I am not a fan of the current method. I used to be able to know my cost of acquisition for a new client. It's very hard to predict the value of a client in our first conversation. As dog walkers/pet sitters, our engagement could be a single time with a charge of $20 to $95 or it could be for on-going services 5 days a week indefinitely at $85 per week. In most quotes, I'm guessing at what the client is looking for, and I'm willing to risk a short service because I knew over time that my average cost of acquisition would be low. Now I just don't have any clue what I'm paying for what. Not able to predict costs at all. That's tough for a very small business owner. About the same time this pricing change occurred, the geographic area that you send requests for seemed to change dramatically. I'm getting fewer from my close in area, and way more from place far too remote to make it worthwhile to drive for a $20 dog walk. And how you would ever be able to instant match with your poor geographic predictions and lack of knowledge of how we customize our quotes is just beyond me. I know this went beyond the scope of your question, but I was initially so happy with Thumbtack, and am now looking at other alternatives.
I use Thumbtack quite a bit - I'd say daily and the main thing I don't agree with or like about having to pay dependant on a potential client contacting you, is that the associated fees are not consistent with the quoted amount. How can this be fair? I'm looking at my payment history right now and for 3 differnt quotes of the same $150 price, I have 3 different fees I paid - $19.07, $20.03 and $24.70. Fees should be the same percentage of the quotes price - it doesn't make sense that I had ot pay different fees for the same potential earnings. I also have observed instances where I've had to pay MORE for quotes that were less than others, i.e. for a $200 quote I paid $18.02 and for a $150 quote I had to pay up to $24.70.
Again, this doesn't make sense, is inconsistent and not fair. I'd appreciate if this changed. You can't charge someone arbitrarily or higher for less.
Thanks for reading,
Painting Smiles by Melissa
The first time I took a lead I had no idea how much I would be paying for that lead. I paid for the lead and didn't even get a response back. I have not accepted another lead that I was unsure how much I would be charged because I could not tell if 1) it was a quality lead and 2) how much I'd be billed for that lead. Recently I was offered a lead that I could pay $5 for. I still wasn't sure if I was wasting 5 bucks or not, but I figured I would try it. Honestly, paying for leads without knowing in advance what the lead will cost is like handing someone a credit card and letting them go shopping on it. I'm not into that. So... I will only accept leads if I know how much they are in advance.