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Wimdu/Flipkey/VRBO pricing

Hi there, I have been approached to list on Flipkey and have decided not to go there. They were very aggressive about getting me to sign up and got my phone number from my VRBO account. I looked at Wimdu and actually made up an account, but the prices for my city seem lower than Airbnb. Also, they keep sending me messages, upon opening the site, saying my profile is unattractive and one way to make it more attractive is to lower the price. I put the price at the same price as my Airbnb and it’s still too high for Wimdu.

Any thoughts on this? Are the proliferation of these other sites going to drive prices down generally? I was a bit put off by both Flipkey and Wimdu for these reasons.

VRBO hasn’t been great for me either. I have had guests approach me on that site and start haggling. I don’t mind if someone asks for a discount, but I get the feeling that VRBO is about people whose main goal is to score low-priced accommodation. I love a bargain too, but for hosting, it’s off-putting.

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I like Wimdu. They are well known in Europe, especially in Germany. They are a little funky and you have to collect your own deposit. But they are easy to use and a little bit like Air 1.0. Kind of reminds me of Air in the early days.

Don’t bother with FrickKey. I personally hate them with a passion. Read the thread here posted a couple days about the trouble hosts are having with them.

Wimdu has always sent me great guests. Solo travelers who have been gracious and respectful.

Don’t be put off by their pricing thing. Set the price to whatever you want.

Wimdu does not verify ID; since my situation is sharing our home with guests - I don’t want to open my home to people who have not had their ID verified - just my preference.

Also, having to juggle two calendars - I’m using instant book with air - wasn’t appealing - and yes, I keep getting messages and it is annoying - We are going to stick with airbnb alone.

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So you collect the damage deposit?? Does Windmu pay out after 24 hrs of check in or how does that work?

I collect it. They do pay within 24 hours of check-in. They pay via Paypal with no fee, just like Air. But I have to collect damage deposit separately, and if the guest sends it via domestic paypal (checked as a gift) there is no charge. If they send it via international paypal there’s a big ding. So what i do is collect it and then try to return it to them in cash before I leave. I’ve only had outstanding solo travelers on Wimdu. No weirdos.

But as a platform, it’s not too polished or necessarily that smooth. It’s not Airbnb any more than I am the 4 Seasons. :slight_smile: So you work with what you got. :slight_smile: Also, they don’t report you for taxes like the U.S.-based platforms do… (I know–and of course we are all responsible for accurate reporting of our income to the IRS, whether the platforms do or not. )

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I’m actually trying to make a booking as a guest through VRBO right now. On the Turks and Caicos islands. The person/management company have asked for a direct money transfer of the entire amount (just shy of USD$1000) … I’m a bit wary. It looks real, but I’ve heard of bad stories from Air.

Wimdu may send great guests, but they also keep asking me to go to a flexible cancellation policy (along with going down in price) and I’m not keen to do that. I’m always fully booked in the summer, but in a low period, a cancellation will mean a 90% chance of no money, especially if it’s at the last minute.

That’s why I’m a bit wary of what I’m seeing overall. I get the feeling that these new competitors are trying to bring down the benefits to owners so that they and their clients (and not the owners) will benefit. The prices on Wimdu are about 25% lower than on Airbnb. That being said, most of the places on Wimdu look like new listings by inexperienced owners. And lot of those same listings are on Flipkey, which is why I’m avoiding both.

VRBO does not allow us to evaluate guests, which is a real problem.

My most problematic were from VRBO and I’m guessing, from some strange interactions with a couple of potentials, that some who have blown their reputation on Air are going to VRBO and these secondary (or new) companies. Before VRBO starting blocking information on the message system, I told two guests to look up my Air listing and go through them (just for ease of payment). I sent them my listing number and from all appearances, it went through, especially when I sent it directly to their email address. When I didn’t hear back from either, I wondered, especially when the first one had been a bit cagey about the damage deposit.

This isn’t any sort of endorsement, but I am staying with Air only. Evaluating the guests makes a huge difference, IMO.

Actually, they all do this… try to get you to lower your restrictions to make it easier for their paying customers to get out of their commitments. Or trying to make bookings more attractive. I keep everything strict. It’s the only way. You are not a hotel; you can’t rent multiple rooms, so if you lose on a cancellation you lose big time.

This is bothersome and strange! Mining competitors like this. Pretty soon, I bet you VRBO will go to a policy of hiding public phone numbers, just like the others.

Does Wimdu allow to put rooms on there? or is it mainly for entire condo’s / apartments ?

Yes, I believe you can list single rooms there. Just make sure to disclose and describe accurately. You also have to keep your description simple as it’s translated from the German.

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Kirsty - I never got a decent anything from Wimdu, totally different from Kona’s experience - I’d be interested to know how your experience goes.

