How To Get The Most From Your Money Using Thumbtack


What is Thumbtack?

Thumbtack is an online service for local professionals which allows them to obtain leads and find work.  After seeing your profile in search results, customers can message you, request a call or estimate, or ask for your availability. Today I’ll show you how to get the most from your money using Thumbtack.

Thumbtack can be  a a great tool for small business and independent contractors.  It can also become quite an expense if not done right.  As a Thumbtack user for more than 5 years myself I had to find a way to make Thumbtack bring in a few jobs without taking the profit.

The Problem

Even with many five star reviews and hundreds of hires I have found it to be quite difficult to actually win the job.  By strictly limiting the hours you allow for promotion you can make yourself more visible and greatly increase your chance of gaining some new clients.

Thumbtack can be helpful to businesses such as Painters, Handymen, Carpet Cleaners, Event Planners, Wedding Photographers and more.  You can find clients both in your local area and if you wish Nationally.

Is It Free?

Thumbtack is not free. Thumbtack charges pros to find work and it can become quite expensive if not done correctly.  You can end paying for “dead” leads, and spending as much or more than you make. Whether or not you are hired for a particular job Thumbtacks wins.  Each request typically bring the customer up to 5 quotes.  Each of these professionals have paid to quote yet its possible that none of them are hired.  In this case Thumbtack still makes quite a profit on your loss.  The trick is to get customer leads from Thumbtack and keep your expense down.

Here is how Thumbtack makes money:


Professionals can pay to promote themselves.  Once promoted professionals appear first before non promoting professionals.  You are able to set whatever budget you like.  You also receive a discount of 20% when you bid on a job.

Pros                                                                                       Cons

Higher visibility.                                                      Can get expensive.
20% off quotes.                                                     Does not guarantee work.
Potential clients will reach                               Additional expense
out to you however many
of these jobs may be out of scope.


You can pass on promoting yourself and still gain additional work via Thumbtack.  The service offers the option of bidding on jobs without the 20% discount you would receive if promoting yourself.  You may not receive as many potential leads, and the jobs may not be exactly match what your looking for as far as location.


You may find that some jobs you bid on return no response – even when promoted and a potential client has specifically requested you.  I often send a quote to a potential customer that requested me specifically because of my using Thumbtack’s promotion option and never hear back.

While it really makes no sense that a customer would reach out to you for a quote and then never respond back – it does happen frequently.  My guess is these folks either resolved their issue or found another professional before you responded.

The good news is that Thumbtack does refund as long as the refund request is within their refund guidelines.  Don’t expect a refund simply because you were not hired.  However if the request turns out to be shady, or the work turns out to be different than what you quoted to do you may be in luck.

My Suggestion 

I use Thumbtack promotion.  But very sparingly.   When setting up your promotion set the hours to just 2 or 3 a day to start.  This will greatly reduce the number of leads you receive but will also keep your expense down.  Although I am open 12 hours a day I promote myself on Thumbtack only from 7 am to 11 am.

Add your hours

Whether you decide to use Thumbtack promote or not you will see potential jobs under the JOBS tab.  Be cautious!  I have found about 90% of the leads which appear under the “Jobs” tab to be out of scope.  Typically leads listed under jobs are leads which do not exactly fit your criteria, but may be close.  I have found most leads under the Jobs tab to be location specific – the customer either wants to come to you or you to them. I find myself declining about 95% of these requests.


This service can be a great tool to find new customers. If you use it in a smart way you can find new clients without going broke or spending more than you will make. If you own a small business its definitely worth trying.  Follow these simple tips and get the most from your money using Thumbtack.