New to Bookings.com - Please Help!

Good Morning, 

I am new and unfamiliar with Bookings.com, I have been utilising Airbnb to date for my property based in South Africa.

I have a few questions that I would like clarity on, if possible pls.

1. Is it possible to do self check-in on Bookings.com (I provide a code for entrance to the estate and key lockbox) and if so what is the process?

2. As I am not living at the property and it is self check-in, how do I collect the money, also more for overseas guest payments?

3. Can anyone else provide any info that I should consider before I start doing the profile to list my property?

Thank you in advance.


Isle of Wight …

Hi Mary

1 - yes - we do that ourselves. Guests book online and pay via Payments by Booking.com - we have a not refundable policy so we are guaranteed payments. A few days before the guests arrive, we send a message with directions, check-in information and the code for the key safe. With AirBnB / TripAdvisor, this works very well. With Booking.com, many guests don't realise that we have sent this information (they don't know there are messages in their inbox) and they sometimes phone up to ask directions and often phone up to ask how to get in to the property. However, they have been printing the Booking Confirmation, which doesn't have the check-in information.

To overcome this problem, you can add some extra information to The Fine Print which appears on the Booking Confirmation. Go to Property > View Your Descriptions and click "Can't find what you're looking for?". We added " Please note that a refundable damage deposit of GBP 100 is required. Guests should check their Booking.com inbox for payment information.  Directions to the property will be sent a few days before guests' arrival, including the code for the Master Key Safe by the front door. Guests should check their Booking.com inbox 2-3 days prior to arrival. ".

2 - Always use Payments by Booking.com - and when you set the prices, tick the "non refundable" checkbox. This guarantees that you get the payment. Note that Booking.com fees are much higher than any other system, so adjust your prices accordingly. Also note that Booking.com allows you to offer all sorts of discounts, so consider these too when setting your pricing. Payment into your bank account can take up to 6 weeks. If you want the money faster, you'll have to pay a higher percentage, so take that into account with your pricing too. Much higher pricing (in some cases 40% higher than on AirBnb) to get the same payout as AirBnB does not seem to have a negative effect - the bookings still come in via Booking.com

Note that Booking.com may require you to take cash on arrival at first - fight them and keep fighting. Do not give in to their ridiculous demands and policies. Likewise with damage deposits - insist on it and message guests asking them to pay damage deposits by bank transfer. Keep fighting Booking.com for the right to protect your property and protect your future guests.

3 - Take your time with the setup of your property, make sure you get it right and that you know how the system works (or doesn't work). If you need to message Booking.com support staff, have a bottle of vodka or something else available to reduce the stress of having dealt with a bunch of xxx.

If you need any more advice, do ask - lots of owners here who can help and advise!


Chiara Cottage


I am just joining booking.com and am prepare to work a lot harder than with Airbnb.  My property is in Sorrento Australia a beach resort, beautiful but winter is slow.  I have not gone live yet.  But have not seen anywhere how much to charge a security deposit.  My home is a lovely Hampton style home, guests have been very respectful.  Any information or advice love to hear from you.