Advertising on Angies List

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Terry, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,761
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Advertising on Angie's List
    How much should an A+ plumbing contractor pay to be seen by Angie's List members?
    Is it enough to put out very good work at low prices, or do you also have to pay Angie to be included in their listings to paying homeowners.

    And homeowners, how much do you pay a month?
    Do you want to see the top listed plumbers on Angies List, or are you satisfied with only seeing those thay pay the advertising costs to be included near the top of the list.

    I'm told that I'm twelve more times likely to be seen, if you am willing to pay them.
    You the homeowner is paying Angie, but you only have a 8.33% chance of seeing me, and A+ plumber in the Seattle area.
    Don't you think, since you are paying out good money, that you get a list of all of the A+ plumbers?
    I do.
    And guess what, anybody can call me and get the A+ deal too. You don't even need to by paying Angie to get our work garantee and performance.

    [​IMG]

    That's right. Angie charges plumbers to be seen.

    [​IMG]

    But you can hire us without paying for Angies List.
    Terry Love Plumbing, aka Love Plumbing & Remodel gets an Angies A+ and a Better Business A+
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I think that if one wants to do a special, promoting it through Angie's list isn't a bad idea. Generally, consumers are wary, I think, of "special" prices from companies they don't know. And most people don't know anyone. They are also inclined to be more suspiciious and demanding of companies that offer specials in general. There is no question that Angie adds legitimacy behind the special.

    However, in general, I think that it's not worth advertising with them. I have a guy that I found on Angie's list called the Neighborhood Telephone Man. Teeny category so he didn't need to stand out. What he does is that he comes to your home (or business) and fixes your phones for a reasonable charge. Just like your local phone company used to do until things changed and you needed either to pay extra for inside wire maintenance or extortionate prices if you didn't have it and something went wrong in your house. Cable systems provide affordable phone service but just hook it up to your existing inside wiring and (at least here) don't do inside wire maintenance. This guy retired from Verizon and started doing this on a small scale and just got more and more work. He's the kind of guy who would be welcome anywhere. Tall, pleasant-looking, extremely low-key and unexciteable, polite and very knowledgeable. And he'll do anything from put in a jack to put in a business key system, or crawl through your attic to find a broken wire. And he is very reasonably-priced. It's like having a next door neighbor who works for the phone company, has all the right tools in his garage, and is happy to come over and help you on the rare occasion when you have a phone problem. So naturally I gave him a stellar and detailed review on Angie's list. As did about ten other people. So he got that Circle of Happiness award, and Angie's List started bombarding him asking him to advertise. I did the math with him on how much more business he would have to get just to cover the ads, and it wasn't pretty. Better to just put that logo and award on a few thousand business cards from VistaPrint, and leave them in car washes, restaurants, the deli, etc., in every community into which he is called, along with a concise description of his service (which a lot of people need once in their lives). And leave a brightly-colored sticker near the phone box and wherever the homeowner keeps his/her stickers for the plumber, electrician, etc. That has, I think, worked out very well for him, and for a lot less money. Meanwhile, I think the real benefit of Angie's list is to check out someone who was recommended to you, or whose ad looked appealing, or whose truck you have seen in the neighborhood. I have done that for anyone who we have thought of hiring. I would say that 20% of the time I look for a new contractor on Angie's List, and 80% of the time I am checking out a source that otherwise came to my attention. No question that Angie provides legitimacy and much more reliable reviews than, say, Yelp. But I personally think it's a better deal for the contractor to leverage that legitimacy through other more direct advertising media. (It IS helpful in finding an off the beaten path trade. In my case, we found the telephone guy and a really-service-oriented, fastidious, asbestos removal guy through them. Both small categories.)
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,761
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I look at how many jobs I need to get, or should I say, what gross revenue will I get, and if I get a profit from the job, does it even pay the advertising bill.
    I was told years ago, that spending 8% of gross was about right. More than that, and it was a losing propostion.
    In 2012, according to Forbes, Angies List made 69% of it's revenue from advertising. That means that it's reverted back to an advertising platform much like the old Yellow Pages concept. The difference being that they now also take it from the consumer.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/09/10/aint-it-time-to-say-goodbye-to-angies-list/
    Aint' it time to say goodbye to Angie's List?

