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Tricky Hosts. Some of them advertised with a based price much lower than their current price to gain exposure

It is probably due that guests frequently don’t know their travel dates so they search for a place with blank dates and filter out by pricing, neighborhood, etc. Some hosts took note of this and put their base price at maybe half of what they really charged. At first, this was just a very few subset of hosts but now there are plenty of them copying the same tricky strategy to gain exposure.

I’m in a position that if I do what others do then I will be as tricky as them but if not I will be left out of the game for the ones that look for a place without travel dates on the search. Seems that being honest doesn’t come with a prize here.

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It doesn’t sound like you are understanding the complexities of some of the pricing models used (or possibly I’m not understanding your issue). My price varies greatly due to season and # of guests but that doesn’t mean that I am architecting anything for a bait and switch. If anything, I don’t really care for springing surprises on people.

IMHO, I would create a pricing model that works for you and try not to worry about what others have. People will base their final choices on a series of decisions - sometimes it’s not the absolute lowest price. Mine certainly is not the lowest by far but my amenities, # beds, etc makes it worth it to the guests.

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Agreed. My price can vary one day to the next given demand. For instance, we jack up prices on holidays and special event weekends like the Oscars.

I had a guest once who dinged me on value because he was upset he paid more than the “standard price” (even though it was Easter weekend, and he had agreed to the price). I guess some guests don’t understand how pricing works either. After all you get to see the cost before you accept the deal, so it’s not like someone “tricks” you into paying more than you want. :confused:


No, @JSquared you are not understanding the question.

I’m talking about the BASE PRICE which is different than the price you set for low-high season.
If your price varies depending on the say your base price could represent a close average, the minimum price, the highest price, or some value in between. But if your base price represents half of your minimum price then it is clear that you are using it to catch guests at your listing.

In the far extreme example, you can think of a Base Price of 10 dollars but your place never costs less than 80usd. With this ridiculous base price you are trying to highlight your place for those guests that make a search on the site without placing travel dates. I’m not justifying the method. For me it seems wrong and dishonest but I’m aware that a lot of hosts (at least here) are doing it.

Yeah, you’re right. I’m still not getting it. (And by that I mean I don’t understand what benefit that could be for anyone.)

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If more and more people start using the base price to stand out on searches with blank dates then the benefit is that they will be present on those searches while you don’t. For me it makes me look dishonest if they will later fill their travel dates and see that I charge much more but being honest might represent being invisible to those searches too.

Monica, hosts set base price as what hosts think is a fare amount they can get for their room. It can be even higher than minimum amount they would ever charge.
For example my base price is 69$ but now i am renting my rooms for 52$ because its very slow here.
WHat is the reason for anyone to trick anyone if the outcome will be the same.

Exposure to what? If the price is not right for a guest he/she will never rent anyway. During holidays my base price is half of my up to date price. I think its quite silly to search without dates. In any hotel accomodation prices vary so much that to search without dates its pointless and waste of time.

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Do you have some examples you can post or is this a theoretical problem?

Do you think that will really work? It may boost their views, but once they put the dates in and get a price I would think that the potential guest would say “forget it” when they see the real price.

If someone is looking for $50/nt and it turns out to be $100/night, I can’t see that being within their budget.

Yes, I believe it works because they get visits to their sites and their calendar it’s pretty healthy despite they have currently higher prices. If the user loves the place they might think to book it anyway. I understand that not many of you can see this because it might not be happening yet in your city but it is happening here in Buenos Aires and quite a lot. Just make a search with no dates for Entire Places fo less than 30usd and you will find plenty of them but once you get look inside their calendars most of their dates are 30, 50 or 100% more than the base price.

I will give my thumbs up to Airbnb in the way he handles this issue. It wasn’t like this before and I guess is due to the fact they might note the same as me in many cities. Unfortunately, this can’t stop people from being tricky. You only need to drop the price of just one night in your calendar to get the base price working in your favor.

everyone have their budget, it does not matter how much people love the place they wont book it if its 30% and up higher than their budget.

Yes, truth. People wouldn’t book above their budget but isn’t crazy to think that they will nudge the price filter to show listings from the lowest possible price and going up until they find a good quality/cost match.

I don’t believe every one that plans a vacation trip knows their travel dates in advance. Some just know where they are going to go and how much they would love to spend. So in this first stage, you (honest host) are left outside of their selection.

Monica, i honestly dont think that any host has this in mind to fool anyone and put their base price so low just for that. I put my base price and forgot about it the same minute as i constantly adjust my prices. As i said, my base price is even higher now than my recent price.

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If you don’t believe me then check this listing. This is an extreme example but it is happening in many other listings too. It clarifies what I’m referring for tricky.

This host charges 2usd per night on her Base Price but you pay 50usd for the rest of the dates and because of how is set her minimum stay there is no way you could end up paying 2usd (of course). This is what I call being tricky. It is a dishonest method to catch visitors and despite they might not get the bookings they want, they still hurt the browsing experience from the one that is looking for a place to rent. They might give up before reaching you after they hit so many places where the price isn’t the same as the one advertised.


It may be me… but my base price of $79 is not showing anymore. Right now I am showing at $89, which is my actual calendar price for May. I have a base price of $79 for the slow months.

Only had one person (an experienced Air user too) object that the base price and the high season price were different, and was this a glitch? Huh?

Maybe they have switched it to show your actual calendar price in the listing? As I said, I just noticed this the other day so it must be something new.

I think we are being trolled - can this poster link us to s $2 a night site? I doubt it. And, ‘base price’ is not what people see it is the MINIMUM that the host would accept. Nobody sees that, especially if the price set by air is different.

I would be willing to bet it is a MISTAKE. All of the Fridays and Saturdays show as $2. Why not contact her and let her know?

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I think there is a basic gut feeling on the part of many people that other people intentionally do things to be shady, tricky or bad. Sometimes a banana is just a banana and a price is just a price.

We have our base price set to the lowest price we would ever rent for, which is what I consider my ‘base price’. We use dynamic pricing so the price changes daily based on events, high season, etc. We have had a few different complaints saying we want XXX price, but when we put in dates we are now at YYY price. I usually explain why the price is different, one person tried to get into with me, and I just declined his request and wished him luck on his search.

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Different pricing at different times of year is an industry standard for hospitality. Recently, I checked the price of the local hotel that’s nearest to me.

  1. On their website, it says that rooms start at $159 per night.
  2. On hotels.com it says that their average rate is $229.
  3. I priced it on hotels.com for a few days later this month and it was $132 per night.
  4. I then checked it for a few days in November (when there is a local event) and the prices were (depending on the standard of the room) between $299 and $381 per night.

So sometimes I could book a room there at $132 a night and at other times it would be $249 PER NIGHT MORE ($381).

And if I searched other booking sites, I could probably get an even cheaper deal and see even more expensive prices for peak times. I imagine that by calling the hotel directly I’d get even more different prices. And this is no fly-by-night shady operation - it’s a respected hotel that has been doing business here since 1936.

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