bellczar

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About bellczar

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  1. I've used Priceline dozens of times successfully, but NYOP seems to belong to the past. I earlier shared a story of placing over 80 bids in Chicago only to decide to buy somewhere else. That has been typical of NYOP lately. The fees keep getting higher, so if you have a chance to buy something elsewhere, it will almost certainly be that way. For the past week, I have been working on a NYOP for a hotel room in the Meadowlands area. I have placed 64 bids. These have all been flat rejected. There has not been one counter-offer. The dollar amount keeps getting higher and higher. There was a time when the total would be about $10 higher than the product of your bid and nights. No more. One of my latest $65 bids for two nights has a total of $159.92, or about $15 per night premium for the stay. The savings, if any, isn't worth the trouble of placing and keeping track of dozens of bids. I have placed a cancellable reservation for a total of $110 at a national chain. I might continue to try Priceline, but my expectation is that I will drop Priceline when the total gets to about $170 and just keep the reservation I have. I don't regard $65 per night as a niggardly offer in light of the times (years ago) that I have gotten rooms for $20 per night. I know these hotels are not full. tl;dr version: NYOP is less and less likely to happen, and if it does, you can probably get a similar room the same or cheaper by some other means.
  2. I have today finished placing my 80th bid over a grueling 4-week period on a 4-night stay in Chicago with no results. I have stayed in 4-star Loop hotels this time of year for $60 nominal and in lesser hotels in the Loop and North River area for as little as $50. Something must be happening in Chicago next weekend that is driving prices up. I started bidding 4-star, not at all expecting to win. I then lowered to 3.5 star, then 3 star, 2.5 and 2 star, all aiming for the Loop. My usual bidding increment for this particular trip was $2. After about 6 days of this, I started bidding on the North River area, placing a lower bid, as has been my experience with that part of Chicago relative to the Loop. When this proved to be not fruitful, I aimed for 1-star. The last two days, I added some other zones away from the center of the city. When I reached $80, I gave up and booked a room through a different venue. No doubt one or more people will Monday morning quarterback my bidding in a patronizing manner. Date Time Bid Star Zone 15-Mar 22:14 $50 4 Loop 15-Mar 22:15 $52 4 add Fr 15-Mar 22:17 $54 4 add Hyde 15-Mar 22:18 $56 4 add MAN 15-Mar 22:22 $58 4 add Skokie 15-Mar 22:23 $60 4 add Gr Chi 15-Mar 22:25 $62 4 add Linc 15-Mar 22:26 $64 4 add Midway 16-Mar 22:29 $44 3.5 Loop 16-Mar 22:30 $46 3.5 add Fr 16-Mar 22:31 $48 3.5 add Hyde 16-Mar 22:32 $50 3.5 add MAN 16-Mar 22:37 $44 3 same 16-Mar 22:39 $44 2.5 same 18-Mar 1:13 $46 3 Loop 18-Mar 1:14 $48 3 add Fr 18-Mar 1:16 $50 3 add Hyde 18-Mar 1:17 $52 3 add MAN 18-Mar 1:18 $46 2.5 same 19-Mar 1:21 $54 3 Loop 19-Mar 1:23 $56 3 add Fr 19-Mar 1:24 $58 3 add Hyde 19-Mar 1:25 $60 3 add MAN 19-Mar 1:26 $48 2.5 same 20-Mar 1:31 $62 3 Loop 20-Mar 1:33 $64 3 add Fr 20-Mar 1:34 $65 3 add Hyde 20-Mar 1:35 $50 2.5 same 20-Mar 1:36 $52 2.5 add MAN 21-Mar 4:48 $54 2.5 Loop 