Beware of the Pricing Game
Have you ever searched on the web for an airline ticket, an Airbnb, a hotel room, etc., only to return to the same site/exact room or flight listing to find that the price has gone up — sometimes even within just a few minutes?
For example: In our search for an Airbnb, we came across a desirable listing for $20.00 per night. My husband then sends me the link for me to have a look. So I clicked. The price changed to $32 dollars per night. Oh well, we figured, the price must have suddenly gone up. So, we proceed to booking.
After receiving what the total cost would be, which includes an Airbnb fee (or other fees, if any) the price breakdown showed that our Airbnb listing was now $41.00 per night. Confusing, to say the least.
Before we clicked the pay button and hanged ourselves, though, we decided to message the host. She wrote back this: “It’s the automatic price adjustment and the price is constantly changing to match the demand. I can send you a special pricing for your stay no problem with the initial price you saw now.” She charged us $25.00 per night. We decided to take it.
However, the following day, my husband sees the same listing advertised for $40.00 dollars per night! He then proceeds to clear his cache and the browser history on his tablet. Then he looks yet again at the very same listing. The price was back down to $20.00 per night.
Therefore, before booking an Airbnb, for instance, go ahead and do your searches. After you find what you’re looking for and the price that you want to pay, clear out your cache and your browsing history. Then, go back to the listing that is right for you, or just refresh the page, and the original price should be shown. And, before you actually book, look at your price breakdown and do the math!
Is this a typical practice? Actually it is. Even shopping sites play this game. And, Mac users can even be shown higher prices then PC users. Here are a few links to verify all of this:
To find out more, type this into your search bar: cookies and algorithms higher prices