Hi there, hosting community!
We just posted a listing for our guest house last night at midnight, and already have four bookings. Unfortunately when I was proofreading the listing, I neglected to add the cleaning fee of $150. We're writing to each of the prospective guests to say that this is our omission and to apologize, and that we understand if they'd like to cancel the reservations--also that we'll discount the fee to $125 for them, but as these bookings have already been made, any idea how to do this?
I of course want Airbnb to get their appropriate fees, just don't know how to add this into an existing booking if they still want to book?
This is all happening so fast, and we're lucky to have had so much interest, but gee do I feel like an idiot!
Thank you for any insights you might offer,
You really can't add money after a reservation has been completed. Extremely poor form, sorry! If your guests wish to cancel, it should be you who cancels on their behalf. Your calendar will be blocked for those dates and you will also need to pay a fine, the severity of will depend on how soon the booking is. Thewre will also be a visual record for all future comers that you are a cancelling host, which acts as a potential deterrent for newcomers. I suggest apologise profusely to these guests, let the bookings go ahead even if you lose money on it.
The guests can also complain to Airbnb about you for gouging.
hello @Peter-and-Cornelia0 ,
It is your responsibility to offer potential guest the right price, including the cleaning fee. After the reservation is confirmed, you can NOT change this. It is a violation of Airbnb terms. Also your guest can not cancel the reservation, they will be penalized (not fully refunded) for something which is not there mistake. So it is YOU who will have to cancel the reservations (and being penalized) OR simply leave it as it is and learn from your mistake.
@Sandra126 & @Emiel1 , I agree it is poor form but to be fair to @Peter-and-Cornelia0 if the potential guest agree to pay for the cleaning fee despite her acknowledgement that it is indeed her mistake for not including it in the listing, it is possible to simply go under the reservation and change the reservation under price (to adjust the total amount due including cleaning cost). It would then be up to the guest to either agree to pay the extra charge or decline and keep the reservation as is.
I think that when in doubt, consider yourself to be the guest. So, you have booked an accommodation. Planning your trip. Next thing, you get a message from the host asking you to pay another 150 or cancel. Would you be happy or think that this is a really bad idea to use Air? Would it reflect badly on you and the service as a whole? If the answer is yes, desist.
Suck it up and take the loss. It's only four bookings, and you'll have many more in the future. It would be extremely tacky to contact guests and add on this fee.
Peter and Cornelia, as others have said you will not make too many friends by asking confirmed guests for more money once they have booked but, the thing that is concerning me here is the size of that cleaning fee! I understand you have a property on acreage and that you are catering for up to 8 guests but, the property has to be maintained anyway regardless of whether there are guests there or not and a $200AU cleaning fee, around two thirds of your nighly rate for that aspect of your property that guest may specifically use or effect, is a big ask.
It takes around two hours to service a listing if you are anywhere near efficient and to be charging the best part of $100 per hour as a cleaning fee I don't feel comfortable with.
It seems to me you may have set an unrealistically low letting amount to attract people to view your listing. Your nightly rate is the same for 8 guests as it is for one, and you are creeping the profit margin up with a large cleaning fee thereby disadvantaging shorter term bookings of just a couple of guests.
Peter and Cornelia I am not criticising your listing, or your ability to be outstanding hosts and I wish you every success with this beautiful property, but maybe you should consider setting a base letting amount to cover up to, say, two guests, and adding an extra per guest charge to cover the additional servicing that will be required for larger groups. You could then set a lower cleaning fee so as not to 'whack' the guest on the check-out page with heavy additional costs!
@Peter-and-Cornelia0 Best thing to do would be to keep the existing reservations as is, for to try to change them now would be the height of awkwardness. Reconsider your offering; a $150 cleaning fee is nothing short of spooky, on a $220 booking. Third, (like @Robin also said), charging the same for $220 for 1-8 guests makes no sense, for if anything else you are inviting a party by individuals looking for a cheap place to do so and count on it, it will exceed 8 and your place will not quite look the same after it.
@Peter-and-Cornelia0 I had something similar happen. A guest from overseas booked dates in July last year and I had not yet had a chance to put my high season prices in. They are getting the entire Cottage for almost a week at 50% of the price I could have gotten for it. However, I never said a word to the guest. It was my mistake; they are traveling a long ways to get here (Middle East) and I plan to do all I can to make this a vacation they will remember - I already offered to take the whole family to see my horses and they can't wait. So, sometimes, we just take the hit and learn from our mistake!
Well if it wasn't so ambiguous for a beginner host to see where to add the cleaning fee in the first place, this oversight probably wouldn't have happened. I'm finding AirBnB to not be user friendly. I just found the answers to all the loopholes a host has to go through to add separate fees like taxes and cleaning. Ridiculous. I feel your pain Peter & Cornelia. I don't blame you in the least. Good luck!
I am about to do a new listing but I can't work out how to add a cleaning fee, how to change the cancellation policy and how to manually change the prices for certain days. Can you help?
I two just uploaded a new AirBnB listing. ... ohhhh ... AirBnB makes it so easy. However, no where was I prompted to add a cleaning fee.
As a new listing, I went with the lowest price AirBnB recommended, then offered a further 20% discount for the first 3 guests, as AirBnB suggested.
So, I have two very inexpensive bookings ... with no cleaning fee.
... still undecided to 'admit' my mistake to booking guests and hint that they might agree to pay 50% of the cleaning fee.
I am a new
host and have 5 bookings which brings me to July. I have not added a cleaning fee to these bookings but would like to add one for future bookings. Can I edit the pricing so that it kicks in for bookings after July?