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How do you receive your money, credit card, cash, check, etc.

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Rolacoy

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Do people make reservations from your website, call, e-mail or all of the above?
OK, how ever they make contact how do you get the money?
Do they make a deposit to hold the room?
 

YellowSocks

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Most of my guests call me, but some of them use the online reservation button on my website. Once in a while I get an email, but I end up talking to them eventually.
I take a one night deposit (or sometimes more, depending on many factors). They give me their cc number and expiration date, I run it and their money goes into my bank. When they arrive we run the balance, if any. Sometimes I get paid by check... the university has me bill them and I get a check, and other guests have also chosen to pay that way. One (so far) paid with cash.
Mostly it's cc's. I have the machine in my library... makes me feel like such a real business to have that little VISA/MC sign on the table.
=)
Kk.
 

swirt

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The vast majority of our bookings come through the website using our online reservation system. It is simply a must have if you are in the States. Some call rather than book online. A few email, usually just checking to see if there are openings.
We require a deposit by credit card of one night to hold the reservation. No deposit, no reservation. I suggest avoiding the pitfall of taking checks for deposits as it will lead to instances where you are holding a room for a check that never is sent. It just creates awkward situations. For us, if someone asks about sending a check for reservation, I tell them we will hold the reservation once the check arrives ... they usually manage to find a credit card.
 

gillumhouse

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The vast majority of our bookings come through the website using our online reservation system. It is simply a must have if you are in the States. Some call rather than book online. A few email, usually just checking to see if there are openings.
We require a deposit by credit card of one night to hold the reservation. No deposit, no reservation. I suggest avoiding the pitfall of taking checks for deposits as it will lead to instances where you are holding a room for a check that never is sent. It just creates awkward situations. For us, if someone asks about sending a check for reservation, I tell them we will hold the reservation once the check arrives ... they usually manage to find a credit card..
I take VS/MC, cash, and personal check. I take cc number to hold the room but do not run it until they arrive or if it is a cancel or no-show. Have had a very few of those and only one (very early on) did a protest. The beauty of cash or check is no cc rip-off. I get a fair amount of cash & checks. Have a check on my desk now for half of the denmark stay. Not cashing it until after the cancel period - that way if refund is in order, it is easier - void the check.
 

April

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We use online reservation system as well and love it. Since we got it last winter my phone is not ringing non stop.Our reservation poicy is "no credit card info. no reservation" and we do not accept any cheques. With credit cards we do not process them until arrival as our credit rates are cosiderably higher for online/call in payments.
 

EmptyNest

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You get yourself on line reservations and take credit cards, charge their deposit when you take a reservation. It is put into your account. Let them know right up front you are charging their account for the deposit.
 

Morticia

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Everyone does this differently...we require a cc to hold the room, but do not charge a deposit except for 'big' weekends.
When guests arrive they can pay cash, check, travelers cheque or credit card.
They book online or by calling or emailing.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Rolacoy, these are really good questions.
I have to ask you one first. Have you ever stayed at a B&B? If you plan to open a B&B you have to stay at them to see how they operate.
By doing this at least - go online and at least pretend to book a couple rooms and you will see right away if a place has online reservations or not etc etc. Check out websites of B&B's - you may have already done this.
Part of the homework is to stay at them. You will gain invaluable knowledge firsthand. That is first on the list.
Second, go to your library and get some HOW TO OPEN and OPERATE A BED and BREAKFAST. There are a ton of books out there that will give you tons of info. Or order them online.
Lastly, go to an aspiring innkeeper workshop or two or three where you can be bombarded with info on how to operate and open a B&B.
 

Samster

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We have guests that book by all of those methods. Almost all of our guests book online through our reservation system. We require a credit card to hold the reservation. We take all the major credit cards, including Discover & Amex (business guests use Amex a lot). Although we say that we take a deposit, we don't run the card until arrival. I've had one guest pay with a check and several pay with cash, which is a bonus since we save the cc processing fees.
I agree with JBJ...would be helpful for you if you haven't done so already to stay at several B&Bs. Also, read up on the biz. Texas has a very active association. www.hat.org where you can get lots of info. Best of luck!
 

Copperhead

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As has been said by most of the others - there is several ways to do this, no right or wrong way. One thing about this is that if something does not work well for you then change your policies, you will be your own boss.
Most of our reservations are done through our online reservation system, most others call. I get a lot of email inquiries but typically followed by finalizing via online or by phone.
We have evolved to this: We must have CC information to reserve. We accept the 4 musts V/MC, Disc. & AMEX, and cash (for balance only). We state that the deposit (1st night stay) will be taken once the cancellation date arrives with the balance due on arrival. This way, no credits to issue.
I will recommend that if you decide to accept checks, have check verification added to your processing contract. I accepted checks in the past but no more, had 2 to bounce, will not go for a strike out! I did get my money, but it was not a pleasent experience for me or either of the guests.
I also recommend what JBJ said, you must do a lot of research before diving in. One other bit of advise is that how you conduct this part of the business sets the tone to your potential guests as to how the B&B is run. So you must decide what type of guests you are aiming to attract?
IMHO if you take CC's you are more likely to attract more professional people, whether business or pleasure. Old conseption is that it eleminates a big sector of the population, now most banks issue debit cards with V/MC logos. If you want to set a tone of 'take me back to the good ole days' then taking cash only is a good way to start them in that direction. This past winter we stayed at a B&B that only took cash on arrival, and it had set the tone of 'take me back', and it was achieved through out the stay, loved the experience.
 

