I needed to pick a website name that separated me from the herd. And humor is important to me. Respect is also important to me. I earn my customers respect by doing an excellent job at a very competitive price.
Look; there have got to be a couple of hundred guys out there with websites for furniture assembly.
Yes, the majority of them will do a good job. A smaller minority have the sense to carry extra parts. Most of the time, the extra parts are not needed. But every once in a while, something is missing, or something breaks during assembly.
I’m competitive. For IKEA, if you have a quote in print for furniture assembly, I will underbid the IKEA company bid by $10.00 (assembly only, if you want picking and delivery, that is another discussion).
Any tips on Purchasing RTA furniture?
Let's have an understanding. If you are buying this type of furniture: 50 years later, you're not going to see your grandchild
appearing on that 'Antiques RoadShow' TV show, being told their antique IKEA dresser is worth $15,000.
This type of furniture frees up your money to do other things. That being said, you will get better value from IKEA versus places like Wal-Mart and Target. In January of 2016, I assembled a 3-drawer dresser that a customer purchased from Wal-Mart. She could have purchased an equivalent dresser from IKEA, and had enough left over to pay me...for what she spent on the Wal-Mart dresser alone. Also, IKEA furniture is NOT made in China.
As a child, I got separated from my parents at the Art Institute of Chicago during some sort of crowded exhibition. It was not pleasant. So, ever since then, I’ve been “map guy”. I always have maps, and make it a point to know where I am. I really hate being lost. I have a Bachelors degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I have been in the Schaumburg IKEA store at least 50 times since it opened. And I still get lost in that friggin labyrinth. If you know what you are looking for while in the Schaumburg store, but can not find it. I suggest the following;
put on your “I’m gonna kill you face”, find someone wearing a yellow & blue shirt,
and have them walk you to the thing you are looking for.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIRING AN INTERNET HANDYMAN?
Things to keep in mind:
1. Handymen are hungry for work, and are not clairvoyant. Usually these websites will have an essay section. The more detail you can provide, the better. Especially the brand name and model number for any type of assembly job. Loophole: If the website allows you to upload a photograph, you can upload a photograph of a picture with your email or phone number or other contact information. This will allow a handyman to contact you directly and cut the website out.
2. How does the website make money? This is a fair question.
3. Tiny jobs: I no longer do very small simple handyman jobs (for a number of reasons). If that is all you have, you might find a skilled worker with very few reviews who is just starting out. If no one bids on your small job. You can repost the job and state what you are willing to pay. Or, you can try to come up with an entire day of work for a handyman.
4. Criminal background checks: Varies with the website. Some do it automatically when you register. Others, it is an option. For Thumbtack, I paid a fee to have them conduct a criminal background check. But you have to look hard to see that on my profile. Not everyone registered with Thumbtack has passed a criminal background check
First website: www.thumbtack.com Free to register your job. You will receive a maximum of five bids, the service provider pays a fee to submit a bid. They keep 100% of whatever is invoiced. If you like them, and want to rehire the provider directly a month later. The provider can do the repeat work with no penalty. I am closing in on 280 jobs with this company. If no one bids, you can always repost. Many times, I see juicy jobs posted, but I have to pass because I am completely booked for that week. Also, if a job description is vague, I do not bid.
Second website: www.proreferral.com Owned by Home Depot. It is free to post a handyman type job. Loosely, handymen are charged points when they are sent a lead. Handymen earn points when they purchase supplies and tools from Home Depot. Handyman keeps 100% of invoice, no penalty for repeat work. So far, about 50+ jobs with this company.
The above two companies are tied, in terms of fair treatment of the handyman.
The following two companies, only if you are; Rich, and/or Stupid, and/or in a Hurry.
Personal opinion: These companies treat me like I am a monkey with a screwdriver.
Third website: www.taskrabbit.com Free to register your job. Workers have an hourly rate. The loophole is, they will only charge so many hours, no matter how long the job takes. Job-poster pays the website, they take 30%, and pass along the remaining 70% to the worker. Worker can do repeat jobs for 85%. If caught doing direct, repeat work for a customer, Worker is terminated. I hate these guys. I did about 79 jobs for them before we parted company.
Fourth website: www.handy.com Free to register your job. Some specials offered. They take around 30%+. Will terminate the worker if caught doing direct repeat work. I did about 12 jobs for these guys, and politely asked to be placed in extended vacation status until they revised their policies.
Fifth website: www.serviz.com A new player, entering the Chicago market in 2016. They seem to be a copycat of Handy.com I do not know much about them, and do not care to invest the time to learn.
The next two are question marks:
www.porch.com Connected to Lowes Chain of hardware stores. Free to register your job. Handymen have two tiers. Pay a monthly fee (over $200/month) and get leads for free. Or, pay by the lead, usually $10 to $15 for a lead. Handyman keeps 100% of invoice. No penalty for repeat work. As of August 2016, I have completed about 12 jobs for Porch.com
Porch has partnered with Wayfair, and I have done a number of jobs for Wayfair customers.
www.homeadvisor.com A big company. Expensive to join, monthly fee, plus a fee for every lead. Not recommended for handymen doing small jobs. If I was doing kitchen makeovers at $25,000 a pop, then I would register my business with this company.
Amazon: They offer some handyman services. They approached me, but it was too much paperwork. I believe the cut that Amazon gets is around 20%. I'm told Amazon can take up to 90 days to pay out to the handyman, that can be a little tough to handle.
Angie's List (AL): If AL sends you an email offer for a service and you purchase it, AL gets around 35%. If you go to the AL website and purchase a deal, the cut for AL varies, but it will be between 15% and 25%.