What: ThumbTack theoretically provides w ork in almost any industry or capacity. The site offers leads on 1,000 different positions

Expected pay: You set your rates

Husl$core: $$

Requirements: You must be over 18 and able to legally sign a contract. Other requirements will depend on the type of work you do

Review: Thumbtack is a site to find leads for 1,000 different jobs — from personal chefs to general contractors. The site allows workers to register and post profiles. You are then “matched” with consumers, who need work similar to what you provide. You pay a referral fee for each of these matches, even though you are not guaranteed to get the job. As long as the referral fee is relatively small, the concept wouldn’t be bad. The problem is that the site isn’t forthcoming about the amount you’ll be charged for any given referral. And, it apparently changed its procedures to “match” far more contractors with each individual opportunity.

To clarify, where you would pay a fee to be one of five contractors bidding for a particular job in the past, now contractors say they’re paying a higher referral fee to be among 10 or 15 contractors bidding for a single job. This is unfortunate because some users have said that the site provided a great service when it launched and has only recently soured. Such is the nature of the gig economy. Some good gigs rot over time; others improve. In any event, the lack of cost transparency and bad current user reviews earned Thumbtack a substandard Husl$core.

Notably, where some job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor, offer a wide range of opportunities at no cost to the job-seeker, some of Thumbtack’s offerings would be hard to find on these broad-based employment sites. However, if you have a specialty, such as cooking, cleaning or child care, for example, you may be able to find better opportunities with a niche site

What their users say: (From Site Jabber)

“Hi my name is Patrick Mock my company is PM Services llc I have been with thumbtack for 4yrs. At first it was awesome 3 to 5 tokens which was like 9 dollars or so with only 5 contractors biding on those jobs. Then the quotes went to 20 dollars a quote which I thought was high but fair seeing I was spending up too 100 dollars a day on quotes. But thumbtack was still a good partner as thumbtack was still looking after the contractor seeing how the contractors pays thumbtack, angies list, and home advisor. Now thumbtack is TAKING 45 dollars a quote with 10-15 people bidding on a job and if the home owner just reply with 1 question we are still charged 45 dollars or whatever the quote is priced for. Which turns out to be more money for thumbtack and less jobs and money for the contractor. When I called thumbtack to talk about this SCAM OR PONZI SCAM!! I was given the run around with more question the deeper I dug into this matter. When I called back today at 1 o’clock I was given an answer that as the market goes so doesn’t the pricing. I don’t understand how thumbtack gets richer in this economy and the contractor spends more with no jobs in return and the broker we get. This is a scam from thumbtack who steps on the little people and forgets that the contractors pays they’re pay checks. This has to stop and I will be contacting the news about all of this. If your a contractor please do you home work before signing up with them because you will be spending more and making less.”

“I thought this was going to be a good site but after I figured out that I have to set a weekly budget for every service, and the minimum was $30 which would buy just one response to my quotes, my jaw dropped. I offer about 10 services through graphic design so I’m supposed to fork over $300 a week to get leads that may go nowhere???? Forget about it!” But of course as I was reading these outrageous terms after submitting my first quote on a job, I started seeing no less than 12 new quote requests pop up in email. All time and date stamped within minutes. I’ve been on freelance job sites for years and this just smacks of fraud. Even horrible, phony sites like UpWork don’t have this kind of traffic. Fake, fake, fake.”

“I’m a pro on thumbtack and very disappointed how things works in this site ,they made this instant match saying its more easy for us to send quotes for us for free , and we got charge everytime we get a message for customers, but the thing is they send 10 quotes from 10 pros and they let the customer send it message for everyone so even when i got message saying your price is highly or i choose another pro i have to pay for them to $10 a $20 just to get this messages, so they got money from everyone but just one get the job ……but they don’t wanna fix this because is so good for them to get money for every pro ….i really hope they change the things on their site start to charge only if we get hired because its not fair customer send messages to everyone and we have to pay without get the job…”

“Have been a TOP PRO member for 4 years. recently they have made some changes supposedly to help professionals and all they have done is figure another way to scam money from the business owners. Basically you pay for all inquires that come through the site whether they become a job or not. In the beginning they would send out five quotes to a client and then they could choose from there. Now it is ten and they sent out a note last week that there is no set price to send a quote, they will decide how much they will charge when the customer contacts you so anywhere from $5- $200 per job. Professionals have to foot the bill even if people are just shopping and not really serious or if its kids playing games, and being a member for a long period i see names and requests that appear often and always ask for the same thing but never buy or hire anyone from the site.” 

