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Sending items left behind to guest's home address

Every other guest unintentially leaves behind something when he checks out of his room. Usually, it is something small like a pair of socks, a charger cable or a pair of sunglasses. These things happen all the time.

But sometimes, the guest leaves behind something valuable, like his or her favourite book, or an irreplaceable key. In those cases, I am usually happy to send the item back to the guest’s home address by international letter.

However, I do want to get re-imbursement for postage & packing, since it was obviously not my fault, as a host, that guest forgot something. Now if I send a message to the former guest, stating my bank account number, the Airbnb systems mistakes this for a telephone number and thus blocks it.

How do I circumvent this issue? It really is a nuisance and I do want to be able to send my account number and receive postage charges before sending out the forgotten items.

You can request the amount through the resolution center I think. I would not send my bank account info. Or have the guest call you and they can send payment via PayPal or they can just mail you the postage.


You have normally the client private mail adress after they booked and payed, then send your details to the private mail adress

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Like @sylvainbg says, always get the guests contact information when they arrive. I do this at check in. They can’t complain. After all, they have yours. :slight_smile:

Well yes. But that’s a wee bit late now. Guest already left and forgot her important key, plus book, so is now asking me to send it back to her.

So please don’t tell me what I should have done, rather, please give some advice on what I may do now.

Do you have PayPal?
That’s one way, but I wouldn’t go through the trouble of opening an account just for this situation.

Is the guest from the same country? If so, she could send you the postage sticker or stamps directly, or even a pre-paid padded envelope.

She could send cash money in a thick envelope. I’m assuming the mail system there is fairly safe? My grandmother still sends me cash in my birthday card. Never had a problem. I wouldn’t recommend for large amounts, but for postage, sure.

Send her your contact information in an email PDF attachment, or vice versa.
Then you can proceed without involving Airbnb. Airbnb doesn’t attempt to censor PDFs attachments even when the email is going through their system, as far as I can tell. I can’t see any reason why this needs to be handled through Airbnb, since the trip is over, and you aren’t trying to get any money back.


You know, they have your address, they were careless, they can send you the money in the mail or a prepaid envelope as op says.

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Yes, you might put it in her lap and ask the guest how she would like to handle the costs of “shipping and handling”. Of course, if you haven’t received a good review from her yet, or if the cost is really minimal, you might take that into consideration and just send it.

You could also make her your final exception of returning items on a gratis basis and establish a new policy henceforth.

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I would just either:

  • go to resolution centre
  • money through paypal
  • get them to pick it up
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Guest is from Italy and I’m from Germany. The mail system in Europe is not fairly safe. In fact, only last week, a letter I sent to a friend inside Germany was lost in the mail, presumably because it was pretty thick and someone assumed there might have been cash hidden inside.

I sent her my PayPal details.

However, I still wonder why the stupid Airbnb system cannot recognize the difference between a telephone number (fine if they want to hide it) and a bank account number (makes no sense to hide it from guest).

But I’d be careful of giving out my bank account number. PayPal needs an email address, so once the guest has left that is blocked too. Remember to ask the guest to pay for the international PayPal charge, which can be several percentage points!

If it keeps happening, time to put a reminder in your guest info package.

“Dear guests, please check carefully for personal items before check out!”

Yes, I know about the international PayPal charge. I simply sometimes choose to ignore it, which I know is wrong.

Like other, I also request their private email. It’s on my first email after their reservation. You can want to make sure you keep any guest information outside of Airbnb’s site. I will ask them to reimburse via paypal.

Now you should request the money through the resolution center, once she accepts you send the items.

In the future send your bank account information to me and I will make sure my Nigerian friend contacts you to arrange payment.


It’s always good to have friends - keep your sense of humour! :grin:


I’m in too! Is it the same Prince of Nigeria I’m related to?

But really, isn’t this something air should be able to address as it is probably pretty common? But I digress, they are busy with their IPO!

I see you have already sent guest your PayPal details.

I don’t know how it works with Air but I would think you could just file something with resolution center and guest accepts the charges. Sort of like editing a reservation or filing a claim against a damage deposit.

Whenever I have a guest request items to be sent back…I create a PayPal invoice with the shipping charges and I add the 2.9% processing fee as a separate line item. Guest doesn’t need a PayPal account (only a credit card) - and then I send an email with instructions that details step by step how to pay without need a PayPal account. I have only done this with guests in my own country (U.S.) so not sure how it would affect international transacations.

Resolution might be best because in theory you would receive money straight through the guest without the PayPal charges.

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