PAII has jumped into the Living Social Game

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JBloggs

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[COLOR= rgb(68, 68, 68)]PAII has jumped into the Living Social Game http://bit.ly/rozY80[/COLOR]
(I am leaving to y'all to comment, to those who are PAII members and those who have done LS)
 

egoodell

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Well I have known for a while that Living Social charges PAII a little less than the normal cut. But I still believe this kind of thing works well only for those who have a long "off" season, or are in not so good locations i.e. more than 30 minutes drive from the desired town. You won't find anyone in my town jumping on this bandwagon.
But a nice inn south of our town that is a dark curvy 25 minutes from town (and any restaurants) loves Groupon/LS deals. It does fill their rooms. So I guess there is a market for it.
I just would not want to be the innkeeper standing there while one guest (LS) brags to the other guest (paying full rate) about thier great deal.
RIki
 

Breakfast Diva

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I just don't see the upside of this. I ran some numbers last week for ourselves to see if it was something we should do in the slower season:
Average room rate $169.00 x 2 nights = $338.00
Dinner Add On: $60.00
Romance package: $55.00
Total= $453
They want you to discount 50%. That brings it to $226.00
For PAII members, LS takes 35% (if I'm wrong, please correct me) -$79.28
Total to us = $146.72
Cost of durable goods for packages: $23.00 dinner, $24 romance package. for a total of $47.00
$146.72 - $47.00 = $99.72
TOTAL TO INNKEEPER $49.86 PER NIGHT!
This doesn't even include the costs of heating, cleaning, breakfast, mortgage, etc.
HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE????
 

Alibi Ike

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I just don't see the upside of this. I ran some numbers last week for ourselves to see if it was something we should do in the slower season:
Average room rate $169.00 x 2 nights = $338.00
Dinner Add On: $60.00
Romance package: $55.00
Total= $453
They want you to discount 50%. That brings it to $226.00
For PAII members, LS takes 35% (if I'm wrong, please correct me) -$79.28
Total to us = $146.72
Cost of durable goods for packages: $23.00 dinner, $24 romance package. for a total of $47.00
$146.72 - $47.00 = $99.72
TOTAL TO INNKEEPER $49.86 PER NIGHT!
This doesn't even include the costs of heating, cleaning, breakfast, mortgage, etc.
HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE????.
Breakfast Diva said:
HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE????
I think the general answer to that question harks right back to what we used to hear all the time about bandb.com and their charges to book rooms- Some dollars are better than no dollars.
I think this works better for a hotel with huge overhead, staff they have to pay, and all of that.
I'm waiting to hear how some of the innkeepers who particpated fared. Yes, there is the one innkeeper who basically doubled her income in one fell swoop, but how about everyone else? Is it working? Are you filling up those empty rooms with guests who are the kind of guest you want?
The only way I could see me being able to offer one of these package deals would be if I could get restaurants to GIVE me the meals, or at least a GC toward a meal. No way I could fork over $50 for a dinner. The whole thing would be a giveaway for me. If I could hand out something that I only paid for when it got used that would work well. But anything that would require upfront cash is out of the question.
 

Copperhead

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum.
 

JBloggs

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum..
Thanks for the info CH and taking the time to share it with us.
I had signed up to go this route off season or midweek, but realized we ARE for sale and if we sell we have to pay the new owner the going rate on all of them, even if they are never redeemed, so it was just too iffy so I backed out. I would have to convince the new owner they would accept these and I don't even like selling reg gift cert's "just in case" we get a buyer (yeah wishful thinking).
I felt the 2 night rental would up the income level on my end, vs cleaning the room and all those costs with the change of guests.
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only. I feel if anything WOULD sell well on LS it is a B&B, as they say the majority who purchase are female.
I am still not sure that a professional association should be in bed with them, however. Sponsoring etc. I am wondering if LS will do a group buy on BWTS campaign and make it applicable to all the inns involved/members there? I kind of feel that coming down the pike...
I will stand up for bargain shoppers now, I am one and I don't think because people like to shop around or use a discount they are bad guests. I feel those guests really appreciate what they get. I have always said that, and this "Only a fool pays full price" you know the whole paying sticker price thing.
You have been very wise, I hope others inns are using it to their advantage, and not just allowing it peak season.
 

