Good question, John. Angie’s List has had all sorts of problems over the years and is one of the marketplaces I think of when I think of a service marketplace run like a goods marketplace. Their vetting is minimal, they offer nothing in terms of value that can’t be offered anywhere else, there’s no methodology available to the consumer for their ratings, and there have been reports that the rankings are based on who spends the most advertising dollars.
Angie's List draws criticism from Consumer Federation of America
The CFA's report identified a number of shortcomings, including evidence of review manipulation and favoritism toward…
That said, peer referral is a good idea for value, but I don’t think there’s enough value on either side to support an E2SM for plumbers. I think, in fact, neighborhood sites like NextDoor have vacuumed up the bulk of that value. It’s easier for me to ask my neighbors if they have a good plumber recommendation.
Now, if you can offer me a consistent way to find, schedule, and pay for a plumber with minimal clicks in a digital setting, and you can get that plumber to me while my pipe is leaking into my cabinets, then that’s a solid case for an E2SM. BUT, I just don’t think the demand is there to keep enough customers and vendors happy because the demand is so sporadic.
Hope this clarifies a bit and thanks for the question.