Beware Custom Pricing Algorithm used by Airbnb

The original listing price of this Airbnb was $63 per night. This is when you look without dates, like you are planning a few days here and there while traveling and don’t know the exact dates. Once the dates are added, the price can go up four times in the same month. Not seasonal, but because there is an algorithm used by investment property hosts to help them surge prices.

There is nothing to indicate which hosts use surge pricing so if you use a filter for prices but don’t add dates the lowest price for the month shows up. The price we were billed was considerably different. Shown below is the bill summary and a screenshot of the page the unit was listed for. When I made the reservation I was in a hurry and I didn’t pay much attention to anything past the initial price on the main page. The bill is summarized below.

I went back to go through a reservation process for five days (but didn’t actually reserve the place). It started out with the $63 per night. After I put in the start and end dates for a five-day stay, a bill summary popped up showing a very different price. This shows the price going to $252 (four times $63) and then being reduced to $126 for long stay discount.

Please explain how this could be advertised at one price and then changed completely upon going through the steps to make a reservation.

$258 per night x 5 = $1290

(subtract long stay discount)

$1290-$645 = $645 (for 5 nights) is $129 per night

Cleaning – $49 service fee – $89.53 occupancy taxes and fees =$162.38

Total : $945.91

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. I am a host and this happens to me. AirBnb changes my prices arbitrarily. Its nothing that I do, believe me. They do ocassionally ask me if I want to do a discount but more often than not they charge what the hell they want for my unit. Its supposed to be 60 a night. Airbnb has often charged 48 a night for bookings. AUTOMATICALLY. Zero input from me.

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