Last minute discounts?

I just had an inquiry from last minute guests who then asked about discounts. Is that a thing? It is much harder for me to take last minute requests as I have a full time job and work the listing around that. I also charge as little as I can so that more people can come, but I still have to make the mortgage. Because of the low price, I don’t ever have a problem filling the space. Do any of you offer last minute discounts?

I also don’t really want last minute requests because of my work schedule and I have my settings requiring two days’ notice.

There’s no reason for you to feel you must offer a discount. If you’ve done the math and the discounted price doesn’t hit your hassle threshold, then that’s that.

They’re probably shopping around to a bunch of places anyway. The request isn’t a sure thing regardless of how you answer. Do the best thing for you!!


No, if anything I raise my price if I’m not booked because the supply should be less. Once the cheap places are gone, they are gone. That said, that’s based on my market and what I want. I’m retired and do prefer last minute bookings. I don’t even open my calendar very far in advance, especially not now when we are still in the teeth of a global pandemic.

IMO, It never hurts to ask, but based on anecdotal evidence posted on this forum, discount seekers seem to be less desirable guests.


Yes it is. And so I raise the price as the date gets nearer if I’m not booked. Effectively, last minute is charged a premium.

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My last minute do you mean same day. I don’t accept same day requests particularly from discount seekers. If it’s a secondary income source just say no.

Have you checked with your competitors to see that your pricing is comparable to those with similar places?

Definitely no discounts for last minute bookings. I’ve only had a few last minute guests (and usually when I’ve set aside the day - but not blocked - for maintenance reasons) but I don’t see any logic in giving them discounts.

Quite the opposite. If I see that I have a few days between guests, about a week away, then I’ll increase the prices and usually fill those days. If guests can’t organise their travel then I see no reason why I should subsidise them.

Some people are just programmed to ask for discounts in almost every situation. So I’d just say no.


Don’t give it another thought. “Discounts are not available. Thank you for your inquiry.”


Yes, it is. If a host has some open days on the calendar with a slim chance of booking them, then offering those days at a lower rate can be a way to make some income vs. no income for those days, assuming the discount isn’t so low you take a loss.

That doesn’t mean you should do it, though. It should be clear from responses so far that many hosts put a very high value on their time and and an even higher value on the rush and stress of prepping for a last-minute request.


If you don’t want last minute bookings, then why allow them? Set advance notice to a day or two or three.

Charging as little as you can so more guests will book isn’t a good business model. You can make just as much money with less work having 4 nights a week booked at $100/night as having 7 nights booked at $57/night.

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Actually, you should make more profit (revenue less expenses) on the four nights at $100. Your revenue (rent received) will be the same in the two cases, but your expenses should be lower in the four-night case.

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No, I don’t offer last minute discounts. The only discount I offer is for month long stays.

I don’t allow last minute bookings–I have a day after each booking to clean. This inquiry came in the day before.
I just don’t feel right about charging a lot. I have always struggled financially and want to help those in the same position. I am starting to try to be a better capitalist, though!


I hear you. I have a budget priced listing home-share listing for solo travelers because I also have never had much disposable income, and want to make it affordable to travelers like me. And I’ve had wonderful guests.

My listing is also the same price every night of the year-I don’t play the pricing game of checking out competition, raising prices during holidays, lowering during slow season, or offering discounts.

It has never been my main source of income as it is for a lot of hosts.

But there’s a difference between having a poverty mentality (which I have learned to toss aside)- selling yourself short, charging much less than what people would expect and be happy to pay- and offering an attractive price that doesn’t leave you feeling you are knocking yourself out for only a few measly bucks profit.

There’s a lot of middle ground between “I don’t deserve more” poverty mentality, and greedy capitalist. :wink:


Good response. If your business model of discounting to fill nights works, go for it. Just make sure it’s a conscious decision.

Also understood that hosts have many motivations, not all of them being to maximize profits. I want to make money, but I also like providing handicap accessible lodging at a reasonable price in a high-cost area.


No discounts for anything, any time. I am not a charity.

“Discounts not available.”


If you’re already priced under market value, discounts hurt you even more.

Just. Say. No. People who ask for discounts are usually trouble. Don’t ask me how I know this! :wink:

I just raised my rates $5 and I’m still filling as many nights as I want to. Don’t under-sell what you offer.

I’ve started doing this as well. And I’m getting the last-minute guests. The closest hotel is 15 minutes away and 3 times the price.



Short and sweet, all the time, with every inquiry, request, and IB.

Ok, wow. A lot to unpack here. You’re struggling financially because you are not valuing YOU and YOUR time and business. Pay yourself first. And discount seekers aren’t in a bad financial position - they’re cheap. Trust me on this. As for capitalism, you’re running a business. Treat it as such and don’t get emotional about the guests. They aren’t emotional about you.

Pay yourself first. Value yourself and what you put out there.

It’s one thing to lend a helping hand to people in actual need, but if someone’s taking a vacation, they should have the budget for it. Asking for a discount - unless under certain circumstances (parent visiting child in hospital away from home), no discounts.


No, you obviously don’t need to. The guest is probably of the belief that it never hurts to ask, but may not be surprised with a no.


I have never given discounts. If folks ask I tell them that the rooms are fairly priced, and if it’s too expensive they should look for rooms in their desired price range.

I have never done same day bookings because a friend who was doing Air warned me that when she did she kept getting requests from locals that I wouldn’t want as guests.

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I offer a last minute booking discount only during the summer to fill a last minute cancellation. My summers historically book solidly.

How it works:
Moderate cancellation policy.
If not rebooked 3 days before rental start then 10% discount.
Reason: few people decide last minute to take a 5 or more day vacation. The closer to check-in, the less likely a booking.

Last summer, my 3 cancellations re-booked the same day. All were cancelled about a week before start so time for getting a replacement booking. No discount was needed.

Thank you all! No discount and they came anyway and were quite happy. They were asking just in case, and my saying no was not a dealbreaker at all. I was just needlessly torturing myself over saying no to someone. I’ll get over it.