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Have You Used Care.com? Not Hearing or Experiencing Good Things…

I was looking at other ways to grow my side hustle, Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting, and came across Care.com.  I decided to try the free version, spent a few hours over a few days to create a solid profile, and splurged $10 on a background check.  Now I am slightly worried.  Here is what I’ve heard so far…

Thumbs Down

Care.com Feedback from Others

  • One of my current pet sitting gigs is with a lady that tried to find help through Care.com, but she found out AFTER submitting her needs that if you don’t join all the way for $40 a month, you can’t reply to anybody’s applications or see their contact details.  She only needed one visit on one day (a $25 job), so paying $40 upfront just wouldn’t make sense for her.  That means that everyone I’ve answered on their site so far couldn’t even get back to me if they wanted to if they aren’t fully subscribed – even if I was!  So I am really happy that I didn’t pay $40 a month myself.  None of this would annoy me if Care.com would have explained that before I spent about 8 hours trying to create a great profile page.  I had to go to one small part of their FAQ’s after the fact to find that fun fact.  I’m glad this lady found me on Craigslist instead.  :-)
  • The comments on this review scared the poop out of me.  They span from 2008-April 2014 so far and they all seem to be awful!  The ones that worry me the most are the ones that say that they keep getting charged after cancelling.  I didn’t pay for their service yet, but they do have my info for the background check.

My Own Experience Over the Last Week

  • Parts of my profile, like my picture and references were rejected the first time I tried adding them.  But the reasons they stated didn’t make any sense.  For example, I was trying to use the picture that is in my right sidebar right now (just me sitting down) and they said it “may not look like you or isn’t a view of just your face”.  Or my references “need a full name and phone number” when they had both.  So I just deleted what I had and resubmitted the exact same stuff again…then it wasn’t rejected.  Weird and a waste of time.
  • I keep changing my profile to read that I am a foster parent with SMART Animal Rescue.  Yet, it keeps getting changed back to “foster for an animal rescue” without any explanation on their part.  Yet they let the sentence about my past volunteer work at the Houston SPCA and Pughearts stay just the way it is…
  • No one has replied to any of my dozen applications so far.  And now I know it’s because they would have to pay $40 a month or $140 a year to get any of my contact info at all.  I’d highly suggest using a search engine to find more info based on what you can see in this situation…

I will be monitoring my credit card for any odd charges.  I probably won’t bother to delete my Care.com profile at this point, but I will never upgrade and will remove myself from their emailing list for all the stuff they keep sending me 2-3 times a day.

Good News

Even without Care.com, I’ve been busy.  I’ve made $1570 so far with 9 different sets of pets (8 of which I’d want to pet sit for again, lol).  I have spent $360 total on pet sitting insurance ($305), business cards ($20), car magnets ($25), and a background check ($10).  I also have $600 of jobs lined up already for May and June.  I actually think I may stop trying so hard to promote Crystal’s Cozy Care and just see what Craigslist continues to do for me.  You can check out my tips to starting a service business if you’d like to see how I started this one.

Have you ever heard about or used Care.com?  Do you agree that it’s not worth it?

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9 comments to Have You Used Care.com? Not Hearing or Experiencing Good Things…

  • We’ve used care.com in the past to find a babysitter for Daughter Person, you do have to pay to send messages, post “jobs”, etc. I splurged for a 3 month subscription (at the time it was like $25/mth I think?). I found two baby sitters for Daughter Person, and canceled my subscription. Both have graduated and moved on though, and I need to re-join to find a few more for some upcoming things this summer. It wasn’t bad from the “customer” side of the equation (at least two years ago). Maybe I should look elsewhere for a new babysitter….

  • Pet sitting was my ‘gig’ through high school and even college and it paid quite well. A good pet sitter is hard to find. I suspect you will earn enough through word of mouth and referrals to not even need Care.com. That whole site sounds sketchy to me….

  • I remember when they first started it was free for the customer. Apparently not any more! Which is dumb… I can see charging the person who is going to be making money, it’s an advertising cost for them. But for the customer side that’s just dumb. It’s a bad business model from what I can see.

  • It sounds like care.com needs to rethink the costs for those looking for pet sitters. How do you find most of your pet sitting work? It sounds like you have a pretty good system going, so what is your main method? I’ve heard lots of things about craigslist, but I haven’t tried it for this sort of work.

  • @Mom of 3, I’m glad it worked out for you! Now I’ve heard something positive. :-)

    @Denise, Craigslist now and word of mouth with time is my plan.

    @Ashley, I think it’s dumb too.

    @The Wallet Doctor, Craigslist has brought me 100% of my business so far (well, a combo of Craigslist to find me and my website to reel them in apparently – I’ve asked).

  • Do not have any experience with Care.com . I love your new website. Putting your dates you are not available is a very good idea too! Maybe you should continue to handle your own marketing. You seem very good at it!

  • I have a friend who got a really sweet childcare gig out of it. She got the gig, saw the reviews, and bailed on the site though. I tried it out, with no patience or luck. The reviews also scared me!

  • G

    As a babysitter, I have used both Care.com and Sittercity, but I prefer the latter. My biggest reason is that I found the job postings on Sittercity to be more legitimate. In addition, I just like their interface a lot better. I have been using Sittercity since 2005 back when it was Babysitters.com and have always had a positive experience. I think they might have a pet sitting option that you might want to check out!

  • Angela

    In college and shortly after college, I put myself on SitterCity.com as a babysitter and petsitter. I found a number of good families that way (for babysitting; never got any emails for petsitting). SitterCity is free for the sitter to join, but costs money for the people who are looking for services.

    One of the families I nannied for for a year and a half used both SitterCity and Care.com. I know they found their replacement for me on Care.com, but the mother said it’s tough finding the right sitter on either site.

    If you’re looking to expand your petsitting ventures, check out Fetch Pet Care. I had a roommate in college who contracted through them, and I started contracting through them when I graduated college. You work as a contractor, and you get paid 50% of what Fetch charges (kind of lame, but if you’re petsitting on your own anyway, Fetch could be a way to supplement that). Feel free to email me if you have any questions about how it works!