21-Mar 4:49 $56 2.5 add Fr 21-Mar 4:51 $58 2.5 add Hyde 21-Mar 4:52 $60 2.5 add MAN 21-Mar 4:53 $45 2.5 add North 22-Mar 4:57 $45 2 Loop 23-Mar 6:29 $50 2 Loop 24-Mar 9:24 $50 3 Loop/North 24-Mar 9:27 $52 3 add Fr 24-Mar 9:31 $54 3 add Hyde 24-Mar 9:34 $56 3 add MAN 24-Mar 9:38 $50 2.5 same 25-Mar 18:08 $44 2.5 Loop/North 25-Mar 18:10 $46 2.5 add Fr 25-Mar 18:12 $48 2.5 add Hyde 25-Mar 18:14 $50 2.5 add MAN 27-Mar 0:20 $52 2.5 Loop/North 27-Mar 0:22 $54 2.5 add Fr 27-Mar 0:25 $56 2.5 add Hyde 27-Mar 0:27 $58 2.5 add MAN 28-Mar 0:35 $45 2 North 28-Mar 0:36 $50 2 add Loop 29-Mar 1:55 $55 2 North 29-Mar 1:57 $60 2 add Loop 29-Mar 1:58 $40 1 same 30-Mar 2:08 $45 1 Loop 30-Mar 2:09 $50 1 add North 31-Mar 7:26 $64 2 North 31-Mar 7:28 $66 2 add Loop 31-Mar 7:30 $55 1 same 1-Apr 13:06 $70 3 Loop 1-Apr 13:07 $70 2.5 add North 1-Apr 13:09 $70 2 same 1-Apr 13:11 $60 1 same 2-Apr 14:00 $75 3 Loop 2-Apr 14:03 $76 3 add Fr 2-Apr 14:04 $77 3 add Hyde 2-Apr 14:06 $78 3 add MAN 2-Apr 14:08 $75 3 add North 2-Apr 14:15 $75 2.5 same 3-Apr 14:16 $80 3 Loop 3-Apr 14:24 $80 3 add North 3-Apr 14:28 $80 2.5 same 3-Apr 14:30 $75 2 same 3-Apr 14:33 $70 1 same 3-Apr 14:37 $45 1 add Linc 4-Apr 15:26 $50 2 Linc 4-Apr 15:26 $55 2 add Loop 4-Apr 15:28 $60 2 add North 4-Apr 15:30 $65 1 same 4-Apr 15:31 $60 1 add Gr Chi
  3. I successfully bid for LivINN Burnsville for six nights at $20 per night. I still have a hard time believing I got a bid this low, because my previous low was $22 and that was in Indianapolis almost seven years ago. LivINN is Motel 6-like; functional, not fancy. It has free parking, Wi-Fi, local calls, and HBO. Guest laundry is $1 per load.
  4. I just landed a 3 star room in Ottawa-Gloucester for $55. It was not my first choice of area, but the hotel is better than expected. The Chimo is a very nice hotel, probably on the edge of 4*. Here is the process I went through to get it over five days: 23-Apr 4 st Ottawa @ 55 reje There are no four star hotels anywhere but downtown Ottawa, so... 23-Apr 4 st add Gloucester @ 60 reje 23-Apr 4 st add Hull @ 65 reje 23-Apr 4 st add OttW @ 70 reje I was not willing to go to $75 (yet) so... 23-Apr 3 1/2 st @ 50 reje Decided to wait until the next day. Then... 24-Apr 3 1/2 st Ott @ 55 reje There are no 3 1/2 star hotels anywhere but downtown Ottawa, so ... 24-Apr 3 1/2 st add Gloucester @ 60 reje 24-Apr 3 1/2 st add Hull @ 65 reje 24-Apr 3 1/2 st add OttW @ 70 reje Waited until the next day. Then before going down to three stars, thought I would take a chance on a four star at $75. 25-Apr 4 st Ottawa @ 75 reje Then down to 3 stars but also lowered my bid below expectations: 25-Apr 3 st Ottawa @ 40 reje 25-Apr 2 1/2 st Ottawa @ 45 reje Since there are 2 1/2 and 3 star hotels elsewhere in Ottawa-Gatineau, decided to wait until the next day. Then... 26-Apr 3 st Ottawa @ 50 reje 26-Apr 2 1/2 st Ottawa @ 50 reje 26-Apr 2 1/2 st add Hull @ 45 reje 26-Apr 2 1/2 st add Gloucester @ 40 reje I was not willing to stay in Ottawa West (Kanata) so waited until the next day. Then... 27-Apr 3 st Hull @ 50 reje 27-Apr 3 st add Ott @ 55 reje 27-Apr 3 st add Gloucester @ 55 accepted I would have preferred to stay in downtown Ottawa or in Gatineau, but this was a pretty good deal for a high 3-star. Keep in mind I knew I was only bidding in Gloucester with that last bid because the same price had just been rejected in Ottawa and Hull (Gatineau).