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Hotels And The Greedy Middle Man

May 25, 2008
When you book your hotel room online, especially if you are using a comparison website, you may assume that you are getting the best deal, and frequently I have heard people boasting of the price they paid for their hotel room having gone through such a comparison site. In reality, they have simply got what they paid for and anyone can easily find hotels that charge much less if they are prepared have the hotel located somewhere fairly inaccessible or which provides relatively few facilities.

The reality is however that the comparison site is merely a third party agent and will therefore be charging a commission rate for the privilege of giving you a low price. If you were to go straight to the hotel and cut out the middle man then the hotel should be perfectly happy to charge you the advertised rate minus the commission that the third party would have received.

Even worse than these comparison sites are travel agents. Not only will travel agents charge an even bigger commission and therefore inflate the price even more, but in order to get the best commission they are more likely to suggest hotels which are more expensive that others in the area which may reduce the amount the agent will earn.

So, regardless of whether you go to a travel agent who seems friendly and helpful, or a comparison site which seems honest and up front about getting you the best deal, it is always going to be the case that going straight to the hotel itself and cutting out these middle men third party agents, you should at least be able to get the price you would have paid through these third parties, with the commission which would have been charged knocked off. Typically this can be as much as ten per cent.

However, another advantage of cutting out the middle men is that you have access to the people who you will actually paying directly, and therefore have the opportunity to negotiate the price. The third parties will not carry out negotiations for you, and will simply charge the published price. It is very rare that a hotel will refuse to move on such a price, and by going to them directly you can sometimes find it is possible to get a reduction on the advertised price by as much as forty per cent.

The only time when sometimes a third party agent can be of benefit are those sites becoming more popular in recent times which allow you to book a certain type and room or hotel within a hotel, but without specifying the exact one. What these sites do is book last minute reservations on your behalf at hotels in the area which have a spare room, and by booking in this way at the last minute, substantially discounted rates can be achieved. It is of course quite possible for you to do the exact same thing yourself. But the advantage that these sites have is that they already have in place a large directory of contacts that they can use to ensure they are able to find a location for you, whereas doing this yourself could result in you failing to find any at all.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for bags, luggage, hotels, cruises, and shopping.
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