Two sister publications to JLC--Pool & Spa News and Replacement Contractor--look at Amazon's Home Services Marketplace, a new online referral service that launched in late March. What makes Amazon’s service different from Angie’s List and other lead-gen services is a mechanism that generates a list of contractors who are qualified to install a specific product or piece of equipment that a person is purchasing.

Nate Traylor of Pool & Spa News examines the question of how well such a service might work for pool contractors, but many of the issues he touches on are common to all residential trades.

The reception is mixed, Traylor reports. While many are repelled by the online service siphoning off 10% to 20% of the transaction, others see a benefit if the service sticks with licensed professionals and helps weed out the unlicensed ones. " According to the website," Traylor writes," its 'handpicked pros' are only the cream of the crop. Each has been vetted through a five-point business background check. Those who aren’t licensed or insured don’t make the cut." Read more.

In Replacement Contractor, Gary Thill adds insight into the new service,  including news that the company plans to offer refunds of up to $2,500 if customers aren’t satisfied, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.   Thill notes that for now the service is limited to major cities, and is somewhat limited to smaller jobs. But everyone seems to agree that it’s only a matter of time before Amazon becomes a formidable player in the larger contracting world.  Read more.