After our last bargain hunter knocked us a star, my husband and I talked about just denying anyone who asked for a discount in the future. Well, it’s been a few months but we just got our first bargain hunter since then who was looking for a discount but said that they “would still try to make it work if not.”
The dates she inquired for are peak foliage season here in Vermont and our prices are already fair if not low for all amenities. This prompted me to quickly research hotel prices for the weekend and other airbnb prices, which made me realize we definitely should not be discounting, but probably could charge another $15-$25 per night and easily get booked.
Not sure if I’ll accept or decline. What would you do?
I decline all bargain hunters requests to book. I believe that if they thought the price was too high they won’t be happy.
DENY DENY DENY. Bargain hunters are cheapskates who don’t respect your price. If they don’t respect your price, they won’t respect your place.
This is not a Marrakech bazaar for crying out loud.
If someone approaches me that way, I just say,
Sorry I don’t offer discounts. My place is priced fairly for the season and amenities. I am sure there are other properties nearby that fit your budget.
I keep the dialogue open if they are not that far off. I usually say I can’t reduce rates at this time but will follow up in a few weeks if the dates remain open. No reason to not keep as back-up if it is something you would consider the week of the dates.
But the point is, most of them turn out to be bad guests.
We speak from experience.
I know that there are hosts on this board who would rather have guests at a lower price than have empty days. I certainly respect their view. I used to lower my rates for unbooked days a week out. I realized that I was feeling resentful of guests who were getting all I offer at a price that made me feel taken advantage of. For me, a break from hosting is preferable to hosting someone who is not paying full price. Also, I found that the guests who were getting the bargain price were the most demanding and needy.
Rather broad generalization.
Go ahead dude… take the bargain hunters and report back to us.
I’d rather have no guests than crap guests. Bargain hunters are crap guests.
Another problem I’ve had with people who get a discount price is that they believe that they should get the same price if they return. We’ve had two regular guests who booked at the last minute the first time they booked so they got the discount price. Every subsequent time they booked they informed us that we were to reduce the price to the price they paid the first time they stayed with us.
I agree with what others have said-DENY! If they’re brazen enough to ask for a discount they will be asking for other things, or expecting them. How about they just put in the maximum they’re willing to pay when they search, find a place they can afford, and pay the listed price? I myself would never ask for a discount because I’m generally respectful and polite. I don’t want the kind of guest that isn’t respectful and polite, and requesting a discount is neither of those things, IMO
I can’t agree more with everyone else on this thread.
If a guest can’t recognize the value that you offer (when fairly compared to hotels/motels etc), then I find a creative way to let that guest know that you might not be a fit for them.
@EllenN - you’re better than me. We’ve honored a discount only once … and it was because we were playing with the pricing and a guest booked a rate that 40% off. We honored it but were very clear that the rate was a one time thing because of a pricing error.
We have two airbnb listings and our second one is smaller and newer so we have a lower price- around $95 a night which is REALLY good value considering the listing and area. We keep getting dinged on value, I think, because we are attracting cheapskates- which as everyone has said are generally terrible guests and never happy with anything.
Yes, raise your price. This will make people think they are getting a better value - paying more.
NO WAY RAY! Discount hunters are BAD NEWS! Block them, deny them and NEVER let them stay.
thanks everyone! appreciate all of your input
Chiming in: A potential guest’s first communication with me was: “Great place. Perfect for us. Give me your best price now for the dates of xx/xx-xx/xx. I will only rent if the price is right.”
My response: “Thank you for considering my rental. My posted rates are the best price I can offer.” I then declined his rental request as “not a good fit for this guest”
That his rental request included an ultimatum of giving him the best price or no rental was the most disturbing. I think I avoided a problem.
My listing states clearly in my ‘other things to note’ section (where I mention my pooch and traffic noise something to the effect of ‘I give great weekly and monthly discounts, please don’t ask for further discounts as all of these requests will be politely declined’. And I decline them all by politely pressing the ‘decline’ button. My house rules also state please read the listing in full before booking so you know where you are staying and your expectations are able to be managed.
Politely decline. Then block a day or two during their requested stay, just so they cant book and be a pain in the backside.
Unless its a long term stay, I would deny. Even if they agree to price listed, it changes the dynamic and they now feel like they are over paying and will be hyper aware of anything and everything that is even slightly wrong or just make up stuff.