Everything You Need to Know About Thumbtack: For Users & Contractors

Ultimate Guide to Thumbtack header

Thumbtack.com is a great resource for finding local contractors to do any kind of work around your home. Though this sounds like a great way to simplify the process of finding contractors, it of course, comes with the same potential risks of other websites that help you hire contractors online.

One of the great things about Thumbtack is that it is an improvement over other sites like Angie’s List because it works well both for people looking for contractors, and for contractors looking to drum up some extra business. If you’re new to Thumbtack and want to know how it works, we’ve got you covered in this complete guide to Thumbtack.

What is covered in this article

If you need a reliable source for contractors that are reviewed or need to learn whether or not Thumbtack is a great platform for contractors to get more business, read on!

 

What is Thumbtack and how does it work?

Thumbtack.com is a website that allows users to search for local contractors to perform work within their homes, and allows contractors a way to advertise their business, and obtain a good reputation. Thumbtack brings together people who do good work, and people who need reliable contractors.

Examples of services advertised on Thumbtack

Thumbtack for users

This is the basic principle of how Thumbtack works, allowing users to search for local contractors that can help them in their home. You set your search parameters, including where you are located, what type of work you’re looking for, the time commitment you want, and specific services you need.

After you answer a few questions about what you’re looking for, you’ll have a list of matches sent right to your inbox. You can also simply explore the site and browse around for contractors you think might be what you’re looking for.

Common categories of work people search for include:

Thumbtack for Contractors

If Thumbtack offers services to its users, it also needs to offer a platform for contractors to advertise their business. Contractors create a profile and are shown to people searching in their area for free. Contractors can also purchase credits to promote their business over other results in the area.

Example of a contractor page on Thumbtack

One of the great things about Thumbtack for contractors is its app: Thumbtack for Professionals. Its an app specifically designed for contractors, to facilitate all your business using Thumbtack. You can update your information, check for new leads, and communicate safely with Thumbtack users – all in one place.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

Check This Out:Best Home Service Websites Comparison thumbnail

Thumbtack vs Angie’s List vs HomeAdvisor | Home Service Sites Compared

If using Thumbtack sounds like something you want to do, check out how it stacks up against its top two competitors: Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor.

 

 

How to use thumbtack to find contractors online

If this is all sounding good to you and you’re interested in using Thumbtack to help you find reliable contractors, then here is how you use the website to find a local contractor:

1. Go to the website and enter a general search phrase.

Visit www.Thumbtack.com and in the search bar, type a general phrase that best describes the work you need done. Be sure to enter your postal code in the box to the right. Click the blue magnifying glass when you’re ready.

Using the search interface on Thumbtack

2. Enter additional search parameters.

On the left side, Thumbtack will offer industry-specific questions to help narrow down your search. Use the drop-down menus and calendar to add additional information. Watch the prices update, and then click View Profile to see more information about the contractor you are most interested in.

Adding additional conditions to narrow your search

3. Read about the contractor and find out what they have to offer you.

Some quick things you can see at the top of this screen include:

  • How long they’ve been in business
  • How many people have hired them from Thumbtack
  • Their rating (out of 5 stars)
  • If they are a Thumbtack “Top Pro”
  • How many people they bring with them (other employees)

You can also click any of the sub-menus including “About,” “Reviews,” “Credentials,” and “FAQs” to read more about what this pro has to offer you. Contractors also often show proof of their work here, with photos and videos of past completed jobs.

PRO TIP

A person’s rating is a good indicator of how trustworthy they are, and of course, higher is better (closer to 5.0). However, it’s not always easy how to determine if an online review is legitimate. In general, a person with a 4.5 rating by 453 people is still more trustworthy than a person with a 5.0 rating from 2 people.

If you’re interested, click Check Availability, making sure all the details you entered earlier are still correct.

Checking a contractor's credentials and availability

4. Confirm and add details for your project.

From here, Thumbtack will ask you a series of questions dependent on the type of job you need done, so confirm each detail and click Next when you’re done.

