I've used Thumbtack as a customer twice. I wanted to get a present for my sister, who's very hard to shop for. I figured a few hours of gardening would be just the thing. I live in New Jersey. She's in Massachusetts. I went on Thumbtack. Immediately found a gardener in her area who was happy to lend his muscle to a good cause. It saved my sister's back and worked out wonderfully.
Then I needed a piano tuner. I'm a Thumbtack Top Pro as a singing teacher, so I have expectations of a piano tuner. I found someone close to me who came out within 2 days, did a great job tuning my piano, charged reasonably. I gave him a great review and plan to use him regularly. I also like that now he shows up on my Thumbtack page, so if I lose his contact information, it's right there.
I'm completely happy as a customer and as a pro.
For a customer using Thumbtack, it is a no lose situation since they are not paying to find a professional. Thus, no matter how bad Thumbtack is, the customer cannot lose any money, thus it is a great tool for the customer. On the other hand, the professional risks everything and in most cases, the information provided by the customer is almost worthless. For example, a customer needs writing and editing services and when you see the lead it says under 2000 words. The professional has to guess if the user wants 10 words or 1999 words but the professional pays the same for the lead. In another case, the customer says I need some help writing an article and wants to get more information from professionals. Thus, you end up paying $10 to $20 for a lead that is basically an information seeker who will not buy anything from you. In my opinion, since the user pays nothing to post his or her lead, most leads are worthless to a professional. I know, I have purchased many leads from thumbtack and most were worth zero. So as a customer, Thumbtack is great because I will get many responses from professionals even though I know in advance that I will not hire anyone from there, just want to get free information, but I know that I will find my professional from asking my neighbor who he used to fix his roof. The professionals, they all end up paying for leads that they can never get.
I used Thumbtack to hire someone to replace my garage door after I backed into it with my van. It was great ( #loveit ) to be able to see bids from the "big guys" whose ads I had heard on the radio right next to the "little guys" who were in the process of building their businesses from the ground up. I ended up hiring a husband and wife team ( #loveit ) who came in the middle of a cold Minnesota winter to replace my garage door. They did an excellent job on the installation, and when I had some questions a few days later, they were quick to respond. I left them a 5-star review as any customer who is fully satisfied would do.
On the #CouldBeBetter end, there wasn't anything with my garage door that I would/could ask to change. However, I attempted to hire an electrician to install a light in my living room. I put it out once. No bids. Then I talked to a contractor who said that electricians don't like to use their valuable hours bidding small jobs. As a result of the conversation, my second bid request was highly detailed about the scope of the project with promised exemptions from quoted prices if the job was not as I had described. I had hoped to lure an electrician to give me ANY price with the understanding that s/he could raise the price later without any guff from me, and still -0- bids. I know the new system allows me to tap directly into an electrician and more or less force them to pay for the quote, but given that the third time I put out the bid request I still had -0- replies, I figure I will just end up contacting someone directly. Could be better if there could be a bidder.
I have used Thumbtack as a customer! I hired a photographer, a DJ, and rented chairs and tables for my kid's Bar Mitzvah party. It was easy, I had quotes and was able to compare, and then the service from my chosen pros were excellent all around. As a pro, I feel I'm doing the best I can - replying swiftly, telling exactly why I'm different and how I'm able to help meet the needs of the customer, and being ready to meet them. I expect no less from those I would look to hire for my own needs as a customer. I recommend Thumbtack to friends who are looking for help for various things, and also to my students who are looking to step out as a pro.
Also - Thumbtack helped me launch my wedding officiant business, and for that I'm so grateful.