Thumbtack Review for Freelancers

Review of Thumbtack for Freelancers

For over a year, I have had a Thumbtack account for my resume writing service (not my virtual assisting) and never received any leads until March 2012. Then almost daily I began receiving up to five leads a day. So naturally, I became curious about this site and wanted to investigate it further.

Thumbtack is a cross between Angie’s List and Odesk, where freelancers (writers, virtual assistants, web designers, and photographers) place bids on potential jobs or contracts as they become available. Thumbtack is unique for several reasons, which is what will be discussed in this article.

While Thumbtack has approved contractors (painters, plumbers, and electricians), it also has “Thumbtack verified” freelancers. Without getting too confusing, Thumbtack also offers other categories similar to Angie’s List such as Business & Legal, Cars & Truck, Classes & Lessons, Events, Family Services, Health & Beauty, Home Services, Tech & Web Services, and Writing & Translation.

 

How do you get started with Thumbtack?

While Odesk users (as well as Elance, Freelancer.com, and others) don’t require the freelancer to have a web site, Thumbtack does. In fact, it is part of the approval and verification process. If you do have a web site or blog advertising your freelance services, you may have received an email from Heather Madison inviting you to join Thumbtack for free. Later on you may want to add other freelance businesses—if you have any—to the web site.

 

How do you set up your profile at Thumbtack and how is it different from other bidding sites?

Upon putting together your profile, you will become “Thumbtack verified”. The profile is different from other bidding sites in that you do not post samples of your work or take tests. Your profile is set up with your picture or company logo, any video you have talking about your service, and an online “interview”. The interview is in written form and you merely type your answers for the potential client(s) to read.

Just as you collect feedback and improve your rating on other sites, you will do the same at Thumbtack. Based on the number of points you receive, you will either be ranked a Bronze, Silver or Gold membership.

You can earn points by linking to Twitter, taking surveys, referring your friends, and adding a Thumbtack button to your own web site. It is possible to move up in membership without receiving any client feedback as long as you have completed those tasks. On other bidding sites such as Odesk, you would need the client feedback to improve your rating or score.

 

How do freelancers bid for jobs and how is it different from other bidding sites?

With Thumbtack, you can only bid on the leads that were sent to your email address. Thumbtack will select them for you. The findings are based on zip code, but for freelancers there is flexibility.

I did like that all potential clients are Thumbtack verified even though sites like Odesk will let you know if clients have not been verified. One thing about Thumbtack that is different than other bidding sites is that you don’t know who you are bidding against and what they are charging.

Once the email is received by you the freelancer, you may click on Submit Bid or Decline Job. If you click on Submit Bid and the client hasn’t reached 10 quotes, you will select a fixed fate, hourly rate or incremental rate for a large job.

Only the first 10 service providers who responded can place a bid for this job. I was on Thumbtack for over a year before I even started to receive potential leads. I have found that you have to be quick to bid on these potential jobs, because the maximum number of bids are received quickly.

Then you will need to write a brief proposal in the correct field of your account explaining to the client why you are the right person for the job. There will be a description of the job and what the clients expectations both inside the email and again to the left of the proposal field.

One of the biggest differences with Thumbtack and other bidding sites is that you must pay to bid on jobs whether or not you get the job. Fees range from $3 to $20 per bid (based on the size of the job). Now, Thumbtack will refund your money if you wait one week after submitting an unsuccessful proposal and send an email to [email protected] I unsuccessfully bid on two jobs and was refunded my money both times.

As you can imagine this could get expensive, especially if you plan on bidding on multiple jobs. Thumbtack does offer a monthly membership fee for unlimited leads for only $29.95. It is done month-to-month and you may cancel at any time.

When I contacted customer support about why this was, I was told that it is one of the many pay structures that they are experimenting with.

 

How can you improve your rating on Thumbtack?

As stated earlier, you can earn points and move from Bronze membership to Gold membership. You can also have former clients or colleagues write a review for you on your review page. They will need to open a Thumbtack account in order to do this.

 

How is the pay handled at Thumbtack?

Usually a week after the job is successfully completed, payment is received either by PayPal or loaded on a credit or debit card of your choice.

 

What is my overall impression of Thumbtack?

It seems to get very mixed reviews. (http://www.vroooom.com/blog/marketing-tips/thumbtack-com-review/)

I can understand this especially if you are comfortable with bidding sites such as Odesk, Elance, and Freelancer among others. I also found the dashboard difficult to navigate unlike the one at Odesk.

