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Denying Bargain Hunters


#41

I sure hope the guest doesn’t end up dinging you on value! Let us know how it goes.


#42

YES! How sweet that must have felt!!! What a total JERK she was.


#43

@SuiteInSeattle ~ Tell me about it! I just spent a bit of my life this evening sleuthing this character because he seemed a little smarmy somehow. He said he’s traveling with his “girlfriend”, except I discovered that up until last year he had a wife and young child…so what happened to them?! He’s a ‘guru’ of sorts (like a Christopher Robbins, only he sells a product and has a following). Gives lots of seminars, has lots of videos, parties with recording artists, etc.

I have a non-suitable for kids up to age 12 policy and I did ask him to confirm the number of occupants, to which he gave the proper answer of two, but with Air’s lax policy on kids becoming well-known (he’s also a host!), maybe he has no problem with his nose growing like Pinocchio.

Aacck! I hope it turns out well. On the other hand, it’s only a 3-night stay and just under $600. Still…

Guess I won’t be sleeping well tonight.


#44

This really is a brilliant response and makes an important point: if someone is trying to keep costs down when traveling, then compromise. Find a place in a less-ideal location. Take advantage of shared situations or a hostel. It kills me that people seem to want the best of the best and whine about the cost because they’re on a tight budget. The entitlement gets on my nerves.


#45

Just to reiterate what the OP said: Don’t take it personally! These people know nothing about you place or whether the price they’re getting is your “best price” or not. It never hurts to ask for a discount, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying, “Nope, the price is the price!” It’s just business. Since I’m in Airbnb’s most saturated market (San Francisco), my prices are already as low as they can be for me to cover my expenses. If I was charging exorbitant prices, I would negotiate, but when you stay at my place you’re most likely getting an incredible deal.
Sometimes people ask for discounts, and I always turn them down. I’m pretty sure nobody has booked anyway, and that’s OK with me. I do find that the people who ask the most questions about the property/neighborhood/etc. are the least likely to book and asking for a discount just falls into this same category.


#46

Have you had actual cases where people have asked for “best price” and then dinged you on value? I have had many ask. I just say, “those are my best prices, and I think you’ll love the place!” I also decline the request but tell them I am required to respond within 24 hours by ABB, but feel free to resubmit. I have never had anyone ding me on value after asking for a better price.

People ask. It’s quite normal. I’ve gotten a 10% discount at a retail store just for asking. I have asked for a discount from several ABB places when I am traveling, mostly no, a couple of yes, booked each. I think I am going to ask from now on to screen out overly sensitive hosts who are likely to ding me for using 4 extra squares of toilet paper. In other words, it goes both ways. BTW, never have dinged a host on value EXCEPT when the premises were not as advertised!


#47

I get that question from time to time, I tell them to select the days and the price will appear just under the picture on the right. I have never figured out why people ask that question. I do say there is no obligation until they confirm the reservation.


#48

I’m with Caiti, I tell them about the price drop depending on how long they stay. If they continue to ‘pussy foot’ ie delay the confirmation longer than the 24 hrs, I decline and move on .


#49

I’m with you on would-be guests asking for a discount. my price is more than fair for this area (Yosemite Valley) and what I offer (privacy, killer view, hot tub and lots more). The one time I agreed was when I was first hosting and worried – unnecessarily – that I wouldn’t get another request to book. It was an 18-year old young man and his girlfriend. He said he would be starting his freshman year at Princeton and was a “poor student” who desperately wanted to enjoy Yosemite before he left for his new life.

He turned out to be an absolute nightmare. Didn’t read the hot tub rules and damaged the hot tub and polluted the water and I had to refill 300 gallons in the middle of the drought. Left a mess and made off with about $150 worthy of food and drink, and two $100 Eddie Bauer quality terrycloth bathrobes I keep for guests who want to use the spa. I didn’t want to make a fuss because I was a brand-new host and needed good reviews.

I called the Princeton administrative offices and they had no record of him whatsoever; big surprise surprise. My father once told me that “chislers are always chilslers and they do it for sport.” Now when people ask me for a deal, I write them a sweet, polite letter saying that I do not offer discounts and that I am certain that they will be able to find a wonderful AB&B rental within their price range. It took a year to learn how to choose guests wisely so that everyone is happy, and the first and largest red flag is to ask if I’ll take less money. I respect that not all hosts share this opinion, but I can’t afford to take any chances or replace or repair broken amenities.


