Many hotels offer low priced hotel rooms when you book early. Often, it is a nonrefundable rate. So, you book with the best intentions, but sometimes things happen. A change in your plans means you are unable to use your nonrefundable hotel room. Now, you are stuck with a hotel room, you can’t use.That’s a problem, but here’s a possible solution. Launched in Spring 2013, Roomer Travel offers a marketplace for you to potentially sell your nonrefundable hotel reservation to another traveler.
You post your nonrefundable reservation on Roomer, where some other traveler might buy it. You have to sell at a discounted price and Roomer doesn’t guarantee that someone will buy your listing. On the flip side, if you are looking to go somewhere, Roomer might be a great place to find a discounted hotel room.
I had the opportunity to speak with Richie Karaburun, US Managing Director of Roomer. Here’s what I learned.
Q. Who sets the price?
A. The seller
Q. Does Roomer give sellers a suggested discount range to price their reservation to sell?
A. We always look at market price with our travel partners, but Roomer is just like Ebay. People are looking to buy things at a discounted price, so we encourage sellers to discount the price.
Q. If a room remains unsold close to the reservation date, does Roomer reduce the price or alert the seller to cut their price?
A. Yes, we do encourage sellers to reduce their price up to 50% off. Our concept is based on peer-to-peer helping each other. We understand life happens and let’s deal with it together.
Q. For buyers, when is the best timeframe to book a room to get the best deal?
A. It varies based on city and travel dates. Anywhere from 3 days up to 6 months.
Q. What is the average discount a buyer can expect when booking a hotel room through Roomer?
A. Between 32% – 47%
Q. Where does most of your inventory come from – which cities?
New York City
Q. What are your most popular summer destinations for this year?
New York City
Q. What is your estimate on how many hotel rooms go unused in the US every day?
A. Based on our research, 81 million a year, which means about 222,000 per day.
Q. Any tips you would recommend to a seller or buyer?
A. For sellers, pay attention to market price by using online travel sites to compare prices. Post your room as early as possible and watch. Change the price closer to the reservation date.
For buyers, look at our Last Minute Deals. Recently, there was a 4-star hotel room in Boston at 80% off. If you can’t find the city you are traveling to, put in an email alert, so when listings go online, you will find out about them. Like us on Facebook to get updates about great deals. And, follow us on Twitter and Instagram.