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Thumbtack vs. TaskRabbit: Which Lead Generation Service is Right for You?

Profile picture of Brittany Foster, freelance author for Jobber Academy.
Brittany Foster
June 7, 2024 7 min. read

Many contractors agree—finding clients is one of the hardest parts of growing a home service business. Which is why a lot of service business owners turn to lead generation platforms to lend a hand. 

But with so many options to choose from, trying to figure out which one is best for your business is a monumental task that requires time and effort. 

We’ve taken on the task of comparing two of the most popular home service lead generation platforms: Thumbtack and TaskRabbit. Both promise to bring in clients, help to increase profit, build your reputation, and generate great reviews. But how do they stack up against each other? 

Follow along in this guide to find out.

Thumbtack vs. TaskRabbit: What’s the difference?

On the surface, Thumbtack and TaskRabbit seem very similar—they’re both lead generation platforms home service businesses can use to win more jobs and boost profits. But the main differences between them are: 

  • What types of jobs they work best for
  • Which service businesses the platforms are geared towards
  • What kinds of customers use them

For example, Thumbtack focuses primarily on home service projects such as flooring installation, interior and exterior painting, and house cleaning.

While Thumbtack also facilitates services like wedding photography, catering, dog walking, and singing lessons, it generally targets consumers who are looking for long-term service such as: 

  • a renovation project
  • summer lawn care services
  • flooring replacements

On the other hand, TaskRabbit, focuses more on one-off tasks and odd jobs. For example, mounting a TV, assembling furniture, planting flowers, or cleaning a specific room in a home.

While customers and clients can hire a specific “Tasker” multiple times, the platform’s main purpose is to help people with short-term, specific jobs. These tasks don’t necessarily require experts. 

Case in point—TaskRabbit partners with IKEA to offer assembly services to anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable putting the furniture together themselves.

While you might hire someone to assemble multiple IKEA purchases at once, it isn’t necessarily a long-term project that requires a seasoned professional’s help.

How does Thumbtack work for contractors?

To start generating leads on Thumbtack, you’ll need to create a profile so that clients can find you.

In your profile, you can include information like how long you have been in business, whether you’ve done a background check, business hours, accepted payment methods (such as cash or credit card), area of service, and more.

When a client first visits Thumbtack, they can enter details about a job they’d like done. Thumbtack then provides them with a list of service provider profiles that could be a match.

Then, clients review the contractors’ Thumbtack ratings and profiles to determine who they would like to work with and request a quote.

When the client and contractor agree on the price, and they decide to work together, it’s up to them to handle the project from there.

It should be noted that you only appear in search results once you have at least one positive customer review, so it’s important to make generating reviews a priority. 

Since Thumbtack works by charging service providers a fee per lead (which varies based on your area and how much competition you have), you’ll need to pay for any leads they send your way, regardless of whether they result in a contract. 

You are able to set preferences related to your target customers to ensure you only get relevant leads. And if you reach out to a client who posted about a job they want done, you only pay a fee if they respond to you. 

How does TaskRabbit work for contractors?

In terms of generating leads, TaskRabbit works in a similar way to Thumbtack. Contractors create a profile which is shown to clients searching for their services. Customers review service provider profiles and reach out to whoever they think is a best fit for the job. 

But where Thumbtack is great for ongoing projects, TaskRabbit is more geared towards same-day, one-off services. It’s up to you to list your availability and area of service so that potential clients can decide whether you can meet their scheduling needs.

Your profile, services, availability, rate, and the competition in your area will all impact how many leads you get and whether they turn into jobs. 

Unlike Thumbtack, Taskers don’t pay a fee per lead. Aside from a one-time $25 registration fee, the cost of using TaskRabbit is on the customers, who pay a service fee in addition to a Tasker’s hourly rate. Additional advertising options are available to those who have TaskRabbit Elite status.  

Thumbtack pros and cons

As with anything, Thumbtack comes with its own pros and cons for service providers. Here are some of the most and least attractive features based on G2 user reviews. 

Thumbtack pros: 

  • Getting good reviews boosts your visibility and helps you to generate more leads.
  • Using the platform can get you badges like “Responds Quickly”, “In High Demand”, or “Great Value” that help to build your reputation .
  • It can help to fill in schedule gaps or to boost your leads in the off-season, as per this positive review from service provider:
image of positive Thumbtack review
  • Customers seem to like using the platform, like this one who left a good review: 
image of Thumbtack review left by a service customer
  • Contractors find it easy to use. 
image of positive review for Thumbtack

Thumbtack cons: 

  • It can be expensive, as many users say in reviews: 
image of negative Thumbtack review
  • There’s no guarantee that the leads Thumbtack sends your way will be quality, but you’ll have to pay for them either way. 
image of Negative Thumbtack Review
  • It doesn’t always work well for rural areas, since there are fewer customers within your service area.
image of negative Thumbtack review

TaskRabbit pros and cons

As with Thumbtack, TaskRabbit comes with its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most common comments and complaints from TaskRabbit reviews on G2. 

TaskRabbit pros:

  • It facilitates quoting, invoicing, and payments on the platform so you can do everything in one place.
image of positive TaskRabbit review
  • It’s great for gig-work, when you have some free time in your schedule or you’re looking to generate more income during the off season. 
TaskRabbit positive review
  • It covers a variety of services from assembling IKEA furniture to washing windows to mounting flat screen TVs, meaning there potential for just about any kind of contractor to find jobs. 
  • Many reviewers (both service providers and customers) find the platform easy to use. 
  • The same-day services allow for quick turnarounds and help customers and contractors to get jobs done without having to schedule work weeks in advance.
image of TaskRabbit positive review

TaskRabbit cons: 

  • Depending on your services and customers, your market may be oversaturated. Here’s what one Reddit user had to say:
image of TaskRabbit review from Reddit
  • Some users, like this one, have found TaskRabbit’s customer support to be less than satisfactory: 
image of negative TaskRabbit review
  • It can be difficult to build up your profile with positive reviews and jobs since it’s based on how many jobs you complete and what competition is like in your area. 
image of negative TaskRabbit review

TaskRabbit or Thumbtack?

Whether you choose Thumbtack or TaskRabbit, both come with their own benefits. But if you’re still on the fence, here’s how it breaks down: 

TaskRabbit works well for contractors who:

  • Are in the market to do odd jobs
  • Need to fill up their schedule during the off season
  • Want a lead generation platform that handles quotes, invoices, and payments for them

Thumbtack is a great option for service businesses that: 

  • Specialize in a specific industry, like flooring or landscaping
  • Are looking to generate more leads to grow their business long-term
  • Prefer bigger projects with larger budgets

And if neither of them feel like quite the right fit, there are still plenty of other lead generation platforms to choose from. Just make sure you spend time thinking about the type of jobs you want to take on, what your budget looks like, and whether it caters to your industry before taking the plunge. 

Originally published in March 2020. Last updated on June 7, 2024.

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