How Pushy Can I Be? (villas)

Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #1  
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How Pushy Can I Be? (villas)

A bit of background: I hate to bargain...I'm a chicken at it....I want to pay people *more* than what they're asking. Really, i'm a wimp.

That said, we're staying at villa for 5 days on St. Johns in July (so, the really low season) and I just received the price from the villa company: I thought it was going to be under $1500 (the price for two people) but, instead its over $2000 because she counted our kids as two more people so now she has four people in the villa for the week.

So, kids are humans. I get it. But I really think it was the only company I ran across that charges for kids (they're under 12).

So, my question.....Ask her to lower the price? And how would I justify it? Or (my friend suggested) have her add another night for free (they're vacant most of July so its not like the villa is rented).

or go with my regular personality? (which maybe is a good thing?)
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:19 AM
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WannabeinaMontserrat
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You can always ask, I always do in Low season situations. You could also play dumb & suggest that you didn't realize they would be charging for the kids & you've found a better deal elsewhere. Thing is, if you are going to bluff, you need to follow through w/it.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:27 AM
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I was thinking about that approach as well....because I was genuinely surprised by the add (and I have been talking with so many villa owners that I honestly can't remember who offers what). I also wish I could just add another night (we have flexiblity).

that said, we really do want *this* villa.

hum.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:32 AM
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I would absolutely ask. the worst they can say is no and then you're no worse off than you are at present.

If you're worried about making a "threat" that you won't follow through with, you could go the "sweet" route of "you know, I hate to quibble about this, but i really wasn't anticipating that you would charge us for 4 people, as that has not been my experience with villa renting. My budget is really stretched as it is. Is there any way you could work with me on this? " and then DON"T TALK. Don't fill the silence, just wait for him/her to respond. let him/her worry about the silence and respond. If he says "like what?" you could say "could we meet in the middle and just charge me as if it's one extra person rather than 2?" OR "How about an extra 2 nights free "(hoping they give you one free). Something like that might work and if it doesn't, you can still go there. You sound like a nice, and i think approach could work for you.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:35 AM
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meant to say you sound like a nice person and a nice approach may work for you.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:36 AM
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oh Emcash,,,,,I wish you could make the call for me! you sound great!

okay, trying it now.....
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Are the kids getting their own rooms?  (even sharing 1 extra bedroom?)  when hotels don't charge for kids under 12, that's because they are sharing the same room/bathroom.  Villas don't have "bulk" rates, and kids use water, electricity, etc-and unlike a shared hotel room, villa owners have to pay all the utilities, etc, not in bulk or discounts.  Like everyone said-it doesn't hurt to ask, maybe for a smaller discount-but I wouldn't expect 2 bedrooms for the price of one!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Yes, Blamona is right. Villas are usually rented on a per bedroom basis, not a per person basis, and it does become an issue based on electricity, water, towels, bedsheets, etc used.

Still, I wouldn't dissuade you from asking the villa service if they would come down in their rates or give an extra day.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:54 AM
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so lets talk about costs vs. rooms vs. free vs. not.

Say I went to a hotel & the special was "kids stay free!" and that meant they stayed in my room. for free. They'd still use towels, water, etc. true?

With the villa, we're renting the whole place. Whether one person stays there....or 4 people...the villa is essentially off the market while we're renting. So I guess there are imcremental costs on energy..but can they be that high? (I'm going to turn on the lights in the kitchen whether I'm eating dinner alone or with three others),

Mostly though, I'm just typing this because I just left a message at the agency & i'm waiting for the guy to call back & I'm nervous.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:45 PM
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WannabeinaMontserrat
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If they won't budge you can always leave them hanging, need to think about it, make sure that fits in our budget, still checking on some other places, etc.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Garvin - sorry to say but you are looking at "costs vs. rooms vs. free vs. not" from your point of view rather than from the villa owner's point.

For the most part hotels and resorts have certain "economies of scale" which enable them to adopt various "kids free" policies which are not necessarilly available to a villa owner. You have to remember that villas (especially those on islands like St. John) are expensive to build and maintain. More often than not a villa owner does not make a big profit on rentals, in fact, many are lucky if they "break even" at the end of the year and even more actually 'lose money". A villa owner has lots of fixed costs that they try to allocate to each "rental" which is howe they arrive at a specific fee. They pay taxes on the property (the same whether it's rented or not), maintenance and upkeep (tenants are notorious for abusing furniture, etc - not saying that you are a furniture abuser). Tennants have a habit of using much more electricity than owners as the leave the a/c units on 24/7 (electricity is very expensive in the islands), they sit on furniture with wet bathing suits, think nothing of wasting water, etc. In addition, there are certain costs to get the villa ready for your occupany and to clean it up after you leave that are the same regardless of whether you stay 5 days, 7 days or 2 weeks or whether it was occupied by 2 adults or 2 adults and 2 children (in fact it could cost more to clean because you had more people staying in the unit no matter what their ages).

So, while you are correct that children staying in a hotel do use towels, electricity, water, etc. it does not affect the hotel's bottom line nearly as much as that of a villa owner. Remember too, that the villa owner is already offering you a lower rate because it's "off season".

Regardless, it does not hurt to ask for a discount (no need to be nervous) as the worst that could happen is they say no. But if a reduction is not offered be understanding that the villa owner is just trying to break even so be prepared to pay the going rate if you want to stay there.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Wait a minute!!!
I have another idea:

See if you can find the villa on another website with another agency. Even better would be something like VRBO where you deal directly with the owner.

Then see if they have the same policy.

I have asked for and received discounts in the past, but it's always been for longer (2 weeks) stays and/or in the truly off-off season (Sep/Oct/Nov). July is family month, so maybe not as Unpopular as you might think.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:59 PM
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One other thought:

Do your asking on the phone, not by email. I once emailed an owner with "my budget" and he ignored me. I tried again, a couple of weeks later, on the phone and he said yes.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:20 PM
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My experience with renting villas in the past (Virgin Gorda and Eleuthera) has been that owners will count each and every individual even if the kids are toddlers. I would give it a try though.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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So the answer is.....No.

but she was fairly nice about it...she heads up an agency and she doesn't have that much flexility with the villa owners....she did wavie a few fees for me ..but I was still glad that I asked. (and all of your replies have really given me a lot to think about...the subject is a complex one).
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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I'm glad you asked too. I find that it never hurts to ask, especially if you're nice about it. You usually are no worse off for the asking, and often better off. And now, you have a little of that under your belt, so maybe the next time you'll feel a little more comfortable doing it! Enjoy your trip!
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