Airbnb will soon show prices including tax in search results – TechCrunch
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said today that the company refine your search to show the full price, including fees — like the increasingly controversial cleaning fee — in search results. The company will roll out this feature via a toggle next month and will also prioritize the total charge (before taxes) for your trip instead of the price per night in its search ranking algorithm.
This means that the best total prices will rank higher in Airbnb search results alongside similar listings for the area.
Chesky noted that once users enable the toggle, they will see the full price in search results, card listings, price filters, and listing pages. Additionally, users will be able to clearly see a breakdown of Airbnb’s own service fees, as well as discounts and taxes for property and travel.
It’s unclear why the company is making price including all fees an opt-in experience via a toggle rather than making it the default search setting, but it’s likely because not displaying the price total makes booking more affordable.
The company is making these changes over time. guest complaints about cleaning fees and other hidden charges have grown recently. A report published by nerdwallet in June, a survey of 1,000 US rental properties on Airbnb found that 34% of listings had cleaning fees between 20 and 30% of the base fee. Airbnb published a blog post in May 2021, which claimed that the company transparently displays all fees on all listings. But the message also promised that Catherine Powell, Airbnb’s global head of accommodation, was assigning a team under her responsibility to focus on carrying out a comprehensive review of the service’s fees.
It’s important to note that simply showing all fees up front doesn’t solve the problem of hosts charging ridiculous fees. Today the company “offers advice” to hosts about setting affordable cleaning fees, but there is no enforcement rule.
It’s unclear if the company is set to make any further changes in this area, despite backlash from customers. More and more Airbnb hosts are asking guests to perform more thorough cleanings, including tasks like stripping the bed, doing laundry, taking out the trash and recycling, and vacuuming. These extreme demands have led to numerous parodies on social media sites where users complain about the workload and lament that they are going to have to “go back to hotels”.
In Today’s announcement, Chesky again reiterated the point, saying guests shouldn’t have to do the same. He said hosts should have “reasonable” payment requests, such as throwing food in the trash, turning off lights and locking doors, and these should be displayed to guests before departure. However, the company hasn’t said if it will start penalizing hosts more directly, only that it will “continue to share more” as updates roll out.
Along with these new search tweaks, Airbnb is also rolling out pricing and discount tools for hosts that will allow them to set competitive final prices that include all costs. This will help hosts attract more guests, as they may want their property to be listed under a certain price filter in regards to total fees.
Airbnb reported revenue of $2.9 billion in the third quarter of 2022, up 29% year-over-year. It also beat analysts’ estimate of $2.8 billion for the quarter. The company said nights and experiences booked increased 25% year-over-year for the third quarter.
In Europe, the company and its competitors were asked to share reservation data with the European Commission amid growing fears that the short-term rental economy is creating a housing shortage by driving out low-income residents.
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