Alibi Ike

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum..
Thanks for the info CH and taking the time to share it with us.
I had signed up to go this route off season or midweek, but realized we ARE for sale and if we sell we have to pay the new owner the going rate on all of them, even if they are never redeemed, so it was just too iffy so I backed out. I would have to convince the new owner they would accept these and I don't even like selling reg gift cert's "just in case" we get a buyer (yeah wishful thinking).
I felt the 2 night rental would up the income level on my end, vs cleaning the room and all those costs with the change of guests.
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only. I feel if anything WOULD sell well on LS it is a B&B, as they say the majority who purchase are female.
I am still not sure that a professional association should be in bed with them, however. Sponsoring etc. I am wondering if LS will do a group buy on BWTS campaign and make it applicable to all the inns involved/members there? I kind of feel that coming down the pike...
I will stand up for bargain shoppers now, I am one and I don't think because people like to shop around or use a discount they are bad guests. I feel those guests really appreciate what they get. I have always said that, and this "Only a fool pays full price" you know the whole paying sticker price thing.
You have been very wise, I hope others inns are using it to their advantage, and not just allowing it peak season.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only.
But there are resale sites now for 'buyer's remorse' on Groupon and LS. These things could trade hands a dozen times. What's the fine print on that on LS? Is it allowed? How would the innkeeper know who 'legally' was entitled to the stay? The holder of the 'coupon'?
 

Breakfast Diva

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum..
Thanks for the info CH and taking the time to share it with us.
I had signed up to go this route off season or midweek, but realized we ARE for sale and if we sell we have to pay the new owner the going rate on all of them, even if they are never redeemed, so it was just too iffy so I backed out. I would have to convince the new owner they would accept these and I don't even like selling reg gift cert's "just in case" we get a buyer (yeah wishful thinking).
I felt the 2 night rental would up the income level on my end, vs cleaning the room and all those costs with the change of guests.
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only. I feel if anything WOULD sell well on LS it is a B&B, as they say the majority who purchase are female.
I am still not sure that a professional association should be in bed with them, however. Sponsoring etc. I am wondering if LS will do a group buy on BWTS campaign and make it applicable to all the inns involved/members there? I kind of feel that coming down the pike...
I will stand up for bargain shoppers now, I am one and I don't think because people like to shop around or use a discount they are bad guests. I feel those guests really appreciate what they get. I have always said that, and this "Only a fool pays full price" you know the whole paying sticker price thing.
You have been very wise, I hope others inns are using it to their advantage, and not just allowing it peak season.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only.
But there are resale sites now for 'buyer's remorse' on Groupon and LS. These things could trade hands a dozen times. What's the fine print on that on LS? Is it allowed? How would the innkeeper know who 'legally' was entitled to the stay? The holder of the 'coupon'?
.
Here's an article that was in today's PAII e-mail newsletter Resale Sites...
As more time passes and these deals become more popular, resale will become a big business and it will be interesting to see how it negatively affects the number of unused coupons.
 

JBloggs

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum..
Thanks for the info CH and taking the time to share it with us.
I had signed up to go this route off season or midweek, but realized we ARE for sale and if we sell we have to pay the new owner the going rate on all of them, even if they are never redeemed, so it was just too iffy so I backed out. I would have to convince the new owner they would accept these and I don't even like selling reg gift cert's "just in case" we get a buyer (yeah wishful thinking).
I felt the 2 night rental would up the income level on my end, vs cleaning the room and all those costs with the change of guests.
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only. I feel if anything WOULD sell well on LS it is a B&B, as they say the majority who purchase are female.
I am still not sure that a professional association should be in bed with them, however. Sponsoring etc. I am wondering if LS will do a group buy on BWTS campaign and make it applicable to all the inns involved/members there? I kind of feel that coming down the pike...
I will stand up for bargain shoppers now, I am one and I don't think because people like to shop around or use a discount they are bad guests. I feel those guests really appreciate what they get. I have always said that, and this "Only a fool pays full price" you know the whole paying sticker price thing.
You have been very wise, I hope others inns are using it to their advantage, and not just allowing it peak season.
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Joey Bloggs said:
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only.
But there are resale sites now for 'buyer's remorse' on Groupon and LS. These things could trade hands a dozen times. What's the fine print on that on LS? Is it allowed? How would the innkeeper know who 'legally' was entitled to the stay? The holder of the 'coupon'?
.
Alibi Ike said:
Joey Bloggs said:
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only.
But there are resale sites now for 'buyer's remorse' on Groupon and LS. These things could trade hands a dozen times. What's the fine print on that on LS? Is it allowed? How would the innkeeper know who 'legally' was entitled to the stay? The holder of the 'coupon'?
According to my research previousely the name will be the name on the certificate only, but you CAN buy them as gifts at the time, so those can be open for anyone to use. CH can clarify.
 

