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Do VRBO type owners ever negotiate on price?

Do VRBO type owners ever negotiate on price?

Dec 15th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Do VRBO type owners ever negotiate on price?

I am asking this because I know there are people from both sides of the equation (owners and renters) who frequent this board.

We are planning a last minute trip to Rome and will be looking for a week to 10 day rental starting in a little over 2 weeks. I may be wrong, but it would seem to me that most people plan further ahead than this and most owners wouldn't have a whole lot of hope that they could rent out an apartment at this point. Maybe I am wrong. I know there are websites where hotels reduce prices for last minute booking.

So, I want to know if I could bargain at all, or is that a huge no no. I'm not talking about a huge reduction but some reduction for filling a time slot that probably would have otherwise sat vacant. Frankly, if I were an owner I would prefer to have some income off the property even if it meant I had to reduce the price I had hoped to get.

Anyone who has personal experience and could speak to this, I would appreciate some comments.
julies is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Do you have an acceptable alternative if the owner decides to take umbrage at the request? If you do, and the discount matters, go ahead. If you have no options just as good maybe you should be happy you found this place still available.

(With an owner you can never tell. I wouldn't think they would have a problem with your asking - but you never know.)
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,499
Julies, I generally look at the weekly (or per diem) price on the website, then express interest in renting, then confirm availability, then confirm that we are prepared to rent, and then ask for the price. I have three times been offered a lower than web price due to it being a low demand period.

I also had an experience where we rented for a set number of days, paid the rental cost, and then realized that our reward tickets were going to get us there one day before the rental period. When I told the owner that we would be moving from a local hotel to the apartment on the agreed-on day, she said that the flat was going to be vacant for a couple of days before we arrived and offered an additional night at no charge. Very nice.

So yes, I'd say there is flexibility depending on circumstances.

AnselmAdorne is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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This depends on why you want to negotiate.

If your focus is getting a better price because you need to or because something seems out of line with the market, go right ahead!

If you want to negotiate because you are the kind of person who always has to get the best deal, has to win, defines himself by always getting the upper hand, the my-car-is-better-than-your-car-and-I-paid-less, then you might well find that the owner will take umbrage.

Ackislander is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 50
HI, I am an owner that lists on VRBO (44902), and I also have rented some via VRBO. I think a lot of the answer to your question depends on the indiviudal property/listing. For a lot of owners, the properties are truely 'rental properties' and/or small hotels or management companies that are handling the bookings. In these situations, yes I think you can get a discount because the whole goal is as much income as possible. On the flip side, there are many owners that have the place as their 2nd home and rent to off-set their costs and improve their places. Typically, these people aren't going to rent just to fill, and even be discretionary as to who they want in their place. These places will also typically have much more amenitites than the others. In these situations, you need to be careful as to asking for much discount esp. during peak periods. As an example, I am in the 2nd group, my place is my 2nd home that I rent when I'm not there. I had it booked since Feb. for XMAS/NY (which is the most expensive period for Akumal. My guest then had a car accident right after THX, and had to cancel. So I've reopened the booking. I've had numerous inquiries, lots for discounts. I didn't bother to respond to them. And yes, I've booked (this past Friday) at full rates. So the bottom line on discounts: know the location, property and who is doing the actual listing. Hope this helps.
Diana5531 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Time of the year = Christmas Holiday Season. Best of luck....
Viajero2 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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We've rented through VRBO a number of times, and for the most part we have been very happy with our accommodations.

I have never requested a discounted rate, but twice the owners of the apartments (once in Athens and once in paris) have spontaneously offered a lower rental cost. It was never a huge discount, but even a small fee reduction is always welcome.

As far as what Dianna5531 posted above, I can see why she would be hesitant to rent to someone whose main concern is the cost of the rental. We, too, have stayed in places that are actual second homes for their owners, and there is often a better quality of furniture, linens, kitchen utensils, etc, as well as nice artwork and books and music in the rentals. If I were the owner, I, too, would want to be sure the tenants were considerate and would take care of the place and its contents. I might see a bit of a red flag if a potential renter was overly anxious to bargain down the price.
scdreamer is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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I appreciate the thoughtful replies. And, yes, I prefer to rent from people who use these as 2nd homes rather thanjust agencies selling off rental space. I MUCH prefer the personal touch in someone's own home.

I am asking because a number of places we are looking at have a 2 tier rate system for the holiday period. We would be arriving after New Year's but still at the tail end of their higher pricing. Obviously, people know local demand and think they can get a higher price for the entire holiday period. But, I don't understand why someone should pay extra for those few days peak season days when they are added on to a low season rental price for the rest of the rental.
julies is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 55
hi, you could try somewhere like http://www.romanreference.com where you'd find a large choice of places and prices are calculated automatically depending on the actual dates of the stay, so for a 7 night stay, you may only have to pay the holiday extra for 3 of those nights etc.
doofus74 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 04:27 AM
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We will be renting from an owner who just happened to have an opening when we needed it, and, I know, dropped the price as an incentive to us to choose this particular apartment. I didn't even ask about a discount. The price change was truly significant and pushed us in that direction when we might otherwise have gone elsewhere.
julies is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 286
We recently rented an apartment in Rome off of VRBO (at a low travel time - November) and in the initial flurry of emails I sent out - I just asked if there was "special" pricing available for a 9 night stay. Some replied with a somewhat discounted price, some with what the price was on the website. We ended up going with one that was in the middle of the pack. It never hurts to ask and I don't think it is offensive at all.
illnative is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 512
I also list on vrbo (#130707) - I wouldn't be offended if someone asked, so I don't think it can hurt...10 days, off season and last-minute ;-)... worth asking I think (but be prepared if they say no to pay the rate or move on to another place) - some owners will also be more receptive if you have a low occupancy (i.e. less cleaning and laundry for the housekeeper to be paid for!) so...if they place sleeps 6 and you are a party of two and they have a last-minute opening, I'd think you have a shot.
good luck! hope you find something wonderful!
CasaDelCipresso is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 03:28 PM
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It was serendipity that we found a place we were interested in and the owner just had a cancellation. We had to juggle our dates by just a tad, but her offer was so reasonable that we jumped. I'm sure she wanted to have renters so adjusted her normal price to fill up an open time slot.
julies is offline  
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