What to Know About Thumbtack Before You Sign Up
1. What Is Thumbtack?
Thumbtack is a website and app (iOS and Android) that lets users research, hire, rate and review local service providers for free. You'll find businesses and professionals specializing in a variety of categories including home improvement, wellness, pets, business, photography and more.
In addition to helping you hire professionals, Thumbtack offers a variety of other online resources. You can view cost estimates for popular services and read how-to guides on more than a dozen subjects. You can also check out the website's guides for projects or read advice from Thumbtack's editors in the commonly-asked questions section.
2. How Does Thumbtack Work?
Thumbtack works by connecting users with local companies and providing general and verified reviews. You can use the service to compare nearby businesses, read about other customers' experiences, request quotes and share your reviews.
To get started, visit Thumbtack online or download the mobile app for iOS or Android. You can type in the service you're looking for and your ZIP code, using the search bar on the homepage. Or you can click "sign up" to create a free account.
Finding a Professional
Gathering Information and Requesting Quotes
Each business has an overall rating on a five-star scale based on customer feedback. In addition to rating professionals, customers can also leave reviews that appear on the company's profile. There are four types of reviews that you may see on Thumbtack:
- Verified review from Thumbtack customers
- Reviews from Facebook
- Reviews from Google
- Unlabeled reviews from customers that the professional met outside of Thumbtack
You might also notice that some businesses have "Top Pro status" badges on their profile. Businesses on Thumbtack must meet the following qualifications to become a Top Pro:
- Reply to leads within four business hours at least 75% of the time
- Maintain a rating of at least 4.8 based on verified reviews
- Receive at least five verified reviews within the last year
- Complete a background check through a third-party provider
Companies are reevaluated twice a year during January and July. To learn more about Top Pro status, visit the website.
Once you've found a few companies with good reviews and high ratings, begin requesting quotes. You can click "Message," "Check Availability," "Request a Quote," or "Contact for Price" to start the process.
Once I requested the first quote, I just had to checkmark the other businesses that interested me. Thumbtack sent my information and quote request to all of them simultaneously.
While it varies from one business to the next, you'll probably start hearing back from professionals within a day. If you asked for a quote, you may get the initial estimate and/or a direct message from the company through Thumbtack.
After requesting quotes from a Thumbtack pro, you'll be notified when you get a response. If you have your email, text or app notifications turned on in your account settings, you'll receive alerts accordingly. After a pro has responded, you can continue the conversation with them in one of two ways:
- Log in to Thumbtack and go to your inbox to view new and old messages. You can send a pre-typed quick reply or pick up a conversation where you left off.
- Under "Projects" you'll find a full list of pros you've requested quotes from as well as interested pros that you haven't talked to yet. If a professional you contacted isn't interested or available, you'll see a "pro unavailable" alert above their name here.
Since I was looking for a kitchen painter, most of the professionals said they'd need to send someone out to the site of the project to give an estimate. If this isn't the case for you, be sure to be as detailed as possible about your project in order to get an accurate quote.
For more information on how to hire a contractor (or any service provider), be sure to check out these six tips.
3. The Thumbtack Guarantee
Thumbtack offers money-back and property damage protection for users who hire professionals through the website or app. The Thumbtack Guarantee provides coverage up to $1,000 if your project wasn't finished as expected as well as coverage for accidental property damage.
- Placed the request and hired the professional through Thumbtack
- Provide a contract or document showing the agreed-upon terms
- Show that you hired the professional within a month of submitting your initial project request
- Discover the problem within six months of hiring the professional and notify Thumbtack within 45 days of noticing
Thumbtack also covers accidental damage to property that occurs during the project — under certain conditions. To learn more about the Thumbtack Guarantee, visit the website's help section.
- Price: The website's resources are available for free.
- The Thumbtack Guarantee: The $1,000 money-back guarantee and accidental property damage coverage to fall back on for free is a huge pro!
- Additional resources: You can read how-to articles, browse commonly-asked questions and use the cost estimator to plan ahead.
- Verification: Not all reviews are verified since they can be posted from sources outside of Thumbtack.
- Unorganized search results: It's hard to tell how the search results are ranked, which means you may find some lower-rated businesses high on the list and easily overlook other quality options.
Have you ever hired a professional that you found on Thumbtack? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!
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