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Commercial co-operation: The article is entirely written by Finnoy Travel without Bidroom's editorial contribution. We are not paid for this article but we got a 1-year membership to the service. The contest among our readers at the end of the article is run in cooperation with Bidroom, and Bidroom is responsible for its prizes. Affiliate links are marked with * sign.
How Hotel Booking Sites Normally Work?
It is best for hotels if guests book rooms directly at the hotel's website. This means that the hotel does not have to pay any commission fees to third parties. It is a standard for Online Travel Agencies to charge about 15% commission on a single booking, which means that 15% of hotels' earnings go to such platforms. That is why it's common that hotels try to lead prospective customers to their booking channels by offering beneficial loyalty programs, by best price guarantee advertisements, and by providing troubleless hotel booking with their mobile apps.
The reality is different. The world is dominated by hotel booking websites and metasearch engines that compare the prices of hotel reservation services. Although there are thousands of hotels reservation websites, the market is eventually dominated only by a few gigantic hotel companies under which many of these hotel reservation services are taken control.
Hotel booking services normally receive commissions from hotels for sales made through their channels. Similarly, metasearch engines receive commissions for hotel reservation services when users visited and ended up booking hotels via these sites. Many blogs (including our site) is partners of hotel comparison sites. Therefore, we also get a small share of the price, if the user makes a hotel booking through the link on our site and we're completely transparent about it.
How Bidroom Differs from Commission-based Models?
Bidroom* differs considerably from the model described above. In accordance with Bidroom's business idea, they do not receive any commission from the hotel or customers. The money paid by the customer ends up directly to the hotel because there are no booking fees in the chain.
Since Bidroom does not receive commissions, it can sell hotel rooms competitively at cheaper prices. The Bidroom system will find out what is the price of a hotel room in various well-known hotel booking sites/services, and then Bidroom will offer the same room discounted by 5-25%. The discount per cent varies between different hotels. Besides the customer, the hotel must accept the price suggested by Bidroom. In certain circumstances, the hotel may not sell the room at the price calculated by Bidroom.
Bidroom finds out what is the cheapest price of the hotel room in major booking sites. After that, Bidroom adds a 5-25 per cent discount to the price and proposes the discount to the customer. As soon as both parties agree to the price offer, a booking/transaction is finally made directly between the hotel and the customer.
Bidroom's Business Model
As mentioned previously, Bidroom will not collect any brokerage fees except there is a one-time activation fee for every hotel joining Bidroom's platform. Its business would be unprofitable if the service hadn't any revenue streams. This means someone should eventually pay for the service. Bidroom will charge an annual user fee of EUR 59 per user. By paying the annual fee, you as a customer are entitled to use their service as much as you want during the year.
The Benefits of Using Bidroom
The benefits for a user using Bidroom's services will be felt especially when travelling a lot. Even if you have to pay an annual fee, it is remarkable to note that hotels can be booked at a lower cost without any limitations. Bidroom promises that their prices compared against other hotel services are always at least 5% cheaper, but could be also up to 25% cheaper because they do not receive commissions on hotel bookings. In simple terms, Bidroom's benefit to the user is significantly cheaper accommodation price compared to most or even all other services.
However, it is important to note that reservations made through Bidroom are usually non-refundable.
Experiences with Bidroom
We like the fresh and unique business idea of Bidroom. However, the company is still young and its operation is still under development. For this reason, the comparison of the hotel selection is not yet very extensive. However, we believe that, as the service develops, this gap will gradually be filled.
We have also investigated whether Bidroom's marketing claim is correct, that each hotel is at least 5% cheaper than its competitors. We compared the price of three different hotels between Bidroom and the cheapest other booking site shown by hotelscombined.com. As a result, Bidroom had the cheapest prices for the hotels below.
|Holiday Club Caribia, Turku||Expedia: 278 euros||Bidroom: 270 euros|
|Moxy Oslo X, Oslo||Booking.com: 326 euros||Bidroom: 310 euros|
|Aberotel Montparnasse, Paris||Agoda: 316 euros||Bidroom: 295 euros|
The comparison was made for the following dates, September 7-9, 2018 with the above-mentioned three random hotels. Bidroom's price offer was always cheaper compared to the price offer of the cheapest hotel reservation service found.
We further made more searches and we ended up in a case where there was a cheaper booking site than Bidroom. It may be that the room type was not the same or there were different booking conditions. However, it is still good to know that Bidroom appears to be the cheapest booking site in the majority of cases.
Based on our comparison, we can recommend Bidroom because you will most likely find the cheapest price there. However, it is always important to make the final comparison manually between Bidroom and some other booking sites. By comparing carefully, you will find the cheapest price.
Other Similar Services
We have earlier been writing about DreamCheaper and betterhotels.com services. We used to be loyal customers of DreamCheaper and actually, we saved some money on hotel bookings through them. Unfortunately, the customer service level of DreamCheaper was poor and we finally stopped using it. We are wishing Bidroom to fill this gap in our future travels.
Contest: The Best Holiday Shots
We arranged a contest on Instagram together with Bidroom. In the contest, 30 best holiday pictures (1 picture submission per person) won one-year Bidroom membership (valued at 59 euros).
The Winners of the Contest
We got fewer submissions than there were prizes together (30) so every contestant won. We have contacted the winners on Instagram via private messages. Congratulations!