Thumbtack has been written up in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal as well as they do have a presence on Twitter (www.twitter.com/thumbtack) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thumbtack).

I think it does have potential to eventually grow. And just going out on their Facebook page and seeing that there are freelancers slowly making headway on Thumbtack is encouraging. I have also chatted with some of them and read their posts.

I have found their customer service to be quick to answer as well as they did refund my two unsuccessful bids. After speaking with others and doing my own research, I am not sure how much longer, I will keep my own account open or if I’ll get bold enough to try a monthly membership fee.

 

Is it really worth the monthly fee when I can join other sites for free?

I know there will be those that say why pay a monthly membership when you can go to Odesk and only pay if you get work and take months off to do other things. I have always been a believer in that if it’s worth it to you to pay for it and you can justify the money with good quality leads, then go for it!

 

How can I apply to Thumbtack?

Visit Thumbtack and fill out the “List Your Services” form. Listing your service is completely free.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the thorough review, Leisa. I had heard of Thumbtack before but never fully understood how it works. Sounds like there are some good things about it but also some negatives.

    • S. Robison says

      I’m currently trying Thumbtack. So far, I am finding one very objectionable thing about the service. When a potential client responds to a bid within 48 hours – whether they use that bidder’s services or not, that bid is spent. Even if the client does not use the bidder’s services, the bidder does not get their money back. Period. Unless the client took over 48 hours to respond.
      As of today, 2-5-14, I have proposed to Thumbtack that they instruct the potential clients NOT to respond to any bidder they plan NOT to use. That way, the bid money will not be wasted, and it will be restored to the bidder’s account. Let’s see if Thumbtack incorporates this sensible policy!

      • DJ VA says

        My Problem with Thumbtack, in my experience. Is that as a “Bidder” i am not allowed to ask a client questions about the specifics of their event. Example The client posts a date, but not a time or time length. So I cannot tell if im am bidding on a 1 hour birthday party or 4 hour birthday party.

        The second problem is that the way the site is set up clients can make multiple leads, and often do because for DJ’s they are limited to 5 bids, so often I there are multiple bids.

  2. Leisa Good says

    Anna, I agree. I almost think some of the problem could be trying to accommodate BOTH online freelancers and offline contractors in the home repair category. Maybe from a marketing perspective, trying to be too many things to too many types of professionals.

    Thank you for your comment.

  3. Raquel says

    I have used Freelancer in the past but this is the first time I have heard of thumbtack. I will have to look into it more as I like the concept.

  4. Edmund says

    It is nice to see an alternative to the traditional bid type sites like oDesk and Freelancer. I really think Thumbtack has a great spin on the whole freelance work model.

  5. LTS says

    Thumbtack is a corrupt and sleazy company, they run a horribly dishonest business practice. Numerous complaints have been filed at the BBB against them, if anyone wants some good reading Google “thumbtack complaints” Or better yet go to their Facebook page and read some of the comments (courtesy of their service providers)

    Potential clients cannot browse service providers profiles, don’t believe me? Go to their website and try and find the search tab. Instead potential customers have to fill out an online form which is then sent to dozens of service providers. Many of these so called providers are not qualified to say the least. Service providers then submit quotes based on the request. Once you pay your “referral” fee you do not get an email address or phone number. Latest update is that Thumbtack is generating fake requests internally, I predict a class action lawsuit within the next 6 months….and I cannot wait !!!

      • says

        Well I guess that the 28 jobs I have completed and been paid for through Thumbtack as well as the 20+ on the books that I have received a paid deposit and signed contract are all fake too.

    • says

      I completely disagree with the negativity for Thumbtack and I can tell you that my business would not be here today if it wasn’t for there service. People have the OPTION to bid on jobs and when they don’t get them they blame it on Thumbtack when in actuality maybe they should be looking into their sales tactics and marketing. My ROI has been extremely excellent and I have had much success here. Thumbtack limits the number of bids to 5 so DOZENS of service providers can not submit bids and I rarely cannot get a bid in due to these limitations. Once the potential client has your information they can view your profile and website and contact you directly IF they are interested so your marketing materials better be up to date and presented in a way that will attract customers. As far as FAKE request…not a very educated comment! You see Thumbtack refunds all of your credits if your bid has not been viewed in three days…and yes they do this regularly! Are they perfect….No!….Are they continuously improving …Yes.

