Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you?
Warning: Online sites like Thumbtack are empowering couples who are planning a wedding with the ability to obtain quotes from DJs, Photographers, Photo Booth providers and other wedding vendors right in a convenient on-line app.
The Thumbtack system: Wedding Vendors compete for business by giving the lowest quote to the requesting couple. The user is given a price estimation by Thumbtack of what they should be paying for the requested service (example DJ), but where Thumbtack generates their numbers from I have not a clue? The Thumbtack estimation for a professional wedding DJ operating in the Connecticut market was at least 1/2 of what I would consider to be the “going rate.” Keep in mind that when estimating my version of “going rate” I consider ONLY professional wedding DJs who I know are reputable and NOT amateurs. Example of amateur DJ would be those just trying to break into the wedding market without experience or skills. Maybe they work at bars, clubs or karaoke’ but what are their credentials as a professional wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies? You have to consider the credentials above the quote!
Like with so many things these days people look at online reviews to reassure themselves that they are about to inquire with a reputable provider and Thumbtack does have it’s own reviews section. HOWEVER, I investigated a DJ who was advertising on Thumbtack from my region and they had 634 reviews. They were charging $250 for a wedding. Please keep in mind that is about 80% below the professional wedding DJ rate for Connecticut.
“Cheap DJs are NOT Great and Great DJs are NOT Cheap!” There’s just NO way that this company has 634 5 star reviews and would need to charge such a low fee. So, something seems to be slightly illegitimate in the Thumbtack reviews system. I’m not implicating Thumbtack in wrong doing but rather suggesting their system might be prime for manipulation? Hmmmmmm…..
Having said that I made a different company name and went into Thumbtack to see what kind of business we could attract. What I found was a overwhelming amount of couples who indicated they wanted to pay $300 or LESS for their wedding DJ. You can actually indicate what you are willing to pay. The problem is that the couples who are listening to Thumbtack’s erroneous figures and falling for the grandeur that they might actually find the greatest wedding DJ for super cheap. So guess what? You are allowing yourself to be pre-qualified by the DJs just as much as you may be pre-qualifying them by looking for the lowest bid. The really quality vendors are not even reaching out to you because you already indicated you don’t want to spend much! And, if a real pro DJ contacts you with a high price you may not even consider them because Thumbtack already set the market standard!!! It’s a vicious cycle that will inevitably end in disappointment.
I don’t want to under-value a sweet 16, or company party etc but a wedding is a once in a lifetime event that requires a certain level of entertainment and experience from your DJ/MC. That person is your representative and host for the festivities and who you chose directly reflects on you. As was my favorite quote from the movie Armageddon, as they were about to blast off one of the astronauts said….. ” Hey Harry, we’re sitting on 4 million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?”
Sometimes that’s the feeling you get just before your wedding when you know you booked cheap vs qualified all to save a buck. So my advice would be to find a better resource to get quotes from wedding vendors. And most importantly, get more than a quote. Get the real person! Have a conversation, meet personally, ask for their credentials and see some of their work! Don’t look at price as the first and only element motivating your decision. Make your decision and then look at the price. It’s better the know you have the right person and can’t afford them vs affording the wrong person.
Might I recommend some of the following methods to obtaining names of wedding vendors?
- bridal shows
- word of mouth
- website investigation
- The Knot
- venue recommended vendor list
- get names and numbers from google and call them! Or e-mail at the very least.
Finding the right wedding professional is like finding the right partner to marry! And that is priceless! Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