GigSalad connects performers and servers with paying customers
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: Vary (see review)
Requirements: Over 18
What is GigSalad?
GigSalad is among a handful of online platforms that connect entertainers and service providers with people hosting parties and events.
The site promises one-stop shopping for everything from magicians to DJs, bartenders and wedding photographers. And the site seems to serve customers very well. Customer reviews of the entertainers they’ve hired through the site are generally positive.
But entertainers are mixed on the platform. When we first reviewed GigSalad in 2019, the complaints were consistent.The site’s fees are high and are imposed regardless of whether you find work.
But the site has since revised its fee schedule, creating a free plan. And that’s helped improve the site’s reviews among entertainers.
The site now (2023) has three subscription plans. The first is free to sign up, but charges 5% each time you get a booking. The next is $359 annually and charges a 2.5% fee on bookings. The final choice is a $479 plan, which also charges a 2.5% booking fee.
What’s the advantage of the paid plans? You get higher visibility on the site and you’re able to post more photos, videos and list your availability in more job categories. If you offer a high-cost service and get regular bookings, the lower commissions on the fee-based plans can also prove to be cost-saving.
Should you join?
Signing up for the free plan is a no-brainer. Why not? You can sign up for GigSalad here.
Whether or not the paid plans will work for you depends on what you do and charge.
Some performers get new business through GigSalad — even lucrative and repeat business. That said, the paid plans are expensive for gigs where you’re earning a low hourly rate, such as bartending and serving. We think these plans make more sense for bands, DJs and other providers of high-cost services.
What their users say (from SiteJabber):
Registered for a free account on GigSalad, thinking that it might be another platform like Thumbtack that will only get you leads (and fake leads) if you pay a lot of money. I was wrong. They are much more user-friendly and vendor centric than Thumbtack! My experience with GigSalad has been good so far and I got booked four times within just two months.
As a professional Santa, this is the first year I have used any kind of booking service besides myself. GigSalad was highly recommended by many of my “Brothers in Red” It made it easier to reach beyond my local area without spending a lot of money on untested advertising.The online calendar made it much easier to stay organized and allows blocking out unavailable times as well as letting one add in self done bookings. GigSalad provides leads but doesn’t commit to a booking. That is up to me entirely. I stay in control.
I somehow stumbled across this platform. I’m a freelance entertainer and I’ve been trying different platforms to book local gigs. This website is awesome! It’s really easy to use and gets a lot of traffic. I started off with the free site and got lots of hits and bookings. One of the great things I love about it as well is they ask your clients for reviews so you don’t have to. The customer service is excellent as well. I also like that they don’t charge you for your leads but you pay after you get the booking.
If you’re not using Gigsalad to get booked for events, I’d have to ask why? I’ve been working with them for over 10 years and can only say how glad I am that I do! There are many ways to try and get booked but in my opinion, nothing is as far-reaching. I’ve used many ways to advertise and this is the most effective way to get more leads. I’m also very happy with the fee structure. Very fair and worth the cost.
My big beef with Gig Salad is they charge either a commission per gig or a yearly advertising fee, but then they publish reviews, at times erroneous bad reviews, and leave them up there even when you have evidence that the customer is gaming their system to get a refund or discount. So you pay to be “promoted” and then have to tolerate being bad mouthed from scammy customers who damage your reputation and you have no recourse. Second beef is they pit vendors against each other for bids. This practice attracts a lot of cheapskates, time wasters and looky-loos, only looking for a cheap price.
As a working musician, I have been stiffed on more gigs than I would care to admit. Using GigSalad to book performances has been a revelation – the peace of mind I get from the security of booking gigs on Gigsalad is worth more than I pay for the service fees. My first gig booked through GigSalad has more than paid for the first 3 months of the ‘Featured Performer’ membership that I have paid for!
From comedian/actress Stacy Peterson’s review/comments:
I’m still using Gigsalad because it’s fairly simple and at least makes back it’s cost (rarely much more than that). But I get most of my gigs myself through cold calls and word of mouth. Gigsalad introduces me to gigs at private venues I might not be able find on my own.