Okay I am scratching my head over a few things here. Maybe more seasoned hosts can help me out.
First, why on earth does Airbnb want me to charge LESS for my listing? We started super low as we are not in a high tourist area and really didn't know what sort of demand we would get. The closest "comps" are a basement guest apartment for $80 and a much larger house for $112. So at $75 we are underpriced for an entire cottage. Yet I get constant pressure in the way of messages to lower my price. Wouldn't they want me to have a higher price so that their fees were also increased accordingly?
Second, we raised our price to $75 nightly with a plan to go to $90 over the next few months. Yet when I am logged out and just looking, $68 shows up as my nightly price. Why?? I have turned smart pricing off and on, re-entered numbers, etc. Nothing changes this. $75 shows up in search, but if I click on dates $68 shows up for booking price. Before I contact customer service, I was wondering if anyone had any insight.
1) Airbnb wants to make sure you get booked, at any price. For them, any number of dollars is better than $0. If they get $70 a night for booking 50% of the nights ($1050), and $50 for booking 100% of the nights ($1500), which one do you think they will encourage? Most hosts here just ignore their recommendations, especially those that have seen for themselves what the market will bear.
2) Somewhere on your calendar, there is a $68 price set, either on some random day, or in the Settings where you set the default price (Calendar/Pricing settings/Base Price on IOS). If you are sure this isn’t the case, call Airbnb, as it may be a software defect of which they may or may not be aware. Also check any discounts you might have set.
You are offering a non refundable cancelation option where the guest can chose a 10% discount if they select this cancelation policy. If the guest were to choose the refundable option then the price would be $75 per night.
Like @Pat271 said, Airbnb wants to make sure the night gets booked. An empty night give them nothing. Whereas, a host could actually lose money if the cost of the space is too low.
Also, keep in mind that they can manipulate this guest service fee. There is no constant percentage and the fee varies. So when a host lowers their rate, Airbnb could increase the percentage of the fee.
That’s an interesting thought. So are you saying that if we got a quote, and then lowered the rate and got another quote, we might see a difference in the Airbnb percentage charged to the guest?
I find the recommended prices to be way off from the market. They recommend 125 and I've got mine set at 170. I do search of my area with all the filters matching my place and the max people I host to see what others are charging and go from there.