      • Shara says

        This is hilarious. Do you realize what you are saying? If you have to depend on thumbtack to stay in business you probably should not be in business.

    • Don says

      I am in total agreement with LTS. this company is a very legitimate RIP OFF! I have numerous documented cases of fraudulent (fake) leads. followed by vague, cookie cutter responses to my inquiries. even their attempts at fake legitimacy are absurd. I asked a very specific question of a potential client (thumbtack “lead”) that related directly to my ability to perform the service they were requesting. my question was “deleted” by thumbtack, because it did not follow their question “guidelines”. I rephrased the questions multiple times to the point of complete vagueness, and still, my questions were “deleted” by thumbtack. their response to my inquiry as to why all my questions were being deleted, including the ones that were so vague there is no way they could have offended their “guidelines” – the response from thumbtack was canned and so vague it did not even address my question!

      all their professional website business reviews and employee information tell us that they have between 20 – 30 employees in the California bay area. but if you keep googling, you will find information that tells us they also have over 200 “contracted” employees in the Philippines! and why do they need so many cheap labor employees in the Philippines? because this is where all there FAKE leads are created – and when actually responded to, also from here. I spend 2 years in the Philippines. unlike other cheap labor countries, like India or Mexico, almost all Filipinos learn English in school and speak it fluently. this sure does help when trying to create a “legitimate” response to a question.

      thumbtack YOU are a complete Rip Off! and you slimes that come on here to defend them, are actually part of them. we’re not all quite as stupid as you would like to believe.

    • magda says

      my son is using the service has had a98% rate on his estimates so we will see at the end of a week if they are a made up company, or a made company?

  6. says

    Thumback is a scam they send you fake leads so you can buy credits and respond back with a quote you only get refund if the cliet do not open or read your quote but you dont get refund if the clien do not like your quote or accept your quote you have to pay all the time to reply a client with your quote that’s suck they scaming people with fake leads i’m not going to waste my money on this site I work hard for my money so other people grab my money using easy way to make money from other people I hope the site goes down one day

    • says

      How are they fake leads? So if someone does not like your quote then you should get your money back? They provided a service that put you in touch with the client and it is not Thumbtack’s fault if the client did not like what you had to offer. There is no commitment to book as it should be. I have booked over 50 gigs though them and have had great success with them and continue to do so. I booked 3 jobs yesterday through them and spoke to 2 real people who provided their number today. Perhaps it was your approach or your online reviews that made it so that you did not have success with them. I am a real person and employed by Thumbtack.

  7. Michele says

    wow! I just signed up, and received a possible job to bid on today, but ran this search before turning over my credit card details to buy credit… now I am unsure what to do. Try at the risk of losing a few dollars, or steer clear? I have never used one of these referral services, but just relocated and need a push…
    Confused.

    • says

      @ Michelle Don’t be afraid….Thumbtack has been great for us however you need to really have your profile and website professionally done and attractive if you want customers. Once you get customers then make sure you get the reviews. Once you get reviews it really starts picking up. I don’t blame Thumbtack for failing people I blame people for not using Thumbtack the way it was intended to be used and having all of their supporting marketing material up to snuff!

      • says

        I agree with Rob D. I think Thumbtack is a good service for bigger jobs, but may not be worth it for smaller jobs (ie, resume’s, which there seem to be a ton of requests for). Also, I am very selective on how I spend my credits. That being said, it does work well for my online tutoring business to find new clients.

    • says

      I have been using Thumbtack for about 18 months and have had an overall very good experience with them. I have booked over 40 jobs with them, not counting the referrals from those happy clients. It has helped my photography ALOT.

  8. says

    I don’t know if they generate fake leads or not. However the caliber of the leads are terrible. People who want entire weddings photographed for $400 with prints and a CD. Senior portrait sessions and family photo sessions with an entire budget of just $200. Commercial shoots with a budget of just $200 AND they need it right away. For me it’s been a waste.

    • says

      @ Larry…True but not 100% true…You do get the impossible low bidders for $400.00 weddings but you have the choice not to bid on them. We wait for the ones that come in at over 1000.00 and bid on those and our ROI has been excellent!…Be diligent….I promise it will work out. You can go into your profile and set your price limits for photography and you won’t even see the ridiculously low bids anymore. We have actually made a killing with Thumbtack this year.

      http://www.gmsphotos.com

  9. Leisa Good says

    @ Michele – you can actually try a few leads like I did and pay by PayPal. Then if the lead doesn’t accept your bid, send and email for your money back. I did it three times and always received my money back. I think it was like $7.99 a lead or something if you weren’t on an unlimited monthly plan.

