I have not been around long enough to know what the system was like before when there were credits.
My main complaint would be getting charged for replies from potential customers who aren't serious and just flake out and have their uncle prepare their tax return or go away and never come back. As of right now, 12 out of 15 people who contacted me were never serious about getting their tax returns prepared and are what I would call false leads. Either you have to slash the fee for us getting contacted so we can weather the false leads, or you could implement a new charge structure to where we only get charged when we actually get hired.
Also, let the potential clients know we are getting charged before they complete their response to us.
I agree with the majority of the comments . Before, pricing was still muddy, but you had an idea of what you were going to pay per lead. Now, you don't have a clue other than it increased by more than 15x what I first paid less than a year ago. If you are going to charge per lead, fine, not a problem, but set a price. This "depending on the interest". Period. I have used "fly-by-night pay for leads" before and they are much more honest and open about what they are charging you than you guys. Let me put it this way: "would you go into a retail store or a grocery store and purchase an item without knowing the price? Here is a gallon of milk. How much is it today? We don't know, once you receive your credit card charges, you will find out. Oh look, someone else was interested in that same gallon of milk, so we had to increase the price by 15x." No one in their right mind would do this.
I've noticed that on wedding floral quotes, especially now that budget is removed that the profit opportunity on the wedding and the pricing to quote don't seem to be well connected. I think the disconnect may come from the "wedding size" field. Let me expand: a 300 person wedding that only wants personal flowers (bouquets, boutineres, etc) is going to have a much smaller floral budget that a 150 person wedding that wants centerpieces and ceremony flowers and personal flowers.
I recently saw an opportunity for a wedding where the budget looked to be about $1000 where it was ~$25 to quote and a wedding three or four times that budget for ~$12 to quote.
It would be helpful if the services needed fields could be updated to get a better sense of the wedding size/opportunity
We receive a lot of request for jobs that we typically charge less then $100. These are inherantly jobs wtih very small profit margins to begin with. Examples woutd be:
I need a new mailbox lock or key.
I need a deadbold installed or rekeyed.
I am looked out of my car or house.
I lost my car key and I need a new one made.
I lost my house key and I need a new one made.
For jobs like this it makes no sense to pay a referral fee. As the percentage of the time that we get the job is also very low. Typically someone going to Thumbtack for a job this small is a penny pintcher, and wil just select the person with the lowest price.So, even if we got 1 out of 5 jobs that we responded to, the cost of 5 leads would cost us more than what we made on the 1 job.
The cost for small jobs would have to be extremely low for it to make sense for us to respond to those.
I STOPPED using Thumbtack. I was charged $33.00 for a lead and all the customer asked was "If I was available?" A $33.00 charge for a question? Not to mention that I had not recieved any work in almost a year. I use to average 20 bookings per year. This site is worthless in marketing my DJ business and helping me get work.