Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Have I Got A Deal For You!


Okay, so my husband and I are heading over the mountains tomorrow.   He has a school counselors conference in Seattle, so I will go with him and lounge around in bed all day reading while he is learning how to meet the needs of the ever growing number of elementary school children who need counselors.  Sad, I know.  That elementary school-aged children would need a counselor.  Anyway, that's a subject for another day.  

I have another topic for today.    The hotel.   For the conference.   It's a nice hotel near Seatac (the airport, for those of you who were wondering).   The hotel always gives the conference participants a good rate on rooms and it always fills up quickly.   So,  my husband made reservations a couple of months ago for two nights.    The deal they gave us was $137 per night.   You know, when you hear "deal" you kind of get excited.   And although we're never excited to pay $137/night for a hotel room, still . . . it was a "DEAL."

Anyway, last night I got to thinking (and looking at our budget) about the $137/night we were about to pay for a hotel.   Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, now reality was beginning to sink in and $137/night might as well have been $1,370/night.   So, I decided to do the "Priceline" thing.   Just to see what kind of deal we might get.   So, I bid $55/night.  Of course, when you bid you never know what hotel may accept your price.   It could be the Bates Motel, or worse.  Wait, could it be worse than that??   Or maybe it won't be accepted at all.   I clicked the button and waited, with anticipation, for either a picture of Norman Bates or the "reject" apology to pop up.   I always do that, by the way.   I always prepare for  the worst outcome.   I guess I should be more optimistic, huh?   

To my surprise, no Norman, no "reject"  - - rather a "Congratulations!!" found its way to my screen.   A hotel accepted my $55/night price.   And since Norman didn't pop up, at least I wouldn't get hacked up while taking a shower.  That's always a plus.  So, although I was happy for the $55 price, I was also a little sad that we would not be staying in the "nice" hotel, but staying in the "cheap" hotel instead.   Then I scrolled down to see the name of the hotel that accepted our bid.   To my surprise, IT WAS THE SAME HOTEL!!!   The $137/night hotel turned out to be the $55/night hotel!!

So, the natural question that comes to mind is this - - WHAT KIND OF A DEAL IS $137/NIGHT??!!!!    The natural answer that comes to mind is this - - NO DEAL AT ALL!!!!   So, what's the deal here?   Their deal was $82 more per night than the price we will be paying by NOT taking their deal.   

And that kind of makes me mad.  

    

39 comments:

  1. That seems to be the nature of business nowdays, and I think it's pretty sad too. I know that hotels have different levels of rooms, some fancier, etc, but that's a pretty big price difference, and obviously they aren't full at their "deal" price or they wouldn't be accepting yours! I understand that businesses must make a profit but geesh! I feel the same way about paying $2.50 for a glass of iced tea that can be made for 25 cents! Is integrity going to be a word missing from the dictionary in future generations? I fear it might be!

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    1. yeah, I thought about the room difference. But we stayed there last year for the same conference and the room was just a normal room, with no special amenities. Maybe we have a double bed instead of a king, I don't know. But I'd rather pay $160 less for a double :)

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  2. Maybe you're sleeping in the broom closet?

    I've learned that hotels are very open to negotiations, especially when a certain tight-fisted and persuasive blogger you know is leading discussions.

    Have a great time!

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    1. If Harry Potter can sleep in a closet, so can I :)

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  3. I guess that months ahead the assume they will be fully booked and charge accordingly, when it gets down to the wire they may rent out at a loss rather then have an empty room. Interesting, I may try Priceline.

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    1. That's probably true, but I learned a big lesson and that is never assume you're getting a "deal" :)

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  4. I've always worried about trying that 'bidding' thing. Good to know it can work out.
    Do you have something good to read? I'm working on an LDS novel and would love your input. Can I send it to you?

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    1. please do! I love reading your stuff!!

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  5. WOW!!! I wasn't expecting the twist at the end! Same place?!?!?! LOL! Enjoy your stay in SeaTac, former hunting ground of 'Green River Gary' Ridgeway. Will you get into Seattle or Tacoma to do anything? Can't recommend the Bridge of Glass enough down in T-Town. So beautiful. Esp. if the sun is shining (which, let's face it, isn't often this time of year in Western WA).

    Are you going to say anything to the hotel upon checkout about their alleged 'deal' and your Priceline score?

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    1. haha - Gary Ridgeway is safely tucked away right here in Walla Walla at the State Penn :) Probably won't get into the city this time around. I'm going to be quite happy just reading the two days away :)

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    2. They sent Green River Gary to Walla Walla? I didn't know that. Of course that's really the only major men's prison in WA so I don't know why I didn't know that. lol

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  6. I have often wondered how those deals work out. Good job!

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    1. They can work out really well, like this one did. We've never really gotten a bad deal or hotel using Priceline. Yea!

