Is airbnb even competitive anymore?

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Old Apr 5, 19, 11:26 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Montreal
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Airbnb rates usually don't fluctuate much and so are better than hotels at certain times such as weekdays in cities like DC or NYC. It's just like how Turo is usually much cheaper than car rental agencies in the summer.

During a winter weekend in NYC? Hotels beat Airbnb by far. For example, 90-120 USD a night at one of the Hilton properties on Manhattan with free breakfast and points versus at least 175 USD after all fees at an Airbnb studio...

Airbnb is also useful in cities with strangely high hotel rates such as Manila or Prague. In the end, having an extra option is always great when hotel prices spike.
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Old May 31, 19, 3:50 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Basingstoke, UK
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I booked a room in a AirBnB in Manchester than a few hours later got a deal in an Ibis Budget cheaper than the AirBnB, so I cancelled the original booking. So it still pays to shop around. Having said that we had a fantastic cottage on the Isle of Wight last October, and a very nice house for 6 of us in Exeter in November. Touch wood have yet to have a bad one.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 9:30 am
  #33  
 
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I was just doing this analysis for a few short stays in European cities for this coming summer. I found it for short stays fees wind up really adding up where as if the stay is for a week the cleaning and other administrative fees don’t raise that per night cost as much. Generally I’m finding an increasing number of fees that have to do with The cost of doing business that are being pushed on to the customer. These costs are more transparent in a hotel scenario. I do find that some of the owner manage properties will negotiate on some of these fees, last year for a villa in Mallorca I was able to knock off a couple of administrative fees in exchange for a security deposit. That doesn’t work with the agency managed properties, which actually seem to be the ones adding the largest fees.

But my bigger issue has to do with the certainty of what you are getting. I’ve stayed in or visited many hotels in cities around the world where I like to travel and I know exactly what’s there and can reinforce my initial impressions with reviews from a number of sites. I find with VRBO and Airbnb that sometimes there are no reviews and other times there are deeply conflicting reviews. For one property in London that I was looking at, one of the reviews said “this place doesn’t actually have air-conditioning” and another one of the reviews said that it was “comfortably air-conditioned”. Really?! For another property I found reviews that said that “this wasn’t even the apartment that we wound up staying in.” For Airbnb the only times I have tried to use it I have affectively found scammers who are advertising non-existent places and trying to get me to directly wire them the money in exchange for a discounted rate.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 11:10 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cockeysville, MD, USA
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post
I find with VRBO and Airbnb that sometimes there are no reviews and other times there are deeply conflicting reviews. For one property in London that I was looking at, one of the reviews said “this place doesn’t actually have air-conditioning” and another one of the reviews said that it was “comfortably air-conditioned”. Really?!
I’ve found that Airbnb guests tend to be quite generous and a bit overly-positive when reviewing. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a listing with anything lower than 3 stars, which is remarkable given that I tend to shop among the lowest-priced Airbnbs. I cover my take on the subtleties of guest reviews at some length in an Airbnb how-to I wrote (a few months prior to the "7 for 7" trip to France I mentioned in an earlier post to this thread).

Unless you have some bookings under your belt, you should probably stay away from listings with no reviews. However, they can prove to be great bargains. I have a trip to the American Southwest planned for the fall. Finding affordable lodging within "close" proximity to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon can be really tough. At first, I had booked a stay at a well-reviewed mobile home for the two of us. But then I noticed that the host had freshly listed what appear to me to be some converted office trailers in the same vicinity. All of them had few to no reviews. But, given the track record of the host, I went ahead and booked.

I just went back and took a look at those listings and they both have 30+ reviews, with no obviously shocking complaints. I'm hopeful that it'll turn out well.
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