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How to Avoid Airbnb Service Fees - Tips for Guests and Hosts

How to Avoid Airbnb Service Fees is a question many people ask these days, as renting from Airbnb is not as cheap as it used to be. The service and cleaning fees are too high these days, so let's review some tips that work!

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By Amir

Published: Jun 13, 2023 min read

How to Avoid Airbnb Service Fees - Tips for Guests and Hosts

When Airbnb started, it became famous quickly, mostly because renting an apartment from them for a short stay was way cheaper than staying at a hotel. This was a great way for tourists to travel on a budget and also a great way for the hosts to earn some money, but it all has changed in recent years.

Of course, there are many reasons why Airbnb has become more expensive, like the economy, housing prices (Which are also caused by Airbnb), Covid and etc. However, still, service fees could have stayed lower if Airbnb did not want to make more money for itself. It is just not worth it to pay all these fees and still have the risk of staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel, especially after some horror stories that have happened in Airbnbs.

Besides all this negativity, there are still some ways to go around these fees and not pay them, and the upside here is the fact that both guests and hosts can use these tips to their advantage. 

What are the Tips and Tricks to Avoid Airbnb Service Fees

Airbnb Properties Can be Found on Other Websites, Without Fees!

Nowadays, most of the properties you see on Airbnb are listed on other OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). These OTAs can be Booking, Agoda, Priceline, or any other OTA you are used to. Take a look at the screenshots below.

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Here is the price of a five-night stay in this property for two guests. The property is in Greece and is run by a super host. But on top of the nightly rate, the guest must pay 66 euros just for Airbnb service fees which can be avoided if the guest books the same property on booking. (Screenshot below)

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In this screenshot, you see the price of the same property for the same daters and the same amount of gusts (Literally the same deal), 127 euros cheaper. This means you can skip Airbnb service fees and book the property even cheaper. But why this happens?

This happens because different OTAs have different charges and contracts, so in many ways, Airbnb is the most expensive choice.

Now, for gusts, you can check each property one by one on different websites to see where the price is lower, but wouldn't it be better if you had a free tool to do this for you?! Well, there is. We have added a feature to our RatePunk Browser Extension that does this comparison for you. 

Install our browser extension, go to Airbnb Website, and Browse the website normally. Whenever you enter a property page, we compare the price of that property across all major OTAs and show you the price, so you can easily compare and choose the cheapest option. We will also show you if Airbnb offers the cheapest rate so you wouldn't have to look at other websites.

Also, we will suggest similar properties in the area that are cheaper so you can take a look at the alternatives. On the first screenshot, you can have a glance at how our product looks like and you can click on the button below to install it for Free!

This tip is also good for the hosts to post their properties on other OTAs to double their bookings and avoid Airbnb fees.

Communicate with the Host to Book Directly

Communication is one of the most important aspects of human life and can solve many many issues, so why not use it to get a better deal for both the guest and the host? For you to understand how powerful communication can be, I give you an example of it. We conducted a study in which we requested 50 hosts for a discount before booking their property, you will be shocked that 80% of the hosts agreed with a price deduction easily. But how to do it?

Well, you can use the messaging feature on Airbnb to message the host and start a conversation, but for your convenience, we have added a feature to our browser extension called ‘Ask for lower price’. Take a look at the screenshot below to understand this feature better.

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If you have RatePunk installed on your browser extension, you will see it creates a little box for you when looking at the properties on Airbnb. (The right side of the screenshot). 

You can just enter the price you are willing to pay for a night, and we will create a message for you and send it to the host, asking for a price decrease.

It is very convenient because you do not need to write any message, and you can literally ask for a price deduction in just seconds, and do not forget; we got 80% success out of this feature. 

You may ask how this can end up in avoiding paying the Airbnb service fees. To answer this question, we need to look at our next tip, which is for the hosts.

but before that, make sure to take a look at other ways you can get a discount on Airbnb.

Get Yourself a Website and Rent your Property Directly to the Guest

Now this can be done in different ways. Let's say you get a request from a guest to lower the price, and you agree with it. But how to proceed?

We suggest you be professional and have your own website. With your own website, you can ask the guest to book it directly with you, where you can skip the Fees set by Airbnb. You don't need to have a very fancy website that would cost you much to make. You just need a simple one that would do the job.

Alternatively, a Facebook page can also do the same for you.

In case you are interested, we have other tips for hosts to help you better manage your property and become a super host.

Alternative Ways to Get Rid of Airbnb Service Fees

All the options above can help you get rid of the Airbnb fees, but some alternatives can help you some extra money while booking Airbnb. To read more about this, see our blog on Airbnb Long-term Rentals and Airbnb Discounts.

But besides those tips, there are some alternative ways to get a discount. You should definitely try the referral program for Airbnb. You can use this program to get credits that will help you save money on your bookings.

Alternatively, you should look for early properties. The new properties on Airbnb usually offer some good discounts to get their first bookings and provide you with great service. Take this to your advantage.

Make sure to check Vrbo as well. However, there will be service fees there too. There are other Alternatives to Airbnb as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Avoiding Airbnb Service Fees

Can you get rid of the Airbnb service fee?

Yes, there are many tips and tricks that can help you get rid of the Airbnb service fees. These tips include Booking the property Directly with the Host and Booking the property from another online travel agency website.

How do I avoid Airbnb service fee as host?

The best way is to have your own website and encourage guests to book your property directly with you. You may also list your property on other online travel agencies with lower fees than Airbnb.

Jun 13, 2023

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