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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 15th Apr 08, 11:26 AM
    • 8,111Posts
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    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    The Great ‘how to win at hotel bidding websites’ Hunt
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 08, 11:26 AM
    0 WOW
    The Great ‘how to win at hotel bidding websites’ Hunt 15th Apr 08 at 11:26 AM
    Hotel bidding websites Priceline and the US website Hotwire allow you to make offers for bargain rooms. With these, you enter the price you’re willing to pay and they tell you whether you’ve won.

    I want to tap MoneySavers’ expertise to find out how good these sites are, and what kind of bids they’ve had accepted. What are the best bargains you’ve bagged? What experiences have you had? What are your top tips?

    Please post below to share your experiences with other MoneySavers.


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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 16-04-2008 at 10:53 AM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
    • blindman
    • By blindman 15th Apr 08, 12:26 PM
    • 5,186 Posts
    • 4,208 Thanks
    blindman
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 08, 12:26 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 08, 12:26 PM
    Martin, have you not read these "How To" Guides on Priceline or Hotwire then ?:confused::confused:

    The web-site that helps with both these Opaque auction sites is Betterbidding

    Another site which deals with USA Priceline ONLY is Biddingfortravel.com (Less friendly and less organised, but more data on USA Priceline hotels)

    Both are mentioned in the guides.

    The best Priceline deal I have had is $35 for a 3* at the Hyatt New Jersey. Rack rate was $250.
    (This was October 2003 but this hotel still goes for about $65 at its lowest).

    Best Hotwire rate was $33 at a 2.5 * hotel at Indianapolis when the rack rate was $200 due to the US GP being in town.
    Last edited by blindman; 20-04-2008 at 4:01 PM.
  • dmg24
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 08, 2:49 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 08, 2:49 PM
    I think blindman's guides tell you all you need to know. A quick search would have found it ...

    I don't think I have ever seen a true bargain on Hotwire, but I have had PL bargains in Cologne, Madrid and Boston (and a cancelled one in Washington). I'll no doubt be picking up a few more over the next week.

    It should be noted that these rates are not normally cancellable, and not all the available hotels are ones that you would want to stay at. Therefore, as you will see from bm's guide, research is key! x
    • duchy
    • By duchy 15th Apr 08, 9:23 PM
    • 18,117 Posts
    • 46,081 Thanks
    duchy
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:23 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:23 PM
    I always check out biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com and bid accordingly. Understanding free bid zones is essential tho.
    I've had some fab prices both in the UK -Marriotts galore-including the lovely Victoria and Albert in Manchester(a converted warehouse and brilliant for star spotting as it's right opposite the TV studios) for £50 and Marriott Gatehead also at £50-in both cases less than half price.
    New York the Hilton on W 42nd Street in the heart of Manhattan for $105 ($300 was the normal price for my dates, Salt Lake City $40 for a city centre Raddisson and Cleveland the Rennaisance hotel (four star) for $60 (friends staying the same nights got a smaller room than mine and paid $130)
    I'm going to a concert at the O2 in June-I *was* going to stay at the Holiday Inn express (2 and half stars at best) for £75 but why do that when I picked up the Hilton Canary Wharf (4* and fab tripadvisor reviews) for £70.
    The list is endless-priceline let me stay in 4 star hotels for 2 and 3 star prices-what more could an MSEer or a DFW ask for
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
    • mitchg
    • By mitchg 15th Apr 08, 9:30 PM
    • 380 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    mitchg
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:30 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:30 PM
    Have used bidding for travel for priceline hotels and car hire in the past great if its not a large group and your willing to take a punt on what hotel accepts but most are more than decent and more than decent savings can be had too.

