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Denying Bargain Hunters


I don’t get people asking for discounts too often, but when I do I tell them “Sure! Let me go ahead and knock 25% off my already low rates, because ‘you’re on a budget.’ While I’m at it, let me call your airline and negotiate with them for a lower price on your seats. I’ll call every tavern and restaurant on the boulevard to let them know you are coming, and you are on a tight travel budget so can they please give you a break. And, those Uber guys…they need to have sympathy for travelers like you, so I will let them know you are coming. In fact, I am sure the theme park, museums, and other local attractions will be happy to give you their special ‘can’t afford to travel’ rates.”

No, not really. I just say, “I offer a comfortable room in an unbeatable location at an already discounted price.”


I’ve only ever said yes to one discount request, but it was for a last minute booking that otherwise would have meant no income at all. The guest had a lengthy history of great reviews, and everything went off without a hitch. However, if someone asks for a discount when they’re booking more than a day or 2 in advance, it’s an instant No. My prices are very low already.


Oh ok! That’s the obvious and easiest way to do it of course. I’m always a little hesitant to just slam them with a “decline” and I don’t know why except it seems abrupt; and I’m one of those types who can’t say no types. :slight_smile:

What I do is try to wear them down with questions and leave them hanging in hopes they’ll settle on another listing.

Your place is amazing! I am jealous. I dream of being able to get out of this city one of these days.


Guests constantly ask for a discount because they think they are supposed to. They read these travel articles saying they should always try to negotiate, so they just “think” they are supposed to do it. Most travelers are pretty bad at trying to negotiate too.

How I respond depends on which site the traveler is booking through. If they come through Air or Flipkey - I let them know they can call the site to see if they will waive the service fees. And, I am kind of surprised they are choosing to book a house through a site that charges such expensive booking fees.


Hahahahhahahaha! Good one!!


For some reason, I’ve just not had a lot of discount hunters, or maybe they read my listing and just don’t think they should ask?

I think you can be priced really low and they will still ask!


haha! Good point Cabinhost. 100% agree with the bit about asking for a discount because you think you should.


I wonder if that is because it’s difficult to claim to be on a budget when you are taking a trip to Hawaii? - lol!


Haha! Well I like to think I can help people actually make a trip to Hawaii feasible by being reasonably priced. But I have not had a bargain hunter in a while knock wood.


When they ask for your best price, double it.

After all, it’s a best price for you.


Also, all those money-saving sites say you should always ask (politely) for a discount. Personally, I’m a complete wimp and can’t bring myself to haggle over prices - I’d even pay the asking price for that handwoven antique (not!) carpet in a Moroccan soukh…

I don’t think we’ve ever had requests for discounts from Air guests and one of the reasons I like the platform is that it makes the financial transaction a step away from me and I don’t have the embarassment of refusing a discount request.


I love this thread… some great laugh-out-loud moments as I read through.

My favorite (not) is the sob story that often accompanies the request for a discount. A non-profit group going away for a meeting to help the underprivileged blah-blah… right! Why are you planning it at an expensive resort where activities are $100+? If you are truly just sitting in a meeting all day it doesn’t matter where the location is.

A few answers I’ve given over the years that nobody has mentioned yet - hopefully something will work for you:

  • if you want to risk it, we can offer you a discount if the place is still available 1 week prior (could be 1 day)
  • you can provide your own bedding and towels and clean up after yourselves… we’ll hold your deposit until we’ve confirmed there are no cleaning costs for us to cover (nobody wants to start and end their vacation by making beds and cleaning for hours but they appreciate the offer)
  • I’ve also asked how much of a discount they have in mind? I may reply saying I’ll accept it with one of the above provisions, or simply say “sorry I cannot go that low”. done.
  • sometimes I’ll say “my rates are set, but I’ll give you a break on the extra guest fees”. That’s usually enough for someone who just wants to know they have the best rate… and I still get the booking.


I have had a request now for 4 years in a row from the same guy (Ron) who wants to book our home for a group of men to stay at for a golf getaway. Golf will cost them $175 each day, but he doesn’t want to pay $65 each for a nice place to sleep/eat, etc.

