Two in five UK tradespeople working extra shifts due to the cost of living

It’south perhaps off-white to say that there’south never been an easier fourth dimension to make a living as a tradesman than right now. Obviously, that’south not to discredit the hours upon hours of difficult work you’ve invested to abound your business, but rather a comment on the sheer wealth of tools you take at your disposal to assistance you detect clients and win new projects.

CheckaTrade, My Builder, the new Amazon Selling Services, it seems you tin barely plow a corner on the web without bumping into some kind of platform designed to generate leads for your business and match you with customers who need your services.

Yet with and then many of them out there, how practise you determine which ones are worth your time, not to mention your hard-earned money?

Recently, we updated our head-to-head comparing between two of the major players in the “find a tradesman” game,
CheckaTrade and Rated People. Today, we go one pace further by comparison these two well-known platforms with a host of others, helping self-employed tradesmen similar y’all decide which ane – if any – to use when it comes to getting new business.

Amazon Selling Services

Every bit the new kid on the block,
Amazon’due south own platform
has however yet to prove itself here in the Britain.

As we mentioned in our recent article, Selling Services allows tradesmen to sell their services to Amazon’s existing customers, with the web giant taking a cut of the earnings.

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Amazon Selling Services – Ease of Use

Amazon didn’t reach the level of success they enjoy today by selling shoddy stuff, which is why they’re serious well-nigh only allowing professionals onto their platform who are a cut in a higher place the rest. To that end, you’ll have a tough vetting and background checking process to go through before you lot’re qualified to sell your services via the site.

Once you do, however, the actual process of getting work is by far the easiest we’ve seen. Virtually services are sold “pre-packaged” at fixed prices, and then there’s no need to become through the process of quoting and negotiating with your customers.

Instead, they add the service they need to their cart, choose the contractor they want to do the piece of work (based on their client reviews and other feedback) and if y’all’re the chosen contractor, you accept the chore and get to work.


Amazon Selling Services – Cost

The new platform is free to sign up to and free to utilize.

When yous complete a task, the customer pays Amazon, who accept their commission before paying you. This commission is 20% on jobs up to £1,000 and 15% for jobs over that amount.

Is Amazon Selling Services worth it?

When Amazon first announced their new venture, nosotros heard from some experienced tradesmen who said that the 20% commission was merely besides much, and could well mean that some jobs just only wouldn’t be profitable.

Even so, for those new to the business, we can run into how the lack of initial sign-upwardly fees could make this an attractive proffer when it comes to finding those all-important get-go customers and building a reputation.

best platform for self-employed builders

says that buyers request x,000 jobs every twenty-four hours through its website. Whilst that may sound like a blessing for become-getting tradesmen, there is one matter you need to know.

Bark isn’t exclusively for building-related services but covers nigh every type of professional person service you tin can think of.

Equally such, there’s probable to be just equally many political party caterers as there are plumbers, so whilst x,000 may audio like a huge number of potential jobs, the actual number suited to your exact trade is probable to be much, much smaller.

Bark – Ease of Use

In our trial run, we constitute Bark very like shooting fish in a barrel to fix up and utilise. It took most ten minutes to go from their homepage to getting leads sent to united states of america, though whether those leads show to be fruitful remains to be seen.

Bark – Cost

Dissimilar other platforms, Bawl doesn’t charge almanac memberships or fixed fees. Instead, it allows you to buy credits, which will toll you £1.10 each.

When a client needs a service similar yours, they mail the information to Bark, who ask the client questions in guild to assemble sufficient information to help y’all put together an informed quote.

Details of the customers’ requirements are and so passed on to you. If you want to contact that customer with a quote, you and then exchange your credits for their contact details.

Bark says that virtually jobs will set you dorsum anywhere from i-20 credits, though, past virtually reports that we’ve seen, the average is effectually six or seven.

Bark – Is it Worth it?

Is information technology worth paying around £ 6-7 just for a lead?

And then far, we’ve seen mixed opinions.

