @Tim1, these are some great points! I get that it's frustrating to pay for a lead when the customer isn't ready to commit. You want that customer to have some skin in the game. But at the end of the day, we believe that there will be more customers on Thumbtack — and more jobs for you — if we don't put up a barrier when customers are searching for the best pro for their job. By making Thumbtack free for them, we're confident that there will be more customers to hire you.
Other pros mentioned similar feelings, so thank you all for the great input!@jerimas @Lisawevents @Checaskey @Ziva8844 @1NancyG @bellaparties4u @Gee @Spike @Rapid1 @Macys @AmericanDreamCA @Bondarchuk @CarlyRose1 @rlm @Garret @Hussam @lkelsey @Djgeo @pamelaslabaugh @AVP @Knightmagic @mdeeno @Zsofica @kdc @BWPhoto @Sim @HLProductions @Trevor @TheisPhotos @Tim1 @Lynnwinkle @nmcallister @gulfdriveband @LV-365 @TalesofLight @aesselman0830 @taxhelp @Sorellas @Christinac @GDD @Josh @Fitnatixx221 @X-Factor @atoe365 @debbielopes @NellieB @CHERIEFOTO @Lennie @RickB @Stephenselect @nightlight1237 @davidgoehring @beata-yeah @tomsix @DJButterflEyes @Numbers @Tmartjr @chriseshar @Sterrones7 @calebtkyle @Antwancooper @Richard @R0B0tArms @LindaLee1976 @evildoer @WarmUpLab @Marlenecarey @Ty
Reading through everyones posts I discover just how similar everyones experience has been. For every 10 quotes sent out, I will hear back from 1 potential client. Seems to be the same across the board. For every 3 potential clients I hear back from one will book. Obviously it is greately preferable for thumbtack to take its cut only from clients who actually book, the way a agent takes a cut for a service rendered, from thumbtacks end however I fail to see how that would be feasable and honest. I totaly understand thumbtacks business model is to provide leads, not jobs. With that said yes, instant match pricing is way to high. The real problem however is not the price per genuinely interested clients, (im fine with them taking 10$ per client I actually have a phone conversation with), but the scam system of the "conversation starter" model on the website. Try it yourself and you will see - they sucker the client into sending a contact to the service provider, almost way to easily, knowing they will cash in. Providing a drop down menu of things like "sounds great, what next!" or "when is your availability" even just a "im interested" or "booking request" as easily as a click of a button is almost decievingly dishonest; and also a great way for rival service providers, internet trolls, bitter ex's, and even thumbtack shareholders/employees to capitolize. My advice: if you are going to keep the conversation starter option(despite the fact virtually every on here agrees the old method was better and more fair), a fair price is 25 cents on the service provider. If there is a way to confirm the hire, then charge 10$. If someone is genuine about a inquiry, they will take the time to write a 2 sentence (2 sentance!) message themself with their own questions.
I understand the purpose of thumbtack is speed speed speed, to create a virtual yellow pages phone book of instant services, but the conversation starter conception is almost alarmingly oppertunistic in its open capitolisation of dishonesty at the service providers expence.
Pricing is obviously one really big issue but so is getting leads. The amount I'm spending on Thumbtack is way way down becasue I'm getting much fewer responses. They shifted to an "auto submit" feature so I assumed they are sending out proposals on my behalf. Doesn't seem to be the case. When I submitted manually, I was sending out about 4-8 proposals per week, now it's more like 1-3 per week. With no responses my cost is zero. Also, they dropped the question about the client's budget so you don't know if they want to spend $50 or $1000. I don't want to waste my time on the lower end projects but now no way of knowing that information. As for the current pricing of Thumbtack, I honestly couldn't tell you what I pay. They change the site so often, it's confusing to keep up. I think that pricing should be around 10% of the price of the job or project. This is what I would expect to pay a commissioned sales rep, which is essentially what Thumbtack is. Again, without knowing the budget how to know if it's worthwhile to bid the job since you've spent the money to bid before they contact you to find out what the budget is.
Hello Vinamrata. To be honest, I liked your old way of doing things. And I've heard the same from other musicians and private music instructors. Thumbtack used to be my #1 source for new violin students. Now I barely send quotes. It makes no sense to pay $20.00 or whatever it is now for someone to respond with a silly question. It makes me afraid to even send a quote. Your new pricing might make sense for someone sending a plumbing quote for hundreds of dollars, but it doesn't make sense for someone who charges $25.00 for a violin lesson.
First of all, it seems rather arbitrary when you decide a contact is a chargeable contact. There are so many different ways an excahnge can proceed. In the recent past I have been charged, when a customer said thanks for giving me the info, we're still trying to pick a date, we'll get back to you. $50.00 cha ching! I feel like there needs to be a better way to evaluate a contact if it is a true lead.
As far as pricing, again you seem to be arbitrary about what you charge for a contact. If there is a formula that should be made known. It is impossible to budget with the program you are inflicting on us. At least when I paid to bid on a job I knew what i was spending, now its just a crap shoot.