Mr. G’s Guide to Priceline Bidding

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.

GOOD LUCK!

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Mrs. Glitter

Location:
Los Angeles
Wedding Date:
June 2014

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  1. Member
    Newport Nuptials 1268 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:53 pm

    My favorite post, extremely helpful Miss Glitter! I can’t wait to put your tips into action! :)

  2. Member
    chicagoseattle 111 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:57 pm

    Also check out betterbidding.com. You can look up by area and hotel and see what other winning bids have been. That way you have a better idea of what the lowest price you can go is.

  3. Member
    PrettyKitty 505 posts, Busy bee @ 3:57 pm

    Here is a trick that I have used sucessfully to get around the Priceline rules, an we didnt have to change any criterion in order to re-bid at a different price.

    We put in a bid on the star rating, area and price we wanted. We were rejected and instructed to change one of the criterions in order to re bid. Well instead you can just delete your cookies and browsing history in your internet window. Once you delete your cookies and clear your history, priceline doesnt remember you or what you previously bid. We then put in a bid for the same area, same star rating, just $10 higher then our orginal bid, used the same credit card information and won!

    We just did this over the holiday break, so I know for sure it works.

  4. Member
    Yin 347 posts, Helper bee @ 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I am a newbie to bidding on priceline, and this will definitely come in handy. Thanks PrettyKitty for the extra trick!

  5. Member
    bruschetta 5565 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:28 pm

    very helpful! thanks for the step-by-step!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    jG, Guest @ 4:33 pm

    i took your advice regarding priceline last time and recently booked a room in downtown atlanta for $45/night at a 3.5 star hotel that usually charges a minimum of $200/night! we started bidding at $35/night since we read on another forum that someone won a bid for a stay at the W hotel in atlanta for $38. thanks miss.glitter!

  7. Member
    igurbisz 8 posts, Newbee @ 5:01 pm

    Miss G- Have you used priceline to purchase airline tickets?

  8. Member
    chelseamorning 2252 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:03 pm

    I have used priceline several times now and gotten great deals. One thing to be prepared for though is that you usually get what you pay for: We have always gotten less desirable rooms: smaller, immediately off the elevator, and/or right next to the ice and vending machines—in other words, potentially noisy. I haven’t tried asking for a different room; you might get a different one if you weren’t initially satisfied, depending on the hotel. We’ve never had noise problems despite rooms in these locations, however. *knocks on wood*

  9. Member
    chelseamorning 2252 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:12 pm

    @igurbisz — google “priceline airline tickets” and you will unearth tons of complaints. Apparently they give you no control over when during a given day you will leave, how many layovers (including where they are and the time in between), and no way to modify your ticket whatsoever (so you can’t change the fly dates, even for a fee, like you can with airlines). The sites are rife with stories of people leaving at 5 a.m., flying hundreds of miles in the wrong direction for a layover of several hours and not arriving at the destination until 10 p.m. It was enough to scare me off of purchasing plane tickets with them.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    phruphru, Guest @ 5:43 pm

    Also check out the forums at biddingfortravel.com!

  11. Member
    jschober 22 posts, Newbee @ 6:01 pm

    Thanks for the great info! We have 6 weddings to attend in addition to our own this year so saving money will be very key!

  12. Member
    mrsbee 3235 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:17 pm

    i have never used priceline before, but i may just have to give it a try with these awesome tips!

  13. Member
    MrsSl82be 9010 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Mr G! I am going to be trying my hand at Priceline soon, so this will definitely help!

  14. Member
    greentea 765 posts, Busy bee @ 7:47 pm

    niiice! armed with your tips i gotta give it a shot!

  15. Member
    mandalynn17 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:05 pm

    Nice. I’m definitely filing this one away for future reference. Thank Mr. G for me!!

  16. Member
    piglet 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:17 pm

    This will definitely come in handy once we start booking our hotels! Thanks so much for sharing Mr and future Mrs. G! :)

  17. Member
    angelastheboss 306 posts, Helper bee @ 8:49 pm

    This is amazing advice! I am going to utilize it for my honeymoon planning.

  18. Member
    glitter 986 posts, Busy bee @ 9:47 pm

    @Newport Nuptials: Hope it helps! I’m happy it is a favorite post!!
    @chicagoseattle: Thanks, I will check it out.
    @PrettyKitty: More tips are always welcomed!!
    @jG: That excites me to no end! I heart great bargains!
    @igurbisz: Nope, we haven’t done that yet. Can you bid on plane tickets?! I’ll check it out.
    @chelseamorning: Yikes! That’s why Mr. G is super annoying and always asks for a better room, if they have one! :)
    @chelseamorning: Ouch, guess that answers the question about plane tix. Thanks for the warning.