Choose a time to book with the contractor

5. Enter your email to get in touch with the pros that match what you need.

Once you’ve confirmed all the necessary details, enter your email address (the one you want to use to communicate on Thumbtack) and click Next. Thumbtack will send all the information you filled out to the pro you selected, and now all you have to do is wait and see if they get back to you.

Entering an email address to direct information from contractors to

PRO TIP

If a Thumbtack Pro doesn’t get back to you within 48 hours, it’s probably best to seek out another pro. Contractors highly value the leads they pay for and are often competing with a handful of other contractors who also receive your lead. They have significant incentive to contact you as soon as possible to win the job.

 

Thumbtack Credits and costs + what is free + how they make money

The cost of using Thumbtack is completely dependent on what you are using it for and where you live. Here are the answers to some common questions about Thumbtack pricing:

How much does Thumbtack cost for users?

Thumbtack for users is free to use, though you will have to pay the contractor you hire the amount that they quote you – which varies significantly depending on the job, the contractor, and the region you are located in. Thumbtack has a national average cost to go off for the most common jobs users hire for.

Here are some examples of common averages paid by users on Thumbtack:

The average cost of a wedding coordinator in America

  • Photographer: $850
  • Handyman: $50
  • House Cleaner: $160
  • Plumber: $130
  • Pet Sitter: $30
  • Yoga Instructor: $90
  • Massage Therapist: $90
  • Personal Trainer: $60
  • Wedding Coordinator: $1200
  • Bartender: $250
  • Exterminator: $120

 

How do Thumbtack credits work?

Thumbtack credits are a way for Thumbtack Pros to pay to get leads on Thumbtack. The contractors buy groups of credits they can spend in the website to continue getting leads and promote their service on the website. They cost $1.50 per credit, which is good for one lead – whether you get the job or not.

This is how Thumbtack makes money. Pros can advertise their offering for free, but to appear higher in the search results on the website, and get send emails or phone calls from Thumbtack, contractors must pay for their leads with credits.

When you spend credits to promote yourself, you will automatically receive emails (and maybe phone calls) with the description of interested users. You can reply with a quote or specific details about their project, and hope that they want to hire you!

Examples of what Thumbtack considers "big" or "small" leads

What Thumbtack considers a “bigger lead” costs you more than what they think is a “smaller lead.” A house remodel for example is a “big lead” because they person hiring you will end up paying you a lot of money. They also differentiate within the same type of business; for example, a house cleaning for a 4-bedroom home will cost more than in a 1-bedroom apartment. Thumbtack makes this decision and these prices can vary.

How to get Thumbtack free credits

The only way to get free credits on Thumbtack is if no other contractors are available or can’t complete a job requested by a user. You won’t actually receive a free credit, but you will receive that lead for free. Since leads always cost varying amounts of money, this is the only way to get them for free.

This is always the case, unless Thumbtack is running a promotion to encourage more contractors to sign up and pay for credits. In this case, you may get credits for free for buying a large amount of them. You can also get a reduced price per credit if you buy them in bulk, and you get a 20% discount if you turn on Thumbtack Promote.

 

Is thumbtack legit?: 3 things to know before using

These three issues mentioned below are the most common Thumbtack.com complaints. Though they are all legitimate complaints, these typically exist on any website that connects users together in this manner.

1. Thumbtack scams of contractors by users

On any website that functions similarly to a classifieds site, you are basically advertising yourself and hoping someone will want to pay for your services. However, some people who aren’t serious about getting work done by contractors still use the site maliciously to try to obtain personal information or put you in a dangerous position.

Always be careful when giving out personal information, and it’s generally good practice to meet with potential clients with at least one other person to make sure you stay safe. Check out this list of Craigslist scams to see the same types of things some users may try to pull on Thumbtack.

SAFETY TIP

Because Thumbtack contractors have to pay for their leads, it is far more likely a contractor will find themselves in an unsafe situation than a user will because of a contractor.

2. Thumbtack fake leads for contractors

One of the biggest concerns for Thumbtack Pro users is the idea that fake leads might exist on Thumbtack. Some contractors believe that there is a chance that some of the leads they receive are illegitimate and are produced by Thumbtack itself.

