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I am thinking of joining either checkatrade or My builder to drum up some business. Has anyone had any experience of these and do they work

Regards

Jerry
 
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There are several threads referring to this, if you tap on search in the top right corner and enter Checkatrade some will pop up. Here is one.
 

littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
Use the directory on this forum to advertise your services. It’s free to use, unlike Checkatrade etc.

Never use a tradesman from a site that uses a cowboys theme tune as their jingle. ;)
 

Des 56

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Arms
Esteemed
I have never taken any jobs from these middlemen but got myself registered with MY Builder just for the hell of it

I get quite a few e mails every single day with varying jobs that are advertised
The format is that a spark shows interest in a job and if he is shortlisted by the middlemen a fee is paid for each job applied
The fees applied vary with the expected cost of the jobs,I have never taken things further and could only guess from here on
The quantity of work ( at least in my area)that is advertised is very active and does seem to be a sure way of getting informed about what work may be available,but there is that cost that has to be dished out before finding whether its worthwhile paying some firm for these opportunities
 

Dan

Admin
They don't vet people (despite some claiming they do). If you look at their reviewing system, they encourage members to contact their previous customers by email and get them to leave reviews. So they just make up loads of email accounts and leave themselves reviews.

Unless one is ranking (naturally not paying for ads) to show up in your country or town or city, it isn't worth it.

Checkatrade just changed their policy to take all phone numbers off their site, and you have to ring them directly now as a customer, and they "will" forward the enquiries to you. And then they charge you extra for that change.

They're terrible services and I'm surprised they've lasted so long. Yell.com didn't work. Why these are I don't know.

Their business model sucks for tradesmen. And is all about the customer.

You end up fighting for jobs based on price with most.

I'm not a fan of them.

For the price you pay one of those over a year, you can get your own website and rank above them in Google for your area, so customers will come to you directly and skip them out.

I'd advise everybody to do that instead of having a middle man getting rich off your jobs without lifting a finger, or providing an actual service to you.
 

Baddegg

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Arms
Supporter
Esteemed
race to the bottom all of em......check a trade will increase your subs in the second year considerably and a more cynical person would say the others make up jobs that don’t exist :eek:..........;)
 

Dan

Admin
I always wonder that.

The first thing somebody needs to do if they're getting business in off the internet, is get a website. Sod a facebook page and then trying get your sisters mates dad find you on there. Or chasing down jobs in local groups etc. Get a website and get it ranking.

You'll end up with a % of everybody searching online then. Still these days Google is the most searched place for anything at all.

Go for a website.

And you need to get somebody who knows what they're doing too. So search for 'Web Designer in XXXXX' (your area) because if they are ranking for that - they can rank a website well. That's a competitive term in even the smallest of cities usually. So they will always be tweaking their own websites to try and get above their competition around the corner.

So they stay clued up with what's working these days.

Make sure you don't assume an advert on the first page is an actual natural listing though. They're getting harder to tell apart and it depends on what device you search on as to what the listings look like etc.

But run a few searches for local towns and whatnot and if they keep showing up, and it doesn't say it's an ad, give them a bell and see what they charge.
 

JK-Electrical

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Arms
Esteemed
I once used Rated People but quickly became disillusioned with it. I persevered with My Builder longer and managed to get well over a hundred profitable jobs from the site and build-up a high feedback rating in the process, but ultimately became disillusioned with this site too and haven't used it since February. Almost all of my work now comes from word of mouth and repeat business.
 
I used checkatrade last 5 years with no problem. The all went south from last year. My fee went up from apx £800 per year to £2500 !!!
See atached why

Checkatrade profit.JPG
 

Dan

Admin
That's shocking!

Wow as if they are earning that much from a whole bunch of people. What are we doing wrong lads? :) :)
 

NDG Elecs

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Arms
Esteemed
They don't vet people (despite some claiming they do). If you look at their reviewing system, they encourage members to contact their previous customers by email and get them to leave reviews. So they just make up loads of email accounts and leave themselves reviews.

Unless one is ranking (naturally not paying for ads) to show up in your country or town or city, it isn't worth it.

Checkatrade just changed their policy to take all phone numbers off their site, and you have to ring them directly now as a customer, and they "will" forward the enquiries to you. And then they charge you extra for that change.

They're terrible services and I'm surprised they've lasted so long. Yell.com didn't work. Why these are I don't know.

Their business model sucks for tradesmen. And is all about the customer.

You end up fighting for jobs based on price with most.

I'm not a fan of them.

For the price you pay one of those over a year, you can get your own website and rank above them in Google for your area, so customers will come to you directly and skip them out.

I'd advise everybody to do that instead of having a middle man getting rich off your jobs without lifting a finger, or providing an actual service to you.
Agree, websites are easily self designed with a little patience, and are cheap as chips. I got myself top on the first page of local sparks on Google using various easy-ish methods and for no cost. Keywords, reviews and links to other known websites helps in keeping the Google algorithms happy to acknowledge you! Word of mouth is the best though. Get one good customer with many local links and it can open up a whole world of opportunities. Aim for professional types who are in their thirties. Impress them and they will pass your number onto their friends who are all going through the same settling down and getting their houses done up at the same time.
 

Dan

Admin
Use the directory on this forum to advertise your services. It’s free to use, unlike Checkatrade etc.

Never use a tradesman from a site that uses a cowboys theme tune as their jingle. ;)
Do they really have a cowboy tune as their jingle? lol!!!
 

littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
The jingle used to be the William Tell Overture, also known as the Lone Ranger theme.(“checkatrade.... checkatrade dot com”)

But I recently noticed it’s changed a little. I think they sponsor Britain’s got talent or something.
 
There are new members on checkatrade with just 2 reviews, when you used to require 10 reviews in order to join. I was told that they now prioritise new members in the listings, so you could have new members ahead of you in a customer's search, when the newbies live many towns away and don't even have any reviews in your area.

I have never seen a bad tradesmen review on checkatrade which is interesting. Clearly they must vet the reviews and don't allow poor reviews as the tradesmen wouldn't want to pay checkatrade to continue their membership.

I do feel for new tradesmen who need to get their name out there as all of these advertising sites are a scam. Bring back the days of the yellow pages books before these sites ever existed (I did well out of yellow pages many years ago).
 

littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
Yell.com is the online version of yellow pages.
The web is saturated with directories of tradesman. Checkatrade, mybuilder, even Facebook, you can list your services.

Some older customers (less tech savvy) still take word of mouth as recommendation, and that’s where I get a lot of my business.
 
I'm on an app called "NextDoor"... it's not just for tradesmen, it's like a locals info site... alot of lost cats etc... But there's a few bits come through that... you can recommend others and vice versa... And of course, local is good !
 
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