We have a new host in the UK, Ireland, France and Italy with 21,000 properties, cottages.com now advertise on airbnb, and airbnb do not charge a service fee to the guest on these bookings.
We have no way of knowing if its included in the nightly rate, cottages.com could be on a paid subscription or getting a big percentage discount.
[Link hidden] and just to wind me up a bit more, they are all on superstrict 60 policy.
My local host is Mandy with 100 properties to look after
*[Link removed for privacy reasons out of respect for the host – inline with the Community Center Guidelines]
@Jeff et al
as a matter of curiosity how many Host on here can claim V.A.T (value added tax) back on fixture & fittings and equipment that is used in their Airbnb enterprise because you can be assured those commercial operators sure can.
My point is that now ordinary Hosts are competing in an increasingly unlevel market.
In the land of the free you can depreciate everything against tax - property over 27 years, fittings over 5 years. Interestingly when you die, your heirs can start all over again....
@Helen3 is absolutely correct.
Historically, the guest fees were advertised by Airbnb as 6-12%, then in late 2017, they went to 5-15%, and in April of 2018, the relevant information on the site (and in the T&Cs) was updated as follows...
Guest service fees
When a reservation is confirmed, we charge guests a service fee between 0% and 20% of the reservation subtotal. Guests see this fee on the checkout page before they book a reservation.
In areas where we’re required to collect VAT, well combine the service fee and VAT amounts on the checkout page, so the service fee may appear to be greater than 20%.
Guest service fees are calculated using a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the reservation subtotal, the length of the reservation, and characteristics of the listing. In general, higher reservation subtotals have lower guest service fees.
Understandably, this hasn't gone down at all well with guests, many of whom found themselves shelling out up to 23%+ in services charges on their bookings, and they've made their feelings known on that in no uncertain terms.
To make matters more confusing, since April 2018, Airbnb has also being trialling several versions of the "Guest Pays No Fees" model, running concurrently, across different markets, for listings in both the professional and regular host sectors. (This is Airbnb's typical MO in advance of rolling out its most unpopular policies universally - create confusion as a diversionary tactic, then amid the chaos, everyone wakes up one morning to find the hated policy is a done deal)
Traditionally, Airbnb has chosen not to show hosts how much their guests are paying – presumably to prevent hosts from being shocked by how much money they're missing out on, which could lead hosts to cut out the expensive middle man and go for more direct bookings with their guests in the future.
When pressed for clarity on its opaque, ever-fluctuating service charges, the company's response has remained largely unchanged..
“We are constantly testing new and different ways to help our hosts accommodate more guests. These small, temporary, and voluntary pilots are some of the many experiments we are running as we try to learn more about how we can best serve our community.”
This led directly to the EU Commission introducing new legislation which came into effect on Jan 1, 2019, compelling Airbnb to present its pricing - including fees and service charges - in a clearer and more transparent manner, across all EU language versions of the site. Full compliance by the company appears to be a work in progress.
I only wish to comment on one statement in your passage:
'Traditionally, Airbnb has chosen not to show hosts how much their guests are paying – presumably to prevent hosts from being shocked by how much money they're missing out on, which could lead hosts to cut out the expensive middle man and go for more direct bookings with their guests in the future.'
Airbnb can't hide it from Hosts, who can simply enter dates on their own listing(s) or anyone else's. to see how much 'service fee' is included per inquiry.
Indeed, many Hosts like you use the website to book as Guests.
In short, it's hardly a secret nor anything that Airbnb are trying to hide.
ps. Also if you send a Special Offer to a Guest it tells you exactly how much 'service fee' the Guest will pay on that booking.
Of course Airbnb never tries to hide anything as regards their pricing Alon - that'll be why the EU Commission and European Consumer Protection Authorities investigated their pricing strategies and on foot of that, implemented new legislation ordering them to display their pricing in a clearer and more transparent manner... right? And why the "Guest Pays" amount is now clearly visible to hosts, as opposed to the way it used to be, with hosts having to go to all that extra trouble to get the information?
And your strategy would only work for someone booking a place in their own country, in their own currency. Fees and currency exchange rates apply on bookings from elseswhere, with the host not being privy to those rates.
Bascially, all I know is what I see on my screen when I enter dates on my listings or anyone else's, UK or other places.
Otherwise, Guests occasionally ask me to explain what they see on their screen re 'fees'. I can only tell them what I know and understand. If they are not satisified, I can best advise them to contact Airbnb for further explanation.
I'm really not an expert as you can tell, and I don't spend my time with in depth research of Airbnb.
As I mentioned to you in another post, I'm rather preoccupied with historical research and writing of a book.
Do you not realise that the fact a host must go to those lengths to find out how much fees have been paid to Airbnb, is burying the information?
Airbnb fees are outrageous for the service they provide and security they give.
I think you misunderstood what I wrote or perhaps I wasn't sufficiently clear. I didn't think I needed to spell it out to Hosts on this forum:
What I described is actually the normal process....
The fees are visible, but not till the Guest has entered dates, when Guest sees 'service fee' in addition to my rental & cleaning fee. The amount of 'service fee' is dictated by the sliding scale relative to the intended booking, so each Guest sees a different amount.
However, the Guest, especially first time users, may not always understand what the 'service fee' refers to.
Of course the Guest could figure it out for themself if they had taken the time and trouble to peruse the modus operandi of the website, by using 'Help', and type in 'service fee' for explanation.