The company’s TrustPilot page reveals lots of happy customers, simply far fewer happy service-providers, with the main complaint being that most of the leads they’re sent are either unqualified or simply too expensive.

On the plus side, buying leads through a platform like this rather than advertising through a standard directory does mean that there’southward no chance of customers finding you online and contacting yous for quotes when y’all already have a full workload. Instead, you can better manage how you utilise the site and find new clients only when it suits you.

What’south more, it turns out that £6 – £7 may actually be at the cheaper end of the calibration when it comes to paying for leads through these types of sites.

best platform for self-employed builders


One of the ameliorate-known platforms currently on the market place,
gives you your own dedicated webpage (such as on which you tin advertise your services and show off reviews from previous customers.

Unlike Bark, in which you take to do all the difficult piece of work of chasing leads, CheckaTrade has the customers come to y’all. They observe your profile, run into what you’re most, and and then make the initial contact if they’re thinking of hiring you.

CheckaTrade – Ease of Use

One thing we similar nearly CheckaTrade is the company make sure that only reputable tradesmen can use the site. To do that, the company first ask you to fill in a elementary registration grade, after which they contact you past phone to interview you about your service and ask for relevant accreditations and insurance details.

Whilst this can exist time-consuming, some tradesmen do prefer answering a few questions over the phone than spending hours pouring over complicated online forms.

CheckaTrade – Cost

Despite everything the visitor has going for information technology, CheckaTrade made quite a number of tradesmen very angry as of late when information technology hiked its prices to what many considered an excessive degree. Previously, membership used to cost anywhere from effectually £600 – £one,000 per year (plus VAT) depending on the membership.

This was already at the higher-end of the price scale for these types of platforms, just recently, those prices skyrocketed. One reader of our recent
Rated People vs. CheckaTrade
review had this to say:

“So, last year we paid £756 for the year (£52.l + VAT per calendar month).
Been advised our renewal price will be £2160 (£150 + VAT per month).
How can any company justify that sort of hike in cost?! Who increases costs with such a high percent? What’southward even more unbelievable is that nosotros accept been members of CheckaTrade for several years, this is not the way to treat loyalty!
If we were a new member, the cost would exist £1007.86 (£69.99 + vat per calendar month) – so that’south an additional £80.01 per month for loyalty as opposed to a new fellow member – this is scandalous and totally unfair!”

Other customers were equally as aroused, with some quoting an increase in membership costs of every bit much every bit £1,000.

Is CheckaTrade worth information technology?

Whilst the price hikes had many tradesmen vowing not to renew their memberships, the visitor does have make recognition as an industry leader that few other platforms can match.

As a tradesman looking to grow your concern, that brand recognition tin can hateful more eyeballs on your services than you’d receive with other platforms, and that can only be a adept affair when it comes to attracting leads.

best platform for self-employed builders

My Architect

In January 2018,
My Builder was featured in a BBC commodity
which revealed that a reporter was able to gear up a professional profile upwards on the site despite having no feel, accreditations, or insurance. What’south more, he was also able to leave himself a host of fake five-star reviews.

What this means is that tradesman using the platform could have found themselves competing against cowboys and chancers who were able to prepare upwardly shop on the site despite being far from legitimate.

However, whilst
My Builder
may take been caught out for assuasive fake profiles through the cracks, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the only platform out in that location on which this is happening.

So, let’s consider the other relevant factors too, shall we?

My Builder – Ease of Use

My Builder’southward sign-upward process is deadening, to say the least.

After submitting all the basic information well-nigh who y’all are and what you do, the company challenges you to prove you’re up to scratch by having you make full in a lengthy and time-consuming questionnaire.

When we fix a test business relationship every bit a generic handyman, for case, we were forced to answer questions such as:

“Client reports air trapped in a radiator, but the drain valve is blocked. What might have caused the blocked valve, and how might you unblock information technology?”

To be fair, it’due south like shooting fish in a barrel plenty just to Google the respond and get a laissez passer, just over again that only proves that any chancer could prepare up a profile if they so wished to.

