The math according to AirBnB

I have set up my rates in USD and received an instant booking for 12 nights.

AirBnB emailed me the followings:

New booking confirmed!
$55 x 12 nights = $658
Cleaning Fees $65
Guest Pays $723
Airbnb Fees -$22
You earn $701

However, in my book $55*12 = $660

How so? I know that AirBnB deals with local currency and exchange rate, but this was a punctual calculation.

I then had to change this reservation to 11 nights through AirBnB app, but the total shown was over $1000, so I manually entered the new amount - the old total minus $50 (I was convinced he paid that rate and not $55/night!), so $723- $50 = $673. He accepted this change.

Today I was doing the math again and I realized my mistake, so I wanted refund the guest his $5.

However I am confused by AirBnB calculation and I don’t want to bother my guests with explanations for $3, AirBnB fees, exchange rates, etc. He is a new AirBnB user, and I am a new AirBnB host. Please help me understand AirBnB calculations!

First: very good move to change to USD.

Airbnb charges an undocumented 3% exchange rate to any guest who pays in another currency that the payout currency of the host. This simple move means that you “save” 3% to your guests who would pay in USD… and obviously put that in your pocket instead. That exchange fee is only visible on the guest side, and is included in the base rate (average nightly rate x nights) and there is always a funny rounding by about $2 (actually more like $2.6-2.7).

Where is the guest from?

He is from the USA but I don’t know if he paid with a US payment method.

I simply have my AirBnB GUI in English and it shows the amount in USD. I am not sure how I set it up (I can’t remember). However, I get paid on a US based account.

He’s here to remote work, so I don’t want to disturb him for such a small difference.
I have left him a bottle of wine for the reservation change on Sunday, and some local pastries yesterday when I came with a carpenter to take some measurements. Hence, I’d really avoid to disturb him again over 5 USD.

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I’m afraid to say this '‘miscalculation’ is unavoidable as you can’t choose the currency you’re paid out in. It’s basically another way for Airbnb to skim a bit more cream from the top and is because of supposed currency fluctuations.

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With AirBnB only using dollar numbers and no cents, somethings can look off. For example, say you sold two nights, but one night was listed at 99 and the other at 100. AirBnB would say two nights sold 100 x 2 = 199.

Could this be the case with your booking? was every night listed at 55, or were nights at different values and the average rounds to 55?

Just a thought.

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I was thinking the same thing as @dcross9999. It’s rare that every night of the week is the same rate. The average is $55, but could actually be like $54.75 or something but they only show full dollars.

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I don’t remember exactly, as I have been fiddling with smart pricing, Beyond Pricing and manual rates a lot (I was kind of desperate to fill up those 11 nights in-between guests). Maybe @dcross9999’s theory is correct.

Sow hat should have I been refunding to the guest if I am not sure how much did the refunded night cost? Maybe it was for 52 USD or for 56 USD.

Ahhh flattery gets me every time!

Ok, @PennyM, I read through your refunding thing a few times and I’m not quite sure what you were after, but maybe this will help:

That “guest pays $723” is not actually what the guest will be paying. When you receive a booking confirmation, that ‘guest pays’ number does not count the taxes and fees that are added to the guest’s final price. So the reason you may have seen a number over $1000 is that you are now actually seeing what the guest truly pays when you try and make a reservation alteration (which means you might be in a really high tax area).

Now if you were to refund only $55, you would be shorting your guest. What you would really want to do is refund $55 plus taxes and fees. But really, all you would have to do is alter the days in the reservation and airbnb will make the correct adjustment for the value of the day being deducted. Going through the refund process is a bit different than a reservation alteration and less simple in my mind.

Hope this helps!

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