Do you charge the guests for the PayPal fees?

I’m receiving more payments via PayPal. My margin profit/cost margin is fairly narrow. My location does not support a high nightly rate. PayPal charges a 2.9% + $.30 fee for each transaction. On a 7 night rental of $854, the fee is $25.92 USD.

When you accept payments via PayPal or other payment platforms, do you charge the payment fees to the guest either directly
or charge indirectly with a higher overall price
or do you consider it a cost of doing business?

In a word, yes.

We get paid by bank transfer, the money hitting our account two days after check in. If we did offer PayPal, for direct bookings, then the charges are the cost of doing business. If your margins are so tight then maybe investigate another payment method?


Of course it’s the cost of doing business. As a rule of thumb, anything that you’re paying for or being charged for because of your business is a cost and should be part of your calculations when you’re working out your nightly rate.


When they pay rent - no, I don’t charge them the PayPal fee on top of the rent.

If they are using PayPal instead of cash for other items where I just get reimbursed (that is, I have NO margin), then I charge them the PayPal fee.

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So this is taking payments directly as opposed through ABB?

Coincidentally, 2.9% +$0.30 is extremely close to Airbnb’s 3% host service fees, so it’s the same as what you’d pay if you collected all fees up-front through Airbnb.


Not explictly. I just roll it into the price.

Except you are saving the guest on the fees they pay. So I split them with the guest. I get a little more, they save some.

Example: Today I took a booking from a guy for five nights. His cost via Airbnb $319. My payout $260. So I told him cash price $280, Paypal price $290.


I think you are able to write those fees off as accounting expenses at the end of the year.

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I’ve been counting the fees as “cost of business”. It occurred to me to ask about the group procedures because this season I am getting more repeat rentals who are directly booking.

This has been an odd season for me: 1. More declines required. 2. Newbies to Airbnb who don’t want to learn something new 3. Potential guests who can’t take no for an answer.

I’m ready for the 2019 summer season ito be behind me. I tried to get a co-host who is an amazing, loving, courteous, woman with great written verbal skills and is also an Airbnb host but a difficult family crisis made her unavailable. I am happily helping her (but I’m sick of people and consciously working hard to not let it show).

I shouldn’t whine or complain because overall I’m fully booked at higher prices than last year and my “slow season of Feb-April” is already booked. Being HUMAN bites!!!


Repeat rentals are a great thing!
I can understand the low profit margin as my main listing was for a house share, (only would rent the whole house if I went on vacation) in a competitive market.
While it used to earn me enough during the short tourist season to meet my financial goals, if a guest did something like break a plate (which would cost me $13 to replace if they or ABB wouldn’t cover it), it made a huge dent in my profit considering my time/effort at cleaning etc.
The burnout you speak of is something I know well, but I used to block off dates to handle it, sounds like you are already booked solid for quite a while, try finding someone else who can assist you with co-hosting so you can get a little break from that end of it.
(I gave up hosting house shares…last summer or summer before, it was the best decision for me and I haven’t missed it).


Having had an existing cottage colony before Airbnb and many repeat tenants, I have a cash/check price on my own website, but I added 3% to my ABB listings because I wanted to get a similar net income from those tenants. If someone wants to use payPal (extremely rare) as a direct customer, i tell them use the ‘pay via bank acct to a friend’ type process so there’s no fee or if they do pay the 2.9%, I still want my net to be almost the same as if they paid cash so yes, I would charge it to guests.