In a world where gas at 4.01 a gallon is considered cheap and exxon posts 11 billion dollar profits in the 1st quarter its clear that average joe out there needs some help… can really do much about the price of the airlines, hell they charge you for your bags now!! But I did find a way to use priceline to get the absolutely cheapest price on hotels ever….
I’ll assume you are familiar with the bidding model that PL uses on their site and get right to it. PL wants you to bid as high as possible. To make you do this, they have set bidding limits so that when your bid is rejected you can’t bid on the same zone and star level for 24 hours. In this way they prevent someone from starting at $1, then incrementing until they hit a winning bid. They want the winning bid price to be a secret and force you to make your best offer first. But what if there was a way to get around that 1 bid rule do some incrementing of bids to find the best price?
There is a way to get around the bid rule, its called free re-bidding. Free re-bidding means you make a change to your bid offer by adding another zone than you know does not contain any hotels of the star level you are requesting. Making that change allows you to increase your bid price immediately on the zone your really are intending to stay in. Confused? Check out the example.
Say you want to stay at a 4 star in San Diego, downtown zone. You bid $60 on your first try, and its rejected. Rather than playing Priceline’s game and waiting 24 hours to try a bid of $65, use a free-rebid. But how do you find the free re-bids? Simple. Just check another zone in the same area you are searching, then look at the star levels that are offered below. If there are none of the hotels available in that area, that star level is greyed out. You have just found yourself a free re-bid zone. Now just raise your bid a bit using the original zone you really wanted, and the new free rebid zone. The free rebid zone allows the new bid to go through, but the system only looks at your original zone because that’s where the hotels with the 4 star level are located!