    Michele – you can always sign up at Odesk, Guru or Elance for free. Set up a portfolio and start bidding for work.

    You can also take tests to prove yourself. I have used Odesk to find work and Elance to find workers. Both are very reputable. Sometimes you do find low bidders, but once you establish yourself you can raise your prices and roll with it! I’d rather see you go some place like Odesk, Guru, and Elance.

    @ Larry – thanks for sharing. Sometimes a waste of time is ALMOST as bad as something “scammy”.

  10. John Kolbrich says

    Biggest scam on earth, you must be getting paid from them to post positive reviews, I have been in business for 10 years and when some one is interested in our services, they buy almost immediately… 20 straight leads from Thumbtack and not one person buys, when you call them up, they don’t know what you are talking about… this tells me these are people who set up fake leads to collect the referral fee… Spare me, I have talked to hundreds of others across the country with the same experience….. I am thinking of launching a class action suite as they need to get a wake up call to not do dishonest business..

    • Leisa Good says

      @ John – This is not a positive review, but an attempt to be objective and present both the positive and the negative. I even stated that I had received mixed reviews when researching.

      I had even applied for three gigs–never got them, but did get my refund all three times. In all fairness, I have to report that. I also know of people who have landed photography gigs–some low-paying but some not. They did receive payment.

    • says

      @john….look inward….if your profile and website marketing is not up to current standards and appealing to the eye this will hurt you. When people using Thumbtack look at your profile they will pass on your business based on your presence. I spend about 700.00 a month on Thumbtack and my ROI is fantastic….I don’t work for Thumbtack and nobody has to pay me to say anything. Here is my profile. (http://www.thumbtack.com/md/abingdon/photographer/photography-video-production) and for the hundreds you say you have that had bad experiences with Thumbtack I have 208 Elite members who will argue with you.

    • says

      i’m with Robert. I too am an elite Thumbtack member. I have had great success using them. I am not paid by them either. I am here to set the record straight as anyone who thinks Thumbtack is a scam just either has no idea how to market themselves or have a horrible online reputation. My proof that I am a real person who is not employed by Thumbtack is right here:
      http://www.thumbtack.com/nc/lexington/djs/dj-services
      https://www.facebook.com/byron.cuthrell
      http://www.onestepbeyonddjs.com
      http://www.facebook.com/OneStepBeyondDJs

      • says

        As I am a family entertainer (music, comedy, and DJ), I have been researching Thumbtack. After reading literally hundreds of reviews, for what it’s worth it seems that maybe 15% are favorable to the service.

        I’m still interested, though, and will probably give it a good shot.

        I have to ask, though: Robert/Byron, did I see similar comments from one/both of you on another blog? If so, you must really like the service to tout it in more than one place.

    • NEM says

      I am definitely in for a class action law suit against thumbtack…I am a gold member,yet it seems like you’re in no higher standing then a bronze member..Some one who doesn’t even fill out one question&you take the time to compose detail answers…They’re A HUGE SCAM!Yes,i have gotten a few jobs but lately you can’t even ASK SIMPLE QUESTIONS..I used to have a template that would weed out the fakes&low ballers,NOW EVERY QUESTION SEEMS TO BE BEING DELETED OR EDITED.

      Also,the incorrect English these people use to respond and how vague the descriptions for the jobs are”SCREAM FISHY”…You email customer service&get the COOKIE CUTTER GENERIC REPLY…You can tell they haven’t read it because they address nothing individual or concerns that you said in your email lol

      I brought up an age requirement as i am a fitness trainer…A 14 year old kid is likely going to have to get the ok&funds to train with an adult…So why do they even let them send requests…Also,i know its a scam because lately questions that you submitted before are now coming in a week later…Then when u go to bid it says”THIS PERSON ALREADY HIRED SOME1″..BULLSHIT!..I spoke to one of the clients and they instructed me they answered my questions about an hour after i asked them originally,yet i never received those answers till almost A WEEK LATER…And the bid requests are suppose to expunge after i think 3 to 5 days.

