Improving price transparency for guests

Stephanie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Improving price transparency for guests

 

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Today, CEO Brian Chesky announced that we’re updating how prices are displayed to guests in Airbnb search results. Our goal is to maximize price transparency in places like the U.S., where showing nightly prices (before fees) is currently the travel industry standard.

 

Guests who currently find nightly prices in search results will be able to switch to showing the total prices. The total price includes the price per night, Airbnb service fee, and any Host fees for cleaning, pets, or extra guests. 

 

We’re making this change, along with a few others, to help you stay competitive and meet guest expectations. Get the details on the Resource Center. 

 

Displaying total price and simplifying checkout

 

What’s your strategy: Build your cleaning costs into your nightly price, or charge a separate cleaning fee?


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105 Replies 105
Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

@Victoria-And-Todd0  They canceled guests because of their political views? That’s a new one on me. When did this happen?

Victoria-And-Todd0
Level 8
North Carolina, United States

Asian woman - Michelle Malkin. 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts @Martha943 - I've made sure to note your feedback as I'm reading through everyone's comments.

 

Jenn

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Martha943
Level 2
London, United Kingdom

Thanks Jenny 🙂

Scott57
Level 4
Portland, OR

I would like to see them also include the taxes in the price. In Portland, Oregon, guests have to pay an additional hospitality tax and city tax which can add a lot to the total cost (we don't have sales tax). But it does not seem like you see these until after you book. I've had guests complain that the final price was not what they thought it would be. Why can't the guest see these additional charges until AFTER they book? I actually do not charge a cleaning fee because I know that these additional charges will surprise some people and hope that the absence of a cleaning fee will help ameliorate that. 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Scott57 

 

I just wanted to confirm that while we've taken a note of your feedback and understand what you're saying, prices in the US are typically displayed pre-tax, across multiple industries.

 

It might be worth starting a new discussion to see how other hosts in the US make sure that guests are aware of that, to see if they have any advice to mitigate guest complaints.

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

 

Jenny

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Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

@Jenny I think if every host were to absorb the guest Airbnb fee and the cleaning fee and incorporate them into their rates, this issue would not exist, as guests would never see any kind of breakdown. I know some hosts have trouble with this concept, because it is a mindset shift to consider the fees in the same category as other expenses like rent, utilities, etc., and come up with a price-per-night rate that will cover expenses + make some kind of profit (unless they are just in this for the fun of it!).

 

I really think that this is what Brian Chesky wants to get to, and that, combined with Airbnb’s recent change of filtering, ranking and displaying listings based on the total of the rates and fees, instead of the nightly rate, should go a long way towards alleviating guest objections. Airbnb really needs to make the display of the total the default, though. Guests obviously don’t care about the nightly rate since it is so far out-of-whack with the final total.

 

As far as the taxes go, I don’t think those should be absorbed into the rate, but it would be helpful if they were included in the very first total shown to the guest after the search, even if they are broken out (since in the US, some states require this). So, every listing would display something like “<Total of rates+fees> + xxx.xx tax”. I’ve seen this format and behavior on several other websites lately.

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @Pat271! I've made sure to add them to the feedback we're collating.

 

Jenny

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Scott57
Level 4
Portland, OR

Thanks for your response. I am still a little confused when you say that across multiple industries, prices are displayed pre-tax. If I go to reserve a car, the taxes are shown. If I go to reserve a flight, landing fees and taxes are shown. In any hotel, car or flight example, I am always shown the full prices before I press the Reserve/Submit/Accept button. For Airbnb in Portland, I think that you currently do not see the hospitality tax and city tax until AFTER you press the RESERVE button. So, when you say "multiple industries," can you provide examples to which you are referring so that I can better understand? Thanks!

Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

I think the idea is that buyers prefer that the total price be displayed as soon as possible after pressing Search, rather than right before they make a commitment, which could be several screens later.

 

For instance, when I go to the Marriott website and look for a room for tonight in SFO, I’m shown the price of $131 once I select the room type. However, when I select it, the next page shows $148.73, which is the room + the tax. Guests are preferring to see $148.73 on the previous page. To me, it’s a minor point (maybe because I’m so used to seeing the tax added at the very end) but the current generation of consumers are getting quite up-in-arms about this as of late.

