Up until your recent changes, I felt the pricing was competitive. I have recently decreased my use of Thumbtack significantly due to pricing. I will now only use it if someone directly contacts me requesting a quote. And I may stop that soon. Your prices are now excessive. It costs me an average of 7.5% of my (potential) gross fee to quote - and that's assuming they book which they don't always do.
I loved Thumbtack when I first started because of the low prices and feasibility. I then was confused when the prices went up from $3 to $10. I started using other places with similar traits like GigSalad because they only charge if you get hired and it's really low like $3.00 at most! I love how I know I will not be charged if I do not get hired. On Thumbtack I felt like I get screwed over for not getting hired.
Since introducing your new system it has become very expensive however I prefer people contacting me rather than having to send endless proposals, which was very time consuming.
I maybe break even. There are a number of reasons I believe.
1. people happily press the canned response button when they really have no genuine interest. Each 'what do we do next' or whatever seems to cost be $15 or more and usually means nothing. It would be better if a 'response' was someone actually writing what they wanted to work on or know. As it is I maybe convert one in 5-7 so called responses into a real dialogue. If they add a pesonal note I usually always have that a client.
2. As a hypnotherapist and not a therapist I often resolve people's issues with one session which means as I only charge $79 and usually only get a real client every 5-7 responses. Luckily I get a few people who need more than one session which means I still continue with Thumbtack.
Thumbtack is good for getting me clients that I would never have found myself that's for sure.
I also agree that pricing is now out of control.. Secondly; I also believe the costomer has too much power to play games with our time and money. Finally; As a five plus year user of Thumbtack, I've really enjoyed their service. However, I really feel that this "New way of doing business is going to be the Deth of Thumbtach"...
It's too high for the professional. The leads may lead to no work being done, hence, no money being made. I know, you're going to say, let us help you improve your quotes. You charge too much period. These sites are a dime a dozen now, you guys are the ones who need to change if you want to stay afloat. It seems many professionals feel the same way.
I think the prices are way too high on most requests. As a photographer, I got a request from a customer who wants to charge me $63 to start a dialouge and their budget is under $500! It's ridiculous. They want the top shelf product but aren't willing to pay for it. The other problem is the response time on the customer's end. So many times I answer a few questions and it'll be weeks or months before I hear anything. Or if I do offer suggestions/solutions it seems they take that info and turn around and hire the lowest bidder. There needs to be something else to trigger the cost of the project. On other occassions I'll have a dialouge that I think is going somewhere and they'll cancel the project. Most of the people looking to hire are using Thumbtack as a their own barometer for pricing, availability, etc, and it's hurting you and the businesses who use it. Why not charge a fee if they cancel the project or take too long to respond? We're told to respond as quickly as possible but it's ok if they take weeks to reply? I think waiting to get officially hired is the right time to charge businesses the fee for the job. It has to be.