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What to do when a guest wants to pay outside of Airbnb?

Very clever K9karma,
I’m not sure if you have used ABB, but I recently rented a wheelchair accessible waterfront cottage for a family member whom was end of life, his health declined and we were forced to cancel one week before the gathering, gratefully our host accepted the cancellation and issued a full refund.
The total for the rental was $603.00, ABB kept their fee… it was a whopping $69.00, approx 12%.

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Yes, I’ve used it several times. I’ve also booked Airbnb’s that cancelled. Using it as a guest definitely makes me a better host. I don’t like the idea that Airbnb got about $100 that they didn’t really work for with this guest, but at least they didn’t get next month’s $100 too. LOL.

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I get this quite a few times. “My credit card won’t work” or something along that line. When I say, “I’m sorry, legally everything has to go through Air Bnb” they never book. I think this may be some kind of scam? Or fake booking. Last thing you want is someone showing up and not having the cash, or not having enough, or trashing the place without the backing of Air Bnb. I always say no, and they don’t book. Which tells me, they never were going to book.

We ran a resort for over 10 years. And we got pretty good at figuring out which bookings were “fake”. Many resort owners fell victim to scams and lost heaps of money. It’s always, always better to go by the rules and then you don’t have to worry!


I had very good guests who found me on Airbnb and then found me through Facebook by the name of business and booked directly.
I book hotels by finding them on booking and hotels.xom and then book them directly as some hotels give you good discount that way.
I never had any scams with guests paying g directly to me.


Yeah …they should …booking.com takes 15% from them unless they have special rates on the comission.

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And I think the scammers look for new hosts.

New hosts should never take risks while they’re learning the ropes, IMHO.


Just say no. A friend of mine got badly ripped off by accepting such a request.


How did he get ripped off? You don’t let people in until they pay you. How is it possible for a host to get it ripped off unless he let people in hoping for future pay.

generally it’s not a good idea to be dependent on one company to be your only source of income when you are self employed. I ve seen in other industries when people built their business around only one company and when something went wrong or relationship deteriorated or company went out of business these people were completely crushed and couldn’t pick pieces together ever again.
Also depending on someone else’s to protect you and not realizing that you are the sole owner of your own business and you are the only person who can take care of it properly means putting yourself in volnurable position.
I host for almost 4 years and had Airbnb helping me with getting money for damages only twice. And it was small amounts.
Let’s just remember that Airbnb is not our boss and employeer. It hardly any different from other booking platforms and it’s loosing it’s uniqueness as it was before. That was inevitable.To loose a booking and not accept a guest who for any reason can’t do booking through Airbnb and the reasons are plenty, and scam is not one of them : credit card malfunctioning, dificulties understanding how to provide verification, etc. is just not a smart business decision. The same guest when he/ she will figure things out will in a future book directly with Air if he had good experience with you because it’s easier to just click and book Instead of approaching host directly and start negotiation.


Yeah. As a new host, it’s easy to forget that my vacation rental is my business with or without Airbnb and that Airbnb is just a channel that has its own approach, pros, cons etc.

Direct-to-guest is another channel which also has its own approach, pros, cons etc.

Up until a few days ago, my goal was to get the house out onto as many channels as possible. Now my goal is to master the intricacies of one channel before moving on to the next.

With the help of everyone in this forum, I’m getting there with Airbnb. Now my focus is on direct-to-guest. Once I’ve got that in place, I’ll then go one channel at a time.

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Many hosts have their own website, so I assume any bookings from that is the same as a guest paying outside of Airbnb.

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She. She hosts in her home. A guest who had stayed previously contacted her about another stay with a request to pay er off the books. My friend agreed since the guest had been a “good” one on her previous stay. Long story short, my friend came home from work to find she had been burglarized. Laptop, all her passwords which she stored near her computer, ID , etc. The guests of course were gone. She filed a police report, but Air couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything because the booking had been made off platform.

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I agree @TuMo we shouldn’t be encouraging new hosts to take risks. Risks that they will be banned by Airbnb, they won’t be paid, or that guests damage their place and they end up out of pocket.

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Did the police catch them?

What do you think Air would do?


New guests arrived last night after much back and forth on Air messenger platform about exact departure date. I had a feeling they would try to finagle something about adding an extra day, like pretending his English wasn’t up to the communication from Europe (he’s an American expat and I know how to be precise and write dates in the European way, ie 22/3). Lo and behold, last night he asks if he can extend a day. I say “Sure, go through Air and request to stay an additional day.” This morning I ask if he’s extended and he says he wants to pay me cash. I said “Sorry, but that negates our Airbnb protections and is against their rules. You’ll have to request the additional day.” Now he wants me to do the work to extend the stay.

Oy. Any hints on how I can get a very macho man to do the work himself? Because Air is going to kick it back to him, anyway. And I don’t want to have to pack their bags on their last day while he’s whining about paying cash.

Eh. I’d just take care of adding the day and send the request. Although it seems Air isn’t allowing hosts to modify reservations that have already started. You may need to send a special offer/new reservation or call CS to modify it.

I’d remind him that it needs to be taken care of prior to checkout or he’ll need to leave on time.

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Here, at one point, I tried to get CS to do exactly that, and they wouldn’t, for a reservation in process. The rep said something about it being a policy for India to not allow this - i.e. allow extensions for reservations in progress. I forget the details, but I remember the alternatives were not clearly. It doesn’t really make sense to create a new reservation unless you have an absolutely flat rate, and I didn’t and don’t. However, I’ve seen nothing about this policy, whatever it is, in writing.

I suppose in this sort of case I would fall back on letting the guests pay cash. I’ve done it a few times, and it’s not been an issue, though it makes it more likely that you won’t get paid, or won’t get paid enough.

Ugh. Depending on the actual guest I don’t think I’d want him another day. I’d just say sorry, it’s no longer available, block the day and be done with him. However, my prices are so low that it’s not worth it to me to do a lot of babying of a guest. OTOH I’d have no problem doing the work necessary to get the day booked if he was a worthwhile guest. I agree with Alison that if the change reservation doesn’t work see if you can send a special offer. If not tell him he needs to take care of it ASAP and you aren’t holding the day for him while he fiddles.


I’m in the US, called CS to modify the rate so he wouldn’t be charged my cleaning fee. Apparently there’s no way to actually modify a reservation in-progress that’s smooth.

He got the modified reservation and declined it. He got a bit uppity this morning and said they’d check out as originally planned and get a hotel. At this point, I wish they would.

Oh, and his name on the Air site isn’t his real name. Apparently, once you’re verified, you can change the name on your account. I only found out because his rental car got a flat and the tow truck guy was looking for a John Hancock instead of Smith. wtf? How do we know who’s really staying here then?

You don’t.

There are hosts who require IDs to be sent post-reservation, after you get the contact info. So based on what you posted here and in the other thread I would suggest that’s what you do. Put all your requirements in writing in the rules section and then turn on IB. Don’t allow same day bookings. Then when someone reserves you tell them you need a pic and so send a pic of their ID or their booking will be canceled. Then check the ID again when they check in.

A couple of weeks ago someone named Invisible Vengeance Visits. The pic was some wierd two headed dog drawing. The are bringing two dwarf rescue bunnies with them. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke but they aren’t arriving until April 3rd. LOL. None of that is an issue for me. Now they changed their name to something boring like Steve and Linda. Other hosts probably wouldn’t honor their booking requests with that MO.

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