Otherwise, as part of the 'service fee', different countries have different level of taxation. In the UK it's 20% VAT. So sometimes I have to further explain this, and if the Guest still isn't clear I can only refer them to Airbnb.
Personally, I don't find it outrageous that individual Hosts (non-'professionals') like me are currently charged 3% 'service fee' (+ 20% VAT) = 3.6% total.
I also didn't find it extortionate when Guests were charged 6 - 12%.
It's now changed and Guests pay potentially more, which in my estimation is over the top.
And as previously mentioned will be happy to read your book when it is done!
I'm sure you'll keep us posted on CC.
@Alon1 I'm sorry but I haven't actually seen your comment on the other thread (I don't get notifications when I'm tagged and usually only see comments addressed to me if they're posted when I'm online, or if I stumble across them later). But thank you anyway and I'll be sure to look that thread up again 🙂
Cottages. com is just the tip of the iceberg. There are literally thousands of similar outfits flooding the platform now.
One of the most important rulings made by the EU was that offerings from individual hosts, and those from professional/commercial operators, must be clearly identified and delineated from each other on the site, as not doing so gives an unfair advantage to the big players. (That's quite apart from the range of preferential policies and practices Airbnb favours the Pro's with - incl. SuperStrict 30 and 60 canx - that are denied to regular hosts) Also, consumer protection laws differ greatly for each.
2. Identification of traders and commercial content
"It is understood, from Airbnb’s Hosting Standards, that certain professional providers are allowed to use Airbnb’s platform to offer their accommodation services. However, when searching for accommodation on Airbnb’s website, the search result shows accommodation provided by both private individuals and professional providers with no distinction between the two.
In particular, with a view to avoid omitting material information, the collaborative economy platform should, as a minimum, enable relevant third party traders to indicate to users that they are traders, and the platform should inform consumers whether and, if so, what criteria it applies to select the suppliers operating through it and whether and, if so, what checks it performs in relation to their reliability
With a platform like Airbnb, which enables accommodation sharing, the distinction between professional providers and private host peers may influence the decisions of consumers using the platform to book accommodation. In fact, on the one hand the distinction has implications for the question of whether the transaction is protected by consumer protection rules and, on the other, many consumers using Airbnb are looking for private homes with personal involvement and not necessarily for professional property owners.
CPC authorities find that the lack of distinction between private host peers and professional providers on Airbnb’s website is likely to deceive consumers in relation to the nature of the trader, as set out in art 6 (1) (f) and 7(1) and (2), and is likely to cause a transactional decision that would not have been taken otherwise. In order to comply with the Directive 2005/29/EC, Airbnb would need to change the manner in which listings are presented in accordance with the legal requirements described above. CPC authorities would also like to draw Airbnb’s attention to the UCPD’s requirements to clearly distinguish editorial content from advertising content. Consumers expect search engines to display 'natural' or 'organic' results relevant for their search query based on sufficiently impartial criteria.
It is not clear to the CPC authorities whether Airbnb has sponsored content in the search results as of now, but for future reference please note that, as explained in the UCPD Guidance, consumers should not be misled on the nature of the listings. For instance, it should be clear whether listings / search results are "natural" or "sponsored" or whether there are other serious limitations in the scope of the search"
I attended a meeting at Airbnb HQ here in Dublin last Tuesday evening and asked, repeatedly, why professional operators and commercial entities are still being listed alongside (and invariably, above) regular hosts on the platform, in clear breach of EU legislation, particularly when the company is fully aware that in failing to comply, it is blatantly - and illegally - choosing to put its original host base at a potentially disastrous disadvantage. I'm still trying to get an official answer - or any answer at all - almost a week later, but I won't be giving up anytime soon.
@Susan17 This is where it gets difficult, the advertisers/hosts on cottages.com are individuals using an advertising platform, as such they don't need to be seperated from hosts as they are hosts and not professional operators. It would be the same if VRBO/Booking.com started to put independant properties on airbnb.
Professional/commercial operators are owners or letting agents of multiple properties who organise the cleaning, keys and repairs in house.
@Cormac0 now I know its a trial, I'm pretty much OK with it, what concerned me is guests are a strange lot, if they see 2 properties, 1 at £60 +12 booking fee and 1 at £72 with no booking fee, the inclination will be to book the £72 listing, perseiving it to be a better property with no service fee to pay ITS A BARGAIN.
Another question is:
OTA's (online travel agents) upto now did not advertise on each others websites, you won't find airbnb on vrbo, booking.com, trip advisor, cottages.com or visa versa, Oh wait a minute, cottages.com is now on airbnb. What happens to all the hosts with property on cottages.com that also host on airbnb, do they keep 2 listings or do they have to loose one, which one would you delete, you could be a superhost with lots of reviews or you might stay with cottages.com starting from scratch with no reviews and not a recognised host anymore.
One more thing, cottages.com ="Payment in advance for every booking". How do they do that on airbnb, can't be with split payments.
I tried the link you posted but when I clicked on it, I could see Mandy's profile, but the green dots just kept flickering over and over, and it wouldn't bring up her properties for me. up. I'm a bit confused though, as you said Mandy has 100 properties on her profile? If so, regardless of who the properties belong to, that still makes Mandy a professional operator.
As for the no guest fees policy being a trial - it was supposed to be a 4 week trial, but it started last April and is still ongoing, almost 10 months later, and appears to be rolling out across more and more markets now. No guest fees will be global policy, probably sooner, rather than later, that's guaranteed.