From 10 points to 12 points, Hostelworld is actually trying to overwhelmingly increase their commission by one fifth. The way Hostelworld increases their profit is a warning sign for us and makes us feel cautious on our relation.
Now my hostel gets around 70~80% of all city bookings and it makes up around 15% of our sales. More customers are probably brought by Hostelworld but they extend their booking in house, or just walk in so it doesn't directly count.
For long time we rely Hostelworld on attracting our customers. Ratings are around 95%. It's one of two booking sources because I am still new to the industry and don't bother to extend our presence to more booking sites.
Then when HW increases their commission in this non-optional way, I feel the position of my hostel is vulnerable. They take advantage of their market position but as the hostel management, there is not much we can do.
I worry that It's just the beginning. A few months ago, they just launched an Elevator Program. The more you pay, the better ranking you have. This is edging on cheating and manipulating the customer trust on them, because in another word, they try to mislead a customer to choose someone who pays more, instead the one who is better.
Instead of expanding customer base or introducing more marketing tools (perhaps a more enriched microsite that managers can choose to join or not) , HW is trying to earn more by using customers' trust or directly grab money from the hands of hostel. Yes we are all a profit making business, but I think they're a company of fading dignity.
Now we've changed the price slightly to cover up the loss, limit the number of beds on HW, looking for expanding the presence on booking.com, agoda.com, tripadvisor.com.
We also make our own website. While prices are the same there, we offer extremely flexible booking and hope it attracts customers.
What we realize after this change is that HW is too big to be your trusted partner. Be cautious of this bully.
Hmmm... I dunno. But customers will book with them if it shows the most hostels. Remember when HI used to be the only thing in town? I am contemplating gomio, just because I don't want to do business with hostelworld/hostelbookers. I never did hosteltimes or hostelsclub.they are still 10% and like you said, no bookings. Onlyhostels would have to have some good seo out there to get going . currently hostelworld has the term 'hostel' cornered.
I've used Maxbooking which I really like developed by the owner of Sir Toby's in Prague. No commission to owner, user pays 2bucks. I just wish he would develop a portal. For no commission I see everyone migrating to it.
This is a conversation I had with HW a few months back.
Hi Carmen, correct me if im wrong, but are you charging a 15% commission? That's higher than booking.com!
On the hostel you guys are charging us 10%, I know there was some changes on the contracts, but 15 percent is a huge increase from 10%.
an excerpt from the contract
HW Standard Deposit (%) i.e. % amount of transaction value paid by customer online to secure booking. 15
[X] (the Standard Deposit ) or any other % as may be notified to Licensee by HW from time to time (the Varied Deposit )
answer from HW
I am sorry but it’s true, we are now requesting 15% to all new properties.
Carmen María Jiménez
Why doesn't anyone talk about this? I have 3 properties, for two of them pay 15% and the older hostel pays 12%, is a matter of time when they up it to 15% for everyone.
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