Copperhead

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Who's the owner of the voucher? Well this had me as LS does not clearly state this - at least not clearly enough for ME. As someone else stated you can buy & buy as gifts - that is if that is what you agreed in your contract. As I stated in my lengthy post, merchants are provided a list of voucher numbers along with the purchaser's name, if it was a gift, it also states (gifted to ____).
Then the calls start coming in and they provide the name & # and some do not match. I called my rep. and was then told 'LS requests that you honor the voucher no matter who presents it'. This may be fine for the pizza place or attraction that does not take a reservation and is just presented the voucher at time of purchase, but for places with reservations, this can present a problem. I have had 2 bookings so far that are not the same name as the purchaser and were not listed as a gift. So in other words who ever has it is the owner.
Here's the thing, the vouchers come to the purchaser in one of 2 forms - an email or on your iphone. To use the voucher it is stated to print the voucher from the email or show it on your iphone. This is why you must keep good records - if they feel you are not, they could attempt to use it again! SL provided a form for those presenting via iphone that must sign, stating they are using voucher #..... I am keeping records of which vouchers are used and the date booked and am cross referencing them in Webervations. This was a real nightmare for the first week when the bulk of the reservations were booked!
 

Copperhead

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I do say this is NOT for everyone! If you are booked, and you are getting the amount of business you want/need there is no reason to consider this, period.
But, if you are not, this may be something to consider for your slower season. My promotion ran earlier this summer - this is my slow season! We sold over 250 vouchers.
This is a national (well international) campaign with a very targeted market... people have ASKED to be sent the advertisment. They are looking to purchase! According to my rep, they send an email to everyone in their distribution list within a 500 mile radius first then it is broadcast nationally and also picked up by assocated companies.
  • LS takes 30% as commission if you negotiate (reg is 60/40), remaining is sent to you in a check 15 working days after close of the offer
  • They absorb all CC charges & handle all sales
  • You are provided a merchant page with a list of all vouchers sold along with names and stats (see below)
  • You put together your best offer (see below)
Here are MY stats LS provided on the sales of MY offer, 76% were purchased from email distribution, 8.9% through iphone app, 4.4% directly from their website and the remaining 9.3% was through 3rd party companies. Over 3/4 were purchased in 500 mile radius but do have multiple purchases up to 1500 miles including Canada.
I have been taking reservations and hosting LS guests since late June and have hosted just under 50 guests so far. NOTE: this is my slow time of year!! Here are some guest stats:
  • Most have NEVER stayed at a B&B - to date only 3 have ever stayed at a B&B
  • Most purchased to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or even babymoon.
  • Those that have offered info said they never have considered a B&B prior or were unsure what to expect at one.
  • Most have been in the 25-39 age bracket.
  • Aprox 1/3 of sold vouchers have booked their stay, most of those were for dates from 2 days after run date to 8 weeks after.
  • Some have booked additional days, some additional packages
  • Some even asking about dates in the future to return (no actual bookings though)
  • Some bookings without going with the Deal, some were happy to just find us!
They have been very respectful guests, with the only thing I can say as a negative have been the actual BOOKING of the guests as some think you are trying to pull a fast one on them. (Think it is too good to be true?) Once they are booked, and when they arrive they are very pleasent.
Our Offer: We did a 1 night stay, fruit tray on arrival, discount at a local tour and $20 off at a nearby restaurant How the offer worked & what I would do different: We already had a discount offer with the local tour, this just gave them free national publicity. We contacted a restaurant we send guest to all the time, and asked if he would like to partner with us he said it was a no brainer - free national publicty and HE offered a $20 off with a certain purchase. NO, don't purchase anything, these businesses are getting FREE publicity without risk. Remember, anything you package bumps up the sell price by 1/2 the value - this without me spending a dime.
