There have been quite a few website startups trying to become the next craigslist or a more focused craigslist. craigslist is a huge company/website, but there are a lot of smaller websites that have stronger focuses and potentially more features. Today I am reviewing a service that is similar to craigslist in that it allows you to post advertisements (for work/jobs) and browse existing posts to find work/jobs.
Fixr.com lets homeowners post their home improvement, renovation, and remodeling projects so that local contractors can place their bids. To me this seems like a great idea in theory, but how does the website actually stack up? For starters, there are a lot of features the website has to offer; among them the largest is that it is completely free. Some notable features include: homeowners can leave reviews of contractors after they perform the job, homeowners can search contractors based on quality, price, and reputation.
There is a directory where you can browse the list of contractors or you can use the search engine (which wouldn’t work properly on firefox 3). You should know that this is not a reverse auction site, where the lowest bid wins; the actual price is chosen by the homeowner after a contractor submits a bid. Homeowners can post a job very quickly. There are only a few fields to fill out and it seems to be fast and easy considering the website is very new. The homeowners can receive multiple quotes on the job and after receiving a few they can assign it to a contractor based on price, quality, and reputation.
There are quite a few categories that you can assign the jobs to. This makes it really easy to browse and search. Also, the locations were a good idea to include. You can specify a distance for how far away you want to look for jobs if you are a contractor. Homeowners will find that the website gets the job done in terms of how easy it is to use! It does not take much to make a post for work; this can be done in a few seconds. After this point, contractors will be able to see the post and start bidding. It seems like the most bids are going towards the categories of swimming pools or landscaping. Overall, the website feels like it is in a beta stage. The design is clean, uncluttered, and nice looking.
There are just enough features to get the job done, but not so many features that it feels bloated. There are a couple of bugs that I noticed; the main one being that I couldn’t get the search feature to work under Firefox 3. Actually, the more I browse the website the more I realize that it really isn’t compatible at all with Firefox 3. You must use Internet Explorer to use the website. This is a huge downfall, but I give it a pass since it is very new website. However, the website is very fast and responsive, but I wonder if it is because of the (currently) low volume they have (because it is a newer website). After they gain some traffic, more contractors, and more jobs I think this website could be the place to go for homeowners and contractors.
I haven’t really seen any competitors in this market, so if they tune it up just a bit they could have a winner. It is most definitely a better choice than craigslist for its specified market segment. This is one of the better “craigslist clones” that I have seen. It is much more focused to the point that you can’t really call it a clone anymore. It is very specific for a pre-defined purpose: homeowners can post jobs they need done, and contractors can bid on the work! Very simple, but it works and it is something I would most likely use when I need work done around the house.