- Easy to create an account
- Allows your clients to post reviews of your work
- Mobile app provides instant notification
- Very low acceptance even though only the first 5 bids are considered
- You pay for leads even if the buyer backs out
- Rumors of scraping "jobs" from Craigslist, etc.
Thumbtack offers to provide high quality local leads to help businesses and provide services to people. They tout the “success” of small businesses who have supposedly hit their goals and made their businesses successful, all due to Thumbtack. While it really does sound like a perfect solution for small businesses, in reality, I think the only one making their business successful is Thumbtack.
I came across Thumbtack early in 2016 and it sounded like a great way to promote my web design business, locally. Even though I had read some of the negative reviews and “scam warnings”, ultimately, I decided to give it a try. Signing up was quick and easy. On their website, they claim to “review every customer request to ensure it’s legitimate”.
They will send you new customer work requests via email, text messages or the Thumbtack app immediately. If you’re one of the first 5 respondents to quote on a project, that’s it. The customer then has to choose from one of the 5 service providers. Thumbtack will send all of your info, profile and work history along with client testimonials, etc. for you. Best of all, you pay only when you send a quote, using your Thumbtack credits. Sounds easy doesn’t it?
Easy it might be but results are not so great
I took the time to ask many of my long time web clients to send in reviews, which they did. Every one of the reviews were fantastic and I could have gotten even more. The quotes I provided were reasonable, affordable and backed with a great portfolio. Here is an example of the client testimonial I posted:
I spent a lot of money bidding on quotes and out of 10 or 12 customer bids, I did manage to land one, small project which I completed for a local organization. With this “win” in mind, I kept on bidding on projects, figuring that even if I did win one out of 10, it would still be financially viable.
For some reason, the quality of customer bids continued to decline
The longer I stayed enrolled with Thumbtack, the lower the quality of customer requests seemed to become. The rates they wanted work done for were much lower and even the client names, etc. sounded like something culled from Craigslist posts, etc. Yet, Thumbtack did say that they check every service request for legitimacy. Ok, so I decided to hang with it a bit longer.
What I didn’t like and finally caused me to shut down my Thumbtack account was the increasing occurrences of “customers” viewing submitted quotes and then withdrawing. For instance, I was increasingly getting the following message after paying and using up my credits on a bid: “the customer has decided not to accept any of the bids or do the project themselves”, or something to that effect.
Wait a minute? This sure sounds like a Thumbtack scam!
I complained to Thumbtack that it was not fair to pay to quote on a project, only for the “customer” to “decide to do it themselves”, in which case, my quote fee should have been refunded. It is truly one thing to be outbid by another service provider or selected for some other reason but you shouldn’t have to pay for some idiot scrapping the job post because they decided they didn’t want to pay to have it done.
Anyway, despite my complaint, it didn’t amount to anything beyond a standard form email which they probably send out to all their pissed off service providers. I closed down my account soon thereafter (which is why I cannot post screen shots here).
I probably should have taken all of those “Thumbtack is it a scam” posts more seriously.
There are also some great YouTube videos about this too. One guy in particular did 3 videos. Like me, he started off cautiously optimistic but eventually encountered all of the things I mentioned above. His third and final video about Thumbtack clearly shows how he felt about it in the end.
Like others who have been disappointed with Thumbtack, I do feel there is a great need (as a service provider) for a job quote system like this. However, it needs to be legitimate and fair with full disclosure about the authenticity of “customers” who are seeking service providers.
I am not providing a link for Thumbtack here as I do NOT approve of the service. You may have a difference of opinion and wish to try it yourself, so please do so, if you wish.
A quick note about the reviews and tool links on this site: I am an affiliate for most every product I review or link to. I purchase these products and test them myself in order to create quality reviews. All my reviews are completed as honestly as possible. I make no promises to the vendor prior to writing my review as to the content of the review. Should you click a link on this site that takes you to a paid product, this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to purchase that product.
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