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Our current Brazilian guests have already confirmed me that it’s a cultural thing for lots of Brazilians to ask for discounts so I will not make a big deal out of it, but so far we’ve had the following funny conversation with a Brazilian woman (translated and shortened to the essentials):
SHE: Hi, our normal flight will arrive at 10:50am on August 5th, however we will try to change our flight on the day we are traveling, so we would arrive on August 4th around 11:30pm. In case we change flights and you have the room available for how much would you give us early check in. Could you give us a discount on the daily rate?
ME: If you arrive august 4th at 11:30pm that wouldn’t count as an early check in, but just an extra night. The good news is, that our average nightly rate automatically drops when you book 3 instead of 2 nights.
SHE: So for how much could you give us the first night if we arrive the 4th of August?
ME: If you reserve it after 9am on the same day, I’m willing to give you a 35% discount.
SHE: I’m in doubt about something: Does the room have a private bathroom?
And can you give us a discounts for the nights of August 5th to 7th?
ME: The room does have a private bathroom.
Due to fierce competicion in this area, our prices are already much lower than we would like them to be, but we enjoy hosting and therefor we open the door to our house regardless.
We also have a much cheaper room with shared bathroom and there are a lot of cheaper options nearby.
(Note: Of course the cheaper options are way less nice .)
(STORY TO BE CONTINUED)
If in her next message she only hints for another discount, I will double our prices for those dates . Cultural or not, I think she’s pushing the limits , or at least MY limits . Our place is beautiful and we offer great quality, so just be prepared to pay for it dear guests .
Did you accept these cheapskates? Anyone who would keep pressing this continuously is going to be a —drum roll please— a bad bad bad guest. No matter how low you go, it’s not going to be enough. They will feel like they are paying too much and you will get a bad review.
She hasn’t booked yet, and I have only offered her a 35% discount on the first night to be reserved at the moment that we don’t accept any bookings anymore (same day after 9am). So she can be happy to get a discount and we get a paid night.
She does have 3 really good reviews on her profile, but yes, after getting masterclasses on this forum, I am aware that it’s a risk. I will see where the conversation leads and act accordingly.
You say it’s a cultural thing but would she really approach an hotel in that manner? I think she’s taking advantage of your personal touch which is not nice. Her relentlessness is a red flag, she will be a dissatisfied and disrespectful guest. She has already wasted too much of your time. As you say your prices are already too low and we need to resist before we start running at a loss!
I know it’s tempting, but don’t do it Gut. This type of guest spells trouble every single time. She will likely find something to nit pick about and then leave you low stars on value. Because remember… no matter how low you go, it won’t be low enough for this type of person. They will always think they are paying too much and then manufacture things to prove themselves right.
Guests are like trolley cars. Another one will be right along.
100% agree with this. Our last aggressive discount seeker got a 50% surcharge as a “special offer” and thankfully disappeared without further comment. Not sure how else to maintain the “accepted reservations” performance metric in the face of a prospective guest that we just know is going to be a problem guest.
If it is indeed a cultural thing, she may not be a terrible guest. I host a lovely Chinese woman for months at a time when she’s in the US, and she’s a great guest. But it’s part of Chinese culture to bargain and dicker, and she has difficulty understanding that we just don’t do that here in the US.
Now, if the potential guest in question was American, I’d be in total agreement that the chances of her being a nightmare guest would in no way be worth you hosting her and advise you to run, Forest, run.
I just love the ones who try to “logic” their way into a discount, trying to convince me they’re doing me a huge favor by asking me to stay up way past my bedtime and provide them with everything full price guests receive for half as much money because they will only be “using the room for a few hours”. What makes these people think I’d ever even want them in my home?
I’ve hosted a lot of Brazilians, and they, more than many others that also like to bargain, are aggressive in their pursuit of the best deal. I simply say yes or no, depending on my current bookings and availability. I may offer them some small discount just so that they feel they win.
This kind of bargain hunting is a normal red flag, but in my case, the zealousness of their bargaining hasn’t come packaged with a bad guest situation. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but all of my Brazilian guests have been great. I had a guest jokingly refer to their love of a good deal as “mao de vaca” (literally translated as “hand of cow”), slang for a good deal. As in, I gotta get a bit of mao de vaca.
Yeah as some have pointed out, overpricing is a standard in many countries, especially southeast asia, and it’s almost an expectation that people will bargain. As a seller myself (not airbnb) I’ve sometimes been forced to raise prices for the sake of lowering them so the buyer feels assured he’s not overpaying.
Simple, the point is discounting strategy only works when you are selling things with limited quantities and you’re in a position to hold stock. For example, I had a plastic model kit which I was selling for $140. I was actually happy with $110. But knowing buyers woll request discounts I marked it by a further $30 and closed the sale between $110-$125. Had I advertised at $110 I’ll have to sell it at $100, which would not have made the sale happen.
Doesn’t necessarily work for airbnb, which wasn’t the point anyway, the point was that some countries have this discounting culture.
And you need to know your market well before you apply the discount. For example, it is common in Thailand markets to discount prices by up to 50%. Doing the same in Singapore will only get you a cold stare.
Although I’ve spent years working in businesses in which both buyer and seller haggle, it’s become pretty old with me now and I’ve no patience with it. If someone is prepared to give be a 10% discount for no reason, then why wasn’t it priced at that price to begin with?
I’ll discount if there’s a really good reason for it. Say for example, there’s maintenance work on the building that will be noisy during the day - I wouldn’t expect guests to pay full whack for that. Otherwise, forget it.
I think it was @konacoconutz who said here recently that with guests, there’ll always be another one along in a minute.
Some guests seem to think that I should discount for last minute bookings - absolutely not. They are booking with me because everywhere else is full and they have little choice. So definitely no discount/.
I’ve had people request discounts and then because they think “what’s the worst that can happen? The guys says no and we book anyway” I decline their request and say “Sorry I don’t think you are right for my place. Good luck finding budget accommodation of which there are several backpacker hostels within a 50km radius”. I know it is unprofessional but boy it feels good and as has been pointed out the sort of people who feel entitled to a discount on an obviously great value property are the worse guests. A couple of times they have even replied and apologised but thy’re still not getting in. Blame not me