The Rising Costs of Booking.com - will it end?
When first starting with booking.com we paid commission rates of around 12%.. a few years later the commission jumped to 15% - the introduction of the preffered partner program, basically forced us (and everyone) up to 18% - then after years of servicing the South African market, they introduced VAT at 15%, to suddenly become compliant with local legislation. We are a small establishment and not VAT registered, therefore we absorb the VAT directly.
Right now, my base cost of transaction through Booking.com is 20.7%. With such a low barrier to becoming a genius member, just about everyone is one, so thrown in an additional 5% (or more if you are genius generous).
Now there is this payment program.. for 2.1% additional commission.
So the base cost of transaction for us through Booking.com is 27.8% - and there are talks of "tiered" genius programs coming soon.
With an unlimited on-boarding of new properties - making a tougher competitive place, forcing more specials and discounts - further increasing the cost of transacting through Booking.com
My booking.com experience is less than 7 years old. I have seen our costs of transaction soar from 12% to 27.8%
Can I expect that in the next 7 years, we are similarly going to have another 230% increase in rates?
The worst part is that booking.com then use this money, to pay google, to rank their platform above my little guest house in direct key word searches - using my own money, to out advertise me. - not very partner like.
Booking.com have been a trusted source of market for my business for years - but as a "partner", I can't help feel like I am being ... abused.