 

“I created a thumbtack account just to see if it would work for our business. After spending about $30 with no jobs I quit using it and logged out. That was last October, I just checked my bank statement to see they have been charging me each month because my “instant job match” was on (which I did not even know). I was charged hundreds of dollars throughout the past couple months and have not even signed in.”

 

“In theory, their business model sounds good. You sign up your business. Clients looking for your service will put in a request for a bid. You receive that request and it’s up to you if you want to bid on that job.There are several big issues with Thumbtack’s business model though. First, YOU have to pay THEM for the privilege of bidding. Well, it’s a service, after all and they should get paid. My problem is that you are paying them whether you get the bid or not. Unfortunately all too often you just simply never hear back about your bid. No, “thank you very much but I chose someone else,” message. Nothing. There is no flat bid rate either. I haven’t figured their algorithm for pricing, but it’s steep. My biggest point of contention is that you are asked to bid on jobs with ridiculously vague and uninformative descriptions. “Client needs a [job] for [$XXX]” and a few generic lines half describing what they need. No business person in their right mind would ever quote a job without a full description outlining what they are required to do. And there is no way to get that information since everything is funneled through their idiotic system. Word of mouth and pavement pounding are way more effective than this ‘service’.”

“I started to sign up-then saw the prices to bid on poorly described jobs. I did not go further. Now my email box is full of crap emails. I looked at them none looked like a legitimate job. and surely none worth 12 dollars to bid upon. I thought some of the Freelancer sites were bad taking 20% of your takings on a job. This one is pure GREED. creepy.”

“After long time working with THUMBTACK I can say this… this Website 3 years ago was very different and worked to help the pros and customers as well… now I feel like they are faking customers to get out or money, the prices for me was $3.33/$6.66 and now the minimum is $8.88. The customers could got 5 quotes, now looks like unlimited… I spend easier $50 being the best(lower) price, I have more reviews and 5 stars that everybody and I dont get a HI from the customers.., is that strange?? YES, fake customers maybe?? YES… they are thinking about themselves and dont care if you are getting hired or not, the only thing that they want is your $… Now this WEBSITE doesnt work to you anymore!!!”

“When I first started using thumbtack I would hear back from a customer for about every 5 leads I applied for. They have since went on to change from tokens to actual pricing and the quotes are sometimes $40. The customer doesn’t get charged to write a quote so thumbtack is coming up with a random dollar amount just to take all the profit. If 5 designers are bidding on that same quote thats $200 that Thumbtacks profiting. After bidding you never hear back from the customer and its a dead lead. I’ve wasted thousand of dollars on this site, its a complete scam. Not to mention the customer service is horrible! Now they go on to ask for your personal information and want your social security number and date of birth. Why would I give my personal info to a scam site. Definitely stay clear from thumbtack, complete rip off!!!!!!!!!”

“First off the ghost request everyone talks about here is true. I spent over $400 a month with them had 60 5-star reviews in there site and had a 4.9 rating out of 5 which is the top pro status. Out of no where they cancelled my profile and refused to tell me why. They said it was against their policy and this came after I point out that they allow blatant lies on their pros profiles and after I pointed this out, my account was deactivated. My experience with support is laughable at best. There is no human contact numbers only text messages. No refunds on bids even if customer cancels job or never hires anyone. The cost is applied to the pros by a customer opening a quote … no contact has to be made only that the customer opens the quote and that’s $6.68 out of your pocket. Now if 5 people which is usual bid on the request that’s $33.40 they make per quote even if none of you get hired. The say they are only a introductory site and that happens when customer opens the quote. They REQUIRE YOUR DEBIT/CREDITCARD NUMBER AND DEDUCT EVERY TRANSACTION AND YOU HAVE NO PAPER TRAIL FOR WHO OR WHAT THE MONEY WAS REMOVED FOR CONCERNING THE CUSTOMERS NAME YOU QUOTED ON WHICH LEAVES THEM OPEN TO CHARGING YOU FOR QUOTES THAT NO P.O. Or memo was used to verify. Only charge charge charge ….. RACKET AT BEST”

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