Instant Re-bidding Strategies For Priceline's Name Your Own Price
I love staying at luxury hotels when I travel, but I do not enjoy paying $200 or more per night. That's part of the reason I love Priceline. You can get good deals most of the time and amazing deals some of the time.
If you are not familiar with how Priceline works, here is a basic overview. Priceline has a unique feature called 'Name Your Own Price' where you actually name the price you are willing to pay for a hotel. The catch - you don't know the hotel brand and exact location until after you name a price and your 'bid' is accepted. You do know the general area of the hotel and the hotel classification (e.g., 5-star, 4-star, etc).
The major benefit of using Priceline is that you can save a lot of money! The drawbacks - first, reservations are almost never refundable, and second, you may get a hotel brand you don't like or a hotel lacking a particular amenity you wanted. It is best to use Priceline when you are flexible on hotel location and your travel dates won't change.
The hardest part about 'bidding' on a hotel with Priceline is determining how much to offer. You might think of starting at $1, and if your bid is not accepted, then rebid at $2, then $3, and so on until it's finally accepted. Nice try. You basically only get one kick at the can in a 24 hour period for any given travel date and destination. If your offer is rejected, you have to wait 24 hours, use a different credit card, or change your dates/destination.
So before you book a hotel on Priceline, it is best to first do some research. The first thing you should do is try to find out what hotel you might win if your bid was successful. For example, suppose you wanted a 5* hotel in Las Vegas on the Strip. A great way to identify what hotel you might win is to use the Priceline Hotel Lists from HotelDealsRevealed.com, a website dedicated to helping people identify Priceline hotels and prices.
If you're happy with the hotels you might win, the next step is to determine how much you should bid. Remember, you do not have an unlimited number of chances to rebid, so you want your bid to be high enough to win but low enough to save money. Check out some of the other travel websites, then subtract 10% to 30% as your bid. You can also check out HotelDealsRevealed.com Priceline Help Forum where people share their winning Priceline bids.
The above techniques will save most people money most of the time, but for deeper discounts, here's an advanced strategy:
Priceline breaks cities up into many smaller areas. For instance, Las Vegas is broken into 12 different areas, so you can choose which part(s) of the city you want to stay.
Priceline will let your rebid immediately as long as you add another area to your bid. If your bid for a 5 star hotel in the Las Vegas Strip South was not accepted, you could add Las Vegas Strip North and rebid without having to wait 24 hours. But what if you don't want to stay on the north part of the Strip? You could get stuck with a hotel in a location you don't want. There is a better way. Add an area that doesn't have a 5 star hotel. I'll explain...
Before you make your very first bid, check Priceline to find all the areas in your city that don't have 5 star hotels. Sticking with my Vegas example, there are 9 areas in Las Vegas that don't have 5 star hotels. I'm going to start my first bid at $100 for a 5-star hotel room in Las Vegas Strip South.
If my bid gets rejected, no problem. I'm going to an area that doesn't have a 5 star hotel (e.g., Las Vegas Strip East) and rebid at $105. (Yes, Priceline allows this.) Since I know Las Vegas Strip East doesn't have a 5 star hotel, I know I'm safe. I won't get a hotel in that area but I might get a hotel in Las Vegas Strip South at $105. If my second bid gets rejected, I'll add another area that doesn't have a 5 star hotel and bid at $110, and so on. In fact, I would get 9 chance to bid using this technique.
Just be careful not to add an area that DOES have a 5-star hotel or you might end up with a hotel in an area you don't want. Enjoy your travels!
by: Randy GreencornAbout the Author:Randy Greencorn is a travel enthusiast and creator of HotelDealsRevealed.com, a website to help travelers get the best deal on Hotwire and Priceline