Bidding Strategy For Getting Best Discounted Hotel Rates From Priceline

We would like to share with you the bidding strategy we’ve used on Priceline for our travels since 2004, which has given us the best discounted hotel rates.  We’ve successfully saved up to 45% off hotel retail rates when we traveled to Seattle, Bellevue, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Portland and even Paris.  With the potential hotel savings, you now have more money to splurge on dining, entertainment, and shopping in Vancouver!

Here are a few easy steps to getting discounted hotel rates from Priceline:

(1) Determine hotel area (neighbourhood) and star level for your travel dates

For example: You are visiting Vancouver, BC from Sunday Mar 25th to 31st, 2012 and would like to stay in a 4 star hotel in Downtown Vancouver area

Bidding Strategy Hotel Area

(2) Visit Hotwire.com to see what price the competitor is offering when using the same travel criteria.  This will help determine your maximum bid limit.

Keep in mind sometimes Hotwire’s star rating is not always comparable to Priceline.  For example, The Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver and The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver are classed as 5 star on Hotwire, whereas it is classed as 4 star on Priceline.

Click here for instructions to get Vancouver hotel deals from Hotwire.com

At the time of writing, Hotwire is offering a 5 Star Hotel Downtown Vancouver West with rate of $122 per room per night.  Therefore, if you choose to bid with Priceline, you should set your upper limit as $122.

(3) Visit Priceline.com to check out regular hotel rates based on the same travel criteria

So from the above example:

(1)   Enter your travel itinerary and select “search hotels now!”
(2)   Select Hotel Area as “Vancouver Downtown”
(3)   Select Star Rating as “4 Star”
(4)   Select “Update Hotel”
(5)   You can sort the result by “Most Popular”, “Lowest Price”, “Hotel Name” etc..  Select “Lowest Price”
At the time of writing, the lowest price is Fairmont Hotel Vancouver $138 per room per night and the highest is Opus Vancouver $231 per room per night for 4 Star Vancouver Downtown hotel.
(6)   If any specific hotel and price appeals to you, then you can book it directly from Priceline.
For new Priceline users, click here to watch a quick video tour on how to use Priceline.com

Bidding Strategy Priceline
Bidding Strategy Priceline 2

If you are not set on staying at a specific hotel, then you can try “name your own price” by bidding on Priceline.  The Hotel Name is only revealed when the hotel affiliate from Priceline accepts your winning bid.

(1) Bid on Priceline.com by using “Name Your Own Price”

Step 1:   Select “Name Your Own Price” – Save up to 60% Off In Vancouver”
Step 2:   I usually start at 50% of the median rate from Priceline and increase by  increments of $5 to $10 depending how close my travel date is (eg: $5 if I have more time to bid, or $10 if my travel date is near and I need a hotel very soon).

So from the example above:

Step 1: Choose where you want to stay: select “Downtown Vancouver”
Step 2: Choose the star level for your hotel: select “4 Star-Deluxe”
Step 3: Name Your Own Price (per room night) –
-You will get the Median Retail
From the example, the Median Price is $164 for 4 Star Downtown Vancouver Hotel.  Therefore, the starting bid is $80 (Approximately 50% from median rate)

Bidding Strategy Priceline 3Bidding Strategy Priceline 4If your bid fails, you may rebid by revising the following travel criteria:
(1) add another area or,
(2) downgrade your star level or,
(3) change check-in or check-out date or,
(4) wait 24 hours to rebid

(2) Re-bid strategy without changing travel criteria or waiting 24 hours

So what if you want to keep all the same travel criteria and re-bid again within 24 hours?

Here is my re-bidding strategy, which has worked when we’ve traveled to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Bellevue, Seattle, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Portland and Paris (it has worked every time for us since 2004). Here is what you do:

(1) If you have another travel companion, you can have him or her bid on their own account or
(2) Determine the area(s) that do not have the same or higher star level rating and use that as an area to add for rebid

How to determine which area you can use as rebid for 4 star level hotel?

Step 1: At Priceline, select “Hotel” tab
Step 2: Select “for deeper discount-name your own price”
Step 3: Enter travel information such as city, check-in and out dates, and number of rooms – click on bid now
Step 4: Select only one area on the list
Step 5: Scroll down to see the star level offered in the area – the ones that are greyed out indicates that these star levels are not available in the selected area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Create a list of area that does not have any hotels with 4 star levels or higher. This will be your list to “add an area” for rebid.
Step 7: Repeat 4 and 5 for each area.

***Important: you need to do this for each bidding session to ensure that Priceline did not recently add any new hotels to areas with same or higher star rating
***Important: Caution note: Priceline can upgrade you to a higher star level – example: if the neighbourhood has both 3.5 and 4 star level hotels and you bid for 3.5 star, Priceline can upgrade you to a 4 star hotel if your bid is accepted.
***Disclaimer: Please be aware that Priceline does not issue cancellations nor refunds!

At the time of writing this:

City Hall – Downtown Vancouver South = highest is 3 Star Upscale
Coquitlam/Burnaby = highest rating is 3.5 star Upscale-Plus
Langley = highest is 3 star rating Upscale
Surrey = highest is 3.5 star Upscale-Plus
White rock = highest is 2.5 star rating Moderate-Plus
Therefore, you will have extra 5 rebids when bidding for a 4 star rating hotel.

So from the example:

You can increase your bid to $85 when you add City Hall,
if fail then add Coquitlam/Burnaby and rebid at $90,
if fail then add Langley and rebid at $95,
if fail then add Surrey and rebid at $100,
if fail then add White Rock and rebid at $105.
If all bids fail then wait 24 hours and repeat the above steps. But, if bids get close to Hotwire’s price, then it may be better to just go with Hotwire.

On the right side are screen shots of some of my recent winning bids using my above strategy!!!

Happy bidding!  I always get euphoric when I win a bid and see how much I save!

When you get your hotel information: you can contact the hotel for certain requests, such as bed size (king or queen instead of double bed, smoking or non-smoking room, etc).  Note: these requests may not be granted but it does not hurt to try.

Click here to see how much you can save by bidding on Priceline.com for your hotel booking!

If at any time you need any assistance with bidding for a hotel in Vancouver or any other city using Priceline, please feel free to contact us!

Please post your bidding results on the comment section to share with other readers.