Discounting - This Has To Stop!

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Generic

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Yes, I'm going to vent! Maybe I'm going to rant! But I am angry!
Why do people think that it's perfectly acceptable to ask us to discount our hard work. Why do they not find it rude? Why do we do it? And why can't we stop?
Look, I think my pricing is fair. I have a few discounts that I offer as packages on our website. I change prices when a room isn't selling the way that I want it to sell. Many of my reservations for July and August date back for February and March. I'm already booked at 80% for July and 60% for August.
So why does someone go to our website, where we have LIVE booking choose to go to email and ask us about dates and a best price? Because other B&Bs have conditioned them to do it. Can't we stop this? Our price is our price. If I'm going to adjust the price, I will adjust it for those dates on the website. I put prices up and I put prices down as need be. I put certain specials when I need to. But we need to stop all discounting in email. It's discounting our labour. It's discounting us. I'm not a discounted product.
Sorry... this email today really got under my skin.
 

April

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I agree. It makes me angry as well when they ask fo "the best rate". Our "best rates" are posted on the website - same rate 365 days a year - we do not discount and do not increase just because there is an event in town.
 

egoodell

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Yes I get annoyed at it too but that's what the TV ads and Groupon and Social Living are conditioning the people to do.
I get calls on Wednesday for the weekend. "I'm coming to Charlottesville for Saturday night. What is the best deal you can do?"
I'm sorry we require a two night stay on weekends.
Our prices are on the website
And we've been booked for this weekend for weeks.
I've been lucky since the wine country is popular now and we're only 1.5 - 2 hours from DC. I am sorry for the inns that still have rooms and have to deal with this.
It's hard to not tell them if they want cheap they need to call the Super 8 motel.
I've had someone say, "But sweetheart, what is the problem? What is going on that all the rooms are booked?" Umm, it's Thursday and you want this weekend. We are a destination area. Hello?
RIki
 

Don Draper

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It makes me angry too, and it isn't doing the guest any favor when they start out that way with us.
I've tried to stop taking it personally and realize they're just conditioned to do it. I simply reiterate our price, our online discount, and what is included. This is especially easy to do in an email (I have a stock reply I just cut and paste). 9 times out of 10 they end up booking anyway, I think they just feel better for trying.
The ones who DON'T book because they don't get a discount, well you already know that you don't want them in your house anyway, so good riddance.
 

Paradise

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I agree. It makes me angry as well when they ask fo "the best rate". Our "best rates" are posted on the website - same rate 365 days a year - we do not discount and do not increase just because there is an event in town..
April said:
I agree. It makes me angry as well when they ask fo "the best rate". Our "best rates" are posted on the website - same rate 365 days a year - we do not discount and do not increase just because there is an event in town.
100% agree!
 

Penelope

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I agree. It makes me angry as well when they ask fo "the best rate". Our "best rates" are posted on the website - same rate 365 days a year - we do not discount and do not increase just because there is an event in town..
April said:
I agree. It makes me angry as well when they ask fo "the best rate". Our "best rates" are posted on the website - same rate 365 days a year - we do not discount and do not increase just because there is an event in town.
That sounds like a blatant tip-off that they are hotel people...becuase hotels do that! Increase and decrease. Call the 800 number vs the hotel itself and get vastly different rate structures! The general public is not a well-informed general public. ]
Disclaimer: In the following sentences the word "you" is for the general you, not a specific "you".
I would say that if it's possible, don't take it personally. And I KNOW I'm going to get slammed for that comment becuase your businesses are SO personal. But their question to you isn't personal. The way you receive it is personal. Theirs is a general, common question based on what the vast majority of the lodging industry does. Why would a B&B be any different? And how do they know until they ask and are taught!!!???
 

Joey Camb

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What doubly hacks me off is people who have this attitude that "Oh it doesn't cost much to turn a room round so you must have tons of money brigade" and the mortgage and all the other bills pay themselves do they?
 

Joey Camb

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Its one of the things that drives me mad A PRICE IS A PRICE would you ask at walmart? no so why is anything else any different?
 

