Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This is an answer to Connie’s question “Just wondering if any of you are having any luck trying Air BnB?” I decided to start a new thread on this, since I think it is a substantive issue.
I have used Airbnb a few times, with positive experiences up until last month, when a host canceled my reservation. The host, who is listed as a Superhost with all good reviews, canceled my fully-paid-for reservation “because a family member needs to use it”. I was refunded my payment by Airbnb, but am not happy that my reservation could be canceled on a whim with no repercussions or remedies offered. I concluded that Airbnb is the reverse of the normal hotel room reservation system: with a hotel room, the guest can often cancel right up to the date reserved without penalty, while the hotel cannot. With Airbnb, the guest cannot cancel, but the host can without any penalty. This does not make it a very valuable service for business people, including artists, who need reliable accommodations. I for one do not intend to use Airbnb in the future unless there are no other alternatives.
You may be as surprised as I was that a host can cancel your reservation with no repercussions. On the Airbnb web site https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/990/i-m-a-host--what-penalties-... they state that a host who cancels a reservation will lose their Superhost status and that there will be an automated review posted on the host’s listed “that can’t be removed” indicating that a reservation had been canceled by that host. But almost one month after my reservation was canceled, the host is still listed as a Superhost, and there is no automatic review posted. Airbnb will not allow me to post a review, because I never had the chance to rent the condo.
Also, note the language “that can’t be removed”. That implies that hosts can remove any customer written reviews that they do not like. Looking around the internet, there is a general consensus that Airbnb hosts remove reviews that are not to their liking. So you cannot trust the reservation system, cannot trust the penalty system, cannot trust what they say Superhost means (“0 cancelations” – see https://www.airbnb.com/superhost ), and cannot trust the reviews.
After my bad experience I looked around the internet and discovered lots of Airbnb horror stories. One person even described Airbnb as “a paradise for fraudsters” (which introduces a whole other set of risk factors). Caveat Emptor!