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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.

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia

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I have the same thought that they are creating false clients, I may ask a lawyer about what to do, they have in fact taken money from my account for false leads as well as used my name to create a false request for service which resulted in a charge to another persons business. When I first found thumbtack I was getting a few jobs and continued clients, but at times a request was bogus so I called and got them not to charge.

They now take your call and complaint but do nothing to help, plus they've raised their prices too much. They say I need to get a background check and said it's free, which isn't true, People should know any contractor is checked by the state before they get any type of trade license.

Thumbtack is cheaper to use than other lead sources but still too expensive especially trying to follow a fake lead then getting charged plus the time and etc. To sum it up it's a great business model for a crook and too many like it already exist.


I hope my comment doesn't post twice since this is an older post. I am sorry you had a bad time generating work through Thumbtack.

I hope your business has picked up through other ways.

I am on the other end looking for service people to help me in my home. I'm in NH & so far hired a Carpet Cleaning service, a housekeeper and a handyman. I have a couple other projects (Service Dog Training) hoping to get quotes.

I hated saying no to the others who contacted me. With times like they are I wish I had the work & money to hire them all. For me this is a great way to find the best.

I will remember from your post & remind others to not waste professional's time if the request is not serious.

Good luck!


Well I'm starting to see this also. I first tried thumbtack about 6 months ago because they gave me a few free credits to start with. I sent a few quotes and I even got a few credits back because

1) The quotes were never looked at

2) I sent quote on a wedding but wedding dj quote were only 2 credits and not 5.

Now they let 5 quote come in to the clients where before it was only 4 and now all dj quotes are 5 clients.

Nice idea but I don't know who is asking for service and if they are really wanting the service or just kidding the tire.


I spent over $2k on a direct marketing mailer last year and got zero leads. I've spent about $100-$150 in the last 6 months on thumbtack and have landed 3 gigs (videography) totaling over $4k in sales.

That's a ridiculous ROI.

There's definitely competition on thumbtack but if you have a quality service and stick to it, you'll land something. It took a few months of placing bids before I got any replies on my bids.


One thing I have noticed is that as soon as you buy credits the number of quotes increases substantially.


I agree ThumbTack is complete ***. Do you know of any good lead generation sites for design?


Mike - So far, no. I've joined Lacarte, but I'm not sure it's been long enough to really tell if it will be a good deal. I'm just happy I don't have to pay for it, so I figure as long as it's free it's one more place to have my name, info and portfolio images out there.

To their credit, Thumbtack did give me a fully refund of what I'd purchased (minus the one $50 job), but it was only after I recorded every transaction and all contact info I had for each lead, and threatened to look them all up to verify they were real people/businesses not affiliated with Thumbtack.


I also, couldn't find any of the leads I have paid for...and get NO responses


I do not think you should say anything to their credit. $50 bucks is a lot of money.

They are a scam and I can't believe they're still doing business. I hope more people would look at these reviews which are about 98% negative, and not do any business with them. The few "positive" reviews here are obviously from people that work for thumbtack. In one of those reviews they had the nerve to call everyone dumb and that we didn't know how to make money on thumbtack.


I think that is very obvious to all the REAL customers here who are the dumb ones. Everyone can see that it is thumbtack representatives the ones posting positive reviews in here...

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