Thumbtack is a business referral site that promises to provide leads to a wide array of contractors, from music teachers to handymen

Expected pay: You set it

Husl$core: $

Commissions & fees: Varying rates per “lead”

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: 18 or older

ThumbTack Review:

Thumbtack is a business referral site for a wide range of jobs, from cleaners, plumbers, carpenters, to music teachers and cooks. But the site charges dearly for business “leads” that contractors maintain are cold or outright fraudulent.

No matter what you do, there are better sites to find work.

How it works

If you are a contractor, you can sign up here, telling the site what jobs you’re interested in and in what geographic area. After that, the site will start sending you “leads” that fit what you’re looking for. The catch? You pay for each lead automatically. And, often, the leads don’t lead to any work.


What do leads cost? There is no standard. However, Thumbtack allows contractors to set a “maximum lead price” — i.e. the most they will pay for any given lead — and a weekly budget. According to the site, if you set a maximum lead price of $10 per lead and a weekly budget of $90, the site will only send you leads that cost $10 or less and they’ll stop sending leads when you hit the $90 budget limit.

However, the site encourages you not to set a budget, “to get the maximum number of leads.”

More importantly, the site’s terms give it the right to charge you more than your budgeted amount, when Thumbtack decides its appropriate. The contractor being charged does not get a say in the budget-busting.

Cold/bogus leads

Contractors using this site might be willing to overlook the fact that Thumbtack has the right to ignore their budget, if the site’s leads were more likely to generate real business. But many say that the leads are stale, tire-kickers and sometimes lead to disconnected numbers and people who have never heard of Thumbtack.


Skip this site.

Contractors can find jobs through JiffyOnDemand, ToolBelt and TaskRabbit. Landscapers can do better with GreenPal.

And there are numerous better options if you’re looking for work cooking, cleaning or in child care. Simply look for sites that get ratings of $$$ or more on

What their users say: (From Site Jabber)

I really wanted to love using this site. I’ve hired people on Thumbtack and it’s gone well. But from the pro standpoint it really sucks. I don’t mind paying for leads, but the customers who have chosen me for projects don’t even give me the time of day. I tell them yes, I can do the project and set up a time to meet with them. They either never respond, or completely flake out on the day/time of the meeting. What a waste of time and money. Thumbtack does nothing to help the situations at all. Practically no customer service.

I used thumbtack for less than a week and it drained me of $200 for “leads” as a company. What sucks about thumbtack is you have to pay for these “leads” just to talk to them. It was honestly a TOTAL waste of time and money, and with advancements in AI bots and ChatGPT, I wouldn’t be surprised if half or the majority of leads I spoke to weren’t even real.

Not worth it

At first they where refunding the fake leads that they where making up but then they said it was against their refund policy. Moral of the story is it ain’t worth it. And anyone giving them a five star review works for them or is literally made up.

They made a few updates to their policies. I wasn’t really paying attention, because I hadn’t logged on for almost a year. Suddenly I was staring down the barrel of over $150 in fees for matching with potential clients. I messaged all, followed up with texts and a phone call, no response, even to say “I’ve found someone else.” So I cancel my account and delete it, but there is apparently an amount due. This company grossly overcharges and under-deliver

Toxic change

“Hi my name is Patrick Mock my company is PM Services. I have been with thumbtack for 4yrs. At first it was awesome. [You’d pay] 9 dollars or so for a lead with only 5 contractors biding on those jobs. Then the quotes went to 20 dollars a quote, which I thought was high but fair. Now thumbtack is TAKING 45 dollars a quote with 10-15 people bidding on a job. If the home owner just replies with 1 question, we are still charged. This turns out to be more money for thumbtack and less jobs and money for the contractor. If you are a contractor please do your home work before signing up with them because you will be spending more and making less.”

“I’m a pro on thumbtack and very disappointed how things work in this site. They made this instant match saying its easier for us. But we get charged every time we get a message. When i got message saying “your price is high” or “i choose another pro,” I have to pay $10 a $20 just to get this message.

Used to like it

“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 — anywhere from $5- $200 per job. Professionals have to foot the bill even if people are just shopping and not really serious.”

“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.”

Fake leads

“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.”

“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 our money.

“When I first started using thumbtack I would hear back from a customer for about every 5 leads I applied for. Now Thumbtack is coming up with a random dollar amount just to take all the profit. If 5 designers are bidding on that same quote that’s $200 that Thumbtack pockets. After bidding you never hear back from the customer and its a dead lead. I’ve wasted thousand of dollars on this site. It’s a complete scam.

From the Better Business Bureau

“I have been with Thumbtack as a Pro for about 3 years now and have seen an all out effort to maximize their profit and take away money from pros as each year goes by. Just now, I was denied a refund for a duplicate lead because they said too much time passed between each inquiry. So I paid twice for the same lady, same phone number. Lead prices have gone up, refund policies are so strict that its a miracle when you receive one. Thumbtack highly suggests to customers that they reach out to multiple pros, without letting the customer know that each pro they reach out to will be paying a non refundable fee whether they choose that pro or not. Thumbtack has become ruthlessly greedy and this is agreed by every pro I have spoken with. This will lead to their detriment and hopefully will be addressed in one of their corporate meetings. You can clearly see there is an issue by all of the 1 star reviews on this website!

I signed up to be a “pro” and was charged (without consent) $140 for a lead right off the bat without any indication that they would charge this much. The lead was also absolutely useless. They also refuse to refund the amount to my original payment method and instead send it to your thumbtack account so you can work off the amount of money they stole from you. They basically swipe your credit card at will. NOT a trustworthy middleman for your small business.

Updated 2/12/2023

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