A Second Look at Thumbtack

Updated on: by Leisa Good

Find clients for your freelance work through Thumbtack...but there are pros and cons to consider.One of my post popular posts was a review of the networking site, Thumbtack, which published on September 10, 2012.  The post received over 60 comments, and still continues to receive them to this day.  At the time, opinions varied on whether Thumbtack was a legitimate service or not.

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Personally, I have never doubted that Thumbtack is a legitimate site and service.  I chose to close my account, because the site was not as user friendly as I thought it could be, and the leads were expensive.  Sometimes the leads were as much as $8 each, which was non-refundable, unless you remembered to request a refund within 48-hours of not receiving a client/customer reply.  If you forgot to request the money back, you lost it.


What Have I Learned About Thumbtack Since My Last Article?

Since then, I have gotten to know three people who have had a good deal of luck with the site.  All three of them are virtual assistants and offer a variety of services—all remotely based.  Now, having said that, I also still meet those online who have had negative experiences with not receiving any leads or losing too much money to leads that never panned out.   So, the opinions and experiences of those seem to be just as 50/50 split-down-the-middle as before.

I have also begun corresponding more with Thumbtack support, and I will say that they are very supportive and prompt in their replies.  They also ask for feedback now after you have received a reply to your question.


How Has Thumbtack Improved?

Other than asking for feedback after your initial contact, Thumbtack has instituted “Thumbtack Credits” now as a system of payment.  They did away with their past monthly payment system of $29.95 for unlimited leads.   A Thumbtack Credit costs $1.67 and quotes range from 2-9 credits, so you would multiply by how ever many credits you were being charged for that lead.  Leads are based on the category that your service is listed under.

Payment is made using a credit card or PayPal payment, and even if the client opens the bid and reads it but doesn’t choose your services, you still will need to pay.  Contractors are responsible for collecting the money from the client, because Thumbtack does not get involved in payment nor take any fee from the contractors unlike Odesk and a few other bidding sites.


How Does Thumbtack Rank Its Contractors?

The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Membership are still available and based on customer feedback.  Thumbtack claims to still verify all of its contractors in the areas of:

  • DOJ Smart Search
  • Thumbtack reviewed
  • Twitter
  • contractor’s website
  • email account
  • Facebook account
  • LinkedIn account

Thumbtack has also put together a much better “Pro Center” and blog with resources for success for the service providers.  Thumbtack still emphasizes the importance of a good profile and portfolio with the ability to write a good bid, but there are still no tests or anything like that there.

Thumbtack still maintains its Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn accounts.  On their Facebook page, they mention their 2011 Wall Street Journal Small Business award.


Have I Decided to Reopen a Thumbtack Account?

“The more things change, the more things stay the same.” This may be a good saying when it comes to Thumbtack.  I haven’t quite decided if I will or not, since the reviews still remain split down the middle with both sides making claims.


What Do Others Say About Thumbtack?

I was actually able to find one photographer who used Thumbtack and went back and reviewed it at a later date.   You can check out his first and second videos on YouTube.  There are also many positive comments as well as many negative comments left about his two videos.

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Are There Alternatives to Thumbtack?

There are always bidding sites such as Odesk and Elance as well as directory-type sites such as MyCityPlace.com and SideJobr.com.  So, you can always find alternatives to almost anything on the Internet.


How Can Someone Get Started with Thumbtack?

You don’t have to wait to get invited this time.  Just head on over to their website and set up an account and be sure to read all of the information in the “Pro Center”.  As with any freelance or work-at-home opportunity, some will excel at it and some will not.  Some will have positive experiences and some will not.  You can always give it a one or two-month trial.

Good luck with all who choose to try Thumbtack this time around.



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Leisa Good

December 30, 2014 at 7:04 am

Let the conversations begin.


January 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Hi Leisa ,

Nice review on Thumbtack, I am about to get started on bidding with this site. I am a graphic designer and finding leads on my own can get stressful and difficult at times. I currently receive about six Thumbtack leads a month and I was somewhat skeptical at first. I will update you on how Thumbtack works out for my business!

Leisa Good

January 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

@DizzyLizzy – please do so. Love to hear about whether or not it works for you.

Shara Jones

January 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Wake up people….Wake up. Thumbtack is without a doubt the most dishonest and irresponsible lead generation company on planet earth. I can leave an unlimited amount of reasons why. Some things though are better when you discover them yourself. You can Google search thumbtack scam, rip off etc, there is a treasure trove out there.

Leisa Good

January 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

@DizzyLIzzy – Any updates on your experience with Thumbtack?


February 16, 2015 at 12:48 am

Hi Leisa,

I haven’t bidded on Thumbtack yet, I ran across elance.com and put in a couple of bids just to see what would happen and wouldn’t you know I received two jobs from there within the first week of signing up. I am still going to try Thumbtack and another new freelancer bidding site called outsource.com. I will keep you posted!

Leisa Good

February 16, 2015 at 9:57 am

@DizzyLizzy – That is awesome. Yes, Elance, Outsource, Freelancer, Odesk, and Guru can all be good sources. You just have to take the time to set everything up and weed through the jobs.