- B&Bs are small businesses. We live in, work in and support our local communities via the jobs that we provide and the taxes that we (and the guest) pay. When a guest books through a big online booking company such as Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbiz, bedandbreakfast.com, etc. these small B&Bs are charged a commission that can be up to 35% of the room rate. That’s a big financial hit for a small business. By booking directly with the innkeeper, you support them financially.
- In reality, the guest will pay virtually the same room rate when booking directly with the innkeeper. The difference in this amount of revenue is what contributes to our ability to maintain and even enhance our property and our offerings, to ensure that the guest has the best possible experience during their stay.
- In addition to paying virtually the same room rate, the guest will often find better room availability and more available dates when booking directly with the innkeeper vs. the big online sites. We typically do not provide them with 100% of our available room inventory.
- Another element to the big online booking companies has to do with taxes. When a guest books directly at one of the big online sites, the guest pays the room taxes directly to that company. These online companies are then responsible for paying the collected taxes to the local community. There is some question as to whether or not this always happens. If these collected taxes do not get paid to the local community, then the local community does not benefit from the taxes that the guest paid.
- When you buy a gift card through one of the big on online companies, the redeeming B&B is charged up to a 30% commission of the face value of that gift card. Gift cards are a great gift-giving idea and we love having your friends and family stay with us but by purchasing the gift card directly from the innkeeper, it keeps all of those funds local.
- Utilize a check or cash when paying for your stay. I’m always amazed at the number of guests that have no idea that their issuing bank for the credit card that they use to pay for their stay, charges the business a percentage of the total sale. I know that in our case, those credit card processing fees amount to thousands of dollars each year. By paying with cash or a check, those credit card fees are funds that go directly back into the business. While not 100% of all B&Bs will accept a check, it is easy to ask when you are making your reservation.
- When doing your online search in preparation for your trip, if you happen to see a “sponsored link” AND a regular listing for the same property, click on the regular listing. Sponsored links are paid for by the business. Each time you click on a sponsored link, that business is charged a fee.