Tom

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Agree, it is a pain. Just recently Customer called over two days, trying to get a discount by claiming that "my competitor" up river offered a discount. I said that the other inn wasn't a competitor, it was a colleague and that it was a lovely place and Customer would enjoy the stay. Customer persisted, he wanted to stay here. I told him he can book online if he changes his mind. He said "I know I can book online (insulted), but I can't get a deal online!" I bit my tongue. Didn't say the obvious: don't want him here.
We get ... maybe a third of telephone contacts ... asking for a discount. Mostly it is due dillegence: if a discount is available, why not ask? Under some circumstances we will make a small concession e.g. weekday rate on a slow weekend or the $175 room for the $165 price of the room that is not available for one night of the requested stay. But for me, these are reasonable accomodations.
Of the folk asking for "deals" we don't give what they want and most don't book with us, thankfully. Sometimes we have lots of empty rooms, but I would rather go empty than feed a bottom-fisher -- I don't need their money that badly.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Those people drive me crazy too. My response to them is sometimes snarky. "You get what you pay for". It used to be worse for us because a nearby b&b used to do 2/1 specials in the winter/shoulder seasons. I would get calls saying, xyz b&b is offering this special, can I match it? The answer would always by "NO". If they want a cheap price, let 'em stay there. They'll know after their stay what that place could offer their rooms so cheaply.
Unfortunately, it's been all over the media for the past couple of years that lodging can be negotiated. It's another reason I get so ticked off at bb.com and other directories what seem to emphasize the "special" or "discount". It sets us all up for these kind of calls and e-mails. Just stick with your rates if you're filling up enough of your inventory.
 

Red Handed Jill

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OKay, I'm going to make a confession here.
I raised our prices 30% so I can give the discounts. I'm tired of being asked, tired of explaining, and when I do give a discount, it's never enough. THIS is one of the reasons why we never joined up with the likes of Expe.dia - because we'd have to raise our prices to pay their commission.
This week, I had one of these (ungrateful) discount-requester-guests cancel at the last minute. (Yes, I know, I should have not given the discount and just let them go somewhere else.) In an effort to rebook the room for at least part of the cancelled stay, I raised our rate and put it on the h0t deals at a "25% discount." It rebooked almost immediately.
Know what's REALLY stupid? The "discounted" price is $5 more than the price was before I artificially raised the rate.
I guess most people don't care about a low rate. They care about getting a "deal."
 

Joey Camb

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when I went onto online booking agencies I put up my prices to balance the commission Its a shame they have taught customers they are the cheapest way but its all a con really what do people think they are advertising for me for free? your having a laugh. I always start higher than I want so I can come down if I feel like it then If I get the higher price its a bonus.
 

Alibi Ike

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I guess I can't answer the original question because I get a lot of emailers who ask about availability and never mention discounts. AND I get guests who book online and ask for a discount in the text box that's for allergies. AND I get callers whose first words are, 'What's the price?'
I agree that when we set fair pricing and we're 80-90% full months in advance discounting ain't gonna happen. OTOH, I don't think a lot of B&B's do any kind of price management. If they're empty they don't lower the rates online but they might give a discount if you call. If they're filling up they probably don't raise the prices on the remaining rooms.
Why this is I don't know.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I guess I can't answer the original question because I get a lot of emailers who ask about availability and never mention discounts. AND I get guests who book online and ask for a discount in the text box that's for allergies. AND I get callers whose first words are, 'What's the price?'
I agree that when we set fair pricing and we're 80-90% full months in advance discounting ain't gonna happen. OTOH, I don't think a lot of B&B's do any kind of price management. If they're empty they don't lower the rates online but they might give a discount if you call. If they're filling up they probably don't raise the prices on the remaining rooms.
Why this is I don't know..
Alibi Ike said:
I don't think a lot of B&B's do any kind of price management. If they're empty they don't lower the rates online but they might give a discount if you call. If they're filling up they probably don't raise the prices on the remaining rooms.
Why this is I don't know.
I increase my room rate if 3 of the 4 of my rooms are filled. The last room will be at the higher price of my range. It's only $10 difference, but hey, that's a lot of $10 over a year!
 