    Priceline.com on entering a bid you will need to change a couple of your adress and telephone details so it looks like you are bidding from the USA address but dont worry a booking is a booking.
    Last edited by mitchg; 15-04-2008 at 9:32 PM.
    Lets all save a Ł or two, lets all earn a Ł or two, and lets all enjoy spending that Ł or two wisely.
    • mitchg
    • By mitchg 15th Apr 08, 9:42 PM
    • 380 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    mitchg
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:42 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 08, 9:42 PM
    I think the value of this thread is high so i'd suggest making it a sticky to maximise possible money savings that could be had and use the help that could be available to forum members.
    Lets all save a Ł or two, lets all earn a Ł or two, and lets all enjoy spending that Ł or two wisely.
    • stphnstevey
    • By stphnstevey 15th Apr 08, 10:05 PM
    • 2,888 Posts
    • 476 Thanks
    stphnstevey
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 08, 10:05 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 08, 10:05 PM
    Never heard of these sites, so thanks for letting us know
    • n1cn1c
    • By n1cn1c 16th Apr 08, 4:15 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    n1cn1c
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 08, 4:15 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 08, 4:15 PM
    I'm a convert to priceline since reading Blindmans great step by step guide. Take the time to read it & do your research

    I'm working my way round London so far have stayed at
    Hilton Islington Ł45 per night
    Gouman Cumberland Ł55 per night
    Sheraton Park Lane Ł100 per night

    will never pay full price again
    • GlennTheBaker
    • By GlennTheBaker 16th Apr 08, 6:08 PM
    • 2,792 Posts
    • 1,817 Thanks
    GlennTheBaker
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 08, 6:08 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 08, 6:08 PM
    I've had some very nice deals with Priceline over the last few years. The best, in terms of how much cheaper than the hotel's own price, was the Sheraton Skyline at Heathrow last year. I got it for about Ł42 inc tax - the best rate on the Sheraton site was Ł186 inc tax!
  • Edge21
    I've used Priceline for my last few trips abroad - I'll never book with a hotel website direct again!

    Just to give you an example - I visited New York over Easter weekend last year. 4 star hotels were $500+ a night when booking direct (yikes!)

    I managed to get the SAME 4 star room for $120 (~£60 a night) using the Name Your Own Price option!! On top of that I got the exact room I wanted when I checked into the hotel (i.e. one with twin beds!)

    As the other websites will explain, you don't actually know what hotel you're bidding for until the final page (i.e. after you've paid). However if you know the area you want to stay in and are comfortable with the star rating you are bidding for - then this is not a problem.

    Also Priceline may not be suitable for specific requirements (i.e. twin beds, family rooms etc.) The bid is usually on a room that sleeps 2 but most hotels (if they have the rooms available) will upgrade you at no cost.

    In my experience, you're most likely to get the best hotel deal when booking about a week or two before you travel.

    I always use Priceline when travelling abroad - especially the US! There are some fantastic bargains to be had as the hotels would rather have some money from customers than none at all!
    Last edited by Edge21; 16-04-2008 at 7:14 PM.
  • kennyp353
    Cat and bag unbounded
    I've spent nearly Ł30,000 on priceline's Name Your Own Price since 2002. I guess the next cheapest options for the same hotels would have cost me around Ł75,000. Put another way, priceline has let me travel about two and a half times more for my money than I would have been able to do otherwise. Examples: this month I've won the Hyatt St Louis for Ł30, the Chicago downtown Hilton for Ł42, the Hilton Islington for Ł40, the Marriott Park Lane for Ł76 (cheapest public rate Ł223). But I rather fear the cat getting out of the bag - I tell all my friends but am rather happy that it's not more widely-known, for fear of the repercussions of the backlash when businesses that book on Hilton or Marriott or Sheraton websites realise that every single one of the website best rate guarantees have small print that specifically excludes priceline. Will they drop their public rates 70% to match their priceline rates? Will they hell - they'll just lose their priceline rates - the distressed inventory income is merely froth to the monster retail income. So please tread carefully, Martin - my life would be much poorer without priceline.
    • balsingh
    • By balsingh 16th Apr 08, 11:40 PM
    • 1,411 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    balsingh
    I have used Priceline in the past and managed a good deal for Paris. Off to Toronto & New York for 2 weeks and I hope I will save over 50% on Priceline.

