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Old 10-03-2014, 03:40 PM   #21
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What's this?
https://www.airbnb.com/
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:55 AM   #22
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Tried to use airbnb for an upcoming trip. Had some issues that the rate listed online was significantly less than the rate quoted when we contacted the host. Also found some weird behavior like pictures from the same apt were used in two different listings. Another potential host was just "busy" even though the calendar was marked as open.

Ultimately we ended up using priceline express deals. It was also less costly than the airbnb options we were considering.




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Old 10-12-2014, 03:48 PM   #23
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We have used VRBO several times, in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. Some units are better than others, but all were at least Very Good and most were Excellent in our opinion. We have never had any problems. We are getting to the point where we really don't care to stay in hotels. VRBO units are almost always cheaper than hotels, and when you factor in not having to eat out all the time, it is MUCH cheaper. Never tried Airbnb.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:54 PM   #24
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We have used HomeAway and VRBO - happy with both services. No surprises on the rentals at all.

Also TripAdvisor now lists home rentals.
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:13 PM   #25
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Also TripAdvisor now lists home rentals.
So they do. And it appears that although there are less properties than Airbnb, many of the prices appear competitive with Airbnb.

I wonder if people experience the problem with reservations being mysteriously cancelled before the trip like appears to happen quite a bit with Airbnb?

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:36 PM   #26
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I feel like Airbnb is a little unsure for us. I would be OK if something got canceled but DH gets all pushed out of shape. The most uncomfortable thing that happened to us through HomeAway is that we rented an apt in Rome and the owner wanted to be paid in cash when we arrived. No deposit. It had at least 30 reviews, so I felt like it would be OK. We were traveling off season so I felt like if something happened we would find another place through a local service (I brought contacts with me). When we showed up at the apt no one was there. We sat outside for an hour. It was 6pm so DH was tense. I finally found another property agent showing someone else a unit and she called the owner....he found the person who was supposed to let us in and she came over. It was a good deal so we ended up happy.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:40 PM   #27
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I am not sure about Airbnb, but I rarely pay the price advertised on the ads for VRBO and Homeaway. My process is to identify about 10 properties that fit our needs, then email all of them offering a set amount, and explaining about us (retired professionals, no pets, etc). Usually all respond and about 50% of them take something off, and 1 or 2 will accept my bid. We travel off season mostly (avoid crowds and kids) so this is partly why it works. Some of these places will be empty anyway so they seem happy to make something.
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Old 10-20-2014, 07:53 PM   #28
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I am not sure about Airbnb, but I rarely pay the price advertised on the ads for VRBO and Homeaway. My process is to identify about 10 properties that fit our needs, then email all of them offering a set amount, and explaining about us (retired professionals, no pets, etc). Usually all respond and about 50% of them take something off, and 1 or 2 will accept my bid. We travel off season mostly (avoid crowds and kids) so this is partly why it works. Some of these places will be empty anyway so they seem happy to make something.
Cool way of doing things! I tried to negotiate a bit with a number of owners this summer through airbnb and didn't have any success at all. They were mostly lower end rentals priced very competitively, so maybe they knew the "price was right".

I did ask owners to relax the guest restrictions or extra guest fees and most offered to do so. We were traveling with 3 kids and 2 adults, and many listings offered accommodations for 4, even though we knew it would work with the 5 of us.
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:56 PM   #29
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My process is to identify about 10 properties that fit our needs, then email all of them offering a set amount
This sounds like a very good idea. How do you determine what you offer?
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:15 AM   #30
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I booked one room on Airbnb, but the host never responded to my request for the time that I could check in. I was eventually refunded the room charge and Airbnb service fee to my credit card.

After the first booking and subsequent cancelation, I was denied booking another room because I was not 'verified.'

I was verified to book the first reservation but apparently not for the second.

