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I don’t think chargebacks are an issue. I am on TA and actually like them. I can set a no refunds policy. Once you get a lot of reviews new travelers will have an idea of what you offer. Also you can collect reviews from family and friends (forum friends count as such . I get guests who book them saying the trust the name. I know, silly. But for the last year or so I have had great guests on TA.
I’ve been listed on TripAdvisor for three years now. The first year I was on TripAdvisor on their PPB arrangement. Got three bookings that started there, but the guests found our website and saved 15% (the TripAdvisor fee).
The last two years performance has sunk dramatically. One booking two years ago. Almost one booking last year (someone from another platform booked the dates before the TA guests did)
I would recommend VRBO/HA over TripAdvisor. We get 80% of our bookings from them, 15% from AirBnB and 5% from our own website. TripAdvisor is way behind our own site.
I now use my TripAdvisor listing for nothing but advertising and hope guests find our home elsewhere to save the fees. I refuse to discount my rates to cover, or even subsidize, their fees.
I have been TripAdvisor/FlipKey for over 7 yrs. and get roughly 80% of my bookings from them with never even a threat of a charge back, so no complaints or concerns on my part.
When so many hosts report they have little to no traffic or bookings from TripAdvisor (or Air, or VRBO, etc.), I suspect it’s because certain locales or types of accommodation may be more popular with one platform than another – but who knows.
I don’t put any stock into the Air host guarantee (pshaw!) or offer any input in comparing TA and Air because I’m in a different situation from most. I am grandfathered in under the original terms/conditions of TA and am still allowed to manage bookings and payments myself. No service or booking fees are involved.
I pay an annual subscription fee and am provided with all the guest info (personal email and phone no.) in the first inquiry. There is no interference by TA or necessity to communicate with guests through the Dashboard, or sharing of the pie – which, of course, is the best scenario.
With Air, it’s less in my pocket, a lot less control, greater risk of refund or damage without compensation, forced requirements, etc. On many levels, Air is not the ideal platform for me.
@SandyToes - TA has not offered a subscription for a long time. They were offering one through their “sister” company VacationHomeRentals, but the price on that is up to $599 per year, and there are reports they are not offering that to new subscribers - they now require PPB.
If you are getting bookings from TA - that’s wonderful! There is a facebook page of owners where lots of people report that TA has really fallen off the cliff for many properties in the last few years.
I personally think it is because they got greedy. Even though I was on a subscription -where I was supposed to manage my inquiries myself, they sent a quote to a guest that inquired that included a service fee of OVER 30%. They made it look like it was MY fee. I think that is why no one ever booked us through TripAdvisor.
Air is not the ideal platform for me, either, but it helps fill in the gaps. Almost all of my short-notice (less than 6 weeks’ out) bookings come from Air. So I don’t love it, but I still prefer having it over not having it.
@PitonView - “TA has not offered a subscription for a long time.”
This is true and that’s why I say, I’m not on the same playing field as those signing up with TA in the more recent years. It would be insensitive of me to crow about my stats with them when I am still enjoying the rewards of total self-management.
On the other hand, I also have felt the significant reduction of bookings in the last 2-3 yrs., and I believe it was when the Canadian dollar dropped followed by the Aussie dollar as well.
It might have been, as you say, that TA got greedy but I wouldn’t know. I was a little fish in the pond and remained so because I intentionally avoided all the prompts they threw out trying to lure me into pushing the buttons which would switch me to online bookings and payments. If they sent my guests info about a service fee, I wasn’t aware of it and never had a guest inquire about it. All guests do direct booking with me.
I listed on Air to help fill in the gaps as well and although business picked up, I would sort of cringe when an Air inquiry came in. I didn’t like Air’s hand in my pocket but I guess it’s better than having an empty pocket.