Bed and Breakfast.com Commission Only Now

52 replies [Last post]
Country Girl's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/20/2009

Good afternoon. It has been a while since I've been here. Rough summer, personally, so consequently a rough summer all the way around. One of my sisters' passed away in July after becoming ill in early June. Heartbreaking.

So, I am now getting back in business mode and received an email from BNB.com that my renewal is coming up in one month. They are the only bed and breakfast site we still use. They are dropping their annual fee and switching to a commission based fee only, which is 15% for the first year and then 18% next year. We will now be listed on BNB.com, Home Away, VRBO, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, and Orbitz. We can elect to join this new program or opt out of being on their site. It's non-negotiable. So, is anyone currently using them with the new commission only option, and if so, how is it working out? Are there any other bed and breakfast sites you like? I dropped I Love Inns and other sites a long time ago. Thanks!

__________________

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

 

Offline
Joined:
10/04/2017

Hi all...

Following, or catching up on this feed... I was doing some online research and came across this article from Fortune. It is an interesting read:  http://fortune.com/2016/07/27/travel-agents/ 

__________________

Jenn and Paul

 

Tom
Tom's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/11/2009

What a bunch of crap.  If we don't sign up, all our reviews go away; if we do sign up, it completely changes our business model.  For us, renewal is in June.

Interestingly, they also dropped sales of gift cards, but we've had several older cards lately, including a whole bunch tonight ($500 on a 3-night stay). Those carry 20% commission: annoys DW, I consider it COB on the rare occasion, but I'm not sure I want to trade out all my current business for a 18% across the board commission.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Their gift cards were a royal pain. We accepted them, but we were one of a very few who did. People never understood that you had to check if the place accepted them. Lots of bad blood that way.

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Highlands John's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/16/2010

My renewal is February, I wont be renewing.

I get bombarded by emails from them now about holidays and specials, have done for about a year. I guess that's since they were taken over. 

__________________

If you wanted hotel facilities you should have booked a hotel and paid hotel prices!!!

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Yes, you are correct. About 10 years ago is when OTA's got started.  Back then the commission rate was around 10%.  I remember thinking that was really high.  As time goes innkeepers are becoming increasingly dependent on these sites to get our customers.  We are essentially working for them now.  As these companies and sites monopolize the reservation process you will slowly see the percentage rates increase at a steady pace because they can and there won't be away to stop them.  So buckle up...

__________________

Hillbilly

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Latest info from Janice at bb.com about the upcoming changes.

I'm no longer a member and I was a member for many years 'under duress' as in a love-hate relationship. My take is this is fancy footwork talking saying they have always been working for B&B's and travelers, when their own corporate advertising and lack of customer service says otherwise.

(Let me know if the link doesn't work...)

__________________

Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. - Oscar Wilde

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

It did work thank you!  I will not be listing with them.  I hope everyone else does the same. Enough is enough.

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Only way to stop this is to not Join.  I would love to see their listing drop like flies.  So where does this leave us with commission free sites?  Any left?

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Yes. BedPosts in the UK. If we get a few US B & Bs to list with them, it could be viable for us as a place to list and possibly get more UK traffic. You just have to put their logo on your site. I am a Club member @ the princely rate of £50 per year. No commission and you show your availability calendar.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Yes. BedPosts in the UK. If we get a few US B & Bs to list with them, it could be viable for us as a place to list and possibly get more UK traffic. You just have to put their logo on your site. I am a Club member @ the princely rate of £50 per year. No commission and you show your availability calendar.

Good one to look into!

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Bnbfinder

Bbonline

I haven't checked those in awhile, so I don't know how they stack up. I do know one of them had ads plastered all over the place that too you too the commissioned sites, so you might still be paying.

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

I am on both, have been for years.  Both have given me reduced rates when I gave them my declining stats from GoogleA.  Yes, you still can pay a semi-moderate fee to list.

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Im having a hard time with this.  I feel we are all being forced to list with the big OTAS to survive.  I looked at bnbfinder and bbonline.  Finder was on page 9 of our town and bbonline was page 6.  Its pointless to list,  No one will go that far to find your listing with them.  I see them either folding or switching to a commission only site soon like all the other ones. Very sad! Sad

 

Lee2014's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2014

   I'm so sorry to hear about your loss!  But glad to hear from you!  Love, prayers, and thoughts from me to you.

__________________

Have a great day!

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Please accept my condolences. My brother died last December. It hurts. I am so sorry for your loss.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013



Very sorry to hear about your sister.  Big cyber hug.

__________________

TBH

 

seashanty's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

Country Girl, I'm very sorry for your loss.

__________________

Wear cute PJ’s to bed; you never know who you may meet in your dreams.

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Being listed on Booking means people can book through my website directly via a link on my TA page, and I don't have to pay a penny to TA. I like that!

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Arks wrote:

Being listed on Booking means people can book through my website directly via a link on my TA page, and I don't have to pay a penny to TA. I like that!

'Splain this Ricky. How do you have an unpaid link on TA?

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Morticia wrote:

'Splain this Ricky. How do you have an unpaid link on TA?

Glad you asked, because I had not looked at this in a year, and in fact had forgotten about it. Yes, I see that I AM signed up with TA Cost Per Click and that's what gives me the link to my own website. It's just that my monthly clicks never add up to more than a few dollars, so I'd completely forgotten I had that!

It's my connection to Booking that also puts a Booking click to book button on my TA page. At any rate, these direct booking links on my TA page are very valuable, I think, in getting bookings. Without the connection, TA puts "No availability for your dates" on your inn's TA page. A killer!

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Arks wrote:

Morticia wrote:

'Splain this Ricky. How do you have an unpaid link on TA?

Glad you asked, because I had not looked at this in a year, and in fact had forgotten about it. Yes, I see that I AM signed up with TA Cost Per Click and that's what gives me the link to my own website. It's just that my monthly clicks never add up to more than a few dollars, so I'd completely forgotten I had that!

It's my connection to Booking that also puts a Booking click to book button on my TA page. At any rate, these direct booking links on my TA page are very valuable, I think, in getting bookings. Without the connection, TA puts "No availability for your dates" on your inn's TA page. A killer!

If you have no relationship with any OTA, TA tells the guest to contact you directly. It's only if you don't have any rooms listed on OTA's with which you have a relationship that you get the 'nothing available' message.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Morticia wrote:

If you have no relationship with any OTA, TA tells the guest to contact you directly. It's only if you don't have any rooms listed on OTA's with which you have a relationship that you get the 'nothing available' message.

It was YOUR TA page I checked. It specifically said "No availability for your dates."

I did notice on hotels it said it said to contact the hotel directly. But on your page, it just said "no availability".

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Right. Because I list rooms on booking. But, I have nothing listed for the dates you chose. So, to punish me for not having rooms to give to them, they (TA, because they get a cut of booking sales) list me as having no availability. And, they drop me to the bottom of the list of all inns in my town, including the ones who don't list on OTA's at all.

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

This is 2018.  Has Mort input prices and allocated them yet?  If not, then... no alternative but to show no availability.  If she was not linked to Booking, would say contact directly.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Momma Smurf wrote:

This is 2018.  Has Mort input prices and allocated them yet?  If not, then... no alternative but to show no availability.  If she was not linked to Booking, would say contact directly.

Ah, so Mort is linked to Booking, but has not input prices. That needs to be fixed! I spent some time trying different dates there, and could not find ANY date that doesn't say "no availability" for Mort. That's bound to be killing reservations from people who are looking on TA for a B&B in her town.

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

Yes.  So this is where TConnect comes in.  Your availability will still show regardless of inventory on Bking, etc!  ResKey is great for that.

And will repeat for the umpteenth time:  New TC advertising is driving lots of res to us in the past few months. And with a separate RK Trip page I can track all of the many searches.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Momma Smurf wrote:

New TC advertising is driving lots of res to us in the past few months. 

What's killing me now, I guess, is that when someone searches TA for lodging in my town, they only see hotels, even hotels 50 miles away! To see my place, they have to find and click the "B&B and Inns" selector. Most people would never know to do that.

The B&B/Inns section used to show right below the 3 local hotels/motels. Now they show all the hotels in nearby towns, dozens of them. I think that may be a big part of why my July and August were so sloooow.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Every the b&b section shows hotels up to an hour away.

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

Arks wrote:

The B&B/Inns section used to show right below the 3 local hotels/motels. Now they show all the hotels in nearby towns, dozens of them. I think that may be a big part of why my July and August were so sloooow.

True, they have hidden B&Bs.  We too had an unusual slooooow July & August.  Last year was our best overall year by far.  This year will be lucky if we break 2009 sales! surpriseangry  July was so pathetic, that both June & September may beat it... and we're a summer destination.

ShiAl's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/26/2017

Arks wrote:

Momma Smurf wrote:

New TC advertising is driving lots of res to us in the past few months. 

What's killing me now, I guess, is that when someone searches TA for lodging in my town, they only see hotels, even hotels 50 miles away! To see my place, they have to find and click the "B&B and Inns" selector. Most people would never know to do that.

The B&B/Inns section used to show right below the 3 local hotels/motels. Now they show all the hotels in nearby towns, dozens of them. I think that may be a big part of why my July and August were so sloooow.

Yes that is such a stinken technique they use !! It is blackmailing and we as small accommodation businesses pay dearly for that. You are right Ark the people who are looking for rooms do not get that they would have to specifically put B&B into the search at TA

__________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Albert Einstein

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

I have noticed that too.  Even if I click on 'show me other B&B's' it goes right to hotels and I have to again click on B&B's.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I'm waiting until I get rid of the bookings I have already in order to change my terms. We had a chargeback for $400 from someone who cancelled. We lost because there was no guest signature. Did not matter that everything the guest was shown stated quite clearly that they were being charged that amount.

So, switching to totally non refundable. Not that it makes a difference. Apparently if you have no signature the guest can get their money back. I suggest everyone order stuff online and claim you never agreed to pay for it. No signature = no agreement.

notAgrandma's picture
Offline
Joined:
07/07/2017

I've wondered about this with cancellations through the OTAs. Your listing spells out in no uncertain terms that the rate is nonrefundable, or has to be cancelled by _x_ date. I realize this is a long shot, but would an OTA be able to provide documentation that the guest received notice of your cancellation policies? Or would a screenshot of what we see in the back office view of the guest's reservation help? I'm sure the OTA would like to receive their portion of the cancellation fee, too! I recently changed by OTA bookings to all be nonrefundable, too. 

I changed my policy on reservations that are booked through us to include a $75 nonrefundable deposit (deducted from the full amount of the stay) no matter when the guest cancels using whatever harebrained reason. I then take the balance at check-in using a chip-reader and I get a signature. Reservations cancelled within 14 days of arrival are charged the full amount unless I can rebook. This happens pretty rarely, and (knock on wood) I haven't had a chargeback in 5 years.

My only chargeback attempt happened 6 years ago, in my first year of business. A lady who called with 12 hr's notice to cancel, saying that Amtrak cancelled her train. She had a free night (5 nt stay in slow season), so I asked if she would be arriving the next day and just miss the free night. Nope! Cancelled her full trip. The kicker was that she had trip insurance and filed a claim with the insurance company, but was also trying to collect $800 from me, too. Thankfully, her credit card would not process the chargeback. My cc processor did absolutely nothing to defend me. I changed processors really quickly after that!

__________________

Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I had screen shots of everything the guest agreed to. All the processor kept saying was there is no signature agreeing to the verbiage.

So I asked if I can get all the money back from everything I ordered online as I never signed any credit card receipt.

He said he didn't see why I couldn't try.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

We had two chargebacks this week.   Over $1000.  We are fighting them.   But who knows?

Evidence is our email confirmation saying that the reservation was made months in advance.

 And our policies.  One was a no-show and one was a day of cancellation.

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

A TA listing will not necessarily show no availability for your dates of you don’t maintain links to OTAs. If you simply never establish a paid link to OTAs your listing on TA directs all lookers to contact the B&B directly for availability.  

Granted, not using OTAs reduces the # of prospective lookers.  But if you are marketing to a segment that is motivated, expects customer service and hospitality, and does not mind paying for the personal attention, you can still effectively use TA to drive business directly to you without paying any fees.  You still need to keep reviews coming into TA Nd Go ogle so you don’t get buried in the masses.  But the motivated customer will find you if you work at your own marketing.  Just sayin’

 

__________________

Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Silverspoon wrote:

But the motivated customer will find you if you work at your own marketing.

I fear, if finding me depends on my guests being motivated, I'll starve!

But this discussion has helped me a LOT, especially Mort making me realize that my pay-per-click had expired and my own site was no longer appearing on TA. It's back now. I'm really surprised TA didn't notify me, even badger me, when that PPC expired!

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

There's a setting for urgent notifications for TC.  Did not know this and when my bid got out bid,  I too, was turned off, including all of Europe.  You need to enable this. 

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

Yes, but if you are indeed using TC it will still show your availability, you don't need Booking for that. PLUS, rather than saving that commission by directly reserving via Trip Connect, that Booking button is luring them and your dollars away. Which could also be why you're not seeing many TC clicks.  

Country Girl's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/20/2009

Thanks for the feedback everyone. So, if you are not using BNB.com, who are you using? We will virtually disappear if we don't keep them. We're on TripAdvisor, but only for reviews. All the OTA's take commission as well. I agree with Hillbilly, that all the small booking sites are disappearing. I don't want to be on ANY of those sites, but what choice do we have? Our local tourism site brings us nothing. They publish a bi-annual magazine and they also have a website, but we don't get much from them. AirBNB properties are popping up all over our area, which doesn't help. I wonder how much longer we can compete against someone offering a room for $35.00 a night. 