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  7. Sounds like a case of "She who hesitates, is lost." I think it's awesome that you let your fingers do the walking, and ended up with enough money left over, to more than pay for all of your meals, as well as covering the accommodations. There much to be gleaned from your first-hand experience. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Just the luck of the draw, Mark :) We could have ended up with Horror Hotel or Motel from Hell. Thankfully, I'll have a nice comfy bed to be lazy on for two days!

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  8. I like a good deal, but I'm usually too lazy/busy to go out and look for one. Isn't that awful?

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    1. Not awful at all. We just needed a good deal this time :)

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  9. I think your first line of reasoning is probably the correct one. The hotel wanted to get $137/night, and if it could have filled the hotel at that price, it would have. Had you put in your $55/night request 2 months ago, I don't think the hotel would have taken it. They only accepted it now because they want a FULL hotel. They are operating on the assumption that it is better to "sell" the room for something than to have it go empty and get "nothing." However, even one month ago they would have been still shooting for that Deal Price of $137. I don't think I would waste my energy on being angry at the hotel. Instead, I would focus on being happy with me. Just congratulate yourself on being a savvy shopper:) YAY YOU!!!

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    1. Robin, you are so right! They were just conducting business. They ARE a for-profit, afterall :) I'm glad I decided to try for a better deal, though. Sure is a nice feeling saving $160 over two nights!

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  10. Smells like some last minute cancellations to me. Odds are the room was booked with a non-refundable deposit & now the hotel is getting your $55.00 PLUS whatever the canceller put down. Either way, your gain--enjoy the deal. Two days reading in a hotel room sounds pretty glorious to me. ;)

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    1. I'm looking forward to it! Nice and quiet, and lots of books!

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  11. I agree with you but they work out deals with internet companies for a few rooms at a better deal for people who are willing to look for a bargain (like us!)
    As for things thst are marked up, I say this: I own a restaurant. I pay the high food prices, the gas surcharges, the employees who unload the truck and put the itrms away, the propane and electricity to cook the food and provide heat and electricity for my staff, the water and soap and sanitizer to wash the dishes, and pay the servers who bring the food to the table and clean your mess, and the paychecks I write. If you want a cheap meal, eat at home. If you want a service, you have to pay for it. But I always search for the best deal. We put coupons in the paper and offer discounts for people as well. Another good search site is Kayak.com

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    1. It's good to see things from different perspectives. Having never been a business owner, I don't ever think of all those expenses you mentioned. I just appreciate the good deals :) I'll have to check out kayak.com.

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  12. That's so awesome, congrats! I'm too afraid to use things like Priceline. lol

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    1. Haha! There is a certain risk, but it's kind of fun :)

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  13. Good for you! I love Priceline and I've never been disappointed with their choices. :) Crazy that it was at the same hotel. I wonder if the extra money everybody else was paying is going back to the schools.. It should! What a scam. :/

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    1. It's a reputable hotel so I hope it wasn't a scam - I'm just going to attribute it to incredible skill with my fingers :)

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  14. Good for you for finding a REAL deal. Um, one question, though. Does your new room include a bed???

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    1. I think we're sharing a bathroom with our neighbors :)

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  15. that is impressive negotiating, Judy
    I wonder whether it would work over here too, have to give it a try
    let us know how it went, I am truly curious
    enjoy the break
    any exciting titles for you bed reading?

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    1. That's me, Anni - - Ms. Impressive! haha.
      I'm not a very sophisticated reader. I like murder mysteries, paranormal-type stuff, and simple and frivolous love stories. I've started re-reading a Dean Koontz book and then I'll just go from there!

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  16. Don't forget to check on the cancellation policy of your first booking. Is there a time limit? Is there a fee? Make sure you follow directions to the letter and do it exactly right. Get a cancellation number and a name. You could end up paying for both reservations. Been there and done that.

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  17. LOL! Oh, that's just perfect! You get the nice hotel and pay 60% cheaper than you thought you'd have to! I love it when things like that happen.

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  18. Ok, so I know this is going to sound insane, because WHO doesn't want a good deal?? But...I just read a book about the ins and outs of hoteling and what all that price stuff really means and let me tell you...I will never use Priceline again. Seriously. I have major germ issues now. And did you know that they use Pledge to clean hotel room glasses? It leaves a streak free finish...gulp.

    Hope you have a great time! xo!

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    1. Lisa!! I just finished a diet pepsi (not coke) in one of those shiny streak free glasses! And I don't want to know about what you know -- germs and all. gross!!! Lisa, I love you and miss you. I hope you are all settled in and don't forget about all of us back in the WW ville. PLUS - today is Shelby's Pday and she is writing for the first time as soon as she gets back from the temple!! yea!

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