Bidding on Priceline

Old Feb 19th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Bidding on Priceline

Please send tips/advice on how to bid for Hotel rooms. I am wanting to get a good rate for NYC in March.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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try www.biddingfortravel.com for the ultimate one-stop guide to priceline.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Or betterbidding.com.

There really are no shortcuts, you have to read ALL the instructions. Good luck and don't leave home without Priceline!
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Joe, I agree. Before using Priceline I really studied the rules on biddingfortravel. It's well worth studying it.

One tip I will add is that when you enter your bid, it will most likely tell you that your bid is too low, and do you want to raise it. NO, don't raise it. Go for it!
Good luck.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Okay, I am going to read up and give it a try.
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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Good for you, Joe. Just remember, there are no changes allowed once you 'win' . so you want to be really sure it's what you want.

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Old Feb 19th, 2008, 07:45 PM
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You really do have to do your homework. For the best deal, and avoiding mistakes or overbidding, there are no shortcuts.

March should not be too difficult. Rates go up April 1st.

Since you can re-bid every day, or start a new bid the same day in a different area, it's really important not to get caught up in the process and start upping your bid or adding areas, or worse go down in stars, rather than start a new bid, just to be successful.

Also, take a look at Hotwire, Travelzoo, and Easyclicktravel.

And, keep an eye on winning bids on Betterbidding and Biddingfortravel.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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we just used priceline for DH for the first time, and he was able to get a room at the NYC Intercontinental barclay for $125! We checked what the hotel is charging for the time period he was looking to go and they were charging over $350!It was really fun using this site for the first time. I wish they could guarantee a room type (i.e. king bed) -- if they did we would use it all the time!
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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I've been too much a chicken to try it. Has anyone had luck in getting a room that works for a group of 4? It would be hubby and me and two daughters but I'd sure hate to end up with only one bed in the room.

How do other people handle this? Are the hotels helpful in reserving a room with 2 beds if you call the hotel directly...once you've gotten your bid accepted?

Do they know you got the room through Priceline when you call so they are less likely to give you what you want because you are paying so much less?
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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I have never been turned down when making requests but that doesnt mean it wont happen. I dont think I would use priceline if I had to have two beds...not worth the gamble.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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Priceline officially books a room for two people, so you could end up with one bed. In some cities, especially NYC, the rooms are small and the fire-related occupancy laws are strict and you could really get stuck.

On the other hand, some hotels in other cities will go out of their way to be accommodating and most of the rooms have two beds anyway. I won the Marriott Metro Center in DC a few years ago; when I called and asked about two beds, they assured me that it would be possible. When I arrived with my two kids, at 11 PM, they volunteered to find me a room that not only had two beds, but also room for a rollaway, which appeared immediately. I have never felt like a second-class citizen when using PL, though there are scattered anecdotes about individual encounters with obnoxious staff. These are rooms that would otherwise be vacant, so bad attitude doesn't make sense.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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PL is great. A few weeks ago I got a room for $55, when the lowest on their site was $169. I called immediately for a 2 bed room, and I was given it on arrival.

Advice - If you don't know how to bid, DON'T. Bidding for travel is a great resource. An experienced person sitting next to you (or guiding you on the phone) is best.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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On the other hand, it isn't really that hard. Look at the sites mentioned and get an idea of the prices that rooms are going for. Go to priceline.com and study the zones for the city. I've won 4-stars in most cities by putting a bid in for only the zone I want. If that is rejected, I look for a zone that does not have a 4-star (you have to start the bid process to do this, if a 4-star isn't available that option is grayed out) and add that zone to my bid.

It helps if you are not looking for the absolute rock bottom deal since you are less nervous that way, I think.

I got a weekend in January at Le Parker Meridien (Central Park South)for $140 a night.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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The suggestions above are excellent.

I would add that, as a first try, you do a dry run.

Bid $5 or $10 for a room of your choice. You'll never get it for that price, but it'll give you an idea of the bidding process.

Read the biddingfortravel hotel reviews. Also read other hotel reviews, such as tripadvisor.

I've gotten into the habit of NOT bidding in a zone when there are Holiday Inns or Ramada Inns offered, no matter how attractive the other hotels in the group may be. Bad experiences with both brands make me shy away. So, read the hotel reviews, as they can help you select the zone you want to bid in.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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In NYC MANY hotel rooms have either one double/queen bed or two twin beds. You CANNOT bid for a room for 4 in New York, since it's perfectly possible that the hotel you win will not have a room to accommodate 4 when you get there. Also- whatever price you bid will not be valid for 4 people. (The hotel MAY choose to honor it if they have a lot of empty rooms, but they don;t have to.)

But - in March many hotels have empty rooms and you're likely to get very a good price - so 2 rooms can well end up costing less than the rack rate for one room.

For 4 you need to either bid for TWO rooms on Priceline - or use other search engines - such as travelzoo or Kayak.com that show prices for 4.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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If that is rejected, I look for a zone that does not have a 4-star (you have to start the bid process to do this, if a 4-star isn't available that option is grayed out) and add that zone to my bid.

I can't post a message on betterbidding (my registration is screwed up and I'm waiting for them to fix it) or I'd ask this there. Can you tell me how you find out what areas have what star ratings? Let's say I want to try for the Riverwalk Area in San Antonio. I click on that area and 4* and place my bid. If it's rejected, how do I know what area to add - that doesn't have 4* hotels?
 
Old Feb 20th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Wish I knew how to edit my post. Never mind -- I just figured it out. (But thanks)
 
Old Feb 20th, 2008, 12:13 PM
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EMCash, don't let your Priceline reservation deter you from dialing up the hotel directly and asking for the type of room you desire. The worst answer is "no" and they just might agree to it.

We have used many Priceline rooms through the years and upgraded ourselves to deluxe rooms, extra free beds, etc. by calling the hotel directly and requesting it.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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mwessel, the rules are very clear. You are only guaranteed ONE bed.
The only way to handle it is to bid for 2 rooms unless you are prepared to sleep in ONE bed.

I have always found the hotels to be very accommodating, but they still only have to provide one bed.
You would have no recourse, as this is what the rules are.

Whenever I've traveled with 2 other friends, we've booked 2 rooms.
We don't take a chance.

I've always been very happy with my hotels and also the way I've been treated.
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Old Feb 20th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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As someone who has stupendous luck with Priceline, Hotwire, quikbook and others- don't be "nervous".

And don't judge the NYC choices as the average Priceline experience either.

I did use Priceline in NYC.

Just some "oftens" to mention, but not necessarily so true of NYC as for most other cities.

You can get a room for 1 or 2 days but longer than that and it is much tougher to get a great bid win. If you are want 5 consecutive days, it is much more difficult.

I'm one of the few people who don't read all the info on those bidding sites. I just read what is being given as 4 star or 3 star right now, and take my chances if I like the answers.

Priceline is never really cancellable, IMHO.

If you have no luck with NYC Priceline, try Hotwire next and then after that quikbook. That's my proven ladder to slightly ascending acceptable costs. LOL!
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