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New beta feature I just noticed: offer guest 10% discount if they choose non refundable reservation


#1

It looks like if you set this up, the guests can either choose your usual cancellation policy at full price, or have 10% off and it’s completely non-refundable.

Interesting. Has anyone done this?

I’m trying to figure out how guests could exploit it…

See screen shot:


#2

Do you really think that Airbnb will stand behind their own policies?
Have not read the policy but will bet that some sort of extenuating circumstances will apply. They appear to have no issues with giving back our money!


#3

My only worry would be Airbnb overriding whatever you have just as they do now. For example, does this REALLY invalidate the extenuating circumstances policy? If this gives the option to guests to completely and unconditionally relinquish their money then it seems like a good option for hosts. Luckily I have flexible and almost always refund even if they cancel last minute so I don’t have to worry about this.

I haven’t seen this on either the host or guest side.


#4

Yeah, this wouldn’t be worth it to me unless it invalidates EC cancellations.

It seems most of my cancellations are within a couple days of booking (when they realize they can’t bring a pet, 12 people, or that I live on the property)…or it’s a next to last minute thing where more than half claim EC and I lose money in spite of my Strict cancellation policy.

Since they added the 48-hour grace period, the first group are already fully refunded. I don’t see this policy helping to reduce last minute/EC cancellations.


#5

They tried this back in March, but in that version airbnb gave the discount out of the service fee and kept the money if they cancelled.


#6

Well, they’ve enabled it in the host dashboard but after activating it (out of curiousity) it’s not appearing on the front end, at least not as far as I can see.

JF


#7

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say…

if during their trial of this program Airbnb found it profitable in any way, they’d be running it themselves, not offering it to hosts.


#8

I am not going to do it, I’ve had very few cancellations at all, much less last min ones since I started doing Air. It really depends on your location & how you run your business if you want to do it or not. I’m just afraid it will move from beta to permanent.


#9

It probably will, if enough folks enable it and enough guests use it. That said, you don’t have to activate it, unless of course Airbnb in their wisdom decide to make it compulsory.

Personally, I would like it. There are times of the year where guests having the choice would work for us, just like it does on BDC.

JF


#10

I’m not seeing any small print so I’ll assume that extenuating circumstances will still override. I’ve had plenty of cancellations and used to always refund without even being asked but am leaning against that now as I realize that helps encourage the “entitled guest” behavior that impacts other hosts with different policies than mine. I also believe Airbnb is going to move in the direction of forcing more lenient policies on everyone so to maintain my margin I need to quit refunding those cancellations.

I may raise my prices 5% and enable it just for the boost. It would have to be a very small advantage since I seem to always be at the top of search anyway.


#11

Considering airbnb give guests refunds for any stupid reason, I won’t be using it
( Airbnb will mediate when necessary, and has the final say in all disputes}


#12

Thanks for locating the small print! I’ve upped my prices 5% and enabled it. Like @JohnF has observed, it’s not showing on the listing yet.

In doing an incognito search I’ve also realized why I never get bookings more than a month in advance. When I did a search for my town the map is on the center of downtown. That makes perfect sense for most places. I would argue that it doesn’t make perfect sense for my town but that’s a different thread. Luckily it works perfectly for the way I run my business but I can imagine that in most places it doesn’t favor lots of hosts.


#13

But as I understand it, when you agree with this new feature, you automatically agree with flexible cancellation. At least in my case it is so.


#14

Different offer for me in UK. Guests can choose to pay 7% MORE for flexi reservation.


#15

Our place is in the Caribbean and we are in the US, and we got the “add flexible for 7%”. I think it has to do with your current policy (we are strict) than your location


New Beta Feature: Protect your payout with non-refundable reservations
#16

Ok, it finally kicked in and I’ve now disabled it.

What it did was replace our Moderate cancellation policy with a Non-refundable policy and knocked 10% off the prices. That’s it. I tried a selection of dates (using Epic privacy browser) and it appears that the Non-refundable rate appeared 6-8 weeks before the booking date, further ahead than that, our Moderate policy applied with no option to book any other way.

No notification to potential guests that they were making a saving and, more importantly, no way for the guest to make a choice between Moderate and Non-refundable.

Oh well, it sounded like a good idea - actually it is a good idea, just a pity about the front end implementation, or rather lack of implementation!

JF


#17

Thanks for the followup. Since I have flexible policy and get most my bookings 6-8 weeks in advance I would think this would work for me. The notification of the option to choose NR but show up in the payment queue? That is, you’d have to be logged in and click book to see it. But meanwhile it just shows my higher price and is probably going to reduce bookings.


#18

No, took it through to payment (not my account) and no sign of an option.

JF


#19

I searched as a guest and started the booking for my own listing. The non refundable option does show up. See below.

Howver, this was for a date in early February. When I tried to book dates in April, the option wasn’t there.

If I click on the ? Symbol, it says that the taxes and cleaning fee are fully refundable up until the day of check in.


#20

My challenge is that discount equals discount. As in the discount mentality. If you are offering a discount up front, what kind of people are you attracting?

Can they push it futher, i.e., we don’t really need the other bedroom, can we get a further discount?


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