  19. Member
    tulip 662 posts, Busy bee @ 10:13 pm

    I second the suggestion to check http://www.betterbidding.com — the list of known hotels for each geographic area is particularly useful. There’s also BiddingForTravel, which is extremely similar — bidingfortravel.yuku.com

    Chelseamorning has some good warnings about airline travel, and I personally never use Priceline if the trip will be only a couple of days (after a bad experience where a weekend trip was set to arrive at 11:59 pm Friday and leave at 5 am Sat morning). But if you’re traveling long enough that the exact timing doesn’t matter, and especially if there are lots of direct flights between destinations, it’s still a fairly safe bet.

    Can also be a source of cheap car rentals.

  20. Member
    daffodil 598 posts, Busy bee @ 3:05 am

    Thanks for the detailed instructions Glitter! It’s always great to get tips on how to take advantage of services like these! Super helpful and I am sure many people are going to get great deals!

    I do have to echo the cautions out there though, as I just had a HORRIBLE experience with Priceline just this week :(. There are a few resorts that are sometimes classified as 4 or 5-star that probably shouldn’t be, so just make sure that if you are using Priceline, you really are in a situation when you can be flexible. We actually put in a bid and it was accepted by a hotel whose market price on their website was LOWER than our bid…so now we have to pay MORE for the hotel rooms for the entire stay than the hotel themselves are actually charging. We called customer service to tell them about this, and that even the price should indicate that the hotel wasn’t properly classified as a 5-star, but they were unwilling to budge or accommodate us in any way, citing that it is a restricted reservation and we put in a bid. Eventually, we just asked if we could switch the date so that at least Mr. D and I could use it for ourselves instead of for our guests (I was booking it for a party so we lost quite a lot of money). Priceline was still unwilling to help us so we called the hotel. The hotel was totally cool with it, but when they called Priceline on our behalf, Priceline was STILL really mean about it (even to the manager of the hotel!). This just happened to me two days ago, so I am still very miffed by the whole thing :(.

    So just a word of caution…You can definitely find great deals and Miss Glitter’s tutorial is definitely the best that I have seen anywhere, but make sure you only use Priceline when you are truly agnostic about what type of accommodations you get!

  21. Member
    glitter 986 posts, Busy bee @ 8:17 pm

    @Mrs. Daffodil: That’s HORRIBLE! I’m sorry you had to experience this. Obviously, there are some downsides to Priceline. I had no idea that they were shady with the star system. Mr. G always researches 3, 4 and 5 star area hotels before he hops on Priceline, just to be safe. Regardless, their customer service should not have treated you that way! Very good to know these things. Thanks, Daffodil!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Bummer « To Newlywedism and Beyond…, Guest @ 11:36 pm

    [...] that is Priceline/Hotwire??? Where have you been all my life? I read a little bit about it on Miss Glitter’s Wedding Bee blog, and read a little more on BetterBidding.com. I’m working on getting a good deal for a 4 star [...]

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    The Ultimate Guide to Priceline Bidding | Cruises, Guest @ 11:38 pm

    [...] Get around the wait rule by using a different email address and credit card number. (from Mr. G’s Guide to Priceline Bidding) [...]

  24. Member
    msbunny 349 posts, Helper bee @ 12:39 am

    Hey Miss G, Just wanted you to know that I used these tips to book our room for the last night of our honeymoon! The prices on the hotel’s Web site start at $179/night and we’re staying there for $55/night! Thanks!

  25. Member
    mrmango 146 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:51 am

    betterbidding is my savior
    http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/01/29/mr-gs-guide-to-priceline-bidding/

  26. Member
    mrmango 146 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:52 am

    oops: http://www.weddingbee.com/2008/08/11/a-cheap-stay/

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    leslie, Guest @ 6:29 pm

    Hey Mrs. G! Just wanted to let you know my husband & I are taking a trip soon and I referred back to this post for Priceline tips. Thanks so much for posting it :)

  28. Member
    lampshade127 777 posts, Busy bee @ 2:05 pm

    We used Priceline for a hotel in NYC. When we checked in, they immediately tried to find us a better room (we didn’t even ask). Assuming they have some availability, I would guess that they could get you a better room. In the end, the hotel still wants you to be happy with your stay- regardless of if you used Priceline or not.

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Randy, Guest @ 1:07 pm

    I am the webmaster for a Priceline hotel bidding help site, http://www.HotelDealsRevealed.com. I would encourage anyone consider using Priceline for hotel reservations to check out this site. Visitors can get lists of hotels known to be available on Priceline – this can help users identify their hotel on Priceline before they purchase.

    The forum section of the site is where users post their winning Priceline bids. This will help you determine how much you should bid for a hotel and avoid over-bidding.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    The Ultimate Guide to Priceline Bidding Tips, Guest @ 2:26 pm

    [...] Get around the wait rule by using a different email address and credit card number. (from Mr. G’s Guide to Priceline Bidding) [...]

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