Thumbtack's Highway Robbery


Dec 7, 2018
What City & State do you work in?
Long Island, NY
I'm getting really sick of Thumbtack's nasty price increases. For anyone who doesn't know, Thumbtack charges the contractors for each and every reply they give to a customer request. So, if a customer goes on and says they're looking for a handyman to do a particular job, I'll get that request and if it's something I can do I can reply to it. But if I reply to it, they'll charge me anywhere from $40 to $160!

And that's the charge just to respond. It doesn't depend on whether or not the customer actually hires me! Why don't they only charge you when you get the job?

So, I might respond and five other contractors might respond. The customer then has six to choose from and can only choose one. So Thumbtack has just up to $960!!! And why? Because they not only took $160 from the guy who got the job but they also took $160 from five other people who didn't get the job!

It's a super unfair system.

Making it even worse, Thumbtack presents choices to the customers when they make a request. Let's say a customer wants to have a new bathroom sink installed. Thumbtack will first ask them what they want to do and give them several broad categories to choose from, like Housecleaning, Wedding and Event Planning, Dog Training or Handyman.

So take this customer who wants a new bathroom sink. Not vanity - just the sink. There's a category called Sink & Faucet installers and that's the category they should choose. But there are also other categories like Bathroom Remodeling - that they may just as well choose because they're not paying attention or they think installing a new sink is the same thing as a bathroom remodel! Whatever... they don't know and there's no reason they should.

BUT... Thumbtack charges us different amounts to respond to inquiries based on what category the customer selects! If they select the lowly Sink & Faucet category, I'll get charged $40 per response. But if they choose the Bathroom Remodeling cateogry - thumbtack thinks I'm going to make a fortune off of that... and they charge me $160 per response! PER RESPONSE FOLKS!!! Not per job that I actually get!

I may have to respond to five people before I get one job. In other words, it might cost me $800 to get one job. And the job I get may be a small $100-$500 job.

I honestly don't see how their site is sustainable. I tried it for two months. The first month I at least broke even. But the second month I lost money. And breaking even isn't what I'm in business to do! I need to make a profit!

So, I'm out. No more thumbtack for me. It's highway robbery.

Look at this from their website where they invite contractors to sign up:

Last edited by a moderator:

Jon York

Nov 30, 2018
What City & State do you work in?
New York City
You're kidding! I had no idea they charged you guys for each response! That's so crazy.

I just hired a guy through them recently and I started getting frustrated because the first three contactors I chose to send my request to - refused to respond! I got a message back from Thumbtack saying, "So & So isn't available for your job. But there are plenty of others, so please select another one." And they encouraged me to send it to as many people as possible! What a bunch of scammers it sounds like.
  • Like
Reactions: Dezaraym


Jan 5, 2019
Austin, Texas
What City & State do you work in?
New York, NY
Thumbtack is the worst. They charge the workers so much money. And it's so unfair they charge them whether or not they get the job.

They have to do it though because their workers are absolutely free to work with their clients again without going through TT. The problem for the worker is - is that the vast majority of their clients are only going to use them once.

A plumber who works for them though told me that despite all that he still makes a ton of money off them. Even after paying $100+ to respond to requests where he doesn't get the jobs.


Feb 4, 2019
What City & State do you work in?
Glendale AZ
How have they not gone under? That's stupidly unreasonable
  • Like
Reactions: Dezaraym