I have absolutely no idea how the pricing works, but I will say that the last time I was charged, I thought it was unfair. It has made me hesitant to send quotes. First, I think brides have NO IDEA what wedding flowers cost. Admittedly, I was shocked at the cost of flowers myself. And your website provides no guidance for the bride to guage the cost before contacting florists. They ask a couple of simple questions and BOOM, I am charged $37, the bride is shocked and I never hear from her again. So admittedly, I only quote brides that I think, based on the information provided, might have done a little research before asking for quotes so that I don't pay $37 to provide them with sticker shock only to never hear from them again.
My suggestion - give them a range of what flowers cost in the region. For example, a bridal bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquets, 8 boutonierres, a flower girl, and 4 corsages would range from $650-$1500
A bridal bouquet ranges from $75-$350
A bridesmaid bouquet ranges from $50-$200
A boutonierre ranges from $10-$25
A corsage ranges from $25-$75
A centerpiece ranges from $40-$350
An arch starts at $1000+
Have them check a box with the budget that they have. $0-$500, $500-$1000, $1000-$2000, $2000-$3000, $3000+
Then they can get an idea of whether their expectations match their budget before a florist pays $37 to teach them that lesson... Florists do not make a lot of money. We do this because we have a passion for floral artistry. I consider it a sculpture with plants. I cannot afford $37 to educate someone in a situation where we are not face to face.
I care about the pricing, but out of all the leads I have gotten, I have ahad a handful reply and only one job out of several years worth. I get much better results from Home Advisor, my mainpaid lead spouce. If I got better results, the pricing is not an issue.
Your "Value Based Pricing" that fluctuates with each Quote needs to be more transparent. To budget, we need to know BEFORE we submit the Quote, what your fee will be.
You need to be more flexible with responses to Quotes. Some leads think it is a Blog, or have a specific question, then you bang me for the response, eventhough it goes nowhere.
For these 2 reasons I am quickly coming to a "break even" point between what I pay T-Tack, and what I make on the gigs I book. This meeans "bye-bye."
Generally the new structure works for me. I am spending very little time reading requests and am only on Thumbtack answering questions or providing estimates for potential clients that reach out directly to me. This is great. My one complaint is that I'm being charged (often $10+) for "leads" that don't align with services I provide. Last week I was charged $11 for a lead. The user reached out to me for a large job that only a licensed contractor can legally complete. I am very clear in my TT profile about, web site, etc. about services I provide and limitations I have to work under (i.e. < $500 jobs). I don't think it's fair that I'm paying for a false lead like this because of a mistake the user made. Maybe there's a system to refute these charges. I'm not sure and haven't spent the time to research it.
I found very quickly that Thumbtack was not a good value AT ALL, at least for my profession as a muralist & painter. I am a bit confused about how the pricing works:
It's not the the pricing is too high relative to the potential pay, it's more that those requesting to contact the professionals seem to have no accountability - and can easily and without penalty - contact us, cost us money, and never even respond to our messages or follow through in any way. They require so little information to post a request, that it's impossible to tell how serious they are about actually hiring someone (I've had people just randomly decide that they didn't actually want a mural - they were just researching prices). I rarely have enough information from the request to give someone a true quote - one that would allow me to avoid people who are looking to pay bottom-dollar, but I respond because there aren't many requests to begin with. I played the odds and responded to requests, and had a number of responses in return -which cost me quite a bit of money at over $20 a pop. That would have been fine as a percentage fee if a single one of them followed through, or had been thorough about their expectations in the project description. I've gotten so many hits and so much interest that I was feeling great about Thumbtack, but it took less that a few weeks to find that I had "invested" money and gotten absolutely no value in return. Just flakey customers, people looking for discounts and cheap work, and people testing the market for pricing. As a muralist, I can't afford to play around with my money or gamble when the odds are so against me.
I would gladly pay the current percentage of my quotes, if the client could be locked in to the deal in some way beforehand. If that isn't going to happen, then the percentage that's taken needs to be reduced by a lot if I'm going to continue using this site.
Sorry for the long response! Just wanted to be honest...
I’d like to see the charge based upon the estimate if the customer responds to us to solidify the bid, not just for contact. I’ve been charged several times for the customer asking me a question and never responding to the answer. It also doesn’t tell us if the customer hired someone else, we are just left in limbo. Someone can just put out requests and hit a bunch of replies just to charge the bidders. 10% of the bid fee would be a more realistic charge vs what appears to be an arbitrary fee.
Under your current business model, I’m hesitant to bid
Thanks for the opportunity for input.