Vrbo listings - how do you accept direct bookings?

I’m trying to pay a host directly rather than through vrbo platform. She thinks if I paypal her the deposit this will work but the paypal request she sent is coming through the vrbo platform where I click “Pay Now”. Should I be getting her personal email or give her my paypal email so she can send me an invoice directly? I feel like if we do anything through vrbo, then it will tack on some kind of fee?

Just like Airbnb…

VRBO does allow direct payment for hosts/owners who pay the yearly subscription. For owners that use the commission model, the payments must stay on the VRBO platform. I take direct payments all the time, I have no problem with it.

You know how much is the yearly subscription? Sounds interesting.

$399 and worth it if you list full time.

Yeah, so allows host and guests to connect directly?


This could be because the host has “alternative payments” set up.

Hosts have four choices:

  1. Purchase annual subscription - have no “alternative payment” set up, and no Homeaway payments set up. This is what I have. I used to use Homeaway payments, but once they implemented the service fee, I deactivated it. I come in the bottom of search results because Homeaway can make no more money off of me than my already paid annual subscription. I process all payments by myself, directly. I might send a guest a paypal invoice or demand check. None of this goes through their system…as I removed my banking info.

  2. Annual subscription with Homeaway payments - you pay an annual fee, show up higher in search results, and guests pays a service fee and by credit card through Homeaway. Host is charged a credit card processing fee.

  3. Pay per booking - it’s like Air where communication is closed off and you do it through the system, and use Homeaway payments. Host pays a commission, and guest pays a service fee.

  4. “Alternate payments” - this is for host who did not want to use Homeaway’s credit card processor. There are many reasons for this…maybe located in a different country and their system is not compatible for deposits, etc. But there could be so many other reasons. So Homeaway conned many into signing up for “alternative payments” under the guise that they understand different hosts need differernt methods. So basically when you do a “booking request” you pay Homeaway a “service fee” (just like you would in option #2) - and then you pay the host directly for the regular amount of the rental.

Can you see if there is a Homeaway service fee involved??

If it helps any, this is how I directly bill guests. I am already set up in PayPal specifically only set up for the rental. I create an itemized invoice for the guest. I use the system when booking come through VRBO, Vacationhomerentals, and my own website. I then send these instructions:


  1. Click the yellow button that says “view and pay invoice”

  2. The invoice will appear and there will be another yellow button that says “pay invoice.” Click this.

  3. Now you will be prompted to a login screen to sign into PayPal. Ignore this - unless you actually want to pay using a PayPal account. There is a link directly below that says “pay with a debit or credit credit or bill me later.” Click here.

  4. Complete your debit/credit card information and send me an email once you receive confirmation that it successfully went through.

Thank you."

I cannot answer since you said it looks like it came through VRBO. You can see the breakdown on your inquiry or booking request and see if there is a service fee charged. If so, then you can maybe ask if the host can bill you directly. I don’t have a personal PayPal so I don’t know what charges happen when you transfer between people.

When I invoice I get charged 2.9% of total, including lodging tax, and ,30 cents per transaction.