I will tell my personal story here to demonstrate why I was really turned off to Thumbtack after my first impression as a professional (I will also use round numbers to keep this brief):
For my industry/service, Thumbtack told me that a weekly budget of $40 should get me 2-3 quotes. Meaning, I should expect to be commnicating with 2-3 potential customers if/when I achieve $40 of my budgetted spend.
For my first two potential customer experiences, I dealt with one 1 potential customer each week and my budgetted amount was fully used. I am still skeptical as to why/how this happened. At a minimum, the 'estimate' provided by Thumbtack was proven to be incredibly wrong.
Secondarily, I wish there was a mechanism in place to assess whether the connection is a true connection. For example, when new to Thumbtack, I asked a potential customer a clarifying questino about their request and was then charged when they responded. I didn't realize I would be charged for that sort of interaction and sure enough it was not a project I was even interested in offering my services for.
We have long debated about leaving thumbtack due to pricing. We feel your prices are random and not set. We are disappointed that we are not able to list that our price is NA instead of being forced to say it's $1. that's just bad business. it has decreased our leads. we have a price range depending upon what the clients pet needs. We don't post prices because we have a variable item.
Also we are not in agreement with being charge nearly 11$ for a client to contact us. We have often lost money from your sight. With Google we pay a set price per click. I feel for a dog training company that charges from $70 and up 11$ is a huge cut.
YES!!! Those quick reply buttons are worthless. So many times I reply quickly to their message and get NO RESPONSE. I got charged, but the customer never even responded to my message. And Thumbtack blames US. We "should have followed up more." After a few times of sending three or four messages trying to get a response, with NO RESPONSE. I am not going to act desperate. I am just going to turn off Instant Match. And I'm going to be VERY selective on who I bid on.
Since I haven't been using Thumbtack regularly because of my own lack of developing a decent website and/or images that are readily available for customers I can't say that either the old system or new system is effective for your users.
Bidding on jobs before Thumbtack we would bid according to the size of the job and the value we put on certain customers. Since this all random and we don't have an established relationship at the time we are bidding I think it is fair that you would charge us according to the size of the project. Since I am a photographer maybe a sliding scale would be appropriate. Example:
$250-$500 = $10 fee
$500-$750 = $15 fee
$750-$1000 = $20
I think this would be fair. Different job types of course would require different pricing since their jobs can be much larger than this.
Thanks for checking.
I appreciate your service and the forum you have given me to expand my business. However, I truly believe we should ONLY be charged when we are ACTUALLY HIRED FOR OUR SERVICES!! Far TOO many I have been "contacted" only to be asked inane questions or to be told they're going in another direction. And that's fine, I understand we're not gonna be hired for every job, but being charged soley for being "contacted" can be very cost prohibative at times!
Thanks for hearing me out!