Base price contradictions

Status changed to: New

There seems to be a new policy for how prices show up on our listing page and it's causing real problems between me and my guests, For example, I have the Rose Sage room's base price set at $70 but for some reason it is now showing up at 45$. Is this some new airbnb policy?

The problem is that when guests see our pages in a search that isn't dated, the price is showing up much lower than many of the daily prices and lower than the listing price. It seems to be an average of our daily prices. During the winter I lowered our prices, and now they are going up. Guests see $45 and are upset that they have to pay more, plus cleaning fees, etc.  This is causing a lot of resentment and demands by guests for unreasonable prices. The lower low season prices are necessary because othewise we get no bookings,, but they are dependent on the higher high season prices. We need to pay cleaners, and many of us are very dedicated to above market wages, living wages. We need to provide high speed internet, better amenities. 

Please allow us to set our own base price and provide deductions and fluctuations day by day without having it impact the price listed on the undated listing. 

Lacy6 in
Albuquerque, NM
Level 2

I have been experiencing the same thing. For me, it seems that without dates entered, guests see my lowest rate which is usually my rate to fill in last-minute rates. It's very confusing for guests and causes dissatisfaction with the process before a booking is ever made. 

Maya87 in
Toronto, Canada
Level 2

Some guests tell me they feel like it’s a bait and switch situation!  I feel awful as I try to make sure I am upfront and honest with my guests as this type of arrangement is based on trust.  My integrity is above reproach but this makes my relationship with my guests start off on the wrong foot. 

DragonflyHill-Collective0 in
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Level 10

Here is a text message I received on March 3, from a friend of a friend, inquiring about my bnb listings:

Q: "Hi Emma. My name is **********and I am a friend and colleague of **********. I came to LA to work for NDLON for 3 months and am looking for a place to stay. Can you tell me if you have rooms available from March 15 to March 31 and how much they cost? I went on Airbnb but i couldnt find your property. You can text or call me at this number."

A:"We’d love to have you stay with us. March is almost totally filled up. The Frida Room is available on March 21. The Rose Sage & Lavender Rooms are available from March 15-March 20. We could comp you that interim night in our overflow space that we rarely use for overnight guests, our Barn Gallery."

Q:  "paying for it before I book?  That sounds like a very good option. It comes out to a little more than my budget. Can you hold those dates for 24 hours so I can check with NDLON who is" 

(My note: I do not know what or who NDLON and she did not finish her sentence)

Q: "Also Rose Sage is listed as 45 A night but when I book it comes out at 55 A night.can you clarify?"

(She means that the daily base price is $55 a night. She's not even questioning the airbnb fee, the cleaning fee or the TOT tax.) 

A: "Yes, that’s the airbnb interface. The price changes depending many factors. Airbnb used to list just the base price. (Both $45 and $55 are well below the base price, these are off season prices.) Recently airbnb started listing the price, I think of the recent average price. When a vacancy is an immediate vacancy we do drop the price, and we’re also just coming out of our slow season. 5 of us rely on this space and work hard to provide comfortable and elegant accommodations. We pay above market wages and provide safe and supportive working conditions.  

I cannot hold dates for you. You would need to book the rooms to hold them."

DragonflyHill-Collective0 in
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Level 10

Here is a message I received on the airbnb inbox from an air bnb guest who is also a host, so the confusion seems to be across the platform.

"Hi Dragonfly Hill! 

I am a graduate student from the East Coast planning to visit LA for my spring reprieve! I'm looking forward to exploring the city for the first time and am consider moving there after finishing my degree this summer.

I've lived in a cooperative and social justice-centered house before and am interested in possibly joining your community, if I were to move to LA!

In regards to the logistics of this booking, I noticed the room is listed at $45/night, but when I went to book, the price per night increased. Would it be possible to have the original pricing and prorate the cleaning fee?

I look forward to possibly meeting you all and learning more!

Yesterday at 12:39 PM"

And here is my response:
"The cleaning fee, (our labor) is our biggest expense and requisite in making your stay comfortable and pleasant. The base fee for this room is usually $70 a night, plus cleaning fee. (Airbnb has gone from listing the base price, to listing the average price, which is often misleading when we've lowered prices for our low season. We have no control over that.)

The cleaning fee is already prorated, that is, guests who stay longer, pay less per day because it means we have to clean the room less frequently. The actual cleaning fee (I should have said "cleaning cost" - note mine)  is much higher than what we're charging, because it of course also includes cleaning all of the common areas.

We believe that domestic labor is underrated and under appreciated in our society, and that we bring to our work incredible (unrecognized) skill and attention. We expect and hope our guests understand this.

We sadly have had especially bad experiences unfortunately, with activists who seem to discount our labor even more than the larger society. This is our livelihood. We are a team of 5 people who work very hard to provide outstanding accommodations at already discounted prices in a city where the cost of housing and the standard of living is very high.

We specifically state in our listing description that guests really should not request a discount because you are discounting our labor. Please assure us that you understand this, and we will consider approving your request. Otherwise, we really would rather have guests that understand the value of what we provide and appreciate compensating us for our efforts. "

DragonflyHill-Collective0 in
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Level 10

I just added the following to the description of my listing:

To the summary: Base price listed above calendar may not reflect seasonal fluctuations or additional fees. 

To the description of "The Space":  The base price for this listing is $70 double occupancy plus cleaning fees, airbnb fees and city taxes. Prices may be lower during nonpeak seasons.

And to my profile and listings pages:
Base price listed above calendar may not reflect seasonal fluctuations or additional fees. Base fees before cleaning fees, additional guests, airbnb fees and city taxes range from $70 a a room a night, for a single room, $100 a suite, and $250 for multiple room arrangements. Prices are lower during non-peak seasons. 

Daniela615 in
Envigado, Colombia
Level 2

Happened to me as well, the price that airbnb was giving me when I received a request was extremely low, so I had to decline the request and tell the guest that this was an airbnb mistake, and he would need to send another reservation request with my fix normal price, I offered also a discount for the inconvenience, but this makes us all look very bad.

Level 1

Causing too much confusion. Prices higher or lower. I have called in a few times to talk about what is going on as my prices are not being reflected accurately. No real answers, just they are working on it. Are they really or is it just talk. Pricing is huge deal for all of us anyone with information let us know. 

Jim292 in
Edmond, OK
Level 2

Posted erroneously from family member's guest profile. Apologies.

Kathy253 in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 1

I agree that the real price needs to be on the profile page. We don’t want disappointed guests who expect to pay one price and get charged differently.

Ed-And-Terry0 in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 2

We have experienced the same both as hosts and as guests booking vacations. We have added this disclaimer to all our listings:


***IMPORTANT*** Due to Airbnb's new pricing policy, the rate for the days you request may be different than the price displayed on our listing page. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion. Please check the rates carefully for the dates you wish to book. 


Not sure what prices Airbnb displays whether it is the minimum we set or an average. Currently, on our listings,  the minimum price we set for Instant Book is displayed. Our rates are higher for the summer months. We have had bookings for the summer at higher rates, but have had no issues with guests so far. 


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