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Old 02-12-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
blessedby3
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Priceline Question

I am thinking about using Priceline for the first time in April. Does anyone have a feeling about if I would be more likely to get my bid met if I bid now or wait closer to the time of travel? We will most likely be needing the room April 20th. I just didnt know if as it gets closer they will be more likely to take a bid, then if I did it 2 months out.
Also, when I make a bid...are there any other fees involved, or is it just the bid they accept and taxes?
Should I bid on 3 stars and up to get the best situation? Thanks
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
Zerosinthecloset
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Betterbidding.com
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
mikehn
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It is very well possible there could be extra fees the hotel/resort charges you upon arrival, that would be above and beyond your winning bid. A daily parking fee is a common one. If bidding, I would do it now rather than wait.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
buckirj1
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Bid early and bid often, using the strategies on the websites others have suggested. I've bid and won in January for an October visit, and I've also been successful at the last minute--usually at the exact hotel I expected to get. It just takes a little research and flexibility in how much you're willing to bid.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #5
ttrfanatic
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I love bidding on Priceline using the different strategies you can find on BetterBidding or BiddingForTravel. You can get some great deals. There's been much discussion on when exactly you should bid and there really is no one right answer. I tend to like to bid as soon as my plans are finalized and know they won't change because bidding with PL pretty much locks you into the dates you choose. Once your bid is accepted, you are charged for the rooms and its not refundable. Some will say that you should wait until it gets closer because the different hotels might release more rooms, etc. There is really no real concrete evidence to that though.

As far as extra fees, it really depends on the hotel that you end up getting. Unless you get a higher rated hotel, which might have some sort of "resort" fee, you are usually pretty safe in that you should only be charged what you bid for the room, Priceline's fee and the tax on the room. But during your bidding process, they should let you know exactly how much the room will cost you per night before you hit the bid button. It's been awhile since I have bid on a resort so I can't remember if they tell you that there will be a resort fee upfront or not. There's been alot of discussion this fee and I believe even some litigation over it but I haven't really kept up on what has happened with it.

One other expense that you will want to consider is parking. Some hotels will charge you a parking fee if you have a car. In some places this can be a pretty hefty fee so make sure you are aware of that.

As far as what star level you should bid on - that really depends on what you are looking for in a hotel. I usually try and bid on 3.5 and above but I've stayed in some really nice 3 star hotels as well as some really crappy ones. It's more a matter of preference more than anything.

The best advice I can give you, if you are new to bidding, is to do some research before you begin bidding. If you do the reading on how it should work, you can really save yourself some money by bidding. There are some downsides but that's all part of being able to save anywhere from 40, 50, 60% or more on a hotel room.

Finally, I got to where I really liked the savings using these methods but I found that trying to create a rebid chart (one of the bidding strategies) could be a bit daunting so I created a utility app that did it for me. I put it out there for anyone to use for free. I think it's a great tool but couldn't see trying to make anything off of it as far as selling it. It's worked wonders for me so if you want it you can check it out at tripducky.com There's no fee or registration required - just download it and use it. It is a windows app so it won't work on a Mac.

Hope this info has helped you...
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the help. I am looking into the sites mentioned to help with understanding the bidding process.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:52 AM   #7
trinchick
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Another endorsement of both betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com. I used to prefer the latter (despite the cranky administrator) but lately I think betterbidding has had better information.

I concur that there's no "right time" to bid. Like a PP, though, I'd recommend waiting until your plans are set in stone before bidding since it's non-refundable.

To ease my jitters as I bid over a period of time, I usually book a cancellable reservation at a hotel just to be sure I have something in hand. Then if I win a better deal on hotwire and/or priceline, I can cancel the original reservation.

Finally, as you go through the bidding process a page will come up with all fees and taxes included (with the exception of fees in the "resort" category). Make sure you're OK with the total before submitting your bid.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
zoo2tycoon
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On Weekend Today last Sunday the mentioned travel sites that help save money. One was www.backbid.com

You post where you want to go, how many star hotel you want and the most you want to pay. The hotels then send you bids- from what the expert said the same cancellation policy applies as normal with the hotel. You can list type of room- how many beds, etc (unlike Priceline where they guarantee one bed). Reading the one I got it said non-cancellable.

I did a mock one for Chicago during spring break. I got a bid within a few hours for $95 from the Hyatt Regency.
The regular rate on the Hyatt site was $169/night plus taxes.

It DOES NOT include the extra fees such as parking! I put $150 max I'd pay--

Thought it was interesting and might be worth a try when you know definite dates, etc.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
PatMcDuck
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I used the Betterbidding site to learn the ropes on PriceLine. I have used it about 10 times over the years. Usually in major cities, Philly, NYC, Wash DC, Baltimore (3X), Chicago, Raleigh and Charlotte NC, Wilmington NC.