    Before everyone runs off and starts bidding away, make sure you read www.betterbidding.com as there are some cons eg. once you have the hotel, its paid for and you cant change your mind. Also, if your bid fails, you cant rebid for another 24 hours unless you change your search criteria.
    If you found my comment helpful, please click the 'Thanks' button below
  • crombiestone
    I will always try to use Priceline if they offer rooms in a city where I am visiting . The US offers the best choice but London is also well served .We even stayed in 2 fantastic 5* hotels in China for Ł40 a night

    I have stayed in so many lovely hotels and saved thousands but my best buy is for an upcoming trip to New York which was booked back in October 2007 . We bagged 6 nights at the Sheraton Manhattan Times Square for Ł336 ,thats Ł55 a night . To book direct with the hotel would cost Ł1230 or Ł205 per night,so my whole trip including flights is cheaper than I would have paid for the hotel alone .

    The sites biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com are essential aids to getting Priceline rooms at the right price and winning a room at a great discount is such a buzz
  • Indianna
    Roosevelt in New York
    I used the sites mentioned to research and followed their bidding guide. I used Priceline with the bidding in Ł. I paid Ł50 a nights for 5 nights in January at the Roosevelt, which is a fantastic hotel, just around the corner from central station. Other holiday sites were showing it for Ł150.

    Make sure you read the bidding advice first and be sure of the area that you are bidding for.
    Indianna
  • valt61
    using priceline
    I tried to book a hotel on priceline via the bidding system but they are requesting a USA address. Clearly UK users have used the company. How?

    valt
    • blindman
    • By blindman 17th Apr 08, 2:23 PM
    • 5,186 Posts
    • 4,208 Thanks
    blindman
    I tried to book a hotel on priceline via the bidding system but they are requesting a USA address. Clearly UK users have used the company. How?

    valt
    Originally posted by valt61
    Read the guide I posted at post number #2 on this thread:confused:
    • mitchg
    • By mitchg 17th Apr 08, 3:22 PM
    • 380 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    mitchg
    Originally Posted by valt61
    I tried to book a hotel on priceline via the bidding system but they are requesting a USA address. Clearly UK users have used the company. How?

    valt
    I too have already answerd this above

    Priceline.com on entering a bid you will need to change a couple of your adress and telephone details so it looks like you are bidding from the USA address but dont worry a booking is a booking
    Things to change are basically the state and your telephone number to look like a US number or zip code.. have a look and a play or read all guides posted to get around this.

    Priceline works and saves money, but a bid is a bid and will be paid for and very unlikely that you will get a refund if need arises to cancel.
    Lets all save a Ł or two, lets all earn a Ł or two, and lets all enjoy spending that Ł or two wisely.
  • crombiestone
    There is a UK version of the site

    www.priceline.co.uk Then click on Name your own price

    The inventory is the same as the US site and all prices are in Sterling , as a rule of thumb just half the biddingfortravel.com rates . I have found that the rates are a fair conversion i.e a win at $100 on the us site would be approximately Ł50 on the UK site . One downside is that you must increase your bids by a minimum of Ł1 whereas its only $1 on the US site.
    • wonko
    • By wonko 17th Apr 08, 6:01 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    wonko
    I used Priceline for locating hotel rooms in the Toronto area last summer.
    My Canadian friend passed on the web site and I have to say it was perfect!

    Booking two months in advance, I managed to bag two twin rooms (both double beds) for four nights at an inclusive total of US$469.78 (currently available for $117.62 - $270.62 CAD per room) bidding not more than $50 per room/night.

    This was the Holiday Inn in Markham which is slightly outside 'downtown' Toronto but was still in the areas I specified. I had already hired car making all the difference.

    No breakfast was included but use of the Gym, spa, pool etc was allowed.

    Because I booked sufficiently far in advance, a call to the said hotel secured adjoining rooms for my family and I. This was at no additional cost.

    Allow me to put the price into perspective. A family room for four in the Youth Hostel at Niagara was priced $67.80 so cheaper to use Priceline and hardly fair to compare facilities apples with apples!

    Would I use them again? Too right! My Canadian friend also uses the site constantly.
  • dmg24
    I've finally booked my hotels (leave on Thursday)!

    I am staying at:

    Boston

    24 - 27 Westin Copley Square Ł55 per night
    27 - 29 Marriott Copley Square Ł55 per night

    New York

    29 - 01/05 Millenium Broadway Ł86 per night

    I could have got even cheaper, but anyone that knows me knows I don't do less than 4*!
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