Highlands John's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/16/2010

98% of our bookings come through our own website and the biggest driver to that is organic searches and adwords on Goo gle.

 

Momma Smurf's picture
Online
Joined:
12/06/2010

No OTAs, but am getting tons of searches and bookings from TA Trip Connect pay per click. TA has really upped their ads as a portal for all OTAs. Plus they are now ranking results re best value.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Country Girl wrote:

...what choice do we have? 

I've dropped V- R- B- O- and Air, but I'm still on Booking and get a lot of reservations through them. They spend THEIR money to make their clients appear at the top, or high, on Google searches. I can't stand them, really, but I won't leave them because they get me so much business.

Anon Inn's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/26/2011

Condolences on the loss of your sister.  

I haven't used OTAs except for Air.  2 room very rural inn plus an attached vacation rental here plus a vacation rental in a nearby city.  We're on track to match and likely slightly exceed last year.  Air bookings way up.  Direct bookings way down, so a website update in is order.  Loss here too earlier in the year.  That has put an damper on everything but now that the season has slowed way down I'm starting to feel optimism again.  

Very best to you.  heart

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Sorry to hear of your sister's passing.  

I am using the new commission based model.   Love/hate relationship believe me!!!    Customer Service is NULL!

This all has come to pass because Homeaway which purchased B&B.com is now owned by Expedia.  

It took me for ever to be set up.  And they had my information on file!!!  I had dropped them last December after dwindling stats.   Was offered the new model in early March, was not live until mid June.  (dead time for my business)

Then they sent out emails stating they were putting all the properties on Homeaway.  I went out and looked at my listing - many vital pieces of information were incorrect.   I submitted ticket after ticket for assistance.  Emailed my Rep., called my Rep., contacted a Mgr of Client Relations.  Nothing seemed to help, in fact my Rep told me at one point that they were unable to correct or remove my listing on the Homeaway site and told me that I should just tell someone when they book that xyz info is incorrect! angry   It has recently been removed.  

Since my fall season is coming up, I have received several reservations via the Expedia/Hotels OTA connection.  * Note that I made these to be non-refundable bookings.  All are 2 days or more and one is a 7 night booking.  Payment is taken by the OTA at time of booking & I submit to be paid once guest checks in. 

I am wondering if you can be on B&B.com without being listed on the OTA?  That use to be the case, but that was when they had a partnership, not being owned by the giant.
 

 

JimBoone's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/18/2014

Copperhead wrote:

Customer Service is NULL!

That may be the biggest reason I would be afraid to use any of the OTA's. Yes the visibility and some extra bookings would be nice, maybe I could live with the commissions that are paid, but the seeming lack of concern for the guest and the lodging operator don't fit the way I like to do business. I don't want to be one of the big guys I love my guests and enjoying the business is important to me

 

__________________

Jim & Maxine

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

See, I've had good experience with X, they are involved. But I absolutely refuse to pay TA, who just wanted 15% but did NOTHING, they wanted me to do everything. And so, I passed them rates where I added the commission back into the rates. They asked and I straight out told them that they wanted a commission, they needed to earn it. Otherwise, I was getting paid for doing the work and their customers can pay their share.

And that was the end of it. You do nothing and want to get paid, let your stupid customers pay it, not me.

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Im am also sorry for your loss. I'm also sorry to hear about what B&B . com is doing.  I was shocked and not shocked at the same time.  I called and talked with them today and its true.  When it comes time to renew its either you work for them or you no longer advertise on their site.  They will be collecting all the money for the guests stay and then send you whats left after their fees.  Guys,  its over.  This is one of the last directories that has falling to greed.  Sure, there are other directories like bnbfinder and such but they will soon die out they hardly have any listings at all on their sites and the new generations don't use them.  It's to bad that in the very near future we most likely will fully depend on the Big Boys to feed us because we no longer can feed ourselves.  Very sad...

Highlands John's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/16/2010

I think it's a shame because I get a lot of enquiries through them, but I'm not paying anyone else OTA commission rates and I'm not starting with them.

Highlands John's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/16/2010

Sorry about your loss.

bnb.com has already gone down in my estimations after they stuck a copy of my listing on their vacations rental site and I got innundated with emails asking to rent the house for a week.

There's also been a long term issue with them that even with platignum membership you can't simply have an availability calendar updated from someone else, you have to take bookings through them as well.

Now their business model is to abandon all their uniqueness and go into competition against the likes of expedia and booking...... I think greed has over-ruled common sense!!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.