Internet Pricing Lesson Please

The day job has taken the GUARDIAN editor to Mexico, suck up smog, sun, and more images for the Photolibrary.

It isn’t as cheery as a couple years ago–economy is bad, swine flu scare lingers with hand washing fluid everywhere, heavy police presence, drugs.
As a result, you can get some pretty good hotel deals, but only on the internet.

We walked up to a hotel clerk who stated the room price is $200 per night. I told her I saw it on the internet for much less and the place is obviously slow. A born negotiator?

She politely sent me to their “business center” to book the room fro $80.
I walked back across the lobby, the same clerk checked me in at less than half the previous quoted rate and the hotel had to pay a commission to the internet (Travelocity, Expedia, etc.). This happens often and I don’t understand adding another layer of expense when the customer is standing at the counter–any counter–with cash in hand.

“Do-it-yourself” airline tickets I understand, but the general push toward internet sales is baffling when it often costs more in FREE SHIPPING, lower price, etc. than simply offering a good price to the customer standing with cash in hand.

Any of you marketing, sociology, and internet gurus got ideas?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. sam the sham
    Nov 17, 2009, 7:29 pm

    When someone tells you that they are going to sell their house and you say that you’d like to buy it then there is no agent fee. But if you saw that their house had been for sale because of an agent’s sign then the agent gets the fee.
    I am sure that business, being good at not loosing a buck, has a contract with these hotels. You did mention seeing low prices on the internet, so perhaps you could try just telling them that a friend had paid much less just last week. Or just do what is popular in Mexico… offer less and see what happens.
    But, they do have a contract now…. so they may be stuck with paying a commission if they don’t get full fair (or fare).
    It’s a strange new world.

  2. I think buying an airline ticket is about the same idea.
    Basically, it sucks to be you if you are not internet savvy. Yes, welcome to the new world.

    What about businesses that can’t operate if the “computer” is down?

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: