I had a very bad experience with Airbnb combining long term and special offer discounts in a way that it is not supposed to.
I will use round numbers to exemplify:
My place is 100, and I offer a 10% weekly discount. So far so good. I decide to offer a promotion, 20% discount.
Thus, for 7 days, the guest should pay 7 x 80 = 560, and on this value the weekly discount of 56 should apply, total 504.
Or, the other way around, he should pay 700, discounted by 10% is 630, on which a 20% discount applies, another 126, so total is 504.
What Airbnb did, and supposedly still does, is take 10% off 100, take 20% off 100, total rate 70x7=490.
So, watch out, if you offer such discounts, because Airbnb will make the lowest price for the customer, beyond what you intended.
@Antonino91 while I will totally go along with Airbnb doing something like that I can not follow the math. Are you saying they are first combining discounts? You give 10 off and 20 off so it is 30 off now?
@Antonino91 I was processing your post in my head and just remembered something. An airbnb rep messaged me out of the blue about a month ago encouraging me to start using special offers instead of just tweaking prices and change to weekly percentage discounts instead of flat weekly rates I currently use. At that time I thought they were trying to promote new features. This may sound like a crazy conspiracy theory but now I am thinking they are trying to trick hosts into lowering the rates below what we are comfortable with in a never ending race to the bottom for pricing. Airbnb is so twisted!
ALWAYS ALWAYS TEST YOUR DISCOUNTS. WHAT YOU THINK YOU MIGHT SEE WILL END UP LOWER ON THE GUEST END. THEN THE GUEST IS LIKE BUT I SAW XYZ AND THE HOST IS BEFUDDLED.
THE TESTING OF THE DISCOUNTS DON'T WORK. THE FUNCTIONALITY IS ALWAYS BROKEN, ALWAYS REPLY ON NOTHING BUT YOU'RE OWN MATHC
@Antonino91 That's horrible. Thank you for the heads up. If I decide to offer an off-season promotional discount this winter, I'll just raise the prices first to head this off. Really massively annoying. Sorry you were hit with that.
@Ann72 interestingly, you cannot not do that. If you use a custom promotion, Airbnb decides what your average price has been and then allows you to pick a percentage off that. So you can only manipulate the percentage you’re offering to get to the desired amount. If your prices in that season were historically low, it would not let you raise them up and then discount.
@Inna22 I remembered that just after I posted! They changed the promotion rules last winter and made it much harder to offer promotions that would get noticed or, really, make any money. For instance, they suggest an 18% discount promotion, but it won't go out in emails to guests until it's at least 20%. I nevertheless did it in the off-off-season, just to raise visibility, and got two February weekends booked. And both gave 4 for value. So effing annoying.
Airbnb compounds discounts by simply adding the percentages and then deducting the total percentage from the base rate. For example, if a host has a 10% weekly discount and an early-bird discount of 15%, the guest will receive 25% off of the base rate $100 - 25% = $75 per night. The more traditional method to apply discounts is a cascading fashion: $100 - 10% = $90, then $90 - 15% = $76.50 per night. In this scenario, a host would earn $1.50 less per night with Airbnb's discount method. It may seem like a small amount but it definitely could amount to significant sum for certain reservations.
Yes, exactly. In my case I was offering an aggressive 50% promotion, so you can imagine the setback I had.
Furthermore, one usually sets LTS discounts in such a way that 7 nights, e.g., are always more expensive than 6 nights. So the weekly discount should be 14% or less. However, with this way Airbnb adds discounts, the calculations can go awry.
Extreme example: 100/night, special discount 50%, weekly discount 10%.
6 night stay: guests pay 6x50=300.
7 night stay: guests pay 7x40=280.
I'm inclined to not offer any promotions or weekly discounts. Our base rate is already quite a deal and we're not really set up to have people move into our extra guest space for longer than a few days. Plus, having guests stay longer than a week for one cleaning fee is actually more work than it's worth, given the stringent cleaning standards we're now held to. And it seems guests are onto this. So, I'll gladly take fewer bookings for more income and less work, thank you very much.
@Diane440 Same here, I've never offered any discounts on my private room/private bath. I priced it at what I felt was fair and it's one of the least expensive in my area for what I provide. Many of my guests have said it was great value. And prefer quality guests over quantity. Also, most of my guests stay an average of 10 days anyway, so why would I shoot myself in the foot by offering a discount for week-long stays?
I don't quite understand what you mean by longer bookings requiring more cleaning? Most hosts don't do any cleaning mid-stay, especially since COVID, so longer bookings actually make the cleaning more economical.
@Sarah977 I've been cleaning like a maid service at a hotel, but I decided a while back to go with letting the guests handle this. Still, it's easier to clean up after a weekend stay than a ten day stay if the guests don't do diligence in cleaning.
But what if they don't? Left long enough, some dirt becomes permanent and forget about most guests washing the linen/towels often enough.
Ok, so maybe I am talking about stays of longer duration, but it's also a good way of making sure that the guest is treating the property respectfully.
I just did a mid stay clean for a guest today (for free, even though it's stated on my listing as an extra cost). He is ever so grateful and I have the reassurance that he is keeping the room reasonably clean because I had an opportunity to see it for myself.
I once made the mistake of only cleaning a the room of a guest once, about two months into her six month stay because she chose the option to clean it herself. Massive error. She always looked immaculate, made minimal mess in communal areas and brought down her laundry fairly frequently so I assumed all was well. It took me TWO DAYS to clean her bedroom after she left. She had never done a single bit of cleaning once the entire stay.
Each to their own though...