Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Fremont, California, United States
Level 2
125,648 Views

Hi guys,

 

I love Airbnb and have been recently looking for a nice holiday listing in Tokyo. In the past, I have just assumed the price is firm but I have heard that it is possible to negotiate these prices, especially if you're staying a bit longer than the weekend or so.

 

Do you guys have any tips/tricks to bring this up to a perspective host? Thanks for your feedback!

 

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159 Replies

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Las Vegas, NV
Level 10

As a host, I often will negotiate on price if i am not booked solid or if the person is just really a good fit for our home - i.e. we have a lot of similarities in things we like to do and they write a nice note about themselves and specifically how they like our house... yes, sucking up can work :-).

 

It does not hurt to ask - especially if you are staying long term. But please, don't be whiny in your request OR fish around a bunch of hosts for a deal. Cause hosts can usually spot those guests wth the cut-and-paste notes that are simply asking a dozen different hosts for a discount for the cheapest place.

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
California, United States
Level 10

Some hosts consider it offensive when guests want to negotiate on the price, or when they ask for a discount, and will decline the guest on that basis alone.  Many hosts consider it a "red flag" or sign of concern when a guest seeks to bargain about pricing.  THis is more likely to be true if the host has already stated in their listing that their prices are firm and no additional discounts will be given(which some have taken to doing, because they have had so many guests trying to bargain) .  Keep in mind, that when a host sets a weekly rate, or monthly rate, or lower seasonal rate (eg lower rates for winter) those are already discounted rates.  I have experienced numerous instances of guests asking for a discount on an already quite discounted rate. This can be annoying, as it suggests that the guest does not understand the system, and does not understand that the rates they are seeing are already discounted.  

 

Another thing to keep in mind, is any particular hosts' rates, and how those compare to rates of other hosts in their area. A very common complaint from hosts, is that guests are going to the listings that are already the lowest priced listings in that area, and asking for more discounts on those already bargain places.  Hosts can be offended by this "lowballing"  and feel that the guest is not showing respect for the host's generosity in having already extended lower rates.  Some guests dont' understand the cost of housing in certain areas, and I have heard of many cases where hosts have been asked by the guest to provide a 50% discount.  Guests who do this will almost certainly be turned away and considered unreasonable.  

 

On the other hand, there are hosts, and @Anand-And-Chef-Mason-Gre0 are indicating they are among them, who are open to negotiation on prices with a prospective guest.  But in my experience, having had many discussions with hosts about this, hosts who are open to bargaining on prices are more the exception than the rule.  

 

My advice would be -- if you want to negotiate on the price, ask once,  politely.  ( THe more politely and succinctly a guest inquires about this, the more likely the host will respond in kind)  If the host indicates the prices are firm, drop the issue, and do not push or argue on the matter, as host is not likely to appreciate a pushy guest.  

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Paris, France
Level 10

There are cultural differences too. In some countries everyone negociates and who does not barter is considered naive, and there are countries where The Price is the price and doubting that is offensive. As far as I remember trading with Japon, our clients did not barter very much or at all. We offered, they bought or they did not buy. Tread carefully there.

"More then a week-end" is not considered a long stay. If the host set up prices for a week, you could ask for a better price if you stay 2 or 3 weeks - but check the monthly price, he won't appreciate if you ask for less then that in relation to the days you stay. (If the months costs 1000, you can't ask for 200 for a week).

 

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Phoenix, AZ
Level 3

I tell my guests You are receiving the best deal possible, to have full access to my entire home, and all my belongings. If you stay longer, you will receive a weekly discount. Perhaps, an inexpensive Motel 8 Corporation would suit your budget. 

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

Level 3

This comment makes me want to try to negotiate every time.  If a host sent me a response like that it would let me know they arent someone I want to deal with which is probably a win for both sides. 

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

Level 1

So you would rather make zero dollars than give a little bit of a discount? That makes no sense to me.

At least Motel 8 has breakfast included in the pricing and they don't make me take out my own trash! 🙂

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Becky444  My listing is priced fairly to cover my expenses and make it worthwhile for me to host.

 

So yes, I would rather the room sat empty than give a discount to someone who objects to cleaning up after themselves. 

 

Airbnbs are not hotels or motels and an Airbnb host isn't your personal maid, nor do most hosts have maids on staff,  ready to rush in and remove your stinky garbage the instant you check out.