      Also,the quality of leads are JUST PURE INFERIOR&INSULT TO MY SCHOOLING;CERTS,EXPERTISE;LIABILITY INSURANCE THAT MUST BE MAINTAIN&MY 12 YEARS TRAINERS EXPERIENCE…Clients offering 225 for 12 sessions for you to travel excess of 50 miles one way to them with equipment…And i drive A RANGE ROVER,Won’t even cover my gas for the week!…COMPLETE LUDICROUS!!!..Also,with potential predators on the web,wouldn’t you think thumbtack would be concerned about”CHILD SAFETY”and not let them send bids&meet in person…Tells you a lot about the morals of the company right there…I had a fourteen year old pose as being older just to meet me and told me she was turned on by my picts..Said,she wanted to get to know me on a physical level…Said,SHE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN TRAINING!…That could have really turned out bad…Good thing i just left.

      Also,i have over 35 perfect reviews,yet seldom do i get individual requests anymore…Its just another ANGIE’S LIST waiting to be uncovered…LETS ALL FILE IN ON THIS CLASS ACTION SUIT AND DO AWAY WITH COMPANY’S WHO OPERATE WITH NO MORALS;NO ETHICS,A LACK OF COMPASSION,A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING&WILLFUL MISCONDUCT!!!-POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

      NEM

  11. says

    I’ve actually had a very positive experience on Thumbtack. You can review my profile ( http://www.thumbtack.com/wa/vancouver/resume-writers-and-editors/resume-writing-service ) to see that I have several completed jobs and excellent reviews. Some of my clients have referred me to their friends/colleagues and I have generated a lot of referral business.

    Yes it’s true, many of the people there want me to help them into six-figure incomes without paying an appropriate price. That’s the nature of business… cheap people are everywhere. I blame our egocentric, get it as cheap as possible “Wal-Mart culture”, but that’s a lengthy post for another day. ;)

    Back to Thumbtack. Are they perfect? No. They are definitely experiencing some growing pains. However, they have reached out to me and other providers in a private Facebook group so that we can share our opinions and requests. Many changes have been implemented based on the requests from service providers.

    Is it worth the money? My ROI has been pretty good and my response rate & hire rate are both increasing steadily. This cannot be said for everyone though so my advice is to try it out. You can always stop spending money there after your first batch of credits runs out.

  12. Leisa Good says

    Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing that. I have seen their Facebook page before. I so appreciate your positive feedback. Maybe I will give their monthly rate a try. I am sure it is like everything else. Positive for some, but negative for others. I will also look at your profile.

    Oh, yes! I know what you mean. There really are cheap people everywhere.

  13. John says

    I have to side on the positive side. I’ve been using Thumbtack for my DJ service for the past year and my business has doubled. I was skeptical at first as well but there are a few things to keep in mind:
    1. As you said, you don’t know who you’re bidding against or get to see their bid so if you are high end – you probably wont get many people to contact you back. My service isn’t the cheapest by far, but it’s at or just below the average.

    2. It’s sales – the 8 out of 10 “no” factor is at play. Typically, for every 10 sales attempts, you get a no. The 2 yes’s greatly pay for the total of 10 quotes purchased (if you price your bids accordingly)

    3. The biggest benefit I see is the fact that you get a lot of information up front BEFORE purchasing the credit to send a bid. You get to see the area the client is from, what they are looking for, what their budget it, etc. So if you use credits you paid for on a client whose budget is $200 and your minimum is $500 – guess what? ALTHOUGH, there have been times when I’ve sent the bid anyway and been able to make the sale. You also get the opportunity to ask questions (within reason) if you need more info to send a quote.

    4. It’s all about the sales PROCESS – most sales take 5 to 7 contacts to get a yes – this system works the same way. Once you’ve purchased the bid a line of communication is opened with them. Granted, you may or may not get a phone number or email address (depending on what the client makes available) but you can use the Thumbtack relay. I cannot tell you how many wedding’s I’ve booked months after sending a quote.

    There will always be complaints because you just don’t get every job. I was suspicious at one point and began to send to people “please send me contact information so I can verify this is an actual bid and not fraudulent website” and sometimes did get a “it’s for real, I’ve just decided to go with someone else”

    One of the biggest downfalls to the site in my opinion is the fact that it’s free to clients and due to aggressive SEO strategies they draw a lot in – but this means they also draw in a lot of “price checkers” – people just getting an idea of what they’re getting into without any real intention to hire. You can take it to the site and request a refund and sometimes they will depending on what the job was.

    I allocate $200 of my monthly advertising budget to purchasing leads through Thumbtack and haven’t had a month below $4000 in booking from Thumbtack leads. I have 30 events booked in 2014 already and all but one are due to Thumbtack. By booking I mean I met with the client and received a deposit.

