Honesty box do you use it?

Anybody put in an honesty box in their property

What do you want to use it for @Paterson?

I supply tea coffee drinks water cans beer wine continental breakfast all complimentary …now i thought if i had an honesty box i might get some money back :o)

Why not just raise your rate $3-5 a night to cover costs? Coffee, tea and water are almost required these days.

We provide a bottle of wine ($2.87 at Aldi, $3 at Trader Joes) and a full cooked breakfast. We plan the average cost of breakfast and add it into our nightly rate. Yes we’re a bit more expensive than a similar Airbnb down the road, but you get much better value with us, and it shows in our bookings.


Thanks for your advise Ken
Can you tell me your thoughts if you were a guest and you seen one of those boxes .?

I agree with @KenH include breakfast and drinks in your day rate or offer breakfast as an additional cost through your listing.

You would need to provide a price list with your honesty box and then rely on them having the right money. Why make things more complicated for your guests?. Just work it into your pricing.

Hi Helsi…thank you
So if you were a guest and you seen one of those boxes what would be your thoughts ?

Why not just call it a “tip” jar? An “Honesty” box implies I’m stealing if I don’t pay for what you tell me is complimentary.


I stayed in a luxury listing that provided red and white wine on the honor system. $10 per bottle was expected to be left. We thought it was fine and the home has over 80 five star ratings. Lots of people like the convenience and its a common practice.

My only consideration as a host would be if it just causes me aggravation. Will people complain about the selection? Will I now be annoyed if some take and leave no money? My own approach at my rental was to raise the price a little to cover costs.


That I would rather have breakfast included in the cost. Nowadays many travel without a lot of cash so you are making things more complicated for your guests.

I prefer to choose my own beer and wine.

Why do you prefer an honesty box to including core amenities in your pricing.

If you live in the middle of nowhere it might make more sense. Whereabouts are you based?

1 Like

We provide a full breakfast, welcoming fruit juice and a refrigerator stocked with a few beers, more juice and some soft drinks and all is built into our costs. We have a bar cabinet for spirits and it is reasonably well stocked and this is on an honor basis. Guests appreciate it and some avail and I think we are ahead of the game re consumption vs pays.


I do not carry cash so this setup wouldn’t work for me. :anguished:


Staying at a place with an honesty box would be fine with me, but I don’t usually carry cash, so might not be able to use it. Consider adding an e-mail address so people can pay by Venmo or PayPal.

The only other issue with an honor box…at least in my state I can give food and drink, but I can’t sell it. Selling alcohol is even more verboten. Unlikely you’d be caught, but something to consider.

I rolled the cost of extras into my nightly rate. Costs for food run about 2% of my overall revenue, so it’s a small cost with a good return. Since these are unexpected plusses, I get the sense these nudge to “better than expected” ratings and lots of “amazing amenity/extras” tags in review. That makes it a worthwhile investment to me.

I leave filtered tap water in reusable 1L bottles, packets of oatmeal, some granola bars, popcorn, cereal, coffee and tea. And a tray of s’more fixings (sometimes eaten alone, sans bonfire; fine by me). And wine if they mentioned the code word in the house rules. Wine runs $10-12/bottle when I buy it by the case from a local place. That’s another 2% of revenue (worth it to know who read the house rules)

Most people only use one or two of the things. Rarely someone uses all of them.


Yes to both of these. I leave out snacks and goodies but I do not mention them in the listing description, so everybody is pleasantly surprised. Some guests do not use any of them, but everybody raves about them in the reviews, even if they did not use any! It costs very little but makes my guests happy.

I vote for raising your price a tiny bit and not leaving an “honesty box”.


I have an honesty bar which works well. It’s a mini fridge in the guest lounge which has beers & 3 bottles of rose/white wine and 3 bottles of red next to it. I can’t sell or ask for cash ‘donations’ but ask that anything use is replaced with something similar before guests check out. Over the last 2 years there has been a lot more “put back” than consumed, so much so I have had to consume some of it myself. :rofl:


I always have cash and often have situations when it’s essential. I’m a generous tipper.


I offer a whole house rental that is my part time home. I try to keep the cupboards, fridge and freezer mostly empty so guests have sufficient place for their food. Everything in my cupboard is available for them to use - coffee, oils, mixes, spices, condiments, and no, I don’t offer single serve sizes. I also have stuff in my pantry like cans of soup and box Mac and Cheese - stuff I like to keep on hand when I have a quick trip up to the cottage and don’t want to take the time to shop at a grocery store - and I find that almost 100% of my guests NEVER touch it. They buy their own food. I have always been shocked and pleased by how honest the overwhelming majority of my guests are and I have been hosting since 2011.

That said, it never occurred to me to leave stuff that I expected them to pay for if they use it, although I suspect they would. It is not the kind of experience I am offering. I don’t want my guests to feel like they are in a hotel. I want them to feel like family guests in a mountain cottage.


Count me as another person that doesn’t carry cash and that tends to not use items that I have to pay extra for.

I assume you’ll put up some signage about the beverages not being complimentary, otherwise your system is just confusing. Also, I believe that after a while you may come to resent guests that consume your items but don’t leave money. If your only goal is to recover the money, a few extra $ on your nightly rate or your cleaning fee is all you really need.


We’ve stayed in a few places where there has been stuff in the pantry, never crossed our mind to use it. Basic stuff like olive oil and condiments yes, but never anything not obviously left out for our use or unopened in a cupboard or drawer.



What is it for? If you are trying to sell me water or snacks I most likely wouldn’t take any but buy my own at the gas station. If you offer fresh home made brioches or muffins, maybe. Other pre-packaged snacks I wouldn’t touch. I don’t eat them to begin with. If you offer beer and wine I also wouldn’t touch because tastes are so personal. You most likely don’t offer what I like.

I never seen such thing, except in church.

Edit to say I offer breakfast on the whim, to the guests I like and especially in the weekends, if they have time. I don’t advertise it and it’s nothing for me, really. I don’t offer alcoholic beverages.

1 Like