Boy are the wolves out in full force on this thread! I agree with many here that I would prefer to go back to the old credits system. I knew exactly how much I was paying and when. Now the prices have been all over the place. I had a customer accidentaly hit some auto reply to a quote I sent and even said in their message "Oops sorry didn't mean to send that" and yet support REFUSED to refund me almost $50 I had to end up paying for the quote! Ridiculous. If you're going to keep the current pricing then there needs to be a sliding scale where we pay a certain % for a bid based on total project budget. Under $500 should be like $10 maximum. $500-$1000 like $20. $1000-$1500 $30. $1500-$2000 $40. Etc etc etc. That alone should make many who are currently unhappy be happy once more! Also, I think the instant quoting stuff is a farce. I've been too afraid to try it as I worried I'd get unexpected charges like crazy. Seeing some of the comments in this thread I'm glad my hunch to steer clear of it was correct.
Loved Thumbtack's old system! Still believe in you guys. Just need more clear pricing and better customer service. Hope you can somehow win back many of these users who are in a mass exodus from you guys. Maybe a month of free quotes or something for all? 😉
First of all, thank you for asking for our input. I've been happy with Thumbtack until this new pricing model and Instant Match came along.
I'm wondering if the new pricing model is to address those fields that don't have as many pros as others. As a photographer bidding on a job, I'm up against about 15 other photographers. When you were getting 5 bucks from each of us, you were actually making more money than getting 16-$26 from one. With the new pricing model, I'm not as eager to push and follow up for a job for fear someone might respond with a question asking if I can lower my price or something, because when that happens, BAM, $26 bucks goes to Thumbtack and I'm almost forced to say yes to them to justify paying for the lead. That doesn't seem fair. You have saturated the Google search, kudos to you, which almost makes it necessary for us to use your service, obviously. The new pricing model has motivated me to learn Google Ads and spend my money on that.
PS - I also don't like using Thumbtack as much anymore because of Instant Match. I like reading the actual request, making sure it's a job I want to bid on, and respond personally addressing the information actually in the request. For example, someone may indicate that they want a "Portrait Photographer" which is my thing, but in the notes it could say"Photograph my car." I wouldn't bid on that. Someone may indicate they want a "Headshot Photography" and in the notes indicate it's for 20 ppl. That is not a vanilla response job. Because I like to personalize my response, my response gets lost in the 10 vanilla responses they immediately received. It's a bit frustrating.
I am not on instant match because I cannot control pricing based on the requests for an officiant. In my pricing anelopement will cost less than a wedding with a large wedding party and 150-200 guests. So I quote individually based on the requests. Until Thumbtack can distinguish more like a 3-4 tiered quoting system, I will not do instant match.
I am charged the same amount per quote regardless of my pricing fee. It is $20.88 when a customer contracts me whether or not I get the job. My costs have gone up dramatically although I do have more exposure to potential clients than the previous system. But on average I pay $40.00 per hire. I have to pass as much of this fee onto the client as possible. I have had to increase my officiant fees to offset this cost.
In my opinion most customers looking for a wedding officiant about 80%+ are window shopping. The rest are truly interested in hiring an officiant. I do pretty well with securing the job with most of my quotes who are actually looking to hire.
I find this new system expensive to use and will continue to use because of the potential referrals. When I first started 100% of my work came from TT. Now it is about 70%.
I think Thumbtack has hurt itself with all the pricing changes in the last year. Life coach bids haves ranged from $15-$75 per bid, that is crazy. Set a price and stick with it or show people the variables for pricing. I think a set price is the long game for Thumbtack. Also, you guys had a great thing with your Competitive Insight tab, now that is useless. Each time it tells me the same information, I have 5 stars and my competitors have 4.9, not any real insight. I would just eliminate it if that is all it is going to be. Put the price in and that would be meaningful.
For myself, I mostly bid on headshots and portrait photography projects and the pricing seems fair to me. I can't speak to other project pricing.
Pricing is totally out of line with the quoted prices of jobs. Having to spend $30-50 dollars per contact on a $350 job when all the customer does is send back one of the automated responses, usually "Are you free for my date?" is simply way overpriced considering the only way they should have gotten a quote is if we were marked free in the calendar.
The leads are also low quality, tire kickers mostly (or I hope not competitors looking to make me pay). Thumbtack like groupon/living social has become bottom feeder leads, just looking for the lowest price and not caring about quality.