    It boils down to 2 things:
    You Get What You Pay For
    AND
    You Can’t Buy Success
    Meaning – you can run free ads on craigslist all day and hope for something to hit or you can pay for leads that are specifically looking for you HOWEVER, you have to work the lead, stopping at simply buying the lead and sending the quote probably wont net great results.

    I will say though, no matter what success you realize or loss you incur, it is legitimate – it may not be the best venue for you though.

  14. Ronnie Edwards says

    A lot of the information here is not true. I have been a contractor with Thumbtack for over two years and they have helped by business grow tremendously. You do not need a website ( I am just now working on getting one). They only allow 4 providers to bid not 10, your rating does depend not only on your qualifications but mainly on your clients reviews. They are always willing to work on any issues or complaints and are extremely fair. Like any other company they are not perfect but they are not a scam out to get your money. After more than two years I have no complaints, my emails are quickly responded and their team members are absolutely awesome. Google my company Irie Vibes in Houston, TX and check out my profile. When you want to succeed in business you have to realize that it takes money to make money. Thumbtack is an EXCELLENT company to help grow your business however, you have to put in some work as well. They provide you with tips and tools on how to get those jobs you bid on. I am shocked to read the negative comments above, I would recommend those that have issues to contact thumbtack directly and I am absolutely positive they will work with you to get those issues resolved. Thumbtack is by far one of the BEST online companies to get clients from. My most repetitive clients have come from thumbtack and I am thankful for their help in growing my business.

    • says

      @ronnie…I think you misunderstood a little bit. We have a 40% win average and I’m not saying that you NEED a website but in today’s industry…you NEED a website….LOL..You may be getting work now through your Facebook page and Thumbtack and that’s great but if you have a professional looking website to back all of this up it only helps increase your win percentage. Let thumbtack send you people…let your marketing tools help you land the job. When I search for a service company the first thing I look for is their website. The second thing I do is look for reviews. If you didn’t have a website I wouldn’t even take the time to talk with you….and that unfortunately is this internet driven world is what is happening. Also they allow 5 bids not 4…

      @ the rest of you…There is no monthly fee anymore…it is strictly credit driven.

  15. says

    I have been using Thumbtack for about 18 months and have had a very positive experience. Thumbtack has helped my business grow. Thumbtack allows you to only bid on the leads that you are interested in. You only pay for the leads that you submit a quote.

  16. says

    I have been a member of Thumbtack for about 15 months now. When I first started on it I was not booking any jobs for the first 2 months. All of a sudden I got a booking. Then another and another. I started getting reviews on Thumbtack and was getting more bookings. As I got more bookings and reviews on there (Thumbtack posts how many jobs you have completed through their service) my bookings increased even more. I am now ranked #1 in my area on their site for DJs and continue to book many weekly. Yesterday for example I got 3 bookings. I pay $85 for 12 leads that I contact (I get many more leads than that but some may fall on days i am booked or other factors that I do not contact) but average around 66% on my bookings that I contact. 1 booking for me pays for the $85 investment many times over. In my opinion it is foolish not to use them. I have really seen my business grow and fairly quickly at that, due to Thumbtack.com.

    • says

      My first first business was at 23 straight out of FSU. I am now 58 and still amazed at those who understand their profession but 100% totally ignorant about their basic understanding of Business 1901,102, and 103. All my nbusinesses involved %3 million to $500 million dollars with several industries.
      These individuals are great at their specific business but ley,or specialities but will make a lot more money working for the guys who really understand BUSINESS!

  17. says

    I do not believe I saw this addressed or not but Thumbtack refunds your credits after 48 hours not a week if the client has not viewed your quote. This past weekend I had 5 refunds which is about $45. In no way is thumbtack a scam.

  18. Leisa Good says

    Also, one last thing. It is good to know Thumbtack is growing and helping many of you grow your businesses. I am sure things may have changed a bit since I first joined. The only change I see is they used to require a web site or really, really preferred it as part of the verification process–at least for freelance writing, web design, etc. I don’t think plumbers, electricians, etc. necessarily needed one at that time.

    Great insights! Thanks to everyone who responded.

  19. Betsy Fornier says

    Thumbtack is a scam and a lie. They code their webpages to come up in search engines with the title “The Top 32 general contractors in Cincinnati” or whatever the industry, city, and number of companies they list. But anyone can fill out a profile with them, including bogus companies or ones operating illegally without a license. So how are they the “top” companies? Answer: They aren’t, and it’s a lie. Thumbtack scams the consumer with their fraudulent website titles. Google should blacklist them.

