Beat Priceline with our Tips, Tricks and Bidding Techniques
We are all about cheap travel and lodging on this site and if you can beat priceline, you are not only qualified to wear the badge of master negotiator. Chances are that you will have found the cheapest vacation deals that are available with any travel service at that time.
You need details in order to beat any system and that’s where this travel site FAQ comes in handy. The way that Priceline.com works is amazingly simple, it’s so easy that you may wonder why you didn’t come up with the idea. The process is that you figure out what your travel budget might be and call up Priceline and make a bid on airfare, vacation packages, car rentals or what have you. If you get lucky and they accept the bid that you offered, that’s the price that you pay.
It seems so darn simple that it should fall in the "too good to be true" category, shouldn’t it? You knew there had to be a hitch or a drawback or nobody would be able to hold down a job because of constant traveling. Here’s what some tourists feel is the negative or problem with Priceline; if they accept your bid, they get to decide which hotels, motels, flights and vacation rental cars you get and this lack of control over their own vacation package scares many people away from this method of discount travel.
IS THERE A WAY TO BEAT PRICELINE? I’m not sure that you could say it’s “beating” Priceline, but there are bidding techniques that you can use when submitting your Priceline bids that some say will give you a guarantee that your lodging or hotel accommodations will be exactly as you want without the worry of have to stay somewhere that you might not enjoy as much
PRICELINE BIDS According to people who have been successful at getting exactly what they want with their Priceline bids. Apparently there are a few secrets that Priceline doesn’t divulge to the consumers on their website. This method of bid manipulation is called "free rebid" or "the permutations method" of bidding. They claim that this method is the best way to get budget vacation prices and beat Priceline to boot; stay in your chosen destination and see if it might be possible to trip lightly around the 24 hour rule.
WHAT IS THE PRICELINE 24 HOUR RULE Bidders have reported that the Priceline system has some bidding restrictions that often lead to overbids. Even then, you often get deep discounts on vacation deals but you may be able to beat Priceline or get a cheap price that you can brag about. The way the system is set up prevents you from increasing your bid by a dollar after each bid rejection. If you aren’t willing to alter travel dates or add another hotel zone or class, Priceline won’t let you make another bid for twenty four hours.
HOW TO BEAT PRICELINE
NETWORK WITH OTHER PRICELINE BIDDERS Network with other travelers on the travel message boards of BiddingforTravel or Better Bidding and read the winning bids of other Priceline users. They post all sorts of helpful information including their winning bids as well as their losing bids. You can find the names of the hotels and star classes, bid histories and their travel dates. These boards are an invaluable prediction tool for which hotel you might get and the price that you probably will have to pay.
COMPARISON SHOP The second step in your quest to beat Priceline will be to take your information you gleaned from the travel boards and compare them to heavy hitters like Hotels.com, Travelocity,Orbitz and Expedia. Enter your desired travel dates and check your desired destination’s prices. The results you get might dazzle, amaze and above all give you an idea of what your top bid on Priceline should be. The rule would be never to bid over the prices on these travel sites. The star level on Priceline might vary from the ones you are comparison shopping, so you might want to use hotels listed on BiddingforTravel and BetterBidding as comparisons.
USING THE STAR CLASS TRICK TO BEAT PRICELINE Each destination is categorized by Priceline into Priceline hotels star levels and zones. At least this is the case for most metropolitan areas. Here’s where the free rebid system comes into play. Say that you want the highest star rating for your chosen destination. There will be fewer zones that have a higher star rating and the less zones that have a high rating means more free rebids that can be generated.
If as an example there are shall we say, five hotel zones in your destination city. Once you select each individual zone, take note that the star level at the bottom of your monitor’s screen changes and tells you the star level of hotels that are offered in each zone.
Make a written list with each zone’s name and highest star level and save it for later in the process that you will use to beat Priceline’s system.
In some destinations or metropolitan areas, a four star hotel might be available in several different zones whereas in another city the highest offering might be a three star hotel. Note: The drawback to the rebid system won’t work if the highest rated hotel is offered in every zone of the city.
The perfect setup to use the rebid system would be a situation where four star accommodations are offered in one zone out of ten, usually in the downtown area.
YOU CAN’T BEAT PRICELINE IF YOU DON’T BID, SO GET STARTED! Log onto Priceline.com and enter your desired destination and travel dates. You will then indicate the area of the city where you wish to stay and click the highest star or hotel class.
Remember, the list we made a minute ago? Well, dig it out from under your travel brochures and coffee cup and check your list of class levels and zones. Take note of all the areas that offer a lower hotel class that what you would consider to be ideal.
Get ready, get set, now enter a price. How do you know what’s the best (and cheapest) price that you should enter? Say for instance that you know from your cruise through the message boards that bidders were scoring rooms for between $100 to $150 per night. In this case, I would start bidding for my Priceline Hotel at about 75 to 80 bucks. After filling in your personal details, you will click to buy your room at your requested price. Guess what? You will more than likely be rejected.
GET READY TO USE YOUR FREE REBID to BEAT PRICELINE
This is a long article, but hang in there. If you didn’t want to beat Priceline and get a cheap vacation you wouldn’t have hung in here this long so don’t bail on me now. The deal is that if you don’t change anything but the amount of your bid, Priceline holds you to that nasty little 24 hour waiting period. You would have to want to edit your travel dates, your zone or the hotel class if you want to bid right away.
So, what do we clever budget travel experts do? We add a zone with a lower class of hotel than your original preferred zone. Sure, you had to deal with the rejection, but you beat Priceline’s 24 hour rule with the addition of the area and got the guarantee that you won’t ever stay there.
IF ONE FREE REBID DIDN’T DO IT, HOW ABOUT SOME MORE?
After that devastating rejection, don’t use the next page that Priceline delivers. Back track a step or two to maximize your free rebids by reconfiguring your zone combinations. By punching the back button, travel back to the original bidding screen and add a zone to the one that you initially listed as your preferred zone.
The system recognizes each combination of hotel classes and cities as a unique bid offering. Take care that you don’t make any duplications and if all goes well, the system will accept your new bid and you will have beat Priceline! Of course you can always continue to be rejected, but just continue entering new city combinations with zones that don’t have your preferred hotel rating or higher. With this process you should be able to continue bidding with no danger of lodging outside your preferred zone. Each destination is different, some are ripe for this method of money saving bidding and others aren’t but why not give it a shot if it will save you some money?
IS IT CHEATING TO BEAT PRICELINE USING THIS SYSTEM? It’s been reported that a spokesman for Priceline.com says that most of the website’s users consider it too time consuming to use this bidding system. I suppose business travelers with an unlimited budget might find this to be true, but I would be tickled to beat Priceline using this bidding method, wouldn’t you?
Learning how to use websites like Priceline and others are the best way to take a cheap vacation . It would help so much if you would use the form on this page to share tips and information on how you used these services to save money when booking your reservations.
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