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The Truth Behind Booking Sites and How Much They Charge

If you happen to be a host of your own Airbnb, you’re constantly looking for ways to increase your clients and earnings regularly. While the pandemic hasn’t been too kind to many hosts and tourists worldwide, some can still make a living through the varying lockdown regulations and the urge of people to get out of the house after being quarantined for a couple of months.

That said, you might be aiming to try out other booking apps and sites that may entertain your booking and reservation needs. While you’re already familiar with Airbnb, chances are, you may still need a refresher due to their ever-changing policies. The same thing goes for the other booking sites that you haven’t ever tried before.

In such a case, we have prepared a couple of valuable facts that may help you determine which booking site is perfect for you.


There is a big chance that you’ve already used this before, so this may just serve as a reminder of their policies and charges.

First of all, registering for Airbnb is entirely free. You will only get charged the host service fee once you’ve successfully booked a traveler. They also have stricter rules than the other booking sites, making you lose your Superhost status if you cancel a reservation by guests.

Airbnb may also deduct $50 from you if you happen to cancel a reservation beyond seven days. On the other hand, if you cancel the reservation in less than seven days, they will deduct $100 on your next payout instead. Be sure to avoid making and garnering too many cancellations, as it may reflect poorly on your reviews as well, and you don’t want that on your record.


Unlike Airbnb, registering for Vrbo isn’t free. You have two options for this—you can pay $499 for a 12-month subscription, or you can choose the pay-per-booking option. Both options are actually good, with the subscription model giving you features such as a reservation calendar, a reservation manager, an interactive map, and a listing on international sites, among others.

On the other hand, the latter option functions similarly to Airbnb, wherein you will only pay for the bookings you made. Take note that asking Vrbo for a security deposit may also charge you a 3% processing fee. The refunds that come with cancellations may depend on who will cancel the reservation. If you were to cancel it, you and the tourist would get a full refund. On the other hand, if they were the ones who would cancel it, the booking and service fees do not get refunded.

Using this website is primarily commission-based. When a tourist reserves your vacation space, you owe a commission that may range from 10% up to 25%. The good news is, they wouldn’t even charge you if you sign up.

Similar to Airbnb, they will just require the amount once you have a successful booking. In a way, this website is looser with its regulations compared to the first two.


Being the host of vacation spaces for rent may sound like a profitable business at first, but keep in mind that booking sites and apps may get a piece of the cake once a guest successfully books the spot.

You should know their regulations, their fees, and their upfront charges for you to determine which booking client would work best for your business. Ask about the percentages, the deductions, and even the penalties once cancellations are made, and feel free to upgrade your accommodation from time to time to attract more guests.

If you're looking to learn more about maximizing your Airbnb's earnings, then we at are your one-stop spot for Airbnb tips and booking tricks. Join us in our next free training event, where we'll detail how we've helped hosts increase their earnings by up to 112%.

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