Rolacoy

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Much good advise. We do plan to take credit cards and probably bookings on line. You asked if we had stayed at a B&B, a couple of times. I have a lot of trouble with my back when sleeping so we bought a Roadtrek motor home and stay in it when we travel. That way I take a bed with me that works for me. However, we will take the advice and go stay in a couple soon.
 

swirt

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As has been said by most of the others - there is several ways to do this, no right or wrong way. One thing about this is that if something does not work well for you then change your policies, you will be your own boss.
Most of our reservations are done through our online reservation system, most others call. I get a lot of email inquiries but typically followed by finalizing via online or by phone.
We have evolved to this: We must have CC information to reserve. We accept the 4 musts V/MC, Disc. & AMEX, and cash (for balance only). We state that the deposit (1st night stay) will be taken once the cancellation date arrives with the balance due on arrival. This way, no credits to issue.
I will recommend that if you decide to accept checks, have check verification added to your processing contract. I accepted checks in the past but no more, had 2 to bounce, will not go for a strike out! I did get my money, but it was not a pleasent experience for me or either of the guests.
I also recommend what JBJ said, you must do a lot of research before diving in. One other bit of advise is that how you conduct this part of the business sets the tone to your potential guests as to how the B&B is run. So you must decide what type of guests you are aiming to attract?
IMHO if you take CC's you are more likely to attract more professional people, whether business or pleasure. Old conseption is that it eleminates a big sector of the population, now most banks issue debit cards with V/MC logos. If you want to set a tone of 'take me back to the good ole days' then taking cash only is a good way to start them in that direction. This past winter we stayed at a B&B that only took cash on arrival, and it had set the tone of 'take me back', and it was achieved through out the stay, loved the experience..
Copperhead said:
If you want to set a tone of 'take me back to the good ole days' then taking cash only is a good way to start them in that direction.
I like the feel of that, I'll have to keep that in mind for future clients ...and of course the sarcastic side of me wants to go one step farther and list forms of payment and "cash or chickens only (Prairie Dogs not accepted)"

 

trishany

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We have a program called "webervations". When and IF they call, I tell them that they can book on line. It's very much worth it, to have webervations.
You will get the reservations in your email. But some do still call to make sure.
But most will make reservations thru webervations.
 

Copperhead

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LOL Swirt! (Really - the whole town was like this, most places were cash only & this is a tourist town!)
Re: Webervations - I still have those that are leerly of placing CC information on the form, so I have made adding it optional, and will call to finalize the reservation by getting their #. Yes, my site does state that one is needed, just some will NOT do it!
If I get an email inquiry, about dates etc, I respond stating that the easiest way to book is through our secure online booking or by calling us as we will need a CC # to finalize the reservation. Funny, most that do an email inquiry end up calling to book. They must not trust the security! - Then there are those that send the # via email. LOL
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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LOL Swirt! (Really - the whole town was like this, most places were cash only & this is a tourist town!)
Re: Webervations - I still have those that are leerly of placing CC information on the form, so I have made adding it optional, and will call to finalize the reservation by getting their #. Yes, my site does state that one is needed, just some will NOT do it!
If I get an email inquiry, about dates etc, I respond stating that the easiest way to book is through our secure online booking or by calling us as we will need a CC # to finalize the reservation. Funny, most that do an email inquiry end up calling to book. They must not trust the security! - Then there are those that send the # via email. LOL.
Copperhead said:
LOL Swirt! (Really - the whole town was like this, most places were cash only & this is a tourist town!)
Re: Webervations - I still have those that are leerly of placing CC information on the form, so I have made adding it optional, and will call to finalize the reservation by getting their #. Yes, my site does state that one is needed, just some will NOT do it!
If I get an email inquiry, about dates etc, I respond stating that the easiest way to book is through our secure online booking or by calling us as we will need a CC # to finalize the reservation. Funny, most that do an email inquiry end up calling to book. They must not trust the security! - Then there are those that send the # via email. LOL
Yeah won't trust an online guaranteed website, but will call and I AM ON A CORDLESS PHONE? DUH!
I discovered an issue with Weberv. I had them in a window on our website and then discovered the little security keypad was not appearing! A guets never said it was not there, but refused to book online. Then we discovered it and fixed it.
 

swirt

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LOL Swirt! (Really - the whole town was like this, most places were cash only & this is a tourist town!)
Re: Webervations - I still have those that are leerly of placing CC information on the form, so I have made adding it optional, and will call to finalize the reservation by getting their #. Yes, my site does state that one is needed, just some will NOT do it!
If I get an email inquiry, about dates etc, I respond stating that the easiest way to book is through our secure online booking or by calling us as we will need a CC # to finalize the reservation. Funny, most that do an email inquiry end up calling to book. They must not trust the security! - Then there are those that send the # via email. LOL.
Most of the time if they are trying to make a reservation by email, I pre-emptively warn them not to send their credit card data by email. Have had a few send it that way (against my warning) but at least I am covered. ;)
 
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