I wrote a previous post about how Priceline.com has helped Mr. G and I spend many nights in luxurious hotels at super cheap rates. Last week, the lovely Miss D’orsay inquired about Mr. G’s methodology and the mysteries of bidding on Priceline. I asked Mr. G how he works his magic, and to my surprise, he wrote up a whole outline on the subject!
So without further ado, I give you Mr. G’s Guide to Priceline Bidding.
Before you do anything, go research 4 star and 3 star hotel prices via Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, etc. This way you will know what the going rate is. The key to bidding on Priceline is to change ONE criterion at a time. First, change the area criteria one at a time. Then, change the star quality. A price increase does not constitute a “change”.
1. Go to “Name Your Own Price”
2. From the map, choose a couple areas you would like to stay in and rank them (also note the places you do not want to stay in)
3. Then only check ONE of the areas you want to stay in
4. Then select the 4 star (or whatever the highest star rating is)
5. Then name your own price
(a) Depending on your research you could start as low as $50 or maybe around 50 – 70% of what the going rate is in Paris. For example, if I did my research and found that a 4 star hotel in Paris was around $200/night, I would probably start at around $60 or $65 (the absolute bare minimum. It most likely won’t happen, but it’s worth a shot).
(b) Also, you must take into consideration when your trip is because you can only try your bid once every 24 hours if you do not change the location or star quality. If your trip is a couple days away, you might want to bid a little higher because you don’t have time to try bidding for a few days. If your trip is a couple weeks away, you can always try this cycle every day in about $10 increments.
6. DO NOT SET UP A USERNAME AND PASSWORD. If you do, they can track how many times you try (see the NOTE below).
7. After you put in your credit card information and submit your bid, you will either get a hotel room or get rejected. Sometimes, Priceline will say if you bid $10 more, you will get a room. If that’s the case, I would take it because that’s probably the bare minimum you have to pay.
8. IF REJECTED, you need to change only ONE criterion. In this case, I would select one additional area and try again. I would do this until you’ve checked all the places you want to stay. You might also want to raise your bidding price by $5 – $10 increments.
9. If STILL rejected, go down the star quality rating. If 4 stars is the maximum, I usually do not go below a 3 star.
10. If all the options are used and you still get rejected, you must wait 24 hours and try again.
NOTE: THERE IS A WAY TO GET AROUND THE ONCE IN A 24 HOUR PERIOD RULE! If you use a different e-mail address and a different credit card, you can try this whole process again in the same day. You can even use your fiance’s information to try again and again if you do not want to wait. Just as long as the email and credit card information changes, you should be golden.
Lastly, I’m not quite sure if this is the case, but better prices usually work between 1 day and 2 weeks before your trip. Again, I’m not sure about this part though.