I saw a comment get three kudos that complained about paying for leads and not getting the job. I'd like to suggest a different approach. Poor business people should get charged for losing bids as long as SOMEBODY on thumbtack gets the bid. If you get window shoppers who never end up paying Thumbtack's vendors, that ends up making Thumbtack costly and useless. Uncompetitive businesses should pay the fee for leads. It's a slap on teh wrist for trying to rip off Thumbtack's paying customers. Businesses with good prices should recoup the costs of leads just fine. The bad businesses eventually stop using Thumbtack because they only lose money. This leaves behind good businesses that help Thumbtack's reputation as a good place to find vendors with good quality and good prices. The current model encourages vendors to inflate their prices to pay for the leads that end up buying AND the window shoppers. This gives thumbtack higher prices than teh same vendors charge elsewhere. Does that make Thumbtack look like a good place to shop? Seriously, Thumbtack, stop charging vendors for ghosts. If they don't buy, vendors shouldn't pay. If they do buy, you collect from everyone who tried. Long term, this should be a more profitable business model for you.
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I'd be content if I got charged if ANY Thumbtack vendor got paid by a customer. From what I could tell, you may get window shoppers that cost Thumbtack vendors money and had no intent of makign a purchase. If no Thumbtack vendor gets the business, then the customer wasn't valuable. If Thumbtack doesn't provide customers with money to spend, what good is it? I think my rates are highly competitive, but without knowing whether anyone on Thumbtack won, I cannot know whether I have no chance, or whether I'm a contender, but we're being deluged with window shoppers.
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