How to pay for your Airbnb stay

So I got this enquiry last night, from a prospective Airbnb guest. He is an American who has been living in China for some time. So all his payment options are Chinese, yet his Airbnb profile shows him as being from Chicago, USA.

Anyway, Airbnb doesn’t let Americans use Alipay for booking my room in Germany. According to what I found on the Airbnb web site, Alipay may only be used by Chinese guests booking a room in China. Or else if they are doing a booking with a Chinese IP address, but this guy tried to make the booking when he was already in Germany.

So this guy asks if he may pay cash on arrival. Sure, says I, and I give him the directions to my place, full address and everything, no telephone number. I don’t really understand why Airbnb doesn’t block this message, since we were clearly breaking the TOS by then.

Anyway, he hops into a taxi at the airport - a 30 minute drive from my place. Since he hasn’t arrived 2 hours later, at 11 pm, I decide he isn’t going to come after all, open the window for some fresh air before going to sleep - and doing that, I see a taxi pull up outside.

So I put my clothes back on, go out to greet him - he is pretty tired, having come directly from China to Germany. He duly pays for his stay using his China Union Pay credit card on my iZettle reader, and goes off to bed.

That was quite a risk. He could have not turned up at all or haggled with the price etc… No host guarantee or reviews either. How did you feel about getting out of bed? I can’t believe there wasn’t one international credit card etc. he could have used.

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seems like you did right to trust your gut instinct


(the 202020202 was just for fun)

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To be honest, one of the reasons I accepted the arrangement with this particular guest was the fact that his Airbnb profile did show past reviews other hosts had left for him, which were all good.

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Yes I meant no chance for you to review him. I recently had a stressful reservation with an alcoholic guest (thread on here) and he managed to get good reviews from previous hosts. It was good that I could subsequently post an honest review.

I have a friend with dual citizenship: US and New Zealand. Her residence and bank accounts are mostly NZ but she was living in China for about 5 years while she worked at a university. Meanwhile she needed to travel to Germany for medical treatments. She found an Airbnb she liked but couldn’t arrange the payments, much as you’re describing. It really turned her off of Airbnb. I hope that now that she’s back in NZ she will give it another chance.

As for taking cash on arrival, I had a guest this year that I also did that with. She was new on Airbnb but I was able to send information about booking her dog on Rover and she got my address that way. Once she arrived she actually didn’t even realize she didn’t have an Airbnb reservation yet. She handed over the cash and showed me her government ID and we were all set. It was a superb booking for me. Sometimes one just gets the feeling from the available information that it will be okay.

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Now I don’t like posting reviews of guests. Without sounding too aloof, with Pentecost coming up, tomorrow, and with many in my family being pastors, let me cite St. Matthew, 7

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

The Holy Bible, King James Version.

I think you did a right thing. The guy had good reviews and is obviously ok with using Airbnb, but this one time he couldn’t do it. I would’ve done the same thing.

For me even the no review thing is not such a big deal as we are renting since before Airbnb was even an idea in someone’s mind, and we are used to handling things with guests directly. I prefer when the guests come through Airbnb though, as it maximizes any sort of communication about payment and reduces potential for misunderstanding.

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Hang on with the sanctimonious vibe, I am as compassionate as the next person, however when it comes to disturbing, very ill or potentially dangerous guests turning up at the home of a lone female host without warning, we need reviews!!!

Well actually the alcoholic had done it before at least once to another lone female host, but she had held back in her review to be polite! (She subsequently messaged me) These problems and quite frankly suffering (I am not paid enough to have sleepless nights due to dodgy guests) could be prevented with honest reviews. When I screened my own lodgers before Airbnb I had my own abilities to judge character to rely on, now I need reviews because I can’t meet them.

I’m so sorry to hear that, Jess! I can’t believe the other host didn’t post about this honestly. That was extremely irresponsible! At least when it comes to serious situations people should try and write an honest review.

Yes but I think some hosts don’t care. He even got a good review after me, in a self contained unit. She described him as cantankerous in a funny way, ha ha. Funny til he burns the house down, lets me burglars in or wets the bed. Not funny if it’s in your own home as a lone female.

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