Airbnb is a widely-used online marketplace that connects hosts seeking to rent out their homes with guests looking for accommodations in specific locales. But some people find that the fees charged by the well-known company are too high and not worth the service they receive.
Jasmine Lorimer (@jasmine.lorimer) brought attention to the issue of Airbnb's high fees through a now-viral TikTok video that has amassed over 221k views and captions “Airbnb is the Ticketmaster of the vacation rentals.”
“I’ve been really losing my mind,” Jasmine opens the video. “Someone needs to explain to me why we use Airbnb.”
The TikToker, who has been an Airbnb host since January, expresses her dislike of the famous home-sharing site. She says, “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate the company.”
In the video, Jasmine mentions that she was aware of the 3% host fee when she signed up for Airbnb. However, she says that Airbnb guests have to pay an additional fee of 4%, which she believes is too high.
@jasmine.lorimer Help me understand. #airbnb @airbnb #scam #fraud #corporatescam #advice #ihateairbnb ♬ original sound - Jasmine Lorimer
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She reveals that she charges guests a substantial amount for their stay at her place in Whistler – for a two-night stay, this can sometimes amount to an extra $120 on top of what they are already paying.
“This infuriated me,” she says.
Jasmine expresses her dissatisfaction with the fact that Airbnb's extra fee appears as a “service fee” on the guest's bill.
This, in her opinion, creates confusion and leads guests to assume that she is the one charging the fee, not Airbnb. “How they’re supposed to know it’s Airbnb charging?” she questions.
To address this problem, Jasmine changed her settings to take care of the additional fee on behalf of her guests. Her intention behind this was to spare her guests the surprise and confusion of seeing an unknown charge on their bill.
Jasmine breaks down the costs, stating that she pays around 17% to Airbnb per listing, taking into account the 3% host fee and the fee she takes care of for her guests.
“I looked into it, and I was like, what is the reason for this? Like what is this really doing?” she asks.
According to her, Airbnb is making around $1.8 billion per month in commission fees, only from guests in North America.
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“I can’t stand it,” she says, adding that the service Airbnb provides “is not that good.”
Jasmine believes that Airbnb's fees are unreasonably high, and asked for a logical justification for that. She states that the company is “terrible” and “it’s so difficult to use and deal with.”
“Someone please prove me wrong,” she asked viewers, “Someone please tell me that there’s some value in this and there’s an explanation for how this is worth it.”
On the other hand, Jasmine didn’t ignore the positives of Airbnb's platform and interface, acknowledging that they are “fine.” She also appreciated the features that allow hosts to vet guests and leave reviews.
However, she ended the video by stating that although Airbnb's website has useful features, it's ultimately “just a website,” adding, “I could probably make a similar website and I wouldn’t need 22 billion dollars a year to do it.”
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Many viewers agreed with Jasmine's opinion about Airbnb’s fees and shared their own experiences in the comments.
“I’m over it with air bnb. I’m not cleaning your place and I don’t want weird instructions,” one viewer commented, “Hotels for now on.”
A second agreed, “used to LOVE airbnb, nowadays hotels are so much cheaper lol.”
A third added, “I often pass on renting Airbnb’s because of the service charges… and I thought that was a fee from the owner so thank you for this information.”
In response to Jasmine's question, one user wrote, “If it helps, they’re also contributing to the loss of affordable housing, which is causing homelessness.”
Although some commenters suggest that Airbnb may use its fees to help address the issue of homelessness, it's still a matter of opinion whether the fees charged are justifiable. Perhaps, in some cases, hotels could be a better option for travelers looking to cut down their costs.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.
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