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AirBnB Alternatives

isisdave

TUG Member
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Evansville IN
Resorts Owned
Marriott Waiohai
I've used VRBO and HomeAway several times happily. I prefer them to AirBnB, because of several features of AirBnB's operation.

It's sometimes hard to ask questions of the person offering the place, for example about alternate dates or long-term rates; the website wants you to sign up for it right then, take it or leave it. This even makes it hard to compare a few places.

AirBnb charges a fee to the renter, whereas the others charge the owner. I haven't had to cancel an AirBNB reservation, but I'll bet you don't get the fee back.

AirBnb permits huge deposits to be required, without any way to negotiate this with the owner.

And all of this has to be paid at the time of reservation with a credit card. VRBO and its cousins typically require a fairly small deposit, with the rest paid closer to, or even at, checkin, with card or cash.
 

theo

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
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New England Coast
My $0.02 worth on AirBnb...

My own (admittedly very limited) personal experience with AirBnb has been thus far consistently unsatisfying. One "landlord" advised (only after my having provided more personal information than I frankly would have liked) that he had decided to just give up the advertised apartment in a few weeks and it would therefore not be available to rent to anyone at all within the advertised time frame. That's entirely his prerogative, of course, but it then required finding a relatively short notice alternative.

In another instance, the owner belatedly flaked out on renting her downstairs apartment unit for the dates advertised --- less than a week before check-in --- vaguely citing "health issues" having arisen within her family. Perhaps an entirely legitimate development, but an inconvenient "strike two" for AirBnb nonetheless.

Certainly I have never lost a dime via AirBnb but have also not yet ever actually successfully completed a rental there either.
Can't say that I'd never try again, but time is money too and once spent without satisfactory outcome cannot be retrieved. :shrug:
 
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lynne

TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
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Location
Kamuela, HI (from Long Island, NY)
Resorts Owned
Pacific Grove Plaza
I have used VRBO and Homeaway with great success. I do have an upcoming reservation with Airbnb so we will see how it goes. I have also used Flipkey.
 

bobpark56

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
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Feb 3, 2008
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Location
Gibsonia, PA (just north of Pittsburgh)
Resorts Owned
Westin Lagunamar, Westin Aventuras, Marriott Grande Vista, Sandos Caracol, Festiva, Diamond Resorts (Hawaii Collection)
VRBO owner canceled a rental

We had an English VRBO offerer cancel our reservation in Puerto Banus, Spain, because he found someone who would pay a higher rate. Otherwise our Airbnb and VRBO rentals have all been quite enjoyable.
 

Beefnot

TUG Member
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
I've used VRBO and HomeAway several times happily. I prefer them to AirBnB, because of several features of AirBnB's operation.

It's sometimes hard to ask questions of the person offering the place, for example about alternate dates or long-term rates; the website wants you to sign up for it right then, take it or leave it. This even makes it hard to compare a few places.

AirBnb charges a fee to the renter, whereas the others charge the owner. I haven't had to cancel an AirBNB reservation, but I'll bet you don't get the fee back.

AirBnb permits huge deposits to be required, without any way to negotiate this with the owner.

And all of this has to be paid at the time of reservation with a credit card. VRBO and its cousins typically require a fairly small deposit, with the rest paid closer to, or even at, checkin, with card or cash.

One can negotiate with a host via the messaging system. Ask them if they'll reduce their price or change their terms or whatever. The host can tell you to go pound sand, but it is straightforward enough to negotiate, you just can't do it via phone. I don't understand about the sign up "take it or leave it thing", you can shop rates at will on airbnb.

Airbnb charges both the host and the guest. The guest is charged around 10% to 12% at the point the reservation is accepted. The host is not charged anything to accept a reservation, but they are witheld 3% of the proceeds upon disbursement (1 day after check-in). A host may cancel a reservation without penalty once in a 6 month period, after which they get slapped with a $50 or $100 charge, something like that. What also happens after a host cancellation is there is a ding to their search rankings for some period of time.
 
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