Santa Clara California Competitive Listing always showing 1st

Our listing is in Santa Clara California, and when I enter the City Santa Clara in search at Airbnb to see where we are ranked I always see a Host’s listing by the name of Zhen at a dramatically low price rate per night that enables her to be first in search ; it’s not even funny. $10/night

Her listing has been like this for days on if not months ; ever since I cared to see my listing ranking.

This could be man made and needs of us to be alert ; as it gives her advantage over others to always appear first, and not in one listing but 2 of her listings are at
$10 /night an appear at the same time on the same 1st page.

And this is not all ; but when clicking on her listing , it is coded to appear on the first page from that $10 / night pricing, yet changes up to a whooping price above the $80 / night when Clicking in to check her details of Check in dates… and people are booking at hers over anyone else’s since she not only has the luxurious space , but the way the pricing is coded to show up as the least per night , enabled her to show first by many potential guests and get booked by the ones willing to pay the highest.

This has been going on for a while now and is Unfair for all of us Listing as Hosts through Airbnb in Santa Clara California, and we should take a stand.

I have contacted support not once but twice on the issue; one did not respond back , and the other responded saying that they are working on the issue.

What other steps should we be doing to solve this sooner than later ?

Price one of your nights at $10, perhaps?

ETA: I did a search for Santa Clara rentals, hers didn’t come up in the first dozen listings. It wasn’t until I filtered for stays under $20 that I saw hers. And it’s available tomorrow night for $10 (plus, presumably, cleaning and service fees). I’m not sure what your problem is with that…?

E(further)TA: I see that your three listings are for females only. While it is certainly your prerogative to do that in your own home as a host, that eliminates half your potential market. Also, many people are uncomfortable sharing a bed in the same room as another guest. Heaven knows I would not want to impose my snoring on someone else…!

On further investigation, I do see that selecting the $10 night actually results in a $90 rental charge, plus the service and cleaning fees. I can see how that might be annoying to guests looking to book. I’m still not sure why this is a concern for you, though.

I noticed that also that first come.listings with lower rates mostly. Also it’s really annoying how some hosts post 10$ per night and then make cleaning fees of 150$.
Women are my least favourite guests…I prefer men by much: long hair everywhere , pickiness and women often is even messier than men . Though I hosted some male talkers but men are less talkative than women in general .

This host has several rooms in Santa Clara, all showing as “$10”. But when you click on some actual dates, one comes up at $200/night, another at $150/night, etc. The cleaning fees, etc., are then added onto the higher prices. The page has this disclaimer: “Price is correct only after you select your desired dates as price changes daily.”

Do many hosts have bait-and-switch listings like this?

It’s not really a “bait and switch” if the room rate you see initially isn’t the one you get, once you add your desired dates. Many hosts have lower rates for orphan nights in between other bookings, or difficult to rent days (where I am, Sundays and Mondays are often the last nights to book).

Again, This seems to be more of a guests problem than a competing host one. I always enter my travel dates when I’m looking for rentals, so I see the actual price in the search results. But I can imagine a guest getting pissed off seeing a much higher price, and looking elsewhere.

Even if you enter correct dates it’s still 10$ plus cleaning fees of 150$. If they want to encourage longer booking why not just put 5 + min. Noone will book 1 days anyway of they are looking for cheapest rate ,with those fees

It is not because she increased cleaning Fee that her nightly rate spikes after checking details;
besides, since when did we have an Airbnb feature that would fluctuate the price from very High to very Low ? … We don’t have that dramatic feature fluctuation.

Someone is helping this host to appear on first page through coding a way for her to put a daily very low price, to appear first in competitive price wise as being lowest.
But then fluctuating suddenly to $130 and $200 per night to raise her value above any other listing.
Making her stand out , and that VIOLATES AIRBNB FAIR LISTING DISPLAY to all other Hosts … and is done on purpose { the proof }, her mentioning the price change in the Description !

“Price is correct only after you select your check in and out dates as price changes daily.”

Anyone here from in TECH WORLD CODING Silicon Valley annoyed by this unfairness ??

Despite some potential guests looking to book get annoyed ; she is better than us all in that she will always appear first in the listing search results for Santa Clara; granting her more booking chances above all of us. This is so unethical and unfair that Airbnb is allowing for it to happen.

Airbnb‘s search algorithm is proprietary; no one here can tell you for certain how they rank properties, but it’s likely based on multiple criteria*. I doubt very much that there is someone “on the inside” at Airbnb helping individual hosts game the system.

*I could be wrong of course, but if you are declining booking requests and/or canceling reservations made by men, you are probably going to drop in search rankings, all other things being equal.


An interesting read on reverse-engineering the algorithm.

I have seen this ‘research’ touted around by the author before. @CeeBee

It’s not terribly credible as uses a very small sample from one area of 300 listings that accommodate a minimum of 6.

This is not made at all clear when you look at the ranking table he compiles that he is using a tiny, unrepresentative sample, but buried further down in the article.

Agreed. I think the author even says that in the article. I just posted it to show that it is possible to take a data sample and analyze it, if someone is interested in seeing what is happening in their market.

Anyways and for all it is worth: I tried the $10 pricing for a short trial period, but it did not lead to more bookings and exposure that I could tell.

Agreed, I did not spend an awful amount of time analyzing view histories etc.
I also did not use the cleaning charge as the price levelling factor; I combined it with a higher price for the second night.

I did have one mention of a $10 price in an inquiry and if they could have that price for their night.

And, as you keep seeing the listing over and over again, it just proves that it does not automatically turn lookers into bookers - rather it might turn lookers off.

I also searched for this listing using three different dates and don’t find this listing. She always appears first in your search because you are always clicking on her listing and obsessing about it.

When I took out dates then one of her listings came up 4th. Zhen has 10 listings. That gives her 10x the chance of coming up before you in search. Price is only one factor in search placement. Number of reviews and star average are some of the other factors. Also every search is different. But once her places are booked, they are booked. If you are searching with dates and she always comes up first then that means she’s always got a room available and that means people aren’t booking her place.

She helping herself by pricing that way. Her profile says she’s a software engineer.

What is this? Where does Airbnb state anywhere in their TOS that they will be fair? LOLOLOL. Airbnb is a lot of things, FAIR (!!! ALL CAPS !!!) is not one of them.

Sounds like an amusement park. Zhen is from there and knows how to play the game.

Focus on your rental and what you can do. In any field focusing on the “competition” rather than yourself is ill advised. That way madness lies.


Uhm, nothing. It is what it is, air does not care.

You are welcome



I note the OP says she’s called 2x about this non problem. Meanwhile there are people with real issues. I don’t want to pay for customer service to deal with calls like this when the app isn’t working, payments are delayed, guests are violating rules and hosts need help getting them off the property, good hosts are being investigated for things that don’t exist like discrimination or recording devices…


And, @Bashaier we will be happy to help you with tips to help you be successful. Finding this forum early in your hosting experience can help you immensely if you hang around and read as much as you can.

1 Like

First tip: take better photos. The other host’s property is much more visually appealing, and probably worth the higher price she charges.