  20. dlj says

    Wow! I didn’t realize Thumbtack had such a polarizing effect on business owners. I joined because a friend of mine won a bid for a $3,000 corporate video. I’d never heard of the site and I had crowded sites like Elance so I thought I’d try it out. So far, I’ve worked with the National Parkinson Foundation and have two pending jobs with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. I found it ironic that bigger companies use Thumbtack, but they were from out of town and needed the services done well though they had no local contacts.

    However, if you’re bidding on 20+ jobs and not getting any return I say get off the site. A lot of these sites work extremely well for one industry, but very poorly for others. I also ask a lot of indirect questions that help me gauge whether the client is interested in buying now and what their budget is. This is easy for me to do because I offer a B2B service. I would imagine B2C being more fickle since corporations have set budgets and timelines they are working within.

  21. Barry Evans says

    My Thumbtack experience has not been a profitable one. I got a very small, low paying gig for design work and after about 2 months of using the service I must have spent about triple the amount as compared to the business I have secured on paying Thumbtack for leads. While some leads appear worthwhile, most are just useless with people with little or no budget or low-ballers. Either Thumbtack needs to reduce their pricing or interview the people who get to post leads on the service. Right now I refuse to use the service.

    • Paul G says

      There is no verification of job posters 80% aren’t real. Its a system gamed against those actually paying to use it. They are service oriented to those not paying.

  22. Cris says

    I just made to qoutes to a client who in there date and schedule is flexible meaning if I can get this client we can schedule an appointment. But when I check review qoute
    one client set up an appointment at 4 pm and the other is at 1 pm the following day, that was not on their request the first time they are requesting for a therapist. I only do this part time on the side I’m not getting so happy with the result of this website. I’m not really sure if they are sending real lead or a fake one.

  23. says

    I really dislike thumbtack. The only job I ever got through them came from a client contacting me directly through my profile not me bidding on it. You pay for the bid and get a message that says “your bid has been sent to the client” and that’s it. No follow up info. The details they provide you are too small to write a quality bid for because they don’t include the client’s budget so you have no idea if it’s even a job you’d be interseted in. I really think they are skimming money away from small business.

  24. says

    This website is a total scam, i would say at least 70% of the leads are fake. the rest Tumbtack does not force the proper questions of the clients (regarding website design) which means we have no idea if they are real or not, “I need a website” is not a lead..
    As a web developer it cots $15.00 for us to contact a lead, And 95% of them never write back, of those only 3% become a job. Thumbtack is a total waste of my money. My time would be better spent standing on a offramp with a cardboard sign.
    – Joshua

  25. says

    I’ve been using Thumbtack now for a few months and I have been delighted with it. I’m Personal Chef and also do cooking classes and small events. I often get leads for weddings but I pass on them.
    When I see someone looking for a personal chef or a in-home cooking class I almost always send a quote. Sometimes I’ll see a small dinner party and I will send a quote to them too.
    I have advertised in local magazines and that was an arm and leg and the ROI was not good what so ever.
    I have picked up a lot of new business from Thumbtack and trying to add more positive feedback.
    I also might mention I just noticed Joshua’s reply and would recommend him to check out Fiverr.com… he could get someone else to stand on an offramp holding a cardboard sign and it would only cost him $5.

    Cheers,

    Ken

  26. Chris n. says

    How are suppose to submit a bid on something you can’t see. I never give quotes without physically seeing the job site yet thru Thumb tack your bid won’t go thru without giving a monetary figure.

    • says

      Agreed. I do mobile audio recording (effectively, a recording studio on wheels), and can’t make a bid/submit a quote without having some detailed information. The “leads” posted on Thumbtack all seem like they’re written by a drunk person on an iPhone with auto-complete enabled, that is, if there’s any meaningful information supplied by the client at all.

      Thumbtack is a scam. Plain and simple.

  27. says

    Thumbtack is a scam web-site. Bogus leads, fake/made-up “clients”. I’ve paid to send out about 2 dozen quotes, and gotten zero responses. After the first few, I stopped including any mention of pricing, simply requesting more info about the person’s needs. NO responses. Save your money.