Since I use IB for air I decided it wasn’t worth it to try to keep Wimdu up. I only got 1 inquiry and they asked everything clearly stated at the top of my ad -but in German so I had to use google translate…

Si, como no?
must be 20

I am not sure why Wimdu do that with the pricing, I think it is a bug. I have 80 per night, recommendation is 112 and they keep saying it is too high!

I used to have lots of people via Wimdu and suddenly I haven’t had a enquiry in the last year!

Wimdu double charged the booking fee: it shows 10.5% booking fee line item, and add another hidden 10.5% fee to the price hosts set

I noticed Wimdu charged a total of 21% on top of my pricing. Wimdu charged double the fee (21%) it claimed (10.5%). One line item shows 10.5% booking fee, but also it adds another hidden 10.5% fee to the price hosts set (The guests have no way of knowing, but just assume that’s the price hosts set)

I contacted Wimdu. Wimdu did not respond to the specific percentage of the fee add-on to the host pricing, but vaguely admitted there are two parts of fee: hidden fee added to host pricing (which the guests will never know), and an additional line item of ‘displayed’ Wimdu fee.

For example, for a 14-night stay inquiry to my listing:

  1. My current price setup is
    $240 (for 11 nights) + $198 (for 3 nights) + $75 cleaning fee = $3309

That’s what the guests see on their side:

Price for 14 nights
$ 3656.45 US
Wimdu fee:
$ 347.44 US

  1. Calculated total Wimdu fee percentage:
    ($4003.89 - 3309) / 3309 = 21%

  2. Hidden fee for 14 nights (added onto the price set by hosts):
    ($3656.45 - 3309) / 3309 = 10.5%

  3. Claimed Wimdu fee:
    $ 347.44 / 3309 = 10.5%

Wimdu’s booking fee structure is deceptive and exorbitantly high !!!
Try to test on your own listing page and see what the detailed quote line items vs. your set price.

I decided to remove my listing from Wimdu, after the vague and dodging reply from Wimdu to deny the practice.

Flipkey is even worse, here’s the list of things I complained to its customer service:

  1. Starting from early December, 2015, Flipkey (along with all TripAdvisor family of platforms) started charging 14% hotel tax (in San Francisco, check your own city if hotel tax is withheld) on its own booking fee:

For example:

Rental cost: $800
Cleaning fee: $100
Booking fee: $100
Tax: $140

The $140 is calculated to apply 14% on (Rental cost + cleaning fee + booking fee), that is: 14% * ($800 + $100 +$100) = $140.

Here’s the response from customer service:

I have reviewed the recent quote for BR18937315 in detail and I can confirm the tax amount has been applied incorrectly.

Ten days later, the ‘error’ is still not fixed, the update from customer service:

As stated above, I am awaiting further information from our Technical Team regarding the error you have reported and I should have an update shortly.

  1. The booking fee nowadays is FIXED at 13.5% for my listing, NOT as claimed on your web site that the booking fee is in a 5-15% RANGE (it was actually a range of 4-10% a year ago before Flipkey raised the booking fee percentage). I put in $20,000 worth of quote, the booking fee STILL stay at 13.5% (while Airbnb reduces to 6% at a MUCH lower quote number). Flipkey’s pricing strategy is certainly discouraging guests with longer stay. I’ve received quite a few complaints from potential guests (inquiries on 7+ days) about the high booking fee percentage, who eventually did NOT booking with us nor through TripAdvisor/Flipkey.

  1. There are a certain number of hosts who got grand-fathered in from their previous subscription option, which TripAdvisor/Flipkey does NOT offer any more. This put relatively new hosts like us in such a disadvantage because the guests need to pay much more on a single booking (at 13.5% booking fee percentage) with similar pricing setup. In the mean time, those grand-fathered in hosts are also not happy about the increasing annual subscription fee (with less bookings), from what I read on relevant forums online (Any hosts care to share if they benefit a lot from this subscription option? How much was and is now the annual subscription?).

TripAdvisor/Flipkey response:

I can confirm that we now offer the annual subscription option should you be interested in switching to this type of plan. If you would like more information about this plan, please let me know.

I said yes please, a week passed, there was no response and I was never given the link or instructions how to sign up the subscription option.

  1. I asked TripAdvisor/Flipkey before about whether it submits the 14% hotel tax collected on San Francisco listings, and I did NOT get any direct response. TripAdvisor/Flipkey is still NOT recognized by the city of San Francisco as Qualified Website Platform (while Airbnb is), even though they’ve been collecting 14% for almost a year now.

I’ve got way less booking in the past 6 months and no bookings in the last three months from FlipKey, and consider taking off my listing there as well.

If you wait two or three days on an unconfirmed booking ,watch the booking fee drop magically to 10%!!!

That’s interesting. I did follow up with potential guests after two days, but I never noticed the booking fee changed (dropped? :scream:)

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I posted it in another thread…but here it is again, enjoy!
Here it is as they quoted it on Sunday:

and here is the exact same “quote” just two days later!
Apparently put on clearance for the guest!

Wow, that adds to the list of sleazy stuff Flipkey does

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