Increasing the Price of a Reservation for a High Demand Weekend

Hello Community,

I have an ethical question I hope you can help me with. I normally leave prices low so I am booked months in advanced. However, I neglected to raise the price for the weekend the NCAA tournament will be in town blocks away. Someone has booked the whole time of the tournament for about $40 a night. I talked to some friends and they are getting $1,200 for the same 4 nights, same accommodations.

Should I:

  1. Leave it as is, the guy got a steal of a deal.
  2. Request to increases the price for the stay (I have never done this before)
  3. Cancel the reservation, and set new prices (I have never done this either)

In the long term, I know now that for high volume events I need to adjust pricing. However, what should I do in the short term?

Thank you

Ethically you can’t change the price. If you cancelled on the guy at this late date he wouldn’t be able to get another place. The oldest ethical rule across cultures and continents is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Violate it at your risk.

If you cancel it will say so on your listing and the dates will be blocked from you booking anyone else on the airbnb platform.

That said I’d have no problem letting the guests know what had happened and hope that maybe they would at least leave a big tip.

I don’t know what else to say except I feel for you. This is a very painful lesson.


I go through my calendar a year or more ahead of time and mark all events and holidays. Lesson learned, …painfully. They got a deal, and I think you would be blocked from booking anyone else through ABB. The only way you could book might be through CL
I got a good rate during the eclipse…because I marked it 2 years in advance.

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See also this topic for opinions about canceling to gain more profit:

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I would not have an issue canceling if I noticed immediately about the mistake when the booking came in. If it is several days/weeks/months later I would just take the hit. Note, if you do cancel you likely will need to book a new reservation via another platform as these dates will be blocked.


Thank you all for the responses. I have decided to chalk it up to a lesson learned the hard way. The guy got a great deal, that is what I offer normally anyway.

However, not wanting to miss out on the money, I have decided to offer our master bedroom on AirBnB just for those 4 days. My wife and I can sleep in the office. I think that is a win-win for everyone.

Thanks again for the responses!


Thanks for posting this thread. I had searched for “increasing price” “high demand” etc. and since I didn’t find anything I decided on a new post.

@Mark4, that sounds like a wonderful solution! You and wife happy, guest happy, everyone happy! :+1:

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Great solution, Mark! It’s all relative, I guess. If not for the NCAA and the knowledge that others are making buckets of money (like if your Airbnb was a cave you lived in), you would have been happy with your $40 for those dates. Your guest must feel like he won the accommodation lottery. Karma will come round to you.