The new pricing overhaul is not beneficial for my business.
I am a Reiki Master and offer Reiki sessions. I was paying per hire, and now, although I may only have one bid per week, I still pay a very large price increase per job.
Originally, I paid via credits and then it went to dollars, which was fine. It was about 3.60 per job. Now, I am paying about 13.60 per job IF I only bid on one job per week!! It is more than that for more bids. Huge increase! For me, The bid cost percentage went up on average per one job 1000%!!!!!!!
Did you consider that depending upon where you are located that the new fee structure will eat into more profit for some than in other locations? (Midwest vs East or West Coast for example)
The other issue, is, that my category (Reiki) no longer exists by itself. Instead, I am grouped under the heading of Alternative Healing. There are several other services under that heading. They are not related to what I do!
When a person is looking for Alternative Healing and does not designate which kind (Reiki or Accupuncture or Craniosacral etc) I do not bid because of the huge price increase for me to make contact and I do not know what potential customers are really looking to do! Maybe they want accupuncture so I wasted my money and time finding that out.
In fact, I bid very rarely now, because your overall design of Thumbtack changed. Very disappointed in a formerly outstanding way to connect with potential customers.
I am a Top Pro (have been for a couple of years) and now, with the changes, I will not have used Thumbtack enough to acheive that status for the second half of this year. Sad. Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback.
I have been with Thumbtack since 2015, before it went National with TV commercials and Thumbtack helped me get my business off the ground. For this, I am a very loyal customer and I have been inquiring about the entire pricing guidelines since the inception of higher pricing for leads. The explanation has always been that Thumbtack will evaluate the leads and for leads that are strong, we would pay more and for the weak leads, we would pay less or not at all. Much like everyone else, I get more inquiries than paying customers and the ones that I do get charged for don't always end up buying. I'm a dog trainer and in order to run an ethical business, I only charge the client for the training that they need and not try to upsell them to my most costly training program. That means the least amount they would pay is $75 a session or they could buy one of my more expensive programs which could be as much as $625. Remember though out of those prices I also have other costs such as equipment and the additional expenses I have to take into consideration. I don't know what the right answer is yet but there are many of us very unhappy with the Thumbtack pricing and I'm glad you have recognized this. In my industry, Professional Dog Training, I think that if a client marks us as hired, then only then should we get charged. Make it so that they have to choose if they hired us or not in order to keep the honest honest. Just because a person responds to me doesn't mean they are going to hire me nor does it mean if I respond to them and they don't hire me that I screwed the pooch on the deal. I have responded so many times and in so many different ways, you just don't know what people are going to do. Obviously they have budgets and are looking for the best service for the best price. I have kept my pricing at that competative level for this reason but if I keep getting nickled and dimed in other areas, I will have no choice but to bring up my prices which really creates a non competative market.
The pricing is all over the place and really not worth what I am getting. It's stupid to charge for a lead after the 1st or 2nd communication. Once the job is awarded then we should be charged. If we're going back and forth over project specifics and find out that this isn't going to work then you have to create another job and start all over again.
Not to mention that 95% of the jobs I receive to bid on, I can't because either a) the job has been filled or terminated or b) the job has already reached the maximum amount of bids. So really, unless I am staring at my computer or smartphone, I can't respond quickly enough to make this worth it. Afterall, I do have clients that need my attention and work to be done.
In addition, all of the jobs I am asked to quote on are either personal projects or jobs below what I can actually do the work for. So, as one person put it, you're a step above craigs list.
On top of that I have to pay $17 to $50 per lead. Way, way out of whack. With other sites I pay for credits as an example. That works a lot better because you pay for the credits, lets say $50 for 50 cresits, and each job is worth so many credits to respond to. Another site I am on the jobs are listed as free, 1-credit or 3-credits depending on the complexity of the project. Something to think about.
For me, I am considering leaving because I see no benefit and the clientele I am going after really isn't on this site.
$40.69 for a carpet job! Totally outragus. Use to pay $8-10 per lead, so it was possible to bid on more than 1 or 2 jobs and would actually get some and the ROI use to be really good. But there is no way that I am going to pay over $40 dollars to do a $150 job - that is over 25% - REALLY - that put me in the red and yes like you I would like to make a profit! My employees like to get a paycheck to - heck even I like to get paid...go figure. You are loosing more & more of my business. You are pricing yourself out of more work from me.
Improving the quality of the customers who make contact with a pro is a problem that needs to be solved.
The problem I see is that customers get a ton of quotes and then reply to everyone (costing all pros money & time) and they may not be truly interested or have a real intent to interview all of them... they are just send a blanket reply-to-all. I've even gotten replies that then I had to ask for a refund because the customer was just replying out of sarcasm. I don't like getting replies that are clear the customer has no intent of conducting a real interview. I don't mind being charged, having a sincere back & forth and ultimately not getting the job. That's fine -- it's still a legitimate lead and if it didn't pan out, that's still worth the cost of the lead. But I don't like getting charged for "leads" that really aren't from customers genuinely looking to hire.
One solution is for customers to be charged when they make contact with a pro -- even a small amount (a few bucks) will deter replies that aren't genuine in nature. They can still see free bids/quotes if they are just doing some initial price research that's fine. But if they are required to pay something to make contact, they will be more discerning about choosing which professionals to follow-up with and hopefully that will yield better results for everyone.