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Shipping guests' personal articles

Should hosts be responsible for the cost of shipping personal articles that guests forgot?

One guest forgot a radio last week. I notified her, and after I asked she sent me her address. It’s clear that she expects us to pay the freight for what she forgot. Any thoughts out there?

No. I have needed to do this twice. Once I went to FedEX, got the price, texted it to the guest, and waited until they put some money into my Venmo account before paying for the shipping. The other person had an account with FedEx, so they sent me their account no, and done.

What no one offered to do was reimburse me for the 40 minutes of traveling and the inconvenience of disrupting my schedule. Can’t ask for everything, well, you can, and in the future I might if I didn’t like them and the left the rooms messy.

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This depends on many factors. We have shipped small, light items that guests have left via regular mail and paid the postage ourselves. It was inexpensive and the post office is a very short drive for us. If I had to send items to a foreign country, if they were heavy and had to be shipped via UPS or FedEx or if it was more of a hassle for us I would charge the postage/shipping and something for our time. One discouraging thing I can tell you is that we’ve never been thanked for shipping items to the guests.

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Seriously??? That is just plain rude.

They can paypal the shipping or even resolution center it. Plus some gas money for the hassle.


Yep, most notably some of our worst guests ever left a necklace that had sentimental value. We shipped it back and didn’t hear a word of thanks, just a lukewarm review with four stars for overall, cleanliness, value and location (five stars for the rest). The stars were laughable. They were the biggest slobs I’ve ever seen in the kitchen. They specifically chose the location for its proximity to their son’s house. They were here because the wife’s son adopted a child. I can’t tell you how many times they told me the (different) ethnicity of the child. I believe they were upset because the other grandparents were invited to stay at the son’s house. The wife was an extremely light sleeper, but didn’t like to use earplugs. The first morning she was awakened by my husband opening our back door to let the dogs out. She forbade us to move around until she was awake. She then got sick and slept all the time. She wanted to taste my homemade mustard so she licked the spreader then put it back in the container. The husband was constantly telling me how much he preferred being alone to having to talk to anyone and how much better of a conservationist he was than anyone else. They stayed over two weeks. We were glad to see the back of them.

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Do you ask you guests for a deposit? If so, you can deduct shipping fee from there. You can always get a quote from the forwarder and know the price beforehand.
But you must explain the case to Airbnb support and file a claim within 48 hours after the guests check out. Tell Airbnb that your guests forgot something and that you’re deducting the shipping fee from the deposit.

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It happened to me once…not that someone left stuff because several guests have…but only once did I mail the item back.

The day after the couple left, she emailed and frantically said she’d left her wedding veil and a small photo album (empty) and her hubby’s foam cup coolers (eye-roll) under the bed and could I send them. I said sure, knowing she would reimburse me for the postage and all.

I bought a box for the odd shapes and wrapping paper, then waited in a long line at the post office. I believe it was around $15 in postage.

Never heard a peep from them. Almost as bad was that I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy in doing my good deed. I decided that was it.

I’m a quick learner.

That sounds like a lot more effort than asking the guest to send funds to our Paypal account. Many times guests don’t check their Airbnb email so they might not respond within the 48 hour window.

You could send it to resolution I think. You can use the funds to pay for other things besides damaged items. It’s easy Peasy if the guest agrees.

I’ve never had an issue like that with most guests. Most Airbnb notifications are sent to guest’s email account so even if they don’t access the site after check out, they’ll get the note.

I thought it was also safer to charge from the deposit rather than ask them to send payments via PayPal, etc.

Bottom line though should be… No prepayment for shipping, no item.

There is also the option to ship it COD.

Yes, I’ve used this before and it’s been great.

It it’s a small item, I won’t bother with the postage. but if its more than a few bucks, I do, and I ‘pad’ it a bit for our hassle. A guest left a curling iron here and the postage is $7.50 so I told her $10 through the resolution center. I never did hear from her - my daughter may inherit a nice new curling iron!

We hardly ever had this happen but lately it’s been frequent, which is why we decided no more free postage. I’ve thought about putting it in my house rules. Haven’t gotten around to it.

No pay… no play. You don’t want it enough to pay actual shipping to get it back? Too bad, it’s mine now.


Hell no!! Hosts are not responsible for the cost of shipping items back.

It only took me twice to realize that many guests do not value someone taking the time to ship items back, and also covering the cost. No more.

Unless someone leaves behind something very expensive or a wedding ring, etc. I just put the item in my “lost and found” pile. I do not contact the guest to let them know they left anything. They can contact me if they really want it shipped back. And they do pay cost of postage


Exactly what I do!!!

OMG this is why I’ve limited guest stays to 7 days max. How you could put up with those people I do not know :o You are saints. :slight_smile:

Generally, no. As a traveler I’ve left things behind in places where I’ve stayed, and I would NEVER expect a host/hotelier to incur the expense of returning something to me. It’s just a risk of traveling. Now, if they left a passport or something like that behind, that’s a whole other matter. They’d have to find a way to get it back before leaving the country after all. :slight_smile:

Only once did I have guests leave a couple odd items and actually message me after the fact asking if I would mind having the items shipped to their home in Europe and they would be happy to cover the cost. No problem, I said. Just go to UPS, create the label and email it to me, and I’ll be happy to drop the items off at the UPS store around the corner. Needless to say, they never sent a label. I think once they saw how much it would cost (and that it would be much cheaper just to replace the items with new ones) they said to heck with it.

No problem on my end!

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