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Discount seekers



This reminded me of another discount seeker I forgot to mention… I had a guy and his wife stay with me for a couple nights, then i got a message asking if they could stay for a whole month. At first, I thought this was cool, but I didnt finish reading. They guy wanted accommodation for the busiest month in my area for $600! Now, he said they’d help out around the house with my chores and stuff, but that doesn’t come close to being worth what I make in that month every year.


I think @GutHend’s answer was classy and compassionate. Very cool that your place is in Miraflores since that was one of my favorite places in Lima. We stayed at Quinta Miraflores Boutique Hotel, if I’m not mistaken, and it’s a charming neighbhorhood.

I’m married to someone from a culture that believes price is merely the start of a negotiation. It embarrasses the crap out of me but I can’t tell you how often his haggling has worked. It’s fine if people say no but I also like to think people say yes because they are also getting something out of the deal, too. I make it clear to him we’re not going to haggle on Air but I’m sure my spouse would if left alone! I mention this because a lot of hosts may think that hagglers are disrespectful, won’t appreciate the value of the space, be low-brow, etc… but they’re definitely not always.

If someone tried to bargain hunt with me and had a compelling story, I might offer them 10% off, bookable on a certain date if no one else has made a reservation. If they ended up booking I’d also probably make a lame joke how I’d better be their favorite host after giving them a discount to insinuate that I hope they’d give a good review for the leeway. But hey, that’s just me–I see a win in a bargain hunter guests where others may not.


It was not because of your input :wink:, but I had the same philosophy, so yesterday, when we again had sight on having some water, I wrote the “discount seeker” again. I said that the situation had changed, that things are not as usual due to the emergency, but if he wasn’t able to find accommodation we would be happy to have him.
I thought my first message already made it clear to him that I wasn’t going to offer a discount. So he replied something in the trend of “Thanks, what would the price be for 10 nights?” Since the water being brought in with cisterns will even raise our costs, and we are already at a rockbottom price, I just did the maths for him with the normal price. I haven’t heard back from him since.
I do think that this guest is really detached from reality when it comes to prices. And next time as others have suggested here, I might advice him to go coach surfing.


Thanks for the kind words !

This is a point I have been wanting to make for a long time when talking about discount seekers. Price haggling is almost demanded by some cultures, if you don’t do it in certain countries you will even be perceived as stupid and people won’t respect you.

A few months ago me and my hubby were looking for a rug: In a store we asked for the price of a certain rug and when the seller answered we noticed he wasn’t Peruvian, so we asked where he was from: He was Turkish :relaxed:! So I joked to him saying in that case we should haggle the price down to about 20%. He totally understood the joke and we had a big laugh together :laughing:. The fact is that I have been to Turkey several times and on one of those trips I was pressured into buying a rug. I haggled the price down to 15% of the original price stated to me. They accepted, but I still left the store being really sure that I overpaid. This is what happens in countries where haggling is the norm. Then there are also the stories of my father being publicly insulted until he wasn’t longer in sight of the seller, for trying to haggle too much. Or the stories of me being super proud of my haggling skills (-50%), just to find the exact same product with a -70% base price a few floors up in the shopping center.

Returning to the BnB business. People can ask, but if I explain that it isn’t possible they should not try to insist. This guy must be biking already several weeks in SouthAmerica, and even in smaller towns he must have had problems finding the price/quality we offer. There are moments when one shouldn’t haggle anymore.
Which reminds me of a reality check a Balinese guy once gave me: I was passionately trying to explain that I have to haggle, and take care of what I spend my money on so I can travel for more time. He stared in the distance and with glaring eyes said to me: “We will never be able to travel.” Well that did totally shut my dumb stupid young naive mouth down, and the next day I gave him $US 70,00 to help him with the guest room he was trying to build.


On another note, zandra and anyone interested in the way London was pre sewers, should read the Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. It’s an absolutely fascinating and riveting account of how the entire cholera epidemic that killed thousands in London was traced to a single water spigot in Broadstreet, and two brilliant men finally made the connection and realized cholera was water borne and not airborne. A great read!!

