@David-and-Annie0 yes, Airbnb will block the dates if you cancel, as well as fine you. So if you stay with Airbnb, you won't be better off cancelling. (You *might* be able to find a merciful CS rep who will grant you penalty-free cancellation, but with multiple cancellations and the reason being you followed AIrbnb's pricing recommendation, I'd guess not.) You might consider setting up on Homeaway/Vrbo, deactiving your Airbnb listing, and coming back to AIrbnb in the future. However, I'd be careful about that because multiple accounts for one person are a violation of Airbnb TOS and they may still come after you for the cancellation fees if/when you reactivate.
@David-and-Annie0 You shouldn't feel like a fool- the ins and outs of doing something new is always a learning curve. Rather than concentrating on what you "could have" made, and kicking yourself over it, maybe consider that something "could have" happened when you were readying the place to list that might have made it impossible to get it listed in time for Xmas, in which case you would have made nothing. There will be other holiday times, there will be more Xmas/New Years holidays. All this means is that you won't be able to reimburse yourself for the outlay you made to get the place ready as quickly as you might have. And by next Xmas, you will likely have a string of great reviews that might make it possible to charge even more.
If you cancel, it will show on your reviews and will make you seem like an unreliable host. Your trust factor with future guests will drop. The only way to cancel penalty and review free is if you have an extenuating circumstance. E.g your roof needs to be changed or you have a crack in your foundation that needs immediate repair. But you will need a quote from a contractor to supply as evidence. Another way around is to ask the guest to cancel on their end and give them a good reason as to why. Those are your only two options.
If you cut and run from airbnb, it wouldn't make sense to me because you will be losing out on all future income and next year, you will know better. Research any all events in the next 12 months in your city and price accordingly.
So...because I'm such a die-hard and couldn't live with the way things were, I didn't let this go. After much talking and waiting and pleading and explaining and worrying and agonizing over the situation, I got a case manager at customer service to understand and help us out in this situation. I was able to cancel 5 of the 10 reservations we had without penalty. Of course, there was some blow-back--as I fully anticipated there would be: some very disappointed and upset guests. I did feel terrible canceling on them, but we are talking about reservations that were 6 weeks out or more. I explained our situation to each and every one of them. Some were more understanding than others.
Now here's what I'm struggling with: one guest wants to re-book at the new appropriate rate, and two others are asking for discounts. I am worried about re-booking them because I fear they are soured on us as hosts and will ultimately end up leaving us bad reviews in the end (as some of you have said might happen if they were to rebook at higher rates.) If they're being fair, they could see that the rate they WERE getting was %50 (or more) less than what anyone else is charging for a similar (or even smaller) place, but of course I understand they are disappointed in the situation. They were no doubt stoked to have gotten such a good deal.
One woman in particular seemed pretty bitter--she's the one who is now asking to book at full price, not even asking for a discount. Should I do it? And should I accommodate these other two who want discounts? I don't think it's unfair that they're asking and I'd be inclined to do it, but I worry that bad feelings may be harboring...Ideally better to start with a clean slate, I'm imagining...What's the wise thing to do here?
Wow, I wonder how you were able to cancel penalty free - the case manager understood based on the grounds that smart pricing undervalued your place?
My suggestion is to not re-book any of these guests. The chances you will get hit with a bad review is very high. Also, when it comes to the rating they will give you for value, I wouldn't be surprised if they give you a low rating for value now that they are paying more for the same place.
If these are highly sought after dates, you will get them booked by others anyways, so why re-book soured guests when you get just book guests who don't have any negative preconceived ideas about you?