A friend who I have known close on 30-years suggested that Bark might be worth a try. I had not heard of it but essentially people can post a request for a service.
Potential suppliers buy credits 100 cost £70 and when I bought them 100 credits would allow you to apply for 10 jobs so £7 per potential lead.
A few days after I bought the credits the cost of applying for a job was increased from 10 to 14 with only a few days notice of this increase. So the cost of a applying for a job rose from £7 to more than £10.
As a bidder in the process there is no arguing, Bark just upped the price.
The main noticeable fact regarding the "buyers” is that most are reluctant to engage in a conversation. (You are supposed to bid for a job based upon very little information which is inevitably going to lead to disappointment on one or both sides of the deal.)
Success appears to come from responding quickly, but I sense that within minutes of posting a job buyers are over whelmed by the volume and just divert all calls to their voicemail.
So the "bidders” have say collectively spent 10 x £10 so maybe £100 to get one shot at a job.
Reading the specs and the guide prices from Bark – it is clear that for many people it does not add up. If it is costing well over a £100 to get a low value job, it is not worth the effort.
I am guessing that most of the "buyers” are over whelming micro businesses just wondering whether to start out.
It has cost them virtually nothing to request a quote but the bidders have spent good money chasing a low value job.
Searching the internet Trust Pilot seems to run a lot of feedback which from buyers is positive. But the Bark team clearly monitor this site closely as any non-positive comments are removed. Of course all businesses are vulnerable to negative comments from professional complainers who are little more than blackmailers but it would be interesting to know why the comments have been removed.
Accountancy Web there is a comment that a Bark buyer was looking for a professional audit
Based on similar requests, we gave the buyer the following price guide:
It's unlikely you'll receive estimates below: £100
Most customers spent between: £150 - £400
Premium services may be more than: £800
However, we’ve made it clear that all jobs are different and that they will receive custom estimates from pros.
It does not take a genius to work out that no firm could carry out an audit for these sorts of fees
I suspect where this works is someone realises they need a photographer tomorrow and so in a panic tries a few gets nowhere and then tries bark. Photography is frequently very time specific and if you are a photographer you might not having booked for tomorrow so it could make sense. If you are busy you would not bid.
For most other professionals it is hard to see this being worth while. I predict that suppliers which are any good will soon work out that the business model is loaded too much in favour of the buyer with insufficient returns for the supplier.
I have to confess it was the presence of Nick Hewer which sucked me in I do not think the Bark Team have thought through the consequence of taking money from Bidders but not delivering much in the way of return. I am sure Mr Hewer will have been wise enough to get paid upfront.
A successful business models require that bothsides in a deal need to be happy.
Where this is not the case it does not bode well for a long term relationship.
Miraquel has always strived to offer an equitable relationship.
Conclusion, I guess Bark must work for some people...
How could Bark be fixed? I think the first segreation should be VAT registered and non-vat registered.
With hindsight Bark is really only going to work for non-vat registered suppliers becuase the purchasers are not going to be VAT registered, they are in the main micro businesses just starting out.
There was one which was not a micro business but the "buyer" was just a trainee asked to get some new ideas and clearly was just a very junior person in the whole process. Within one hour they had declarred the job placed and taken their phone number off.