Update by user Jun 19, 2013
The word they starred out is w-e-e-d. Not sure why they think that's a bad word.
I mean it in the sense of sorting out, not p-o-t. LOL :grin
Original review posted by user Jun 19, 2013
At this point I have to say that I would *not* recommend Thumbtack.com as a good way to generate work. To be sure, you will get *tons* of quote requests - there's no doubt about that. I think I average about 10 a day. 10! That's a lot of people supposedly finding me and wanting to see if I will do work for them.
What's the problem with that? Well, first of all, it's difficult to *** out the serious requests from the "are you kidding me?" type requests. Most requests are extremely vague. As in "I want some design work...I don't know when I want it." If you dig a little - for instance, looking up the person's name, or phone number, and their location, you can sometimes find out a little bit about what kind of company is making the request and decide if they're reputable or not. You can ask questions for free, but if you want to submit a quote, you have to purchase credits in amounts from 3 -
With quote requests costing between $4.99 - $14.99 a quote, I quickly became VERY selective about which requests I would give a quote for. If the potential client seems shady, difficult or otherwise clueless, or the project seems in *any* way problematic, either technically or ethically, I immediately "pass" on the project. However, even with being super selective, so far, I've only gotten a responses to a few quotes.
The biggest problem is, while they make their vendors jump through many hoops to verify that they are serious and on the up-and-up (including paying money for background checks), they do next to nothing to screen the people making the requests.
So far, most of the people I've run into fall into the following categories:
1. Not seriously looking, and won't even bother to respond to quotes.
2. Design firms looking to outsource work for super cheap (not going to respond to anyone that isn't quoting $10/hour for graphic design work)
3. Private citizens who don't have any understanding of the going rate for design work, and think a website should cost $200.
4. People who have no concept of how Thumbtack works - either asking YOU for work, or in some cases, requesting quotes from people on the East Coast when they're only interested in local service providers
5. Students looking to outsource their school work (read: cheating).
I've responded to dozens of quote requests, spending at least $130, and so far, I've received three actual responses: One that said I was exactly what they were looking for, later told me I was on their short list and should hear back within a week, and then, after NOT hearing from them, I inquired about the job only to have them tell me they'd gone with an internal candidate. Another told me they were only looking for local candidates, despite my profile CLEARLY showing I was on across the country from them. I did have one request that did result in a single $50 job. So between the money I've spent on credits and setting up my profile, I've lost about $92 on the venture.
With the almost impossible number of quote requests I'm seeing daily, I'm beginning to wonder if Thumbtack.com is actually creating shill accounts to generate at least some of these requests, to generate money.
I'll probably going to see how my last three quotes play out (since I've paid for them already) and if they end up like the rest, I'm closing my account. I spend way more time hitting "pass" than I do actually responding to quotes.
Monetary Loss: $92.