First, a thank you to Thumbtack for allowing me to quit my job and open my own business in less than a year. I am forever grateful. I think pricing is pretty straightforward for my field (personal training), but it sounds like it could get messy in other areas of work (e.g., landscaping, catering). In my case, if the customer lifetime value (CLV) is somewhere in the ballpark of $4,000.00 (assuming a client leaves after 12 months), then I will happily pay, on average, $10 for new client leads. However, my biggest gripe—and a very clear issue across the board after reading people's comments—is the quick reply feature. Quick replies do not necessitate interaction. In fact, as little as 5% of people that use quick reply actually continue a conversation with me. Thus, I'd love if this feature was removed or altered to instigate legitimate conversation. That being said, let's do some quick math. If I get 100 quick replies and only 5 of them become clients, that means I paid $1,000.00 to acquire $20,000.00 worth of business. In essence, Thumbtack allows me to get 20x my investment, yearly, and that doesn't count general exposure (e.g., people go to my website off Thumbtack and actually hire me there). All of that is to say that I think Thumbtack is relatively fair in my world, but that doesn't mean it can't improve. Moreover, from the sound of it, they need to scale the pricing structure to accommodate other business models.
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