Cbz

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Seems like South Asian "discount" vibe is travelling everywhere. [Every hotel gives discount here, no matter how big/small/ elite it appears]
It's coz of the hotel concept (Rightly pointed out by Penelope).
Everyday i get a call/e-mail asking for discounts/best price. And the question from other end " Every hotel is giving discount, why aren't you?" or "Its's `Off-season` now, we want discount". It maybe off season for hotels, but not for me!
The only solution i can think of is hiking your rack rates (since you can) & then giving a discount and keep at it throughout the year. Change the wordings like "Hot Deal - Stay 2 nights, get 20%" off OR " 3 nights & 30% off". or "Summer special", "Weekend getaway deal". People are happier in getting a "deal/discount" even though they may end up paying higher in the end as per you.
Expedia is a killer, asking us for 30% commission on $60 room... that hurts.
The only thing i do for direct bookings - cash on arrival, is give them a free room upgrade (best room of our house - was made for personal use) or sometimes, pass on the commision differential to guests (Indirectly speaking that's 10-15% off).
Morover, i have started avoiding "hotel" people.
 

seashanty

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eric, if this is happening again and again, maybe you should try doing what red handed jill said she did. raise your rates then offer the discount to bring them down to just above the rate you want to be paid. if you are consistently getting those emails, then your 'audience' of potential guests is searching for a 'deal'. those who don't want to pay over a certain amount still won't be booking your rooms, that but those with a psychological need to 'get a better rate' will.
 

Generic

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eric, if this is happening again and again, maybe you should try doing what red handed jill said she did. raise your rates then offer the discount to bring them down to just above the rate you want to be paid. if you are consistently getting those emails, then your 'audience' of potential guests is searching for a 'deal'. those who don't want to pay over a certain amount still won't be booking your rooms, that but those with a psychological need to 'get a better rate' will..
Let's see... I have three basic rooms, maybe I am pricing them wrong....
  1. Queen Bed with ensuite
  2. King Bed with shared bath
  3. Queen Bed with shared bath
Rooms type 2 and 3 share a bathroom between them.
My rack rates in CAD are $139/$149, $129/$139 and $109/$119. We offer a basic $10 off a night when you book two nights in a row. So essentially everyone is really paying $129/$139, $119/$129 and $99/$109. (It's $10 more on Fridays and Saturdays).
Room type 3 is the smallest room. There are two of these types... One is larger than the other, but the smaller one has a private Romeo & Juliet balcony. We charge $5 extra in the summer and $5 less in the winter for that room.
Room type 2 is exceptionally large. We have extra beds in each, one takes 3 and the other takes 4. They have a sitting area.
Room type 1 is our only en-suite.
Looking at some of my competitors... one has private bath for each room, but some are ensuite and some aren't. Prices are $135, $152, $135, $145 and $156. Another has only shared bath for $85-$105 but continental breakfast and more rooms to a bath than me. Another up the street is $145 a night tax in, that makes it really $122.97 and that's private bath. Another with shared bath is $97 to $87 a night. Another, with a good rep, but not as good a neighbourhood is $125 double bed, $145 king bed and finally $189 for ensuite. Another in the area is $140 with ensuite, $125 queen shared and $110 double shared.
See, it's not so easy to pick a price. (And I only compared B&Bs). My King rooms are exceptional in size.
 

Copperhead

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OKay, I'm going to make a confession here.
I raised our prices 30% so I can give the discounts. I'm tired of being asked, tired of explaining, and when I do give a discount, it's never enough. THIS is one of the reasons why we never joined up with the likes of Expe.dia - because we'd have to raise our prices to pay their commission.
This week, I had one of these (ungrateful) discount-requester-guests cancel at the last minute. (Yes, I know, I should have not given the discount and just let them go somewhere else.) In an effort to rebook the room for at least part of the cancelled stay, I raised our rate and put it on the h0t deals at a "25% discount." It rebooked almost immediately.
Know what's REALLY stupid? The "discounted" price is $5 more than the price was before I artificially raised the rate.
I guess most people don't care about a low rate. They care about getting a "deal.".
Red Handed Jill said:
OKay, I'm going to make a confession here.
I raised our prices 30% so I can give the discounts. I'm tired of being asked, tired of explaining, and when I do give a discount, it's never enough. ...... Know what's REALLY stupid? The "discounted" price is $5 more than the price was before I artificially raised the rate.
I guess most people don't care about a low rate. They care about getting a "deal."
And maybe that is it in a nutshell! Give me a deal! They want to be treated 'special', getting a deal others may not get.
 

