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Everything posted by thereuare

  1. Thanks for the compliment. Yes, the board is less than 3 months old. If you really have an interest, I started to loosely keep track of our progress somewhat using the Calendar link near the top right of the board. If you click on it, you can see the date we went "live" and see how the rate of members and posts keeps growing. I will <once again> point out that while i do put a lot of time and effort into this, i only supply the mechanism.... the boards success and growth are attributable to the users that post their results and give suggestions on how to improve the format.
  2. We don't have any reported wins in this area yet, so can't say for certain what will come up. Priceline does not offer hotels in Cape Canaveral, but does offer 2*, 2.5*, and 3* hotels in Cocoa Beach. I looked at Hotwire and they offer a 3* hotel on the beach for $57 and a 2.5* on the beach for $46. Given those prices, i think you'll be able to get a little cheaper on Priceline, and therefore beat the $50 Motel 6 you have as a back-up (or at the very least, upgrade the quality of your hotel). As far as when to bid, give this a read: Should i Bid Early or Close to Arrival Date . Since we have no experience in this zone, and you have one re-bid available for the Cocoa Beach area (when bidding for 2.5* or 3*), i think you'd be best starting this at least a few months before you stay so that you have multiple opportunities to bid (you can read about re-bidding Priceline Re-Bidding Explained Here I checked Expedia and it looks as if the 3* hotels in the area (on the beach referenced above via Hotwire) are likely the Hilton or DoubleTree (there could be others, but these are at least 2 possibilities). Let us know if/when you are ready to bid, and i'll supply a detailed bidding strategy for you to follow. If you have any additional quesions before then, feel free to ask!
  3. There is only enough space on HOTWIRE's interface to hold 8 amenity icons.... if there are 8 icons shown in the hotel description, you may want to click on the CONTINUE button next to the offering, then click the "See all amenities" under the icons on the ensuing page. NOTE: currently there is also a coding issue in the pop-up menu in that it doesn't show scrollbars, so you may need to presss CTRL+A on your keyboard, copy the amenities, and then paste to a text program such as WORDPAD or NOTEPAD
  4. With their new "package" product you can see a variety of hotels in each area. In doing so i saw Sheartons offered in both NYC and Chicago, some Westin properties offered throughout the country, so i stopped there as that probably answers the question that Starwood does indeed participate with Hotwire (although they may not participate with all brands).
  5. I assumed it was a 3*, but i just wanted to confirm. To clarify my comment further with a ficticious example... if you bid a 3* hotel for $50 and Priceline can't find any, BUT they have a 4* hotel available at $50, they can upgrade you to the 4* hotel and accept your bid. This is why when you bid at any given star level, you're actually bidding for that quality level and higher. Glad to have introduced you to the Priceline 'game', and looking forward to seeing your future winning bids!
  6. Two Boys Cruising, If you haven't seen this thread you may want to give it a read in order to save a few extra dollars:Priceline Suggests Price to Pay Generally speaking, you can almost always undercut these couter offers, assuming of course you have time on your side or re-bid zones available. On the other hand, some people just don't want to be bothered bidding again, which is fine. I just wanted to at least make sure you were aware. As always, thank you for sharing your results.
  7. TG, Thanks for posting your results. What zone in LV is this hotel located in? Thanks!
  8. If you have them, could you please supply taxes and/or bid history... -the taxes will help others in the future figure out Priceline's cost for this property -supplying your (extensive, in this case) bid history will assist some of the newbies in knowing that it's not always 1, 2, 3... done! Sometimes it does take a little effort and persistence. Also, was this in Waikiki North or Waikiki South? THANKS for posting!
  9. Sorry to hear of your mistake, but if you feel any better, it happens to all of us eventually. Even if you had to eat this one and re-bid for the airport zone, i think you'd still be way ahead of the game. Just have to look at it as one of the costs of doing business (with Priceline). By the way, did you make the same mistake as your friend? Your title states 3/28, but i think you meant to type 4/28 :) Which date is correct?
  10. Thanks for posting your winning bid, and welcome to the board! Could you also supply the sub-zone of Milwaukee that this hotel resides in? North, Northwest, Downtown, South, Pewaukee, Brookfield) Would it be correct that it's downtown since the Hilton Centre is also classified as the downtown area? Thanks!
  11. I believe that the Downtown area is closest, but i was going by WillTravel's comments above. If you look at this MAP which i believe is the cruise ship terminal area, and compare it to the Priceline map, the downtown area is the only one that seems to be close. Maybe WillTravel can confirm. Since you want a 3* or better, just follow the strategy above for 3* hotels, since that maxes out at $50. Let us know how it goes.
  12. Thanks for posting.... looks like somebody's been bit by the Priceline bug :) I'm going to add 3* to the title, if for some reason that's incorrect (due to Priceline upgrading you to 4*) please let me know. Thanks again for posting your great deal!
  13. I also forgot to ask you about what star level and price you were looking to spend, and since the turn-around time on this one (me getting back to you) has already been longer than i had hoped (sorry, i've been very busy lately!) i took the liberty of coming up with 2 bidding strategies, one for 3*quality level and one for 4* quality levels. Each was written with the assumption that you'd like the downtown area and would rather put in a little extra effort (maybe up to an extra 20 minutes) in order to get the best possible price. Based upon prior "wins", I think a 3* hotel will likely cost about $45, while 4* hotel will cost between $60-$75... if you'd like less expensive hotel options (1*, 2*, or 2.5*, just post back and i'll revise the strategy. Of course, if the maximum you want to spend is $60 (for example), you could always try the 4* strategy up to the $60 mark, and then, if rejected, start completely over with the 3* strategy. Hopefully you're familiar with re-bidding, but if not, give this a read: Bidding Again before 72 hours , and ask any questions that you may have. 4* Bidding Strategy you have 8 rebids available for this quality level and DOWNTOWN, so that's 9 bids total (your original bid plus 8 re-bids=9) Bid $50, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $55, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $60, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $63, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $66, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $69, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $72, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $75, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $80 I think you'll be successful with the above strategy, but if not, let us know and we'll revise the strategy for another round of bidding in 72 hours. 3* Bidding Strategy you have 4 re-bids at this quality level and DOWNTOWN, for a total of 5 bids Bid $40, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $42, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $45, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $48, if rejected add a re-bid zone and... Bid $50 I think the above strategy will be successful at the 3* level, but if not, post back and we'll revise the plan to the next round of bidding in 72 hours. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to ask! Looking forward to hearing how the results.