Each year I get one request from this same guy from each of Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor and a direct inquiry with the same message. All he wants is a bargain. He never books. And wherever he DOES end up booking obviously isn’t the place he wants to return to. So last year I pointed that out to him, thinking the whole thing would stop. Nope!

Just last week I got another quote request for a 2017 getaway… he wrote back with his normal reply and said “sorry, your quote is too high but your home is outstanding” - BEFORE I HAD QUOTED! I replied saying “I haven’t quoted yet, but I don’t think our home is suitable nonetheless.”


Well, wouldn’t you know that I got a bargain-hunter inquiry through Air today. He wrote that he and his girl are traveling to my area and wondered if I would “consider lowering the rate” for my unit for a 3-night stay!

I dread getting these requests because I know that following my initial sputtering in indignation, I will obsess about it for about a half hour trying to come up with an appropriate retort. I know a simple ‘no’ will do but still…

After considering all the things I wanted to say, I just replied with my same 'ol sorry-but-I-don’t-give-discounts-and-I’m-sure-you-will-not-have-any-problem-finding-a-place-within-your-budget.

Someday, I will let my Walter Mitty loose.

Addendum: I guess my bargain-hunter is of the it-doesn’t-hurt-to-ask school because several hours later he submitted a Request to book. Now he’s playing in my yard…so I accepted.


Dear Guest, thank you for your message. I’m sorry, I don’t offer discounts and I have declined your stay, as it appears you are not happy with the price I ask, and I prefer all my guests to be happy. :slight_smile:
Might I suggest you search a little further out from the city or perhaps book a place in a shared home? These two options should bring the price down for you. Alternatively, here’s the website for a local hotel: (insert website here, muahaha, I’m well aware it’s more expensive than staying with me). :slight_smile:
Sincerely, Smug Me. :slight_smile:


Dear Student on a Budget, thank you for your message. I do understand that students have a very limited budget, and as you will be sleeping more lightly than the usual guests, flushing the toilet less, operating the lights less often and stepping on the floor less, let’s cut your rate in half.

Dear Student on a Budget, thank you for your message. I, too, am a student without much money. Perhaps we could make an arrangement that you pay me double for this reason, as I need the cash.


You know… thinking now, there was one group about 1.5 years ago that wanted a lower rate. We were already the lowest in our area for a group their size but they haggled a lower rate and they DID give me a low star rating for “Value”.

All my other reviews are 5-stars, but this group brought my overall rating down even though they are the only ones who got a discount. So your observation is spot on!


Yup!!! That’s one of the dangers of giving in to the hagglers! No matter how low you go, they won’t be happy with the value until it’s FREE!


I agree 100 percent with declining anyone who asks for a discount. It is the opinion of other Airbnb hosts that the ones who ask for a discount have been unpleasant guests. I had one potential guest, who was coming to the area to take a written exam. (Medical student). She asked me if I would hold the place for a week to see if she was going to schedule the exam. I told her no problem, as she is coming for a good reason, and if she doesn’t book it I know it will be booked by tourists who want to see Niagara Falls in August. She asked the location of the test center in proximity to my house. I told her 1.8 miles. An easy 5 minute bus ride or 20 minute walk. When she wasn’t comfortable with the bus, she mentioned she’d take a taxi. I told her I’d drive her the two days in the morning, and she could take the bus back. I also offered to take her 1 time to a grocery store (also 20-minute walk). After a week when it was time for her to book, she requested that I reduce the price slightly. (One of the lowest prices around and closed to exam center) I then told her I’m not comfortable accepting a guest who does not initially realize what a great value it is. I then told her about the Buffalo youth hostel, that is was very highly rated but she may have 5 roommates. Also recommended another host with a lower price, but has rules of 5-minute showers, no one in the house while she’s not there, and no ride would be offered. I wished her good luck on her exam. She responded, begging me to reconsider. Nope!!


Ask them if Airbnb is discounting their fees. Then tell them that Aribnb is a billion corp and can afford to give discounts. While we are struggling home owners trying to keep the bills paid.

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