The idea is that Thumbtack sends fake leads to its contractors, so they spend more money on credits to try to attract more potential customers. In this case, Thumbtack will make more money off their contractors, and encourage them to continue using the service, though the contractors are getting very little out of it.

Despite a considerable number of contractors believing in it, there is no conclusive proof that this issue exists on Thumbtack.

Examples of leads sent to contractors on Thumbtack

3. Contractors wanting more money / won’t properly finish the job

As is the case with hiring any contractor, before the job is done, you receive a quote on how much the work is expected to cost. However, with home repairs especially, it is often the case that problems you didn’t know existed are present, and it can cost more than originally anticipated to finish the job.

In other cases, sometimes the contractor does not follow exactly what the client wanted, or doesn’t complete the job within a reasonable amount of time. Many Thumbtack users have complained that contractors intentionally do a poor job, or don’t complete a job within a reasonable time frame so they can ask for more money.

You’ll want to take these issues up with the contractor as soon as possible – preferably before the situation gets out of hand. It’s always best to hammer down the costs at the earliest stage of your project that is possible, and it helps to know the difference between an estimate and a quote.

PRO TIP

This issue needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and unfortunately, there is not a lot Thumbtack can do if you haven’t already tried to resolve this issue directly with the contractor.

To learn more about this, check out our review of Thumbtack Pro for contractors. If you’re using Thumbtack and encounter any issues like this, you’ll want to make sure you contact Thumbtack right away.

 

How to contact Thumbtack customer service

If you need to contact Thumbtack for any reason, you have a few options. We’d recommend the following:

Thumbtack Phone Number

1-866-501-5809

Use When: Your problem is serious, and you need to speak to a person who can give you immediate support

Thumbtack Email

support@thumbtack.com

Use When: You have a general comment or concern that isn’t time-sensitive

Thumbtack Facebook Messenger Account

https://www.messenger.com/t/user:159298128452/

Use When: You want a quick response and your query is not serious/urgent

Thumbtack Live Chat

https://help.thumbtack.com/contact-thumbtack/chat 

Use When: You need a quick answer to a question, and don’t require a record of the conversation

Thumbtack Help Desk

https://help.thumbtack.com/

Use When: Your question is general rather than specific to you, and is probably covered in a basic help page

 

Sites like Thumbtack for finding contractors

These websites are similar to Thumbtack, allowing you to find and review local contractors.

Website/AppDescription
Angie's List logoAngie’s List

One of the top Thumbtack competitors, Angie’s List provides a similar service, allowing you to find great local contractors that have been reviewed, and helps contractors find new leads.
Porch logoPorch

This site specialized in home repairs and renovation. Simply enter the details of your project and a description, and local professionals will connect with you if they can do the job, and provide you with estimates of the cost of the work.
HomeAdvisor logoHomeAdvisor

Similar to the other sites listed here, HomeAdvisor provides the same service, but they curate the results for you, making you answer more questions about your job or project, and then presenting you with 4 qualified professionals that meet your needs. That means you’re always getting the best!
Houzz logoHouzz

This site is like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor, but it also contains extensive resources to help you along with the progress of your home renovation. The help comes both from the site itself, and from other users in your community.
Consumer's Checkbook logoConsumer’s Checkbook

An independent, non-profit consumer advocacy group, this site provides ratings for local businesses like a directory, and helps with anything from home renovation to health care to car repair to personal finance.

 

Sites and Apps like Thumbtack for contractors to find more leads

If you’re a contractor looking for more work, these are the top apps to help contractors find work in their local areas.

Website/AppDescription
Angie's List logoAngie’s List

One of the top alternatives to Thumbtack for contractors as well, with Angie’s List you’re gaining access to one of the biggest user bases out there.
Logo for ServiceWhaleServiceWhale

This website for home improvement contractors will let you advertise your prices, so long as you’re willing to estimate costs in general, as they offer their users instant custom quotes.
Logo for ProReferralProReferral

A website powered by The Home Depot, this site advertises for qualified professionals in your area, for any type of work that you might do on your home.
Logo for FiverrFiverr

This app helps you offer your on-demand freelance services, in any industry. However, this app isn’t nearly as focused on home renovation as others.

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