Bark is one of the many companies that look to connect people selling a service, with buyers looking for that service.
Whilst that can be good from a buyer point of view (to be honest the buyer could just search on any browser and still get as much if not more info), from the seller point of view it isn't always worth it.
When I first started as a Personal Trainer I tried Bark as a seller, and quickly realised that it wasn't going to work for me. So, as someone that used to be involved with software testing and looking to make things work better, I contacted them and suggested some easy tweaks they could make. I contacted them several times and each time was just told "thanks, we'll look into it". Nothing changed
Here are some examples of how it isn't smething that works for me.
1. PRO status.Anyone can beocme a PRO on Bark, it's not down to how many great reviews you get or anything that could be useful - it's down to how much you are willing to pay them in order to be called a PRO. But for that extra money you will get 'preferred status' and a special badge.
2. When a buyer says they are looking for a Personal Trainer in an area, they have to answer some questions to supposedly narrow down the search a bit. That is where it really starts to fail.
- Someone could be looking for a female PT, but I would still get sent the job (it costs the seller to contact the buyer, so in this case I would be paying to speak to someone that has no interest in my service).
- Someone could state they wanted training every day (even though the professional may recommend they only train once or twice a week for example), Bark love these jobs, because the more training the buyer says they need (even if they are wrong) the more it costs to apply for the job as a seller.
- Bark could be sending each job (they call them Barks by the way) to over 100 PT's, you have no idea. They did eventually say they would only let 5 sellers apply for a job but not sure how much I believe that)
- It could actually be that some of these people aren't real buyers, they are PT's doing market research to see how much people in their area charge?
- In order to contact a buyer you have to pay Bark for the lead - (not knowing how many other people are doing the same thing)
A few months ago they decided to list who was the best company in any area according to reviews.
I am the number one PT for Northallerton area.
So I now have a special badge for my business (the pretty picture for this blog).- even though I am not using the service because I won't pay for a lead that may not be real, isn't looking for a male PT, is going to cost me money to contact and then they may never get in touch with me.
Oh, and has been told a cost that could be less than I charge.
So if you found me on Bark, please contact me direct from this website :)