Did you know that VRBO and HomeAway just started charging a hefty service fee just for booking through their site? We think this is outrageous considering it adds up to 9% onto your total rental fee. To put this in perspective, so that you can see just how this booking fee might impact your bottom line, I will provide an example from a recent booking.
A nice family from Tennessee sent us a booking request for seven nights at the “Oasis,” our luxury vacation rental located on Folly Beach in Charleston, SC. After looking at the quote, something seemed off about the total amount charged to the family. I was astonished when I saw a random charge of $303.06; which was labeled “service fee."
This fee as described on the VRBO.com website represents:
What is the service fee?
The service fee is paid by the traveler when booking through the HomeAway websites. This fee covers the cost of providing 24/7 customer support, enhanced site and mobile features for both owner and travelers, plus expanded marketing efforts to generate more exposure to global audiences. Additionally, when a traveler books and pays through HomeAway, they are eligible for the Book with Confidence Guarantee.
Paying the fee
Travelers pay the service fee by credit card when paying through the secure HomeAway checkout process. The service fee is only charged to the card once the booking has been accepted by the property owner or manager. The service fee is, on average, approximately 6% of the rental amount, excluding refundable deposit or taxes. This fee is lower than other travel websites that charge a similar fee.
As you can see, this fee is being assessed to the traveling consumer for marketing efforts that VRBO and the individual property owners should be responsible for out of their own pocket. These are after all, the normal cost of doing business. There is no benefit to the vacation consumer for HomeAway to "generate more exposure to global audiences."
That's why Luxury Simplified Retreats invites you to book with us directly on our dedicated site! By direct booking on our site, you avoid this unnecessary fee arbitrarily added onto your bill - which in turn will save you hundreds of dollars. Aren't there other things on your vacation you'd rather spend that money on?
Not only do you save money, but booking with us means you'll have an unforgettable luxury vacation experience. We handle everything for our clients so they can rest easy knowing that we have their vacation rentals and the needs of their rental guests well in hand. Our reputation is as respected as it is renowned, and our Retreats Concierge team are the best in the industry.