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Miami, FL
Level 10

Be careful with price negotiations. Many hosts consider asking for a discount as a "red flag" and will automatically decline these. Most hosts already provide discounts for longer term stays. Consider the consequences of possibly being considered a high-maintenance guest before deciding whether to ask for a discount.

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6

I concur with the other hosts above in that it can be considered offensive and also a red flag when a potential guest asks for a discount on initial inquiry. I'm rarely asked for a discount and I would never offer one. My area is highly competitive, expensive to live and most live in hosts must keep our rates low if we're to get bookings. 

A few ways to usually ensure a discount: look at only listings with weekly pricing (usually a lot cheaper than nightly rates if the host allows stays of a week or longer. 

Wait until the very last minute to book something. There will always be hosts that have last minute availability and most of us discount our prices at the very last minute when we have availability. If you have your heart set on a particular place, this is a risky strategy but if you see multiple properties that look good to you, this is a good strategy for a discounted rate:-) 

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Minneapolis, MN
Level 6

I agree with Lisa that some hosts are more likely to offer a discount with a short lead time, particularly if their calendar is quite open. I also think guests need to think carefully about the value of what they are receiving. Would you consider hosting guests for the price you are offering? I had one party that wanted a house for six adults for the weekend for $100. She offered this after asking a series of other questions about parking, the equipment in the kitchen, and the possibility of an early check in. My normal price is $120 a night for six, inclusive of taxes.  I was offended. I think any host would be offended by a guest who asked for other concessions, and then tried to negotiate a lower price.

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
San Clemente, CA
Level 5

Well, as a guest I had a budget for our family visiting Washington DC and I asked a Host for a discount and explained I understand but had to ask, it was about a 5% discount. I loved the location of his home but it was equal to others. He declined me in a hot minute. 

 

I have had a Guest inquire of me to give her a 50% discount because her boy friend was in the Military. I said "NO". 

 

I give a discount for weeky stays and tha has worked out well.

 

So long story short I don't think Host's like discounts. I feel I have listed my home at a fair price and I love spoiling my people.

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Paris, France
Level 10

I don't like discounts either but 5 % with a very good reason, charmingly asked, maybe. For a longer stay in the whole apartment probably. But a 50 % discount request is an offense. I don't think that people in this business have a 50 % marge in their prices. That equals asking: "We don't know each other, would you like to pay half of my holidays?"

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

in
Pompano Beach, FL
Level 2

I, originally, thought that I would be offended if asked for a discount. But then everyone is asking and it depends on how they ask and what the circumstances are.

 

In my low season I discounted my rates already but a family asked for a 10% discount because they're staying for two weeks. I would rather rent it out with a 10% discount than have it empty during low season.

 

It depends on how they ask and whether it's done with taste. I checked their profile and they were looking all over Florida, not just my area. So that means that they could have taken a vacation on the Gulf coast (which is less expensive than the Pompano Beach/Fort Lauderdale area). They asked once and I accepted. They appreciated it and I appreciate their business.

 

Now, on the other hand, I got one guy who asked me to rent for three months at 1/3 of what I list at. Politely I refused and directed him to other listings which are around ten miles from the beach ;). That request wasn't a polite request so it's a different story.

 

I think that next year I'll create a buffer and can provide a small discount for multiple week stays. It's my first year so, understandably, I want to make sure that I book it up. Butg as things start to roll along I believe that I'll price my property in a way that discounts shouldn't be in the cards.

 

Coming from another business (my day job) I can tell you that discounting can de-value your product in front of potential clients. Sometimes people will respect and appreciate what you have more if we're able to politely explain why we can't provide a discount. And if they respect you from the beginning then they'll respect the property when they're here.

 

I'll come back to this issue by this time next year when I have a few more experiences undermy belt... It's a touchy issue because people don't request discounts from other parts of their vacations (flight tickets, tourist attractions, restaurants). 

Re: Can we negotiate with a host on the price?

Level 4

YES, ALWAYS NEGOTIATE WITH THE HOST'S ASKING PRICE. 

 

NOBODY selling anything should have a "take it or leave it" price unless they have the only room in town, or the only life-saving drug, or the only ticket to World Cup Soccer... you get the picture.


Simply figure out what YOU are willing to pay. That is YOUR "take it or leave it" price. You can always get a different room from a different host. Airbnb has many, many rooms.  And the host's room will be empty as will his bank account.

 

In life, the power almost ALWAYS lies with the one spending the money, not the host.

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