 

I think that some industries have been similarly browbeaten about this and have responded. For instance, when I go to rent a car from Hertz, or to book a flight on Southwest Airlines, I see the total, including taxes, immediately in the search results. Rental cars in particular used to be really bad about this, with the total on the last page being sometimes close to triple what was shown on the first page, once taxes and fees were added.

 

The current generation of consumers has spoken, and companies are starting to listen. There are still many websites that don’t show the total after tax price until the very end. I expect they will hop on board soon enough.

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

Same here.  I have received lower review scores on value because the guest was shocked by the total price after airbnb fees and taxes.   Those fees have nothing to do with me as a host and have to explain that all hosts receive is nightly rate minus airbnb host fee, cleaning fee is paid to my cleaning/maintenance company. 

Jenny
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
Galashiels, United Kingdom

Hi @Marie7084 

 

I just wanted to let you know that my response above might be helpful for you. 

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

 

Jenny

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Donna1157
Level 7
null

Portland is not the only location. Sonoma County, CA attempted it just a few weeks ago. While push pack was hard by owners/hosts, they have not given up...just delayed the inevitable.

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

"new" pricing tools
- preview total price

- weekly/monthly discounts

- smart pricing.

 

ok the first one might be "new", but the other two are not new tools. Why do they do this? Why do they pretend they are giving us something new when they aren't? 

 

All i'm really seeing, reading between the lines, is a lot of fluff and then slotted into it is the message: drop your prices.  

I'm glad to see the issue of Checkout Chores is addressed, and it's great news that the checkout insturctions will now be viewable before a guest books.  As a guest I appreciate this!

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

Exactly, airbnb wants hosts to drop their prices, while airbnb stil gets their 14%.  What I don't understand is how airbnb thinks that cleaning people should be paid less when gas, wages and supply costs are at an all time high because of inflation?

Victoria-And-Todd0
Level 8
North Carolina, United States

why doesn't Airbnb drop its "service" fee instead? All Airbnb is doing is trying to trick the owners into doing more for less (and even absorbing the cleaning fee). Won't fly with larger houses. Airbnb needs to decide: are they a space-sharing platform (i.e rent a couch, spare room, or a small apartment while the host is away that competes with hotel rooms) -OR- are they a full-fledged vacation rental whole home platform? Because what is applicable to the former (no cleaning expectations in a shared space) is totally no go with large whole house rentals in traditional vacation destinations. As usual, Air is trying once size fits all totalitarian approach. 

Emilie
Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Hi @Victoria-And-Todd0

 

The service fee helps Airbnb run smoothly and covers the cost of services like AirCover for Hosts and 24/7 customer support. The service fee is a percentage of the Host’s total price. When you raise or lower your price, the service fee changes with it.

 

I appreciate the feedback and you sharing your concerns though, and wanted to let you know we've relayed them to the team!

 

Emilie

 

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Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

I like the idea of transparency with the fees, for me I state in my desription that I don't charge a cleaning fee and like  @Bridget115 has said the property it is always  left clean and tidy.

 

I have always charged for extra guests after the first 2 and never had complaints as this is comparitable to hotels but you get an extra bedroom rather than all in one room like a hotel or if you get a second bedroom you pay for it.

 

I dont charge the host fee because I claim it for my tax deduction each year and most people know in Australia that there is a fee added when you use booking agent and GST is also added at the end afte the sub total for the total. 

 

Unfortunately, when we are overseas in another country we have a saying "when in Rome do what the Romans do" meaning if I am travelling and if there is an added fees I have to pay for them . My choice if I want to stay there I have to pay it or I don't travel and try and find another place but the results will be the same.

Helen744
Level 10
Victoria, Australia

Laurelle , how do you save a fee , that you do not charge for your tax? H

Helen744
Level 10
Victoria, Australia

It is almost impossible to talk about tax in plain english Laurelle and every country is different.   Also these pages are not for talking about tax. Charging a cleaning fee has nothing to do with tax it is just a choice you can make. H

Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Helen744 Unfortunately, I am not saving the host fee. I do not pass this fee onto the guest as I use the Slit-fee and I pay the 3% host fee.

For tax, it is counted as an expenditure that I have paid out along with insurance, rates, calculated number of nights guests stay for water and electricity as we have shared property.

The accountant has been doing this for tax the past 2 years and no questions asked.

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