Thursday, 16 October 2014

AirBnB - How does it work?

AirBnB - How does it work?

AirBnB is a platform for B&B's, Hotels, but also for those who have a room to rent in their home or a house to rent out. When I first heard about them they seemed like a really good option, the commission is very cheap and the sign up process is very easy, guests and owners review each other.

Sounds a bit too good to be true? Well that was the advice I was given.

There is a lot of bad press about AirBNB and a number of support groups that I joined have warned against joining this platform.

We have used them and to be honest we found them great, we did not get many bookings from them but the bookings we did get were really nice people. We would definitely use them again.

I will now detail the pros and cons of using AirBnB

  • very easy to sign up too
  • the commission per booking is only 2%!!!!!!!!!!!
  • guests will send you an e-mail request and you have 24 hours to reply
  • once you accept a guest, AirBnB collect the cost of your booking
  • AirBnb pay you after the fist night that the guest has stayed
  • you can choose your payment method (paypal or bank transfer)
  • all guests are reviewed by the accommodation provider
  • you have the option to look at reviews of potential guests before you accept the reservation
  • all guests review the accommodation provider
  • there is the option to send a private review to each other, in addition to the public review
  • phone numbers and e-mails of your guests are sent to you so you can stay in touch
  • you have to keep your calendar up to date (but if it is not you can just refuse the guest with no problem or penalty)
  • We didn't actually find any! But other people have mentioned the one below
  • not all accommodation providers are registered, but this is no different to any other platform that advertises accommodation
This is she smallest con list I have had for any thing and the only con, is one that is circulating from other countries (we are based in France) saying that AirBnB is not professional or the clients or accommodation that use them are not of the same standard, I do not see how this can be justified as we are a registered B&B (of a high standard) and the people who booked via AirBnB were all wonderful and treated our B&B with the utmost respect.

AirBnB is an online platform, I can not say what the complaints process is like, because we have never had cause to use it.

Please bare in mind the above is our personal experience during June – September 2014 in Brittany, France (it may be different for different countries) this is not a paid post by AirBnB, just a summary of our experience.

Good luck


  1. good points and accurate

  2. In the U.S at least Airbnb also offers another payment - they can transfer funds to a credit card you set up in advance with Payoneer. This is the most convenient option for me.

    1. That's really good to know, I didn't get that option but maybe I didn't ask the right questions

  3. Great blog! However I must suggest some cons for AirBnB, at least with regard to their website. It is actually very buggy and very poorly designed compared to more mature lodging booking engines. For example here are a few gripes of mine:

    1. Anytime you set a new seasonal price, it clears your calendar from all the occupied days, which you have to reenter. If you want to keep the existing blocked dates on the calendar, you have to set new prices for each separate day in between the bookings! Stupid.
    2. You can set weekend prices, but you can not set both seasonal prices and weekend prices - Why?
    3. There is no way to offer special promotions or discounts - why not?
    4. There is no way to offer lower prices for 3-night stays, similar to number 2 above.
    5. There is no way to offer last-minute discounts, similar to number 2 above.
    6. Setting the prices via the calendar has bugs that arbitrarily alter the price that can not be deleted unless you set a custom price on the days affected.
    7. It is incredibly inefficient to manually have to update the bookings on the calendar if you have more than just a couple of rooms.
    8. Pricing is buggy.
    a. I set the weekly price for $X/week for a given week and when I tried to check the rental price for this period as a guest it shows a completely different price for the daily rate and the weekly rate.
    b. I set the weekly price for another week, but when I tried to book it as a guest, it shows a different price on the comparison page, but on my own page it shows yet another price!

    1. thanks for the extra points, I have not come across these issues so could only write about personal experience. But as much information is as helpful as possible

  4. Thanks, Jenny, for another great review. Airbnb is the one we have been considering as we would be renting the house rather than offering b&b. I know friends and family that have used it as guests and they have found it excellent. At the moment there are a few things that need doing to our house in England to make it more suitable or desirable to let so we're working on those at the moment. Cheers, Maggie xx

    1. Glad you found it useful Maggie, we don't get the majority of our guest from here, but it is definitley the easiest and best site we use for the least cost. good luck