For some time now, certain hosts have been gently ‘prodding’ us to increase charges to travellers in order to lower their own charges.
A little reminder: when creating our site in 2007 we chose a trusted third party system where a % is taken only upon successful reservations. This is because we want to democratise home stays in order to make them as fair as possible.
From the very start, other competitors have gone for a model where prices mount as the reservation is being made, even when accommodation prices seem already to be rising, something which is not only frustrating for the traveller, but also induces costs which are close to those of hotels; despite the fact that home stays are not hotels. You are of course the first to tell us this, in the same way that our hosts are. It is indeed the authentic, economic and unique side to home stays that contribute to the beauty of this concept.
Despite our conviction, we have been stunted by the system and have therefore decided to develop our business model in order to keep afloat against our competitors and to satisfy this 20% of hosts who keep asking us this same thing.
However, when we asked the question: ‘Have you ever encouraged a traveller not to settle their reservation on BedyCasa?’ 96% said no. Or moreover in answer to: ‘Do you understand the importance for BedyCasa to have a viable business model?’ 98% said yes.
But the pressure from those who want us to follow our main competitor has been such that we have been forced to cut and paste their business model, something that goes against our deepest values based on authenticity and uniqueness.
On the 16th September we put into place this new business model that consists of a 3 to 5% debit for hosts and a 4 to 13% price increase on travellers’ payments. Since putting this new business model into place, the figures speak for themselves and have shown the evidence for the proportion of travellers wanting to pay a fair price. Moreover this was true across all social classes. As a result we have reduced our reservation requests by 50%, and on a daily basis are taking on board your comments such as: ‘why have you changed the business model which set you apart from your competitors and enables us to regularly stay at hosts’?’.
So why make travellers pay more in order to better remunerate the host if travellers then don’t pay at all?
We have opted to head back to our former business model (12,5% exc. tax and VAT, or 15% inc. tax and VAT debited on each booking), something that allows us to attract more travellers and to offer them the best deals. This means that you won’t have the nasty surprise of seeing additional service fees just as you are about to pay. As such, we offer the best deals on the market against competitors, be for an apartment, B&B, or homestay guest room.
For example: if you spend €100 on BedyCasa, you will only pay our fixed fee of €3 exc. tax and VAT, no matter how many nights reserved, something which creates a real advantage over competitors. On competitors’ sites, the same booking could cost you as much as €16 in fees alone in Paris, or even €21 if it’s a booking in Barcelona. Such service fees move in relation to the number of nights booked, despite the fact that the service offered by the site is the same. We feel that this is unfair towards travellers. This is why we have decided to go back to our former model, which is more transparent, and fairer for everyone.
The ‘down payment’ system remains unchanged, which allows you to ask your host if you can make a down payment of 25% or 50% on your total reservation cost for bookings of over €250.
If you have any further questions then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your understanding.
Magali, BedyCasa Founder
BedyCasa, the Wealth of Sharing