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Question about smart pricing

#1

I think they changed the behavior lately, I think. It used to be that the host would set the minimum price and they fluctuated over that price depending on God knows what.
Recently I saw that the price fluctuates below that price quite frequently.
Than what’s the point in having a minimum price? Minimum means I don’t want lower than that. They turned the minimum price into the “average” price.
Anyone else has seen this?

#2

Nope. My minimum is $50 and smart pricing has it set above that every day until Sept. Maybe you have accidentally turned it off.

1 Like
#3

I have always set the minimum price before I turn on smart pricing. Did you change the minimum when smart pricing was turned on? Try turning it off, resetting the minimum (set it above your minimum, then save settings, then back to your desired minimum, save settings, then turn on smart pricing and save settings again).

As a former programmer and IT project manager, it appears to me that the programmers on different parts of the AirBnB booking system never talk to each other or have meetings to plan system changes. If you offered me a job doing maintenance programming on their site I’d probably turn it down unless I could check the system documentation to see if it was written by someone who started coding without decent analysis or design.

#4

Nope. The minimum price I set is always shown as the base price. It’s never gone below.

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#5

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Smart Pricing on here, but the more I’ve heard recently suggests it may actually be not a bad tool. Oh well, Europe, the poor relation.

JF

2 Likes
#6

When i started 3 years ago I DID see it go below my minimum so I turned it off. After 2.5 years I had raised my prices enough that I decided to try it again and watch it like a baby hawk (instead of an adult hawk or an eagle, lol). So far THIS time it has been fine. I occasionally, like @KKC, get a dollar or a few more.

I did notice that one weekend when there was a heavy heavy demand it actually raised it more than 100%. Of course it booked one of those nights in its 3 night but then actually cancelled well in advance and was refunded. By that time the demand had dropped though and the rate did as well. It did get rebooked a week before but at the lower rate. It worked out for me though because they booked for more nights and for more people so I actually made more on that booking than I would have on the original.

SO, moral of the story is that you cant just set it and forget it because Airbnb CANNOT be trusted. I recommend it but to check in on it at least occasionally.

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#7

I have never used “smart pricing”, having relied on my own experience over the last 5 1/2 years. Way down this year (see my posts about their “Plus” program"). However, here’s my take on Airbnb and their pricing - in my experience from their constant emails stating that my prices are too high (I am currently priced 25% lower than last year), I figure their corporate logic is this: Using these imaginary figures, if they have $1,000,000 in bookings per year averaging $1000 per booking, that is 1000 bookings. If they can get us all to reduce bookings by 25% and gain 50% more bookings, their revenue increases by $125,000 – using these numbers. We all know their numbers are much higher, but this illustrates how they benefit by all of us decreasing our prices so that they can increase their bookings. Hosts are screwed, but Corporate rakes in the profits. Today, I got one of those emails (which I get almost daily, but I ignore most of them) which gave me two comps. I put in a random weekend for June and found one of the comps, which was priced $95/night more than my place, and is a basement “suite”; my place is an end unit townhome on open space (I back up to a hill that leads to open-space trails at the base of the Boulder Flatirons). And, it is not even close to as nice as my place. Are they punking us? According to Airbnb’s data for that weekend, the average nightly price is $418/night for my neighborhood. I’m at $300/night. I’ll drop it to $295 and maybe they will bump me up a notch in the listings. However, I’m afraid since I just opted out of Plus, I’ll be at the bottom for the rest of my tenure, which ends June 27th.

#8

Since I posted above about checking on the prices I decided to go in and check them on the calendar on the website on my laptop as opposed to my usual on the app. I first noticed that my smart price for my whole house listing is $72. My minimum is $60 which is what I had been seeing until now. So I clicked in to be sure my minimum hadn’t been changed. Nope. But the extraneous info all around (including a graph showing two nights I have booked in July at $160 and next week where I have it all booked at $80 - these are all due to my additional person fee of $20/over 1, the base was $60) says:

I should set my minimum to $36
I should set my maximum to $153
100% of my nights are listed at more than their recommended $36

Interesting because THEY have set my nightly smart price at $72!!

Also interesting that they say I should set my max at an amount lower than I already have booked 2 months out (I mostly get last minute bookings). Typically I change my actual price to $85 for same day, $75 for day before and $65 for two days prior. I’m guessing that because most of my bookings end up in that higher range that they are seeing that and increasing my base price thinking that I am lowering it for last minute bookings.

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#9

I have really enjoyed your participation on this forum and if your plan to go France works out I hope we will see you posting here again.

1 Like
#10

Yeah, I’m a programmer myself and I have the feeling this platform grew chaotically with no planning and is full of bugs. I can list a few right now. But, when you think about it, Chesky is not a CS major and it shows (as opposed to Zuckerberg for example).

I did what you suggested. I’m curious to see how this will work. On the other hand I don’t know if turning the smart pricing off will have any influence in the search algorithm.

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