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Is Thumbtack A Scam?

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Is Thumbtack A Scam?, a service industry middleman is expanding rapidly.  Doing a bit of research and reading articles about the service  are all over the place, ranging from outrage (ex: “HUGE SCAM!  I spent x dollars and never saw a dime back!”) to enthusiastic approval (“Without Thumbtack, I would barely have a business!”).


Thumbtack recently aired its first TV ad, aimed at drawing more professionals and consumers to their site:

Here’s my perspective, and you can take it or leave it:

Thumbtack is not a scam.

I book over half of my freelance work on Thumbtack. It costs money each time a photographer sends a quote to a potential customer, and for those who never see a response that can be frustrating.  I do spend plenty on quotes each month, but that expense is tax deductible and I always see a good return on those dollars invested in quotes.

If you’ve spent lots of money on quotes and aren’t getting responses, you need to rethink your approach.

There could be several reasons why Thumbtack isn’t working for you: Your web site is clunky, your Thumbtack profile is too barren, little or no reviews on your profile, or perhaps the language in the quote isn’t sufficiently friendly and personable.  I’ve used Thumbtack as a consumer several times for projects around the house and even to find a photographer for my own headshots.  Some of the quotes sent to me were vague and unprofessional, just a “Hey, I’ll do it!”   No link, no salutation (use their name!) and no links to social media or web sites to prove established value.

If you’ve sent out a few quotes so far and not gotten a response, you might simply need to keep trying.  That’s just how the system works.  You aren’t guaranteed to get a job once every three quotes, or five quotes, in fact at all.  Sure, that can be frustrating.  But take a step back, review your approach carefully use Thumbtack’s guidelines and tips to increase your chances of getting responses.

As a side note, Thumbtack had a serious crash-and-burn episode earlier this year in which they lost Google search results but they seem to have resolved the problem.


Is Thumbtack working for your or hardly working?  Leave your comments below.


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