Does cancellation policy affect bookings?

I read advice against having a strict cancellation policy because it will keep some people from booking. I have always had a moderate policy. Just curious to know if anyone has experimented with this personally and if it affected the quantity of your bookings to change cancellation policy.

I’ve tried it many ways, and haven’t noticed a difference. I’m currently on moderate.

As a guest I take it into consideration because there are 5 of us - 5x the amount of things that can go wrong. But it’s not a deciding factor. It would depend on how much I want to stay there, if I’m willing to take the risk.

I have noticed a flexible policy keeps me nearer the top of the search results. Anytime I’ve tried out moderate or strict I’ve plummeted way down and a few pages back. In a town where there are 4000 residents and around 400 listings, dropping down the search really hurts my reservations. So for me it’s that rather than guests not choosing me because of a certain policy.

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Are cancellations a problem, @Gardenhost? I’ve had few problems. Maybe 4 in the 18 months I’ve been in business.

I’ve never had one. I’ve only been hosting since last July and have had 43 sets of guests so far

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With the moderate cancellation policy I have had about 1 cancel every month or two (between 3 properties).

That is interesting that the flexible policy keeps you higher in the search results…

I’m strict and am at the top of my search results.

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I have strict but I’ve never looked to see where we come in searches. We are mostly fully booked for several months in advance so as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t prevent people from booking. I’ve had two cancellations from Airbnb guests but both were well in advance (and for good reasons) so it having a strict policy wouldn’t have made a difference, the guests would still have got refunds.