Is airbnb even competitive anymore?

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Old Oct 9, 18, 8:31 am
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Airbnb is still my go-to for affordable lodging. (Before Airbnb, my go-to was Priceline Name-Your-Own-Price.) We just got back from a two-week trip through France that was comprised of stays at 7 different Airbnbs. Fortunately, we went 7 for 7 (meaning that all were as expected or better). Our average lodging cost was $55/night. All but one of those Airbnbs was a private room, with the remainder being an entire apartment. All but one of the private rooms came with a private bathroom (which we typically consider a must). We stayed in/around Alsace, Annecy, Chamonix, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Antibes, and Paris. Using Airbnb takes work and can be frustrating, but I find the savings (and other benefits) to be worth the effort.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by ihispanic View Post
Airbnb is still my go-to for affordable lodging. (Before Airbnb, my go-to was Priceline Name-Your-Own-Price.) We just got back from a two-week trip through France that was comprised of stays at 7 different Airbnbs. Fortunately, we went 7 for 7 (meaning that all were as expected or better). Our average lodging cost was $55/night. All but one of those Airbnbs was a private room, with the remainder being an entire apartment. All but one of the private rooms came with a private bathroom (which we typically consider a must). We stayed in/around Alsace, Annecy, Chamonix, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Antibes, and Paris. Using Airbnb takes work and can be frustrating, but I find the savings (and other benefits) to be worth the effort.
Yeah, I'm finding that Airbnb makes it not as worthwhile as it has been in the past to try to maintain Marriott status, especially considering that most of my travel is leisure and not business. If I wasn't consistently getting entire apartments to myself with much better quality for half the price it'd probably be a different story, however.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 5:46 pm
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I started using AirBnB last year. I've compared it to my hotel stays in the LA area. After a few places that weren't quite as promised, I've found ones that fit my needs. My savings compared to some hotel stays is at least 30%, sometimes as much as 50%. I won't be earning any "points" but the reduction in cost more than exceeds the benefit of my point programs.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by Flight44 View Post
I started using AirBnB last year. I've compared it to my hotel stays in the LA area. After a few places that weren't quite as promised, I've found ones that fit my needs. My savings compared to some hotel stays is at least 30%, sometimes as much as 50%. I won't be earning any "points" but the reduction in cost more than exceeds the benefit of my point programs.
I think there is a big saving where there are more than 2 of you. I had young relatives come to stay in Sydney so hired them a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment for the same as 1 room for 2 at something like the Four Points Sheraton. In Queensland we hired a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with great hotel amenities and huge pool that overlooked the ocean. Under $300 a night. We ate breakfast at home before we went out. Saved a lot of money.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 1:28 pm
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I think airbnb is still competitive

My opinion is that airbnb is still competitive but has become more or less the same as booking-com price wise. I often find same apartments. Is still convenient if you are looking for a long stay i think, as you can negotiate with the host, thing that you probably won't do with hotels.
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Old Dec 5, 18, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Evgheni View Post
My opinion is that airbnb is still competitive but has become more or less the same as booking-com price wise. I often find same apartments. Is still convenient if you are looking for a long stay i think, as you can negotiate with the host, thing that you probably won't do with hotels.
I'm going to add a caution, based on the phrase I bolded.
A few years back, I booked an apartment in Rome through Airbnb. While poking around online, I came across the same apartment offered on another site - for twice the nightly rate. When I checked the availability calendar, my booked dates were shown as open. That worried me, so I commenced an in depth search and found this apartment listed on 4 different sites, all of them about twice the price at which I had booked through Airbnb. And all the calendars (except Airbnb) showed my week as available for rent.
To be clear, the price on Airbnb was exceptionally low for the property, which is why I grabbed it almost a year in advance.
I contacted the property manager who danced around a bit. When I asked him directly if someone booked my dates through another site at twice the rate would he reject the booking or would he cancel mine, he suggested we scotch the reservation. I had him do it, so I got a full refund and moved on. If he'd refused, I would have contacted Airbnb, who would likely have refunded my money and booted him off the site (he had a couple of other properties listed).
My point is to check other rental sites for the property you're going to book and if you see higher rates, make sure that when you book the availability calendar on all sites is the same and your dates are shown as blocked. Otherwise, you can expect to get a cancellation notice if someone wants to take the place at the higher rate.
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Last edited by rickg523; Dec 5, 18 at 2:47 pm
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Old Dec 5, 18, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I'm going to add a caution, based on the phrase I bolded.
A few years back, I booked an apartment in Rome through Airbnb. While poking around online, I came across the same apartment offered on another site - for twice the nightly rate. When I checked the availability calendar, my booked dates were shown as open. That worried me, so I commenced an in depth search and found this apartment listed on 4 different sites, all of them about twice the price at which I had booked through Airbnb. And all the calendars (except Airbnb) showed my week as available for rent.
To be clear, the price on Airbnb was exceptionally low for the property, which is why I grabbed it almost a year in advance.
I contacted the property manager who danced around a bit. When I asked him directly if someone booked my dates through another site at twice the rate would he reject the booking or would he cancel mine, he suggested we scotch the reservation. I had him do it, so I got a full refund and moved on. If he'd refused, I would have contacted Airbnb, who would likely have refunded my money and booted him off the site (he had a couple of other properties listed).
My point is to check other rental sites for the property you're going to book and if you see higher rates, make sure that when you book the availability calendar on all sites is the same and your dates are shown as blocked. Otherwise, you can expect to get a cancellation notice if someone wants to take the place at the higher rate.
Thank you! You posted a really useful tip on how discover the hosts who are hunting better price on different websites and even willing to cancel your booking as part of this strategy. Maybe that is why airbnb has now introduced the penalty for hosts who cancel the bookings. Regarding the difference in price of 'honest' hosts, I think that the difference can be between the same property due to different % of commissions used by different booking websites. More or less they are all between 15 and 18%. That 3% difference may be a good amount on a high season. I always try to contact properties directly finding them on Google and offer them 10% less from airbnb with a direct payment, which is usually accepted with a deposit and rest at arrival.
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Old Dec 10, 18, 7:59 pm
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I agreed, I have realized some service apartment agency does have their property putting up in multiple site during my trip to Australia. However, I not sure which other sites they do have.