  14. Sorry, what is the nite of your hotel stay? Your first post indicates one nite, but your last post implies 2 nites. Just trying to clarify. Thanks.
  15. I believe that if the $60 rate is available and somebody bids $67, the extra $7 goes to Priceline and the hotel gets "their rate" for the room... i don't think the hotel's rate jumps to the next level in the event of an overbid. The rate jumps to the next level when occupancy levels begin to fill up (it's all a function of supply vs. demand) I think you're on the money with this one, but will add that even if they only sell 4 rooms at $60 via Priceline and in the meantime sell more rooms than expected to "traditional" customers, they'll pull the additional 6 rooms available and then raise their Priceline rate to $65, as the supply vs. demand equation has tilted based upon the stronger than expected demand with the "traditional" bookings... and don't forget to factor in "time" as well, since that effects the equation as well. Lots of factors, and complex computer "modeling" programs go into hotel room pricing... which is why inventory and prices change all the time.
  16. 1) Should I Split My Longer Stay Bid I will add also that a few hotels (very few) require a 2 (or more) nite minimum, and therefore a 1 nite stay can get rejected while a 2 nite bid at the same price (which includes the same date of the rejection) can get accepted. 2) Don't know about airfare, but i would think it wouldn't make a difference, unless you're taking the last Priceline available seat on a given flight 3) The rate you get on the first nite may be the "peak" nite during the stay and result in an overbid for the remainder of the trip (see answer #1 above). Other things that "can go wrong" include: you getting a different hotel for the last 6 nites than the first nite and have to switch hotels during your stay, not getting your 2nd bid for 6 nites accepted due to the hotel being sold out for one or more of the 6 nites, a higher rate needed during any of the remaining 6 nites would also result in your same price bid getting rejected. Keep in mind that just as hotels have different rates for their "conventional" customers based upon occupancy levels, they also have different rates available to Priceline.
  17. Looks like a loooong list of amenities for a 2* hotel (and thanks for supplying them all)!! Have a great get-a-way!
  18. This post was originally refering to the switch from "we'll let you know within 15 minutes" to the now "2 minutes 'we're searching" screen; which is a huge improvement. I think the difference between the sometimes 45 second response and the sometimes 2 minute response is partially the way their systems are set up and partially a wait for credit card approval (sometimes when i charge soemthing at a store it takes longer at the cash register than other times... Priceline's computers have a variable wait time as well). I don't think they'd go the extra effort to find a hotel for an outrageous price... they either have inventory or they don't (see my comments below about automation of the process). Very often when we (the user) think they don't have any inventory, when they actually may, but at a price equal to or greater than conventional rates. Being informed bidders, we never get a chance to see it because we'd sooner book thru conventional means, given the same costs. I believe the entire system is automated. I seem to recall that they have about 350 employees and do about $1.2 Billion in revenue per year... that's A LOT of transactions, especially given their revenue is based upon discounted rates. I don't think they'd be able to perform that many transactions if there was any human intervention involved (my aplogies to those of you that work very efficiently :) ).
  19. You can separate Islamorada from Key Largo.... just put Islamorada into the city box and on the next screen it show you both Islamorada and Key Largo... only put a check mark in the box next to Islamorada. Always a good idea to look at the maps too, as sometimes their zones cover a greater area than the zone description implies.
  20. Way to use the information you had in order to hit the next bid on the mark!!!
  21. I believe i have seen extended stay properties come up before, but keep in mind most of them do NOT offer daily maid service, so that would confine them to the lower star levels.
  22. The hotels themselves are in a "catch-22" situation between having unused inventory and cheapening their brand name by offering too low of a price... Priceline and Hotwire offer a good alternative to them as the typical Priceline customer is indeed "buying an opaque product." As well, the frequent guest points you mention do indeed cost the hotel money, and therefore makes a guest that gets points a "higher cost customer" than somebody who doesn't get points (ie- Priceline and /or Hotwire).... so there should always be a discount available for a Priceline/Hotwire customer since they cost the hotel less. I really don't see "higher end" (3* and 4*) properties lowering their direct rates too much further.... with occupancy levels so low (due to terrorism, war, recession, viruses, etc) how much lower can they go before they degrade their brand? However, we may indeed eventually see the gap close between Priceline/Hotwire rates and conventional bookings as the hotel industry sees higher occupancy rates. This would make sense, since Priceline/Hotwire get excess inventory that the hotel doesn't expect to sell, so if thier own bookings are up, it leaves less rooms available to offer to Priceline and Hotwire. Just my .02
  23. Yes, i have always done better waiting and undercutting the re-bid offers. Of course i could always get "hurt" if the inventory and/or price changes within the 72 hours, but when bidding a few weeks or months in advance i don't expect the inventory to change that quickly. Situation would be different if my rejected bid was placed 4 days before arrival and i was expecting to re-bid the day before arrival. I think some hotels increase their prices right before arrival, others lower them, and some pull their offers entirely. I can understand the philosophy behind each of these actions, and it depends upon the business model and philosphies of each hotel.
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