Paying VRBO Owner Cash on Arrival

Jul 27th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Paying VRBO Owner Cash on Arrival

We have tnetatively booked VRBO #181279 in Paris for 4 nights at the end of Sept. The owner is saying we can only pay in cash full amount in euros at arrival. The many reviews are amazing but if we can't secure with a credit card or partial payment how can we be sure we will get the apartment and how can the owner be sure we will show up?
BarbaraCoenen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,294
Paying in cash on arrival is common. At least you know it is not a scam since a scam always requires lots of cash up front. I guess it is a risk you have to take. Just confirm it with the owner frequently. I know trust in this world is limited. Good luck.
fmpden is online now  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:00 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 36
My first time using VRBO I was a little apprehensive as well without a deposit. Everything was fine. Since then I have used it many times and I have only been asked for a deposit twice.
shaizme is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16,579
Barbara; Where do you live? The owner lives in Massachusetts and if you are relatively close, go meet him.

Our last villa rental in Grease, we met the owner.
iris1745 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,579
I wouldn't be concerned as the owner has something to lose too should you not turn up. It's the wiring of money in advance that I no longer do after some stories of phantom apartments, no way to recoup the loss. But with cash on arrival you share the risk. And should the apartment not be as represented you can walk. I suggest you have back-up accommodation information "just in case" but you'll be unlikely to need it. If the owner does business this way, on trust, they must then have a number of happy clients.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5
Thank you so much for your speedy and reassuring replies.
BarbaraCoenen is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 12:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,631
As a private owner myself, I feel it is rather risky not to take any deposit at all and it is not common among rental owners since most of them will make you pay the total amount upfront. Bon voyage!
cocofromdijon is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,377
Yeah, I think it is very risky to take no deposit at all, I would imagine a lot of people just would not show up.

I don't think there is any way at all to know for sure you will get the apt, that's just a risk you take using VRBO. I suppose even if you paid a deposit, you can't be sure you'd get anything, but I admit I would think an owner who took no deposit was perhaps a bit flaky myself. I'm sure there are owners who take no deposit because they have never had a problem and they are perfectly reliable, but there isn't any real way to know in advance.
Christina is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 265
Another reason I like AirBnB. At booking, they take the full payment via credit card and hold it. Then immediately after the stay when both parties are satisfied they release payment to the owner. Gives both parties an interest in following through with their commitments.

Plus their rating system in which both parties rate each other in every transaction gives everyone comfort level. It's the eBay of private rentals.
Toucan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2013, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,227
Over the years I've had several owners not take any deposit. Usually it is when they don't accept PayPal/credit cards. One or twice they've accepted a US$ check for the deposit which they held and returned to me when I arrived and paid in full.

But I've found that generally when they don't accept cc's they let a deposit slide. Takes a leap of faith by both parties.
janisj is online now  
Jul 27th, 2013, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 199
Just believe Barbara. It will be as wonderful as Sablet was. I agree that paying all on arrival is a good option. But look at the apt first. Have an alternative in mind for the worst case. For example, if that doesn't work out look at hotel option in Fountainbleau or a similar suburb.... Nice to see you're still traveling.
JoeCal is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 143
I think there is always a risk with accommodations, even that those you have stayed in before won't be as nice as you remember. BUT as private apartment rentals go, this one seems to have many sincere rave reviews. Since the reviews contain a few cautions like "no elevator" and "the outside is not an indication of the inside," they appear to be legitimate. Just be careful if you do book a back-up hotel reservation out of an abundance of caution not to lose your deposit or get charged a night for not showing up. I can imagine myself doing that in a jet lagged state.
mocha_dolce is offline  

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