But the question for whether airbnb still competitive, it really depends on country. For some country where eating out is extremely high cost (usually applies to europe and north america), booking airbnb would be a better deal even though the price might similar to hotel. Usually I will cook my own breakfast and dinner in those places, which save a lots of cost. The other reason is it is easier for me to settle dining issue when my partner is vegetarian.

But if for the place which eating out is relatively low cost, such as in south east asia region, the Airbnb may not provide the most value if the price is not much lower than a hotel
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Old Dec 17, 18, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I'm going to add a caution, based on the phrase I bolded.
A few years back, I booked an apartment in Rome through Airbnb. While poking around online, I came across the same apartment offered on another site - for twice the nightly rate. When I checked the availability calendar, my booked dates were shown as open. That worried me, so I commenced an in depth search and found this apartment listed on 4 different sites, all of them about twice the price at which I had booked through Airbnb. And all the calendars (except Airbnb) showed my week as available for rent.
To be clear, the price on Airbnb was exceptionally low for the property, which is why I grabbed it almost a year in advance.
I contacted the property manager who danced around a bit. When I asked him directly if someone booked my dates through another site at twice the rate would he reject the booking or would he cancel mine, he suggested we scotch the reservation. I had him do it, so I got a full refund and moved on. If he'd refused, I would have contacted Airbnb, who would likely have refunded my money and booted him off the site (he had a couple of other properties listed).
My point is to check other rental sites for the property you're going to book and if you see higher rates, make sure that when you book the availability calendar on all sites is the same and your dates are shown as blocked. Otherwise, you can expect to get a cancellation notice if someone wants to take the place at the higher rate.
Reading the multiple posts, reading Airbnb, reinforces why I don't use their services. The above post sounds like a LOT of work to save a few dollars. I don't have the time to manage/investigate/explore alternatives. I definitely recognize that there might be a cost-savings or a different experience (i.e., funky, local neighborhood, etc.), and some of my friends have used Airbnb quite successfully. Though, the "successes" have been 20/30-somethings who like a bed, a shower, and an interesting/hip/funky apartment/room/share.

We (my business partner and I) tried Airbnb in Paris in 2016. We both signed up for the site and starting looking. I didn't see anything that would fit our needs, but she found something that she thought looked viable. The price, in my opinion, was too good to be true for what they offered. I was skeptical so I made a hotel reservation as a back-up plan. We arrived to the Airbrb location - it was a huge, 4-bedroom/4 bath flat (people were joining us); excellent light coming in, good sized rooms. The photos didn't reveal that, upon closer inspection, the furniture was worn and paint was peeling from the walls in all the rooms in the flat (which you could not detect in the online Airbnb photos. Indeed, when I snapped a photo with my Smart phone, you really could not see the peeling paint unless you were strategic with the angle and the available light). The kitchen was outdated with unclean dishes, an unclean stove, and a very old refrigerator (think 1980's). The air conditioning worked in some rooms, but not all. (This was Paris in August.) The final straw? Mold in all 4 bathrooms. My partner called the owner, who referred us to a plumber; the plumber arrived and said the mold needed remediation; there was no quick-fix. My partner then called the owner and the owner canceled the reservation (and refunded the money) and we moved to a hotel (my back-up plan). After that experience, we both deleted our accounts on Airbnb. I've gone back to check out the site when I was looking for a brief, 1 or 2 night, off-the-grid stay, but none of the places seem to meet my immediate needs so I stick with hotels. As I get older, there are some creature comforts I like and Airbnb doesn't seem to offer them. Housekeeping is one of them. :-) I want someone to make the bed, change the linens, clean the bathroom, replace the towels, and wash the dishes for those times I eat in. Otherwise, I may as well stay at home.
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Old Dec 17, 18, 9:55 pm
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On a recent trip to Australia I booked two properties that were new listings. Each offered 20% off the booking rate and waived the admin fee completely, which brought the total cost down to roughly US$40 per night (a little more for one, less for the other). Both included breakfast, and the more expensive of the two had a private bath, private entrance, kitchenette, and even private off-street parking (the less expensive was a room with shared bath). Both hosts were wonderful.

Didnít see anything cheaper than those in either area except hostels, so I got some great deals.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 12:03 pm
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Here are the cases where I have found airbnb better than any other site (and I do a lot of price comparisons etc);

- Fire Island NYC or small town Alaska, places that don't really have hotels and all lodging is room-shares in houses.
- Weird lodgings (e.g. houseboat in tahiti, tree house, school bus, teepee, bubble-tent etc - anything out of the ordinary where staying there is an experience in itself)
- Hongkong where hotels are typically expensive (this was before their crackdown, I've heard airbnb is not allowed or in grey area now)
- London where hotels are typically expensive, an airbnb will get you a private room / shared bathroom for much cheaper in some random house.
- Towns where all hotels are boutique hotels (smaller towns without a chain hotel footprint)

But 95% of the cases, a typical hotel is good.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 7:04 pm
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Going to Paris as a group of 6 for a week. 4 of 6 wanted own bed. Most hotels would need to be suites or booking 3 separate nights. With Airbnb, able to book with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. And total cost split 6 was saved around $100 per person. But for a 2 day stay in London, hotel was equal/better value.
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