    The companies around here that offer $50 discounts on services?
    I would love to make what they make, even with a $50 discount.
    Often, they charge double what I'm charging, and that $50 discount brings it down to 50% more than what we would have charged for the same job.
    For instance, one of our slow paying customers called about a water heater yesterday.
    We install a gas water heater for $899.00 plus sales tax.
    She went with the local Yellow Page ad that sells the same tank installed for $1600. That's right. I still haven't gotten paid for work we did in October, but she's willing to pay $700 more. I guess that $50 off coupon is a really great deal.''

    Terry Love Plumbing, aka Love Plumbing & Remodel gets an Angies A+ and a Better Business A+
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  4. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    ct
    Be glad you didn't get that job Terry, then she would have been into you for even more money and who needs that?

    I was pitched a few years ago by Service Magic, they wanted to do referrals at $17.00 per referral, which on its face sounds tempting until you find that 5-6 other guys are getting the same referral.. No thanks
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,761
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Service Magic is now Homeadvisor.
    I fell for that too. And much of the time, they didn't even exect a call. They were filling out a freebie link that would shoot them a quick price.
    That little freebie wound up costing contractors a lot of money.
    They still have a page up for me, as I had the 12 month listing, and all I get is spam emails from it.
    It seems everybody wants a piece of us. The advertisers that is.

    Terry Love Plumbing, aka Love Plumbing & Remodel gets an Angies A+ and a Better Business A+

    But they won't show me on the top of the list unless I buy advertising.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  6. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    231
    Location:
    Florida
    Here is my 2 cents as a homeowner, not business owner. I really don't know the details from a merchant position.

    I recently bought a home and used Angie's List a lot. I was not familiar with local businesses so I needed some way to not get screwed. I was not looking for bargains but I was looking for reliable quality work that was reasonably priced. Angie's List allowed me to weed out less than average merchants.

    I found a tile guy with exceptional reviews. His quote was right in the middle of the pack. He negotiated material price for me with a large local stone supplier for 2100 feet of Travertine. They tore out 1500 feet of tile, lots of carpet and installed the 2100 feet of Travertine. The guy was an artist, just as described on other customer reviews.

    I found a General Contractor / Kitchen remodel company that was first class.

    I found an honest electrician to relocate the 50 amp stove outlet

    I found an excellent honest plumbing company to replace the main shut off and hunt down a sewer smell.

    I found a great air-conditioning company.

    I left great reviews for each of the above merchants.

    I got burned by another air-conditioning company recently that I used on a rental property, without checking Angie's a list first. They price gouged me by charging $160 for a $10 relay. Their labor rate was fine. I wrote them up on Angie's List and I wasn't the only one that gave this merchant negative reviews.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  7. ankhseeker

    ankhseeker Member

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    California
    We have used Angies list in the past, and had good results, but in this day and age, I demand good service. All of the quality craftsman that I use come from referrals from my dear friend, a Realtor. She always had at least 3 to choose from and I have not been disappointed. Angies list might still be good, but they aren't up in my area since we moved 5 years ago. None of the businesses would drive 2 hours to do a job where I live. Come on ads just don't thrill me anymore after being in the auto business for so long. "Bring your car in for a free inspection" You might get a $1200 estimate for other repairs.... Needed or not! I prefer discounts taken after the work is completed, not a low ball ad with "parts and labor additional"!
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,249
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF I subscribed to all the companies who "want to maker me rich", THEY would get rich and I would go broke.
  9. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    ct
    Has anyone else had good luck with Google Adwords?
  10. guy48065

    guy48065 New Member

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    SE and north MI
    As a consumer I do use Angie's Llist as a sort of Yellow Pages. I'm aware of their practice to elevate advertisers for a fee. What pisses me off is when I search for a service and get no hits (this is in a very under-developed Angie's territory) but when I search for the business *by name* that I damn well know is there--it shows up. A-rating & all. It's one thing to elevate a paying business--but it's NOT right to bury or completely hide reviewed businesses because they don't pay up.
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,761
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Yelp charges for advertising to be seen too.

    Yelp also charges businesses to have their good reviews made public.
    You can give a postive review on Yelp, but they may filter it out unless the company agrees to pay them a monthy advertising fee.
    It's not about real reviews, it's just one more method that an Internet Company can extort businesses for money.

    Read the story here
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