There are two kinds of inquiries, the ones from those that are ready to hire the right person and the ones from those that are just curious (and some of those may be the competition doing research). I pay Thumbtack for both. It might help if the person requesting bids had 'a little skin in the game'. Why not require them to pay a little something which can be refunded if they actually hire a pro?
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I was charged $15. for a contact who didn't like my bid! I read that I would not be charged if a contact said "No thanks!" However, what happens if the contact uses different words to express that he does not like my bid; like suggesting that I charge too much per hour? This contact specifically thought that my time was not worth more than $15. per hour! In my opinion legitimate interest is expressed by questions about the service that is actually being offered - such as size, color and availability, etc. not an invitation to change the price! I think Thumbtack should clearly communicate to potential contacts that the bids they receive are the offered price - not less. If the client thinks that a bid is too high then they should pass on the bid by contacting another pro. If they contact me anyway to complain about the price - then isn't that the equivalant of saying 'No thanks!' to my bid? Failing that, then there should be a way for a pro to filter out contacts that want to negotiate price. Because some pros (like me) are not interested in price negotiation (or paying thumbtack for that privelege). There are sites where that goes on but that is a different business model and I would pay far less to participate in an auction. As far as bids posted on Thumbtack - my bid is the price which I am offering services for. Period.
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