There is a myth which suggests that going on to the internet is likely to give you the lowest price for booking a hotel. This is to some extent perpetuated by comparison sites which allow you to sort and filter hotels based purely on price. However, nothing could be further from the truth. After all, these comparison sites are merely third party agents and therefore have already added a commission rate on top of the price being charged by the hotel.
Certainly using these comparison sites can be useful in getting a rough idea of the prices and facilities of certain hotels, but the next stage should be to visit the websites of these hotels themselves. This will in many cases give you prices below those found on the comparison sites, and again it is easy for people to assume that the prices displayed are immoveable. In reality what hotels do not tell you is that within their calculations they have between a 20% and 40% margin through which they can reduce the listed price.
Paying the listed price simply gives the hotel up to a 40% bonus on top of the price they actually need to charge. So, how do you go about bartering on the price?
There are a few tricks of the trade, and there are one or two things to avoid. The first thing to avoid is calling the toll free number on the hotel's website, especially if this is a chain of hotels, because all that will happen is you will be transferred to a central booking office, and they will not have the degree of flexibility or individuality that you need. Instead, where possible, make sure you are speaking to the actual hotel itself.
Once you are through to the hotel, avoid small talk. This is a big mistake made by many people who feel that by building in a rapport they can help get the price down. In actual fact there is a greater chance of either giving something away, saying something which doesn't quite work with the other person, and can set up a barrier. Instead, keep it short, keep it simple and make sure you do not budge on your intention of getting a much lower price than the listed one.
It is not advisable to then go ahead and book straight away, unless you are given a remarkable reduction and you are happy with that. Instead, telephone about eight hours later, when the person you have spoken to has left their shift and you are speaking to somebody else in their position. Do the same thing again; try to get the lowest price, and then make a note of the name and price they were able to get down to. Eight hours later, do the same thing again. This way, you will have spoken to three people and hopefully got three prices, at least one of which will be much lower.
Another trick is to look at those three prices and, say for example, one of the prices quoted was $89, then call back, making sure you are speaking to someone different from the one who quoted you that price, and claim all innocence that they quoted you $79. In many cases, this works, and you have managed to knock a further $10 off the price.
These are all simple bits of advice, and although many people shy away from bartering, the cost saving that you can get is remarkable, and you will certainly get a real sense of achievement if you do manage to get the price down. Once you have done it once successfully, you will start kicking yourself when you think about all the money you have spent in the past unnecessarily.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for bags, luggage, hotels, cruises, and shopping.