I can priceline hotels like nobodies’ business. A few years ago I went on a trip with a friend to California and I did some intense research on Priceline and learned how to master it. Now I am sharing my secrets. I am going to make this as simple as possible so listen closely.
Priceline is actually one time when procrastination can be a good thing. I have often gotten my best deals when I have waited until the night of. This is because hotels get more and more desperate to rent out their unoccupied rooms as the night gets closer. That is not to say you should wait until the night of, but the later you wait the better deal you may get.
1. To get the most bang for your buck you must BID not pick from the deals they already offer.
2. Choose the town you want and the area of town you want. BE CAREFUL – only pick the area you want.
3. Choose the star level. My rule of thumb is to pick the most amount of stars first, once you rebid you can always pick less.
4. Bid. Priceline will give you a guesstimate of the “average” amount the hotels around the area are going for. My rule of thumb is to cut that by 1/2. Example: if the average hotel is “$120″ I am going to bid at $60 give or take $10. If your bid is accepted it is final. Congrats you have a room. If not rebid.
5. Rebid. This is where it can get tricky. OPEN A NEW BROWSER. This allows you to start fresh. You must change something in your bid (either the area or the star level) or wait 24 hours to bid for the same thing. My favorite trick here is to find areas of town that do not have as high of star level as you want. You can do this by clicking the areas of town separately and seeing the highest amount of stars available in each area.
Here is an example: I want to stay in north Austin but my bid was rejected. To rebid I will look and see that in Central Austin the higest amount of hotel stars available is 3. So this time I will bid on North Austin at 4 stars and I will check off central austin as an additional area so that I can rebid. However, priceline has to give me at least a 4 star hotel therefore I am essentially only bidding on hotels in North Austin because the only hotels that priceline is affilated with in Central are 3 stars or less. You can do this with as many areas as you need to and rebid as many times as you need to, but just be careful. If I was to chose North and Central with 3 stars then I am up to get a room in either area because they both have 3 star hotels in them. Make sense?
Each time you rebid you should open a new browser as priceline greys out your orginal bid giving you the impression you have to keep it like that to rebid (which you dont).
6. Here is a great website where you can see wining bids in the city you are looking for. This can help you get an idea of what you should bid, what prices are being accepted and which are not. http://www.bidlesstravel.com/search-winning-priceline-bids.html
7. You can practice your bidding in a city you are not interested in if you type in $1.00 to bid with. This is a good way to get a feel for what you are doing and I doubt you will get a hotel for $1.00 so it’s a pretty safe way to practice.
This is a very short explanation its kind of the quick and dirty. If you want to know even more there is so much out there on google, but I hope I have helped and best of luck!