As for the water situation being discussed here, as long as you disclose and tell the guests what they are getting, it’s perfectly acceptable to have composting toilets and water delivery in cisterns. In rural Hawaii, I have rain cathement here, as do many many thousands of our residents. This island is huge, I mean massive, and we will all get municipal water when there is bus service to the moon. :laughing:

That said, I discuss it in my listing, show the guests the cistern when they arrive and ask them to conserve water. By conserve I mean, please don’t take 30 minute showers! :smile:

IF for some reason I ran out of water (possible as the entire Big Island is having a drought right now!) I would need to hire a water truck to bring us water. If I had guests scheduled and did not have water, I would need to cancel or refund. This is not the same thing as the Navajo reservation situation. Guests book clearly wanting to experience that and knowing they won’t have running water or flushing toilets. I don’t think Emily meant any disrespect to those kinds of situations.


Here’s an opinion from our guest, who just checked out and left a review

“I stayed at this hogan with my family of 6 adults. While its amenities are very simple on paper, it was still a ridiculously comfortable experience, and easily our favorite lodging of our entire roadtrip. The outhouse was not smelly, and was rather serene to use. There was no running water in the hogan, but the hosts provided ample water and vessels for basic cleaning and drinking. We also had an amazing night’s sleep in this hogan: it is super warm and the beds come with many layers of heavy blankets. It is also way more spacious than in the pictures. Not to mention, the location is breathtaking – you have an immediate view of the Monument Valley skyline right from the hogan’s entrance! This was a sight to behold. It was an excellent backdrop for stargazing at night, and for watching the sunrise in the morning. Mark and Jen were lovely hosts. They greeted us when we arrived and stayed around long enough to make sure we were settled in and comfortable. They also started our outdoor and indoor fires while we were away getting dinner at a restaurant. In the morning, Jen made all of us coffee. It’s also great that they know everyone in the neighborhood, as they easily booked horseback riding tours for us onsite (I also highly recommend this tour!)”




I am unlocking this thread now. In all fairness to the OP, let’s please keep the posts on topic regarding the subject of discount seekers.

Many posts were also deleted because the replies no longer made sense when other posts were removed.


Judging by that comment: I want to visit !!! :relaxed:

On another note of having to deal with limited water. The washing of the bath and bedlinnen, do you do this offsite or onsite? How do you manage this in your situation?
This is a problem that we are also facing right now. Before being in this situation I have never been really aware of the importance or at least practicality of water.

@Cabinhost Thanks!



I hope things get better in Lima for you soon and glad you are okay!

I just saw on the news they were showing all of the people getting in line yesterday for drinking water!


Thanks for your concern. We will be perfectly fine :slight_smile: just a bit inconvenienced.

Large portions of the country are severely hit by El Niño. People losing there houses or businesses: On television I saw an entire hotel crashing into a washing river. People dying in flashfloods. People already financially fragile now having lost the little they had. :sweat: It’s horrible. And in general this is going to be a big hit to the country’s economy: entire regions are inaccessible because roads were washed away. When these things happen, life just comes to a halt.
And the rains causing these disasters are expected to continue for 4 more weeks. Global warming :disappointed:


Well your comment lends to another entire issue altogether, which for us, we generally use the laundromat locally, for our linens. We also have a reserve set of linens for those times where we cannot do anything at all.

But most primarily we are off grid, we have a washer for off grid use.

So in terms of how many times you experience an outage, and in terms of how many times you experience a local emergency, where you are at - determines how interested you become in establishing a backup generator, and alternatives for when this happens. Which is a topic most often discussed by people who call themselves preppers.

Which is better thought about when your utilities come back on hahaha. But its something to consider, stocking up for outages, and being prepared for local periods where you are offline for those resources, and then of course, the nature of your capabilities, storage etc.

The easiest for us, was backup linens. The 2nd part was the generator, and washer, which we have a very small Haeir washer, which can do a set at a time. Its mainly what we use for towels. So your generator and your back up wash system not only depends on how much power you need while you are offline, but also too your water. And what type of water storage you want for back up periods.

