Travel: Innovative #haggle button added to Bid on Travel, SA auction portal

What: Bid on Travel, auction portal, South Africa

New feature: Haggle button What: Make an offer on accommodation and other travel packages – a bike ride for example How: Bidding action for auctions: Website: Information: contact Mike Richardson: 083 310 5116 E-mail:

Accommodation and travel is a perishable commodity. That is what a hotel general manager told me years ago. It was a high end establishment and years before Covid, the owners saw the advantages of offering last minute specials which ensured that rooms generated income and did not stay empty. Moving along to pandemic times, one cannot recoup income lost from the months of lockdown. Or can one? Well, proprietors may think that they can hike up rates to compensate for income not earned in 2020. It is time for a reality check. Many consumers are finding domestic travel way too expensive. Some do not have the funds and genuinely cannot afford the rates. Others feel that domestic travel operators are unrealistic in terms of their rack rates. They are questioning what is on offer. Yes, we cannot travel abroad or move easily on the African continent, but consumers are thinking that they, might as well wait and then get what they perceive; as a better deal; out of South Africa. Now is the time to support local and explore on one’s home ground. Agreed. But, there is this impasse – the perception of value. Years ago, we wanted to travel to Mauritius (about a 7 hour flight from Cape Town) but we found deals which made us change course. It was cheaper to fly long haul to Indonesia and the hotels offered value added packages- such as meals and water sports. In terms of value, Indo won. Yes, it was a long way but the value proposition trounced the relative proximity of Mauritius to Cape Town.

What do you reckon that it is worth paying to stay at your dream, location in South Africa -on The Garden Route or at a place you have to many times in the past but which has put it rates up, post hard lockdown? With that in mind, Bid on Travel, the South African auction travel portal; has introduced a “haggle button”. Registered uses are invited to haggle directly with vendors on price. It could be boutique hotel or a bike excursion. You state what you would like to pay. Your offer may be accepted or the proprietor might come in with a counter offer- less than the rack rate but more than you want to pay. You can make another offer and see what happens. It is like haggling in a market. Eventually, if both parties agree on a figure, then the deal is closed. It is a great idea. Watch as more properties/deals are added to Bid on Travel. Let’s move away from the word ‘haggle”. It is an opportunity to negotiate and these days we are all being asked to sharpen our pencils (who uses pencils anymore, you know what I mean).

Confidentiality is assured for vendors, offering deals via the haggle button on Bid on Travel. As a guest house owner you don’t want it known that you slashed your rates as a result of a haggle. Although I think in pandemic times, everything is negotiable. We should see negotiation in a positive way. Mike Richardson of Bid on Travel explains: “The Haggle section on the website is completely confidential and it happens via messages between the client and the lodge owner-via our system. The lodge owner has a profile on Bid On Travel which also includes an inbox in which to receive messages. There are mail notifications saying a client has sent them a message, with a link to reply. The client/guest, also needs to create a very quick account on the Bid On Travel site and they also get this inbox. So, imagine a brand new client visits our site, finds the property they like…they click their dates to check availability and then have the option to select the Haggle button. Once they do that, the system asks them to sign in, which they can do or create a profile. Once done, they are presented with the screen that allows them to send a message relating to the property they are interested in. Then the communications flow between owner and client /prospective guest.” There is no charge to haggle on the site. The consumer does not pay a registration fee or deposit.

Bid on Travel, auction portal, South Africa. Like the Facebook page, to get auction alerts. New function on site is the haggle button. Negotiate a deal that suits your pocket Supplied image.

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