I usually bid on 4*s. What is good about them, is that they are usually only located in major cities. So if your opening bid fails, you can add another geographical area that does not HAVE a 4*, and rebid again right away. (If you were bidding on a 3*, and you added another area to rebid, you might win one away from your target location).

Our latest was Baltimore MD Renaissance Hotel in the Inner Harbor, for $72! DD going there this weekend, leaves tomorrow. And If you miss a bid, like we did for Baltimore, DH bid $69. PL came back with a counter of about $82 or something. I told DH, NO, don't take it! And he rebid at $72 instead and won.

There is info on Better Bidding about Hotwire, so much that you can sometimes figure out what hotel you are bidding on. this is helpful if you are trying to get a suite hotel. I used Hotwire to get Doubletree suite hotel in Times Square, I sort of knew that's what I was getting.

I like PL, it is like gambling, lol. I always figure I can't go wrong with a 4*, and I often get them for under $100, usually in the mid $80s. In Wilmington, we had to take a 3*, they don't have any 4*.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckirj1 View Post
Bid early and bid often, using the strategies on the websites others have suggested. I've bid and won in January for an October visit, and I've also been successful at the last minute--usually at the exact hotel I expected to get. It just takes a little research and flexibility in how much you're willing to bid.
Good strategy!
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
2minnies
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How many people are traveling with you? Priceline guarantees your room will accommodate up to two people.


Can I request a specific bed type?

Depending on the rate you select, the option to select your bed type may or may not be available.

If it is not available, then we guarantee that your room will accommodate up to two people. You may get one king bed, one queen bed, one double bed, two double beds, two twin beds, or any combination of the above.

Once your hotel room is reserved, you may contact the hotel to request specific bedding. Special requests are at the discretion of the hotel and subject to availability. Keep in mind that if available, there may be an extra charge payable directly to the hotel. Your confirmed hotels phone number is listed on your itinerary page.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #12
blessedby3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2minnies View Post
How many people are traveling with you? Priceline guarantees your room will accommodate up to two people.


Can I request a specific bed type?

Depending on the rate you select, the option to select your bed type may or may not be available.

If it is not available, then we guarantee that your room will accommodate up to two people. You may get one king bed, one queen bed, one double bed, two double beds, two twin beds, or any combination of the above.

Once your hotel room is reserved, you may contact the hotel to request specific bedding. Special requests are at the discretion of the hotel and subject to availability. Keep in mind that if available, there may be an extra charge payable directly to the hotel. Your confirmed hotels phone number is listed on your itinerary page.
We have 7 people traveling, and I was going to get 2 rooms. This does concern me that they only guarantee 1 bed.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:51 AM   #13
Pier60
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Hotwire and Betterbidding is the combination I use the most.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:18 AM   #14
ranman1973
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Well, after doing very extensive research and watching prices for quite a while, we finally pulled the trigger on a Hotwire hotel. Here's my recommended approach:

1. Book a hotel that you're happy with that can be cancelled at no cost. This hotel will be your back up plan if you can't find anything on Hotwire or Priceline.

2. You will almost certainly get a better price on Priceline than Hotwire, so do your research and decide if Priceline is for you. For us, we decided on Hotwire for 2 reasons. First, Hotwire allows you to book a room for more than 2 people. This is very important. Yes, I have booked on Priceline and been stuck in a room where my kids have had to sleep on the floor. (We made them a fort with extra blankets and they enjoyed it so it wasn't that bad.) Second, Hotwire shows you the hotel amenities which makes it easier to identify your hotel by comparing to hotel lists on HotelDealsRevealed.com (which worked in our case but doesn't always). It was important that we got free wifi, pools, parking etc. However, as I said, Priceline will almost certainly be cheaper.

3. Once you've decide which website, get a feel for the going rates of regular hotels during your stay. Also check out some of the Priceline / Hotwire bidding helper sites such as HotelDealsRevealed.com and betterbidding.com to get a feel for how much rooms are going for. You'll need this info to know how much to bid.

4. If Priceline, start bidding and bid low as others have suggest. You never know if your bid will be accepted or not. Do you know hot to get free rebids? If not, PM me and I'll describe the process to you. Too long to describe here.

5. Be patient. You have a backup hotel if needed (step 1). Keep bidding every couple of days.

----

For me, I recently got the LVB Resort Village & Spa on Hotwire for $100 / night. I was watching this for weeks and it was around $130 / night, but then I saw the price drop. Before making the final purchase, I compared the Hotwire details to the Orlando Hotwire hotels list and was about 90% certain I'd get this hotel. Did my research on TripAdvisor and placed my order. Got the hotel i was expecting.

My only gripe: Hotwire gives this hotel a 4 star but most other sites actually only give it 3 1/2 stars. But overall, I'm very happy with 2 bedroom suite for $100/night.
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