Its a great time to consider this as you are going through it. Making notes of your challenges. And believe me, once the power is on and the water is flowing, you suddenly have nothing to put on the list. But while you are “in it”, you can make a lot of notes to think about, for being self sustainable, while your outage occurs.


Discount seekers! If they want a cheaper price, all they need to do is apply the filter to a budget that suits them. I don’t go to an airline saying I am trying to fly around the world for the next 12 months and would appreciate a really cheap seat. I don’t go to a 5 star restaurant asking for a discounted meal because I am trying to eat out for the next 12 months. What makes a cyclist different? If I walk the Camino de Santiago, do I get a cheaper rate than the cyclist because I am walking? Should the cyclist pay more than the walker? I don’t mind offering deals for long stays etc, but not just because they are cycling, walking, driving, swimming etc. You are running a business to pay for your bills so you may be able to travel yourself. You are not in business to subsidise other peoples holidays. Yes, I may sound harsh in this instance, but I just get annoyed that some people believe they deserve special treatment because they are doing something a little different. If you feel charitable, why not offer a free night or two to a homeless person who hasn’t necessarily chosen the path they are on. We recently hosted a guest who also was on an absolutely amazing mission/journey taking him 2-3 years. A very expensive undertaking. He was on a low budget. Didn’t ask for a discount as he felt our listing was great value. We did really look after him though (as we do with all guests). Value is better than a discount. He got heaps of value. In return, we got heaps of praise and a new friend. Please don’t lower your prices just to satisfy other dreams. You are only compromising your own.


Perfectly said! You’re spot on!

Hopefully we all have hearts and will show generosity to others when our heartstrings are pulled. It’s not for others to push it because they want to save a buck.


I already have my prices as low as I’m willing to go and also include nice yogurt, fresh fruit and juices, coffee and tea. I still get request all the time asking for a deeper discount. So I send them the first sentence here and wish them all the best. They usually book with me anyway and pull up in a $40k SUV and always ask about the nicer restaurants in town.


OMG :scream: that would really make me vomit !


I have a new policy with discount seekers: reciprocity. If someone wants a discount, how will they reciprocate? If they clean their own room (following my checklist), I’ll offer a discount equal to the cleaning fee. The discount is applied on the last day of their stay, after checkout, to ensure they hold up their end. If they take out the communal trash/recycling/compost daily, I’ll offer another small rebate (again, at the end). I have a few other discount opportunities like that. These are ways travelers can help make my life easier, and if I’m willing to make theirs easier, I think it’s fair to expect the same consideration. As others have noted, discounts beyond the already incredibly cheap rates for lodging are a personal subsidy of a stranger’s vacation. If I’m going to help finance someone’s vacation, it’s going to be someone I know and love, such as my nieces and nephews. The Airbnb market will only allow our rates to go so high (before we lose bookings to cheaper places). Those rates are WAY lower than hotel rates and paltry sums for what we offer, for the many adjustments we make in our lives, the stresses we tolerate, etc. As others have noted, half the time the folks who beg for discounts on the basis of their financial situation drive up in a car I could never afford, and show up day after day with shopping bags from stores I can’t afford to patronize. Some will ignore my house rules and complain after I’ve discounted their stay. So, it’s reciprocity or no discount, and discount applied after the fact, provided they hold up their end and respect me and my home.


Lordy!! Reminds me of the cheapskates who complained about the price, cleaning fee and tax (all are disclosed, none re surprises) and yet booked the most expensive helicopter on the island, $500 a seat. Yeah, that is why they needed to save money by not paying tax!


Have you actually used this policy with success? I love when people check out early. I don’t have to worry about keeping the dogs quiet and it fits with my lifestyle. I’ve thought of offering a 10% discount for anyone checking out before 8 am for example. It’s not much but maybe it would encourage a few folks to get up and get going. I’m hesitant because 1) half my guests leave before 10 am anyway and 2) it’s something else to take care of. Would I get someone checking out at 8:10 and asking for the rebate? BTW I have almost no discount seekers.

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