#50

Yeah, I can understand why. I don’t negotiate either. There’s a cost to giving up your privacy if you have to share space with guests. And there’s a cost to hosting , period, in terms of.your time, stress, supplies, cleaning, washing. And then there’s the well know problem with bargain hunters - they often are the biggest complainers.


#51

Actually on my website I state “I do not give discounts.’ I never give discounts on weekends as I am sold old year round on weekends. The ONLY time I ever consider a discount is if its during the week, and its about one or 2 days before and I know I will probably not book it(unless its in the summer) then i WILL give a discount;thats the only time.I had to post in capital letters " NO COMMERCIAL SHOOTS OF ANY KIND!” since it seems some people want to model clothes or whatever and seem to think I shouldnt really charge much since they are only going to “lean on a wall”. I also dont permit long term stays of more than 10 days and tell them not to email me with requests and they STILL do! I get a lot of requests from travel nurses; but all long term guests wants a YUGE discount all the time, no thanks and anyways I dont want someone up there that long, its just harder to clean the place and long term stays start making friends and daisy chaining friends into the room. I also have to state"please only paying guests on the property". I only host a maximum of 2 people but I have seating for 14 on a huge patio and sometimes they think they can use the place for their family to hang out. NO , they can leave the property and visit their family at their place, not mine.


#52

I just turned down a lucrative request at Christmas because the guests finally admitted they booked my place to entertain relatives who live here. Say what? My first rule is “only your approved and registered guests may be on the property or in the apartment.”

She didn’t read but because she said the son was here I knew they were planning on it. Asked her, she said yes, and they canceled! Dummies!

Honestly, some guests just think they can do whatever because they are booking a self contained place.


#53

Ah, the downside of hosting… We’ve all had our share of self-entitled guests, haven’t we? With IB becoming somewhat mandatory ( or is it? ), I guess we can’t be selective.


#54

Damn @konacoconutz. Think there’s time to get another booking in? Loosing a booking in the Christmas season is a pain it can be an expensive time of year !


#55

Already got one! I’m sold out through about mid February.


#56

I do it on a case by case basis. I had one last week that asked if I’d work with them on the price because it was only 3 of them (House sleeps 8) and they were going to be working at a local show from 8-8 basically. I told her I’d give her the weekly discount (5%) even though it was only 5 nights. She booked and was basically the perfect guest and left all 5 star glowing review.
Then I just had another guy who wanted to book my cottage for 3 nights, but only wanted to pay $70/night. I said I’d do it for $80. He responded, but your listing is only $75. I said no, it’s $75 for Sunday, but $100 for Fri and Sat (+$20 cleaning), so I’m giving a $35 discount overall. He said he’d discuss it with his wife then came back to book and sends me a message that says “When I try to book it doesn’t total correctly, it shows 292.00. Please correct and let me know when it’s ready. Thanks”. SO I tell him, yes Airbnb adds a fee. Then he claims “I hadn’t had extra fees on my other two rentals. That is over our budget.” I was really annoyed with the guy at this point. SO I responded “I’m sorry. I have no control over their fee. I’m sure a search of the area will turn up other listings within your budget though. Have a nice evening!” Then hit decline.
I mean seriously, the guy initially thought my nightly price was $75 and was trying to get it for $70…wtf?
Funny thing is, I searched the area to see what was still available and the only thing that was slightly cheaper than mine doesn’t have a kitchen, it’s a small loft over a garage with with low slanted ceilings where you have to duck down in the shower and sink area. Nothing wrong with the accommodation, but for the price mine is much nicer with a full kitchen, cathedral ceilings and a nice little garden area with a deck.


#57

You dodged a bullet!!!


#58

I think new hosts are particularly susceptible to being asked for discounts. That’s the MO of a lot of bargain hunters - look for new hosts. The first or second person who contacted me tried to talk me out of a cleaning fee if they cleaned the place themselves afterwards. (I said, No.) My very first Air guest had the gall to complain to me that she couldn’t find spare bedding for her friends who came to stay over with her. I was so green I apologized and told her if she had just told me ahead of time I could have made arrangements. Now I would complain to Air. (In fact, now that I have a security camera - and advertise that fact - no one sneaks in guests.)


#59

A closet bargain hunter engaged me in an hour of banter yesterday… Saying he’d seen my place on a site I’d never used, and thus the prices were outdated. Wanted the apartment for that price. I told him no, I could only offer the prices on Air. He was okay with that and ready to book, asked about tax and cleaning, and Air fees… Blah blah, okay I’m about to book… …

And crickets.

A few hours later, “Satvan no longer needs these dates.”

Grrrrrrrrr.


#60

To quote you back to you, “you dodged a bullet.”


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