  28. says

    I had a lot of the same frustrations and problems as posters above did in terms of buying access to respond to builds for my work as a tutor for the SAT and ACT. After spending over $150 and getting not a single real job, I decided to create my own startup that will work much better for service providers. Its called zurved, at http://www.zurved.com, and it works MUCH more transparently. It should really help many of the people who have smaller-value jobs that are not being served by TK.

    You simply post specifically what you provide and how much youI charge for it, just like people selling products do on eBay. It so happens that we’re starting out in South Florida, but will expand natioanlly eventually.

    Oh, even better, on Zurved, you request payment first. So the time I spent talking with people is primarily with those who have ‘clicked buy’ based on my asking price! Should save a LOT of time.

  29. Linda H says

    I’ve worked with Thumbtack for a few years and have seen pros and cons with it. Not all leads are fake. I’ve merited several great clients giving me repeat business through leads generated through Thumbtack. I tell each potential client to review my website then connect with me. Sometimes they call, sometimes they don’t. It’s part of marketing.

    Regarding complaints, frankly, I’ve got complaints for clients generated through Thumbtack. Some are great clients and our business contact and follow-through was rewarding for both. However, I’ve also gotten clients who were scammers, demanded services beyond what they contracted or paid for, or were unprofessional, had an entitlement attitude and were bogus.

    Overall, Thumbtack is a lead-generating bid mill that businesses use for marketing purposes. Yes, you pay for the leads, it’s part of the marketing model. Clients submit their need and you can or cannot reply. I’ve learned that leads outside my general area may not reply, depends on their need. I can set my preferences to receive those leads or skip them, but it’s possible I might miss a viable lead that would contract for long-term. Regardless, I’m in control of who and what I bid on.

    And yes, Thumbtack will delete information you insert into your replies “based on their policy”. But you can write your bid to connect with the client by private email or phone and then ask your questions. I do this often and it works.

    There are tons of scams out there, but Thumbtack is simply a bid-mill marketing tool that can or cannot pay off for the contractor. It totally depends on the expectations set within the initial bid and whether you want to do your own marketing or pay another company to get leads for you. You find phoney clients and unprofessional contractors just about anywhere.

  30. says

    Please contact me Jim Hancock, [email protected] I’m for any kind of class action suit against thumbtack, I’m appalled that they have taken it upon themselves to place themselves between the service provider and the client….. and then want to charge the service provider….. it’s sleazy in the worst way…..

  31. Sebastian A. says

    Thumbtack is a horrible. As a struggling independent music teacher with over 27 years of experience, I was looking for better ways to get students. This site is horrible. I had a lead THE MOMENT I SIGNED UP! As if someone were WAITING for me! I paid for their bidding credits and called someone who did not speak English very well and did not know what I was talking about for a minute then said they would call me back. Excuse me, how can you not know you desire a service you have put a request out for??? To all my fellow independent music teachers out there, please, for the love of what we do, AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS! I will be calling the better business bureau in a few days to report them.

  32. says

    LEADS ARE BOGUS – NO GOOD…….

    I will NOT buy any more credits, i offered free computer repairs to test out there leads, no calls.
    Thumbtack is a waste of money and time – just burn your money with lighter – .

  33. says

    I’ve just listed my business with Thumbtack and want to ask those of you who are seasoned users, do you get better results if your prices for your products and services are listed on your website. I have different packages and different levels of services. I am a career coach, executive and business coach and offer resume and cover letters, social media profiles, blogging services, etc. Do you know if consumers looking for professionals visit the website or are they just looking for the lowest bidder? Some of your commenters seem to indicate the latter. Also when you respond to a bid request, do you provide the prices for different services., e.g. an entry level resume is priced differently than someone with 10+ years of experience in the same industry? Your comments would be appreciated.

  34. Thomas D says

    The positive Thumbtack reviews on here are laughable. I love how the “It works for me, it cant be a scam” positions are taken. Do you people have any clue of how many bad reviews exist against this joke of a company? Its such typical American behavior to just shrug your shoulders and assume they are legit, (and only because you haven’t been burned yet) I have a pile of evidence that strongly confirms what most people complain about (ripped off, bait and switch, scammed, etc) It will catch up with them, its only a matter of time. Now for the fun part, do yourselves a favor and google search them. Try searching for “thumbtack scam” “thumbtack rip off” That will keep you busy for hours. Don’t forget about the BBB website that averages around 4 complaints a week. Or for more quality reading go look over their Facebook pages. Keep in mind they have two employees that erase all the negative comments leave.

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