Overall, this is a laborious procedure which could exist made much simpler.

My Builder – Cost

Like Bark, My Builder charges you lot for leads.

When a customer posts a job in your surface area, you can limited an interest in that job to permit the client know that yous want it. The customer and then takes a look at your profile, and if they like what they see, they tin can shortlist you forth with other tradesmen.

When they shortlist you, My Builder sends you lot their phone number and charges you a shortlist fee, which can price anywhere from £two to £35.

On the visitor’s own website, they say:

“Winning your commencement few jobs on MyBuilder can accept time and effort. Nigh tradesmen win their showtime chore after being shortlisted betwixt 4 and 8 times.”

In other words, you could potentially find yourself paying out £140 – £280 (based on a maximum shortlist fee of £35) just to win i task.

Is My Builder worth it?

All of our research seems to show that My Architect doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation amidst tradesmen and customers alike. That said, nosotros have found some tradesmen who merits to exist making a proficient living from it, and so they must be doing something correct.

Again, the atomic number 82-ownership approach does assist tradesmen manage their workloads better, as they don’t have to spend time managing calls from potential clients who find their profile but can instead choose to express an interest in work only when needed.

All in all then, this might be a better option as a back-up for when things are placidity than and so as the chief source of lead generation.

best platform for self-employed builders


Last but by no means least we come to
Rated People, the other major industry player that gives the likes of Checkatrade a serious run for their coin.

Along with My Builder, Rated People was also featured in that BBC article that immune a non-professional to easily set up a profile and promote himself as a tradesman.

The company seem to have tightened things up a trivial bit since, and remain one of the most pop platforms of their type, peculiarly among consumers.

Rated People – Ease of Use

Ranking up there as past far one of the easiest platforms to sign up to, Rated People asks you lot to fill in a uncomplicated class that takes virtually thirty seconds to make full in, then they call you back to go through the vetting and application procedure.

Once you’re on lath, you create your own Rated People profile, and that’s when the fun starts.

The site is a combination of CheckaTrade and sites like Bark, in that you accept to exist proactive near responding to potential leads and expressing an involvement in the work, rather than letting customers contact you directly if they’re interested in your services.

Rated People – Toll

Signing up to Rated People comes with a standard monthly subscription of £xx + VAT per month.

At first, this sounds bang-up, especially compared to CheckaTrade’s £one,000+ fees, only then comes the fact that, on top of this, you too accept to pay for individual leads which cost an average of £15 + VAT, again with no guarantee that the customer will use you.

Having said that, Rated People exercise promote a member benefits package which they say could save you £800 per year.

Is Rated People worth it?

Despite the negatives, the site’s TrustPilot page is packed with glowing reviews from customers who are happy with the service, which shows that there is a large number of people out there who are using information technology to find tradesmen.

That said, paying £twenty + VAT per month just for the opportunity to and so pay an average of £fifteen for a atomic number 82 that might not pay off may not exist ideal for every tradesman’south budget.

best platform for self-employed builders

The verdict

As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to using all of the more popular tradesman platforms, with no 1 company continuing caput and shoulders above the rest as the absolute winner.

Whereas CheckaTrade has a name value that few can match, it also has prices that few can afford, and whilst paying for leads on sites like My Builder and Bark might non exist for everyone, it tin exist a useful and affordable way to generate new business organization for those just starting out on their self-employed journey.

Counterbalance upward the pros and cons for yourself and, in the meantime, don’t forget about all the other useful tools you accept to help you get piece of work, such every bit Facebook and edifice your own dedicated website.

Do you lot use platforms similar CheckaTrade and Rated People? If and so, how did you decide which 1 to sign up to? As ever, share your views with us in the comments below, or become involved in the give-and-take on

Tradesman Saveralso provides insurance for tradesmen covering a broad diversity of professions. For further data, please encounter our who we cover page.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the structure industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and instructor.

All manufactures by Marker McPherson


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