We did the 1 night in hopes to entice some to book additional nights, while some have there have not been enough of them for me to say it worked. If doing this again, I would go for a 2 night stay and just not expect as many to sell. Another thing I would forgo is the fruit tray, while I have this in a routine now, it is an additional chore I could do without.
Also be knowledgeble of your Gift Certificate laws as these vouchers do follow those laws. While they do have an expiry date which YOU dictate, in states with GC laws the face value of the voucher may have a longer shelf life. How it was explained to me: My state has a 5yr GC law, when the expiry date passes, all the promotional items expire (fruit tray, discount for tour, $20 off dinner) but the voucher cost (amount they paid) can be applied to a stay here for anytime up to 5 years from the date of purchase. They can not ask for a refund or get cash back. This can have a negative impact if you plan to sell in the near future so take this into consideration.
I know there are still many who will balk this form of advertising and for you, I say don't even think about it. For those looking at empty room nights, no calls coming in, while the bills keep rolling in, this may be of interest to you to at least check it out FOR YOURSELF!
Sorry to be so wordy. I am sure in the comming months I will have more to share on this but in the meantime if anyone is sincerly interested in this marketing campaign and wants to ask any additional questions feel free to email me through this forum..
Thanks for the info CH and taking the time to share it with us.
I had signed up to go this route off season or midweek, but realized we ARE for sale and if we sell we have to pay the new owner the going rate on all of them, even if they are never redeemed, so it was just too iffy so I backed out. I would have to convince the new owner they would accept these and I don't even like selling reg gift cert's "just in case" we get a buyer (yeah wishful thinking).
I felt the 2 night rental would up the income level on my end, vs cleaning the room and all those costs with the change of guests.
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only. I feel if anything WOULD sell well on LS it is a B&B, as they say the majority who purchase are female.
I am still not sure that a professional association should be in bed with them, however. Sponsoring etc. I am wondering if LS will do a group buy on BWTS campaign and make it applicable to all the inns involved/members there? I kind of feel that coming down the pike...
I will stand up for bargain shoppers now, I am one and I don't think because people like to shop around or use a discount they are bad guests. I feel those guests really appreciate what they get. I have always said that, and this "Only a fool pays full price" you know the whole paying sticker price thing.
You have been very wise, I hope others inns are using it to their advantage, and not just allowing it peak season.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
I will be curious to find out how many do not redeem and had it as an impulse buy only.
But there are resale sites now for 'buyer's remorse' on Groupon and LS. These things could trade hands a dozen times. What's the fine print on that on LS? Is it allowed? How would the innkeeper know who 'legally' was entitled to the stay? The holder of the 'coupon'?
.
Here's an article that was in today's PAII e-mail newsletter Resale Sites...
As more time passes and these deals become more popular, resale will become a big business and it will be interesting to see how it negatively affects the number of unused coupons.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
Here's an article that was in today's PAII e-mail newsletter Resale Sites... As more time passes and these deals become more popular, resale will become a big business and it will be interesting to see how it negatively affects the number of unused coupons.
It's worth noting that technically, Groupon's terms of use prohibit the unauthorized resale of its coupons. The fine print on LivingSocial's site also prohibits the sale of its vouchers. But DealsGoRound, which is based in the same building as Groupon's Chicago headquarters, notes that it has operated for more than a year without hearing concerns from any daily deal sites. It says it would honor any requests to stop listing coupons from specific sites.
..... Groupon notes that it doesn't encourage the use of resale site because it can't guarantee the authenticity of the coupons sold on them. ....
This is what I would worry about with these sites. Even though the sites require sellers to electronically submit coupon vouchers before they're listed, I am sure they do not verify whether the voucher has been previously redeemed. Buyer beware is all I can say about these sites!
 
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