I'm responding to your comment in particular because I really liked it and it reminded me of something I've said to Thumbtack multiple times over the past couple of years.
Let's use your $8 quote fee that you used to have for a 4 hour wedding as an example Brentano.
Two years ago, I contacted Thumbtack and said: "Instead of charging 5 pros $8 to bid and they all have to pay even though at least four of them won't get the job, Why don't you allow 5 pros to quote on the job and then the pro who gets the job pays $40. That way, Thumbtack gets the same $40 for the lead, but only the person who gets hired pays for it. AND, if no one gets hired, then no one pays because the lead was probably bogus anyway and why should Thumbtack get paid if they didn't get anyone a job? "
We don't get paid if we don't do the job for our clients, do we? I think if Thumbtack feels they can create enough good leads, they shouldn't have a problem not getting paid for the bogus ones. I personally wouldn't mind paying a decent buck for an actual hire as long as the amount is correct and consistent within the industry and job it's for.
Does anyone else think that this is a simple solution to this deeply flawed business model that Thumbtack has evolved into?
I was excited about the instant match system, and the messaging support by Thumbtack was extremely helpful to understanding everything as I set it up, as it look a while to figure it out. But once I got up and running, the conversion ratio of contacts to paying customers did not justify the money spent for each Thumbtack contact, and I realized Thumbtack instant match would not work for me and I had wasted a lot of time setting up the account for a service that was too expensive to justify compared to my other venues. Perhaps I need to be a better sales persons once I get a contact, but at the current pricing for instant matches, I can't afford to keep using the system, and I've paused all instant matches. The Thumbtack messaging assistant told me the company spent a long time figuring out pricing and they'd pass on my input. Perhaps in some markets the pricing works for photography and video, but in my local market I've had to stop using the system.
Another problem with my services that don't have instant match is I've sent large quotes to prospective clients who then tell me they have a budget at 1/4 of my quote - but I still paid Thumbtack for a large quote even though the job wasn't viable for me to take at the clients small budget. This has kept me hesitant to respond to requests.
As a caterer, my problem isn't so much the price I am being charged as it is the WAY I'm being charged. I have completely stopped bidding on the jobs with 80+ people as it's just not worth it to me with the current set up. I can't afford to pay $60 to Thumbtack for people to ask questions...it's just too much of a gamble for us, and we are a busy caterer. I can't begin to imagine how companies that rely on Thumbtack for the majority of their business can function. I have no problem paying $60 for a lead that converts to actual work but unfortunately I have no choice but to let all these jobs currently go by because of the gamble of just answering questions.
I am also a caterer and the cost is to much. We can't afford $60 for someone to ask use a question or say "when are you available to talk" and they never call. I've tried to talk to customer service via messenger and now they don't even respond back. What happened to you thumbtack???? I've been "Pro of the Year" the last 5 years. All that hard work for a badge!
I see it seems everyone is on the same page by the comments, but thumbtack!