I don't like to pay for when a customer just randomly pushed one of the automated answers and never gets back to me. That is simply not fair because they never meant seriously to contact me. At least this is my experience.
I wish I should only pay for those who write a personalized message because this guarantees that the customer is really and truly interested in my work.
I have used Thumbtack for almost 2 years. I'm a photograher and noticed a 180 change when you switched to the new bidding/pricing game. When I bought credits, I had a much better ROI. Now, with the new bidding proccess, I'm bidding a lot more but getting nowhere on my ROI. Too many tire kickers that have champange taste but have a Natual Light pocketbook. I would love to see a very small fee for the customer to pay to be able to post. At least this would somewhat 'qualify' the serious ones from the time wasters.
You are not realisitic in your pricing. I give you the benefit of the doubt way too often and take it in the shorts every time.
These are not "introductions" or "jobs" you capture for photographers. These are people who have no clue and are looking at price. If you need to engage them regarding more information to create a reasonable quote, they generally don't respond and rarely do you have the ability to have a phone or face to face discussion. For a portrait or wedding shooter, I suppose it might work. Look I want, price I want to pay, but for many of the complex jobs that people expect to find a photographer via this platform.. it's just not realisitic.
Thumbtack request states they need photography of products. Well.. I respond with needing more information and maybe they respond back with something general that ends in getting billed to you for the "introduction" but they never do give you what you need to accurrately quate and if you are specific regarding as to a range of pricing.. well that doesn't work well.
For down and dirty photography that has a formula or specific look, the Thumbtack model may work, but for complex or technical things it's not been the great tool it could be.
We need more information up front from the customer to determine if we'd like to bid a job/project. Generic unspecified does not work. There are too many variables in the scope of a project. And many types of services that us contractors may not wish to provide due to specialization. We shouldn't have to prod a customer into a reply to get basics and are be charged for that reply. Either prompt the customer to provide more information before we bid or at least have the customer provide what they are willing to pay so we can weed out unprofitable cheapskates with unrealistic pricing and the tire kickers.
While I didn't read all entries, I did notice that overwhelmingly people are NOT happy with what Thumbtack has changed. For me, I've basically stopped using it. I tried Instant Match and couldn't figure out where you came up with my pricing - it wasn't what any of my templates showed. When bids were $1.67 - $3.34 each, that was manageable; however now that they are $14.08 to $23.05. (And I could never figure out how you thought Life Coaching should be at a higher bid than Hypnotherapy). Also, you've opened it up to sending too many bids for each job. So I've turned off Instant Match and I carefully choose who I bid with. I have noticed, going back, that no once in the past month has your client HIRED anyone. Such a crock. I have not deleted my account, and it will take a lot to get me active again. All newbies to the hypnotherapy world in my area, I am telling them to STAY AWAY from Thumbtack. It's best to spend their precious money elsewhere! Other responses I have read have a similar thread that it seems people are not seriously looking, some may even be researching to see what others are charging. It's turning into Groupon!