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FUNNY – AirBnB’s manipulative system


So from my other topic “Block dates OR put ridiculous price?” you all know that I’m running a small scale experiment with our three rooms. There was a funny side effect to this experiment that makes me conclude: AirBnB’s system is highly stupid, highly manipulative or both at the same time.

This conclusion probably isn’t new to most of you, but I still wanted to share for the fun of it. You all are familiar with the automated messages AirBnB sends you or that show up on your calendar regarding your price. The messages that we consistenly get go along these lines (I have converted them to USD):

  • “In (month), people have booked places in your area for an average price of US$ 23,00.” – What place? A dormbed? And consistently the same average price all year round? Strange!
  • “People looked at your place, but booked a place for US$ 2 – 5 less.” – Cheapskates, they could have had our wonderful place, breakfast included, for just US$ 2 – 5 extra.

Now that I raised the price of one of our rooms to a whoppingly crazy price of US$ 1.185,00 a night the following messages show up:

  • “In (month), people have booked places in your area for an average price of US$ 30,00.” – So all of a sudden the average price had gone up? Strange!
  • “People looked at your place, but booked a place for US$ 2 – 5 less.” – What? :roll_eyes::sleepy: I would have very happily given them the room for US$ 1.150,00 (=US$ 35,00 less)! :joy: Bummer, if only… :rofl:

To block another room, I had a familymember make a reservation for US$ 5,00 a night. She got the following message:

  • “You got a great deal, people on average booked a room for US$ 40,00 more.” – Anyone seeing the inconsistencies?

Conclusion: Hosts consistently get pushed to pinch off a few dimes, while guest get to enjoy their “GREAT” deals that mention average prices AirBnB never mentions to us hosts.



Because of your original post and feedback, I decided to post a high rate but not crazy high like you. Just not as good of a deal as my competitors in the area. I made backup plans for a cleaner if it does get booked but here’s my results…

Booking have been coming in before and after the dates with the higher price and this is during a slow time so I think raising rates might be the option vs blocking dates if you have a backup plan in case it gets booked.

I might also try in the future having my daughter book nights on her account.

Also, I will change from IB to inquiries for the 4 days I’m out of town as an extra backup.


Thanks for sharing this. I don’t pay much attention to their sidebar messages to me regarding price. I know far more about my market (meaning my room on my street with my reviews at my price) than they do.

I did say on the other thread that you also see this with “Rare find” this place is usually booked on properties that aren’t “usually booked,” they can’t be as they are new. How would Air know if the property has only been open a month? Also when I search as a guest Airbnb tries to convince me that places are going fast and there are only a small number left to choose from.

Airlines also do this. You search for one seat and they tell you there is one seat left at that price, search for two seats now there are 3 seats available at that price. I’ve also seen hotels use the same techinique.


As I have posted previously I raise my rates for the three days before and after a booking as well as the next three days (late bookings). I used to do less and now that I have changed it for the new year have regularly seen the numbers they quote showing just about the same increase. I used to increase $20 for day of bookings and now it’s $25 (for the at was a $30-$55 based and now a $35-$60 base with what was $10-$40 cleaning fees to now $20-$50) and people are booking at he same changes. Even funnier is that the “price tips” are way more now too! It used to be usually $17-$37 and now they are usually $23-$58. Go figure…maybe they see I actually do get booked at more…also now they sometimes show my average booking prices and they are ALWAYS more than the price tips, even when some of those average prices include long term discounts!

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