Sears site invites trades to bid on your home repairs

A gutter sags, the doorbell quits working, or birds build a nest in your chimney - who are you going to call? The torments of a homeowner are relentless, and good, reasonably priced help scarce. Sears has created a new web site, Servicelive.com, that proposes to hook you up by using a bid model, kind of an eBay for home repairs.

The site works this way-

  • ServiceLive gathers, prescreens and approves a roster of service providers

  • The homeowner creates an account, deposits money in it adequate to cover the cost of a project

  • The homeowner then posts the project and the price he is willing to pay; the service providers bid on it. Low bid wins

I have many reservations about this service model, however. Sears has not impressed me as a company that has the right experience in this area. Angie's List, maybe. The BBB, maybe.

Who screens the service providers? How often? Against what standards? How are disputes resolved? Sears states that it vetts the providers with criminal, civil and vehicle background checks, as well as user satisfaction comments.