Accommodation platform Airbnb makes it easy to list or find accommodation online.
It allows those who wish to let out accommodation to post their offer on a massive database visited by millions of people every month.
The company then takes a percentage of the listing price as a host fee, ensuring they make a profit.
Airbnb notifies those who list accommodation on their website that they will be charged a host fee of 3% – which means Airbnb will take 3% of whatever you, the host, is paid.
However, what many hosts may not realise is that an additional fee can be charged to the guest – over and above whatever the host has listed the accommodation for.
This guest fee can be anywhere from 0% up to 20% of the accommodation’s listed price, and is added to the price of the listing advertised on Airbnb.
While this is not a direct cost to the host, it does mean guests are being charged more than the host intended them to pay.
This could mean that guests do not sign up for their accommodation, with an extra 20% added to the price potentially taking it out of their budget.
For example, a host could list accommodation for R1,000 per night – but the guest could end up being charged as much as R1,200 by Airbnb.
Some hosts have argued that they list their accommodation for a price they deem reasonable for a guest to pay, or that will attract more customers.
MyBroadband reached out to Airbnb for comment, and it stressed that they are aware of how much their customers value transparency.
“That’s why we’ve made a number of changes to our platform, making it even clearer for guests to understand how much they’ll pay for a reservation on Airbnb,” said Airbnb.
Airbnb did not comment on how hosts are affected by their price increase system, and how price increases are decided.