Feature request: please allow users to filter by TOTAL price —and— sort by TOTAL price. Also, you need to display the total price in the app as well as on the desktop searches. With fees varying so much, the listed price ends up meaning NOTHING anyway.
Recent True Life Example: I filter for a rate under $100 a night but many listings have fees that double or triple the total price. By using the price range feature I've unknowingly filtered out a stay with a nightly rate higher than $100 but no fees that would end up costing much less overall than others that are listed within my "price range."
Obviously, this feature would be N/A if a person had not yet selected a number of nights. An alternative solution would be to have the fees added to the nightly rate by default, then those fees would be divided up by the number of nights chosen. Because, either way, it would be a much more honest reflection of the cost.
AIRBNB—If you care about user experience at all, as I've heard from colleagues you do, please make this feature work more FOR users instead of AGAINST them. Also, you're rewarding hosts who try to game the system by setting artificially low rates with high fees and punishing those that are being straightforward with their prices.
Please upvote if you agree.
There are times when a company can't control certain fees, one example would be taxes, or fluctuating cost of materials or fuel. However, that doesn't apply here. I'm talking about the fees that the hosts add themselves, such as cleaning fees, etc. Airbnb's Service fee should be added as well.
My solution would remedy folks acting in bad faith, otherwise, there's no other real recourse since these are individuals and not companies, who are profiting from the hidden fees. Meanwhile, the site is nearly unusable for a person on a budget (and who isn't in this crisis!?) without putting in much more work/time to find the information needed to make a decision. Consumer reports has started a "What the Fee!?" campaign for problems like this, but again, you can't report individual people.
@Ann72 They were doing this a little while back. When you searched with dates, the cleaning fees (and possibly service fee) was bundled into the nightly rate. For example, a two-night stay in a place with a nightly rate of $100 and a cleaning fee of $50 would show up as a nightly rate of $125 per night. That doesn't seem to be happening anymore in my area's search results. It is a great idea though @Cassandra176. I don't know why they dropped it or won't roll it out permanently. Who knows where Airbnb gets their ideas for a user-friendly interface but it certainly isn't from guests or hosts!
@Cassandra176 I agree with what you are saying- I've never used Airbnb as a guest, but I would find it annoying and time wasting to have to call up each listing I was interested in to get the total price.
However, many businesses do this, not just Airbnb (which doesn't make it okay- making costs non-transparent upsets consumers) . You know those ads like "Only $99/month* " ? Then when you look at the infinitesimally small print at the bottom under the *, it says "Subject to fees and taxes" or something along those lines.
And slight explanation- "these are individuals and not companies, who are profiting from the hidden fees." If it's something like the cleaning fee, it's unlikely that results in "profit" for the host- it is usually exactly what they pay their cleaner and in some cases even less than they pay for cleaning. But I know there are hosts who show a low nightly rate to attract views, then some really high cleaning fee to offset it, which certainly is misleading and wrong.
Exactly @Sarah977 - @Cassandra176 , here's what it looks like when you go to book some nights in my place - about 20% of the total goes to Airbnb and the State of Maine. Actually, when I get my payout, Airbnb also takes a portion of the cleaning fee. I pay my cleaner $105 but charge $110 to try to make up for what Airbnb gets of that.
And here is what my payout looks like for virtually the same booking:
As you can see, the guest pays $1,028 and I receive $803.16. Airbnb's service fee to the guest plus the state occupancy tax amounted to $202, and then they charged me a service fee of $24.84, for a total of $226.84. (There might be a couple of dollars difference between the test booking and the actual booking because in the actual booking, one night was $2 higher since I use Airbnb's dynamic pricing system.)
There are definitely hosts who try to game the system, but not in exactly the way you describe. What they do is to put a very low price on 5 or 6 individual nights throughout the year. Their real price is much higher, and you can never get the low nightly price because they have a 3-night minimum. That's truly cynical.
@Cassandra176 @Sarah977 @Emilia42 Looking at the above, it occurred to me that another reason a total price that included all fees might not be the perfect answer is because state lodging tax varies widely - from 0% (Virginia) to 15% (Connecticut). See this table: https://www.ncsl.org/research/fiscal-policy/state-lodging-taxes.aspx
@Ann72 This table isn't updated...a lot of states added taxes now for Airbnb since.
I think it's because they are competing with hotels and hotels don't show the fees and everything. Hotels only show the nightly rate. That said, I think cleaning fee & other miscellaneous fee should be included since it's part of the stay. Taxes or Airbnb fees shouldn't have to show up.
@Yiwei3 Agree about the cleaning fee. But as noted earlier the total nightly rate with cleaning fee will change with the number of nights in the booking. A $50 cleaning fee for a 2-night stay would be $25 a day, a $50 cleaning fee for a 5-night stay would be $10 a day.
And don't forget the nudges we get about how other nearby listings are charging less, it can set up a domino effect of pressure among hosts to lower prices below any hope of making a profit, this means. hosts sometimes use cleaning fees to make up for lowering those prices beyond sustainability. A more transparent system would be beneficial for hosts & guests.alike.
I get that there are extra fees that are associated with taxes and maintenance, but it would be super helpful to know the price you will be paying BEFORE adding it to your list, while you are still browsing. It would make choosing that much easier and faster!
My point earlier was that when companies don't include fees upfront it's only justified when those fees are dependant on wild fluctuations. Now, sure, a $200 cleaning fee might be legit, but your cleaning service fee isn't fluctuating, and I don't care if I can't afford to stay with fees anyway. My point still stands—fees should be included in the price.
Also, once you favorite a place and add it to a list the total price disappears. So even after you've combed through hundreds of stays across different pages to find ones in your budget, there's no place to compare them on the same map. I'm going to Brooklyn in the fall and I wanted to compare the total price while also factoring in the distance from the location I'll be visiting. (Another feature request: sort by proximity to address?) I don't want to risk exposure to the virus by taking public transportation, so the ease of getting somewhere on foot is worth more money to me.
So I'm in my list, right? I'm looking at my in-budget favorites together on a map. But I also need google maps open in a second window to see my destination marked. Then I can't remember if that higher one was actually a lower price or the lower price was higher because I can't tell what the actual prices are!
Imagine how deceptive seeing these two listings marked on a map would be:
Can you see what I'm saying? It's just a series of factors that compound to make the site needlessly cumbersome. The features I'm talking about are really basic and as @Sally221 said, transparency in pricing benefits hosts and guests.
And yes, it is resulting in profit for hosts whose stays ALWAYS come up in a low price range, and a loss for the higher looking but ultimately cheaper listings that never get seen because of it! I can't choose something I don't know about!
@Cassandra176 I totally agree there should be more transparency. But the cleaning fee does fluctuate in a way - it's a one-time fee. If you choose a listing that's $125 a night with a $25 cleaning fee, one night would be $150 (forgetting all the other fees), but 6 nights would be $775 - or $129 a night. That's a 14% difference.
Searching by location is a giant headache and I find the algorithm problematic. I think it's based more on keywords in reviews and the listing description than it is on the actual address. Virtually every guest I get wants to go to Bar Harbor, which is an hour away. I can only conclude that part of the reason is security - as these are people's homes, addresses are not disclosed until the place is booked. (Hosts do have the option to reveal the address, but not everyone exercises it.)
People search for many different reasons and have many different needs. To be honest I'm as likely to stay at a hotel as an Airbnb when I travel, partly because it just seems easier to comparison shop for hotel rooms.