October 2, 2014

Thumbtack Unraveled

I am pretty sure that many people out there have used a lead generating website called Thumbtack. The website allows a professional to join for free (makeup artists, tutors, wedding planners, and musicians just to name a few). Once you have made a free profile, you start getting leads for makeup services, music show bookings, and any other services you can name. 

Initially, I was happy to have opened an account on there for free, but did not realize until later that in order for a professional service provider to reply to a client request you have to pay. Thumbtack has a credit purchasing system and depending on which service you provide the credit purchases may vary. Whereas I am a freelance makeup artist,  I opened a profile under makeup artistry and within just a few hours of my profile being active, I began to get 5 or 6 leads at a time. WOW! I was astonished at how quickly I got soo many leads. 

Being a professional service provider, I thought, "Hey why not answer to 1 or 2 leads and see where it goes". I paid for the 2 leads and sent in my price quote. I should have honestly done my research before opening a profile on this website. I waited 1 or 2 days to get a reply back from the "POTENTIAL CLIENT". The client views my profile and price quote, then disappears. You have the chance to follow up, but don't think it will work out because these so called "POTENTIAL CLIENTS" are looking for the cheapest price possible without taking into consideration you are paying to send the quote and once the client views the quote, you lose the money. If the client has not viewed your quote within 48 hours, then Thumbtack automatically refunds the credits back. 

Later, when I had not been getting in follow ups or replies, I decided to do some research and found out that many other businesses and professionals had the same problem where they either had been getting fake leads or the clients were totally being frugal in being able to spend money on the services they wanted. I still kept getting leads and decided I will decline a few leads and wait around to see if I actually get a client that is actually REAL. Let me tell everyone once and for all, Thumbtack does not charge the potential clients for requesting quotes. We the professionals or business is losing the money when they are viewing our quotes and not following up. 

I have heard people say that there are clients who want you to do provide bridal makeup services for as low as $15.00 ! This totally shocked me! Where is the money for our time, effort, and driving time where we are coming and providing you the services? Many of the clients are also last minutes who request services 3 days prior to the event. Is it that the professionals have no schedule of their own or what? 

When I decided to reach out the support desk at Thumbtack stating that how these so called clients request quotes and we are losing money instead of making money. They reply back giving me 10 free credits and saying the suggestion to charging clients will go to the team. I think that will never happen, because if they charge clients then they will lose all the business. On the other hand, they are not thinking about how much we are losing. Thumbtack support desk tells me, I have the choice of replying or declining a client. Hello! like I did not know that. I have declined more leads on there than I have responded to. 

This is just a heads up to all those contemplating on opening an account in the pursuit of getting leads and potential clients, this is a total joke and disaster. They do not monitor the leads for being real or not and we are bombarded with useless leads that have little to no information. If you like bidding for work and want to lose money, then by all means open an account with them, but you will not have success on there. 

This was my take on the website and if you have any stories as such to share about Thumbtack, then please do share it in the comments section.