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Old 02-16-2016, 10:31 PM
 
13,161 posts, read 20,776,233 times
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If you use VRBO or Homeaway for booking vacation homes, be aware they have added new fees of 4-8% of bookings, not to exceed $499.00. The fees go directly to VRBO/Homeaway, not to the homeowners. Right now they show up with Homeaway bookings, but per Expedia customer service, VRBO will follow shortly. You can still book spring break trips through VRBO without incurring the extra fees, if you move quickly.
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Old 02-17-2016, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,578 posts, read 5,091,475 times
Reputation: 14060
Thanks for the heads up! This might be good news for AirBnB
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,065 posts, read 18,990,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
Thanks for the heads up! This might be good news for AirBnB
Yep. Making AirBnb more attractive by the minute.
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Old 02-20-2016, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Fort Payne Alabama
1,208 posts, read 1,582,090 times
Reputation: 2303
Home Away, VRBO, and their family of companies (now part of Expedia) Started this week charging a "Service Fee" of 5% to 10%, averaging actually 8-9% to all bookings through them. This is very similar to Flip Key and Airbnb except those two sites do not charge a subscription fee of $1,200.00 for their Platinum listing. In addition, the week before they increased their credit card fees to the owners.

Tom Hale, Chief Operating Officer of Home Away stated: "Looking at the business models for many marketplace web businesses - like ebay, etsy, flipkart, rakuten, airbnb, alibaba, amazon and others - most of these companies have revenues that are closer to 7-10% of the total $$ exchanged within their markets. In 2015, HomeAway enabled some 14-16 Billion in vacation rental stays for tens of millions of travelers and hundreds of thousands of owners. Our revenues were ~500 million. Our revenues were ~3% of the rentals that owners like you received from listing on our sites. So relative to other marketplaces. Even AirBnB, which is much smaller than Home Away, takes about 10% of the total bookings with their service fee. That's a HUGE difference."

So basically this was all a "money grab" by Home Away to increase their bottom line. Anyone who has used their service or plans on using it in the future needs to be aware of this extra cost. It can be avoided very simply, just contact the owner of the property outside of the Home Away/VRBO system> Most have either Facebook pages or personal web sites. Also travel sites like Vacation Home Rentals and Home Escape don't charge the traveler anything. If you find a place you like, do a search on either the location or main picture as the owners tend to use the same pictures no matter where they list.

If you don't mind paying 8-10%, go ahead and use them, just keep in mind there are alternatives out there for the same properties.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Ohio
161 posts, read 428,356 times
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We just got burned by the VRBO/Home Away "service fee" last week. It looks like they're now taking heat from both the owners AND the renters. Will be interesting to see how this develops. I think VRBO is getting more of a backlash than they expected.
Best thing to do now is book directly through the owner if you can. Or another service.
I doubt that we will ever use VRBO again, even if they were to drop the fees.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Fort Payne Alabama
1,208 posts, read 1,582,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick St John View Post
We just got burned by the VRBO/Home Away "service fee" last week. It looks like they're now taking heat from both the owners AND the renters. Will be interesting to see how this develops. I think VRBO is getting more of a backlash than they expected.
Best thing to do now is book directly through the owner if you can. Or another service.
I doubt that we will ever use VRBO again, even if they were to drop the fees.
They are in full damage control as owners are in revolt. I would say most are diversifying their listings to other sites like Home Escape and Vacation Home Rentals (owned by Trip Advisor), creating Vacation Rental Facebook pages, their own web sites, and then either not renewing their Home Away/VRBO listings or down grading to the lowest level.
In their defense they keep saying that they are just following industry standards set by Airbnb however Airbnb don't charge the owners on average $1000 to $1200 to list each property, and if one bundles in excess of $2000.
They have created a huge issue of trust on how they rolled this out, to this day they still will not let any of the owners know what the actual percentages are, we know the less you pay, the higher it is, that's about it.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,195,476 times
Reputation: 2031
Thanks for the info. I stayed at a South Beach property a few months ago that I booked through them; I went online the other day to book them again and now they're gone after having been on there for several years.


I still have the owner's info so I'm going to contact them directly. AirBnB (and Priceline) it is then.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,274 times
Reputation: 10
Hi, we are all losing business on these fees, and it's greed on vrbo's part. We all need to complain- and have our irate customers complain, too! Write/email vrbo/homeaway and tell them how you feel, and that our guests that are unhappy! The phone is 8772283145 email is
[email]support-cs@homeaway.com[/email]
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Fort Payne Alabama
1,208 posts, read 1,582,090 times
Reputation: 2303
Quote:
Originally Posted by doraine View Post
Hi, we are all losing business on these fees, and it's greed on vrbo's part.
It's not really being greedy, Home Away sold itself to Expedia on the basis of those "Service Fees", they cannot back down as this is the way Expedia plans on getting back the 3.9 Billion they paid for Home Away. It is killing the individual vacation rental owner, many are falling out and being replaced by property managers who bring a lot of inventory to the table for Home Away in just one transaction. I believe this is there long term goal to be almost 100% property managers as they are much easier to deal with than individual owners who actually care about property and the guests that use it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:00 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 7,071,740 times
Reputation: 12184
Well, what this fee is supposed to cover is the fraudulent bookings that are rather rampant on both sites.

But.. It seems they're not really doing it.

Read through this story.. Another HomeAway phishing case prompts more questions about new fees - Elliott

Homeaway and VRBO had alot of problems, and probably still do, with peoples' accounts getting hacked, a legit renter books, sends their money (Normally through wire transfer, which, yes.. Is dumb, but..) and is just SOL.

So, if VRBO/Homeaway are actually providing protection for those people, that's a good thing. Of course, I can certainly understand keeping that as an optional product, and not automatically charging people for it.. But.. Then you have the people who didn't purchase it coming back and wanting their money back because they were dumb and got scammed and didn't purchase the guarantee.
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