Last week I had someone inquire for two weekdays later this month. I received the inquiry through my website. The guy said he would be willing to pay $500 total all taxes and fees included for 2 nights. This is for 4 adults.
I won’t bore you with all the details but I told him no discount. Then he comes back saying “shouldn’t weekday rates be less than weekends? I am willing to pay $500 now versus letting the place sit empty.” I declined again.
So then I saw my phone blinking and had an inquiry through Flipkey. Well it was him with the same offer…lol. But I think he found me on FK first, then googled the website. So I had to respond to him again so it didn’t count against me. And I let him know I am only responding to him because I was required to.
Well I had told my partner that they will be back. And I can bet that he was tasked with booking the place, and screwed it up. And that they will probably change the date a little, and have someone else inquire.
Today I get an inquiry through VRBO for 4 adults (much nicer message this time) saying they are interested in booking but are also looking at another cabin that has a lower rate of $171 a night. Would I consider matching the rate? - lol. And the date is just one date off from the prior inquiries.
I reply back with an explanation of no discount. I know this is the same group because you if add up $171 a night, plus my clean fee, plus lodging tax…it all comes to a total of $499.52 - just right under that $500 mark…ha!
OK…so in the last message the guy added that his wife is celebrating her birthday, and the other couple’s husband is celebrating his 55th. I am sooo tempted to reply with “tell George I said Happy Birthday.” - lol.
For me, $500 is a lot of money so I don’t say this lightly. But after a couple of inquiries it’s really annoying. I think I’d block the rooms and say, “sorry, I got a full price booking.”
"We would like to go ahead and book your lovely home for Sept 23-25th since that weekend is my wife’s 56th birthday and the 55th birthday of the other couples husband.
That’s about $62/night per person, which is very reasonable. And I’m sure your place is lovely and very much worth it. I wonder what kind of discount they were thinking of?
What would the regular price be for that two day stay? Just curious. If you don’t want to answer, that’s fine too.
Regular rate is $225 a night based on 4 guests.
Clean/prep fee is $105
Lodging taxes are $65.21
I did waive the $225 damage deposit, as I have been testing that out recently with older couples. Yeah…I know that is discriminating in their favor, but they treat my place well. And then I don’t have to keep reminding my partner that the bank account is reflecting such and such amount in DDs that need to be refunded.
So each couple is paying a total of $138.75 a night (before hotel tax).
And, if they rented an $89 or $99 hotel room, they wouldn’t have the luxuries of the cabin. And they would be forced to pay high dollar dinners, and then those high dollar restaurant glasses of wine, etc. They could easily go to the nice grocery down the street and buy nice meats to grill out, purchase triple the amount of wine, etc. - and just chill out, play horseshoes or croquet, watch the game on the big screen, and most importantly - not worry about drinking and driving.
So you accepted at Full Price??
Yes. I accepted them at full rate.
We still had to go through the “can we check in early bit” too. That was expected though…
@cabinhost; I have no problem when prospective guests ask me about discounts; sure, I find it ridiculous but if the place is available, I don’t hesitate to give a 5% or so discount. I don’t find it offensive, to me, it’s just business. However, I find that those who ask for discounts are likely not to book.
I don’t find it offensive. It seems to be the norm these days. And I understand that guests think they are supposed to ask for one, as so many travel bloggers these days suggest they negotiate before paying full price.
My post was more about the “song and dance” of it all. I don’t even know if I am using that term correctly??..lol. But I made another recent post that was similar. It’s the exhausting part of going back and forth continuously - when in the end the guest books at full rate. Now of course there are the ridiculous discount seekers who I won’t even entertain.
But with many of my guests I realize I just have to word my email exchanges in a manner that allows them to save face. That way they don’t feel stupid days later when they come back and agree to pay the full price.
The manipulation part gets old too - but I realize it is just part of business and I play along. Of course they came back asking (nicely) if they could check in early if no one was checking out that day. The reason being they will have food, wine, and their bags in their vehicle - and it sure would be nice to be able to drop everything off so that they can enjoy the rest of the day. (Eye roll).
Of course I expected this request and was prepared for it. But if your food stayed good in your cooler for the 2 hour drive over, it will be just fine at 4 p.m…lol. And if you rode comfortably for 2 hours (with bags for a short 2 night stay) - I am sure if won’t interfere with any outdoor activities before 4 p.m. I didn’t say any of that - I was nice and said I would let them know the night before if they could check in at 2 p.m. (at the very earliest). They seemed excited about that…lol.
You know they won’t show up until 6 p.m…
Everyone who has ever asked me for a discount has left my place a mess. Every sing.e time. It’s amazing how that works.
I understand your frustration. That has happened to me on many occasions.
I’ve found a little trick that seems to work for me.
When I get an inquiry from a group asking about a discount or otherwise trying to negotiate on the price, I tell them that if they would like to wait until a week before their arrival dates, I would be happy to offer them a discount of ____ at that time.
That way, it looks like you are “working with them on the price " (I hate that term). They almost never want to wait to book until the last minute, so they will respond and say " thanks for your offer, but I really cannot wait that long”, and then they book at full price.
It has worked for me almost every time.
Of course, if they are enquiring about dates within the next week, I will usually cut my prices just to fill the room.
Thanks. That has worked for me as well. I usually ask them to wait 2 days before arrival though. I do tend to book last minute sometimes. I agree, it works well, and if they are a couple only- then I can also waive the damage deposit. Much of it is about innocent travelers thinking they are supposed to do this. Your method does allow them to save face…
I have no problem with guests asking for a discount if its reasonable. By this i mean, no more than 10%.
I just lectured a guy who offered me 30% less of my price. I asked him why he does not look for rooms priced at this price; there is a reason why my room has a price he sees, it has private bathroom, WIFI, TV in a room. ANd there is a reason why other rooms are priced at the price that is good for him. He answered: I do it all the time, and most times i succeed. ANd thats true, i saw the same day a message, that he rented already something and does not need my room anymore
So you lose the money and the review. Good for you. You won.