Don Draper

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eric, if this is happening again and again, maybe you should try doing what red handed jill said she did. raise your rates then offer the discount to bring them down to just above the rate you want to be paid. if you are consistently getting those emails, then your 'audience' of potential guests is searching for a 'deal'. those who don't want to pay over a certain amount still won't be booking your rooms, that but those with a psychological need to 'get a better rate' will..
Let's see... I have three basic rooms, maybe I am pricing them wrong....
  1. Queen Bed with ensuite
  2. King Bed with shared bath
  3. Queen Bed with shared bath
Rooms type 2 and 3 share a bathroom between them.
My rack rates in CAD are $139/$149, $129/$139 and $109/$119. We offer a basic $10 off a night when you book two nights in a row. So essentially everyone is really paying $129/$139, $119/$129 and $99/$109. (It's $10 more on Fridays and Saturdays).
Room type 3 is the smallest room. There are two of these types... One is larger than the other, but the smaller one has a private Romeo & Juliet balcony. We charge $5 extra in the summer and $5 less in the winter for that room.
Room type 2 is exceptionally large. We have extra beds in each, one takes 3 and the other takes 4. They have a sitting area.
Room type 1 is our only en-suite.
Looking at some of my competitors... one has private bath for each room, but some are ensuite and some aren't. Prices are $135, $152, $135, $145 and $156. Another has only shared bath for $85-$105 but continental breakfast and more rooms to a bath than me. Another up the street is $145 a night tax in, that makes it really $122.97 and that's private bath. Another with shared bath is $97 to $87 a night. Another, with a good rep, but not as good a neighbourhood is $125 double bed, $145 king bed and finally $189 for ensuite. Another in the area is $140 with ensuite, $125 queen shared and $110 double shared.
See, it's not so easy to pick a price. (And I only compared B&Bs). My King rooms are exceptional in size.
.
They ALL sounds too low to me! But I guess you have to see what your competitors are doing and go from there.
 

Generic

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eric, if this is happening again and again, maybe you should try doing what red handed jill said she did. raise your rates then offer the discount to bring them down to just above the rate you want to be paid. if you are consistently getting those emails, then your 'audience' of potential guests is searching for a 'deal'. those who don't want to pay over a certain amount still won't be booking your rooms, that but those with a psychological need to 'get a better rate' will..
Let's see... I have three basic rooms, maybe I am pricing them wrong....
  1. Queen Bed with ensuite
  2. King Bed with shared bath
  3. Queen Bed with shared bath
Rooms type 2 and 3 share a bathroom between them.
My rack rates in CAD are $139/$149, $129/$139 and $109/$119. We offer a basic $10 off a night when you book two nights in a row. So essentially everyone is really paying $129/$139, $119/$129 and $99/$109. (It's $10 more on Fridays and Saturdays).
Room type 3 is the smallest room. There are two of these types... One is larger than the other, but the smaller one has a private Romeo & Juliet balcony. We charge $5 extra in the summer and $5 less in the winter for that room.
Room type 2 is exceptionally large. We have extra beds in each, one takes 3 and the other takes 4. They have a sitting area.
Room type 1 is our only en-suite.
Looking at some of my competitors... one has private bath for each room, but some are ensuite and some aren't. Prices are $135, $152, $135, $145 and $156. Another has only shared bath for $85-$105 but continental breakfast and more rooms to a bath than me. Another up the street is $145 a night tax in, that makes it really $122.97 and that's private bath. Another with shared bath is $97 to $87 a night. Another, with a good rep, but not as good a neighbourhood is $125 double bed, $145 king bed and finally $189 for ensuite. Another in the area is $140 with ensuite, $125 queen shared and $110 double shared.
See, it's not so easy to pick a price. (And I only compared B&Bs). My King rooms are exceptional in size.
.
They ALL sounds too low to me! But I guess you have to see what your competitors are doing and go from there.
.
Well, excluding hotels... my copetitors are from $87 a night at the low end to $189 on the high end. I'm from $99 to $139 including the online booking discount with a two night minimum. I have to admit that the one on the low end has almost no rank on TA and the one at the high end is one below me on TA.
Hotels are running from $75 to $170 a night in my neighbourhood. $107 to $247 for downtown (the next neighbourhood over).
 
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