Maybe a glitch in the system...
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:28 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by BellBarbara View Post
I am not sure about Airbnb, but I rarely pay the price advertised on the ads for VRBO and Homeaway. My process is to identify about 10 properties that fit our needs, then email all of them offering a set amount, and explaining about us (retired professionals, no pets, etc). Usually all respond and about 50% of them take something off, and 1 or 2 will accept my bid. We travel off season mostly (avoid crowds and kids) so this is partly why it works. Some of these places will be empty anyway so they seem happy to make something.
This is a great idea. We stayed at a VRBO for over a week once. I spoke to the owner on the phone and she dropped the already low price even more since we would be there 9 nights. I am not retired yet, but will obviously have more flexibility when I am, so I will give this a try.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:40 PM   #32
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Put the lake house on Airbnb last month. Have had 4 groups book so far. Seems like the Airbnb crowds are younger and more mobile ... willing to travel with a weeks notice. Where Homeaway and VRBO book 6 months to year ahead. Just an observation.

Only problem - as an owner - is not being able to phone screen. Any high schooler can get daddy's credit card and book a place for a weekend. Airbnb blocks any website and phone info from the emails. Just waiting to "burned" i.e. property damage then I'll drop them ... until then I am in. Flipkey has the same process as Airbnb ... did 2 Flipkey bookings so far.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:26 AM   #33
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I just received an email (message) inquiry back from a VBRO house I was interested in staying at next month in mountains near Southern California. The email had the price and other information and was signed "Best Regards, Jane and Henry." Who according to some of the 23 reviews are mentioned as the owners. All very positive reviews. The problem is the email is through the VBRO messaging system and the subject line is "Hang Xu has replied to your message." Huh? Who is that? I went online to the county assessors site and it has two owners listed for the property, one being Hang Xu and the other another Chinese name. So I am guessing one of two things:

1. It's a scam or
2. They are husband and wife whose legal names are Chinese but use American names on VBRO. or
3. ??

It is probably legit but there are other properties nearby so I don't think it is worth the risk.


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Old 10-22-2014, 07:05 AM   #34
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fidler4,

My guess is the Chinese couple is using american nick names. With 23 reviews ... it's legit. Insurance is also sold by VRBO if needed.

FWIW my VRBO and Homeaway accounts were "hi-jacked" a couple years ago. The scammer was responding to inquiries with rock bottom cut prices with a "dead line" to book now-now-now. Fortunately I get a text message when an inquiry is submitted so I was sending a legit response at nearly the same time ... that's how we caught it. The client forwarded the scam email and I sent it to HA/VRBO. Needed to delete the email I had used for years (PITA) ... but that killed the scam.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:39 AM   #35
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Why is the fact that the house is owned by Chinese people considered to be a risk?
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:52 AM   #36
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Why is the fact that the house is owned by Chinese people considered to be a risk?
I'm assuming it's not racist, just that if you think you're dealing with the owners and then you see different names, it makes you suspicious.

+1 on Hang Xu being American Henry. Some people can't pronounce Hang Xu and are more comfortable dealing with a Henry. Some people are xenophobic or even racist, as hard as it is to believe in 2014.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:53 AM   #37
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Why is the fact that the house is owned by Chinese people considered to be a risk?

Good point.

This place should be welcoming to all nationalities and races.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:54 AM   #38
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Why is the fact that the house is owned by Chinese people considered to be a risk?
Think it's because there is a misalignment with the name of the home owners versus the name signed in the email. So not about ethnicity.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:58 AM   #39
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Why is the fact that the house is owned by Chinese people considered to be a risk?

That has nothing to do with it. It is the name discrepancy that is the issue. Their email says one name and the VBRO message has a completely different name with no explanation as to why.


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Old 10-22-2014, 10:15 AM   #40
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Pretty much all the Chinese immigrants I know use an American "nickname" to make things easier (dozens of people -- the only ones that don't have an name that's easier to pronounce). Typically they will pick something that sounds vaguely like their chinese name (e.g. Hang Xu -> Henry) would be perfectly normal.
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