"Value" rating ding - really?

I went through the posts on dings for value on the Forum here to feel better about this first ding on value. This is not a unique topic. So this is part rant and part question about Air fees.

5 guests plus a dog stayed 2 nights. The booking guest had good reviews and i left him a good review for this stay. I even made exception for a child (we do not childproof or have kid amenities). I do not charge extra for pets. It was a whole house rental for 145.00 night - no charge for kid apparently, normally 115.00 then 15.00 per night per guests after first 2. Hence 145.00 night. Cleaning fee for entire house 45.00. Has Air jacked up fees or is this just a cheap guest? I have a flexible cancellation policy as well. In other words, if he thought it was too expensive during booking he did not have to book. He did not read through all house rules until day of arrival. (I have a code phrase to see if they truly did read through them). Regardless, not an excuse to ding me in Value.

Too boot, I got overall 5 rating for which I am grateful, and multiple compliments from the guest. But still dropped in value? Ugh.

I have seen the Airbnb fees as high as 20% …their fees and I get dinged!

I think Airbnb offers a gold mine for psychology students. But they’ll never have access to it. All the data will be channeled back into the business. So we, lowly hosts, are left to gather our own data and make our own conclusions.

And so we do what small businesses have done over the years - intuitively recognise the patterns, listen and learn from our customers/guests and adapt accordingly.

And then there is just the old addage:
People don’t value what they didn’t pay for.

Personally I don’t like this attitude very much. Basically because I am, at heart, a communist. Joke! Seriously, there is this weird thing where people pay a lot and don’t want to admit that they got ripped off. Obviously, it’s a fine line. But essentially, cheap prices = you don’t value your own place, so why should anyone else.

edit: just to add that “People don’t value what they didn’t pay for” is a sad state of affairs imo, just for the record. I am currently hosting some guests who I thought, initially, fitted into this category of “smash and grab” guests. But having spoken at length to them tonight… damn, my love of airbnb is partially restored. I will take care of the lonely single guest who will be abandoned by her partner.
I’ll still probably get 4* though :smile:


I think he dinged you for value because of the Airbnb fees and taxes. Guests don’t realize that they’re reviewing a host and not Airbnb. IMO there should be two separate ratings, one for host and the other for the platform.


As @RiverRock would say… “Next!”

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The thing is, we really can’t tell if your listing is good value or not. The guest though can decide if it was good value for him. He thought it was four star value, that’s all.

We can’t tell at all. If a house that sleeps five was right next door to me it would cost considerably more than $145 a night. But he’d be in a safe and quiet area, be able to walk to the beach and the very best restaurants & entertainment. He’d be able to kayak and paddleboard right from the dock and have fabulous waterfront views. And great weather of course.

On the other hand, if it was in the same location as my first hospitality business, he’d be in a pretty ordinary street in a northern England city with nothing to commend it except a moth-eaten old museum. And the skies would probably be grey. (The city has improved enormously since those days :wink: )

Depending on what he wanted, either could be great or poor value.

@Magwitch has it right - people don’t value what they don’t pay for. A full house that has a cleaning fee of only $45 and costs only $145 per night is going to be perceived, by some people, as a place that isn’t terribly well thought of by the host.

However, you got an overall 5 star so there’s no problem is there?

Which is why I said “I am grateful”. Just odd I got high compliments for amenities, hospitality, special touches, cleanliness, and a few others, yet he still didn’t think it was enough! And his public comment was “near perfect, truly”

I could not get Air Review working to see his other reviews…

Well yes and no (sorry to be the consistent contrarian). I wrote that with a heavy heart and a cynical smile. I don’t know how to say this without going into terminally cheesy territory… but some things really are priceless. I know I am :joy:
But then I’m proper old-school airbnb - I take care of my guests in my home and help them when needed. Within reason, of course.

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He is the first of 29 guests to report value less than a 5; apparently all others feel it is a five star value.

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Honestly, I think the answer is that there is no answer … or rather that there could be any number of reasons, logical or illogical, for your 4-star value rating. Because “value” is a value judgement, n’est-ce pas? It should mean “the price is commensurate with what I expected and received” but I think people often take it to mean “what I received was worth MORE than I paid.”
I rarely look at the individual stars any more … not good for my blood pressure!


After I raised my price 20% those value dings don’t bother me any more. The real irony is that I don’t get them as often with the higher price.

I think there is a sweet spot between low to be competitive and too high. And this is going to be different for everyone. I raised my price in mid January of 2019 when a repeat guest from a town 3 hours away told me I should. She’s a German national, has lived all over the world and stayed in Airbnbs everywhere including my city. She knows my market. So when she gave me a number ($50 a night) at the end of a very busy season of dog and human boarding I decided to try it. I was willing to lose a few nights of business. It’s worked out great and not being dinged on value is just a bonus. But at the same time I’ve continued to upgrade the room and get good reviews so it creates a virtuous cycle.

I suspect that people mark value based on what similar places they have stayed charge. If I can get a Microtel hotel room for $100 all over the country and similar room in a home for $60 that’s a good value. It doesn’t matter to me if someone in town has a similar room for $40 or less because there is only one of them and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

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I would actually ask the guest as he is the only one who MIGHT be able to answer.