Explaining pricing

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We have a price range on the rack cards we put in the tourist info center and that we hand out at the door to looky lous. The range is really wide by season. It covers really slow times to peak weekends. I have 2 price ranges. High season and quiet season. An example would be that quiet season rates go from $125 to $175.

Whenever anyone calls with one of these in hand, no matter the season or the room they want, they all ask for the $115 room. When I explain they are calling in July and should look at the July pricing they get huffy. Then I get, 'OK, I want the room for $150.' (A low end room in July.) Of course that room is already taken.

My rack rate never even comes close to the high end price I quote. And yet I have to argue with every person who calls about the cost of a room. (OK, no, I don't HAVE to argue, but I try to get the booking if I can.)

So, the question is, without just hanging up on them wink, how would you explain this to them? I'd like to start off with the high end price and show them they are paying well under that vs them starting at the low end and feeling they are paying too much.

We put the prices on the brochure because of me. I won't even bother to call a place without prices because I'm cheap. I don't want to be embarrassed by thinking something will be reasonable and find out it's $300/night.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I understand why you post your rates however I would not project myself onto the rack card.  Since my rack cards have a L O N G shelf life, I do not post rates there. I say this for consideration for your next printing.

I stopped agonizing over an empty reservation book a long time ago. We now look at it as the next reservation is ______ unless the phone rings. Today the phone rang AND RezKey dinged in! It will help make up for the cancels we had this month (and the freebies we are giving/gave). I also got a reservation yesterday for April 2013 - not holding my breath that one will not cancel.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

On the rack cards, do you also have something that says they should check your website for current pricing for the dates they are interested in?

I know your guests are as computer savvy as some, but it couldn't hurt.

I have a range also, but it's very minimal, so it's not much of an issue for me. In fact, now that I think about it, I can't remember the last time anyone quoted one of my prices. But then again, not many people find us by our rack card.wink

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We're also in travel guide books and on different tourism maps. People pick these up on vacation and then call 6-9 years later and seriously forget it's been that long. (I've had people on the phone telling me they were here 2 years ago and I look up their stay and it was 6 years ago. They don't believe me!)

Putting a price like $150+ might work. But I've got a few years before it'll be time to print more rack cards. If ever.

I don't say to check the website for current pricing but it's a good idea.

Don't get me going on the AAA crowd, either. One time we charged more than the book quoted and I thought I'd never hear the end of it. No idea why the prices in the book were so low, but I do know I have to give them prices 2 years in advance. And they never contacted us this year.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Can I suggest that you don't put your low season rates but instead you put the discount amount for low season. For example, if a room is $150 for high season and $120 for low season then put in $30 off. So the only number that appears is your high season. Also, you might want to list your prices as "from $150" or "$150 + up" instead of a range. We list three different room sizes and a price for weekday and weekend. And I have the disclaimer below that says that "rates may vary," so if the price is high or low, I'm still covered.

I don't think there is a way to explain this to them, especially if they are price shopping. So... I don't. I just tell them what I have and the price. If they want, that's fine, if they don't, that's fine too. In fact the nonchalance might actually work for you. It's sending the message that you will get that price, if it is them or someone else. Book or don't book, I don't need to worry about it. I've stopped worry about the reservations, they just ebb and flow. Now if my price is wrong, then I have to worry about it, but I adjust those from time to time as well if things aren't selling the way that I want them.

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