The Best & Worst Websites in Australia
It seems like a crowded space, but there are really only 4 main ways to find a tradie in Australia.
Of course you can start with Google, but that is a total crapshoot. A long shopping list of links to tradie websites abandoned long ago. And let’s face it, tradies are generally on the tools, not managing their email or websites.
The disruptors are all ‘find-a-tradie’ websites; websites where you post a job and interested businesses quote to win your job. There are 4 main ones in Australia.
But they are very different in their approach.
The top options are: ServiceSeeking (most quotes, most choice), Airtasker (most expensive for customer at 30% commission), Oneflare (largely unheard of but backed by Domain) and Hipages (owned by News Limited, expensive to send quotes & don’t publish negative reviews).
Let’s take each in turn:
Who are theServiceSeeking HiPages Airtasker Yellow Pages ServiceSeeking
20,000 – 30,000 jobs a month. And over 200,000 registered businesses. More than 12 million quotes submitted online. And from what we read on Kochie’s Business Builders, up to 50x cheaper than HiPages, Airtasker, and others.
They also seem to have their tradies best interests at heart, with reasonable unlimited subscription models (quote on everything) and a new product called Zero Competition Leads where you literally have NO COMPETITION. Prices for membership start from $50 per month (pretty good, huh?). And Zero Competition leads seem pretty reasonable too given tradies don’t compete with others.
Around 200,000 trades are registered with more than 3 million jobs listedHiPages
They are the biggest by job volume, however tradies largely miss out on the lion’s share of leads as only 3 quotes are permitted even though hundreds of businesses might be matched to a lead.
Their last financial report reveals that they lost $13.5m, up from $8m the year prior.
Download the HiPages 2019 Financials (Revenue, Costs & Profit)Airtasker
Airtasker is a quirky site that helps people get weird jobs done. For example standing in line for a new iphone, or baking a gluten free cake for a friend with dietary intolerances.
Their last financial results look dire, with the business having lost $24,000,000 against $12 million in revenue.
They are trying to bridge this gap by increasing prices to both their customers and businesses which makes this website the most expensive out of all competitors. Their average job size is around $100, and Airtasker takes about $30 in fees. Ouch.
Download the Airtasker Financials 2018 Revenue, Costs and Profit
They also have a lot of negative reviews on Product Review.
Read this one about their new 30% commission:
“When I posted my first job on Airtasker I was aware that they charged a “service fee” of up to 20%, depending on the level of income of the responder. I think this fee is ridiculously high, but at least they are upfront about it. What I wasn’t aware of is that they also charge the poster a 10% “booking fee” and I don’t feel they are upfront about this at all, it’s buried in the terms and conditions.
I posted a data entry task for $120. To cover the fees, I was charged $132 and the person who did the task ended up getting $96. This is absolutely outrageous price gouging. I won’t be using Airtasker again.” – Stivat
Greater Melbourne (Metropolitan), VIC
The Yellow Pages is owned by Sensis and US private equity fund Platinum and 30 per cent by Telstra.
It runs an online directory, and a compare quotes platform too.
Online Service Marketplaces in Australia
ServiceSeeking (12 years old, +4 million jobs posted, +200,000 registered businesses)
They have 8004 reviews on Product Review and 4.6 stars. This makes them the most popular Services Marketplace in Australia based on most number of positive reviews. Given that each job receives an unlimited number of quotes, we also believe they are the largest marketplace by quotes submitted although Airtasker might also claim this.
ServiceSeeking charges a monthly membership, from $66/month for unlimited quoting. They also have a new product called “Zero Competition Leads” which allows tradies the first option to contact a customer without being undercut by others.
The ServiceSeeking business model is great. They have a large back office in Manila. Each tradie gets an Account Manager which guides them through the process of setting up an account and winning jobs.
They run a very tight ship and deliver value to their customers and tradies, who give them accolades on websites like Product Review. They have customers who have been with them from the very beginning – a positive sign.
In addition to monthly cancel anytime memberships, tradies can save up to 20% by switching to annual – no refunds. Businesses can sign up for free.https://vimeo.com/59108621 Visit ServiceSeeking
Airtasker (9 years old, 2 millions customers, suited to weird and wacky jobs)
Airtasker has a great brand presence in Australia, due to backing by Channel 7 who spent huge sums of money promoting the company on TV.
They generate in excess of 100,000 jobs a month.
Like its overseas competitor Task Rabbit which was offloaded in a fire sale to Ikea, this business appears to be burning a crazy amount of cash.
Posting huge losses and jacking up fees from 15% of completed jobs to 30% are not good signs for business sustainability.
And given the average job size is just $120, a huge chunk of earnings is gobbled up by the website, which appears to be absolutely haemorrhaging cash.
An ASIC search revealed the following:
Airtasker Financials 2018 Revenue, Costs and Profit
Apart from issues with government bodies like the ATO (they were recently in trouble for their R&D Claim), they are also heavily criticised online for price gouging.
But if you have a wacky job like needing someone to stand in line for the latest iphone, then this could be your best option.
Not well suited to tradie jobs, as tradies often need a site visit and Airtasker refuse to introduce you to providers until you have paid money upfront.https://vimeo.com/36122114
Home Improvement Pages (16 years old, 2 millions customers, 3 quotes per job)
News Ltd pretty much control this business and last year the CEO and Chairman resigned. The exec team are largely News execs, VC guys and the last remaining co-founder.
They have been punished online for high prices (up to $60 a quote) and don’t publish negative reviews about tradies (a breach of the ACCC guidelines).
Their latest published financials also paint a grim picture.
HiPages 2019 Financials (Revenue, Costs & Profit)
The business is saddled with $17m in debt, lost $13.5 million last financial year and it will be interesting to see whether they can turn things around.
As a tradie, I would be scared to sign a long term deal with these guys and certainly not a 12 month contract, as they seem to push to the majority of their new businesses.
Here is an overview of how they work.https://vimeo.com/192867271
They’ve been around for the longest, but are now run by Private Equity. Google is better in our opinion, but both complete crap shoots. They do have one of the best advertising campaigns of all time though – remember “Not Happy Jan!”. Bloody brilliant stuff.https://vimeo.com/286084633
https://www.serviceseeking.com.auThey all have pros and cons. While expensive, Airtasker is good for weird jobs. HiPages is good if you don’t really want much of a choice. ServiceSeeking offers the most quotes and don’t take a commission, although they can almost be TOO good, in that you’ll receive more quotes that you might have otherwise expect.
Oneflare and Hipages both have a 3 quote model, but often you’ll receive less than the maximum number of quotes and tradies have to pay up to $60 to quote. So if they win 1 in 10 jobs, the cost to win your job might be $600 or more, which doesn’t stack up if you are trying to get a $300 handyman job done. Tradies are business people after all, and will try to pass on their cost of marketing to you, so be wary of these 2 sites.
Airtasker seems the most expensive with a 30% clip.
At the end of the day, you could try them all and see which works best for you. However we like ServiceSeeking.com.au.Find a Tradie Websites / January 20, 2020 / Pete Jennings Lynne Becera