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topic id 25265: Pricing
topic id 24883: The purpose of promotion and set your budget in advance
topic id 22503: Leads
topic id 26197: Paying twice for the same lead
topic id 22064: Questionable leads
topic id 14288: Declined "Leads" charged
topic id 18721: Old format
topic id 19454: Marketing Executive From Thumbtack Chooses Promoted Lead, Then Radio Silence
topic id 18206: New Model?
topic id 7183: I'm trying to remove a credit card remove ,from payments,system wont let me
Level 6

Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

Hello everybody.  After yet another unpleasant and unproductive Thumbtack experience today and getting "Dinged" yet again for absolutely nothing of any consequence. Except for the well paid crickets..........

I happened to come across an "interesting" Article this evening in a publication that I'd absolutely never heard of written by a Lauren Smiley.

The article was interviewing one Marco Zappacosta. Captioned as the bearded, 32-year-old CEO and cofounder of this formally glorious web site. He said : 

"Thumbtack also doesn’t use salespeople to prod the small-business owners to join, so word of mouth is essential. “If we’re not able to engage and retain [our pros],” Zappacosta says, “we have nothing.”



And with that I'll have to Sadly AGREE. Very Sadly.

Occupations (1)
12 responses
Moderator Meckell

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

@K-9 Everything we do, we do for our pros. We know that if Thumbtack isn't working for them, we can't succeed either. With that being said, I'm sorry to hear that you didn't have a great experience. What was unpleasant and unproductive about it? Is there anything I can help with? Go ahead and send me a private message and we can talk things out. 

0 Kudos
Level 7

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

@Meckell We (the pros) have been telling you what the problem is for some time now.  it makes no sense to pay $16.00 a crack to let someone kick the tires when they have 20 other sets of tires to kick.   When it only cost $3.00 to kick the tires and you were going up against 4 other local providers, then you had a reasonable chance of landing a job. 

But as Upton Sinclair once observed, "It's difficult to get a man to understand a problem when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it." 

Back under the old system from Jan to April, I spent 309.45 for 118 leads that resulted in 25 hires.  Most of those were in January.  I made a 79% gross profit off my thumbtack leads.  $2.62 per lead.   If you only count hires my cost was $12.38 a hire. 

Under the new system, I didn't use Instant Match.  I got a total of 19 contacts from May to October, of which16 turnedinto hires. I spent $378 for this six month period.  $19.89 a contact or $23.62 a hire.  So my cost was 39% of what I was making went to Thumbtack.  Less contacts, less hires, more money spent. 

Now with the one and only month I used "Promoted"...  I got 9 contacts... only one turned into a customer.  I spent 96.78 to get a single $60.00 gig.  that's fiscal insanity. 

How do you fix this? 

  • Only charge per “hire”, not per contact. True, you run the risk of people contacting each other and not reporting hires, but since you need the hires and reviews to maintain Top Pro status, I don’t think most people would do that.
  • Make the cost of a hire only $10% of the cost of the average price.
  • Limit bidding to local providers, only. I thought this was the purpose of Thumbtack, to be a virtual bulletin board for community businesses. Someone has lost the plot. 
  • Go back to only having five quotes… If the customer isn’t happy with that, they can request five more with the original five being told “You already bid on this job”. 



Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

@JoeB131    AWESOME response .  @Meckell, THIS is what we've all been complaining about and Joe knocked it out of the park with specific details!!!

Level 5

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

Amen to all that's been said. Customers that ask, " When are you available?" that ghost immediately upon being given the answer is beyond frustrating. Or the ones that click every option in the availability list, only to then be told  that they want somebody local. And now the ridiculous way that the matchng system is matching us to requests. Something's gotta give.


Level 4

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

JoeB131, thanks for giving specific numbers and identifying the problem. 

I don't have numbers quite THAT specific, but I DEFINITELY have seen all the swarms of GREAT LEADS I used to enjoy this time of year DISAPPEAR. Usually, for my wedding photo business, winter is the time when brides and wedding planners are looking to hire photographers for the Spring/Summer/Fall season. I used to be able to spend about $50/week on carefully-selected leads with budgets and needs that I can work with, from the dozens that would hit my Dashboard each week, and I'd get 1-2 hires per month over the season, which was plenty for me.

Now I get practically NOTHING, whether or not I "Promote" this service -- which, by the way, the "Promote" option is extremely limited in the ways that it presents my services and pricing. I can't even have the option of providing my HOURLY rate for wedding photo or photo lessons services, which is ESSENTIAL! They want me to quote a "Price for This Job", without knowing if my services are needed for one hour or 12. NUTS!!!

I have been on chats with Customer Service agents several times, and they are VERY professional and helpful -- but they cannot help me with a service that has become BROKEN!

Level 11

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............


Well said Joe!!! You knocked it out of the park as @AutumnElectric and others have said. I'm just catching up on the forum as I was banned for 30 days. I let my honesty and anger catch up with each other, which led to my ban. I see some things haven't changed at all.

Over a month ago, I along with many other Pros, you included, gave suggestions on improving Promote. We get told that they hear us. If they did hear us, some changes would have been made. They may listen but do NOT hear.

Before I get warned again by any rep, I hope they realize that I am saying in no shape or form am I telling you or anyone to not use Promote. Personally, it doesn't work for me, as I do not want to be charged for every generic reply(conversation reply). From reading most of the Forums, Thumbtack believes that those generic replies are from customers who want our service. NOT TRUE! In my absence for 30 days, I used the manual system, sought out customers that I feel are a fit for me  and got a few bookings from sending personable message with a quote. But the leads are way too expensive to leave Promote on. Changes have to be made. Don't know what Thumbtack is waiting for.


Level 7

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

@DJStevie I am seeing that the price quote in my category has gone down quite a bit.  So while I have not reactivated Promote,  I am answering some individual ads.  I even got an actual customer, but he had heard about me from a previous customer but didn't have my contact info.  My prices also went up at the begining of the year.   I might try to reactivate promote on a trial run some weekend this month, see if it works any better.  

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

Last year were getting a good amount of leads and hires. In the last 2 months, its all disappeared. We get ghosting people who want to know our availability and nothing after that. What is going on????

Level 6

Re: Right from the Mouth of Marco..............

I have been keeping an eye on the profiles of other Pros in my category, and their hires have not increased as far as I can tell. I have a pretty good feeling as to who is on "Promote" and I don't think it's made a difference for them.