Beware of VRBO/HomeAway's Outrageous 6% Fee

Old Jun 19, 16, 9:15 am
  #1  
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Beware of VRBO/HomeAway's Outrageous 6% Fee

*BEWARE* - VRBO/HomeAway is now charging travelers a completely unnecessary 6% booking fee for the privilege of using their book it now button. To avoid the fee, you need to merely call the owner or manager of the property directly like it's always been done in the past.
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Old Jun 19, 16, 10:31 pm
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Did you have a news link?
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Old Jun 19, 16, 10:42 pm
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The problem with that is VRBO is penalizing owners who book too much outside their system.

The new VRBO company has totally hosed both sides of the equation.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 8:43 am
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Too true! I've listed properties with VRBO for more than 10 years. The have totally screwed me and now they're after the traveler as well.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 9:05 am
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is the problem that all the new apps are charging incredibly high fees? (up to 50% commission/etc)
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Old Jun 20, 16, 11:26 am
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Since the description for the Travel News forum is

Link to and discuss the latest travel news articles.
and the O.P. has provided no link to a "published general travel news story," I will send this to Travel Buzz where there excellent mods there can decide if that is the best venue for this topic.

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Old Jun 20, 16, 12:04 pm
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As a VRBO owner, my advertising cost with them has doubled in the last three years, from just under $1000 to just over $2000 per annum. And now this added fee on renters has been introduced.

They have been really pushing the book it now button and, if I don't enable it for my listing, they lower my visibility to renters - so I've enabled it.

One of the reasons to list on VRBO was because it was more open than AirBnB, the price renters saw was the price they paid and the system allowed both homeowner and renter to communicate and build trust before committing. The fee and Book it Now remove those advantages, making VRBO a poor, but expensive, copy of AirBnB. I'd pretty well decided to switch across completely- but now VRBO have advised that they are slashing their listing prices next year - one month after taking 2 grand from me.

Last year I was a great fan - now I hate them.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 1:08 pm
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Looks like VRBO is rapidly jumping the shark. I used them heavily until I switched to AirBnB a couple years ago. Slick interface, lower pricing, many more properties, easy to use. Boom, done.

Not that VRBO is increasing costs on both sides and pushing the "book it now" button it sounds like they won't be around much longer.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
As a VRBO owner, my advertising cost with them has doubled in the last three years, from just under $1000 to just over $2000 per annum. And now this added fee on renters has been introduced.

They have been really pushing the book it now button and, if I don't enable it for my listing, they lower my visibility to renters - so I've enabled it.

One of the reasons to list on VRBO was because it was more open than AirBnB, the price renters saw was the price they paid and the system allowed both homeowner and renter to communicate and build trust before committing. The fee and Book it Now remove those advantages, making VRBO a poor, but expensive, copy of AirBnB. I'd pretty well decided to switch across completely- but now VRBO have advised that they are slashing their listing prices next year - one month after taking 2 grand from me.

Last year I was a great fan - now I hate them.
+1. I have had my vacation property listed on VRBO for years. I got tons of business but ever since these new fees, I haven't had a single inquiry. I would most definitely book outside the system so guests wouldn't have to pay these outrageous fees but people haven't caught on to the fact that they can initiate contact via VRBO and we can then take it offline to save them the fees. Let them punish me - I don't care.

Like the poster above, I resisted enabling online booking for months until I realized that was why I wasn't getting inquiries - VRBO was masking me from appearing in searches. So they are already punishing people. I have since enabled it but I'm not happy about it. I pay huge fees to list there and think it is unfair that VRBO also charges the guest. They are double dipping. They are just going to destroy their business completely and we owners are then left with basically AirBNB, which I don't like for various reasons. There is definitely a void in the market for a vacation rental listing service that isn't AirBnB.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 1:33 pm
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I notice that as of Dec 15, 2015, VRBO is now owned by Expedia. New masters, new rules I guess.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 1:46 pm
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crap, expedia acquired homeaway (parent co) last november/december

https://skift.com/2016/04/29/expedia...away-division/

Apr 29, 2016 Expedia Hits Pause on Direct Booking Goals for HomeAway Division
expedia and priceline, not much competition...

homeaway acquired a bunch of rental sites, but not all of them

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jun 20, 16 at 1:52 pm
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Old Jun 20, 16, 2:22 pm
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Another unhappy owner:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/budge...-complain.html
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Old Jun 20, 16, 2:26 pm
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Homeaway is the worst. NO customer support when a landlord rips off the guest. I would never use them again. They're the only ones I had a problem with after booking flats 19 times in London.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 2:30 pm
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Th government needed to do their job and prevent this near monopolization of the hotel/rental market by a single player.
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Old Jun 20, 16, 2:31 pm
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Damn. I've used VRBO (as a renter) quite a few times over the years. Even though I was aware of Airbnb, it seemed like VRBO was still a different kind of house (usually) and different clientele (usually) than Airbnb.

VRBO, Homeaway, Booking.com, Airbnb...are there any other popular sites for these kinds of rentals?
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